When I first learned of the new Lionheart Industries Regulus, I knew I had to check it out. Being a DP51 owner, I was curious how far the design could be pushed. While the Regulus is still a few weeks away from being released, I was able to speak with AJ over at Lionheart to ask a few questions. Our Q&A session is below.
Regulus vs. LH9
FIREARM RACK: Let me begin with a broad-brush question. Obviously, the Regulus and the LH9MKII are very similar firearms at a glance. Can you describe to me what exactly has changed with the transition to the Regulus?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: When we began discussing the Regulus, we didn’t just want to start making the same pistol in America that we had been importing. The LH9 series are fantastic guns, but we received a lot of helpful feedback from our customers and saw more potential that we could unleash. Every millimeter of the LH9 was meticulously examined and refined in the process of designing the Regulus so that it is now truly the pinnacle of our entire lineage of pistols! While the list of changes is honestly exhaustive, the largest ones are below. Although they may look similar at a glance, they are honestly completely different animals.
- Modular Platform – the slides on the Regulus have been slightly redesigned to truly be modular! A buyer can now select the frame size they wish (Alpha – Full size, Sig style palm swell; Beta – Compact, straight-backed palm swell) and then run either length slide (Long - 4.1” barrel; Short – 3.7” barrel) that they prefer! This allows the owner to pick a setup that works for their needs! Additional uppers will be available for purchase so that those who wish to can easily interchange both slides.
- Tru-Axis Precision Barrels – our pinnacle barrel ships standard in every Regulus pistol. More info below
- 1911 size sights – much of the feedback we received was around the proprietary sight size of our LH9 series pistols. We designed 1911-style dovetails into the new Regulus slides so that users can have any sights they want installed, if they don’t like the options we offer. If sights are made, they’re made for a1911!
- Improved internals – our DA+ trigger has been completely overhauled, offering a much better experience for the shooter, no matter what mode the trigger is in! All the other internal parts have been carefully tuned for reliable performance.
- E-Series Cerakote - We are proud to continue offering Cerakote as our standard coating - and we are now offering options in both their new E-Series and the original H-Series!
- Rail on the Beta – our LH9C never was available with a rail before, so we added that to the Beta frame because many of our consumers requested it.
- 18 Round magazines – by designing our mag tubes just 3-hundredths wider, we were able to fit 3 more rounds in a package that is only 1mm longer. These mags are Regulus-exclusive, as they don’t fit/function properly in our LH9 Series pistols
- Materials have been upgraded and the entire manufacturing process for the Regulus is geared towards precision (as opposed to quantity)
FIREARM RACK: Additionally, what were the deciding factors behind the name "Regulus"?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: Regulus is the heart star of the Leo constellation = Lionheart Regulus is known by astronomers as Alpha Leonis (The Regulus full-size Frame is called “Alpha”). Regulus is one of our sky’s brightest stars and the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. This blue-white beauty of a star represents the Lion’s heart.
It’s about four times as wide and 140 times as bright as our sun. Taking all the star’s radiation into account, Regulus pumps out nearly 350 times as much energy as our sun.
FIREARM RACK: The hammer has been redesigned slightly, regarding the shape of the cutout. Does this effect dwell time or reliability of ignition, or is it purely a cosmetic change?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: The hole was changed for cosmetic reasons. The hammer has been redesigned elsewhere and made with far higher precision for proper Trigger Bar and Sear interaction.
FIREARM RACK: The ability to swap different size slides and frames to fit the end-user is a point of pride for the Regulus. Is there any concern of reductions in reliability when changing parts across guns?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: No. Functionally all 4 parts are identical; the only differences are in the length of the slide/barrel and the lower-end styling of the frame.
FIREARM RACK: Will users be able to swap components from their older LH9 or DP51 series pistols, or is this restricted to only the Regulus?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: About 85% of the Regulus parts will be backward compatible into LH9 & DP51 pistols. We don’t believe that the slides are backward compatible due to sizing/tolerance issues, and the new 18 round mags don’t fit/function properly. It is possible to “soup up” an LH9 with Regulus internals and have it function properly.
Additionally, our Tru-Axis™ Precision Barrels really improve the accuracy of our LH9 Series pistols and the Daewoo DP51/DP51C! They are a direct fit but obviously made to a much higher standard of precision than the standard barrels are. From purely a shooter’s perspective, I personally have seen a significant improvement in my LH9 when swapping my Tru-Axis barrel for the standard barrel.
FIREARM RACK: The new "Tru-Axis" barrels seem to be a major point of pride, with the page boldly stating that they are "the most precision-crafted barrel the world has ever seen". Aside from the eye-catching titanium-nitride finish, has there been measurable improvements with accuracy when compared with a standard LH9 barrel?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: We are still finalizing MOA testing for the new barrels; hopefully, we will have those results soon. More information about the process improvements can be found on our Barrel Page. Our LH9 Series barrels were considered match grade, but we wanted something even better for the Regulus!
FIREARM RACK: Regarding the claims of increased wear resistance, can you tell me the expected service life of both a standard LH9 barrel and a Tru-Axis barrel?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: The titanium nitride treatment on the Tru-Axis™ barrel is the best there is for wear resistance, although the LH9 barrel has been quite good. The material selection for the LH9 barrel was for manufacturing volume and raw durability. The material selection for the Tru-Axis™ barrel was made for accuracy.
FIREARM RACK: Is there a certain bullet weight that will allow users to get the maximum level of performance out of the barrel?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: At this point, we aren’t aware of any. Perhaps when our MOA testing is finished there will be conclusive results in there as to which weight bullet performs the best.
FIREARM RACK: The page for the Regulus makes mention of "1911 Style Sights"; Does the gun take all standard 1911 sights, or does it still take proprietary sights that are just similar in form to some 1911 sights?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: The Regulus is equipped with Novak-style 1911 cuts. This was more involved than it would seem. We will have a nice range of sight options, (including no sights, for those that want to use a sight that we don’t offer), for new pistol purchases.
FIREARM RACK: If the Regulus can use any 1911 sight, does this also apply to the standard LH9 as well?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: No, the LH9 & LH9N Series pistols remain unchanged; the LH9 Slides need 380 lo-mount sights, which are smaller.
FIREARM RACK: In years past, Novak sights had been an upgrade for the LH9 series--what prompted the change to making Novak sights the standard?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: The Regulus Platform sets our new standard for quality and performance – to put basic/cheap sights on it would have greatly diminished all the work we put into its design! We have enjoyed our partnership with Novak and find their sights to be very shooter-friendly! We also are offering XS sights, for those who are concerned with extremely fast sight acquisition.
FIREARM RACK: Regarding magazines, can consumers expect to see the 18 round magazines, shown with the Regulus, as a stocked item in the webstore any time soon? Do you have a rough estimate of how much they will cost?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: Yes, the 18 round Regulus-exclusive magazines will be available on our web store! We are also offering 10 round, capacity-restricted magazines for those in states that infringe upon the freedoms of their citizens. Both style magazines will be $39.
FIREARM RACK: With the DP51, there were problems with over-insertion when using Smith & Wesson 5900-series, or extended DP51 magazines. Is this still a factor with the LH9 and Regulus series?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: We recommend using Lionheart magazines in our pistols – either the ones from South Korea or our new Mec-Gar mags. This isn’t just a sales pitch to sell our products, we recommend them because they are known to be reliable and function properly. We cannot speak as to how reliable S&W 59 or DP51 mags will be in our platform. Consumer reviews on our LH9 would suggest that while they can be used, they won’t be as reliable.
FIREARM RACK: There is an issue with the DP51 where a pin in the safety can come loose and fall between the grip panel and the safety lever. When this happens, the gun cannot be placed into "fire", yet is still capable of firing a single round. Has anything been done to remedy this with the LH9 series?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: Yes. Two different things were updated to correct this on the Regulus.
FIREARM RACK: What is the expected MSRP of the Regulus?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: The Regulus starts at $1,589
FIREARM RACK: When is the Regulus expected to be available to the public for purchase?
LIONHEART INDUSTRIES: This summer – we just have a few more details to wrap up before it will launch!