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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, new to the HKPRO forums. Also interested in purchasing my first HK to complement my Sig for home defense. Nothing but the finest in German ingenuity.

I've been looking at the USP40 Compact as an optimal choice as I've fired one several times at a local range and it seems the best balance of all qualities I'm looking for. Since I live in California, my only choices for a USPC40 from a dealer are LEM and V1. And since I am a bit uneasy about manual safeties, I can also purchase a V3 from a private party or go for the LEM.

I'm fascinated by the LEM model and it's ability to remain half-cocked to allow for lighter trigger pull and sear reset. One thing about it though I'm wondering, if I keep the gun loaded for home defense and I want to keep it at condition 2, how long can the gun be kept at half cock without the spring wearing out? Would I have to unload and decock the gun to relax the srping from time to time? Or would it be a better option to keep it at condition 3 and fully decocked, only cocking it when I'm about to use it?
 

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Springs don't wear in a static state, they only wear as result of compression and decompression. No worries in your stated example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Springs don't wear in a static state, they only wear as result of compression and decompression. No worries in your stated example.
Hmm, I always figured if the spring is compressed (even when static) would weaken after a while. One reason I always swap magazines on my handguns every week or so, so that the magazine springs wouldn't be worn after time.
 

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It's a common misconception, do some Googling on the topic. The guns are designed to be loaded, I suspect you could load it now and fire it 100 years from now with no issue. It is the flexing and unflexing that wears them out, and even that is slow. Replacing mag springs once a year is extremely conservative and a cheap insurance policy.
 

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For what it's worth, I have always been uncomfortable with a gun whose hammer is anywhere but fully down and at rest anytime the gun is not pointed downrange. (One of the reasons I will never consider owning a striker fired handgun.) Doubly so if the gun is to be left unattended at any time for any reason anywhere but in a locked container. On the other hand, I rarely know what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

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For what it's worth, I have always been uncomfortable with a gun whose hammer is anywhere but fully down and at rest anytime the gun is not pointed downrange. (One of the reasons I will never consider owning a striker fired handgun.) Doubly so if the gun is to be left unattended at any time for any reason anywhere but in a locked container. On the other hand, I rarely know what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.
It's an LEM gun, bro. The hammer is down.
 

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I own a USPc .40...recently there was a thread with a lengthy discussion involving the LEM decocking--it is completely unnecessary on the LEM system--the pistol is designed literally for what you are describing (i was one of a few that found this out during the course of the thread)

If you follow the same logic I do, you will be working the springs and decocking every month when the gun is field-stripped and cleaned--fired or not--which always involves an inspection of the parts and snap-cap "firing" to ensure the weapon is in optimum condition...my gun is unloaded for cleaning, period (fewer things are more useless than an unloaded firearm)

The LEM takes some getting used-to, but it is not too difficult--shoot it A LOT, learn where it breaks and you are good to go

For what it's worth, I have always been uncomfortable with a gun whose hammer is anywhere but fully down and at rest anytime the gun is not pointed downrange. (One of the reasons I will never consider owning a striker fired handgun.) Doubly so if the gun is to be left unattended at any time for any reason anywhere but in a locked container. On the other hand, I rarely know what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.
just an example--a gentleman in my neck of the woods (who will remain anonymous) had the same logic...lowered the hammer on his Rossi .44 Special "for safety" on a loaded chamber because "half cocked made him nervous"...while getting ready to hit the field, he shifted the pistol and caught the hammer by the spur on a random piece of gear, and blew off three of his right toes and very nearly bled to death...the half-cocked position is designed to prevent what his nerves caused--food for thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For what it's worth, I have always been uncomfortable with a gun whose hammer is anywhere but fully down and at rest anytime the gun is not pointed downrange. (One of the reasons I will never consider owning a striker fired handgun.) Doubly so if the gun is to be left unattended at any time for any reason anywhere but in a locked container. On the other hand, I rarely know what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.
But if it's fully down, wouldn't that mean it is resting against the firing pin and it might accidentally discharge if dropped against the hammer with a round in the chamber?
 

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But if it's fully down, wouldn't that mean it is resting against the firing pin and it might accidentally discharge if dropped against the hammer with a round in the chamber?
Depends. Older pistols without a firing pin block? Yes. Pistols with a firing pin block? Not really.
 

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Page 18 of the USP manual under Storage: http://hk-usa.com/-images/shared/USP_Operators_Manual_060809.pdf

Long Term Pistol Storage
Anytime the slide is moved fully rearward on the USP Pistol fitted with LEM parts the
hammer spring is compressed and held in that position until the cocking piece is released
by pulling the trigger on the pistol. Therefore for long-term storage (more than 1 year)
it is suggested that the pistol first be CLeAreD and made safe then pointed in a safe
direction and dry fired to release pressure on the hammer spring to maintain its life span.

If the pistol is regularly taken out to be "exercised", it should be fine.

The USPs have a firing pin block that should prevent the firing pin from striking the primer even if you dropped the pistol on it's hammer with a round in the chamber.
 

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not sure what you mean by position one. LEM is either loaded and ready to rock (chambered) or not chambered. I dont beleive there is a half cock for LEM.
 

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I one time just to see what would happen I left out the small spring next to the hammer and put in the standard sear and decocking detent and it would decock the lem just as the da/sa trigger. Of course at that point you have a da/sa trigger with the option to carry cocked without the hammer staying back.
 

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In lem the hammer is being held by the "catch" (what hk calls it) I call it a hammer stop, when the hammer is down and the cocking piece is cocked. you can see the notch in the right side of the hammer where the catch slides into when the pistol is fired. so actually there are two safety features for the lem mod.
 

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But if it's fully down, wouldn't that mean it is resting against the firing pin and it might accidentally discharge if dropped against the hammer with a round in the chamber?
I have an HK45C with the same LEM parts the USP uses.

First as has already been pointed out there is a FPB that is only deactivated by pulling the trigger so even if the hammer would be resting against the firing pin the firing pin could not go forward.

Second, even if the firing pin could go forward it's not long enough to reach the primer even with the hammer down - it's the strike against the firing pin that imparts enough forward momentum for the firing pin to actually detonate the primer. The firing pin only can receive enough energy from the hammer to go forward if the hammer is released from its rearward position - not when it's almost all the way down.

And lastly on the LEM the hammer does not go down against the firing pin anyway which is why I said "almost" above. There's a hammer block function that holds the hammer back away from the firing pin and that hammer block is only released by a trigger pull. When the hammer block is in position even a direct blow to the hammer won't result in it striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.

With so many redundant safety mechanisms I have no worry that all would fail at the same time and cause an inadvertent or accidental discharge.
 

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Long Term Pistol Storage
Anytime the slide is moved fully rearward on the USP Pistol fitted with LEM parts the
hammer spring is compressed and held in that position until the cocking piece is released
by pulling the trigger on the pistol. .
this is of course for long term storage of an UNLOADED weapon. :)
 

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Not to confuse your issues more, but if you found a deal on a V1 you can convert yours to a V3 in about 3 minutes and $16. Even I can do it. Then its a decocker only like your Sig.
Of course I have yet to hear anyone say the don't like the LEM option...
 

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In lem the hammer is being held by the "catch" (what hk calls it) I call it a hammer stop, when the hammer is down and the cocking piece is cocked. you can see the notch in the right side of the hammer where the catch slides into when the pistol is fired. so actually there are two safety features for the lem mod.
That is on all varients, not just the LEM.
I have an HK45C with the same LEM parts the USP uses.

First as has already been pointed out there is a FPB that is only deactivated by pulling the trigger so even if the hammer would be resting against the firing pin the firing pin could not go forward.

Second, even if the firing pin could go forward it's not long enough to reach the primer even with the hammer down - it's the strike against the firing pin that imparts enough forward momentum for the firing pin to actually detonate the primer. The firing pin only can receive enough energy from the hammer to go forward if the hammer is released from its rearward position - not when it's almost all the way down.

And lastly on the LEM the hammer does not go down against the firing pin anyway which is why I said "almost" above. There's a hammer block function (the catch, as it is referred to)[B][/B] that holds the hammer back away from the firing pin and that hammer block is only released by a trigger pull. When the hammer block is in position even a direct blow to the hammer won't result in it striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.

With so many redundant safety mechanisms I have no worry that all would fail at the same time and cause an inadvertent or accidental discharge.
 
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