It seems like anywhere you go anymore, that if you see a new firearm that is amazing and doesn’t have wooden furniture that some maker was spurred on to produce it by the requirements of some Joint Special Operations or U.S. Armed Forces contract.
Joint Special Operations or another “Special Military unit”?
It’s kind of what the big makers do now. It’s not a market driven on civilian interests, unless you are Ruger (who, by the way, is killing it in the civilian market); essentially everything awesome is striving to be the new JSOC this or that. Such is the case with another amazing Heckler and Koch Pistol, made, according to many sources for a special military unit contract.
In fact, this special military unit design is so good, it doesn’t matter if it’s built specifically for Frogmen, Rangers and Delta Elite, it was always destined to hit the market. I’m speaking of course, about the newest “latest and greatest” from HK, the HK45 LEM, a slimmer, more functional and simpler HK USP, with different looks and a more ergonomic handle. That’s basically taking a near perfect combat pistol and making it a Godly combat pistol. The only “drawback” is that it only holds 10 rounds.
The HK45 LEM
It’s got a fiber reinforced polymer pistol frame; a Hostile Environment Steel slide with a smoother rounder, more aggressive look and feel and an o-ring enhanced polygonal barrel made for excellent lockup. Ambidextrous magazine releases and slide releases, an accessory rail made to fit, with, well, anything; low profile sights that have tritium inserts and the infamous DAO or DA/SA option for the action configuration.
The trigger is genius on the HK45 LEM, it takes only about 2 lbs. perceived pull to overcome the Hammer spring, which is the first stage to a trigger pull system that utilizes multiple points of interaction; the second part requires a decent 4.5 lbs. That allows for a second strike capability prior to clearing the round on a failure to fire. You can get the trigger in the 4.5-5 lbs. pull weight or in the heavier 7-8.5 lbs. pull, and if you really want it, one of the variants allows for a standard external safety.
The HK45 LEM is a full sized pistol with an OAL of 7 ¼ inches and yet; it can be customized to feel like a much smaller gun or even a bigger one. The interchangeable backstraps and the finger groove grip frame as well as the magazine baseplates make the handhold a lot more customizable than just about anything on the market. The slide is built for de-holstering, with a tapered front end; rounded front and rear slide serrations and a dip in the dust cover area and full beveling. Accuracy from the improved lockup of the o-ring bushing and the polygonal barrel is adequate, I shot about 2” at 25 yards, but have heard some people getting closer to 1”; I’m good with a handgun and I can’t imagine getting it down that far, so I’m sticking with “adequate”. The accuracy needed for a gun developed for such an elite “special military unit” as the HK45 LEM was designed for (by the way we can’t assume that it was made for Joint Special Operations until someone comes forward and admits it), is less than this gun can deliver. That is to say, this gun is far more accurate than the specification in the contract this gun was designed for.
In another genius move by HK (go figure), the newest “about to be ripped off by every other maker” item is the bushing enclosed recoil spring which boasts a 50k+ .45ACP rounds, service life. And reduces felt recoil dramatically. Genius. Which is Heckler and Koch’s middle name, I’m sure.
So, when the Joint Special Operations comes to its senses and moves back to a .45, and to this gun specifically, we will see some excellent war stories showing up on clandestine forums everywhere in cyberspace. Until then, go buy one (around $1250 MSRP), because if you love the USP, you will get a lot more from the HK45 LEM.
It’s probably safe to say that this pistol made for an unnamed special military unit, the HK45 LEM is the best thing to come out of the HK factory, since, well, the last pistol that came out of the HK factory. It’s that good.