Photo credit Springfield Armory
We were finally able to shoot the highly anticipated Springfield Hellcat 9mm, and we are pleased to say that it will be a sure competitor in the carry gun market. Of course, the most impressive thing about this gun is the 11+1 flush option and the 13+1 extended option, but apart from that, the gun shot great with no malfunctions.
Out of the Box Impressions
The gun comes in a nicely packaged cardboard presentation box, not a “range ready” box like other guns come with, but cases are cheap so no big issue there. Aesthetically, the Hellcat looks really good. The texturing on the grip and the placement of the serrations on the slide give it a nice sleek look. The gun feels great in the hand, and there are no uncomfortable pressure points that it hits when gripping. Similar to the Sig Sauer P365, it is hard to believe that this small pistol holds up to 14 rounds of 9mm.
Shooting the gun
We put 200 rounds of 9mm through the Springfield Hellcat with a combination of target types and distances. We took pictures of 5 shot groups at 5, 10, and 15 yards. As you can see, for a small carry gun, it has more than sufficient accuracy to get the job done. The controls are easy to reach from a standard grip, and magazines ejected fast and easy. The front sight is a green tritium night sight with a yellow day glow circle and a half circle non-night sight in the rear. While shooting, the sights presented well and were easy to use. The flat bar trigger has a nice break, a positive reset, and measures at 7lbs. We would consider the trigger to be average compared to other sub-compact pistols. If you are a trigger snob, it’s important to keep in mind that this pistol isn’t designed to give you the same feel as a custom 1911. It’s a sub-compact pistol designed for concealed carry. That being said, the trigger is pretty good but a touch on the heavy side.
Comparing the Competitor
The obvious competitor to the Springfield Hellcat is the Sig Sauer P365. These guns are very similar as far as feel and accuracy. We also decided to put the Glock 43X in the picture because of the similarity in capacity. Recoil wise, the Hellcat has slightly more felt recoil than a P365 and slightly less than a Glock 43X. The Hellcat has more of a squared off feel compared to the P365’s rounded edges, then of course the Glock feels like a Glock. Below are some pictures to show comparison in size and a chart to list exact dimensions and compacity.
Springfield Hellcat: Length 5.8″ – Width .9″ – Height 4.1″ – Barrel 3″ – Weight 18.3oz – Capacity 11+1
Sig Sauer P365: Length 5.8″ – Width 1″ – Height 4.3″ – Barrel 3.1″ – Weight 17.8oz – Capacity 10+1
Glock 43X: Length 6.5″ – Width 1.1″ – Height 5″ – Barrel 3.4″ – Weight 18.7oz – Capacity 10+1
What we didn’t like
There are only a few negatives that stuck out when it came to this pistol and they are personal preferences so they might not be negatives for everyone. The sights are good quality but I could do without the white half-circle in the rear because it seems a bit distracting while focusing on the front sight. The slide lock is placed a little far back so when you naturally grip the gun your thumb rests on top of it, causing the slide to not lock to the rear when the last round is fired. And lastly, the trigger pull weight is a touch on the heavy side. Again, these are personal preferences and we have already had a few customers disagree with us on the sights. These “negatives” are somewhat nitpicky and the gun overall is impressive.
Without a doubt the Springfield Hellcat should be taken into consideration if you are in the market for a sub-compact carry pistol. It’s accurate, small, and has very good capacity. Springfield seems to be better than most when it comes to production on new products but like any new product release, we have a waiting list for them. If you would like to get on the list send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call (919) 803-4605. We will have a Hellcat on display for the next few months so if you’d like to check one out stop by the shop!