Editor’s note: The following review comes from reader and outdoors writer Dan Silvers. To submit a review of your own favorite firearm, please email [email protected] for more information.
It used to be if you wanted high-capacity in a striker fired handgun you had accept a bulkier gun. This compromise made it more difficult to accept a high-capacity pistol as an everyday CCW. Sig Sauer started the trend of the micro-compact, high-capacity, CCW pistol a few years ago with their P365. I had an opportunity to shoot several magazines through the P365 back in 2018, and I’ll admit, I was very impressed. It seemed almost beyond physics that a gun that small could hold 10 rounds of 9mm. I could tell that gun would change everything when it came to concealed carry.
I’ve been a fan of Springfield Armory for a very long time, going back to when all they really had was the M1A. The hit it out of the park with the 1911, XD, XD-M, and XD-S line of pistols. When I started getting the teaser emails that only had the letter “H” in it, like many of you, I was curious what was coming. Then the team at Springfield contacted me to let me in on the secret. The “Hellcat” was coming, and was officially unveiled by the company in September 2019. Since its release, the Hellcat has not only become one of my favorite handguns, it’s earned a place as my daily carry pistol.
The Hellcat is Springfield Armory’s micro-compact, high-capacity, CCW. It ships with an 11 round and a 13 round magazine. It honestly has all the things I love about the P365, but it’s different (in a better way).
- The stippling (or as they call it “Adaptive Grip Texturing”) is smooth to the touch, but the microscopic ridges beneath the smooth part allow you to grip the gun tightly.
- The flat trigger makes the pull easy and uniform. The reset is also short, allowing one to reduce the finger travel time on subsequent shots.
- The sights were the one thing I was unsure on when I originally pulled it out of the box. However, the Tactical Rack U-Dot (“U” shaped rear sight) and Tritium front sight dot makes it feel natural to shoot with both eyes open. It also allows for quick target acquisition.
As for shooting, the Hellcat excelled in this area as well. The increase capacity allows for more weight at the back to the gun. So the first several shots give the gun great balance. It was relatively easy to group shots close together on the steel plate. In addition, the Federal Hydra-Shok ammo made short work of some watermelons and other various fruits I had laying around.
Over the years I’ve carried a multitude of CCW pistols, going back to the Walther PPK 380. Then a slew of several other single-stack 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. They all provided something the other didn’t have, but I always felt they were missing something. The Hellcat has the concealability of a micro pistol with the capacity and durability of a duty pistol. I can honestly say that I can’t find any fault in the design of this gun. It’s for that reason that my CCW is now the Springfield Hellcat.
Dan Silvers has been an independent writer for the outdoor industry since 2010, writing for various online and print publications. He’s covered everything from the newest trends in firearms, to the next vehicle you might be looking to buy for your daily commute (or you next hunting adventure). Having experience as a custom gun manufacturer, he has also aided companies in the research and development of guns and gun parts. Dan Silvers can be contacted on Twitter: @blackswampradio and by email at: [email protected]