Lionheart Vulcan 9, an unconventional semi-automatic pistol that comes from afar

Our readers will have noticed that one of the most definite trends in the U.S. semi-automatic pistol market is to effectively clone the Glock design, which overseas now counts a small army of models developed by large and small manufacturers, also benefiting from the fact that they can mount most components and parts compatible with those of the Austrian pistol without any problem.

Other companies, on the other hand, choose a decidedly more original approach to make themselves known, as in the case of Lionheart Industries, founded in 2011 and based in Winder, Georgia. In fact, the gun they offer has origins far back in time and space: we are talking about more than ten thousand kilometers away and almost thirty-five years. In fact, the basis of their Vulcan 9 is the South Korean Daewoo DP-51 pistol, a gun that equipped Seoul's Army for more than 25 years and distinguished itself for its excellent and unprecedented features. The DP-51 was imported for years into the U.S. under the name K5 by several distributors. In 2011, with the birth of Lionheart Industries working directly with Daewoo, renamed LH9 and again made in Korea, the pistol underwent an initial number of  aesthetic and functional modifications (sights, slide serrations, Picatinny rail, etc.) to make it more suitable for the times and market needs but without distorting the original design. In 2016, production of the LH9 pistol, which has since been further modified and refined, was transferred to the U.S., and it was relaunched on the market under the name Regulus.

The right side of the Lionheart Vulcan 9 Shadow version, equipped with a Trijicon RMR mini-reflex sight.
The left side of the Combat version, with 109-millimeter barrel. Note the distinctive design of the safety on the frame.

Lionheart Vulcan 9: a semi-automatic from afar

The latest iteration of the original design is now called the Vulcan 9 and is available in four variants. The main feature, retained from the original gun, is the trigger system, which at the time was called "triple action" while today the manufacturer calls it "Double Action+." This is a rather interesting variant of the SA/DA trigger. Once the round is chambered, the hammer, which is in the cocked position, can be decocked by simply pushing it forward into the uncocked position. If you have to fire, it will be sufficient to pull the trigger to cock it and release the shot, with a similar trigger travel as in double action, but with a single-action release weight.

An unusual bottom view of the Shadow version. Note that it includes a MultiTasker Nano2 optic tool magazine base plate.

The Lionheart Vulcan 9 is built on a 7075 aluminum frame that houses a 15-round double-stack magazine in 9mm Luger (9x19). The slide is steel with front and rear serrations, finished with a PDV coating that makes it particularly resistant to abrasion and wear. The Vulcan 9 features mechanical sights compatible with those of the SIG Sauer P365 on all versions. The Shadow and Combat variants are ready for direct mounting of mini reflex sights with a footprint that fits the Holosun 407k/507k, Shield RMSc, Trijicon RMRcc, SIG RomeoZero Elite, and other similar optics.

The grip frame construction of the Vulcan 9 does not include interchangeable backstraps, but the G10 grips have been carefully designed to provide the user with maximum ergonomics: the left one is contoured with a pronounced thumb rest that allows the shooter to exert downward pressure on the frame and control muzzle flip. The grips are shaped so as to focus the user's attention on thumb placement for maximum efficiency when reloading, while reducing thickness in key areas to accommodate shooters of all hand sizes. In fact, the grips cover most of the frame sides and extend to the Picatinny rail on the dust cover. The grips are also available in a left-handed version upon request. To increase ergonomics, they also worked on the shape of the trigger, referred to as the "J trigger" which has a flat surface and the lower section bent forward to provide an instantly repeatable reference point.

The Vulcan 9's safety is ambidextrous on the frame, immediately in front of the beavertail, preventing the user's hand from getting too close to the moving slide. The magazine release is reversible while the slide stop lever is on the left side only. The design of the gun is all very rational, and is quite different from that of the "glockalike" so much in vogue today.
The Vulcan 9 comes with two 15-round double-stack magazines, made by Mec-Gar of Italy. The magazines feature a base made of top-quality machined aluminum. One of the magazines of the Vulcan 9 Shadow version includes a MultiTasker Nano2 optic tool base plate.

Versions of the Lionheart Vulcan 9

For now, the Lionheart Vulcan 9 pistol is available in 9mm only in Anode, Ember, Combat and Shadow versions. The Anode is distinguished by its hard coat anodized frame and nitrided slide, the Ember has a Cerakote finish of frame and slide in a pleasant burnt bronze color. The Shadow model, which is the optic ready variant, has a smoke gray PVD finish, while the Combat features a matte Cerakote Elite finish, again in an intermediate shade of gray. Another distinctive feature of the latter version is the barrel, which measures 4.3 inches (109 mm) and protrudes from the front of the slide. The muzzle is threaded in order to fit a silencer and is protected by a thread cap. All other versions, however, have a barrel that is 3.7 inches long (94 millimeters). The pistol's overall length in the Standard version is 175 millimeters (6.9 inches) while the one with a long barrel measures 190 millimeters. The weight of the Standard model is 793 grams with an empty magazine. Prices in the U.S. range from $1,299 for the Anode version to $1,699 for the Combat. 

The Ember variant is distinguished by the burnt bronze Cerakote finish. Note the extension of the G10 grips.

Lionheart Vulcan 9 specs and price

Lionheart Industries (USA)


Vulcan 9


9 mm


15+1 rounds

Barrel Length: 

94 mm or 109 mm


Adjustable rear, fixed front




Manual on frame

Overall Length: 

175 mm or 190 mm


793 g

Price (MSRP in the U.S.):

From $1,299

In conclusion, as gun enthusiasts we can only rejoice seeing that at least in the prolific USA there are companies that do not just make Glock or 1911 clones. The Lionheart Vulcan 9 presentation allowed us to talk about a gun that is little known but not without some qualities. The Vulcan 9 will certainly please those who, all things considered, still like details somewhat demodé such as the external hammer, the safety on the frame, and especially the all-metal construction, but do not want to give up the comfort of a gun that can be equipped with a red dot.

To learn more please visit the Lionheart Industries website.

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