I’ll be honest, when the original Hellcat was released in 2019, I was disappointed. Even though I liked the aesthetics and most of the features, my hands were simply too large to get a comfortable grip, and I found it to be overly snappy. 

Fast forward to earlier this year when the 9mm Hellcat Pro was released with its taller grip and longer barrel, and I just had to get my hands on one right away. I’ve now had the Hellcat Pro for three months and have put just shy of 550 rounds through it. Let’s just say, I’m no longer disappointed. 
 

FIRST THOUGHTS

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun
Finally, a Hellcat that lets me get a solid grip. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


Straight out of the box, before even firing the Hellcat Pro, I could tell it was a keeper for me. The aggressive grip texture paired with the fact that I could rest my pinky comfortably on the grip increased my confidence in the upcoming accuracy tests. I spent a couple of minutes dry firing the gun to see if I felt the “grittiness” I’ve heard some others mention. Luckily, I did not. 

I’m no trigger snob, and while I have shot better triggers, the stock trigger on the Hellcat Pro is still more than adequate. It seems to have a consistent pull and a nice clean break and reset. 
 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun
At a capacity of 15+1, this package offers plenty of self-defense rounds for such a small gun. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


In the box, you’ll find two 15-round magazines, a mag loader, and a nice soft pistol case. I’ve received guns from other manufacturers that didn’t even have cardboard dividers in the box to keep things from shifting around in transit. So, it was a very nice touch for Springfield to go multiple steps further and nestle the Hellcat Pro inside an included soft pistol case.

FEATURES AND SPECS


The majority of features I look for in a carry gun are found within the Hellcat Pro. These are features that are either hard or sometimes impossible to change without serious modification. That includes whether it’s optic ready, has a non-proprietary accessory rail, and offers a high capacity for its size. 
 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun
I've come to really love Springfield's adaptive grip texture. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


The Hellcat Pro’s adaptive grip texture is something that has grown quite a bit on me. When I first felt the grip texture, I found it to be like sandpaper. However, as I shot the Hellcat Pro more, I began to see the value behind it. As you squeeze the grip harder, the handgun locks into your hand more. Conversely, when you aren’t squeezing the grip, the taller pyramid-shaped texture has a flat top to avoid snagging on your clothes. 
 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun
While I'm not a trigger snob, the Hellcat Pros trigger is adequate and predictable for a self-defense trigger. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


Looking at the sights, you’ll see it has a U-shaped rear and tritium/luminescent front dot. I usually run square rear sights on my handguns, but I really like this particular U-dot setup. The “U” is larger than others I’ve seen, so I can see a little bit around the front sight while it’s aligned within the notch. Even without an optic mounted, I’ve had very good accuracy with the stock sights. 

Lastly, there are a couple smaller features you can look forward to as well. A reversible mag release, front and back slide serrations, and a loaded chamber indicator for some additional safety are all appreciated touches. I tossed in some additional specs below:

Capacity: 15+1
Length: 6.6 inches
Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
Height: 4.8 inches
Width: 1 inch
Weight: 21 ounces

There is a lot to like about this gun. You have capacity covered in a concealable package with plenty of other non-essential but nice-to-have features.
 

RANGE TIME: RELIABILITY AND ACCURACY

 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun Target
True to expectations, the accuracy potential with the new grip and a red dot was great for me. Even the U-dot irons did better than I would normally expect. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


In the last few months, all but one out of roughly 550 rounds have successfully passed through my Hellcat Pro. I had one failure to eject with a Blazer Brass 115-grain FMJ round. I wish I could say why it happened, but it seems like it was just one of those frustrating one-offs. However, the rest of the Blazer Brass shot fine along with Winchester 115-grain FMJ, Federal American Eagle 124-grain FMJ, Federal Punch 124-grain JHP, and Federal Hydra-Shok 124-grain JHP. 

The Hellcat Pro hasn’t just been reliable for me though, it’s also proven to be quite accurate. With or without an optic mounted, I’ve been able to typically maintain a fist-sized or smaller grouping out to 10 yards. I typically train within 10 yards for defensive purposes, but I can push out to 25 yards with the Hellcat Pro and still ring 6-inch gongs consistently. 
 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Handgun
I am a fan of dots and look for them in my EDC gun. But I can't say I shot significantly more accurately with the Hex dot over the irons in the end. (Photo: Ryan Domke/Guns.com)


The Hex Wasp red dot surprisingly doesn’t improve my accuracy very much, but it does help more with my speed. I’m happy with both the reliability and accuracy, enough to have this gun be in my rotation of EDC options.
 

SECOND, THIRD, AND FINAL THOUGHTS

I usually write about my “final thoughts” in this section after I conclude my testing period. I’ve been having so much fun with this gun, however, that it’s accompanied me on almost every range trip since I got it, and I don’t see that changing. I think I’ll be seeing an “indefinite testing period” with my Hellcat Pro.

After several hundred rounds, I’ve found myself carrying the Hellcat Pro more often. While it hasn’t claimed the top spot in my EDC rotation, I would suggest checking it out for yourself and seeing where it would rank in yours.

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