HomeGunsThe Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Adds an Optional Manual Safety

The Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Adds an Optional Manual Safety

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The Hellcat Pro from Springfield Armory has experienced immense popularity since its release back in 2022 (details below). With its narrow profile, optic cut slide, high capacity, and excellent performance, the pistol became an instant concealed carry favorite. Now, the company is offering the Hellcat Pro with an optional manual safety for those who prefer additional safety measures.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro with Manual Safety

Remaining mostly unchanged, the Hellcat Pro will still feature its 1-inch profile, allowing for maximum concealability. Likewise, the 9mm retains its 15+1 capacity (10+1 in prohibitive states) in a smaller footprint than others in its class. Not to mention additional mass in the slide and barrel that helps reduce muzzle flip, providing for faster follow-up shots. More details about the Hellcat Pro can be found below.

However, the pistol now offers an optional manual safety. Working alongside the trigger safety mechanism is an ambidextrous thumb safety. The safety is placed at the rear of the frame for a natural application that is intuitive for both right- and left-handed shooters.

(Photo by Springfield Armory)

In addition, the safety lever is small and doesn’t impede the operation or carry of the Hellcat Pro. Likewise, it flows nicely with the other controls on the left side of the pistol for a cohesive operational layout. Finally, horizontal grooves on the face of the lever provide positive traction for fast actuation when you need it most.

“The Hellcat Pro delivers full-size performance in a concealable, EDC-ready package with unmatched ergonomics,” says Steve Kramer, Springfield Armory’s Vice President of Marketing. “And for those who prefer a manual safety on their carry pistol, this newest variant gives them everything they could want in a CCW pistol.”

On March 4, 2022, Mike Detty reported:

Back in 2018 SIG started a trend when they introduced the P365, a tiny gun with a big capacity. It came with a great trigger, night sights, and a very reasonable price. Other manufacturers sat up and took notice. The following year Springfield Armory introduced their Hellcat which was billed at the time as the smallest micro-compact 9mm with the highest capacity. It held 11 +1 rounds with its flush fit magazine and 13 + 1 with its extended magazine. But now the new Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro steps it up even more.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Details

The Hellcat is almost effortless to carry, very accurate, and possesses flawless reliability. For these reasons, it became my everyday carry gun. But lightweight micro-compacts loaded with hot defense loads can be a handful and the Hellcat is no exception.

Decision-makers at Springfield Armory recognized this and realized that not every customer wants or needs a micro-compact. The new Hellcat Pro offers users all of the advantages of the original Hellcat with a longer barrel and a longer grip frame and increased capacity.

Boasting a 15+1 flush-fit magazine, the Hellcat Pro provides shooters with a more controllable defense pistol. The longer slide and its mass help take a bite out of muzzle flip and combined with the longer grip frame make shooting hotter defense loads more manageable.

The new Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro increases capacity over the original Hellcat.

Springfield Armory outfits the Hellcat Pro with a barrel .70” longer than the original Hellcat. I found the longer barrel length accounted for a 3-7% increase in velocity in my testing. Is it enough to make a difference in projectile expansion? Probably not, but it can’t hurt either. The longer slide also increases sight radius and makes it easier to shoot the gun more accurately.

The Hellcat Pro features an optics plate and Springfield shipped my test and evaluation pistol with their Hex Optics Wasp red dot already mounted. The optic uses a CR 2032 battery and boasts two years of run time. In fact, there isn’t even an on/off switch. Its brightness is automatically adjusted to ambient lighting and the optic possesses a 3.5 MOA dot.

Shooting the Hellcat Pro

On a cold late February morning, I arrived at my shooting spot in Sonoita Arizona just before sunrise. There was still some snow on the ground from a storm two days earlier. The car thermometer said 17 degrees when I started setting up my DOA portable shooting bench and chronograph. I left the car running and warmed my hands between groups. I fired all groups from a seated rest with the Hellcat Pro’s accessory rail resting on a Millett BenchMaster.

Hornady’s American Gunner 124-grain XTP +P loads produced the single best 5-shot group measuring just .88” at 15-yards and also delivered the most energy with 366 Foot Pounds of Energy! The largest group the Hellcat Pro produced was only 1.16”. Given better weather conditions I’m betting that all of these rounds could have produced sub-1” groups!

Springfield Armory equips the Hellcat Pro with its Gen 3 trigger, and my test samples pull broke with 5.5 pounds of pressure. Crisp and with a very firm reset the Hellcat Pro’s trigger is just about perfect for a defense gun!

Not everyone needs a micro-compact gun. For some people having a gun that fits comfortably in their hand with an adequate sight radius that makes it easier to hit with are the most important features. After all, it’s the hits that count! For a more detailed evaluation of Springfield’s new Hellcat Pro read my article in the June/July issue of Ballistic magazine!

Accuracy Results

Ammo Velocity Energy Group
Black Hills 115-gr. JHP 1,173 351 1.05″
Federal 138-gr. SJHP Syntech Defense 1,053 339 1.16″
Federal 147-gr. Syntech Training/Match 986 317 .94″
Hornady American Gunner 124-gr. XTP +P 1,154 366 .88″
Winchester USA-Ready 115-gr. Flatnose FMJ 1,189 361 1.10″
Average 1.03″

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Overall Capacity: 15+1
  • Overall Length: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 4.8 inches
  • Overall Weight: 21 ounces
  • Sights: Tritium/luminescent front, Tactical Rack “U” Notch, white outlined rear
  • Slide: Billet machined, Melonite finish, optics-ready (optic not inlcuded)
  • Frame: 1-inch, with Adaptive Grip texture
  • Barrel: 3.7 inches, hammer-forged, 1:10 twist, Melonite finish
  • Recoil Spring: Dual spring
  • MSRP: $634

Read the full article here

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