American Rifleman - November 2019 - 50

HELLCAT

The Hellcat is slated to wear an MSRP of $569, so the gun is priced competitively.
Better still, the OSP model is only $30 more-that's the option I'd go with.
the slide cocks the striker, and during its return forward,
the breechface engages the rear of the magazine's top round
and pushes the cartridge forward into the barrel's chamber.
At this point the Hellcat is loaded. When ready to fire, a
deliberate press of the trigger disengages the trigger safety
and begins the rearward travel of the trigger assembly.
During that travel, an extension in the trigger bar engages
and deactivates the firing pin retention safety. At the end of
its travel, the trigger bar trips the sear mechanism, releasing the striker to spring forward and impact the cartridge
primer, igniting the propellant and sending the bullet down
the barrel. Pressure from the shot forces the slide rearward,
unlocking the barrel and camming it downward, toward the
magazine and its awaiting cartridges. Power from the nowcompressed recoil springs arrests rearward slide travel and
sends the slide assembly forward, once again loading the
chamber and locking the barrel into battery-the Hellcat
is ready to be fired again. If the inserted magazine runs
empty, the magazine's follower will engage the internal tab
of the slide lock lever, pressing it upward to lock the pistol
open. At that point, the empty magazine can be released
by depressing the magazine catch button, and its clearance
makes way for another loaded magazine to be inserted, and
the process continued.
Speaking of magazines, I often say that the heart of
a firearm is its barrel, but the hook for the Hellcat is its
patented magazines. At launch, the guns will ship with
two magazines holding 11 and 13 rounds of 9 mm Luger-
considering there should be one round in the chamber
when carried for personal protection, the Hellcat boasts a
topped-off total payload of 12 or 14 rounds. With a full carry
complement-both magazines full and a round in the chamber-the armed citizen will be well supplied with 25 rounds
of 9 mm-a full box or more of defensive ammunition. The

Over-the-top rear serrations
provide additional grasping surface
for slide manipulations, and are
included on the OSP's cover plate.

50

NOVEMBER 2019

11-round magazine is designed to fit flush in the gun, maximizing the pistol's concealment qualities. Users can choose
to equip the shorter magazine with either the flat base pad
or the pinky-rest unit, which allows for a fuller firing grip
without compromising the gun's concealable profile-both
base pad units are included. The 13-round magazine utilizes
an extended single-piece base pad to accommodate the extra
ammunition and provide real estate for a full firing grip. I
was glad to see Springfield decided to use the extended base
pad rather than a grip-extending collar assembly-I've been
bitten more than once when loading a magazine whose collar
had shimmied down the tube and caught the meat of my
support hand. I much prefer the integral extension.

Bringing The Heat
If the Hellcat looks good on paper, it feels even better in hand, and it all starts with the grip frame. I see the
Hellcat's frame as the culmination of everything Springfield
Armory and its Croatian manufacturing partner, HS
Produkt, have learned about molding polymer and handgun ergonomics-if the XD-S Mod.2 was a masterpiece, the
Hellcat is their magnum opus. For being such a small gun,
it fills the hand well. And where some companies' "ergonomic features" seem to influence how the gun needs to
be held, the Hellcat fits naturally, unobtrusively, and melts
into the embrace of a firm firing grip. The texturing, too, is
perfectly on point. Advertised as "Adaptive Grip Texture,"
the stippling pattern is a seemingly random array of tiny
pyramids varying in height. The multi-tiered approach provides very good purchase, and the tallest of the pyramids
have been flattened on top in order to keep the texturing
from becoming too abrasive or clinging to cover garments.
Springfield's Kramer told me that, during a factory visit to
HS Produkt, he saw a craftsman literally hand-chiseling
each miniscule pyramid into the metal molding apparatus.
It must be an extremely time- and labor-intensive process-
and, in my opinion, worth every minute of effort.
Besides its minimal carry profile in terms of size and
weight, the controls have also been minimized, without
sacrificing utility. The disassembly lever and slide lock
lever are both recessed into the frame, and the slide lock
even features a bit of fencing to help prevent inadvertent
manual engagement. Despite its size, I had absolutely
no problem using the slide lock as a slide release during
reloads, nor did I encounter any issues with the magazine
release button which sits nearly flush with the frame but
does make use of vertical serrations to enhance contact.
Other nods to its role as a potentially life-saving fighting pistol include the cocking serrations found front and
rear, and the stand-off device, which most of us would just
call the front of the recoil spring assembly. The cocking
serrations are angled just slightly forward, and are made
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN



American Rifleman - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 2
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 5
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 6
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 7
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 8
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 9
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 10
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 11
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 12
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 13
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 14
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 15
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 16
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 17
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 18
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 19
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 20
American Rifleman - November 2019 - 21
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American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover3
American Rifleman - November 2019 - Cover4
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