Springfield Hellcat review

Alien Gear Holsters' Springfield Hellcat Review

Now for some of the latest and greatest in our Springfield Hellcat review. Springfield Armory is looking to take the jam out of Sig Sauer's donut by releasing their own micro-compact double-stack and a whole lot of people think it looks interesting.

Is it?!

Actually...it has a LOT to like.

Springfield Hellcat: Out To Knock Sig Sauer Off Their Perch

Springfield Hellcat

The Springfield Hellcat was obviously designed to take Sig Sauer down a peg or two. It's aggressively obvious that it was designed to compete with the P365 as it's features, design and specifications are darn near the same.

Granted, Springfield has been in the subcompact single-stack segment for some time with the XD-S, and the segment has grown crowded with new examples coming out constantly such as the Beretta APX Carry and others.

So, let's talk the numbers:

  • Barrel Length: 3 inch, hammer-forged barrel
  • Overall Length: 6 inches
  • ;
  • Height: 4 inches with flush magazine, 4.5 inches with extended magazine
  • Width: 1 inch at the grips
  • Weight: 18.3 oz with an empty flush magazine, 18.6 ounces with an empty extended
  • Capacity: 11+1 (flush) or 13+1 (extended) of 9mm
  • Sights: Tritium/phosphorescent front sight, rear U-notch rear sight
  • MSRP: $569, more like $500 street...for now

You also have your choice of the standard model or the Hellcat OSP, which adds an adapter plate for use with a reflex optic, which adds $30 to the MSRP.

So, it's a compact carry pistol but actually packs in the features, far more than many other pistols of the same size and price point. At the moment, it's only available in black, though that might change. It's already getting a whole lot of attention...but is there substance behind the hype?

Springfield Hellcat Review

Are we going to tell you, in this Springfield Hellcat review, that it's the most perfect carry pistol EVER?!!!

Maybe not quite. But darned if it doesn't make a great case for itself.

The beavertail of the frame is very generous for a pistol of it's size, so you get a very good firing grip. The grip housing itself is in that area where shooters with smaller hands will have no issues with a full three-finger grip, but shooters with larger mitts will need to either dangle their pinky or use the extended magazine.

I, with my size XL hands, am in the latter camp. Since the grip is wider than many other pistols of this size class, the thicker grip housing fills the hand a little more than a Shield or Glock 43 for a nice, secure grip. If you have bigger, meatier mitts, you'll like this gun for that reason.

The grip angle is good, and the Adaptive Grip Texture - varied texture zones - feels pleasant while providing a good grip. The textured pads above the trigger guard provide a natural indexing point for the index finger, which is a nice touch. There are also textured surfaces for the thumb on the grip, which is also a nice touch.

BIG NEWS: Springfield has ditched the XD's grip safety for the Hellcat. And the Gun Gods did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and fruit bats, and orangutans and breakfast cereals…

Point being, it doesn't have one. This improves the grip feel to be sure.

The frame has an accessory rail, so you could mount a micro laser/light.

The slide has fore and aft cocking serrations, and the cocking serrations on the standard model have top slide serrations as well, a la Honor Defense. Speaking of Honor Defense, ANOTHER feature that Springfield clearly dreamed up thanks to them is a stand-off device, namely a slightly extended full-length recoil guide rod.

It's actually a little devious, as the guide rod tip extends beyond the end of the slide. Not so much that it's aggressively obvious, but it's definitely there. The tip is also textured, though I don't know why. Point being that it could be placed point-blank against an assailant and fired. Kind of cool, when you think about it!

The magazine release is reversible, but the slide stop/release, alas, is not. Lefties, in that case, are hosed.

The trigger blade itself is flat, which is a nice touch. The trigger breaks around 6 lbs and is surprisingly one of the better go-pedals among Springfield Armory's striker guns. The break is crispy - not quite custom 1911 crispy, but very good indeed - and reset is short, audible and positive.

It was a welcome surprise, as I had yet to be impressed with one of Springfield's striker triggers. It's not that they're bad, it's just that they've been underwhelming - to me - in my experience thus far. But the Hellcat's is pretty darn decent.

Springfield doesn't have a list of compatible optics. What IS known is that not all compact optics are compatible, but the word on the street is that the Shield Sights RMSc (Reflex Mini Sight compact) is so far the best-known compatible optic for the Hellcat OSP model.

The sights are excellent, as they are easily visible and - obviously - a front night sight comes standard. Some people don't care for a U-notch, but it's an excellent combat pistol sight, perfect for getting a fast sight picture.

Most people find the Hellcat to be lively but controllable, reliable and accurate at self-defense distances. Some reviewers have found that with it can shoot out to longer ranges with diligence and assiduous marksmanship, but this is really more a close-quarters tool, which is about what you'd expect.

So...what did we think?

The Hellcat has a number of smart design features. The sights are good, it's ergonomically good, and a bunch of little design features that - while not strictly necessary - are very nice to have. Not only that, but it packs darn near Glock 19 capacity into a smaller-than-a-Glock-26 package, which is astounding.

That makes it an excellent choice of CCW pistol. Sig P365, look out.


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Writer sam hoober