Are you looking for a solid pistol that functions well for everyday shooters? If so, the Springfield Hellcat may be the choice for you. You can learn more about the build of this weapon, Springfield’s reputation as a gun manufacturer, and features of the Hellcat from this article.
Springfield Hellcat – 9mm
Springfield Armory is interested in reaching the conceal-carry market with its 9mm Hellcat pistol. For years, the SIG dominated this segment of the market. Gun owners know the P365 for its ability to shoot like a full-size 9mm while carrying like a .380.
The Hellcat directly challenges the SIG P365, offering gun owners accuracy and ergonomics in a subcompact striker-fired 9mm. You can purchase the pistol in two configurations: standard and OSP (Optic Sight Pistol).
Both configurations can hold up to 14 bullets with an extended magazine. In all, the Springfield Hellcat represents an impressive weapon that should receive consideration from any shooter interested in concealed carry.
Springfield built the Hellcat with a polymer frame. We found the texture of the frame to be aggressive (you could even call it rugged). Despite the rough surface of the handgun, we found holding the grip texturing to be reasonably comfortable.
The Hellcat is a subcompact (or micro-compact) gun and could quickly leave you feeling like you couldn’t get a solid purchase. The texture helps give your grip more stability. You can also achieve a full grip if you add on an extended mag.
Without an extended mag, we found our pinky resting along the bottom segment of the Hellcat’s magazine well. Make sure you keep that factor in mind when considering whether or not to use the flush-fit mag.
A Little Background On Springfield Armory
Founded in 1974, Springfield Armory, Inc. operates out of Geneseo, Illinois. Bob Reese founded the company, and Dennis Reese serves as the company’s current SEO. The Reese family purchased the Springfield Armory name and company from Elmer C. Ballance.
Ballance began his company as an off-shoot of LH Manufacturing in Texas. His company produced the first civilian models of the M14 rifle (which they called the M1A). Currently, Springfield Armory manufactures firearms in several lines, including:
- AR-pattern SAINT rifles
- M1A models
- .380 and 9mm pistols
- XD or HS models
The Hellcat, released in 2019, represents one of the company’s most recent weapons created and manufactured. The company bears no connection to the Springfield Armory of Springfield, Massachusetts, which served as a manufacturer for military firearms in the U.S. from 1777 until 1968.
However, Springfield Armory, Inc. has demonstrated pride in carrying the Springfield name forward in the firearm market. The company continues to work on new weapon designs, though it has not released any models since the Hellcat.
Are Springfield Armory Guns Reliable?
Springfield Armory has almost 50 years of experience crafting and manufacturing firearms. They’ve developed a reputation for delivering guns that come through on function, reliability, and accuracy during this time.
That said, some of their guns have a better reputation than others. The M1A and 1911 pistols all have a reputation for high performance, while the XD pistol line (made in Croatia and imported by Springfield Armory) generally earns good ratings from gun enthusiasts.
Generally, we recommend focusing on the reliability of specific gun models when making a purchase. The Hellcat has a reputation for performing well and shooting accurately, especially as a subcompact 9mm, which is one of the reasons it’s grown so popular with the concealed carry community.
Hellcat Grip & Ergonomics
Springfield focused on ergonomics when designing the Hellcat, striving to create a product that felt good while held, and the effort shows through. The Hellcat has an adaptive grip texture that can help you keep a hold on the weapon while firing. We’d give it an “A” for how it felt in our hand.
Don’t be surprised to find deep serrations on the Hellcat. These serrations wrap from the rear slide to the top of the slide, making the gun easier to grip.
Springfield has a reputation for aggressive texturing, and they maintained it for the Hellcat. The polymer frame has a double-pyramid design, giving you a better purchase when you grip the gun and adding to your comfort when you have the Hellcat holstered.
The texture covers the gun’s grip frame, with an opening by the magazine catch. You’ll also notice index pads on the trigger guard, which serve to remind users to practice safe trigger discipline while carrying the Hellcat.
You can expect the same texture on both the Hellcat OSP and the standard model. However, you may adjust the grip with after-market options if you find the surface too aggressive for your tastes. This change can make it more comfortable for you to carry and use the pistol.
Want the nitty-gritty facts about the Springfield Hellcat? This weapon has a 3” barrel and a 1:10 twist. The entire gun has an overall length of 6”, and it weighs 18.6 ounces if you get the factory standard model.
You can get a flush-fit 11-round magazine for this subcompact pistol. The flush-fit magazine gives you a shorter grip area on the Hellcat. However, you also have the option to increase your carrying capacity with a 13-round magazine that comes with a pinky extension.
The Hellcat comes with tritium sights, and the gun is options ready. You may consider adding several accessories, including a thumb rest, front sight, or rear sight.
You may also purchase a Hellcat with a threaded barrel, allowing for the addition of a compensator or a suppressor. Springfield uses the term “self-indexing” when discussing the threaded barrel, as it makes installing or taking off a compensator very easy.
Springfield Hellcat Accuracy & Sights
The feel of a gun can make a difference to a shooter, but what many concealed carry users focus on above all else is accuracy. So, how accurate is the Hellcat? The gun performs exceptionally well from all conventional positions, even if you swap bullet weights and loads.
The Hellcat shoots well up to 50 yards. Accuracy may vary based on the load you use, so we recommend that you try several kinds of bullets with the gun to find the one that works best for your needs. Fire off some shots at the range to get a better feel for the Hellcat.
The Hellcat comes factory-equipped with U-dot (or U-notch) sights. We initially felt wary about the sights out of the box, but the yellow and green dot worked well once shooting began. The Hellcat also comes with an optic-ready version.
As an optic sight pistol, the Hellcat gives you a lot of versatility and options to consider. The optic-ready version allows you to add red-dots—like the Shield RMSC or the Hex Wasp—for your pistol sight. You may choose an after-market accessory kit to change the sights.
Keep in mind that the factory rear sight sticks out enough to function as a cocking method. You may switch to a “low profile” sight if you want, but it takes away the option to cock it against your belt or the heel of your boot if you end up in a tough spot.
The Hellcat’s controls are impressively easy to understand, making it easy to change the gun’s configuration to match your unique desires. You can reverse the magazine catch, making it simple for a left-handed user to adopt this pistol.
You can find the takedown lever and slide lock/release on the Hellcat’s left side. The Hellcat’s minimal width still allows room for 13 rounds in an offset magazine. The magazine’s arrangement falls somewhere between a single-stack and double-stack configuration instead of matching either exactly.
The slide internals look a lot like what you’d expect from a Glock, including the Hellcat’s striker.
Want to review the trigger pull for the Hellcat? The exact weight may vary slightly by gun, with an average pull force of around seven pounds. However, some Hellcat’s may have a pull of as little as five pounds, requiring a lighter trigger finger.
Each trigger has a safety blade to offer protection. The trigger pulls cleanly, allowing you to take precision shots. The gun has a short reset time. You can find two index pads on the trigger guard, with the same texture as the gun’s grip.
If you want to break the Hellcat down, it ends up in four components. You can easily layout the recoil spring assembly, slide, magazine, and frame. Springfield made adjustments to keep recoil low for the Hellcat, designing a beavertail behind the slide that lets you take a high grip.
The beavertail on the Hellcat helps keep the muzzle rising down if you experience recoil when taking a shot. Micro pistols like the Hellcat have a reputation for feeling snappy when you shoot, but these features lessen the effects as much as possible, making shooting a fun experience.
Durability & Reliability of the Springfield Hellcat
Accuracy helps you put bullets where you want them, but durability allows you to keep using a gun with confidence over the long term. Springfield designed the Hellcat with a durable barrel that can meet the tolerances required to take up shooting accurately.
Springfield hammer forges the barrels for Hellcat pistols. Each barrel is only three inches long, but the company focused on making each inch count. The gun’s polymer frame houses the trigger system and holds up well to hard use.
We found the Hellcat to shoot reliably, maintaining accuracy even when using different loads and bullets. The gun was easy to fire, compact, and accurate. Taken all together, we can recommend the Hellcat, especially with an MSRP of under $600.
Springfield Armory Hellcat Accessories
You have a variety of options when it comes to after-market accessories for your Hellcat. Many Hellcat owners have an interest in updating the gun to function more like a machine gun. The weapon readily accepts updates like a standard side rail.
As we mentioned, the Hellcat is optics ready. You can easily add a red-dot sight to the pistol, making it more accurate and comfortable to shoot. You may want to add a magazine with a super high capacity or an extended stabilizer.
CAAGearUp Conversion Kits, or MCKs, can provide you with the options you want to upgrade your Hellcat. The kit focuses on improving the accuracy of the Hellcat even further, boosting your confidence if you’re going to take shots at up to 200 yards.
You can consider an extended stabilizer that allows you to improve your performance with one-handed shooting. The kit includes a Velcro strap fastener that can adjust to fit your needs. The kit is easy to use with a fast assembly and disassembly time, so you don’t have to make a space in your schedule to take care of these updates.
Gun owners frequently pick up the micro-conversion kit to:
- Add stability with an ergonomic finger groove grip
- Boost durability with a top Picatinny rail
- Mount more accessories with a side Picatinny rail
- Improve the ease of concealed carrying the weapon
You can add a front spare magazine holder with a conversion kit and even add an exposed slide release. This kind of release can make it easier for you to get direct contact with the release. CAA MCKs can also allow you to change the configuration of the gun to an ambidextrous option.