We’ve talked a lot about the “micro-compact” pistol, and Springfield Armory’s original Hellcat is one of the most popular micro-compacts out there. These guns are about as small as you can make a 9 mm pistol that still has a double-stack magazine with double-digit capacity. While that makes them easy to carry, they’re still not going to have the magazine capacity of a mid-size handgun, and they can be difficult to shoot. Springfield’s Hellcat Pro addresses a couple of these issues. Watch the video above to see the Hellcat Pro OSP in use on the range.
Compared to the original Hellcat, the Springfield Hellcat Pro is about 0.5" longer and is equipped with a barrel that’s 0.7” longer than the 3” barrel found on the micro-compact. The frame is nearly 1" taller than the one found on the original Hellcat, and that means that this Pro model can accept a 15-round, flush-fit magazine.
One of the other standout features of the Hellcat Pro is its milled slide, which accepts optics of the Shield footprint. We outfitted our model with the Springfield Hex Wasp micro red-dot sight, but Springfield offers a model of its Hellcat Pro with a factory-mounted Shield SMSc micro red-dot sight for only a couple hundred dollars more than the base model. Those who choose to go with the open-sighted model will still get a milled slide complete with a textured cover plate. Even if you’re not running optics, the Hellcat Pro comes with a great set of open sights, featuring Springfield’s tritium-illuminated U-notch setup that can be co-witnessed with a mounted optic.
In terms of ergonomics and texturing, the Hellcat Pro shares a lot with the original Hellcat. There are slide serrations at the front and back, and the flat ledge on the front face of the rear sight can help in racking off a flat surface, if necessary. The takedown lever, slide-stop lever and magazine release are all located on the left side of the pistol for right-handed users, but the magazine release can be reversed for ambidextrous use. The wraparound texture on the grip aided in controlling the gun, and we appreciated the additional touchpads located just above the trigger guard as a nice index point for our trigger finger when we were done firing.
Despite the larger size of the Hellcat Pro, it’s still a comparatively small handgun, which makes it easy to carry and conceal, but that means it can be a handful on the range. Despite that, the pyramidal texturing included on the grip frame helped to anchor the gun in our hands, and we were able to stay on target and make quick follow-up shots. We also appreciated the added sight radius of the open sights, thanks to the longer slide, and it was great to co-witness with our mounted optic. The last couple of rounds in our magazine could be difficult to load by hand, but Springfield’s included loading tool made it a breeze to top them off. Overall, we loved the Hellcat Pro and are interested to see where these mid-size micro-compact handguns go in the future.
Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP Specifications
Importer: Springfield Armory
Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Frame: polymer, black
Slide: steel, machined billet; black Melonite finish
Barrel: 3.7" hammer-forged steel
Sights: steel, dovetailed; luminescent yellow front with tritium, white U-notch rear
Trigger: striker-fired; 6-lb., 12-oz. pull
Magazine: 15-round detachable box
Height: 4.8" (sans optic)
Weight: 20.7 ozs. (sans magazine and optic)
MSRP: $859 (includes Shield RMSC red-dot)