Springfield Hellcat OSP review | November 13, 2022 (2024)

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There are several of these sub-compact, polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols out today. I own three: a Sig Sauer P365, an , and this one: the Springfield Hellcat OSP.

I’ve had this gun for several months. I only recently started carrying it regularly, so I held off on the review. Why? Well, we’ll get there.

Table of Contents

The basics.

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As I said, it’s a polymer, sub-compact, striker-fired handgun. It comes with two magazines. One 11 round and one 13 round. Neither are the “flush” fit; the smaller has a small extension that allows a good grip for your pinky. The difference in concealability is negligible, but the improvement in control is noticeable. It’s a good trade.

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It has the little blade trigger thingy that I see no use for whatsoever. I just can’t imagine something getting in the trigger guard and not depressing the blade. I seem to be in the minority with this view.

Specs.

  1. Caliber: 9mm
  2. Capacity: 11+1 and 13+1.
  3. Trigger pull: 6 lbs. (average of five pulls.)
  4. Length: 6″
  5. Height: 4.5″ (with 11-round magazine)
  6. Width: 1″ at the grip.
  7. Barrel: 3″
  8. Empty weight: 18.3 oz.
  9. Loaded weight (12 rounds, Federal 124 gr HST): 23 oz.

Sights.

As you can see below, it has a tritium night sight on the front, and a white outline U for the rear.

In the daylight, this is a good combination. I have so say I’m a little disappointed that only the front sight is visible at night.

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First impressions.

When I first looked at it and held it, I was pleased. The grip fits my hand well, the magazine design allows me to get a full grip, and the texturing is good.

If you look at the frame just above the front of the trigger guard, you’ll see a little textured indentation. That’s for your trigger finger to rest in. It’s an interesting touch, and I kind of like it. It’s also on both sides so lefties aren’t left out.

Speaking of lefties, you’ll notice that I have the manual safety version. The safety is ambidextrous.

The magazine release is reversible.

Only the slide release is left side only, and it seems hardly anyone actually uses that anymore to release the slide, so that’s no big deal.

If you look at the picture of the front sight, you’ll notice that the slide is cut for a red dot. I don’t have one of those yet, but this gun will be my test bed when the time comes to try one for a carry gun.

Why did I wait?

Well, when I first got it, I sucked with it. I mean, I can be low and left unless I stay in practice, but I was way off with this gun. In the picture below, there are three different shot groups, at five yards.

Top center is the P365. Under that and to the left is the Hellcat. To the right of that is the Shield.

So, two were decent but the Hellcat was way off. I had my son shoot it and he was considerably better than I was, so it wasn’t the gun. As an aside, he likes it so much I am being regularly reminded how close Christmas is.

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You know how sometimes you can pick up a gun and it just works for you right out of the box? The Hellcat is not that gun for me. I’ve had to do some work with it to get to where I felt comfortable carrying it. Picture below is from this weekend. I’m comfortable carrying the gun, but I have to say that I’m better with the other two.

In all these targets, each box is 1″ square.

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At five yards, fine. At 10, I’m still not all that happy. Bottom target. Top was some shotgun stuff.

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Finally, I went to three yards, ignored the sights, and fired as fast as I could through both magazines. Top target. Honestly, I’m OK with this performance.

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Reliability and accuracy

Reliability is 100%. Not a single failure using four different kinds of ammunition, including one defensive round. I’ve run some Blazer aluminum-cased 115 gr, IMI 9mm, Blazer Brass 124 gr, and Federal HST 124 gr. It doesn’t get any better than perfect.

Accuracy. I have no complaints about the gun itself. And I’ve learned a few things here.

  • It seems the gun is better than I am.
  • My son is better with this gun than I am.
  • I really need a pistol rest in order to truly evaluate the accuracy of a gun to remove myself from the equation when the first bullet point is true.

What’s the end result?

I like the gun. I like the way it feels, its reliability, and the 11 and 13 round capacity in such a small frame.

I’m not all that excited about the lack of rear night sight. If I end up getting a red dot for it, that will be moot.

Finally, I wish I was better with it. I really do. If I spent the time, I’m sure I could be. I’ve improved a lot of the past couple months, so maybe four or five range trips. 50 – 100 rounds each time.

And again, at short range I’m perfectly fine. More than happy with my three yard rapid fire and my five yard aimed group.

For me, the fact is that I have two others that are just as concealable, and I’m better with. The capacity deficit, especially with the P365, is only four rounds total between the two magazines.

Is it worth it to go from 25 rounds to 21 if the 21 is in a gun you’re better with? Interesting thought exercise there.

I’ll likely stick with the P365 when I need this size, but I can still recommend this gun. The only issue I’ve found involves my interface with it, and that’s hardly a problem for the gun.

Where to get one.

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Springfield Hellcat OSP review | November 13, 2022 (2024)

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