Let’s look at three scenarios:
- You are awakened one night in the middle of the night by a crash outside your closed bedroom door. You reach to your night side table and pick you your pistol that is used for Home Defense. The door of your bedroom opens and you see a figure in the doorway. You place your finger on the Trigger, ready to fire a shot……….
- You are awakened one night in the middle of the night by a crash outside your closed bedroom door. You reach to your night side table and pick you your pistol equipped with a laser that is used for Home Defense. The door of your bedroom opens and you see a figure in the doorway. You activate the laser, placing the red dot on the figure. You place your finger on the Trigger, ready to fire a shot……….
- You are awakened one night in the middle of the night by a crash outside your closed bedroom door. You reach to your night side table and pick you your pistol equipped with a light that is used for Home Defense. The door of your bedroom opens and you see a figure in the doorway. You place your finger on the Trigger, ready to fire a shot. You activate your light and see that it is your son or daughter that has accidently knocked something over……….
Looking at the first two scenarios, it could have been a disaster. In the third scenario, luckily you had a light attached to you handgun and luckily you did not make a fatal mistake. It is a very good idea to have a light attached to any Home Defense Firearm. During law enforcement training, it was stressed that the light is for “Target Identification” more than anything. Recently I got a light that I want to tell you about. I was really impressed with the light. It is made by Blackhawk and is called the Xiphos.
The Xiphos is pronounced Zi-fohs, with a long “i” and long “o”. The original use of the word Xiphos was a double-edged sword used by the ancient Greeks in battle. The Blackhawk Xiphos NT has a Dual Activation Switch for right or left hand use. With the unique clamp/screw on mounting system, the Xiphos will fit most Pistols with Rails.
The Xiphos NT is a 3-Volt LED Polymer Pistol Light with 180 Lumens of light output. Blackhawk states that the Xiphos NT LED Tactical Light is rated for 2 + hours on one 3 volt battery A push of the activation switch, the LED light is turned on. If you touch the activation switch three times, the led goes to a Strobing feature. More on the Strobing feature in a moment. One more push, and the light turns off. I am here to tell you that the Xiphos NT is one bright light.
The Xiphos NT is rated at 180 lumens of Light Output. The definition of Lumen is:
“The unit of luminous flux in the International System, equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.”
From the Blackhawk Website:
Designed for one-hand activation, this featherweight weapon-mounted light features a patent-pending Cam-Clamp mount that lets you quickly install the light onto nearly any rail weapon mount without the use of tools. The Cam-Clamp eliminates the need to slide the light down long rails, and it installs in the desired location instantly.
- Injection-molded carbon-fiber/polymer body
• Stainless steel and black oxide-finish metal
• Corrosion-resistant black anodized aluminum
• Ambidextrous operation of all programmed functions
• Intelligent circuit design eliminates afterglow
• No tools required for installation or battery removal
• Anti-reflective glass lens for maximum light output
• High-impact lifetime LED resists high G-forces from recoil and drops
• Improved tail cap and switch
• Modes of output: Momentary Switch, Constant On, Strobe, and Low Battery Indicator
• Max output: 180 lumens
• Diameter: 1.1”
• Length: 3.1”
• Weight (with/without batteries): 2.5 oz./1.9 oz.
• Runtime: 120 minutes
• Battery: One 3-volt CR123A
• Bulb: High-impact CREE® X LED
Several Flashlight and Tactical Companies such as Streamlight and Surefire, teach that 65 lumens is the
minimal light output needed for a “tactical light”. This is used in conjunction with shining the light it a subject’s eyes, causing temporary blindness. Especially with the Strobing feature of the Xiphos NT, the light output into someone’s eyes is disorienting.
Okay, back to the mounting system. The Xiphos NT has a Cross Bar mount system that will fit in most Picatinny and/or Weaver systems. There is a caming level on the left side of the light that you tighten down when the light is in place. This lever is locked down after the desired tightness is found. With this system, The Xiphos NT will fit Sig, Glock, Beretta, 1911s with Rails as well as enclosed rail systems such as the Smith & Wesson Sigma and the Heckler & Koch USP Series Pistols. If your handgun has a rail, it is a safe bet the Xiphos will fit it.
The way the Xiphos NT Clamps onto the above firearms, off-sets the light to the left some. This will keep it from fitting several holsters with the light attached. Luckily Blackhawk is making Law Enforcement Duty and Tactical Type holsters for the Xiphos NT attached to the firearm. Depending on Level 2 or 3, there are holsters for Smith & Wesson M&P, Glock, Beretta, Sig and 1911 with the Xiphos NT attached. Blackhawk is also making a concealment type holster for the handgun with Xiphos Light.
If you have a pistol with a light mounted, it is a good idea to have a holster that fits the pistol with light. For the Test and Evaluation with the Blackhawk Xiphos, we chose the BlackHawk Omega VI Ultra Universal Modular Light Holster. This holster is basically an ambidextrous universal modular light tactical holster. These holsters are configurable for either right-side wear or left-side wear and are MOLLE/S.T.R.I.K.E. compatible.
The Blackhawk Omega Ultra VI Universal Modular Light Holster can also be used with or without the light mounted. The holster features a Thumb Break Security Strap with Velcro Secondary Strap, Extra Magazine Pouch that fits Double Stack or Single Stack Magazines, Adjustable Belt Hanger with DLE and Quick Release, a Weapon Sight Track, and two Adjustable/Removable Non-Slip Leg Straps.
The good thing about the Blackhawk Omega Ultra VI Universal Modular Light Holster is one size fits all. The holster is adjustable via several straps on the rear side of the holster, making this possible. The holster can be adjusted to fit a Pistol with or without a Light. Just think a holster that fits Berettas to Glocks, Sigs to 1911s. The holster is ambidextrous. This holster comes in Black, ACU, Coyote Tan, and OD Green.
Let me state right here that the Blackhawk Omega Ultra VI Universal Modular Light Holster is the most comfortable Thigh Holster I have ever tried. During my Law Enforcement career, I have used several brands of Tactical Thigh Holsters. Most of them just became uncomfortable to wear after a period of time, no matter how you adjusted it. The Blackhawk Omega Ultra VI Universal Modular Light Holster stayed put after adjusting the Leg Straps. It did not “flop around” like a lot of others that I had tried. Blackhawk has them a real winner in this holster.
You may ask yourself why the normal home owner needs a tactical holster. It’s a good idea to have a “too to to” system for home defense. If it is a belt set up with a holster, spare magazines, flashlight or a chest rig with the same. If something happens, you can slip on whichever you choose and have everything you need right there without having to go find what you need.
We took the Blackhawk Xiphos NT to the range with several handguns. We wanted to make sure that the light did not come off or shoot loose during range exercises. A Beretta PX-4 .40 C Model, Smith & Wesson 1911PD and a Smith & Wesson M&P 327.357 Magnum was utilized for the firing portion of the test. We are happy to say that the Blackhawk Xiphos NT mounted securely to each handgun and there were no problems with the light/handgun platform.
Just as we were finishing this article, I received one of the new Blackhawk Serpa Level 2 Concealment Holsters. As most of you are aware of, the Serpa Concealment line holsters give an added amount of security for off-duty or concealed use. Blackhawk now offers this holster for the Glock 17-22-31 Series, Sig P-226 and 1911 with the Xiphos NT Light Mounted. Great to have your light with you at all times.
Overall, we were impressed with the Xiphos NT. It will be keeping the light for my Home Defense Firearm. One of the phrases that is used in law Enforcement is “Mr. Murphy is always with you on Patrol, a Tactical Entry, or walking down the street.” Be prepared for him. Always have a spare light and/or batteries.
This article is dedicated to the Law Enforcement Officers that are currently serving overseas to protect our Freedom.
Bobby Inman has retired twice from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service. He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia. He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble). He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion. He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities Daily.