Should I LEM my HK USP Compact?

This is a discussion on Should I LEM my HK USP Compact? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently purchased two HK USP Compacts, one in 9mm and one in .40 sw. I absolutely love the ergonomics and pointability of these pistols. ...

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Thread: Should I LEM my HK USP Compact?

  1. #1
    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Question Should I LEM my HK USP Compact?

    I recently purchased two HK USP Compacts, one in 9mm and one in .40 sw. I absolutely love the ergonomics and pointability of these pistols. They are both V1, DA/SA with decocker and manual safety. Iím getting my CCW permit in a couple weeks and have been trying many different guns and configurations over the last couple months to narrow down my choices for carrying. I am pretty sold on the HK USP Compact in .40, the only issues Iím having with it is the DA/SA configuration and the fact that it MAY be a little big for every day action (but this could just be attributed to the fact that I haven't carried before). I really like the standard striker fire setup like that on the M&P Compacts and SR9C with manual safety and I like all trigger pulls to be the same.

    Options:
    1. Convert the HK to LEM and keep the safety. I am very familiar with what the LEM is I just havenít shot one before.

    2. Look at something else as my primary carry; like the M&P Compact. I like my SR9C but I really want to carry the .40. Besides, the SR9C should really hold 12 instead of ten in the small magazine like the M&P does in the same size; I can get 10 .40s in the M&P without needing to upsize the frame)

    Two things for sure at this point. I want to carry the .40 and am very comfortable with the round/recoil on all pistols Iíve tested it with. I also want a manual safety, maybe not forever, but for sure right now while I get accustomed to carrying every day.

    Your thoughts much appreciated.
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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  3. #2
    Member Array Alpine's Avatar
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    Which do you hold a tighter group with?

  4. #3
    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
    Which do you hold a tighter group with?
    To which are you referring? DA first shot with the HK is lucky to hit paper. I have very tight groups in SA mode with the HK, never shot the LEM and haven't shot the M&PC either.
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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    Member Array Alpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takedown View Post
    To which are you referring? DA first shot with the HK is lucky to hit paper. I have very tight groups in SA mode with the HK, never shot the LEM and haven't shot the M&PC either.
    Oh, sorry I misread your first post; when you said you liked the M&P I thought you had shot it already.

    Well, you can carry the HK in SA mode so that's not a terrible issue. DA first round shots are always difficult. It takes a long time to develop your trigger control to where you are accurate outside of 15 yards with DA. That being said, why do you want the LEM trigger so much? It makes the weapon DAO, does it not? I'd stick with single action + safety.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
    ...Well, you can carry the HK in SA mode so that's not a terrible issue...

    ...That being said, why do you want the LEM trigger so much? It makes the weapon DAO, does it not? I'd stick with single action + safety.
    Yes, that's what LEM is, DAO. I too would stay with it as it is. That will give you a couple alternatives for carry. Just practice with it more. I love my USP-40 full size and generally carry it de-cocked. I need more practice my self to start carrying it condition 1.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
    Oh, sorry I misread your first post; when you said you liked the M&P I thought you had shot it already.

    Well, you can carry the HK in SA mode so that's not a terrible issue. DA first round shots are always difficult. It takes a long time to develop your trigger control to where you are accurate outside of 15 yards with DA. That being said, why do you want the LEM trigger so much? It makes the weapon DAO, does it not? I'd stick with single action + safety.
    I have shot a full sized M&P, just not a compact, loved the trigger. Here is what I know of the LEM: The LEM pistols have a two-part hammer -- an internal hammer and an external hammer. When the slide is cycled, either manually or by firing the pistol, the internal hammer is cocked but the eternal hammer follows the slide forward to its normal just-off-the-firing-pin position. The trigger is in its forward position. To fire the weapon, the trigger is pulled rearward through a long, light trigger pull of something less than 2 pounds. Near the end of that trigger stroke, resistance is encountered. If additional force is then applied to the trigger, the pistol will fire, cycle, and start all over again.

    This is essentially a DAO, very light trigger with short reset. In theory it sounds great but I can't find many reviews about it and how it compares directly to a striker fired pistol.

    Not sure I'm comfortable carrying "condition 1" yet ;)
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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    Member Array Seraph's Avatar
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    IMO, the 9mm Compact (V1) is the nicest of the USP pistols. The ability to carry it cocked and locked looks good on paper, too, but there's a potential that, when thumbing off the thumb safety under stress, one could thumb it down far enough to decock the pistol, which could be distracting at a crucial moment. IMO, if you don't want to carry the USP decocked, and you want a trigger that gives the same pull every time, then you might want to look at other pistols. If a Glock 19 doesn't do it for you, perhaps an M&P...
    Under the sword lifted high, there is Hell, making you tremble. But go ahead, and you have the land of Bliss.

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    Member Array Alpine's Avatar
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    Well here's my take on that.

    As far as the LEM trigger goes, it sounds cool in theory. However in practice, it's still a DAO weapon with 7.5-8.5 lbs of trigger pull. If you train and train and train, you may actually complete the slack, sight, squeeze process in a real shoot, utilizing the benefits of the LEM. Probably not though.

    It sounds to me like you're comfortable with the hammer down when you carry. That'll go away. As you carry every day, you'll get used to carrying condition 1. A large number of people here carry striker fired weapons without thumb safeties (myself included). After a while, you stop being afraid it will go off in your hand. From what you've said, if you're uncomfortable carrying the HK in SA, you're not going to be comfortable with a striker fired weapon without a manual safety.

    My 2 cents, FWIW, once your CWP comes in the mail, carry the HK as hot as you can handle it. At first, it sounds like you'll want to carry in condition 1 with the hammer down and thumb safety engaged. Once you become more comfortable, you will most likely start carrying with the hammer up. Once you're there, eventually you'll come to grips with carrying a striker fired weapon with no manual safety besides the trigger (or possibly grip). The LEM mod...if you absolutely never feel comfortable carrying in SA, then it would become worth the investment.

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    Member Array Alpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
    The ability to carry it cocked and locked looks good on paper, too, but there's a potential that, when thumbing off the thumb safety under stress, one could thumb it down far enough to decock the pistol, which could be distracting at a crucial moment. \
    I don't think that's going to happen. My experience with decockers is more with Sigs than HK's, however with a 228 I can't imagine accidentally decocking...it takes a different grip on the weapon, and a very specific motion with your thumb. VERY different from coming down on the weapon as you draw, opening up the safety.

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    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
    I don't think that's going to happen. My experience with decockers is more with Sigs than HK's, however with a 228 I can't imagine accidentally decocking...it takes a different grip on the weapon, and a very specific motion with your thumb. VERY different from coming down on the weapon as you draw, opening up the safety.
    Actually this is a very common issue with the HK V1 when carrying cocked and locked, the same motion to let off the safety is used to decock, same lever, same motion, juts a bit more push.
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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    Member Array Alpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takedown View Post
    Actually this is a very common issue with the HK V1 when carrying cocked and locked, the same motion to let off the safety is used to decock, same lever, same motion, juts a bit more push.
    Gah. You're right. Sometimes I get the 24 different HK variants mixed up. I don't care for that modification.

  13. #12
    Member Array MtflyerHK's Avatar
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    I have the HK USPc .40 LEM and love it! For some its a different feel to get used to but the trigger pull is nowhere near 7lbs. I think mine is around 5lbs and it breaks cleanly and I've gotten pretty accurate with it, and usually outshoot my buddy with his other brand polymer blaster. With the LEM trigger you will have to do away with the safety, there is no lever involved with a safety or de-cocker. The only safety involved will be the long trigger pull and the one between your ears. Racking the slide essentially "half cocks" the hammer so you have a light trigger pull up until the last bit, then the break. The only way you have a really strong double action pull is if there is a light primer strike and the bullet doesn't go off, then you have something like a 12 +lb pull for second strike capability since the spring was already released. It has taken me a while to get used to condition 1 carry a well but have gotten over that and I carry my HK with no issues, conceals well in a supertuck. good luck!

    Oh, and with the LEM trigger - every pull is identical. go for it!

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    Ex Member Array tooldawg99's Avatar
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    LEM trigger= Glock?

    Maybe I am reading all this wrong, but it seems like you are wanting to add an aftermarket trigger to your H&K in order to make it shoot like a Glock.

    Why not just buy a Glock in the first place?

  15. #14
    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtflyerHK View Post
    I have the HK USPc .40 LEM and love it! For some its a different feel to get used to but the trigger pull is nowhere near 7lbs. I think mine is around 5lbs and it breaks cleanly and I've gotten pretty accurate with it, and usually outshoot my buddy with his other brand polymer blaster. With the LEM trigger you will have to do away with the safety, there is no lever involved with a safety or de-cocker. The only safety involved will be the long trigger pull and the one between your ears. Racking the slide essentially "half cocks" the hammer so you have a light trigger pull up until the last bit, then the break. The only way you have a really strong double action pull is if there is a light primer strike and the bullet doesn't go off, then you have something like a 12 +lb pull for second strike capability since the spring was already released. It has taken me a while to get used to condition 1 carry a well but have gotten over that and I carry my HK with no issues, conceals well in a supertuck. good luck!

    Oh, and with the LEM trigger - every pull is identical. go for it!
    Thank you for that review/explanation; just what I was looking for. You are right about the LEM not having a safety if you buy it that way, however, if you have it done or do it yourself as after-market, the safety can be retained which is what I would choose. Thanks again.
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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    Member Array Takedown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooldawg99 View Post
    Maybe I am reading all this wrong, but it seems like you are wanting to add an aftermarket trigger to your H&K in order to make it shoot like a Glock.

    Why not just buy a Glock in the first place?
    No manual safety.... that's why

    Oh, and it's not aftermarket, it's HK factory parts (one of the many configuration available that can be added or changed at anytime to the USP lineup)
    Ruger: SR9, SR9C
    S&W: M&P Shield 9mm, M&P 15 Sport
    Glock: G20 SF

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