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Making a pistol wider, longer, taller and heavier is usually not a great idea, especially in an EDC gun. But that is exactly what Springfield Armory did to the original Hellcat to create the Hellcat Pro, a pistol that improved on the functionality of the original Hellcat. The larger size Hellcat Pro—larger by mere fractions of an inch—tweaked the usability by providing more grip and more slide for better recoil management, as well as a larger 15+1 round capacity. The newest variant, the Hellcat Pro Comp OSP, directly addresses muzzle flip with an integral compensator. Less flip equals faster follow ups.

A Barrel With Two Holes

The Hellcat Pro Comp OSP features an oblong hole in the barrel near the muzzle that lines up with a similar slot milled into the slide. The physics are easy to understand. While a fired round leaves the barrel, the slide cycles to chamber the next round, the barrel flips up. In small barrel pistols like micro nines, there is not a lot of barrel or slide, so the slide movement is snappy and the muzzle flips up. The port in the barrel helps push down on the barrel and the muzzle of the pistol when the shot is fired so there is less muzzle flip. Shoot with both eyes open, and you will see a lick of burning gasses flare up from the port. But does it work? Yes.

The oblong slot at the top of the barrel diverts gas up to reduce muzzle flip. Robert Sadowski Photo

The compromise with the compensated barrel is the sight radius is slightly reduced when using the big dot and U-shaped notch iron sights. When using a red dot like the Shield SMSc, there is no compromise. SA could have gone the route of the Hellcat RDP and screwed a compensator onto the muzzle, but that would have increased the Pro’s length. Porting the barrel is a good idea to better manage muzzle flip without increasing the length.

A Few Months And A Few Hundred Rounds

I have experience with the original, nonported Hellcat Pro and preferred how the Pro cycled compared to the mor base Hellcat. I also like the Pro’s longer grip, which make all the difference in control and fast follow up shots. Firing up the Pro Comp, I noticed an immediate difference. There was noticeably less muzzle flip. Running the Mozambique Drill, I found the two shots to center of mass were fast and grouped tight. The single shot to the head is surgical, and I attribute that to the Shield SMSc red dot. Dumping a full magazine as fast as I could in an 8-inch circular target, the Pro Comp offered more recoil control.

Shooting the Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Comp OSP revealed it was accurate and did indeed reduce muzzle flip. Robert Sadowski Photo

Just for the record, I fired the Pro Comp for accuracy at 15 yards. I loaded up with train and defense ammo; on the light side with Armscor with a 115-grain FMF, in the middle was Streak Ammo with a 124-grain TMC bullet and on the heavy end was Remington HTP with a 147-grain JHP. No issues at all from any of the loads. The Pro Comp chewed through ammo just like you’d want it to. The best group was a tie between the Streak and Armscor at 1.7 inches for five shots. The Remington had a best of 2.3 inches for five shots. The average group size across all ammo was a decent 2.1 inches. Combine that with accurate and fast follow ups; sign me up.

I rotated the Hellcat Pro Comp OSP into my conceal carry routine and carried it exclusively for the last few months using a CYA Supply Co. Base IWB Kydex holster. The cant of the holster is adjustable, as is the retention, and it is compatible with red dots. The holster has smooth edges and a sweat guard, which is helpful now that the heat is on down here south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I carry appendix and sitting in a vehicle or behind the key board, the Hellcat Pro Comp and CYA Base holster are comfortable. The Hellcat safely clicks in place when inserted into the holster and the holster seems to spit the pistol out on draw. The draw is slick and fast with minimal friction.

Is The New Hellcat Pro Comp Worth It?

If you like the original Hellcat Pro and want less muzzle flip, the Pro Comp is a good option. The only real competitor the Pro Comp has is the SIG P365XL Comp models, but the Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp has a leg up with a 15+1 round capacity compered to the SIG’s 12+1 capacity. You can also get two Hellcat Pro Comps for the price of the SIG.

The Hellcat Pro Comp OSP noticeably reduces muzzle flip, and that’s a good thing when you need to shoot fast and multiple times. Robert Sadowski Photo

Micro nines are notoriously snappy shooters with plenty of muzzle flip. The Hellcat Pro Comp OSP noticeably reduces muzzle flip, and that’s a good thing when you need to shoot fast and multiple times. So, the question you need to ask yourself is: To comp or not? Given the choice, go with the comp.

Ratings

Fit and Finish *****

Notes: Typical SA quality and finish, which translates to nice.

Reliability *****

Notes: Delivers on reliability—load and go—and recoil was noticeably improved for faster follow up shots.

Concealment ****

Notes: Even though this is an upsized micro nine with a red dot it is easy to carry.

Accuracy ****

Notes: At 6.2 pounds it is heavy but is it smooth and consistent and a good serviceable trigger for self-defense. I’ll take a 2-inch group at 15 yards from a micro-nine any day.

Overall *****

Notes: Handles great, excellent grip angle and texture, an undercut where you need it, good accuracy and now better recoil management.

The CYA Supply Co. Base IWB Kydex holster made carrying the Hellcat Pro Comp comfortable. Robert Sadowski Photo

Specifications: Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Comp OSP

Caliber:                        9mm

Overall Length:           6.6 in.

Barrel Length:             3.7 in.

Height:                       4.8 in. w/flush fit mag

Width:                        1.0 in.

Magazine Capacity:     15 rounds w/flush fit mag

Weight (unloaded):     21.0 oz. w/flush fit mag

MSRP:                        $699

Check out Ammo To Go,  the ammunition retail sponsor of TTAG. Get your bulk and quality ammo for a bargain by visiting their site.

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23 COMMENTS

    • Shot my P365X (not XL) at the range next to a guy shooting a Hellcat, then we traded guns for a mag. Exact same thing. If you want to buy one with a rock-solid optic and be done, the Hellcat is a good option. If you want to tinker, buy your own optic, or just run irons, the P365 is great.

      Now, why anyone would buy the Macro (or Pro Comp OSP) is beyond me… totally defeats the purpose of the platform. Just buy a full-size pistol, at that point.

  1. Man everyone is copying Sig. And believe it or not the best copy seems to be Taurus GX4 Carry. For a helluva lot less. No plans to jump on the bandwagon. The wife wants the Ruger Max 9…

    • I’ve got the Max-9 and like it. Then again, I haven’t tried the others in the genre. I also like to pocket carry and the basic Max-9 (with 10 round mag) is about as big as I’d go for pocket carry (also pocket carry 642, and LCP). The Ruger Max-9 typically costs less than the Sig, Springfield, Smith, and Glock options, and comes with a tritium front sight. Though I have guns from Glock, CZ, S&W, etc., being frugal I tend to be more of a Ruger fan.

      With 15+1 this Springfield basically matches a Glock 19 (or PSA Dagger), and is a significantly thinner, smaller, and more concealable.

      • I typically pocket carry. I had the compact Taurus G3X in church in a pocket holster after my wife forgot her Taurus Slim. (None the wiser).The Ruger Max 9 is quite close in size to the Slim. My buddy has a 365. I wasn’t overly impressed after I shot it. Did you mount a red dot on the Ruger?

        • I haven’t mounted a red dot on the Max-9. I’m a little slow on going to red dots for pistols, and thought a red dot might make the Max-9 too big for pocket carry.

          I recently bought a PSA Dagger and mounted a red dot and light on it. I use that as a home defense gun, but don’t presently carry it.

          I’m impressed that you pocket carry a Taurus G3X. I have a slightly smaller Taurus G3C, and feel it is a bit too big for pocket carry unless I’m wearing pants with a pretty big pocket. I’m really impressed with the recent Taurus G3 pistols. They seem like a lot of bang for the buck.

  2. ” A Barrel with Two Holes ”
    Well duh, one for the cartridge to go into, one for the bullet to come out of, so… oh, THREE holes including the one that lets gas out of the top of the barrel ahead of the bullet’s exit. Got it.

  3. Fit and Finish *****

    Notes: Typical SA quality and finish, which translates to nice.

    SA does not manufacture this pistol. They receive it in and ship it out. 😁👍🏻😁

  4. Hellcat is an areoplane.
    My father in law said they was Jap killing sons a bitches. He was crew chief on a C37, I think it was,he said, supplied shit to Burma and China. Shot monkeys for sport in India with a 1911 and lost his stripes. He said them damned monkeys was everywhere. Lucky for him he never met no cannibals, well actually lucky for the cannibals they never met him.
    I bought a Gruman canoe but he said he wasn’t getting in that wash tub. I figured he’d be impressed by the Gruman trademark. Not.
    He was an irony cuss, we used to hunt quail together, he carried coffee cans and we’d fill them up with quail, pitch em out so if we got stopped we wouldn’t be over the limit. Later on we’d go back and get them after the gunms was put up. Taught me how to make a gill net too, illegal here, but he didnt believe in illegal just dont get caught, he had fish traps stuck in every hole in this river.
    Coon hides stretched and drying, rabbits, squirrel, barbequed Beaver is really good. We all never went hungry.
    This new age modern life sucks. Wishing I could ride that horse just one more time.
    Leroy Estel Le–ty , I’ll never forget you.

  5. M, m, m, m, moderation.
    Its getting to the point
    Your no fun anymore
    I am sorry
    You are you
    I am me
    And you make it hard

  6. Weird review. The hellcat pro comp is 599 not 699 check grab a gun . Com. You’ve never heard of a p365 xmacro …? 17 rounds homie … just like the hellcat pro 17 round mag that most people use with it though … also the xmacro is like $850 so you definitely can’t buy 2 hellcats for the price of a sig…

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  10. I can see one of these in my future if the comp works as advertised. In the past, ported or comp bbl 9mm’s didn’t show much if any muzzle flip reduction. Comps work best with a hot load producing a lot of gas.

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