Gun Review: Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp OSP

By Paul Rackley, Editor

In one of his most famous plays, Shakespeare asked what’s in a name? Well, when that name is Hellcat, it might be self-explanatory. In fact, the name Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp pretty much gives it away. 

Springfield brought out the Hellcat in 2019, followed quickly by the Hellcat Pro. These micro-compact and compact pistols were designed as easy-to-carry and use concealed-carry pistols. With the introduction of the Hellcat Pro Comp, Springfield now has one for those wanting less recoil. And this pistol can even handle optics, making it an excellent option for those looking for speed. 

Reflex sights and compensators really speed up target acquisition and follow-up shots. Since these attributes are crucial in a self-defense situation, anything that helps is good. This is especially true for those who might be a little recoil shy. 

Greater Capacity & Recoil Reduction 

The idea behind the Hellcat Pro was putting larger capacity in a smaller profile. In fact, this compact semi-auto holds 15 rounds in the flush-fit magazine, along with 17 rounds in the extended magazine. When carried together, shooters have an astounding 33 rounds of 9mm stopping power in a very easy to carry pistol. 

The Hellcat Pro is only 6.6-inches long, 1-inch wide and 4.8-inches tall with the flush magazine. The height gets taller by a half inch with the extended magazine. The grip is plenty large enough for average hands for a full grip, even with the flush magazine, but the extended will fit even large hands. 

The grip texture provides excellent retention in the hands without being aggressive. The frame even has indentions on each side for finger placement, and short rail is just big enough for a light or laser attachment. 

The slide contains front and rear serrations that provide purchase but could be a little more aggressive. I can grip them but wish they were deeper. The sights, however, are excellent. The front sight contains tritium, glowing in dark rooms, while the U-Dot rear lines up quickly and easily on target. It even contains a flat section, called a Tactical Rack, for racking the slide one handed if needed. 

Of course, many of today’s shooters prefer micro reflex sights. For this, Springfield included an OSP footprint configuration that accepts most micro red-dot sights. A removeable plate covers everything up when no reflex sight is attached. 

In almost every way, the Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp OSP is a Hellcat. The only real difference is the compensator located just in front of the front sight. This turns part of the burning gases up and out, reducing recoil and muzzle flip. 

Rippin’ Rounds

Since Springfield designed the Hellcat Pro Comp OSP to be a concealed-carry gun, for testing I took it to an IDPA range. This range offered both paper and steel targets, along with barriers for use as cover and concealment. In addition to the accuracy testing, I also performed drills designed around self-defense. This included drawing from a Galco KingTuk IWB holster. 

The test gun came with a RMR reflex sight. However, the main sights could be used through the glass. I tested accuracy with both. The combat iron sights were dead-on. Slow strings put holes in paper through the 10 ring at both 7 and 10 yards using both Ammo Inc. Signature 115 grain and Federal Syntech 150 grain. The Shield SMSc was sighted low and to the left, but the groupings were excellent at both distances. 

Then, I rolled into various drills, such as Failure, Bill, Box and William drills. All of these were performed from retention, using both the sights and the reflex, after sighting it for my use. The Shield SMSc seemed a bit faster for acquisition, but I had zero problems with the iron sights. In fact, I still prefer combat sights, though I’m within sight of the day I might need a dot in glass. 

Regarding the compensator, I couldn’t really tell much difference. Of course, I was comparing it to a Smith & Wesson Shield, but still the recoil felt the same to me. I’ve never been a fan of comps. They reduce recoil, but usually at the cost of more sound at the shooter. 

This is not a problem during training, as shooters typically wear hearing protection. In fact, it helps many, especially those who are recoil shy. However, no one mentions the recoil after a defensive shooting, but their ears will ring for days. 

I’ve never had an issue with recoil, especially in 9mm. However, I’m not even sure it was any louder when firing. I had no way of measuring the decibels, but it didn’t really seem louder. However, I did notice significant backwash when standing behind and to the side of a friend ripping rounds with the Hellcat. I felt both the pressure and sound. Springfield might have done the comp so well that the sound doesn’t hit the shooter. I had no way to tell. 

On the Hellcat

A Hellcat by any other name would shoot as straight, or some other Shakespearean reasoning. The fact is, the Hellcat Pro is a very nice shooting pistol. Those wanting something a little smaller have the choice of the Hellcat, which is a little smaller with a few less rounds. I like compact pistols over the subcompact, but that is a personal choice.

Regardless, the Hellcat Pro is accurate, easy to handle and easy to carry. Its light weight and small size make it excellent for carry, while the 33 available rounds make it outstanding for defense. I’m not sure people fully understand the benefits of that many rounds in a compact pistol. 

The grip fills the hand without feeling bulky, despite the exceptional round count. The recoil is manageable, especially in the comp model. However, shooters can also choose to get a manual safety, state compliant and threaded barrel Hellcat. They can even choose between black and Desert FDE. 

There is no telling what ole Will would say about this world today. Probably something about how we misunderstood his work and about how badly we’ve screwed up a beautiful world. But I think he would like the name Hellcat. It just brings an image to the mind. 

Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp OSP Specs

  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Frame: Black Polymer w/ Adaptive Grip Texture
  • Slide: Billet Machined, Melonite Finish, Optics Ready, Integral Compensator
  • Barrel: 3.7-inch Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite Finish, 1:10 Twist
  • Sights: Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack U-Notch Rear
  • Length: 6.6 inches
  • Width: 1 inch
  • Weight: 21 ounces with flush magazine; 21.4 ounces with extended
  • Magazines: 15-round flush fit; 17-round extended
  • MSRP: $699
  • UPC: 706397976484

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