Gun Review: Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm


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The REGULUS Alpha Blackout represents the latest generation of pistols from Lionheart Industries. The pistol’s design began life as the Daewoo DP-51 which, for a time, was imported to the US as the Lionheart LH9. Lionheart Industries made a series of improvements, modernizations, and enhancements and began producing guns entirely in the United States with the REGULUS Alpha and Beta models.

Those pistols, though, were absolutely beautiful. As an importer became a manufacturer, the cost was high and many found the price tag a bit steep to try a relatively unknown, boutique-grade pistol. A deep-dive explanation of the different models can be seen here.

Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm
Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout (left) and the original LH9 (right). Much has changed.

Much of that has changed with the new Lionheart Industries. The company has moved to Georgia and is now producing all of the components in-house. This permits better cost and quality control.

Combined with some minor tweaks, the new REGULUS line of pistols is available at a much lower cost. As a fan of the originals we were curious about the new pistols. To see the new model up close, watch the tabletop video below . . .

Specifications below as taken directly from the Lionheart Industries website.Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm

Aside from being an American-made, all-metal, hammer-fired gun, what really sets the Lionheart REGULUS apart is its Double-Action Plus feature. As the gun features a safety, but not a decocker, Double-Action Plus offers another trigger option.

With the pistol cocked, the user can simply push the hammer forward. Doing so returns the trigger to the double-action length of pull, but retains the lighter single action pull weight. There’s a slight bump in the pull as the trigger re-engages into single action.

This reminds me somewhat of the Walther P99AS “Anti-Stress” mode trigger as it provides the shooter just an extra moment to be sure of their shot, or to cancel it should circumstances change.

Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm
Bright green marking show when the pistol is in Double Action Plus mode.

Tactical application of such a trigger mode unfortunately requires some maturity and training that few seem to appreciate. This is especially true among those who have learned purely on striker-fired guns and find two trigger modes challenging.

I would have been one of those if not for combat experience. While under fire in Afghanistan I never felt the GI trigger in my M16 to be too heavy or long, and later translated that lesson as a civilian in pistol training. I realized that while calm and not under stress, a striker-fired gun was quicker, easier, and built more confidence than a DA/SA. But under sudden attack it might prove a bit too short and light.

Only the individual can decide for him or herself, but I don’t mind a longer pull when each round fired could have a lawsuit attached to it.

Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm
Teya Freeman’s 5-shot group from seven yards of Nosler 115gr ASP with the Lionheart Industries Regulus Alpha Blackout

Although we’ve experienced nothing but great results from Lionhearts in the past, we test all pistols the same way. Our battery includes the basics to see how a gun runs while collecting thoughts on the gun.

This battery includes filming our very first shots, full magazine +1, the trademarked What’s For Dinner test to see what a gun will eat (10 different loads representing a breadth of case material, projectile weight, and projectile shape), a sight and trigger control test, and finally some practical accuracy before giving concluding thoughts.

You can watch these tests in the video below. (Be warned, YouTube has restricted this video for showing how to attach a bump stock, facilitating firearm sales, and other craziness.)

Both shooters were a couple of weeks out of practice, but it was interesting that we both needed some time to get accustomed to the gun. The first few minutes of our Shooting Impressions test weren’t impressive shooting moments, but as we warmed up to the gun performance improved.

In my XXL-glove hands I found that resting my firing-hand thumb on the safety caused a gap to open in my grip, and the fiber-optic front sight’s tube was too thick for precise shooting (under a bright sky, the tube was so bright I couldn’t see the edges of the front blade clearly). For smaller-handed Teya Freeman the grip texture could have been a bit more aggressive.

These are all a matter of personal preference and fortunately easily changed. The sight cuts are Novak 1911 so there are hundreds of options and other grip options exist as well. The trigger isn’t as crisp or light as one might expect from a single action, but that also makes it a bit more appropriate for carry.

Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm
Smart grooves on the front and backstrap aid in traction, as do G10 grips.

In an era when American-made, all-metal, hammer-fired pistols are uncommon, it’s nice to have an option like the REGULUS.

Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout 9mm
Nice slide to frame fitment with the Teya Freeman’s 5-shot group from seven yards of Nosler 115gr ASP with the Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout while still allowing enough play for reliability.

Specifications: Lionheart Industries REGULUS Alpha Blackout

Caliber: 9mm
Trigger mechanism: Hammer-fired
Standard magazine capacity: 18
Length: 7.4″
Barrel length: 4.1″
Weight:  27.3oz
Price: $999

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
With 11 loads tested of various various projectile shapes and weights, not one of them malfunctioned.

Ergonomics * * * * 
The REGULUS Alpha’s shape has a natural feel without any edges jamming into the palm. Slightly more aggressive texturing would be preferred.

Accuracy * * * * 
The pistol is mechanically accurate, but a slightly squishy trigger break and large fiber-optic front sight add challenge to printing tight groups.

Concealability * * * *
Although larger than many common carry guns, the rounded shape of the grip makes printing less obvious.

Overall: * * * * 
There’s no doubt this is a very solid platform, and one of very a few fitting a specific sector in the handgun market. The only reason I can’t five-star this gun is because, in an effort to be a jack-of-all-trades it doesn’t excel in any particular category. The Lionheart REGULUS Alpha can, however, serve multiple purposes as a collection pride piece, a comfy range gun, and very capable carry pistol.

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