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.
Sponsored by Springfield Armory
The following chart is a side-by-side comparison between the two pistols to make it easier to see the differences:
|Hellcat Micro-Compact||Hellcat Pro|
|6-inches length x 4-inches height x 1-inch width||6.6-inches length x 4.8-inches height x 1-inch width|
|17.9-ounces weight||21-ounces weight|
|3-inch barrel||3.7-inch barrel|
|11 and 13, (+1) ammunition capacity||15 (+1) ammunition capacity|
|Optics ready version available||Optics ready|
|Gen 2 trigger||Gen 3 trigger|
|MSRP: $587||MSRP: $634|
There are just as many similarities between the Hellcat Micro-Compact and Hellcat Pro as there are differences.
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.”
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.
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?
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.