Let’s be honest, how often is the average person going to shoot their chosen EDC pistol? A few hundred rounds to make sure it works, and then stuff it in a holster and not think about it again? Maybe even less?
How about we turn that on its end and hold that gun you’re staking your life on to a higher standard? Instead of just viewing it as a gun that has to shoot a few hundred rounds to be “proven,” how about we hold it to the standard of a full-size duty pistol? What kind of test would that be?
Well, if your chosen EDC pistol is (or will be) the Hellcat, let’s throw all our preconceived notions about CCW pistols out the window. And why shouldn’t we? The Hellcat did the same with all the rules for what we should expect from a deep-cover carry pistol. Despite its tiny size and light weight (around 18 oz. and sporting a short 3″ barrel), the 9mm +P-rated pistol packs in 11+1 rounds with a flush mag and 13+1 with an extended one. Bump up to the OSP version (for a mere extra $30), and you get the ability to direct-mount an optic on the pistol that co-witnesses with the excellent U-Dot tritium/luminescent sights.
Basically, you are getting duty pistol capacity, performance, and adaptability in a gun that can be carried concealed easily all day. So how about we apply full-size durability standards to it that we wouldn’t normally to a gun this size? How about 10K rounds through it over two days, with only basic maintenance and care? Crazy? Possibly. Should we try it? Why not?
What we’re talking about here is not only reliability, but also durability. Will an average shooter ever shoot a Hellcat this amount? I doubt it. But, when a new CCW firearm comes to market, I always want to know how durable it is. Now, we could wait months for real-world beta testing, getting some feedback from owners that adopted early. But many times, designs that should have worked according to AutoCAD don’t hold up to expectations. I don’t know about you, but I’d find it pretty comforting to find out if the gun I would stake my life on as a CCW pistol can deliver when it counts.
Rules of the Game
Fortunately for all of us, I do have some experience with overkill (click here to see my 10K test of the Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm). And I knew just the guys to ask for help when it was time for mad scientist gun-testing hour. Federal Ammunition, never a team to back down, donated 10,000 rounds of American Eagle 9mm. The ammunition we used was 115 grain, with an advertised velocity of 1,180 feet per second. That isn’t quite +P, but it is certainly no powder puff. Also, we had Action Target provide us several excellent steel targets for the test. So, with this and a standard Hellcat pistol along with 35 13-round magazines, we had the ingredients for a real test of what the Hellcat could do…
Finish reading Clay’s thoughts and conclusions over at TheArmoryLife.com.