Burdette Custom HC3 Hellcat OSP Holster Review

By Paul Carlson
Posted in #Gear
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Burdette Custom HC3 Hellcat OSP Holster Review

November 13th, 2020

6 minute read

When it comes to carrying a concealed handgun, people tend to have a hyper-focus on just the gun. Certainly, the gun is an important part, but without proper support gear, the gun is useless.

For example, a gun needs the best defensive ammo. A concealed carry handgun needs a belt and a holster. If you’re missing one piece in the puzzle, your tools and skills might not be worth much when the chips are down.

Burdette HC3 leather holster for the Hellcat
The Burdette HC3 for the Hellcat complements the design intent of the smallest, lightest, highest-capacity subcompact 9mm — the Hellcat.

We know that Springfield has taken care of the hardware when it comes to the lightest, smallest, highest-capacity subcompact 9mm handgun. The Hellcat is durable and shootable, and its size makes it very carryable.

Burdette Custom Gunleather developed a holster (with the help of LE officer, Joe Weyer) that supports the Hellcat in all the right ways. The Burdette HC3 for the Hellcat OSP is an outstanding holster for discreet carry. It is compatible with a wide range of red dot sights available for the Hellcat.

In this review, I examine why the HC3 is the perfect match for the Hellcat.

A Springfield Armory Hellcat handgun with a Burdette HC3 holster.
The Burdette Custom HC3 is a high-quality leather holster designed to accept the Hellcat OSP pistol topped off with an optic — or without with a standard Hellcat.

The Hellcat is designed as a high-capacity, small, lightweight and concealable handgun. The size profile of Springfield’s micro-compact pistol places it perfectly as a gun to be carried concealed. It makes sense to have a holster that complements the gun’s ability to travel unseen.

Burdette HC3 holster designer Joe Weyer
Detective Joe Weyer brings a great deal of tactical and LE experience to the table, and he knew what he wanted from this concealment holster.

Whatever your “mission” is, it makes sense to have a gun and a holster that actually fits your needs. Stealthily carrying a high-capacity gun is where the 11+1 Hellcat shines, and the inside-the-waistband (IWB) and appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) Burdette Custom Holsters HC3 for the Hellcat is the perfect piece of support gear for it.

Driving Force

I talked with Detective Joe Weyer of the Alliance Police Department about his role in helping to develop Burdette’s scabbard for the Hellcat. For Weyer, many of the holsters available for the Hellcat at its launch negated the pistol’s primary advantage — small size — by adding bulk.

Detail shot of maker mark on leather holster
The full-size sweat guard ensures that the Hellcat sits comfortably against your body, and is protected from sweat.

To address this, Weyer turned to a custom gun leather expert he had trusted in the past for assistance in creating the holster that met his own personal needs. Joe was — plain and simple — scratching his own itch.

Detective Weyer stated specifically, “There is no free lunch when it comes to designing the right holster.”

Carrying a Hellcat pistol in an appendix holster
The HC3 for the Hellcat helps you deeply conceal the pistol, yet have it ready for presentation.

Weyer knew that in order to have a holster that concealed the Hellcat exceptionally well there would have to be trade-offs. Just like the small size and lightweight of a subcompact can result in more felt recoil, deep concealment often compromises draw speed. But, in the balance, this benefit of concealment can outweigh the need for speed.

IWB leather holster for the Hellcat
The even and robust stitching on the HC3 shows the quality craftsmanship you can expect from Burdette Custom holsters.

I asked Weyer why the development of the HC3 was important for his use of the Hellcat. “The whole idea of a high capacity micro-compact gun like the Hellcat is to be able to carry a capable gun into non-permissive environments,” he explained. “I need a holster that supports this idea. I wasn’t after a super-fast draw. Instead, I wanted the emphasis to be on concealability and I knew Burdette could make it happen.”

Weyer wasn’t looking for a competition holster. Instead, he wanted a holster that would help him carry the Hellcat anywhere. Joe filled Burdette in on his requirements and the leathermaker got to work.

Burdette HC3 holster review
The HC3 is a great partner for the Hellcat, adding minimal bulk for deep concealment.

HC3 Features

After several prototypes, the resulting holster, the Burdette Custom HC3, fit Weyer’s needs perfectly. It had the features that Detective Weyer prioritized for a high level of useability and concealability. The HC3 has everything it needs, and nothing it doesn’t. Here are a few of its most important points:

Size: The Hellcat is a tiny micro 9mm, and the Burdette Custom HC3 helps to keep it that way. The leather used is thin, but stiff and durable, minimizing the size increase. Small details help to decrease the size and increase comfort. For example, the leather seam that typically rides on the trigger guard side of the holster has instead been moved to the front face of the holster. This move helps to keep the hard seam from digging into the holster wearer and keeps the holster footprint minimal.

Burdette custom leather CCW rig
Because there is no stitching on the sweat guard, you can trim it to fit your specific needs.

Sweat Guard: A holster is pretty useless if it isn’t comfortable enough to wear — and the HC3 is comfortable. It includes a sweat guard to help keep your skin protected from the Hellcat’s slide and optic, and protect your slide and optic from your skin. I found the sweat guard to be a bit oversized for my preference, but Weyer summed up its importance perfectly. “If you pay attention, you can see there isn’t any stitching on the sweat guard at all. This makes it easy for the user to trim it to a size that works for them,” he explained. “It’s a lot easier to trim off excess leather than to try and tack it on after the fact.”

Clip: How a holster attaches to the belt determines a significant portion of a holster’s personality. The spring steel clip on the HC3 keeps the holster in place when worn. When I say in place, I mean right there, locked in, in place. It isn’t sloppy or loose. Instead, it is tight, just the way I prefer it. At the same time, the clip allows the user to don or doff the holster with relative ease.

CCW rig
The Burdette HC3 is available from the Springfield Armory store with Hellcat markings on it.

Final Thoughts

Concealed carry is a system. A person with the right mindset, skills, tools and accessories stands a much better chance of dealing successfully with a violent encounter than a person who is unarmed. We must remember that all the different parts of that system support one another. It isn’t just about the gun — it’s about the whole system. Joe Weyer and Burdette Custom Gunleather get that.

If you are looking for a great Hellcat holster for CCW that amplifies the best attributes of your gun, give the Burdette HC3 a look.

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson is the owner of Safety Solutions Academy, LLC, a professional defensive shooting instructor, content creator in the firearms industry, and most importantly a husband and a father. Through Safety Solutions Academy, Paul teaches a variety of critical defensive skill courses in more than a dozen states annually. When Paul’s not traveling to teach and work in the firearms industry, you can find him with his family, either on the range or in the mountains.

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