Though the Lionheart LH9 is not a trendy new gun, it is a new gun to my hands. Ever since watching Military Arms Channel explain the history of the design and three trigger modes I’ve wanted to try one. As you can see in the tabletop video below a lot of things about the LH9 are different than your standard run-of-the-mill pistol.
With a blend of design cues from Browning, Smith & Wesson, and possibly a few others the LH9 is built to be a fighting gun. The original design comes from Korea’s Daewoo DP51 (commercial) or K5 (military). While some may scoff at the idea of a Korean-designed gun, I’d like to point out that they have been under continual threat for decades. That means they take their defense industry seriously. Although I never served in Korea, those I know who have tell stories of how hardcore the Korean Army is.
Continuing somewhat on that theme is the face that these guns are made by Daewoo. That’s the same company that produces everything from television sets to cars to fighter jets. If there was ever good cause to trust in a company’s ability to manufacture, that would do it for me.
The Lionheart LH9 is an updated version brought to us by Lionheart Industries in Washington State. Updates include a rounded hammer, Novak sights, and cerakote color options. My example came in Patriot Brown. The company website offers a lot of detail on specs. Those can be seen here.
What has me most interested in the LH9 is the “Double-Action Plus” feature. This reminds me a bit of the three trigger modes on one of my favorite striker-fired guns, the Walther P99AS. Under normal operation the gun is a single/double-action with a safety. The safety permits carry cocked and locked or “condition one” for you tacticool folk. That means round in the chamber, hammer back, safety on. This method provides the same quick and light trigger pull every time. The double action serves as a fail safe for hard primers by providing a second strike capability. Double-action pull is of course long and heavy.
The Double-Action Plus is activated by pushing the hammer forward manually. This set the hammer in a forward position and the trigger reaches back out to a double-action position. Trigger pull is just as light as single-action, but longer with a noticeable point for staging. I know some people want to ask why. I see a few advantages.
- For carry this reduces the overall profile of the run as well as eliminates the chance of the hammer snagging clothing or digging into you.
- In defensive shooting that extra pull length and pause could serve as the pause needed to verify the target. This applies in situations such as home defense when we may not be sure if the noise and object is a bad guy or not.
- In IDPA-style competition shooting you have to either lower the hammer or engage the safety before holstering. If the local range officer permits it that means you can leave the safety off and have the hammer down.
Regardless of the way the end user decides to apply or not apply, a third option isn’t a bad thing. I’ll get the LH9 out to the range soon for the standard battery of full-mag plus one, what’s for dinner, and field accuracy form seven yards.
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