We all know Blackhawk makes some very tacticool stuff, but did anyone know that Blackhawk's marketing folks are students of ancient history? The Night Ops Xiphos NT LED Weapon Light is named after the ancient Greek infantry sword (which served as a backup for the hoplite doru, the long spears that gave the phalanx its teeth). Of course, this should not have surprised me, as Blackhawk's Falcata flashlight is named for the native sword of pre-Roman Iberians and the company's Gladius light for the feared sidearm of the Roman Legions. The Xiphos NT, however, is far from ancient, but Leonidas, Themistocles and Epaminondas would have loved a tool such as this.
The Xiphos NT attaches easily to any Picatinny rail system, and weighing only 2.6 ounces, it will barely affect the balance of most firearms or thrusting spears. The 65-lumen LED is protected by an impact-resistant and waterproof polymer case. Such durability allows for worry-free deployment in virtually any conditions, including home-defense, perhaps aboard the wooden wall of triremes at Salamis.
Activation is simple and requires only one hand, an important consideration when maintaining a proper grip on a pistol or hoplon (shield). What's more, the switch moves along two planes, assuring easy operation even in stressful situations. Light can be projected in three modes: momentary, constant or strobe, providing a host of options for most nighttime tactical situations. A 2-hour run time means that Pheidippides could make it nearly all the way back to Athens with his Xiphos NT on constantly for the entire 26.2 miles.
So while Blackhawk may have an odd obsession with turning ancient swords into modern tactical lights, it pursues that obsession with the determination of Odysseus and creates some of the best flashlights around. The Xiphos NT is a tiny, but vital addition to a home-defense handgun. Holding a home-invader at bay may not have the same romance as liberating Messenian Helots, but the act of defending one's family and property is the cornerstone of Western Civilization, a cornerstone laid by the xiphos at Marathon, Thermopylae and Leuctra. The Xiphos NT helps carry on that noble tradition today.