Springfield’s New High-Cap Hellcat Micro-Compact Pistol

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Springfield Armory’s new Hellcat in 9mm.

Springfield Armory’s new Hellcat in 9mm. (Springfield Armory/)

Springfield Armory has introduced a direct challenger to SIG Sauer’s successful, sub-compact, high-cap P365 with its new Hellcat, which they are billing as the world’s highest capacity micro-compact.

New designs that have crammed double-stack magazines into pistol sizes that used to be restricted to single-stack mags have breathed new life into the category, which offers full-size pistol capacity—or close to it—in package that can be carried concealed by pretty much anyone. And with an MSRP of $569, the Springfield Hellcat is definitely competitively priced.

The gun has been in development for a couple years, and Springfield is launching the Hellcat with an OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) model right out of the gate, leaning into another new trend: red dots on concealed carry guns. That puts the new pistol right on the cutting edge of the self defense world. And since the OSP is only $30 more than the iron sight version, it’s a good bed they will be selling well.

The Hellcat has been introduced with an optics-ready version right out of the gate.

The Hellcat has been introduced with an optics-ready version right out of the gate. (Springfield Armory/)

Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts.

The Hellcat is a polymer framed, recoil-operated, striker fired, semi-auto pistol chambered for 9mm that can hold a maximum capacity of 14 rounds including a round in the chamber.

Overall, it is 4-inches tall (with flush mag), 6 inches long, and weighs in at a scant 18 oz. The steel slide houses a dual captured recoil spring assembly and a hammer-forged 3-inch barrel and includes an external extractor tensioned by an internal spring and pin assembly.

The Hellcat’s size makes it a great CCW option for pretty much anyone.

The Hellcat’s size makes it a great CCW option for pretty much anyone. (Springfield Armory/)

The striker assembly includes a passive firing pin safety that is deactivated by the rearward travel of the trigger. The slide and barrel have a black Melonite finish.

On the OSP model, a cover plate on the slide is secured over an optics-mounting surface by two screws.

The molded polymer frame includes subtle finger grooves, a small beavertail, and texturing all around—what Springfield is calling their Adaptive Grip Texture (it doesn’t say “Grip Zone” anywhere on the gun). There are also textured areas above the trigger guard for the trigger finger and support hand thumb in a correct two-handed grip.

The new Hellcat ships with an 11-round flush magazine and an extended 13-round mag.

The new Hellcat ships with an 11-round flush magazine and an extended 13-round mag. (Springfield Armory/)

The trigger has an almost flat surface with a blade-style trigger safety and the magazine release is reversible for left-handed shooters.

The Hellcat’s proprietary magazines hold 11 and 13 rounds and it ships with both. So, if you’re carrying the gun fully loaded and the spare mag, you’d have 25 rounds on board. The 11-rounder fits flush for ultimate concealability and it can be equipped with an included bas epad with a pinky rest for a better grip without much extra bulk.

The 13-round mag has an actual extended base pad to provide extra capacity and a full grip.

The Hellcat comes with U-dot Tritium iron sights on both the regular and optics-ready model.

The Hellcat comes with U-dot Tritium iron sights on both the regular and optics-ready model. (Springfield Armory/)

What’s also interesting to note is this is clearly not another entry in the XD family of handguns, though that is definitely an option Springfield could have gone with. While popular, the XDs have a few features that make it distinct in the polymer-framed, striker dominated handgun world. Its fans love these features, but people who don’t like the XD line really don’t like them. The Hellcat, on the other hand, appears to be designed to appeal to most shooters and concealed carriers.

Springfield Hellcat Specs

Caliber: 9mm
Sights: U-Dot Tritium front, tactical rear
Height: 4” with flush mag, 4.5” with extended mag
Barrel: 3” with 1:10 twist
Recoil System: Dual Captive Recoil Spring with Full Length Guide Rod
Overall Length: 6”
Grip Width: 1”
**Weight: 18.3 oz. – 18.6 oz. – OSP model: 17.9 oz.
Frame: black polymer
Magazines: 1 11-round mag and 1 13-round mag included
MSRP: $569 – OSP model: $599

Its clear the Hellcat is meant to compete with out double-stack subcompacts like the SIG P365.

Its clear the Hellcat is meant to compete with out double-stack subcompacts like the SIG P365. (Springfield Armory/)

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