Springfield Armory’s newest everyday carry handgun, the Hellcat, has earned a lot of praise in the short time following its release. When it comes to everyday carry reliability is paramount and Springfield’s shining a light on the Hellcat’s performance.
In 2019, Springfield took a Hellcat off the production line and put it through a single-day 10,000-round torture test with Clay Martin. Now Paul Carson’s done it, too. In one day Carson and the Armory Life crew put another 10,000 rounds through the same handgun, serial number AT234795, all on video with only user-induced malfunctions.
The full video–sped up–is available for everyone to watch at the Armory Life. Everyone who has two and a half hours, that is.
“We are very proud to see that the Hellcat once again proved its dominant position in the market as the finest and most durable micro 9mm available,” says Springfield Vice President Steve Kramer. “Carlson’s test held the Hellcat to a very high standard, and it once again showed that the pistol has what it takes to deliver the performance and capability concealed carry users should demand.”
Springfield teamed up with Federal Ammunition to provide ammo for both rounds of testing. They only used limited preventative maintenance, including cleaning every 500 rounds and a scheduled recoil spring replacement after every 2,500 rounds.
The user-induced malfunctions included running the slide stop, which stopped the pistol before it ran empty, as well as dropping the slide on an empty magazine. At one point the crew also ran into a problem when someone tried to chamber a round backward, which is no fault of the gun.
Around the 15,000-round mark, the gun began to slow down due to a buildup of grime in the grip frame, but no parts failed. After a deeper clean, the Hellcat was up and running normally.
“The Hellcat is even more capable of a gun than I first realized,” said Carlson. “I’ve never really considered small guns to be capable of what this Hellcat has accomplished. I’ve liked the Hellcat ever since I first shot my own, and now have even more faith in it. Springfield Armory has earned its keep on this one.”
A small-frame polymer striker-fired pistol, the Hellcat is one of the first of a new kind of EDC. It combines elements of single-stack pistols and double-stack pistols to make a small, light handgun with a solid 11-round capacity or 13+1 rounds using a slightly extended plus-two magazine.
The standard Hellcat has a 3-inch barrel and weighs just over 18 ounces empty, which makes it about the same size and (unloaded) weight as most single-stack pistols but with a much larger capacity.
While many smaller handguns, even sub-compact service pistols, can be less reliable than duty handguns, the Hellcat’s proving that it can hold its own under the kind of hard-use that would prove to be problematic even for a lot of service pistols.
“No one would ever expect a micro-sized pistol intended for CCW to be subjected to such an incredibly demanding test, but we never doubted the Hellcat would come out on top,” said Springfield CEO Dennis Reese. “Quality is our number one priority and it always will be, and the Hellcat proved that during this test. We’ll be watching as it continues to prove itself for the next 10K rounds, and beyond.”
For more about the Hellcat and other Springfield Armory products, head over to the company website.