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Springfield Hellcat Pro Review: Bigger and Better

Without a doubt, the original Springfield Armory Hellcat is an amazing handgun – one of several in the micro-compact CCW pistol niche. In today’s Springfield Hellcat Pro review, we take a close look at its larger brother.

Reviewing the Hellcat Pro on the range

Does adding 0.7″ in length and 4 more rounds in the standard magazine make a big enough difference to upgrade to the Pro? We explore that and all of the other features in this range test and review.

Where to buy the Hellcat Pro

Where to buy the Hellcat Pro

If you are interested in buying a Springfield Hellcat Pro, I recommend checking with your local gun shop and checking the prices at the sites below. Links on this page are affiliate links meaning my family does earn a small commission if you choose to buy something through one of our links. We only partner with companies we do business with ourselves.

One of the problems with new guns is that a sample size of one pistol can create a false – good or bad – impression of the gun. So in this review, we did something different. I wrote this article based on my Hellcat Pro while Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy filmed his Hellcat Pro review for inclusion here as well.

Hellcat Pro Logo

In other words – two guns, two shooters and a whole lotta ammo. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the gun’s performance.

General Information

Like the original Hellcat before it, Springfield Armory designed the Hellcat Pro to be a concealed carry pistol. It is designed as a defensive tool: something that can be carried easily, yet effectively used to stop an attack.

Hellcat Pro for Concealed Carry

Major features and upgrades in the Hellcat Pro include:

  • longer barrel and slide with an increased sight radius
  • taller frame for a full grip
  • two 15-round magazines (standard)
  • improved striker-fired trigger
  • optics ready and compatible with all Hellcat Red Dot Sights
  • combat optimized U-Dot sights

Pro: Bigger Is Better

The most obvious feature of the Hellcat Pro is its size. It is larger than the Hellcat both in length and height. This has multiple benefits including increased standard capacity: 15-round magazines are standard.

Hellcat Pro Right Side View

Additionally, the longer grip allows you to get a full hand on the pistol for improved aim and recoil control.

right side view of Hellcat Pro

The additional barrel length often results in increased bullet velocities (see the ammo testing below.) In handgun ammo, higher bullet velocities generally result in more reliable hollowpoint expansion. For defensive use, this is a very good thing.

Hellcat Pro 15 round magazines

Since the barrel is a bit longer, so too is the slide. Additional slide length helps many shooters improve their accuracy due to the increased distance between the front and rear sights.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro

One thing I want to note is that the grip is no wider than the original pistol at just 1″. That means with a good holster, this gun will easily disappear under a shirt or other cover garment.

Pro: Trigger

I like the original Hellcat pistol. In fact, I have an OSP model in FDE that I bought and regularly carry. It is a great gun. However, I was not enamored with the trigger on that gun. So, I swapped it for an Apex Trigger. (You can see my review and installation guide on the Apex Trigger for the Hellcat here.)

ammo I used in Hellcat Pro review

I’m happy to say Springfield upgraded the Hellcat’s trigger and included an improved trigger on the Hellcat Pro. The Hellcat Pro trigger is smooth with a clean break and short reset. Additionally, I could not get it to bind or fail in any way – and I tried.

Bottom line: the Hellcat Pro trigger is good to go.

Hellcat Pro Specifications

Here are the specs on the new Hellcat Pro pistol:

Caliber9mm
Standard Magazine Capacity15 rounds (2 included)
Barrel Length3.7″
Overall Length6.6″
Height4.8″
Grip Width1.0″
Weight (unloaded)21.0 oz
Front Sighttritium/photoluminescent
Rear SightTactical Rack U-Notch
Optic FootprintSpringfield Micro/RMSc
MSRP$634

Video Hellcat Pro Review

Before I get into how my Hellcat Pro performed out on the range, let’s look at how the 9mm pistol ran for Paul Carlson:

Testing the Hellcat Pro on the Range

As with all of my pistol reviews, I spend a good amount of time on the range with the gun I am writing about. This Hellcat Pro review is no different.

Hellcat Pro Range Testing

For this review, I had the Hellcat at the range on multiple occasions. When I received the pistol, I field stripped it and wiped it down to make sure there was no gunk or obstructions anywhere. The gun seemed cleaned and lightly oiled. I then reassembled it and did not clean it for the duration of this review.

Shooting the Hellcat Pro

In each range trip, I fired hundreds of rounds of 9mm ammo through the Hellcat Pro. Ammo brands and types varied. All of the rounds fired without any problems.

Shooting Federal HST in Springfield Hellcat Pro 9mm pistol

I also had a number of family members shoot the pistol. None of them had any issues with the gun either. It proved to be a reliable handgun no matter who was shooting.

Ammunition Results

On my third range trip with the Hellcat Pro, I took along my chronograph to check the velocity of nine different loads.

Wilson Combat Ammo in Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro

I also measured the best 5-shot groups with each load. These were shot unsupported at a distance of 7 yards. Velocity and accuracy results are listed in the table below:

VelocityEnergyGroup
Federal HST 147 gr JHP990 fps320 ft-lbs1.62″
Federal Syntech 150 gr TSJ896 fps267 ft-lbs1.56″
L Tech 124 gr CuHP1,035 fps295 ft-lbs1.75″
Liberty Ammunition 50 gr JHP +P2,032 fps458 ft-lbs1.87″
Remington UMC 115 gr FMJ1,103 fps311 ft-lbs2.13″
SIG SAUER V-Crown 147 gr JHP991 fps321 ft-lbs2.25″
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr JHP1,096 fps331 ft-lbs1.69″
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP982 fps315 ft-lbs1.77″
Wilson Combat 115 gr TAX-XP +P1,035 fps274 ft-lbs1.62″
Wilson Combat 124 gr GD JHP1,062 fps311 ft-lbs1.50″

Hellcat Pro Problems

So, you might be asking, what kind of problems did I encounter when testing the Hellcat Pro? None. I experienced no Hellcat Pro Problems.

Hellcat Pro Problems

I talked about Springfield’s upgrade of the trigger above, and I could not induce a single problem there. Likewise, the gun ran perfectly. So, at this time, I can report on no problems or issues with the Hellcat Pro 9mm.

Update: As of April 25, I’ve run another 1500 or so rounds through the pistol. I have not encountered any problems with it at all. Additionally, I added a new load to the ammo testing above.

Hellcat vs Hellcat Pro Velocities

Conventional wisdom suggests the Hellcat Pro should launch bullets at a higher velocity than the original gun. My question was how much faster?

How much faster is Hellcat Pro ammo

Here is a comparison of four loads shot out of both guns:

HellcatHellcat ProDifference
Liberty Ammunition 50 gr JHP +P1,863 fps2,032 fps+169 fps
Remington UMC 115 gr FMJ1,042 fps1,103 fps+61 fps
SIG SAUER V-Crown 147 gr JHP962 fps991 fps+29 fps
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr JHP1,053 fps1,096 fps+43 fps

Final Thoughts

I like the Hellcat Pro and recommend it for anyone looking for a high-capacity, yet thin, CCW pistol.

Final Thoughts on Hellcat Pro Review

It matches the original Hellcat in reliability while adding additional 9mm rounds in the standard magazine, increasing potential precision and bumping up the velocity of the ammo fired through it.

It is well-balanced and rides easy on the hip or in the AIWB positions. (I have an article on Springfield Hellcat Pro holsters coming up soon.)

I can’t find anything to complain about on this gun. As a stock pistol, it is hard to beat for concealed carry and other defensive handgun use.

Where to buy the Hellcat Pro

Where to buy the Hellcat Pro

If you are interested in buying a Springfield Hellcat Pro, I recommend checking with your local gun shop and checking the prices at the sites below. Links on this page are affiliate links meaning my family does earn a small commission if you choose to buy something through one of our links. We only partner with companies we do business with ourselves.

Update: April 25, 2022

Disclosure

I always include a full disclosure on all reviews. I want you to know my potential biases so that you can evaluate the value of the information we provide.

First, Springfield Armory did not pay for or “sponsor” this review. Nor have they asked for a positive review of the gun. My opinions are my own.

Second, the gun was sent to me as a loaner. It was not a gift or comp’d to me. After running the gun in this review, I decided to purchase it. I will do so with my own cash.

Third, I do a lot of writing in the firearms industry including articles for TheArmoryLife.com. TheArmoryLife.com is the blog for Springfield Armory. No one at TheArmoryLife requested or suggested I do a “good” review on the gun.

Last, GunsHolstersAndGear is a family-run business. We earn money through the use of affiliate links. Links in this article may take you to online retailers where you can make purchases. If you decided to do so, we earn a small commission on the sale.

This helps us keep the lights on and keeps us from putting sponsored articles and annoying pop-up ads on the site. Hopefully, readers appreciate this trade-off.

Thoughts, comments or concerns about this review? Have a Hellcat Pro that you want to share your thoughts about? Please leave a comment below! I just ask you keep it polite as this is a family site.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

One reply on “Springfield Hellcat Pro Review: Bigger and Better”

Put an M Carbo trigger spring kit on your Pro. You will love it!! The only complaint on my Pro is the slide has alot of play back and forth. The weapon should have had this taken care of before it was sold. I sent it back to SA they said it was OK. I have been shooting semi autos for 50 years this is not right. I kept the gun because I like it but not the wobbly slide.

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