Springfield Hellcat: The Big And Small Of The Micro-Compact

Springfield Hellcat: The Big And Small Of The Micro-Compact

Springfield Hellcat 2

Touted as the highest-capacity micro-compact on the market, the Springfield Hellcat doesn't make you choose between concealability and firepower.

How The Springfield Hellcat Outdoes Other Micro-Compact Pistols:

  • Enhanced 11+1 (flush-fit mag) and 13+1 (extended-grip mag) capacities.
  • Hellcat measures only 1-inch in width for carry comfort.
  • OSP's slide milled to accept optic while maintaining low profile.
  • Pressure-sensitive Adaptive Grip Texture provides strong, positive grip.
  • Intuitive U-notch sight makes getting hits second nature.

Compromise. Like it or not, going armed is defined by this characteristic more than any other. About a million little facets are weighed against each other, and yourself, to compose an everyday carry kit that’s efficient and effective. The most bedeviling nearly every armed citizen runs into is a balance between handgun size and capacity. The two never quite mash up, unless you downgrade in caliber, until perhaps now.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat takes an impressive leap forward in the world of micro 9mm pistols, providing a gun that’s concealable in every sense of the word, yet offers firepower well beyond its size. How much? With its flush-fit magazine, the Hellcat has 12 on board and its extended grip 14. That’s teasing the capacity of some double-stack service models, but in a gun that’s decidedly a micro-compact—1-inch width, 3-inch barrel, 4-inch height and an extremely manageable 17.9 ounces. Quite a feat.

Springfield Hellcat 8

While the size and firepower of the +P rated Hellcat are the Croatian-made pistol’s most notable assets, by far they aren’t the only areas in which Springfield tinkered. Keeping pace with armed citizen’s tastes, the company offers not only a standard model, but also an optic-ready OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) option. Becoming a more common configuration on defensive pistols, the OSP’s slide is milled on top giving you the ability to directly mount a reflex sight, while maintaining the lowest possible profile. Though, if you aren’t up for an optic, the Springfield boasts a solid set of sights.

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Veering away from the striker-fire common three-dot configuration, the gunmaker opted for an outlined U-notch at the rear paired with a high-visibility dot on the front sight, with a tritium insert. The system is simple and intuitive, giving shooters the ability to quickly develop a sight picture and deliver hits where they need to go. Furthermore, the dovetailed iron sights are practical. What Springfield calls its ‘Tactical Rack’ rear sight is stout enough to rack the slide, and the entire system provides a co-witness arrangement when running an optic on the OSP. That means if your reflex poops out, you can still get on target with your irons.

Springfield Hellcat 4

Springfield has always paid close attention to the minute features of its pistols, and the Hellcat is no different. Among the most gripping (pun intended) is the pistol’s Adaptive Grip Texture. Pressure activated, the material provides a strong, positive grip when in your hand, but remains smooth and snag-free otherwise. Plus, there’s no ‘Grip Zone’ verbiage emblazoned across the grip.

The pistol also boasts front and rear cocking serrations, a flat trigger body with nickel boron coated trigger group, undercut trigger guard, extended beavertail, forward indexing point and reversible magazine release. Also, the Hellcat has a stand-off device at the front of the frame, ensuring the gun does not go out of battery if it’s pressed up against something. A nice insurance policy to have on a defensive pistol.

Springfield Hellcat 9

The Springfield Hellcat looks to have a lot going for it, including price. The standard model’s MSRP is $569 and the OSP $599, which puts them in nearly every shooters’ budget. It’s definitely one of those guns you can’t wait to get your hands on to see if it lives up to its billing. If it does, it certainly has the potential to take a lot of compromise out of concealed carry.

Springfield Hellcat Specs:

Caliber: 9mm
Slide: Billet Machined, Melonite® Finish
Sights U-Dot: Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack Rear
Grip Width: 1″
Height: 4″ w/ Flush Mag, 4.5″ w/ Extended Mag
Weight: 18.3 oz w/ Flush Mag, 18.6 oz w/ Extended Mag
Barrel: 3″ Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish, 1:10
Frame: Black Polymer w/ Adaptive Grip Texture™
Recoil System: Dual Captive Recoil Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Magazines: (1) 11-Round, (1) 13-Round Extended
Length: 6″
MSRP: $569

Springfield Hellcat OSP Specs:

Caliber: 9mm
Slide: Billet Machined, Melonite® Finish, Optics Ready
Sights U-Dot: Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack Rear, Optics Ready
Grip Width: 1″
Height: 4″ w/ Flush Mag, 4.5″ w/ Extended Mag
Weight: 17.9 oz w/ Flush Mag, 18.3 oz w/ Extended Mag
Barrel: 3″ Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite Finish, 1:10
Frame: Black Polymer w/ Adaptive Grip Texture
Recoil System: Dual Captive Recoil Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Magazines: (1) 11-Round, (1) 13-Round Extended
Length: 6″
MSRP: $599

For more information on the Springfield Hellcat, please visit www.springfield-armory.com.


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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