Colt’s Manufacturing Company firearms aficionados and collectors know that Samuel Colt built his legendary revolvers in London, England, during the early 1850s. The move set a precedent that’s been repeated throughout the company’s history. One example was the establishment more than 40 years ago of a manufacturing facility on South Korean soil tasked with building Colt-licensed products, including 1911s, M16s, M203s and M60s. Forty years later, pistols manufactured at that same South Korean plant, now designed and distributed by Lionheart Indusries, have made their way onto the U.S. market.
Lionheart Industries’ LH9 is based on the K5, which is the sidearm of choice for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Armed Forces. The Korean Ministry of National Defense and Daewoo Precision Industries (now S&T Motiv), which purchased and now occupies the Colt factory mentioned above, worked in collaboration to develop the K5 design. The K5 was the product of four years of extensive research and development. Experienced K5 manufacturers, S&T Motiv is currently building the LH series of pistols for Lionheart. Much of the tooling used during the manufacturing process is Colt’s original tooling from the 1970s. The K5 was given the DP-51 designation when it was imported to the United States, and the pistol is currently in service with ROK soldiers in Somalia, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Prior editions of the LH9 created a legacy that still exists today, and Lionheart has done a great job of improving on this combat-tested platform.
Lionheart, starting with the K5 as the template gun, took an already impressive weapon and added innovations of its own, making the LH series an even more reliable, easy functioning and visually attractive sidearm. The company was founded in November 2011, and it’s been a competitor in the handgun market ever since.
The LH9 is chambered in 9mm, and the barrel measures 4.1 inches long. If one desires a smaller frame, Lionheart also offers the LH9C model, which is designated as the company’s carry model. The LH9 is considered a full-sized handgun. Smith & Wesson Model 59 series magazines can be interchanged with the Lionheart LH9’s, and S&W Model 69 series magazines can be interchanged with the LH9C’s magazines. It comes standard with one flush-fitting 13-round magazine and a 15 rounder with an extended baseplate.
Joshua Whi, director of marketing for Lionheart, shared his thoughts regarding the design of the LH9. “We first started with more aggressive serrations in the rear as well as the front of the slide,” Whi said. “It took many attempts before settling on the current depth and spacing between serrations, which we feel are optimal for grip without being too sharp or pointy.”
Read more at Combat Handguns.