September 01, 2023
Springfield Armory’s line of Hellcat pistols have remained popular for their performance, ergonomics and efficient capacity. Available in three models — Hellcat, Hellcat Rapid Defense Package (RDP) and Hellcat Pro — the family is distinguished by its excellent sights, optics mounting and co-witness capabilities, tacky (but not abrasive) adaptive grip texture, and standard magazine capacities of 11, 13 and 15 rounds. Pretty impressive numbers for eminently concealable subcompacts.
Now, those numbers get even more impressive as Springfield has developed a 17-round magazine for the Hellcat Pro.
Recall the Pro model ($649-$859) is the largest of the Hellcats, utilizing both a longer slide and 3.7-inch hammer-forged barrel. It also has a slightly lengthened grip frame to accommodate a flush-fitting 15-round magazine. Despite its larger dimensions, the Pro model remained slim and trim, still maintaining a 1-inch grip width which is important for concealed carry. Thin guns are much easier to carry inside the waistband (IWB).
Don’t get me wrong, 15+1 capacity is great, as is. It is essentially the industry standard for a duty/carry crossover platform as established by the compact Glock 19 way back in 1988. Today, the 4-inch barrel, 15-round capacity pistol configuration remains a popular choice for professional use and personal defense. However, guns like the Hellcat Pro offer all the performance advantages of those designs in a platform better tailored for discreet carry and modern tech, including red-dot optics.
The new 17-round magazines will be available from the Springfield Armory store for $43 in both black and FDE. They utilize a +2 basepad with a textured grip extension that adds about a finger’s width (approximately 1/2 inch) to the bottom of the frame. The Hellcat Pro frame fits my medium mitts about perfectly, but shooters with large hands may find the added real estate improves their shooting grip. I’m excited to utilize the larger mag as a higher capacity reload. I’ll keep a 15 rounder in the gun to reduce printing, but I’ll be happy knowing I’ve got 17 beans in reserve if things go sideways.
The extended magazines follow another factory-made Hellcat enhancement in the form of threaded 3.8-inch barrels with self-indexing compensators. In essence, this allows Hellcat owners (these will not work with Hellcat Pro) to retrofit their standard pistols along the lines of the Rapid Defense Package. Compared to the original model, Hellcat RDPs come from the factory optic-equipped (or optic-ready) and sporting the longer barrel and comp. In my testing, the compensator significantly reduces muzzle rise, allowing the small pistol to track flatter through recoil. The less the pistol bucks, the faster (and more accurately) follow-up shots can be delivered.
The barrels use the common 1/2x28 thread pitch, so it’s easy to attach a suppressor or other muzzle device if desired. The package also includes a knurled thread protector. The barrel and compensator kits are available from the Springfield Armory store for $200. That’s more than the cost difference between the Hellcat ($633-$843) and Hellcat RDP ($778-$983) variants, but it is significantly less than buying a whole new gun. Plus, unlike other aftermarket components, these products are coming straight from Springfield Armory, so reliability and easy drop-in installation is assured.
Springfield has a heck of a lineup in the Hellcat family, and it’s great to see the company offering additional enhancements to support its customers.
For more information, visit Springfield-Armory.com.
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