Did the Hellcat Kill the XD-S?

By Dan Abraham
Posted in #Guns
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Did the Hellcat Kill the XD-S?

August 18th, 2022

7:33 runtime

Has the ever-expanding Hellcat line of micro-sized 9mm pistols made the single-stack Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) family outmoded? Springfield continues to pump out new and innovative Hellcats. As a result, I have thought a lot about the effect the Hellcat has had on other CCW-oriented pistols. In a head-to-head match of Springfield Hellcat vs. XD-S, which pistol is the champ?

Springfield Hellcat vs XDS comparison
How does the XD-S Mod.2 OSP 9mm (center) stack up against a whole pack of Hellcat pistols? You might be surprised.

Let’s face it: the Hellcat is an incredible handgun. Initially, we saw the Hellcat OSP and non-OSP models. Most shooters, including me, thought it would end there. Nobody expected Springfield Armory to produce a Hellcat RDP (Rapid Defense Package) with a 3.8” barrel and a self-indexing compensator. The RDP lit up the internet once that pistol was introduced.

Many shooters thought the Hellcat line was then complete. However, Springfield recently released the Hellcat Pro OSP with a 3.7” barrel and 15-round flush-fitting magazines. Yes, it’s true. A larger Hellcat Pro with a longer barrel and higher capacity. The popularity of the Hellcat line continues to grow with each model that Springfield produces.

Hellcat vs XDS
Packed with features, the Springfield XD-S Mod.2 OSP is a great choice for concealed carry. It’s chambered in either 9mm or .45 and comes standard with an optics cut and accessory rail.

Does this mean something like the XD-S Mod.2 OSP has been left in the dust? Considering the increased magazine capacity the Hellcat offers, is there still a role for a single-stack pistol like this? Is the Hellcat vs. XD-S matchup over before it begins? To answer this question, I came up with a list of features that shooters should consider regarding the XD-S line. So, let’s dive right in!

Grip That Pistol

The XD-S Mod.2 OSP is a single-stack 9mm (or single-stack .45 ACP), therefore it is a very thin handgun. This thin circumference allows the shooter to have more hand wrap around the surface of the grip.

comparing thickness of XDS and Hellcat
Grip thinness is one difference between the Hellcat and XD-S. This can contribute to shooting comfort and easy of concealment.

Greater hand contact on the grip gives the shooter more control of the pistol when shooting. Increased control leads to better recoil management, precision accuracy and quicker follow-up shots.

The Costs of Cost

Let’s face it, the price of a handgun matters. In this day and age of inflated costs on everything from food to fuel, most shooters want the most gun they can get for the money. The XD-S Mod.2 OSP offers a lot, and is also “budget” priced. The MSRP for the 9mm XD-S Mod.2 OSP with a Crimson Trace CTS 1500 installed is just $568.

shooting the Springfield XDS and Hellcat to compare
When comparing the Hellcat vs. XD-S, how they feel in the hand while shooting can play a major role. So can cost, capacity and ease of concealment.

If you can show me another handgun of this quality with a red dot included for that price, burgers and beers are on me. If you want to run just irons, the MSRP for the XD-S Mod.2 OSP with no optic is just $440 (they are all OSP-cut, by the way). That is an incredible price for a handgun that will go bang each and every time the trigger is pulled.

What’s in the Pocket?

Many concealed carriers will choose to pocket carry their handgun. Pocket carry is the simplest way to carry. Just place the pistol in a synthetic or leather holster and drop it in your pocket.

Hellcat or XDS for pocket carry
While the Hellcat is thin, the XD-S is a bit thinner. This gives it an edge in deep concealment and pocket carry.

The XD-S Mod 2 is thin and lightweight, making it an ideal pistol for pocket carry. The loaded weight with eight rounds is just 24.75 ounces. People pocket carry because it is easy and comfortable to conceal a pistol like this. If you purchase the pistol with the red dot, Springfield includes a cover plate if you choose to remove the red dot for its smallest configuration.

A Grasp of Safety

The XD-S Mod 2 has a grip safety, which means the trigger will only function when the grip safety is engaged. Due to this fact, the XD-S Mod.2 OSP offers an additional layer of safety against a negligent discharge. In addition, the grip safety forces a high grip on the pistol, so the carrier will need to have a firm purchase on the handgun. This in turn will create an even safer “draw” of the pistol.

Capacity for Performance

The XD-S Mod.2 OSP in 9mm ships with both a seven- and a nine-round magazine. The seven-round magazine configures the pistol in its most compact form. The nine-round magazine extends the grip length for a solid three-finger’s worth of contact on the handgun. The larger nine-round magazine gives a full-size pistol feel while packing 10 rounds in a subcompact handgun.

Capacity advantage of Hellcat vs XDS
While the Springfield Hellcat can feed from up to 15-round magazines, the XD-S can carry up to 10 rounds in a very slim package.

Springfield Armory also offers an optional extended eight-round magazine. The “in between” eight-round mag is the perfect balance between compactness and capacity. Magazine options are plentiful with the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 OSP 9mm.

Barrel Length Matters

The barrel length on the XD-S Mod 2 is 3.3″. That is a shade longer than many subcompact pistols, but still compact and concealable. Shooters understand that the longer the barrel is, the greater the accuracy potential is. Concealed carriers go to extreme measures to carry a handgun that is reliable and accurate.

Barrel length differences in XDS and Hellcat pistols
The longer XD-S has an advantage with both sight radius and bullet velocity as compared to the Hellcat.

Shooters understand the importance of precise accuracy. I have found the XD-S Mod.2 OSP to be incredibly accurate for such a small pistol. Whether it is used for range practice or self-defense, in my opinion, the XD-S Mod.2 will deliver the confidence required for a subcompact CCW handgun.

Should you want a longer barrel, you can certainly opt for the Hellcat Pro. However, a single-stack option also exists in the XD-S Mod.2 OSP 4″ barrel 9mm pistol.

XD-S vs. Hellcat: Final Thoughts

So, does the XD-S still stack up when compared to the Hellcat? My response? A resounding “yes”! There definitely remains a strong place in the concealed carry market for the Springfield XD-S Mod 2 OSP. I laid out a list of reasons why the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod 2 is an excellent handgun. I think the build quality and performance speak for themselves.

If you haven’t checked out the XD-S Mod.2 OSP, give it a try. You may just find yourself the perfect subcompact pistol to add into your carry rotation.

Editor’s Note: 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!

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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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Dan Abraham

Dan Abraham

Dan "TheFireArmGuy" Abraham is a gun enthusiast, collector and 2A advocate. Sending a strong 2A message and showcasing firearms is a passion for him. He enjoys featuring firearms that suit the "working man." Dan believes firearm ownership is an essential American value. Understanding that firearms are not a "one size fits all," Dan offers gun reviews that help the reader choose the best fit for them. Within his reviews, the reader will observe the gun's features, specifications, shooting impressions and best applications. He attempts to be informative, concise with "no fluff" and on point.

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