Gun Review: Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Comp 9mm Pistol

Springfield Armory has just released the latest version of the Hellcat Pro pistol, the Hellcat Pro Comp. Springfield’s taken their 15+1 Hellcat Pro (which comes with an extended mag for 17+1 capability) and, well, comped it. The 3.7” hammer forged steel, Melonite-treated barrel is interrupted by an integral compensator (hence the Pro Comp name). The slide is likewise cut to allow gasses to escape, reducing muzzle flip, felt recoil (to some extent), and projectile velocity.

The single-port comp cut vents gases upward. The front sight — part of Springfield’s superb tritium front and “Tactical Rack” U-notch rear sight combination — is located in a dovetail just behind the compensator cut in the slide.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro Comp
Courtesy Springfield

Before anyone starts crying about the fractionally reduced sight radius, check your bullseye scores on slow fire at 25 yards. If you regularly shoot 100 for a pair of five-round strings, one-handed, then we can discuss the slightly shorter sight radius. If not, you won’t notice it anyway.

The Hellcat Pro Comp arrived optic-ready with Springfield’s OSP slide cut and pre-fitted with a Shield Mini Sight Compact (SMSc) red dot. I’ve used these before with some success. Sitting low as it does on the Hellcat Pro Comp, co-witnessing isn’t a problem. I can still readily see the factory irons.

I’ve had the gun a few months now. A few range trips allowed me to get the optic zeroed, do some velocity comparisons with an un-comped Hellcat Pro, accuracy testing and then shoot some drills to try to determine the difference between what’s more-or-less standard Hellcat Pro and this new Comp version.

Like the other guns in the Hellcat line, this is, first and foremost, a Carry  gun. It fits any holster meant for the Hellcat Pro, like this DeSantis Mean Streak IWB.

Just like the Hellcat Pro, the Hellcat Pro Comp is a very nicely appointed “not-quite-micro“ 9mm pistol. With a fifteen-round cargo hold (in “free” states anyway) and the slightly-longer-than-original Hellcat barrel, slide and frame, it shoots much like a service pistol, though a bit slower.

The Hellcat Pro Comp’s lighter-than-Echelon slide should theoretically kick less than the service pistol, but reciprocating slide mass doesn’t have quite the impact of a gun’s total weight on felt recoil. Neither gun is a chore to shoot, but, as you’d expect, the full-size service pistol is slightly easier to shoot for hours at a time. “Micro” pistols like the Hellcats tend to induce some fatigue, in my experience. They are also marginally harder to shoot well, according to many.

I’m getting more experience with these smaller guns than I wanted at first. But their utility is so great, I find the effort rewarding.

Recoil in a 9mm micro-compact – even the upsized versions like the Hellcat Pro and now the Pro Comp – is still brisk, but the comp-cut does make a discernible difference.

As for any reduced velocity, it’s slight. Hornady Critical Duty 135gr FTX round just broke 1,000 fps (average 1,004) out of the comped gun, with five hits going into 3½”. That’s not bad, but the best three of five – something that’s more predictive of shooting the gun from a mechanical rest – clustered into 1 ¾”. The standard Hellcat Pro launched the same Hornady round at an average 1,020 fps, with five rounds into four inches. The “best three” shot inside two inches.

Speer 124 grain Gold Dot HP blasted out of the Pro Comp at 1,113 fps and gave me a 3-inch group. The standard version of the gun yielded 1,135fps average.

I ran two more popular loads, just to be thorough. Federal Personal Defense “Punch” 124gr. JHP averaged 1,099 fps with accuracy on par with the Speer load. Black Hills 115 grain EXP HP gave the same average velocity. Vertical stringing demonstrated this aged shooter’s compromised grip, but three rounds of the five-shot group clustered around 2 ¼”.


In the right hands, the Hellcat Pro Comp with an optic is easily a three-inch gun at 25 yards gun. That’s plenty accurate for a personal defense pistol.

As for the effect of the compensator cut, shooting one gun after the other off the bench, the difference in felt recoil is noticeable. It’s not a huge amount, but the recoil felt more “solid” in the un-comped gun, “smoother” in the Pro Comp

I did some work on B-8 repair centers from 20 feet to get more of a feel for the gun. I proved to myself that I’m still not really a pistol optic kind of guy. Still, the only time I didn’t immediately see the dot, the front sight was hovering over the “X” so it didn’t really matter.

Like Springfield’s original Hellcat Pro, the new Hellcat Pro Comp is reliable, accurate, and more pleasant to shoot. It’s handy to carry, too. Any pistol that gives you the ability to easily carry 15+1  (or 17+1) and shoot it comfortably is a pistol that’s going to find willing buyers. The Springfield Hellcat Pro Comp is exactly that pistol.


BARREL LENGTH: 3.7” Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite Finish, 1:10
WEIGHT: 21 oz.
SIGHTS: U-Dot with tritium front
ACTION: Striker-fired
CAPACITY: 15+1 (one magazine included), 17+1 (one magazine included)
WEIGHT: 21 oz w/ Flush Mag, 21.4 oz w/ Extended Mag
LENGTH: 6.6″
HEIGHT: 4.8″ w/ Flush Mag, 5.3″ w/ Extended Mag
MSRP: $699



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