Review of Lionheart Industries’ LH9C

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At the 2013 Shot Show Lionheart Industries announced its LH series of pistols. The LH9C is Lionheart Industries’ most compact model in its LH series. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be sent a LH9C Novak edition in Cerakote Patriot Brown with a G-Code holster to look over.

Visual Inspection

 The LH9C is a 9 MM compact pistol with a hammer-forged steel slide and a hammer-forged aluminum frame. Measuring 7 inches long, the LH9C weighs 24.2 Oz. It has a 1:13 inch twist rate in its six groove, 3.6 inch barrel. Lionheart Industries offers the LH9C with two finishes for the frame, basic Cerakote black and Cerakote Patriot Brown.

I was impressed with the LH9C out of the box, or should I say bag. The LH9C comes in a Cordura Ballistic Nylon soft case that holds the pistol, two 10 round magazines, a bore brush, trigger lock, and other accessories. The Cerakote Patriot Brown finish looked good. Though most companies can put on a good show, the LH9C also fit my hand perfectly. It is slightly heavier than its polymer framed competitors, a Glock 26 only weighs 19.75 oz. However, I am accustomed to carrying a full size 1911, so I didn’t notice the weight at all. The LH9C has the feel of real metal, which for me is a big plus since I have not completely been converted to the polymer pistols.

No matter how impressive as the LH9C is to look at and hold, it is a glorified paperweight if it won’t function. So it needed some range time.

Performance Review

The trip to the range was eventful one. First, the chronograph malfunctioned. I apologize for not having the data, but the range I use is on private land in the middle of nowhere. Macgyver I am not; I could not fix the chronograph with bubble gum and spent shell casings.

However, we pressed on with testing. In short the pistol shot well. It had minimal recoil and a smooth trigger pull. We put over 100 rounds of various loads of ammunition through the LH9C.  The LH9C functioned the way it was supposed to every time. While 100 rounds by no means constitute a durability test, the LH9C seems to be very reliable.

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Sights and Accuracy

The Lionheart Industries website says the basic LH9C has a 3 dot fixed sight. They even have a very nice picture of the 3 dot fixed sight. Well, the LH9C Novak edition has genuine Novak Lomount Sights. The edition of the Novak sights enhances the speed of target acquisition. It also allows for customization with aftermarket sights, such as Trijicon night sights.

On top of the excellent sights, the LH9C is accurate. We only fired at targets 7 and 10 yards away, but we were able to put together some respectable groups after shooting it for a bit. I was able to keep several 5 shot groups inside of three inches. Accounting for operator error, which with this operator that could be significant, this pistol is plenty accurate.

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The Holster

I was also pleased with the G-Code holster. This was my first experience with a G-Code holster. The OSH series of holster is a modular Kydex holster that features a fold/wrap design with Adjustable Pro-Safe tensioning. It comes in a right and left-handed version, and it is available in multiple colors and coatings.

The G-Code OSH Model holster simply works. It has a very smooth draw. I have worn it for a week now, to the range, to the office, and doing yard work. Through it all, the OSH holster held the LH9C snugly in place.  Most the time I forgot that I was wearing it. Simply put this is an excellent holster for only $37.45.

LHC9 in the G-Code OSH Holster

LHC9 in the G-Code OSH Holster

Cautionary Tale about the Double Action +

The Double Action +, as Lionheart Industries calls the Triple Action, can be a nice feature. It is not necessarily my cup of tea, but if you are accustomed to it, I can understand the theory. However for those who are not accustomed to it, or those who think of pistols as an accessory and change the pistol to match their shirt, the Double Action + is a potential hazard. Unfortunately, it is a hazard that was realized in our trip.

While at the range, I let my future brother-in-law fire a few rounds. He is not a “gun guy”, or at least not yet. He had loaded magazines and shagged brass all morning, it seemed like the least I could do to let him fire a few rounds.

I had been evaluating the Double Action + before I handed it him. His first shot was fine. However, because he was confused by the smoothness and length of the first trigger pull, he thought there was a malfunction when the trigger did not reset all the way. His next shot, which would better be classified as an accidental discharge, went flying over the targets and the primary backdrop. Though we were in a safe location and the shot fell harmlessly in a pond next to the range, that situation could have gone bad quickly had we been a different area.

To be fair, the Double Action + is not to blame in this story. It is my fault for not teaching my future brother-in-law the particular quarks of the Double Action +, before handing him the pistol. However, it is indicative of the potential problem that could arise from those who are unaccustomed to it.

Lionheart Industries LH9C

Conclusion

The Lionheart Industries LH9C is good pistol for personal defense. It is compact enough for concealed carry, and it performs very well with the G-Code Holster.  At $595, the LH9C is not the cheapest pistol in its class, but it seems to be a fair price. It will also be an extra $100 for the Novak version. If I had the spare cash I would love to add a LH9C with Novak sights to my collection. I guess I need to start saving my lunch money.


Will Fawcett

I was raised a gun nut, but to pay for ammunition I am an attorney in Smyrna, Georgia.


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  • John

    didn’t mention that it is an improved Daewoo DP-51

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      yes it is—

  • SnJohnson

    I was confused by the title, I thought it was a review of a review which seemed confusing. Also, you should definitely go into detail on the double action +.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s there now. I just added it—

  • Vermin.308Winchester

    Now I have something else Korean to love other than the wonderful air guns

  • ClintTorres

    …from the department of redundancy department

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      This is the first review we’ve done with this pistol. We did announce it’s release but that’s hardly a review.

      • ClintTorres

        The original title was “Review of Lionheart Industries’ LH9C Review” before you guys fixed it

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          And? I’m not sure of the point you’re trying to make. That was only up for a very short time. Anyway is there a question?

          • ClintTorres

            Not trying to make a point…just a fleeting attempt at humor.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Ok then:-)

          • Mr. Fahrenheit

            That was like an Abbot and Costello routine. I chuckled at the original poster and started guffawing when Phil came in. Thanks for the laughs fellas’.

            signed
            -no longer in the dumps,
            San Antonio, TX

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Glad it made you happy. Hey just doing my job:-)

          • Peter Balzer

            the senior writer does not like that. AND comments to that effect, or why else would replies get deleted? I’m outa here!

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Nothing has been deleted. If I don’t like something you’ll know. If a comment is out of line yea I’ll toss it in the trash where it belongs but that’s a very rare case.

  • idahoguy101

    Is this also a Daewoo Industries K5 pistol? Which has been sold in the US as the DP51. It features what is called a “safety fast system” which FN tried out on their own Browning Hi Power pistol back in the 1980s.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No but it is based on it and made by the old Daewoo for Lionheart

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Too many conditions of readiness.Squeezing the trigger for anything except firing the gun seems basically unsafe. IMHO. Geoff Who no longer owns a traditional DA / SA pistol. My P-22 doesn’t count as it does not have a hammer drop safety.

    • http://www.facebook.com/max.kingsbury Max Kingsbury

      I agree. The trigger is for putting holes in things/people, and if you overload it to do something else, people will accidentally put holes in things/people while trying to do that something else. Terrible.

      • A.g.

        Sure. But this system allow a more lower presure to pull the trigger during the time you acquire the target=> better accuracy
        It’s like a more marked and safer two stage trigger. Fast first stage and clear point where begin the second.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s really only one other condition which is strictly up to the user in choosing to use it or not. This system has been used before with no unusual problems.

    • Cymond

      I missed something – why would anyone squeeze the trigger for any other reason? The double-action + mode simply reduces the pull weight of the double-action trigger pull by pre-cocking the main spring. Firing is still the only reason to pull the trigger.

  • gendar

    I find this review rather lacking.

    It’s based on a Daewoo pistol, to which extent? The front of the barrel looks odd, what is that for? Is the slide carbon or stainless steel? External trigger bar from the looks, any (potential) issues? Is the mag release reversible? The safety looks unusual compared to other more mainstream pistols, thoughts on functionality and issues, can it be bumped off? Internal firing pin safety yes/no? I saw mention of certain S&W magazines working in this, what’s that about? Fit & finish, any unusual wear? Slide seems rather thin compared to grip, some more details on that would have been nice.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Some of what you addressed is actually in the post. External trigger bar—yes. I don’t understand what you mean about the front of the barrel? The mag release acts like any other and as far as I know you can’t reverse it. There were no issues or problems. It was 100% during the test. These can use S&W model 59 magazines both full size and compact. Safety bumped off—no more than any other pistol. The fit and finish was addressed. It’s a Cerakote finish which has excellent wear properties. The slide is not even remotely slim. The basic design is proven with the ROK Army over several decades. Lionheart has worked with the original company to upgrade the original design.

      Caliber9mmSize & weight

      Length

      7.5″

      Barrel Length

      4.1″

      Weight

      26.5 oz

      Mag Capacity13, 15FeaturesDouble Action PLUS+
      Short Trigger Reset
      Short Recoil
      Semi-Automatic

      Sights

      Fixed 3-dot

      Safety

      Ambidextrous Manual Safety
      Passive Firing Pin Block

      Rifling

      Six grooves 1:13″

      Grips

      One piece black polymer

      Finish

      Cerakote

      Material

      Frame

      Forged 7075-T6 Aluminum

      Slide

      Forged 4140 Steel

      Barrel

      Forged 4150 Steel

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      By the way the mag release is reversible.

  • allannon

    I guess I’m missing something, but what is the point of the “Double Action +”?

    • gendar

      I suppose a benefit is to have an essentially single action trigger pull but with the hammer down, which would reduce potential snagging when carrying it

      • Cymond

        In + mode, the first shot trigger pull is as light as single action, but as long as double-action. It’s safer than carrying fully-cocked because of the long trigger pull, but it’s a lighter pull than a full double-action.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Pretty much a single action first shot rather than a long pull first shot.

  • J.T.

    For that price, Just get a CZ P-01 or PCR.

  • AGG

    So… what is “DoubleAction+”? There’s a whole section on why it sucks, but there’s pretty much nothing about what it is. The author even wrote that he “…had been evaluating the Double Action + before [the negligent discharge]” so we know it was looked at.

    Care to add a section to the article?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I did add an illustration explaining the + system.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I think those who carry on about this action are probably those who have never shot it or shot a mag or two and drawn a conclusion.

  • snmp

    Double Action + work like the SFS (Safe Fast Shooting) by R.D.I.H for FN/Browning HP35 & Colt 1911A1. You could found FN HP35 build in factory with the SFS.

  • Samuel Suggs

    I like how their adding a bunch of “custom” features right out of the box like the glare reducing stripling on top of the slide as well as the cerkote

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I particularly like the Cerakote finish.

      • Samuel Suggs

        its kinda like their sying “yeah like those cool custom guns well ares can be just as good just right out the box! WHaaat! is that the sound of my awsomness I think it is” its an interesting strategy and it makes me wonder how this will influence who buys the gun

  • Brandon

    I guess I don’t really understand the point of the Double Action +. You can carry it with the hammer down, and use the trigger to cock it? It feels like a two stage trigger, but cocks the weapon even if you release it?

    Can you carry it cocked and locked or does the safety decock it Beretta style? I
    If the safety does drop the hammer, do you have to repeat the steps in the diagram to enable the Double Action+ system?

    Seems too complicated. All I want in a pistol is a aluminum or steel frame with a trigger as nice as a Sig Sauer and an HK USP style safety that lets me carry it cocked and locked or decock if I choose.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      You can go with cocked and locked if you want.

    • Bill

      Heres a quirky video that explains the LH9 series better. The guy is funny in a weird way, but he’s had the DP51 before the LH9 came out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7mXu6d4eIo

      Hopefully it helps explain your questions. :)

  • A.g.

    If I could with my bad english,

    The double action+ is a singular system but could be nice with practice.

    It’s a level beetwen the double and the single action that could be disapoiting at first but with tranining you could reduce your accuracy on duty.

    You have the small time “secure” reduced to press the triger in safe périod going to the action and be in single action when you have to shoot to the target.

    A kind of safety.

    Please note, that the company founded by a smart Général Manager met in airplane after the shot show, who have the patent present in the gun reviewed, produce the same kit for 1911 who could be carry loaded and one round in the barrel but “decocked” until you press the trigger.

    http://www.rdih.be for the company.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Agreed practice and familiarity is needed with any handgun regardless of design to be safe. This + action can afford a shooter a more controllable first shot.

      • Will Fawcett

        I couldn’t agree more. The entire point of the “cautionary tale” was to illustrate the need to practice and be familiar with the weapon. If you are familiar with it, the double action + can be a nice feature.

  • gallannd

    Hopefully this is a precursor to bringing in a spiffed up Daewoo K2C rifle into the u.s market. It should be real popular.

    • idahoguy101

      I’d like one of those if it is price competitive with AR15’s. Daewoo did decades ago what the HK416 offers. A reliable gas piston AR

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That would be great! I had a Daewoo rifle in the mid 80’s and should have hung on to that one!

    • Joe Grine

      Love me some K2! The “woo” is a great rifle. I wish I owned one.

  • RoCr

    Never been a fan of DA/SA. Pick one or the other. Adding in yet another mode is just gratuitous.

    • Cymond

      Then carry it cocked-and-locked, only using the double-action pull if there’s a hard primer.

    • Esh325

      Different pistols for different people.

  • idahoguy101

    FYI, Daewoo pistols are for sale on gunbroker.com. Bidding for just under $400. One for sale is chambered in 40S&W.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Yes I don’t doubt that but this is a far different pistol than the original Daewoo.

  • Samuel Suggs

    I dont see how a hammer locked down into a proberly designed beavertail or tang could possibly be more snag prone than a hammer in the rested position. that proptuberance exists for more than just preventing slide bite and encouraging proper handling

  • José Gregorio Torres

    That’s a Daewoo pistol with a diferent name.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Much improved Daewoo—-

  • Recon

    If you prefer DA/SA you might learn to love the double action plus. Never mind the partial pull to stage the trigger. Once you push the hammer forward it feels like a super light DA pull. Very accurate on first shot as well as follow ups. I bought a SW 6906 magazine which works fine and makes it a 12+1. The G-Code INCOG IWB excellent too. LH9C with Novak tritium, this a purchase more satisfying every time I shoot or carry.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s always good al hear from an actual owner—thanks for the comment.

  • hamsackbag

    Daewoo did it first, at a better price point.