After much anticipation, Springfield Armory unveiled the Hellcat, a high-capacity micro-compact marketed and designed for concealed carry.
As expected, the launch of the Hellcat was greeted with mixed reviews from the public. Social media was instantly inundated with comments ranging from political to practical to preposterous.
However, the reviews have been steadily rolling in from industry insiders who were able to get their hands on Springfield’s new micro-compact 9mm.
How does the Hellcat stack up with those in the know?
Here’s a sampling from gun reviewers across the industry:
The Truth About Guns:
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics: * * * *
It’s both comfortable in the hand and easy to shoot. The only downgrade here is for the serrations in the Melonite slide which just aren’t grippy enough.
Concealability: * * * * *
This is a very easy gun to carry. As someone who totes a slim, single-stack G43 daily, the Springfield Hellcat gives me five more rounds in virtually the same size and form factor. That’s a big capacity upgrade and one that won’t be lost on most gun buyers.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
Going back to the beginning, Springfield Armory — like so many gun makers — is playing catch-up to the P365. This is an extremely attractive, competitively priced micro-compact that gives the gun buyer more carry capacity and does it in a package that’s easy (and even fun) to shoot.
In the end, the Hellcat is an extremely attractive concealed carry package. Springfield took a couple of years to come up with an answer to the SIG P365 and you can see the work that went into the final product. The Hellcat is a very worthy competitor to the SIG and one that many buyers will think is the more compelling choice.
Guns & Ammo:
The Hellcat’s flush-fit magazine will carry 11 rounds, while the P365 holds 10. The extended magazine, included with the Hellcat, takes capacity to 13 whereas the P365’s next-up magazine holds 12.
Springfield Armory achieved this capacity gain by accident. Reportedly, an engineer was only tasked with matching the P365’s capacity while respecting SIG Sauer’s three magazine patents. He returned to the project manager later and asked, “Is it OK if it holds one more round?” It wasn’t a joke. No matter how they looked at the design, there was room for one more while maintaining reliable functioning.
The Hellcat’s textured surfaces improve on the ergonomics of the P365 with texturing on the Hellcat’s thumb shelves (above the reversible magazine release). This texture also appears above the trigger guard where your idle trigger finger would naturally rest between volleys or your support-hand thumb on the opposite side. With the two pistols side-by-side, you can’t argue that Springfield Armory did a more effective job at covering the frame with textured touchpoints.
As a result of our tests, Guns & Ammo Staff has determined that grip angle is a subjective preference despite a company’s marketing. Regardless of your opinion, the Hellcat manages to transcend those advertisements and pleases virtually everyone.
Meet the Hellcat, the highest capacity micro-compact available, new from Springfield Armory. Available in a standard or optics-ready (OSP) configuration that comes with both an 11+1 magazine and a 13+1 extended mag. Gun Talk’s Ryan Gresham shows off the different features of the Hellcat and then meets Kevin “KJ” Jarnagin at the range to compare it with Sig Sauer’s P365.
Industry insiders who’ve had their hands on and ran ammo through the Hellcat appear to be cautiously optimistic, seemingly unable to mask how impressive this little micro-compact from Springfield really is. By all accounts, this plucky little pistol, if given a chance, may find a home in more holsters across the country.
What do you think? Have you given or do you plan on giving the Hellcat a shot?
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About the Author:
Jenn Jacques is a fierce defender of the Second Amendment, concealed carry advocate, fishing enthusiast, avid hiker, hunter, and an all-around great gal with a gun. As a former Private Detective, Jenn put those skills to good use, fighting for gun rights in her home state of Wisconsin before becoming the first female editor of a 2A/Gun News site and moving on to become a publication writer, popular multi-media guest, and respected news expert.
Jacques has hundreds of hours of firearms training under her belt including Street Encounters and Low Light/No Light Training, is a graduate of the Gunsite Academy, and was named a S.A.F.E. Summer Local Champion of Firearm Safety by the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe. A staple in the firearms industry since 2009, Jenn is proud to be raising her three children with her husband John who is also an avid hunter, 2A supporter, and an amazing father.
You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or shooting at any number of gun ranges across this great country.
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7 thoughts on “Reviews of Springfield Armory’s New Hellcat Pistol Continue to Flood the Industry”
I ordered one back in October…would love to get my hands on it, but it is STILL backordered. Springfield sent a message saying the Hellcats are shipping…but the 10 local to me gun stores don’t have it, nor does Bud’s, Brownells, Primary Arms, etc, etc…hopefully Springfield can fill these orders fast.
We’re working with S&W on that mold now but if you write into our Customer Care team at [email protected], they can add your name onto a Customer Request list to be notified when that comes available!
Ordered my son Hellcat on Oct 5th. Got a call from my dealer saying it was in come and get it. Merry Christmas to me.
Problem with the Hellcat !!!! The Standoff on the Recoil Spring Assembly is not as good as all the hype that it has been given. It is made out of plastic so if you use Frog Lube DO NOT USE ANY HEAT ON THE RECOIL SPRING ASSEMBLY as the thin edge that keeps the spring captive will break off! Springfield Warranty is not worth the paper & ink they use to print it! They will not have any parts till March. I got the gun working but the spring is not captive. This is not my first Polymer Firearm and I treated all of them with Frog Lube and had no trouble arise from them. Springfield said its my fault and they warranty it. So they all will do this!
Got my Hellcat! Love this pistol. Great capacity and accurate right out of the box. Love the sight. The gun is snappy like all sub-compact concealed carry guns, but really fun to shoot. Feels great in the hand and have gone through hundreds of cycles with no fails yet. I love it so far. Making it my standard carry gun.
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