The category of the "micro-compact handgun" came into being with the launch of the SIG Sauer P365, which used a unique stagger-stack magazine to increase on-board ammunition capacity. The result was a handgun that matched the slim profile of many single-stack handguns while adding 4 or 5 extra rounds in a flush-fit magazine. Springfield Armory took this one step further in 2019 with the launch of its Hellcat, which expanded capacity even more while retaining the same slim shape as many of today's polymer-frame, single-stack pistols. Here's what Executive Editor Joe Kurtenbach had to say about the pistol in his Hellcat review:
After shooting the gun and living with it, even for a short time, I can say with confidence that I want one, and I want it yesterday. The standard Hellcat is slated to wear an MSRP of $569, so the gun is going to be priced competitively at retail. Better still, the OSP model is only $30 more—that’s the option I’d go with. (Watch Springfield's Hellcat video here.)
This review has been interesting for me because I don’t usually get very attached to evaluation guns. I see a lot of them in the course of a year. But this time around, the Hellcat made a mark. The only other guns I have felt so strongly about have been high-end, hand-fit M1911s—and then it was for very different reasons. The Hellcat isn’t a smooth-cycling wonder-gun that feels like an extension of my arm, possesses a feather-like trigger and is capable of bullseye precision. Nor is it a gun I envision keeping in the safe until I pass it on to my children.
Simply stated, I want the Hellcat because the gun is an animal, and it’s bred to fight. It’s equipped with the latest technology, and its design meets my needs as an armed citizen. It’s small and light enough to carry and keep on me—always—and it’s potent enough to save my life if necessary.
You can read the full review here.
To qualify for consideration for a Golden Bullseye Award, a product must have been:
- Recently introduced and available to consumers prior to the selection of the Golden Bullseye Awards;
- Used/tested by a staff member or regular contributor to the magazine and/or affiliated media;
- Reliable in the field, meeting or exceeding the evaluator’s expectations;
- Innovative in design and function;
- Readily perceived as a value to the purchaser; and
- Styled in a manner befitting the shooting and hunting industry and, perhaps more importantly, its enthusiasts.