Introduction & PURPOSE
Today we are taking a closer look on a holster designed and manufactured by an Austrian company named „Black Trident“. This holster is what they call the „THOR“ holster and as you might be able to recognize by the very archaic name chosen for this model, it is Black Tridents first entry into a product category that I like to call „tactical passive retention based holsters“.
Before we start with the review by itself, I want to talk with you about the question of „what actually is a holster?“. Simple question you might think but asking this question is important.
So by definition a holster is: „is a device used to hold or restrict the undesired movement of a handgun, most commonly in a location where it can be easily withdrawn for immediate use. Holsters are often attached to a belt or waistband, but they may be attached to other locations of the body (e.g., the ankle holster). Holsters vary in the degree to which they secure or protect the firearm. Some holsters for law enforcement officers have a strap over the top of the holster to make the handgun less likely to fall out of the holster or harder for another person to grab the gun. Some holsters have a flap over the top to protect the gun from the elements.„
So when we talk about holsters we talk about a retention device with easy acess, for those that are carrying the gun while also restricting acess for those that shouldnt get the gun. While there is also the often overlooked aspect of protecting the holster from the elements. Back in the days where not every soldier was equipped with a sidearm holsters werent much of a thing and the military was dominated by leather and fabric holsters. But the more every soldier was using a sidearm for their proposed last line of defence the more pistol training got relevant and with more pistol training there was more need for a military holster.
Kydex is a relatively cheap but yet durable material which can be pressed into literally any shape with relatively easy production methods, which are easy to learn but hard to master.
Naturally the market has been flooded with many kydex „benders“ which reach from professional companies to some hill-billy sheds. Black Trident is for sure one of the more serious Kydex manufacturers in europe and they are specialized in creating custom designs. But they also offer a line of stock design.
So when they approached us with to test their THOR holster we were more than excited to do so. But as you might have heard during the intro, reviewing a holster is more than simply unboxing and going to the flat range. As the reviewing process should always involve some serious pushes towards the products capabilities. We ended up with a testing period of more than a year and as you can see this holster hast taken some use and abuse.
The Black Trident Thor is a passive retention Holster which utilizes four phillips screws to adjust the retention which is more than enough to prevent the pistol from any snag or movement related incidents. Natural to a one sided retention design, the holstered weapon has the tendency to move a few millimetres along the barrel axis which is just a cosmetic detail that doesnt interfere with your drawing capabilities.
Shapewise the THOR is cut in what I like to call a „progressive-agressive“ pattern which was made famous by TREX arms and is settled somewhere between a sports holster and a tactical holster. The low cut is just low enough to protect the triggerguard while allowing a really tight and good grip from the start. Unholstering the THOR just feels good to me.
However this aggressive cut isnt without its downsides. Some downsides include that the mag release isnt really covered and it is possible to accidentially release the mag during CQC training while fighting for the gun. On the other hand, a uncovered mag release is also a desireable feature for sports shooters but also for some agencies at they sometimes have to release the magazine without unholstering the gun. So you cant have all the good things.
The THOR also features a kind of flared opening as you can see here, which makes it much easier to holster the weapon. But also this feature has its downside, as it in fact enables sand, dust and debris to enter the holster. I didnt have had any problems with this during one year but one handgun class participant managed to actually prevent his THOR holster from properly locking his weapon in place thanks to sand and little stones entering his holster.
I clearly understand that this is a result of Black Tridents design decision and there is nothing wrong with this. You got to understand that every Holster is a tool in the toolbox and -unless you are a sports shooter. You got to chose the right tool for the right job. Its just like you cant say a screwdriver is badly made because it cant cut as well as a knive. I alone have like six different holsters from different manufacturers i use on a regular basis.
A big advantage of Black Tridents awesome customization and customer service is that they literally build your holster for your favorite mounting platform. I prefer the Safariland Mid Ride plattform which is not only a quality Platform but also offers the ability to make it modular thanks to safarilands QLS System. It also provides a good standoff when using platecarriers while minimizing snag hazard.
Mounting a single Safariland Leg Strap is no problem and I did apply some loktite to all mounting screws as advised by Black Trident. This resulted in zero problems with the holsters integrity, even during our recent Vehicle class.
Lets take a closer look at Black Tridents manufacturing quality. Which is mostly much above average. However, the fancy MultiCam Tropic Fabric cover is slightly starting to fray which is natural to this kind of modification but you can also see some slight overlaps of fabric on certain areas. This isnt danerous, its just a cosmetic detail that could have been avoided their quality control and a lighter.
The kydex itself is well rounded on the corners with some exceptions like the area right next to the sweatguard. Overall it is a thick piece of kydex and wont easily break or deform. Again, we didnt experience any problems or damages with the holster regarding its manufacturing quality. Also all holes are actually better drilled than their counterparts in the Safariland platform which is really a proof of outstanding craftmanship.
Performance & Observations
Overall the Black Trident THOR is a great holster for those that need lightning fast acess to their weapon while needing only moderate protection. It is well made and I can totally understand the hype regarding Black Tridents products. Especially for those of you needing somehing fancy or custom, Black Trident will care for you. Did Black Trident create the ultimate Duty Holster? All vibes, drip and other millenial regarded fantasies aside: NO. Because it is impossible to create an ultimate Holster just like it is impossible to create the ultimate car.
Is Black Trident a great option to check out? Definitely YES.
The Black Trident THOR is a holster that manages to close the gap between a sports holster and a retention holster. if your priorities are a good grip and a fast draw this product might become your favorite holster. If you are looking for a maximum of protection and retention there are other products by BT and other manufacturers you should check out.