Is the Springfield Hellcat Pro OSP Pistol one of the safer pistols out there? We think so.
I much prefer carry guns built with manual safeties. They are well, safer, in my opinion, especially considering the many ways a handgun can get held up when being drawn out of concealment. Once the gun is free of clothing, it’s a simple and fluid move to snap off the manual safety before getting on target.
So, I was glad to discover that Springfield Armory had added a manual safety version to its very popular Hellcat line of compact carry pistols, the Hellcat Pro OSP 9MM. The ambidextrous manual safety at the rear of the frame snapped on and off naturally for this right-handed shooter and should do the same for lefties. Like all Hellcats, this version also has a blade trigger safety.
Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP 9mm Review
About the Gun
The OSP stands for “Optical Sight Pistol,” and the Hellcat’s slide is milled with the Springfield Micro™ footprint, designed to direct mount the smallest micro red dots on the market with the lowest mount possible.
Actually, there are three versions of the Pro with manual safety: The standard Hellcat Pro OSP I received; a Pro OSP with a Shield SMSc micro red dot already installed; and a Pro OSP model for those states with magazine restrictions, selling with two, 10-round magazines.
When the Hellcat line was first launched, its 11+1 ammo capacity was a huge deal. Now, the new Hellcat Pro OSP offers an amazing 15+1 capacity in a smaller footprint than any other gun in its class.
Sending Rounds Downrange
With its 3.7-inch barrel, I expected some muzzle rise with the Hellcat Pro, and I was right. Nothing terrible, but firing multiple shots will require the shooter to get the front sight back on target.
At my outdoor range, I shot the Hellcat Pro at closer, self-defense distances of five and seven yards, offhand. For a self-defense load, I used Overwatch 9MM, manufactured by Liberty Ammunition. A non-lead round firing a 72-grain hollow point made to rupture significantly and cause massive internal damage, the Overwatch clocks in at 1,700 feet per second out of the barrel.
The Overwatch produced five shot groups of 2.0 inches and better. Better included a 1.3- and a 1.0-inch group at seven yards.
Both rounds easily scored 2.0-inch groups, too. The Syntech drilled its best groups at 1.3 and 1.1 inches, while, at five yards, the UMC nailed an .80-inch cluster.
Pretty damned impressive commentary on both the pistol and the ammo.
I mag dumped two 15-round magazines, twice, and had no failures to feed or eject. The 15-round magazines sat flush in the pistol’s grip, too. Nothing to snag or slow your draw.
A New Standard
Springfield’s Adaptive Grip Texture™ fully wraps the grip, a pressure-activated texture made of tiny, staggered pyramid shapes that did a fine job keeping my hand firm on the pistol.
The Hellcat’s rear sight featured a U-notch outlined in white, which worked well enough given the above-cited groups. Yet the notch was a bit too narrow for my eyes, and I had trouble centering the front post in the notch. Longer distance shots were tough.
While the slide’s front serrations were pronounced enough for me to get a good grip when racking the slide, the rear slide serrations weren’t high enough to firmly engage my fingers.
Minus these two small issues, I had no problems using the Hellcat Pro OSP.
By the way, the manual, ambidextrous safety does work. Several times during my shooting, I flipped the safety to the ON position, pointed at my target, and tried to squeeze off a shot. Tried, as the safety had locked up the trigger action.
Springfield and its newest Hellcat have really set the bar for a compact 9MM carry gun with a larger ammo capacity. To hold 15+1 rounds is an extremely concealable pistol that is just an inch wide, is lightweight, and sports a manual safety? It is a rather amazing feat.
SPECS: Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP
- ACTION: Semi-Auto
- CHAMBERING: 9MM
- SLIDE: Billet Machined Steel, Melonite® Finish, Optics Ready
- FRAME: Black Polymer w/Adaptive Grip Texture, Manual Safety
- BARREL: Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish, 1:10 Twist
- BARREL LENGTH: 3.7”
- MAGAZINES: Two 15-Round, Steel
- SIGHTS: Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack U-Notch Rear
- TRIGGER: Striker-Fired
- SAFETIES: Ambi Manual, Bladed Trigger
- HEIGHT: 4.8”
- WIDTH: 1.0”
- LENGTH: 6.6”
- WEIGHT: 21 oz.
- MSRP: $649
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