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Meet the Springfield Armory Hellcat: A Great ‘Pocket’ Semi-Auto 9mm Gun?

Springfield Armory Hellcat
Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm. Image Credit: Springfield Armory.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat is a powerful, and yet, compact firearm. It could make a great self-defense gun: When it comes to firearms the words “smallest” and “highest capacity” are often mutually exclusive—after all, how can a firearm be among the world’s smallest in its category and yet still have the highest capacity? This is possible when it is the Springfield Armory’s Hellcat, a paradigm-shifting concealed carry handgun that is able to pack up to a full 13+1 rounds of 9-millimeter into a space that was previously reserved for pocket guns.

This makes the Hellcat the highest capacity micro-compact 9-millimeter available on the market today. Instead of compromising on either size, weight or number of rounds the Hellcat manages to check every box. About the only ones who may not appreciate what this one has to offer are the folks over at Sig Sauer as this could displace the Sig P365 as the “it” gun for concealed carry.

The Springfield Armory’s Hellcat may be the size of a newborn kitten, but it has the claws and ferocity of a tiger. It is a three-inch barreled pistol that measures just a mere one-inch wide and weighs just 18.3 ounces empty, yet is able to utilize a class-leading capacity of 11+1 rounds with flush-fitting magazine, while the extended magazine offers the 13+1 rounds. Springfield Armory was reportedly able to achieve the larger round count by developing its patented stack-and-a-half magazine that tapers near the top to become a single stack. This ensures that not a cubic millimeter of space is “wasted!”

The Hellcat is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol that features unique top slide serrations to maximize the grip on the slide, while the Adaptive Grip Texture helps form a stronger bond of the shooter’s hand. It is something that the company is quite proud of as well.

“Each tiny bump is made by hand in the mold,” Steve Kramer, vice president of marketing at Springfield Armory told Handguns Magazine. “The seamless, pressure-activated grip texture features a pattern of staggered pyramid shapes. The taller pyramids have a flattened top to ensure comfort in the waistband and reduced wear on clothing while the shorter pyramids come to a point and are engaged when the pistol is firmly gripped. This creates a unique surface that is smooth to the touch yet firm when gripped.”

The Hellcat’s external controls, including slide release, takedown lever and reversible magazine release, were also designed and placed to low profile for deep concealment.

This highly compact pistol is available in two configurations: a standard version, MSRP: $569; and the OSP (Optic Sight Pistol), MSRP: $599, which features a slide that is cut for a micro red-dot such as the JP Enterprises JPoint or Shield RMSc (prices are pre-pandemic and can vary widely due to all sorts of gun-related shortages).

Given its compact size, attractive price point and features the Hellcat might just be the new king of the CCW jungle.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on 

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.