Editor’s note: Nearly two years after initially being announced, the EPOCH holsters are now available for sale. Some things have changed on them, so scroll down to the updated section for the latest information.
Blackhawk announced production plans for a new duty holster called the Epoch. The Epoch is a level 3 uniform holster that is designed for duty guns with mounted white lights.
Unlike the prior Blackhawk duty holsters, the Epoch works with Surefire and Streamlight weapon lights. Prior Blackhawk light-bearing gun holsters only worked with the company’s Night-Ops Xiphos light. The Epoch works with the Streamlight TLR-1 and TLR-2 plus the Surefire X300 and X400 lights.
A nice bonus to this holster is you can mount any of the above lights and use the same holster. So, if your department had a mix of Surefire and Streamlight, or if your agency transitioned from one to another, you do not need to buy new holsters. The one holster handles all of the lights.
Unlike the SERPA duty holster, the Epoch uses a thumb release, not a trigger finger activated release. Blackhawk has received a great deal of criticism, much of which I believe to be unfair, regarding the placement and use of the SERPA’s release lever. The Epoch does not have the same retention system, so it should avoid any of the SERPA safety debate.
Initially, the Epoch will be available for just a few handguns, with more models being introduced as time goes on. Expect to see the Smith & Wesson M&P and Glock models (including the larger framed 20/21/37 models) first. Additional models will likely be determined based on demand. I would expect something with SIG SAUER on the slide to be one of the next things to roll off of the drawing board and into production.
The Epoch is not part of the SERPA line. The SERPA holsters, which Blackhawk reps tell me are extremely good sellers, will continue to be made and sold. The Epoch line will be an additional product line offering buyers an option in what kind of holster to purchase.
MSRP on the Epoch holsters is $107.99 for the matte black finish and $124.99 for the basketweave and plain finish models.
A note about the images: the Epoch is finished and ready for production. However, the team is doing a revision of the cosmetics. Feedback from officers who have been testing the guns have been very positive, but many requested a more attractive holster. As such, the team that handles the exterior appearance is re-working the look of the holster. When the holster goes into production, it will sport the new look.
August 2014 Update
It has been almost two full years since I wrote the original article about the EPOCH holsters. Since that time, the holsters have been through a rigorous R&D program and have been upgraded in a variety of ways. Now, the holsters are ready for duty and are available for purchase.
The holsters are still rated as level 3 retention holsters, and are specifically designed to work with pistols that have a mounted light.
Holsters are available now for the Glock and Smith & Wesson M&P line of handguns. They are compatible with the Streamlight TLR-1 and TLR-2 model lights (those are the larger lights) and the SureFire X300 and X300 Ultra model lights. I’ve previously carried a TLR-1 on duty, and have reviewed the TLR-2 G weapon light. Both were excellent performers.
Currently, the EPOCH holsters will fit:
- Glock 17
- Glock 22
- Glock 31
- S&W M&P 9
- S&W M&P 40
- S&W M&P 357
Currently, there is no word on when .45 ACP versions will be available. Additionally, I have not yet confirmed if the Smith & Wesson holsters are compatible with pistols using the optional thumb safety.
MSRP is $107.99 for a matte black finish. Basketweave and plain black finishes (presumably more glossy than the matte) will retail for $124.99.
Note that these holsters do not use the SERPA release used in the company’s other line of duty holsters.