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The Springfield Armory Hellcat

Hype or Real Deal?!

The Springfield Armory Hellcat—Hype or Real Deal?

 

Throughout history, there have been colossal product failures that didn’t live up to the enormous hype. The examples are endless, the article in USA Today, When Product Launches Go Awry- The 50 Worst Product Flops Of All Time highlights some of the biggest failures of all time: Google Glass in 2013, it was supposed to be wearable technology, The Newton by Apple in 1993, Extra-Terrestrial video game by Atari in 1982, Satisfries French fries, by Burger King in 2013, and Cheetos Lip Balm by Frito-Lay in 2005 are just a few that boggle the mind.  All failures! These iconic companies poured millions of dollars into R &D, Engineering, Product Development, and Marketing, telling us these products were excellent, and we had to have them and that they would change our lives. Most people can’t even remember the names of these misses. They not only didn’t change our lives, but they went on to become lessons in product failures. But every once in a blue moon, something comes along that meets and exceeds the billing. In this rare instance, when the stars all align for R & D, Engineering, Marketing, and Production. For every one of these, there are a thousand misses. I’ll be perfectly honest with you; I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the box on the Hellcat. I was excited. There was trepidation; there was a little bit of a letdown initially because it was smaller than I expected. Mostly there was all of this hype; this was the most anticipated handgun release. I thought to myself upon the first inspection after removing it from the plastic sleeve that there is no way this tiny thing is going to deliver.

I won’t try to build up to the crescendo like the reality shows or the home makeover shows, with the exaggerated pause or cutting away to commercial. I am going to jump right to the verdict. This gun needs no drama or manufactured excitement. This is one of the best guns I have ever encountered. There I said it. For a micro 9mm, it’s by far the best I have encountered.

I am an FFL, so I come across a lot of guns, either selling them or handling transfers for my customers. I am a concealed carry instructor and teach group classes. My students bring in every imaginable brand, model, and caliber to use on the range.  It’s safe to say I see and handle my fair share of guns. I have been a gun lover my entire life, a military veteran, a hunter, and a concealed carry holder in multiple states from the time concealed started sweeping the nation.  So I know a thing about guns.I’ll keep it short and sweet. Here’s what I loved about the Hellcat.
The grip was my favorite thing. I liked the full-fisted grip. I’m not a fan of dangling digits on most micros. The texture was best in class. Springfield Armory calls it adaptive grip texture, and they claim its made up of two levels of tiny pyramidal shapes. The grip is not abrasive but still provides a positive grip even with a sweat moistened hand. Not to date myself, but this textured grip is akin to stickum football players used to use or the new receiver gloves.  Probably more like the receiver gloves, stickum was unsightly and messy.  I love that the grip is textured all around the handle, even on the ergonomic landing spot for your index finger on the frame just under the slide. I have been teaching my students for years, to put their index fingers there for years, and now there is a textured depressed area that guides you there. The thumbs forward grip positioning for your weak side thumb is also an ergonomic marvel.

I loved how the Hellcat shot at the range. I went to the range at the height of the Corona Virus US Pandemic when 9mm ammo was in shortage. Luckily I had been following posts and saw that most ranges were simply out of ammo. So I went into my hodgepodge of random range ammo stash and was able to grab about four boxes of assorted 9mm ammo and some loose bottom of my bag ammo (yes, that’s a thing). I anticipated this would be a problem, but it was a non-issue. The Hellcat fired whatever I put through it. I noticed initially it did take some time for me to get used to the smaller footprint, but after the first few shots, it felt like home, as you can see from the targets, it’s extremely accurate. I shot at 5 yards, 7 yards and 10 yards, the typical self-defense distances. All of my shot groupings were tight with the exception of the first errant shot that was out of the groupings. Other micro 9mm’s I have shot this is a much harder feat to accomplish because they tend to kick like a mule and are hard on the hand. Accuracy is not their strong suit. With the Hellcat this was not the case. The recoil was very manageable. The follow-up shots were smooth and accurate.
The Trigger break is really good. Springfield lists it at 5.7 pounds. I carry the Springfield Armory XD and XD-M as my EDC’s so I have always been a fan of the Springfield META (match enhanced trigger assembly) triggers, and this felt no different.

The U-notched rear sight, combined with the Ameriglo Pro-Glo makes it easy and fast to acquire your target. These sights make it easy to double-tap and get consistent follow-up shots.
Magazine Capacity. Usually going with a micro, the tradeoff for going small is fewer rounds in the magazine. Hellcat defied engineering logic. It is like the throwback pictures you see of people cramming insane numbers of people in a VW Beetle. They went smaller and got more rounds in the magazine than anyone ever has on a micro.  I used the 13 + 1 extended mag and felt perfectly prepared for whatever might come.
The ergonomics. This gun is as close to ergonomic perfection as you will find. It is both comfortable in hand and easy to shoot.

The Concealability. This is one of the most concealable guns on the market. Its slim, weight is manageable at 22-24 ounces depending on the magazine choice, 11-round or 13 round.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Specs

Springfield Armory Hellcat Specs

The Verdict

To quote Springfield Armory, from their promotional material, “it’s a jungle out there, protect yourself with the all-new Hellcat.” This gun is more than capable, it is easily the best-concealed carry handgun I have encountered. It shoots well, is comfortable in hand, and has the magazine capacity to protect you in varying situations. Unlike the product failures of the past, the Touch of Yogurt Shampoo by Clairol in 1979, The New Coke by Coco-Cola in 1985, Windows Vista in 2007 by Windows, or the Harley Davidson Perfume by Harley Davidson in 1994, the Hellcat lives up to and exceeds the hype. This handgun is the perfect storm between R &D, Marketing, Engineering, Product Development, and manufacturing execution. The Hellcat delivers on all fronts and is a game-changer in the micro-compact field. This gun delivers the goods. The Hellcat is the real deal.

Compensated Affiliate Disclaimer

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy the product I may receive some monetary compensation. I only recommend products I use and love!

One last thought, if you conceal carry, you need the USCCA liability products.

Card Carrying Woman member of USCCA

Card Carrying Woman member of USCCA

Kevin Flowers's Headshot 2019

By Kevin Flowers

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