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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since this is my first post, I'd first like to thank all of you for the wealth of information on this forum. I've been reading for weeks and am really pleased to have found such a knowledgeable group of people. This is going to be pretty lengthy, so I hope you'll bear with me, as I could really benefit from some advice based on your experience.

First, a little background. I used to live in Georgia. I shot a moderate amount, around 10,000 rounds a year or so, for several years. I also had a concealed carry permit, carried a 1911 or J-frame Smith depending on the weather, and shot some IPSC. Twenty years ago, I moved to Chicago, which had a handgun ban and sold all my guns and have been without one ever since. I'm just telling you this so you know that even though I'm really rusty, I have what I consider a fair knowledge of handguns and at one time was fairly proficient.

I now live in a suburb where I can own guns again, and my wife brought up getting a pistol for home defense. My first thought was to buy another 1911. That's what I know, and I shot them years ago until they were second nature. But to get a 1911 of the same quality as the custom guns I used to have is upwards of $3,000, and I don't think it would be a gun my wife, who has never even touched a gun, could shoot. I started looking a 9mms, and, partly due to all of you, the one that most appeals to me is the P30. The basic idea here is to get a P30, which would serve as a high volume range gun for me (comparatively cheap ammo) and would be a gun my wife could hopefully become proficient with for home defense, and probably get an HK45 that would serve as a home defense gun for me.

I went to the local range and shot 350 rounds through the rental P30S and 100 through the HK45, and I love them both. I would like to get both, and I want them to have the same trigger systems. So...the confusion begins. I have read probably every post about LEM triggers at least twice. I talked to the salesman at the LGS, and he knows far less about the LEM than I do, and I've never shot one. He told me there is no way he would have a double action only automatic or a gun without a manual safety. I asked him what he preferred - a Glock. Ok, you guys see the idiocy of this, and at that point, I didn't think it was worth trying to explain that LEM was not really like a regular double action, especially since I have no personal experience with it, or pointing out that his Glock had no manual safety. Since they did not have any gun with LEM in stock, I have not been able to try one.

I want a gun that my wife can shoot, although I strongly suspect I will be shooting it far more than she will. She has some problems with arthritis, so I don't want a gun with a J-frame like trigger pull. I also want a gun that will give her a good margin of safety. I shot 100 rounds double action with the P30 today, and I think I can master that with work. The single action is really pretty sweet. If I bought a V3 P30, my thought is to get one with the safety, as it would allow us to operate it cocked and locked or DA/SA. On the other hand, I worry that my wife may not disengage the safety under stress. Also, the ergonomics of both the P30 and HK45 are not the same as a 1911. It is not comfortable for me to shoot them with my thumb riding the safety as I used to. The guns dig into the bone at the base of my thumb. Maybe that could be fixed by changing the grip panels, but at the range I changed my grip so that my thumb was under the safety instead of riding it. I had no issues whatsoever shooting either gun that way.

I know many here prefer the LEM setup. I worry that a light LEM without a safety would be taking too much risk under the circumstances, though, since I've not tried one, I could certainly be wrong. I've thought about getting a V2 LEM and modding it to TGS, thinking that the slightly heavier trigger pull than V1 would give a little more margin for error - potentially a good compromise between V1 and V2. Yeah, I know. Don't put your finger in the trigger. I'm not so much worried about me as my wife. I've also thought about getting a light LEM with a safety if I could find one. Once I make the decision, I want my future HK45 set up the same way.

So, if I haven't bored you all to tears with this yet, if you have any advice that could help me out with this decision, I'd really appreciate it.
 

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I don't know which suburb you're in but I'm outside the Daley Curtain. If we can figure out a time to meet at a range you can shoot both side by side and maybe that'll help you out. FYI V2 is the heaviest LEM there is.
 

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While I don't feel I can direct you to your perfect solution, I will tell you I carry either a P30 or a 45 C both with the LEM trigger. I did this so both guns would have the same trigger system and no safety. I really think this is the perfect set up for a carry or home defense, while still being OK for the range. They are not the light LEM.

I also carried 1911's in the past and am not looking back since getting my HK's.

If you want a really great range pistol look for a USP Tactical in .45, comes DA/SA so it can be shot like a 1911 but the match trigger is as good, if. not better than any 1911 I've shot.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for the offer, Brownie! I'm in Barrington. That might help tremendously. PM me, and let's see when we might be able to hook up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
While I don't feel I can direct you to your perfect solution, I will tell you I carry either a P30 or a 45 C both with the LEM trigger. I did this so both guns would have the same trigger system and no safety. I really think this is the perfect set up for a carry or home defense, while still being OK for the range. They are not the light LEM.

I also carried 1911's in the past and am not looking back since getting my HK's.

If you want a really great range pistol look for a USP Tactical in .45, comes DA/SA so it can be shot like a 1911 but the match trigger is as good, if. not better than any 1911 I've shot.

Good luck with your decision.
Which version of the LEM do you have on your guns? Like I said, I think I can master the DA/SA, but today was the first time I've ever shot a DA/SA gun. It would probably be tougher for my wife to learn than me, however. Theoretically, all else being equal, I would prefer to have a consistent trigger pull, but I think I could grow into the DA/SA if it were necessary.

As far as really great range guns go, with the price of .45 ammo, I doubt any .45 I had would get as much range time as a 9mm. I'd love to try a USP Tactical, or any other HK for that matter, but when I was shooting three or four hundred rounds of .45 a week, I was buying reloads at the range for, if I remember correctly, $8 for a box of 50. They were good reloads, too. I never had a stoppage or ftf in either of my 1911s with them.
 

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I don't know which suburb you're in but I'm outside the Daley Curtain. If we can figure out a time to meet at a range you can shoot both side by side and maybe that'll help you out. FYI V2 is the heaviest LEM there is.
That's very nice Brownie.

We have many great members at this forum, you are truly a gentleman. :)
 

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66Park,

I'm new and also came here to learn about HK's in preparation to making my first purchase. I have shot a LEM equipped HK four times now and have about 300 or so rounds downrange. The LEM is definitely "different" and is not a DAO. The first time or two I was not that great with it, but I was much improved and shooting it well by the fourth time. I took the advice of a forum member here and stopped trying to shoot it alongside other pistols like I was doing and just concentrate on the LEM.

With your experience, I don't have any doubts you'll be able to learn it. I've only shot the factory V2, 8lb or so version and didn't find it to be heavy. FWIW, my EDC is a J-frame that's equipped with the APEX kit that makes it around 9lbs. The broken in range pistol definitely seemed to have a lighter pull than the new V2's I've dry fired. Even with the little time behind the LEM, I'm 99% that whatever HK I get will come with or be converted to that trigger. As you probably know, you won't be locked in to one trigger pull weight on the LEM and can experiment until you find what you are comfortable with.

Good luck on your decision and great first post!
 

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I do alot of reading and little posting on here and there is alot of information on this site. I have a p2000 with the heavy lem and I thought it was perfect, not a single problem with it. The I took a chance on a new ccw pistol and chose the P30 with the light lem. It is the greatest. You would never realize how heavy the v2 lem is until you shoot the light lem. I have no problem carrying the light as a ccw pistol.

Brownie that is a very nice offer.
 

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In your first post you mentioned concern about your wife. Just as an aside, I would suggest getting her a gun of her own that is suitable to her needs and physical traits. With arthritis being a concern, I would not want her to be in a situation where she needed to rack a slide or clear a malfunction with a full size semi-auto pistol. I would think of getting her a revolver or a pistol that is easy for her to operate with confidence. My wife has arthritis and carpal tunnel, but she loves her PK380, takes it everywhere, and has no trouble running it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
In your first post you mentioned concern about your wife. Just as an aside, I would suggest getting her a gun of her own that is suitable to her needs and physical traits. With arthritis being a concern, I would not want her to be in a situation where she needed to rack a slide or clear a malfunction with a full size semi-auto pistol. I would think of getting her a revolver or a pistol that is easy for her to operate with confidence. My wife has arthritis and carpal tunnel, but she loves her PK380, takes it everywhere, and has no trouble running it.
That, of course, is an excellent point. I didn't mention that the P30 for her and HK45 for me is just plan A. The fact is, if I could only have one gun, and she could not shoot anything, I would still want the P30. It is a fantastic handgun. It's in a caliber that is more than adequate for self defense, and the 9mm ammo is affordable at the range. Though I've had thirty years of .45 love, if I could have only one gun, because of the cost of ammo at the range, a .45 would be impractical for me. I am not a guy who will buy a gun and shoot 500 rounds a year. I shot more than that in the last four days, and that is through rental guns, so cost of ammo for practice is a concern. For an only gun, the P30 fits the bill for me, and there is no downside if it doesn't work for my wife.

It has certainly crossed my mind that she may not be able to comfortably operate a semi auto of any sort. What I intend to do is get the P30, have her work with it, and the result of that will determine the next move. If it works for her and she likes it, it becomes my main range gun and her range and nightstand gun, and I will likely get an HK45. If she can't operate a semi auto but can fire the 9mm, then the next purchase would probably be a revolver that shoots .38. Six shots of .38 is not ideal, but it's way better than nothing, and she needs something she can operate comfortably and feel confident with. If she can't shoot at all, which is unlikely but possible, then the P30 will be my gun, and maybe I'll add the .45 to it at a later date.

Honestly, the original plan was for me to get a P30 if I liked it after shooting it, and then if she liked it, we would buy her one as well. I made the mistake of shooting the HK45, and I was like a little kid. I just loved it. It had that really familiar .45 feel I remember from years ago but in an updated design with a 10 round magazine. It's almost the same pistol as the P30, just slightly bigger, and I thought it would be much nicer if I were to only have two guns to not have two of the same thing, especially since I felt that they were so similar I could move between the two with ease.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful post. That is certainly on my mind. I just didn't want to make my extremely long first post even longer with plan B and plan C.
 

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That, of course, is an excellent point. I didn't mention that the P30 for her and HK45 for me is just plan A. The fact is, if I could only have one gun, and she could not shoot anything, I would still want the P30. It is a fantastic handgun. It's in a caliber that is more than adequate for self defense, and the 9mm ammo is affordable at the range. Though I've had thirty years of .45 love, if I could have only one gun, because of the cost of ammo at the range, a .45 would be impractical for me. I am not a guy who will buy a gun and shoot 500 rounds a year. I shot more than that in the last four days, and that is through rental guns, so cost of ammo for practice is a concern. For an only gun, the P30 fits the bill for me, and there is no downside if it doesn't work for my wife.

It has certainly crossed my mind that she may not be able to comfortably operate a semi auto of any sort. What I intend to do is get the P30, have her work with it, and the result of that will determine the next move. If it works for her and she likes it, it becomes my main range gun and her range and nightstand gun, and I will likely get an HK45. If she can't operate a semi auto but can fire the 9mm, then the next purchase would probably be a revolver that shoots .38. Six shots of .38 is not ideal, but it's way better than nothing, and she needs something she can operate comfortably and feel confident with. If she can't shoot at all, which is unlikely but possible, then the P30 will be my gun, and maybe I'll add the .45 to it at a later date.

Honestly, the original plan was for me to get a P30 if I liked it after shooting it, and then if she liked it, we would buy her one as well. I made the mistake of shooting the HK45, and I was like a little kid. I just loved it. It had that really familiar .45 feel I remember from years ago but in an updated design with a 10 round magazine. It's almost the same pistol as the P30, just slightly bigger, and I thought it would be much nicer if I were to only have two guns to not have two of the same thing, especially since I felt that they were so similar I could move between the two with ease.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful post. That is certainly on my mind. I just didn't want to make my extremely long first post even longer with plan B and plan C.
Try a semi first and see if she can safely operate it. Revolvers tend to have long heavy trigger pulls that may prove difficult for your wife if she is suffering from arthritis. You'd need a professional trigger job to smooth out and lighten the action but, if she can handle semi autos, you can order a light LEM with the p30 and hk45 and not have to worry about additional costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Try a semi first and see if she can safely operate it. Revolvers tend to have long heavy trigger pulls that may prove difficult for your wife if she is suffering from arthritis. You'd need a professional trigger job to smooth out and lighten the action but, if she can handle semi autos, you can order a light LEM with the p30 and hk45 and not have to worry about additional costs.
Yeah. I thought of that too. That is why the LEM or operating the DA/SA cocked and locked was appealing. My main concern is whether or not she can rack the slide. After a long, informative phone call with Brownie (just an exceptional guy for spending so much time helping out a complete stranger), I've decided to get a V2 LEM and the springs to convert it to the other versions to see what works best for us. I really think the P30 is the best option for her, but only having one in her hands and some range time is going to let us know for sure. A revolver may very well have too heavy a trigger pull for her, in which case, unfortunately, she will likely have no gun at all.
 

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Well next step could always be a pink derringer if need be. :) stay away from smaller framed semis without trying them first as the recoil springs can be pretty stout making it harder to rack the slide.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well next step could always be a pink derringer if need be. :) stay away from smaller framed semis without trying them first as the recoil springs can be pretty stout making it harder to rack the slide.
A pink derringer - that's the ticket! Arthritis really does open a can of worms, doesn't it? You guys can see why I needed some experienced input with this. I've been running it around and around in my head and not coming up with an answer for quite a while. Much could be answered if she could go into the gun shop with me and try some guns. In the great state of Illinois, where we live, you cannot touch a gun in a store or rent one without an FOID card. We applied, and I got mine two weeks ago. She has at this point not received either a card or a rejection letter. There is no reason she should not be approved for one, but you never know with these things. Even if she could go to the store with me, I'd still have asked the questions in my first post, as there was no LEM in the store to try. We would at least, however, know if she could rack the slide on a P30.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just ordered a P30 LEM V2 9mm from Mike at Cross Creek Guns. I should have it by the end of next week. Hopefully, my wife's FOID card will show up by then as well, so we should have a better idea how to proceed in a few days. I really appreciate all the input from everyone. Even though I've made the decision to get a P30 LEM, please, if you have suggestions about alternatives that might work for my wife if the P30 isn't ideal, I'd still love to hear them. I'm really pleased that she is very enthused about having a gun for herself. She seems determined to find something that works for her. I'll jump through whatever hoops I have to to make that happen. She'd make a great shooting buddy!
 

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Not knowing the severity of your wife's condition, I can only offer my own experience. My wife is unable to rack any semi-auto 9mm or larger I have ever put in front of her. But she has no trouble running her PK380 flat out. It racks easier than my kid's airsoft pistol. Once she has her official certificate of state government permission to exercise her 2nd Amendment rights in hand, have her try to run the slides on a few different pistols and see what she thinks. A smaller caliber may be the answer, and it is better to land half a dozen shots with a small pistol she can handle with confidence than to land zero shots with a full size pistol she cannot operate effectively under stress.
 
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