Rifleman Review: Springfield Armory Hellcat

posted on December 29, 2021

Springfield Armory is not a stranger to the concealed carry market, with compact models of the well-known XD line of handguns. Yet, the company turned heads in 2019 when it released the micro-compact Hellcat handgun. Chambered in 9 mm with a gracious magazine capacity for the size, American Rifleman staff evaluated the Hellcat in 2020.  

The Springfield Armory Hellcat.

Like Springfield's XD line, the Hellcat is a polymer-framed, striker fired handgun manufactured by HS Produkt of Croatia. Yet unlike the compact versions of the XD line, the Hellcat was purpose made as a micro-compact handgun, with an overall length of 6", height of 4", max width of 1.08" and an unloaded weight 18.3 ozs. This places it in the same size category as many other popular micro-compact handguns on the market. However, many other micro-compact handgun design chambered in 9 mm typically feed from single-stack magazines with capacities between six to seven rounds.

Testing the Hellcat on the range.

The Hellcat feeds from double stack magazines and Springfield included two with each pistol sent for the ARTV review; one magazine, flush fitting with bottom of the grip, holds 11 rounds within, while the other has a grip extension and capacity for 13 rounds. A pinky extension plate can also be attached to the 11-round magazine. The use of double-stack magazines in the design allows the Hellcat to hold nearly as many rounds as a full-size handguns, but in a more compact package. It is also designed with user-friendly ergonomics that include generous texturing throughout for improve user retention.

A closer look at the controls as seen on the left side of the Hellcat.

The barrel of the Hellcat is 3" long and made from hammer-forged steel with a Melonite finish for corrosion resistance. The slide is machined from billet steel and also wears the glare-reducing, matte-black Melonite finish. Aggressive slide serrations are machined into the front and rear sides of the slide as well. On top of the Hellcat slide is a loaded chamber indicator window machined in and machined sight dovetails for the included white outlined "U" notch rear. Springfield supplies a post front sight with tritium for enhanced low-light performance. For those who want optics on top, the Hellcat is available in OSP models with a pre-machined micro red-dot sight base.

An example of an OSP model of the Hellcat with a Shield RMSc red-dot sight installed.

For controls, the Hellcat features a reversible magazine release, a non-ambidextrous slide catch and a takedown lever located on the left side of the frame. While there is not a manual safety on the Hellcat, the trigger contains a blade-in-shoe safety tab. The trigger itself has an average pull weight of 6 lbs., 5 ozs. A single Picatinny slot molded into the dust cover provides a mounting point for light or laser modules. For more information on the Springfield Armory Hellcat line, visit springfield-armory.com.

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.     

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