WON Landing Page OCT 2022

A Tale of Two Springfield Armory Hellcats

In 2019 Springfield Armory released the Hellcat 3-inch Micro-Compact with 13+1 rounds of 9mm capacity. Later, in 2021 came the Hellcat Pro compact pistol which offers a 15+1 capacity in a smaller footprint than any other gun in its class. With both of these pistols available, how does one choose which size she wants for her EDC? Following is a comparison to help you make an educated decision before heading to your local firearms store. 

Springfield Armory Hellcat, the worlds hiest capacity micro compact pistol.

Sponsored by Springfield Armory

Springfield Armory Hellcats

The following chart is a side-by-side comparison between the two pistols to make it easier to see the differences:

Hellcat Micro-CompactHellcat Pro
6-inches length x 4-inches height x 1-inch width6.6-inches length x 4.8-inches height x 1-inch width
17.9-ounces weight21-ounces weight
3-inch barrel3.7-inch barrel
11 and 13, (+1) ammunition capacity15 (+1) ammunition capacity
Optics ready version availableOptics ready
Gen 2 triggerGen 3 trigger
MSRP: $587MSRP: $634
Springfield armory Hellcats

Similar Features

There are just as many similarities between the Hellcat Micro-Compact and Hellcat Pro as there are differences.

  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • Reversible magazine release
  • Rail for mounting a light or laser
  • Bright front tritium sight
  • Top slide serrations
  • Hammer forged barrel
Rob Leatham
Rob Leatham shooting Hellcat Pro

Springfield Armory’s sponsored shooter, Rob Leatham, shared this information on his Facebook page the day Springfield Armory released the Hellcat Pro:

“So here’s the lowdown. Its frame is long enough to accommodate a 15-round magazine. I can get all three fingers on the front strap. It retains original Hellcat width. You can drop and insert mags without doing the pinky finger shuffle. We added .7 inches of barrel and slide. It’s a couple ounces heavier than the original Hellcat. 

It fits smaller hands like mine very well. If you have trouble reaching things and getting comfortable on full-size frames made shorter, this is your gun. Just replaced my customized  4-inch XD-S that uses 9-round mags as favorite compact 9mm gun of choice. Same size or smaller, more rounds on board and optics ready.”

Pistol Backstrap

In My Opinion

As a firearms trainer, when handing someone a micro-compact handgun I often hear, “My hands are too big for this gun. I can’t get my pinky on it.” My initial response is, “No, it is not. You just need to know how to grip the gun properly.” However, I know that many people struggle with it. So, with these being self-defense guns, it’s important to have confidence in your grip, knowing you can place the rounds exactly where intended. Enter Springfield’s Hellcat Pro with an increased height of .8-inches. This larger surface area allows for more hand contact on the gun than the micro-compact version, enabling most people to get their pinky finger wrapped on the grip.

Springfield Armory  Hellcat Micro-Compact
Hellcat Micro-Compact with Crimson Trace Laser

On another note, the larger size, longer sight radius and slightly more weight makes the Hellcat Pro easier to shoot since recoil is less. However, as a concealed carry gun, a decision has to be made on what is more important: a smaller pistol that is easier to conceal or a larger one that is easier to control?

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro
Hellcat Pro with HEX Wasp Optic

My plan is to keep both Hellcats. I’ll probably continue to carry the Micro-Compact and store the Pro version for home defense. However, depending on the size of my purse or the clothing I’m wearing, I may carry the Pro from time-to-time. I know I’m going to shoot the Hellcat Pro during classes this summer and put a lot of rounds through it. That’s where the big test will happen. I’ll let you know how that goes later this year.

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, entered the firearms industry in 2011 when Cerino Training Group was established. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.