In the fall of last year (2012) when I was working at West Coast Armory a group came in and rented one of our entire shooting bays for two weeks to test out their new pistols. They were still prototypes at the time and I was able to go out and shoot them. The company name is LionHeart Industries. It was not until just before Shot Show that they received the first shipment of pistols. After Shot they let me have the LH9 ( a 9mm caliber) for a few weeks to wear at work and of shoot. I then took a month off to go to Africa and gave it back to them and then recently they gave me the LH9C to try. This one was a two toned color. I love both pistols. And it is catching on. But for awhile Lion Heart was given a bad rap before anyone even picked up the gun. See these guns are manufactured by a company called S&T Motive which used to be Daewoo.
Business partners Josh and DJ of LionHeart have set up shop in a large warehouse in Redmond, WA. They partnered with S&T Motive to co-design and build their guns. Much time has gone in to designing and testing these
pistols. The final assembly and packaging are done here at their warehouse. I have now made several trips out there and watch this small crew getting pistols assembled, packaged, photographed, marketed and sold. Everything under one roof. Daewoo used to make and under their new company name still does make firearms for the Defense Ministry of S Korea. If you read the article that TTAG just did it will give you great history of Daewoo and their history of making these and other firearms. They also defend that the machining of these guns is great. If you have been my reading my blog for some time you will know that if I review a product it is because I have actually used it. I usually won’t give you the technical details. That is not my forte. Besides you can read that on the vendors websites or again read TTAG’s great article on those. I want to say my personal thoughts on a gun that I not only enjoyed shooting but I love the feel, the weight, the texture, the low recoil, the VERY quick reset and the look.
I am a metal gun fan. I like 1911s. My night stand pistol is a 1911, my competition gun is a 1911 style and even my tiny .380 is a 1911 format. I don’t hate them but I am not a fan of the polymer guns. That is just me. I have shot my husbands Glock in competition and I have shot many plastic striker fires working at the range. I don’t care for them. The LH9 has some weight to it. It is made of aluminum and steel. I like. All are Cerakoted but my favorite is the two tone in Patriot Brown/Black. I like. The slide was super smooth and easy to maneuver. The grip is the perfect textured rubber. It is not too bulky and it is perfectly “sticky” I wish I had it on my Tanfoglio. They now offer night sights which were on the LH9C I borrowed. The new MKII which is their full size pistol has options of the night sights, fiber optic sights and a picatinny rail for lights or lasers. You can get fiber optic as well. And sights are adjustable now. I was not sure what I was going to think of the double action plus feature of this gun. Coming from the 1911 it was not muscled memory at first. I had to get used the LH9 personality.
Double Action Plus. The Lionheart claim to fame. One thing I have noticed is that every pistol owner has their own preference for trigger actions. Obviously self-defense and target practice or competition will bring different preferences but lets assume it is the person buying it for self-defense. Some want the double action feature so the gun does not go off easily. Some like myself have gotten used to an external safety. I even had two men at the range whisper to me that my 1911 hammer was back in my holster. Leaning in and whispering to me as though they were trying not to embarrass me in front of others. In case I forgot or something. I would lean back in to them and whisper back, “yes, it is cocked and locked.” Then I get a more frustrated look from them. Well this Double Action Plus+ feature in a way covers all preferences. There is an external safety. There is double action. And then there is the Plus. The Plus allows you to manually push the hammer forward. Which for those “hammer forward obsessed whisperers” it will make them happy and relaxed once again. With the hammer forward you would not need the external safety engaged. But you can if you want. When you put your finger on the trigger and pull there is a halfway point, sort of like a first stage of a two stage trigger, At this midway point you have an option to back off the trigger if you have your wits about you. Or you can pull all of the way through and the gun fires. I will say that it took me a couple of tries to get used to it. But that is only because I am not used to this feature. What you have to think about is putting it forward as a habit to get in to. Now the best part is when the gun goes in to single action.
Talk about a short reset! I won’t call it a “crisp” trigger but it almost feels that way because of how short it is. Rapid fire speaks to me. I would consider shooting the MKII in Production in USPSA. I know Josh one of the owners uses the standard LH9 in IDPA. I would find a way to put a funneled magwell extension on it since I am spoiled with that feature. But the trigger and sights are good to go as is. I suppose you want to know about the accuracy? It is great. When I first was able to fire it I was at our local police range. At the time they only had a 25 foot distance available. I already made the trip down there so I thought why not? When I brought my target back I had all shots in the 6″ black of the target. I was really not trying very hard either. Up close at a more typical range of 5 – 10 feet I was hitting the same hole. Rapid fire was fun since the recoil is light. The prices are pretty good as well. They start at $695. They come with a great kit full of cleaning tools and an extra magazine, which most guns only come with one. They have partnered with Froglube which you will see in the soft gun case as well. Love Froglube. I love that Lionheart partnered with G-code Holsters. When I last went out to the warehouse they just got in the inside waist holsters. The holsters are made of Kydex and the outside is a suede texture. Super cool! A 40 caliber is the next line to come out. As with any review of any gun you can take whatever information you want out of this article. You must go try it out. Ask your local rental counter to get one in. Then ask their pro-shop to carry it. I think you will love it. I am going to buy one. Still debating as to which style to start with. If I could afford all I would choose the Compact and the MKII. Decisions.