This review was made possible by our Patrons, some of whom had also requested it. The Springfield Hellcat (H11) was HS Produkt's response to the now famous Sig P365. The H11 offers excellent texture for holding onto the tiny pistol and increased capacity over the P365.
The Hellcat Pro gives us a little more gun with a 3.7" barrel and advertised 15+1 capacity. This almost brings the "micro compact" into the "compact" realm of performance; matching the capacity and just shy ballistically. The use of the "micro-compact" magazine style permits the Hellcat Pro OSP however to remain slimmer, closer to a single-stack in dimensions. The "OSP" designation means this pistol is also optics ready with a slide cut for the "micro" footprint.
Specs & Pricing:
We bought ours during the "Gear-Up" rebate which offers three additional magazines and a range bag. Springfield told me it would be six weeks before that rebate is fullfilled.
Opening the box you get a decent package. A gun wallet, two 15-round magazines, a mag loader, an envelope with the manual and typical advertisements, and a test target. I miss the days of pistols coming with test targets. Take a look for yourself in the tabletop video below.
Initial Impressions were positive as the pistol appears to be well-built. The barrel length is the same as the Sig P365XL, but instead of magazine sleeves the Hellcat Pro's stock is extended. In my opinion this should make concealment easier by creating a rounded shape rather than the blocky shape of a magazine. I found the original Hellcat to be a decent shooter aside from my trigger finger getting pinched under recoil. It was my hope that with the Hellcat Pro that might somehow be resolved; longer-barrel guns tend to recoil less and being able to get my whole hand on the grip should further enhance control.
We hit the range for our standard battery of experiences with high hopes. See the video below for our absolute first shots, full-mag +1, What's For Dinner™, Trigger Control, Practical Accuracy, and closing thoughts from our first range session.
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
As You Saw we started optimistically. Both Teya and I were excited to try out this larger micro gun. As the video went on our enthusiasm waned however with each segment. It started with not being able to load the magazines to capacity. Yes, the Hellcat Pro came with a magazine loader, but we've traditionally not brought one because we haven't needed it. After reviewing around 400 pistols this is one of the few times that I've been physically unable to load the magazine to capacity.
It also appears that the trigger pinch issue remains. That's most-likely just a personal hand fitment issue, but physical discomfort always sours an experience. Teya still doesn't like the "ball in the bucket" sight system, and it wasn't until shooting groups that we noticed the front sight blade is wider than most. None of these are reasons to recommend against a pistol, but for our taste the Hellcat Pro was a miss. Mechanically the pistol is fine, and certainly accurate enough, recoil is controllable, and the gun is feature-rich, just not a gun we enjoyed shooting. The trigger isn't inappropriate for carry, but the wall's thickness (for lack of a better description) made timing or placing precise shots a challenge. To time shots for our spinner target I essentially had to treat the gun like a double action.
This is a difficult conclusion to write as there's nothing wrong with the gun (magazine failures happen, we'll wait on our 3-free magazines from the rebate). It just didn't speak to us in the way so many other pistols have. For a few months the Hellcat Pro OSP enjoyed being the only gun of its type on the market. We'll see once we get the Sig P365 X-Macro Comp to the range if it does any better.