Springfield Armory Hellcat Micro-Compact OSP HC9319BOSP 9mm Luger

An 11+1 pistol, this small Springfield might be the most versatile pistol in the group.




The Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) is the newest entrant in this playing field, having just been introduced in October 2019. While the other pistols tested in this group were slightly larger than other versions of the same firearm, it would appear that Springfield decided to maintain a minimalist approach with its red-dot EDC solution. This group of testers lives in the very humid South. Even though pocket carry might not be our first choice for a method of concealed carry, it is a fact of life down here during the summer. In our opinion, this is the only pistol of this test group that could still reasonably be carried in a pocket, even with a red dot attached. Overall length is only 6 inches, and the height, with the red dot attached and a flush-fit magazine, measures a mere 4.75 inches.

Action TypeSemi auto, striker fired
Overall Length6.0 in.
Overall Height5.25 in. w/mag extension and red dot sight
Maximum Width1.06 in. at slide stop
Weight Unloaded (no magazine)15.9 oz. with red dot
Weight Loaded23.3 oz. w/12 rounds
Slide MaterialForged steel, Melonite finish
Slide Retraction Effort17.7 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
Front Strap Height1.625 in.
Back Strap Height2.5 in.
Barrel Length3.0 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.06 in.
Grip Circumference5.25 in.
Magazine(1) 11 round & (1) 13 round extended
Rear SightDrift adjustable w/white outline U-shape notch
Front SightTritium lamp outlined with high-vis green circle
Sight Radius5.1 in.
Trigger Pull Weight5.75 lbs.
Trigger Span2.875 in.
SafetyTrigger blade, hammer block
WarrantyLimited warranty
Telephone(800) 680-6866
Made InCroatia

The Hellcat OSP, unlike the standard Hellcat, ships with the slide already cut for a red dot but does not offer a package that includes a red-dot sight at this time. The mount on the pistol is designed to fit the Shield RMSc or a JPoint sight. Since no dot sight is included, the pistol comes with a cover plate over the mount. The slide is cut with cocking serrations front and rear. The cover plate, when attached, includes matching serrations that go over the top of the slide – something that is functional and eye-catching. The slide sports an excellent set of sights. The front is a steel blank with a tritium lamp surrounded by a light green plastic insert. The rear is sight “U” shaped with a white outline below. The rear sight does not have to be removed to install the RMSc sight, which we greatly prefer. The height of the sights allows them to co-witness through the red-dot’s viewport, making them perfectly usable if the optic fails.

The trigger also reminds us of a product from that little company in Austria, with a couple of improvements. The trigger face is almost flat, allowing the finger to go low on the trigger and provide more leverage. The sear breaks at about 90 degrees, which we prefer, and, like the S&W Performance Shield, there is an overtravel bump behind the trigger, limiting rearward movement. Controls protrude no more than necessary and are recessed into the sides of the polymer frame.

The frame itself has what Springfield calls “Adaptive Grip Texture.” This texture has at least two levels of pyramids, if you will. The higher level has been somewhat flattened to lessen irritation when the pistol is carried against the skin. We could feel the difference in adhesion to our hands when we increased pressure on the grip. But when pressure is applied, a more aggressive point is encountered, and the grip adheres better to the hand. The trigger guard is undercut to allow the highest possible grip. The sides of the magazine well are relieved to allow the shooter to grab the base plate on the magazine in case of a malfunction. The front strap also includes a standard Picatinny rail. The recoil spring is a double, captured and nested affair that, along with the recoil-spring guide rod, creates some stand-off capability in case something is pushing against the front of the slide.

Perhaps the greatest concern about red-dot sights are their durability. Will a given sight survive in the real world? We didn’t want to abuse the sight, but we didn’t want to have to baby it either. We wanted to make sure that the Shield RMSc sights would continue to work through a lot of shooting and a lot of slide manipulations. A video Springfield posted for this pistol and sight combo shows them using the front of the RMSc sight as an edge against which they pushed in order to rack the slide. Of course, we had to do that, too. The sight didn’t fail and didn’t lose zero.

Our Team Said: The Hellcat went through more than 200 rounds without a hiccup. The Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP was, in our opinion, the snappiest of the pistols tested. But that didn’t stop it from posting very competitive times in our drills. We just had to hold onto the pistol hard. The Hellcat won our overall accuracy tests by a small margin, but win it did. It seemed to shoot everything we fed it. We think that of the four handguns tested here, the Hellcat would be the only pistol that might realistically be pocket-carried if needed — even with the optic installed.

Written and photographed by Joe Woolley, using evaluations from Gun Tests team testers.

Value Guide: 9MM Luger Handgun Rankings

Arex Rex Delta REXDELTA-01 9mm Luger, $425Feb. 2020ABest Buy. Reliability and practical accuracy are good, and the pistol is the right size for concealed carry.
Stoeger Industries STR-9 31721 9mm Luger, $350Feb. 2020BIf you like the Glock 17, you will like the STR-9. Worth the money, but it is not our favorite.
Ruger Security-9 Compact Model 3818 9mm Luger, $309Feb. 2020BThe pistol is adequate for the task and will not break the bank.
SIG P365 Nitron Micro-Compact 9mm Luger, $465Feb. 2020BThe SIG costs more than the Ruger Security-9 without overwhelming advantages.
S&W M2.0 PC Shield 11787 9mm Luger, $430Jan. 2020ABest Buy. Smooth and accurate, great sights and trigger. Costs a lot less than the SIG.
SIG Sauer P365XL P365XL-9-BXR3 9mm Luger, $580Jan. 2020AOur Pick. The SIG P365XL was the most accurate of the four pistols tested.
Springfield Armory XDE9 XDE9389B 9mm Luger, $460Jan. 2020ASlide is easier to retract, hammer-fired, DA/SA trigger set the XDE apart in this test.
Springfield Hellcat Micro-Compact 9mm Luger, $500Jan. 2020F/AHellcat #1 failed when the trigger wouldn’t reset (F). Hellcat #2 worked perfectly (A). Best accuracy.
Glock 43X Ameriglo Night Sights PX435SL301AB 9mm Luger, $542July 2019AOur Pick. Firing grip is superior to the G43 and allows better shooting with little compromise.
Glock 48 PA485SL301AB 9mm Luger, $488July 2019ABest-shooting pistol in the test and the most powerful. Minimally more difficult to conceal.
Mossberg MC1sc 89001 9mm Luger, $365July 2019A-Best Buy. The Mossberg 9mm gave up little to the Glock designs. Reliability was never a question.
Springfield XD(M) 4.5 9mm Luger XDMT9459FDEHCE TB, $505Apr. 2019AOur Pick as a personal-defense, home-defense, and tactical pistol.
Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger, $710Apr. 2019AThe Gen5 guns are the best yet, with superior accuracy and features over earlier Glocks.
CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger, $402Apr. 2019BBest Buy. CZ has managed to pack a lot of value into the P0-9. 19-round magazine.
FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger, $570Apr. 2019BHeavier trigger than the other pistols. Accuracy wasn’t as good.
Glock 45 9mm Luger, $546Jan. 2019AFast from concealed carry. The action allows a trained shooter to make fast hits. Reliable.
Beretta APX Compact JAXC921 9mm Luger, $449Jan. 2019BMagazines were difficult to load. Slide was difficult to rack. Takedown button too tight.
SIG P320-M17 320F-9-M17-MS 9mm Luger, $770Jan. 2019BThe grip fits most hands well and the sights are excellent. The DAO trigger was too heavy.
Beretta 92 FS JS92F300M 9mm Luger, $562Jan. 2019BShows the age of its design with a slide-mounted decocker and long DA trigger pull.
Taurus G2S 1-G2S931 9mm Luger, $204Nov. 2018ABest Buy. The Taurus pistol was reliable and controllable in rapid fire.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield SW180021BW 9mm Luger, $400Nov. 2018AThe Battleworn Shield is reliable, accurate enough, and compact enough for EDC.
Bersa BP9MCC 9mm Luger, $295Nov. 2018A-Reliable, feels good in the hand, and offers excellent handling in fast-paced drills.
Honor Defense Honor Guard HG9SCF FIST 9mm Luger, $400Nov. 2018A-The FIST option is viable. We tested it against barricades with excellent results.
Ruger EC9s 3283 9mm Luger, $231Nov. 2018B-Most accurate handgun of the test, despite its light weight.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Compact 11686 9mm Luger, $476June 2018APleasing trigger action, good gripping surface, a rail, and grip inserts.
Glock G19X G5 PX1950703 9mm Luger, $594June 2018A-Has many of the good features of the Gen5s. Fast from leather, fast on target, reliable.
Ruger SR1911 L’wt Commander 6722 9mm Luger, $739June 2018BFor those who like the single-action 1911 cocked-and-locked, this is a good choice.
SIG Sauer P225-A1 Nitron 225A-9-BSS-C 9mm Luger, $880June 2018B-Slim grip appeals to shooters with small hands. No rail and low magazine capacity.
Glock 17 Gen5 9mm Luger, $545Mar. 2018B-A credible firearm, but the sum of its parts is not a great leap forward.
CZ-USA CZ P-10 C 91520 9mm Luger, $480Feb. 2018A-Best Buy. Well-designed sights, decent trigger, ambi slide lock and magazine catch.
Lipsey’s Glock 17RTF2 Vickers FDE 9mm Luger, $630Feb. 2018A-Our Pick. Includes Vickers Tactical sights, a mag guide, and mag basepads.
Beretta 92FS W/Wilson Combat Upgrades 9mm Luger, $550Feb. 2018BSmooth, well finished, and the most accurate handgun tested. Grip did not fit all shooters.
Arex Rex Zero 1 Standard FDE 9mm Luger, $634Feb. 2018BFit, finish, and an absence of internal tool marks show high build standards.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 11537 9mm Luger, $599Dec. 2017AA refined striker-fire pistol with a crisp trigger, excellent grips, and good accuracy.
Springfield Armory XD MOD.2 4-In. Service 9mm Luger, $565Dec. 2017A-Easy to shoot due to the fiber-optic front sight, textured grip, and consistent trigger.
Ruger American Pro Duty 8605 9mm Luger, $579Dec. 2017B+The American is capable and ran well with good accuracy. Grip inserts gave trouble.
Kimber Micro 9 Desert Tan (LG) 3300168 9mm Luger, $659Oct. 2017AThe laser grip complements the large sights on this micro pistol.
SIG Sauer P938 Emperor Scorpion 9mm Luger, $639Oct. 2017AWith large sights, a crisp trigger and toothy grips, this was easy to shoot and control.
Springfield Armory XD-E 3.3 XDE9339BE 9mm Luger, $519Oct. 2017BTrigger geometry took some getting used to. Decocker was hard to manipulate.
Walther PPS M2 2805961 9mm Luger, $451Sept. 2017AThe Walther PPS M2 is a class act. It was the most expensive pistol tested this month.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 180021 9mm Luger, $394Sept. 2017ABest Buy. Well designed grip checkering, good sights, and a decent trigger action.
Glock 43 Subcompact Slimline G43 PI4350201 9mm Luger, $445Sept. 2017BAccurate enough for personal defense, reliable, and fast handling.
Honor Defense Honor Guard Sub-Comp. HG9SC 9mm Luger, $449Sept. 2017BThe only defect was the problematic slide lock, which was too heavy to operate quickly.
Taurus 709 Slim 1-709031FS 9mm Luger, $198Aug. 2017ABest Buy. We would buy this gun, and we would carry it for personal defense.
Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm Luger, $257Aug. 2017A-The Taurus outshot the Kel-Tec, but that doesn’t mean the PF-9 is out of the running.
SIG Sauer P938 Micro-Compact 938-9-ESR 9mm Luger, $730Aug. 2017BThe pistol had enough break-in glitches to be rated down a full grade.
Remington R51 96430 9mm Luger, $400Aug. 2017DIt simply refused to function with one type of ammunition. The trigger was poor.
Ruger American Compact 8633 9mm Luger, $579July 2017D-We could not complete our tests without reseating the recoil assembly multiple times.
Honor Defense Honor Guard HG9CLE 9mm Luger, $499July 2017B+Admirably fills the role of a highly concealable fighting gun that’s inexpensive and fun.
Springfield Armory 1911 EMP PI9229L 9mm Luger, $1220July 2017AThe EMP delivered accuracy and ergonomics on par with more expensive custom guns.
CZ-USA 75D PCR Compact 91194 9mm Luger, $546July 2017AWe like everything about the 75D except the absence of a light rail.
Tristar Canik 55 C-100 9mm Luger, $365July 2017C
CZ-USA 75 P-01 9mm Luger, $576July 2017A


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