Most conventional self-loading or semi-automatic pistols operate with a firing mode of single-action (SA), double-action-only (DAO) or double-action/single-action (DA/SA) with double-action for the first shot and follow-up shots in single-action. The word, “action” pertains to the action of the trigger. In a SA pistol (or any firearm), the action of the trigger is merely to trip the sear to allow the (already cocked) hammer or striker to go forward. In a DA/SA pistol, the trigger both cocks the hammer or striker and then releases it.

Virtually all self-loading SA pistols have a thumb-operated external safety, as do several DA/SA pistols, and many also have firing pin or “drop” safeties. Some of the thumb safeties also serve to decock the hammer, letting it return forward without firing the gun. Such a safety is usually referred to as a “safety/de-cocker.” Each of these three types of firing modes must be learned (and re-learned) by anyone who regularly carries or trains with more than one of them. Now there is a fourth. Called the Double Action Plus+, this system is at the heart of the LH9. The LH9 is a new 9mm pistol from Lionheart Industries of Washington state, exclusive importer and distributor of S&T Daewoo of South Korea, long a well-known producer of a wide range of high-quality products, including automobiles. Part of a series of pistols, the standard-sized LH9 also comes in two other configurations, the LH9C (Compact) and the LH9 MKII with a frame rail, which I was recently able to test.

Gun Details
Some may recognize the LH9 MKII as an upgraded version of the K5, the pistol of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Armed Forces, or its commercial version, the DP51. The latter was imported to the U.S. in small quantities in 1991. Sporting a number of innovations, the LH9 MKII comes with angled front and rear slide cocking serrations, a Commander-style hammer spur, redesigned grips, Novak sights and a redesigned magazine…


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