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Discussion Starter #1
[ newbie disclaimer ]

Hey all,

I'm a self-proclaimed newbie, both to the forum as well as firearms in general (last guns shot were Glocks ~10years ago). With that said, I am in the process of waiting out the CCW approval process and, in the meantime, have signed up for some basic handgun courses. My goal is not so much EDC but rather carrying while doing outdoor activities...hiking, camping, off-roading, etc. As such I am not really looking to carry in Condition 0 or Condition 1 and am leaning more to Condition 2 (maybe even Condition 3 in some cases). Assuming I go that route can folks help me better understand the pros/cons of the first shot when comparing LEM to DA/SA in that Condition of Readiness?

Personal opinions also welcome...As a newbie any information is appreciated... :)

P.S: Kudos to Carerra for the great LEM vid and 424D57 for the great summary of your testing and all the others that patiently answer the myriad of LEM question :)

Thanks.
 

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You probably already know that LEMs usually (read: most often) have no safety whatsoever. The safety is your finger and the thing between your noggin that controls your finger. To answer your question though, the first shot in an LEM will always be exactly the same as each subsequent shot with the exception of the long take up before you get to the crisp break which is around 4.5 pounds for the light version of LEM. Medium is closer to 7 pounds and I think heavy is close to 9 pounds for the breaks. The take ups are always very light weight, I'd estimate something like 1.5 pounds or less of pressure. With the first shot, you want to take up the slack of the take up until your finger is resting right at the reset point of 4.5 to 9 pounds (depending on what version of LEM you have). On each subsequent shot after the first one, you should only release the trigger just enough until the trigger resets. Depending on the person, this may take a few range trips to commit to muscle memory or a few practice sessions with snap caps (you have to rack the slide each time during snap cap sessions). Once you get used to prepping the trigger, every shot should feel the same way since the muscle memory will kick in and your finger will already be resting on the reset point.

Going on to DA/SA, you of course have the harder double action pull until you transition to the single action pull. The difference in the LEM (which is actually a double action since the hammer moves as you pull the trigger) is that the reset point is identical to the single action mode of the DA/SA variants. The only time you get the true, super heavy double action along with the super long trigger pull length is when you have a light primer strike causing the internal hammer of the LEM not to cock because the gun didn't recoil from the fired round, since the round itself didn't fire due to the light primer strike. ...in which case most people would do a tap/rack/bang if you're certain you didn't have a squib round.

The LEM is double action because the very light take up (which you get rid of during the trigger prepping) actually pulls the external hammer back. When you rest your finger at the trigger reset after the slack is taken up, the external hammer will be in the rearmost position. When you apply that bit more pressure after the reset point, the hammer drops and strikes the firing pin. At this point you release the trigger just to the reset point, which moves the external hammer back to the rearmost position. To a bystander, it will look exactly like you're shooting single action mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Harkamus, you sir get a gold star... Great, detailed answer. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. Much appreciated.
 

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I do want to add one more thing. If you carry in condition 3 on a DA/SA or an LEM, your trigger pulls will always be the same for either gun because you have to rack the slide to chamber a round before you fire it. In that respect, the DA/SA will be in single action mode on the first shot. The LEM will then have the internal hammer cocked and the external hammer on the half cock position, which in the LEM is basically hammer down position. You can prep the LEM trigger from there to rest your finger on the point of trigger reset, and again, each following shot will be the same as the first for the LEM.

For condition 2, your DA/SA will have that first shot in true double action mode, with each subsequent shot being the lighter single action. For LEM, condition 2 basically means the same exact trigger pull every time once you prep the trigger. That's because you cannot chamber a round in an LEM equipped HK without cocking the internal hammer. Once the internal hammer is cocked, there is no decocking it. Additionally, the external hammer will rest in the half cock position. This is all for US LEM handguns. If I am not mistaken, there is an additional HK variant overseas that combines an LEM with a decocker and a spurred hammer.

But for your purposes, LEM regardless of condition 2 or 3 will always produce the same trigger pull. DA/SA will depend on which condition you carry it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's great info. RE: LEM and chambering a round/decocking, that was my suspicion... Glad to have it confirmed.

I do have one follow-up question about that however. Let's take the p2000sk as an example (as that is the firearm I am leaning toward purchasing). To drop from Condition 2 to Condition 3 I believe I would need to do the following, correct?

DA/SA - Rack slide to expel cartridge, press decocker
LEM - Rack slide to expel cartridge, drop magazine (?), pull trigger

Thanks again for the great info.
 

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That's great info. RE: LEM and chambering a round/decocking, that was my suspicion... Glad to have it confirmed.

I do have one follow-up question about that however. Let's take the p2000sk as an example (as that is the firearm I am leaning toward purchasing). To drop from Condition 2 to Condition 3 I believe I would need to do the following, correct?

DA/SA - Rack slide to expel cartridge, press decocker
LEM - Rack slide to expel cartridge, drop magazine (?), pull trigger

Thanks again for the great info.
You are absolutely correct.
 

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Well, one correction. Drop the magazine before racking the slide (on both) to expel the cartridges. Otherwise you will just keep chambering rounds. I didn't really think about this when I replied earlier. It's just such common practice for me to drop the magazine first if I want to clear a weapon.
 
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