Concealed Carry

The Concealed Carry Capabilities of the Springfield Armory Hellcat

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP

There’s a new contender in the world of CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons)… The Springfield Armory Hellcat 3″ Micro-Compact Handgun. Similar to its competition, the SIG Sauer P365, the Hellcat makes its claim to fame on the ability to pack a lot of ammo and fire-power into a compact six-inch frame. This gun has even won Concealed Nation’s Best Concealed Carry Handgun of 2019.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the introduction of both the standard Hellcat and the Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) model, but do they meet the standards that CCWs require? We took a look at the Hellcat in June, but we didn’t dive deep into its concealed carry capabilities. Let’s take a closer look.

Springfield Hellcat with a red trigger and Holosun red dot sight
Two magazines are supplied, one 11-round flush fit version and a 13-round extended version.

What to Look For in a Concealed Carry Firearm

When you’re on the lookout for a new gun to take with you on your day-to-day routine, you want to keep some criteria in mind:

  • Is the gun reliable?
  • Can you rack the slide easily?
  • Can you shoot the gun accurately?
  • Can you easily and comfortably carry the gun on your person?
  • Does the gun feel comfortable in your grip (single or double-handed)?

These are just a few of the questions you want to ask when you are researching a CCW. So let’s find out if the Springfield Armory Hellcat lives up to its legend.


The Springfield Armory Hellcat is extremely accurate. Testing the Hellcat at various distances, including 10 and 25 yards, I averaged 1.5-inch groupings. At seven yards, you can fire each shot right on top of the previous one. After running about 50 loads, I’m very impressed with its performance.

Sights & Optics

Both the Hellcat and the Hellcat OSP feature luminescent, tritium front sights, and tactical rack U-notch rear sights. I love these sights because they are so easy to line up.

The most significant difference between the two models is that the OSP features a removable cover plate that allows you to mount a red-dot optic directly to the slide. The low-mount optic ability allows for co-witness sighting with the front and rear sights.

It’s a really cool and valuable feature, and can highly improve accuracy for any shooter. Both the Hellcat and the OSP also feature an accessory rail on the dust cover that can fit your laser or light assemblies for further accuracy in low-light situations.

Streamlight TLR-3
The Streamlight TLR-3 is a great compact weapon light.


The recoil is very minimal.

It uses a dual, captive recoil spring with a full-length guide rod. This system, combined with Springfield’s stable, high-grip design, allows for very little recoil or jerk between shots — especially compared to similarly-sized handguns.


The Hellcat is very reliable. In fact, this gun has been tested above and beyond what most people would put a handgun through, and it’s come out on top. The guys over at Off The Reservation Tactical put the Hellcat through 10,000 rounds of Federal 150-grain American Eagle over two days. The result? The Hellcat is one hell of a sturdy little handgun.

Throughout the entire test, the only part that they replaced was the recoil spring (which is recommended after every 2,500 rounds) and there were only four ammo failures — all four of which were able to be reloaded into the magazine and re-fired.

Springfield Hellcat right profile
The Springfield Armory Hellcat is as easy to use well as some larger guns, more accurate than smaller guns, and holds 14 rounds of 9mm with the extended magazine in place.

The Hellcat has been tested with a variety of 9mm ammo of multiple grains, including, but not limited to, Federal HST, PMC Ball, 115-grain Sig V-Crown JHP and Winchester PDX1 Defender.

All tests resulted in accurate and reliable shooting.


I’m very impressed with how the Hellcat handles. It’s fun to shoot, it doesn’t try to jump out of your hand every time you pull the trigger, and it’s easy to maneuver. This gun is well-designed and can be adjusted for most hand sizes with its flush-mag extension or its larger-capacity mag. It’s easy to hold on to, point and shoot. The mag release is southpaw friendly, and the slide release is easily accessible.

Grip & Control

The Hellcat’s grip is equipped with Springfield Armory’s Adaptive Grip Texture, which allows for a soft feel on the surface, but a rougher grip when pressure is applied. This texture, along with the beavertail and lack of grip safety, allows for a high, controlled grip on this small gun. The slide is billet-machined with a Melonite finish, and the serrations on the top and sides allow for a decent grip.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Extended Magazine
This extended magazine offers more grip surface to control the firearm.

Size & Capacity

The six-inch long, four-inch tall Hellcat weighs only 18 ounces. But don’t let that fool you into believing it doesn’t pack a punch. This gun comes with two proprietary magazines:

  1. A flush-sitting mag with an 11+1 capacity (with optional pinky extension for those of you with larger hands)!
  2. An extended mag with 13+1 capacity.

So far, so good.


I measured the trigger pull weight at around five pounds. It has a crisp pull and breaks clean. No problems here.

Comfort & Accessibility

The Hellcat is smalland light enough to be comfortably carried on your person at all times — which is exactly what you want from a concealed carry weapon.

Whatever position is your usual carry position, this gun will fit.

Even though micro-compact handguns are fairly new to the market, there are plenty of accessories that can accommodate them, like the LAG Tactical Defender Series OWB/IWB Holster.

Springfield Armory Hellcat LAG Tactical Holster
This LAG Tactical holster is great for concealed carry.


Just like the Hellcat isn’t going to break any scales, the price on these pistols isn’t going to break any wallets. Both models of the Hellcat sell for around $500 retail. That’s a pretty darn good deal for what you’re getting.

Should You Conceal Carry a Springfield Armory Hellcat?

The Springfield Armory Hellcat is ideal for concealed carry and here’s why.

  1. Reliable
  2. Accurate
  3. Easily Customizable
  4. Comfortable to Carry

In short, if you are looking for the best concealed carry weapon, I highly recommend taking a hard look at the Springfield Armory Hellcat handgun line. It won’t disappoint you.

Do you own a Springfield Armory Hellcat? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comment section.

About the Author:

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  1. How about a head-to-head with the Hellcat and the SS P365 since they are so similar in almost every aspect?

  2. I love my hellcat. I have put about 250 rounds through it with no problems. I did have a dead front site but called Springfield and sent me a new one. I got this for extra capacity. I was carrying a Ruger LC9S Pro. Love that gun too but the Hellcat is not much thicker.

  3. Just bought a Springfield Armory Hellcat 2 weeks ago. Hellcat shoots far better than my previous Sig Sauer P-938. Sig has a 6 rd mag, Hellcat has an 11 so besides shooting better I’ve got almost double the rounds. The review information on the accuracy of this pistol in this article is spot on.

    If you look on the interwebs there are many comments about the need to address the trigger at the exactly correct angle or the pistol will not fire. Not ideal for a pistol you may be firing under extreme duress. These comments are true, at least with the pistol I purchased.

    There is a youtube out there with a fix. 10 strokes with a jewelers file and it will fire at any angle and the trigger cannot be pulled without depressing the safety blade. That is how I wish it to function so there you go.

    Sweet pistol.

  4. I’d almost trade my .45 cal XD-S for one of these, but I love it also, so I’ll just have too own both of them I guess. I couldn’t believe how my XD-S handles better than my 1911 service pistol, but it does. How they did that is amazing to me!

  5. I have been thinking about this gun since it came out. Everything I have read has been positive. I also like the new Springfield Armory 1911 that came out. It costs more money than the Hellcat.

  6. This review is spot on. I am glad to have my Hellcat. Now, if I could just get the Dodge to go with it 🙂

  7. I purchased one through private party in California. Well worth the extra cost. Love this pistol! Perfect concealed carry gun.

  8. My edc choice for the Texas summer. Great little pistol. One of the best firearm purchases I have made.

  9. More recently, I carried the Smith and Wesson 9mill shield (which I found inconsistent and unwieldy). The Smith and Wesson BG 380 was a great concealed carry weapon, but light on ammo capacity (6 & 1) and punch. The hellcat addresses the capacity and punch the BG 380 lacked. The hellcat also addresses the platform instability and somewhat unwieldy nature of the shield. The Hellcat is easy to line up (with the rear sight design),, the hand grip is excellent, allowing you to keep the weapon in your hand. The accessories for optics are battle tested technologies, And this weapon is a lot of fun to shoot. Truly the best concealed carry weapon I’ve ever owned

  10. I have had my Hellcat for a week now, and I have put 300 rounds through it, including 115 gr. FMJ and Hornady Critical Defense. I didn’t have any failures or problems. I have large hands, and I prefer the 13 rd. Mag, but I can use the 11 rd. Mag with the pinky floor plate without a problem. The sights and the trigger are great. I like the the way this gun handles and shoots better than any gun it’s size, and I have owed several of the completion. I am pleased with the way it carries, and it fits perfectly in a Desantis Osprey IWB/OWB that I bought for a S&W Shield. I think the Hellcat will be my new EDC.

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