Now that the SIG Sauer P365 has challenged the notion that a slim and compact pistol has to have a low capacity, several other manufacturers have been eager to release their own direct competitors to the weapon.
One of those competitors offers even more ammunition in its magazine, and its name is the Springfield Armory Hellcat.
Springfield Armory had previously built a name for themselves with their M1A, XD-series, and 1911 pistols, but lately it’s been the Hellcat that has been gaining them the most attention. As a result, the Hellcat has been challenging the P365’s supremacy in the micro pistol/subcompact pistol market, and there have been numerous aftermarket parts and accessories released for the pistol, including several IWB holsters and OWB holsters available for it as well.
Let’s take a look at the history and features of the Springfield Hellcat.
History and Evolution of the Springfield Hellcat
When the SIG Sauer P365 was formally released to the market in early 2018, it caused quite the firestorm in the firearms world. That’s because the P365 was of about the same width as a single stack Walther PPS or Smith & Wesson Shield that normally carry seven rounds and yet had a double stacked magazine with ten rounds (or more with extended magazines).
The Hellcat was released by Springfield as a direct competitor to the P365. The Hellcat currently holds the distinction of being the smallest currently produced firearm with the largest capacity, meaning that there is no other pistol of the Hellcat’s size that carries an equal amount of ammunition. Whereas the P365 holds 10 rounds of ammo in the flush fitting magazine, the Hellcat carries 11 rounds.
Being released in late 2019, the Hellcat is a new pistol to the marketplace, but it has already established itself as the primary alternative to the Sig P365. Beyond that, only time will tell in regards to whether or not the Hellcat will grow in popularity.
Features of the Springfield Hellcat
The Hellcat is a striker fired pistol with a polymer frame and stainless steel side. It’s a subcompact or micro-compact pistol, however you want to classify it. It features a Glock-style blade safety on the front of the trigger, but lacks an external manual safety.
Easily the main standout feature of the Hellcat (and the main reason to buy the weapon) is its 11 shot capacity in the flush fitting magazine, which is one more than the magazine for the P365. The extended magazine that protrudes beneath the grip with a longer baseplate holds 13 rounds.
The slide of the Hellcat features serrates on both the front and the rear to make it easy to perform a press check. The OSP (Optic Sight Pistol) version of the Hellcat features a removable plate that you can use to add optics such as a red dot sight. Meanwhile, the grip features what Springfield calls an Adaptive Grip Texture, which is basically a non-slip texturing designed to make the pistol easy to grasp in wet conditions.
Springfield Hellcat Technical Specs:
- Country of Origin: Croatia (even though Springfield is an American manufacturer)
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 11 or 13 rounds
- Overall Length: 6 inches
- Barrel Length: 3 inches
- Width: 1 inch
- Height: 4 inches
The Springfield Hellcat is most likely the first of several competitors to the SIG Sauer P365 over the next few years. After all, we’ve already seen the release of the Glock 43x and Glock 48. For now, the simple fact remains that the Hellcat is the smallest production pistol with the largest magazine capacity on the market today, and that alone is noteworthy.