BlackHawk Level III SERPA Duty Holster

First Level III holster designed to hold a weapon with the first single-cell pistol light mounted.


For those of you who aren't already familiar, the BlackHawk SERPA duty holsters are manufactured from injection molded carbon fiber composite which provides a great level of strength. Now I don't use the word "great" lightly. Back a couple years ago when BlackHawk came out with the first SERPA holsters I received a T&E unit for my 1911. Adding an extra hole I suspended the holster from a tree branch and holstered my 1911 blue gun. I then did a couple of pull ups before the trigger guard on the blue gun broke. Using an unloaded real 1911 I did pull ups until I was tired. The holster didn't break, crack, nothing. They are amazingly strong.

So, let's look at the light. The brains behind the XiphosNT are Ken Good and Vaughn Baker of Strategos International and Night-Ops. Night-Ops is part of the BlackHawk Products Group family. I guess it was a couple years ago that Ken told me about his intention to develop a single-cell pistol mounted light. I thought that was a great idea, since that would make the pistol light narrower than other contemporary lights. Reduction of bulk is always good, especially if it can be accomplished without giving up light output or runtime. Night-Ops has accomplished this quite well AND increased versatility. The XiphosNT is powered by one--that's ONE--3V CR123 lithium battery. Using an LED lamp assembly, it produces a reported 65 lumens for more than two hours of constant run time (production lights will use an LED emitter that cranks between 120-130 lumens). As if that isn't good enough they found a way to program the XiphosNT so that, with proper manipulation of the touch pressure switch, it will strobe just like its cousin, the Gladius.

Having dealt with a number of pistol-mounted lights in the past, I always felt that mounting and dismounting had to be improved. Even with a spring loaded locking bar you could only mount certain lights on certain rail systems and with other pistols (i.e. the H&Ks), you had to have a clamped-on light. Since BlackHawk doesn't manufacture handguns (yet?) they had no proprietary interest in making the light work with any specific brand of pistol. But they DID want to make sure that the XiphosNT would work with as many pistols as possible. The end result was their Quick-Cam mounting system that allows the light to be put on any handgun with rails; no sliding required.

I've been having a blast playing with my sample XiphosNT but have thus far not mounted it on anything other than the BlackHawk Demonstrator gun it was provided on. As I type this though, I have range time TOMORROW and it's going to be under a real barrel with some bullets being put downrange. If anything negative rears its ugly head, I'll be sure to do a follow up sidebar report next week. Now, on to those demonstrator guns...

As you can see in all of the above pictures the demonstrator weapon used is gray--not red and not blue--gray. BlackHawk has begun manufacturing their own line of what they call Demonstrator guns available in gray or safety orange. The new BlackHawk catalog shows Demonstrator guns available in the following models:

  • Glock 17/22/31
  • Beretta 92/96 series
  • S&W J-Frame revolver

This is just one more example of how BlackHawk seems to be always growing with the specific goal of supporting those who work--or teach--behind triggers.

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