Going 10-Rounds with the Springfield Hellcat
January 25th, 2021
5 minute read
Springfield Armory recently announced the addition of a 10-round version of the Hellcat pistol for shooters in states that require restricted magazine capacities. The new 10-round variant of the Hellcat offers a great self-defense option for owners that live in areas with these restrictions.
Micro-Compact, Maximum Effect
Without any doubt in my mind, the most popular concealed carry pistol of 2020 was the Springfield Hellcat. I’ve talked to many people who picked one up to be their first defensive pistol and others who decided to replace a previous carry gun with the Hellcat.
My local gun shops can’t keep the Hellcat in stock while other pistols — even at the peak of the buying frenzy — sometimes sat for days in the case.
So, why is the Hellcat so popular? I don’t think it is hard to understand when you take a close look at all of the features the Hellcat offers.
The most talked-about feature of the defensive pistol is the capacity to size ratio. Springfield built the Hellcat for concealment. It has a grip that’s only 1” wide and 4” tall. Unloaded, the guns come in around 18 oz.
With a flush-fitting magazine, the standard-capacity handgun loads 11+1 9mm rounds, just one round more than the new 10-round version. While the slightly larger standard capacity is a benefit for anyone trying to protect themselves from a violent attack, 10 rounds of 9mm in a micro-compact is still a formidable defense.
Size Isn’t Everything
While the capacity of the Hellcat relative to its size is impressive, it is not the only reason why someone would select one for personal defense. All of the standard features are 100% present in the reduced-capacity model. I would like to highlight the features that work the best for me.
Fit. The gun fits amazingly well into my hands. Some micro-guns are weirdly contoured or are too thin along the backstrap. These issues can lead to slide bite or unnecessarily harsh recoil. These are not problems with the Hellcat.
Springfield designed the pistol with enough of a beavertail to prevent the web of my hand from ever coming into contact with the slide. This is sometimes an issue with small guns, and the Hellcat design prevents it from being an issue.
While the 1” wide grip is thin, Springfield did not further narrow the rear of the frame as is done on some pistols. This means that felt recoil is spread across a wider area of the hand. At first blush, you may not think that there would be much difference in felt recoil based on small changes to the backstrap’s width. However, I’ve fired most of the modern micro-sized pistols on the market and some can be downright uncomfortable to shoot. In stark contrast, the Hellcat is very comfortable to shoot.
Adding to the excellent ergonomics of the Hellcat is its Adaptive Grip Texture. This is a surface texture that is part of the grip frame. It features a pattern of staggered pyramid shapes, with the taller pyramids having a flattened top and the shorter pyramids coming to a point. This gives you a combination of comfort along with a secure hold when firmly gripped. I find it locks my hand onto the gun without any of the abrasions or discomfort you might expect.
Eyes on the Target
Another one of the best features of the Hellcat is the standard U-Dot sights. Based on my experience and study, this sight set is perfect for defensive shooting.
Up front, Springfield uses an easy-to-see post that combines a tritium vial surrounded by a wide photoluminescent ring. Tritium is an industry-standard radioactive isotope of hydrogen that emits tiny amounts of energy as it decays. This energy excites nearby phosphors in the vial and produces a green light. This glowing will last for years and is visible in low- and no-light situations.
When ambient light is brighter, the bright yellow-green ring on the front sight is very easy to see and use for aiming. An additional benefit of the ring is that it is photoluminescent. This is a characteristic that absorbs ambient light and later emits it as a glow. Photoluminescence is a particular benefit in those twilight times when the ambient light isn’t quite low enough for the tritium to pop but the photoluminescent ring is still giving off light from earlier absorption.
The bottom line: across all lighting conditions, Springfield Armory ensured you will be able to accurately aim the Hellcat.
Red Dot Option
Another feature Springfield Armory made sure they offered all shooters regardless of locale is the ability to add a micro-red dot sight. The 10-round Hellcat OSP (optical sight pistol) uses the same RMSc mounting footprint in the slide for a drop-in installation of your favorite red dot.
My Hellcat is an OSP version. Mounting a red dot on this pistol is a breeze. If you don’t yet own a red dot, no worries. The gun is shipped with a slide plate that protects the mounting holes and fits flush with the slide. The system is the easiest way I have seen to add an optic to a micro pistol.
If you live in one of the areas that places restrictions on magazine capacities, Springfield has really delivered for you with this 10-round version of the Hellcat. Excepting capacity, the gun maintains all of the features that make the gun a great choice for self-defense. It is a gun I use to protect my family, and I am confident it would serve your defensive needs as well.
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