Springfield’s New High-Cap Hellcat Micro-Compact Pistol

The tiny semi-auto can hold 11+1 rounds of 9mm with a flush mag, 13+1 with mag extension

Springfield Armory’s new Hellcat in 9mm
Springfield Armory’s new Hellcat in 9mm.Springfield Armory

Springfield Armory has introduced a direct challenger to SIG Sauer’s successful, sub-compact, high-cap P365 with its new Hellcat, which they are billing as the world’s highest capacity micro-compact.

New designs that have crammed double-stack magazines into pistol sizes that used to be restricted to single-stack mags have breathed new life into the category, which offers full-size pistol capacity—or close to it—in package that can be carried concealed by pretty much anyone. And with an MSRP of $569, the Springfield Hellcat is definitely competitively priced.

The gun has been in development for a couple years, and Springfield is launching the Hellcat with an OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) model right out of the gate, leaning into another new trend: red dots on concealed carry guns. That puts the new pistol right on the cutting edge of the self defense world. And since the OSP is only $30 more than the iron sight version, it’s a good bed they will be selling well.

aiming a springfield hellcat 9mm pistol
The Hellcat has been introduced with an optics-ready version right out of the gate.Springfield Armory

Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts.

The Hellcat is a polymer framed, recoil-operated, striker fired, semi-auto pistol chambered for 9mm that can hold a maximum capacity of 14 rounds including a round in the chamber.

Overall, it is 4-inches tall (with flush mag), 6 inches long, and weighs in at a scant 18 oz. The steel slide houses a dual captured recoil spring assembly and a hammer-forged 3-inch barrel and includes an external extractor tensioned by an internal spring and pin assembly.

springfield hellcat concealed carry pistol
The Hellcat’s size makes it a great CCW option for pretty much anyone.Springfield Armory

The striker assembly includes a passive firing pin safety that is deactivated by the rearward travel of the trigger. The slide and barrel have a black Melonite finish.

On the OSP model, a cover plate on the slide is secured over an optics-mounting surface by two screws.

The molded polymer frame includes subtle finger grooves, a small beavertail, and texturing all around—what Springfield is calling their Adaptive Grip Texture (it doesn’t say “Grip Zone” anywhere on the gun). There are also textured areas above the trigger guard for the trigger finger and support hand thumb in a correct two-handed grip.

springfield hellcat magazine
The new Hellcat ships with an 11-round flush magazine and an extended 13-round mag.Springfield Armory

The trigger has an almost flat surface with a blade-style trigger safety and the magazine release is reversible for left-handed shooters.

The Hellcat’s proprietary magazines hold 11 and 13 rounds and it ships with both. So, if you’re carrying the gun fully loaded and the spare mag, you’d have 25 rounds on board. The 11-rounder fits flush for ultimate concealability and it can be equipped with an included base pad with a pinky rest for a better grip without much extra bulk.

The 13-round mag has an actual extended base pad to provide extra capacity and a full grip.

a springfield hellcat tritium iron sights
The Hellcat comes with U-dot Tritium iron sights on both the regular and optics-ready model.Springfield Armory

What's also interesting to note is this is clearly not another entry in the XD family of handguns, though that is definitely an option Springfield could have gone with. While popular, the XDs have a few features that make it distinct in the polymer-framed, striker dominated handgun world. Its fans love these features, but people who don't like the XD line really don't like them. The Hellcat, on the other hand, appears to be designed to appeal to most shooters and concealed carriers.

Caliber: 9mm
Sights: U-Dot Tritium front, tactical rear
Height: 4” with flush mag, 4.5” with extended mag
Barrel: 3” with 1:10 twist
Recoil System: Dual Captive Recoil Spring with Full Length Guide Rod
Overall Length: 6”
Grip Width: 1”
**Weight: 18.3 oz. – 18.6 oz. – OSP model: 17.9 oz.
Frame: black polymer
Magazines: 1 11-round mag and 1 13-round mag included
MSRP: $569 – OSP model: $599
springfield hellcat pistol on a side table.
Its clear the Hellcat is meant to compete with out double-stack subcompacts like the SIG P365.Springfield Armory

Veridian Introduces E-Series Laser Sight for New Hellcat

viridian laser sight on springfield hellcat
The new Viridian Essential Red Laser Sight for the new Springfield Armory Hellcat pistol. As the devices have become smaller and more powerful, laser sights are increasingly being used for home defense and on concealed carry guns.Viridian Weapon Technologies

UPDATE 9/26/19: The day after Springfield released it's new Hellcat pistol, Viridian announced that it has a laser sight for the new sub-compact, high capacity 9mm ready to go.

The Viridian E-Series red laser sight is designed exclusively to fit the new handgun and is currently available for pre-order on the company's site.

“Springfield has released another exciting handgun in 2019, and we’re proud to offer a gun-specific red laser that not only provides a dependable, powerful sighting solution but fits the pistol like a glove,” said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “We continue to work in tandem with Springfield to make sure customers can purchase the most reliable weapon-mounted accessories the same day new gun models are announced. And now, Hellcat owners can add an E Series to their Springfield defensive setup.”

The laser sight module is mounted on the pistol's trigger guard and features an ambidextrous activation button with a five-minute auto shutoff feature, a 25-yard range in daylight and 1 mile at night, and 6+ hours battery life with constant operation.

The laser sight has an MSRP of $132.