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Old February 24, 2010, 12:56 AM   #1
AxiomArms
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HK45 with LEM Trigger

Hey guys, I have a question about the LEM trigger. The HK45 comes with a roughly ten-pound SA/DA trigger, but you can have an LEM trigger installed in either of two options, one being light at around four to five pounds, which is the one I'm interested in.

My question, though, is whether or not the light LEM trigger poses the risk of accidental firing due to dropping the gun or some internal malfunction over the regular SA/DA trigger, I'm not worried about accidentally bumping the trigger or some other human error.

Also, I'm wondering is the LEM trigger option reduces the durability and service life of the pistol? Is it as durable as the SA/DA setup?

Thanks in advance.
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Old February 24, 2010, 01:09 AM   #2
hoytinak
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Quote:
is whether or not the light LEM trigger poses the risk of accidental firing due to dropping the gun or some internal malfunction over the regular SA/DA trigger
Nope, not at all.

Quote:
Is it as durable as the SA/DA setup?
Yep, sure is.

I did the LEM conversion on my USPc and have about 8000 rounds through it since and just like before with the DA/SA I haven't had one single malfunction/problem with it....I don't regret it one bit.
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Old February 24, 2010, 06:01 AM   #3
varoadking
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I have an HK45 with Light LEM...it's a spectacular piece...

Shown here, bottom left, with the rest of my HK family:

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Old February 24, 2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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mmmmm i love the site of hk in the morning
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Old February 24, 2010, 08:19 AM   #5
mes228
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LEM

I suggest you try one before you buy it. I had one and disliked it a great deal. Tried to change the "module' as implied by H&K ads. It can be done but at great expense and time. I grew to hate the pistol. A large capacity double action revolver is how I thought of it. I eventually bought two more H&K's trying to like them. After three I'd had enough. It would have to be a really "give away" price before I'd buy another. Just my opinion but it's based on owning three (only one with the LEM).
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Old February 24, 2010, 07:25 PM   #6
LSP972
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AxiomArms,

The HK LEM trigger system is, without doubt, the most mis-understood trigger out there.

Most folks who don't like it either never tried it, or were using it incorrectly. No offense to mes228, but something he said is a prime example of this. The LEM is nothing like a DA revolver trigger. It has (by design) a very short reset, and once you learn it, it is blazingly fast. The slack in the take-up is there as a fudge factor for cops who cannot (or will not) keep their finger off of the trigger before the decision to shoot has been made.

The LEM was produced after HK's initial attempt at a so-called DAO system was an abysmal failure; it took two people to pull that horrible sucker. But the LEM is a thing of beauty- once you understand how to manipulate it.

USPs and HK45s (both sizes) arrive in the US as Variant I examples; i.e., a traditional DA/SA/decocker. Some are retro-fitted with the LEM by HK prior to shipping, but many are converted "in the field". The kits are available, albeit sporadically. Adam at HKParts.net just got in some HK45 kits, I'm told. I have purchased three from him (one for an HK45C, and two for USPs) and installed them myself.

HK in Georgia will do it, for a price. Turnaround is usually pretty quick.

There are many, many LEM-equipped HK pistols out there in police service. Have been for years. Many of those are in federal service.

Between my wife and I, we have six LEM-equipped pistols. Two of them, a 9mm P2000 and a HK45C, get shot a LOT. Between these and two USPc .45s with LEMs that I traded last year, we have well over ten thousand rounds through these pistols.

Nothing has broken yet...

And that afore-mentioned slack in the initial pull is there for safety purposes. Your concerns are groundless; give the LEM a try.

.
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Old February 24, 2010, 08:50 PM   #7
varoadking
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I guess I should have mentioned that my P30, and both of my Experts are also Light LEM...

Other than my P7M8's, I wouldn't own an HK that didn't have Light LEM...

All but 2 of my S&W's are DAO...

...and...

...I have 2 SiG DAK's...

Most of the rest of my pieces are SAO...

Not a fan of DA/SA really...
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Old March 8, 2010, 03:02 PM   #8
radioflyer
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Purchased an HK45 LEM 4.5 setup today and wil get the pistol on friday. I'm very anxious eepsecially considering my other P30 is a DA/SA. My tactical class instructor likes to make us train DA with single-hand shooting....very humbling experience with my V3.
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:54 PM   #9
dondavis3
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I have a new to me used HK Compact 9c

It is currently a DA/SA

If I install this LEM trigger kit http://www.hkparts.net/shop/pc/HK-LE...where-p316.htm

Does it turn it into a DOA gun?

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Old August 23, 2012, 09:49 AM   #10
ClydeFrog
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HK45 LEM, YouTube.com....

I, too am impressed with the HK45 & the smaller HK45compact in .45acp(LEM).

I'd be a bit leery of spending a lot of $$$ on a HK45 LEM after watching a brief T&E video on www.youtube.com .

The Glock 21 & 30 model .45acp pistols seem to have a more robust/durable design but as a left-hander, I can see the merits of the HK45 pistols.

As posted, the HK LEM(law enforcement modification) has been in use for many years with DHS(Dept of Homeland Security) & the FFDO(Federal Flight Deck Officer) program(USP .40S&W LEM).

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Old September 20, 2012, 10:23 PM   #11
Flying Groundhog
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Be careful with the term "Law Enforcement Modification (LEM)."

The HK45 owner's manual says:
"The LEM is a series of unique trigger parts created specifically to improve the quality and reduce the weight of the Double-Action Only trigger pull in HK pistols. With these parts installed, the HK45 Pistol can be fired like a standard DAO pistol*..NOTE: An optional 4.5-5.5 pound trigger pull is also available for the HK45 LEM model."
* Meaning: fired like a standard DAO pistol instead of firing like a SA pistol.

This being said, remember that the gun with the LEM is DAO pistol with an 8 lb pull. This is also known as the Variant 7, and has no safety or control lever (aka slide release).

Most of us (including me) are using -- or want to get -- the 4.5 lb trigger, not the DAO option. Said in another way, most of us want the light 4.5 lb trigger designed for LEM but installed in a SA/DA Variant (variants 1 to 4 and 9-10).

Confusing? Yes, but H&K doesn't care. And, the HK45 Variant 1 with the light trigger designed for LEM is a really really nice gun, so deal with it.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:34 PM   #12
radioflyer
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I had the Aftermarket Light LEM installed on my HK45. IMO, the light LEM is the perfect trigger for a dedicated Carry weapon (duty or otherwise) since the trigger pull is consistent (brain doesn't have to think DA or SA), smooth and long (so stress reactions won't cause an accidental discharge in SA.

I Also found that my single-hand accuracy significantly improved with the LEM versus the DA straight from the holster. The longer trigger pull allows time to concentrate and more importantly to think about taking the shot...or not.

Sadly I no longer have this pistol....wish I didn't sell it.
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Old September 20, 2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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I loved my HK45 from the start. The only disappointment was that the safety just didn't "work" for me the way a 1911 does. I've never had any issue carrying a 1911 cocked and locked and then hitting the safety as the gun is coming onto the target. But I never could do it 100% of the time with my HK45. Not at any kind of speed. I wanted to use the gun for IDPA but any real effort to get a smooth but reasonably fast draw ended up with me missing the safety once or twice out of every ten presentations. Not good.

So I went to carrying it like a standard DA/SA. Engaging the closest target first DA. And that worked but I've never really liked that type of pistol. So I took the plunge and went with the light LEM conversion. Which I did install myself. (And it was a fairly complex job. If you aren't an accomplished gun person, save yourself the headache and pay somebody to do it!)

The results were very good. I love the gun even more now. The safety I couldn't use before is gone. One less thing sticking out of the gun. Very light initial take-up. Then an easy to control break. No heavier than a standard Glock trigger. Quick reset. As others said, you don't let the trigger go all the way forward again, you just let it go a bit forward to click and then you are reset and ready to shoot again. Not like a DA trigger on a revolver.

I liked it so much that I decided to change my carry gun to a LEM as well. Bought an HK P2000 LEM in .357 SIG. Another great gun.

It does take some practice to learn how to use it but I really think the LEM is a great design and many, many people would end up really liking it if they gave it a fair chance.

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Old September 21, 2012, 04:00 AM   #14
DaleA
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-the HK LEM(law enforcement modification)
Thank you ClydeFrog, the LEM acronym was starting to bug me.
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Old September 21, 2012, 12:45 PM   #15
RC20
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I say forge the LEM.

Stick with the DA/SA, both safe and if you really want a light trigger pull, all you have to do is cock it. Simple is better
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Old September 21, 2012, 01:36 PM   #16
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I've owned the same model gun in LEM and DA/SA. Having gotten used to DA/SA, I don't see the need for LEM. The argument for it is that the trigger is consistent. The trigger on a DA/SA pistol is consistent. The first pull is consistently longer and heavier than the second. No but in seriousness the standard LEM, at roughly 7-8 lbs, seems silly to me as instead of dealing with a heavy and long trigger pull once, you're dealing with a long though mildly heavy pull every time. Folks say that, "well just release to the reset". You can do the same thing in DA/SA, and in DA/SA the reset is even shorter.

I think LEM is good if you start learning on that system and stick with it. Again having gotten used to DA/SA beforehand I didn't see any advantage, but it is probably easier to learn for new shooters. I find trying to switch back and forth really messes me up.
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Old September 21, 2012, 02:19 PM   #17
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I've owned the same model gun in LEM and DA/SA. Having gotten used to DA/SA, I don't see the need for LEM. The argument for it is that the trigger is consistent. The trigger on a DA/SA pistol is consistent. The first pull is consistently longer and heavier than the second. No but in seriousness the standard LEM, at roughly 7-8 lbs, seems silly to me as instead of dealing with a heavy and long trigger pull once, you're dealing with a long though mildly heavy pull every time. Folks say that, "well just release to the reset". You can do the same thing in DA/SA, and in DA/SA the reset is even shorter.
OK, you have to figure out what you are trying to accomplish here. When you think about it, the LEM isn't really all that different from the way the Glock trigger works. Just a longer takeup and thrown in a hammer. (Plus you get a second strike reset but lets ignore that for now.) When you pick up a Glock, you have to pull the trigger a fairly long way before you hit the second stage. If you are taking your time on a target, you probably pause there to get everything just right and then squeeze off the shot. The LEM works the same way. A very, very light long pull which then hits a noticeable second stage. If you turn the gun sideways and look at it, you will notice the hammer going back. You squeeze the trigger that last little bit on a Glock or a LEM, the gun fires and cycles. You let the trigger go forward _just a bit_ to the reset point and then you pull it again. With either trigger, you don't let it go all the way forward unless you are going to stop the engagement.

So all HK did was add an external hammer and increase the trigger pull length for the initial pull. It's not like it takes much effort. On my HK45, it probably takes 1.5-2 pounds to make that long initial pull to the second stage. It isn't the pull weight that makes it safe, it's the long distance of the pull itself. You release it, the hammer goes down, the trigger goes back forward. HK thought that would be safer in the hands of LEO's than the shorter Glock trigger. Plus they were able to add in a second strike ability. Pull the trigger once and get a dud round. You can pull the trigger again and the trigger will cycle again. It will be a heavier pull but you will actually get results rather than the dead trigger of a Glock.

OK, if you are still with me (!) consider the target market of the LEM. A gun that is going to be carried all day long in the safest condition. And then will be drawn and pointed and still must be as safe as possible. Perhaps in the hands of LEO's that aren't as well trained as we wish they were. And then when things do go south, it can still be fired under stress and with minimal movement of any external controls. True, a DA/SA can meet those requirements. But half a century of experience with those guns shows us that cops have a very hard time hitting anybody with that first DA shot. It's virtually a throw away for some of them. Realizing that, some of them make it even worse by deciding to cock it in a pressure situation. So then you get unintentionally discharges. There _are_ reasons why the straight DA/SA gun isn't seen all that often anymore in LEO holsters in the US.

And we see some of the same things with civilians. For a civilian wanting a gun for daily carry, why shouldn't the same issues apply? You want it to be dead safe to carry. But when you draw it under stress you don't want to have any possibility of fumbling with controls. And while I personally love my Glocks for a whole lot of things (and I own several) I've never liked using them for carry guns. I always cringe just a little when I have to re-holster one and I don't have 100% line of sight with what I am trying to do. Always worried some piece of clothing or coat cinch or _something_ is something going to snag that short and light trigger when I'm pushing it home. In the exact same situation, I can put my thumb firmly over the hammer of the HK and know there is NO way that trigger can be pulled rearward.

Final civilian use... look at IDPA. I love Glocks for IDPA and I've used them there more than anything else. DA/SA is a frigging pain in the butt here. Go compete in IDPA with your DA/SA. Week after week. Not just once. You will get tired of losing. Because you have to start each stage from the holster and hammer down. So every single stage you are starting out DA. And you can't "cock it" either. This is one of the things competition like IDPA was designed to do. Actually let us "weed out" what's the good and what's the bad between designs. You draw and fire DA/SA hundreds of times against LEM and the LEM is going to start to pull away. Your first shot will be faster and more accurate with the LEM and the ones after that will be just as good as the SA ones.

Heck, I just wish HK made more types of guns for me to buy. I don't own a P30 yet and just found out you can get imported .357 SIG barrels for them. I might have to get a P30L LEM just to put a .357 SIG barrel in it. What I _really_ wish HK made is an exact copy of my carry gun but in .22 LR. Make an HK P2000 LEM in .22 LR. Same exact weight, etc. Don't cheap out on it. I'm willing to pay full price, sell the darn thing for $850. It would be worth it to me to be able to practice all the time with dirt cheap ammo!

Quote:
Again having gotten used to DA/SA beforehand I didn't see any advantage, but it is probably easier to learn for new shooters.
I'm 50 years old and grew up with guns in my hands so I'm not a new shooter! I love revolvers. And Glocks. And HK P7's. They are all different but my brain figures it out. Keeps you young!

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Old September 21, 2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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This is one of the things competition like IDPA was designed to do. Actually let us "weed out" what's the good and what's the bad between designs.
I'm not sure I could possibly disagree more.

Quote:
You draw and fire DA/SA hundreds of times against LEM and the LEM is going to start to pull away. Your first shot will be faster and more accurate with the LEM and the ones after that will be just as good as the SA ones.
Woops, spoke too soon.

You're certainly welcome to your opinion, but I don't share it.

Edit: I agree the LEM has a market. But I'm not it.
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:00 AM   #19
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I have both varieties and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In a gunfight you're not going to notice the DA first pull on the HK and you need to be adaptable to any pistol configuration.

DA/SA HK's are little different than a 1911. You can carry them cocked and locked if you don't want the DA first pull as many do with a 1911. (I've shot IDPA and didn't find DA first pull to be a disadvantage either.)

Truth be told, the P7 is the easiest to bring quickly into action. But that doesn't make it better, just different and you need to adapt to that as well.

Oh, and there is nothing "better" about any gLoCk ever produced as compared to a similar HK.
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Old September 22, 2012, 11:16 PM   #20
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This is obviously a controversial topic among HK owners. I am in the LEM camp. I own an LEM gun and a DA/SA both from HK. For carry, I drastically prefer the LEM. It is safer and simpler than cocked and locked on the DA/SA, and I shoot it a lot better than a DA/SA with the hammer down. The initial pull is lighter than true DA, and additional shots feel the same as SA to me. Can you learn to shoot DA/SA just as well? Sure. But its one more thing to work on. With my LEM, every single one of my shots in practice is applicable to real life. With a DA/SA, the DA shots are applicable to DA, and SA to SA.

Another aspect is the decocker. Of course you will probably remember to decock before holstering, but its one more thing to go wrong. LEM safely lowers the hammer when you release the trigger.

Both have their place, and it depends on the person. I would never want to see one or the other stop being offered. The one thing I will say though is that the true heavy LEM which is what comes from the factory is not great because you have to deal with a heavy pull every time. The "medium" or light LEM, however, has no disadvantages in my mind.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:30 AM   #21
mes228
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LEM

Well I must be the minority that disliked the LEM triggers. The short reset is a real plus in rapid fire. However who shoots rapid fire always? If it's not shot rapid fire, it's simply a double action revolver. I've owned 4 H&K's now. The last was the USP Tactical 9mm (not LEM - I think it was the SE Model) with the Jet Funnel. I really did like this version. Nothing but good things to say about it. Unfortunately the Guy I purchased it from (a Competition shooter). Had such sellers remorse I sold it back to him. I can't win - now I'm the one with sellers remorse.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:48 AM   #22
TunnelRat
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Can you learn to shoot DA/SA just as well? Sure. But its one more thing to work on.
Another advantage I see of going the DA/SA route is that it's more applicable to other models from different manufacturers than LEM would be, as it is only really HK.

Quote:
With my LEM, every single one of my shots in practice is applicable to real life. With a DA/SA, the DA shots are applicable to DA, and SA to SA.
I don't get this statement. In "real life", my first shot will be DA, my follow up shots in SA. Therefore every single one of my shots is also applicable to "real life".

Quote:
Another aspect is the decocker. Of course you will probably remember to decock before holstering, but its one more thing to go wrong. LEM safely lowers the hammer when you release the trigger.
As I stated above, it honestly becomes muscle memory over time. No more so than releasing the slide on a new magazine would be. But you're right that it does take time to get to that point, though I think not a lot.

Quote:
I would never want to see one or the other stop being offered.
I completely agree.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:49 AM   #23
TunnelRat
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The short reset is a real plus in rapid fire.
It's no shorter for LEM than the rest on the DA/SA pistols, in fact it's a tiny bit longer. It is shorter than a true DAO though, much shorter.
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