Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: A Comprehensive Analysis
I remember holding the P365 when it premiered at SHOT show and thinking this is going to change the concealed carry world. It premiered in January, and I had mine in March. I’ve carried it since then and watched with satisfaction that I was right. The industry has been responding, Glock for example released two handguns to compete with SIG, but they didn’t strike the same sense of awe in me that the P365 did. In fact, until September 25th, 2019, there was no real competitor that came close in size and capacity. In a move that surprised us all. Springfield released the Hellcat.
The SIG P365 created the micro-compact 9mm genre, and the Hellcat is the only other true gun to fit the P365’s mission set. It’s incredibly small, lightweight, and best of all, it packs a relatively high capacity. A capacity high enough to make California get a little shakey. The guns have a lot in common in regards to size and capacity, but they also have some distinct differences. The P365 is made in New Hampshire, and the Hellcat is made in Croatia.
The P365 is an entirely new gun, and the Hellcat is a continuation of the XD series of handguns. The SIG P365’s 599 MSRP is slightly more than the Hellcat’s 569 MSRP. While at first glance, they are both small, striker-fired, black guns like many others, they are both very different guns.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Fit and Finish
The SIG P365 uses a matte grayish Nitron finish over a stainless steel slide. This combination makes the slide entirely rustproof. Stainless steel has an inherent resistance to rust and corrosion, as does the Nitron finish. The matter gray appearance is certainly eye-pleasing in a Spartan kind of way. As always, I appreciate the minimal markings from the manufacturer. The Nitron finish on a stainless slide is a stronger option.
The Hellcat is a machined billet slide with a melonite finish. Melonite isn’t fancy, but it’s well-proven and reliable. Melonite resists rust and is tough to scruff and scrape. Springfield also takes a more minimalist approach to markings but has more than SIG. You get a Springfield Armory marking and logo, as well as a Hellcat logo.
Both feature heavily textured polymer frames. From experience, the texture works. Neither is overly aggressive or uncomfortable. I do like the fact the Hellcat has texture on the upper portion of the grip. SIG ends their texturing at the magazine release.
Both guns have different length magazines available for them, and both companies do an outstanding job of integrating the magazine into the grip with a seamless transition. It looks good and fits perfectly into the gun.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Specs
Here is where the guns get a razor-like line drawn between them. The P365 initially turned heads because it was the size of a single stack 9mm with the capacity of a double stack. The Hellcat keeps that same appeal. When it comes to specifications of small carry guns, you typically consider length, height, weight, and width. With these two guns, we also have to look at capacity in regards to the size of the weapon.
The P365 is slightly lighter at 17.8 ounces compared to Springfield’s 18.3 ounces. Weight will vary based on which mag you use, but for this example, it’s with the gun’s flush-fitting magazine. The SIG P365 is also a shorter, more efficient handgun. It’s 5.8 inches long with a 3.1-inch barrel. The Hellcat is 6 inches overall with a 3-inch barrel.
The SIG is a little taller at 4.3 inches, and the Hellcat is 4 inches with its flush magazine, and 4.5 with its extended magazine. The SIG P365, with it’s 12 rounded extended magazines, is 4.7 inches. Both the SIG and the Hellcat allow for a full handed grip without a hanging pinky as well. Both guns have a reported width of 1 inch. The SIG is a little more trim along the slide, and the Hellcat is a bit more blocky.
The biggest difference is the capacity. The SIG comes with two ten-round magazines, and the Hellcat comes with an 11 round and 13 round magazine. The P365 does have 12 and even 15 rounders available, but these will cost a pretty penny, roughly 50 bucks per. I think SIG needs to step up and include a 12 round magazine with the 10 round mag. Here the Hellcat takes a good lead.
While SIG does offer the 15 round magazine, it does extend quite far out of your gun and isn’t practical for carry. It also doesn’t come with the P365.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Ergonomics
Both guns are impressive ergonomically. I hate when my pinky hangs off a gun, and both guns offer me an excellent and full grip. The texturing on both grips keeps the firearm in your hand and refuses to let it move out of your hand. Neither has such aggressive stippling that it will rub you raw while you carry.
One thing I do appreciate a lot about both guns is the trigger guard undercut. Both guns have a higher undercut that allows for an excellent and high grip on the weapon. High grips are excellent for extra control and allowing those of us with big hands to have a comfortable grip on the gun.
Another issue my big hands have with small guns is slide bite. The Glock 43, the Taurus G2S, and several more chew my hand up. Neither the Hellcat or SIG P365 gives me slide bite. The Hellcat offers a bit more Beavertail than the P365, which can translate to extra control.
The SIG P365 has a broader magazine release, and the Hellcat has a longer one. Both are easy to use, and press in without issue. They make it easy to drop the magazine and reload your next one.
Both guns have front and rear serrations for cocking. The Hellcat has much more aggressive serrations. They go slightly over the top of the slide and are a bit deeper than the P365’s. They offer an excellent purchase and make it easy to rack the gun.
Both guns feature slide locks that will never work for me. My thumbs are too big and seem to press both down as I fire the gun. This keeps the slide from locking rearward when the last round is fired.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Features
The features of both guns are actually quite different. They both have multiple magazine sizes, as we mentioned before. SIG pulls ahead with it’s 15 round magazine, but the Hellcat comes with a 13 round magazine and both flush and extended baseplates.
Both guns also feature day and night sights. SIG Uses the XRAY3 sights that feature three tritium vials and a high visibility green wrap around the front sight’s vial. The Hellcat uses Trijicon sights that feature a U shaped rear and a front sight with a tritium vial and high visibility yellow wrap.
Both sights are natural to acquire and quick into action. From the draw, you’ll have no issues finding either front sight. Which is better is really up to the individual user. I like both and find them intuitive and easy to use.
The Hellcat features a fascinating device at the end of the gun. It has a built-in stand-off device beneath the barrel. This device is there in case if someone gets on top of you or you are pressed against your attacker, your gun can still fire. It prevents the slide from coming out of battery when pressed against something. The P365 doesn’t have that feature.
The Hellcat also has an OSP model that allows for mounting an optic. The P365 XL model has this feature, but not the standard P365.
Clinger has Springfield Armory Hellcat holsters that support the Red Dot option if you go that route.
The SIG P365 features a small proprietary rail that a few companies are making lights and laser for. SIG, in particular, makes there own light and laser for the gun. Streamlight also makes the TLR 6 P365 compatible.
The Hellcat has a Picatinny rail that will fit the vast majority of accessories. This includes lights and lasers from Crimson Trace, Viridian, Olight, and Streamlight. The Picatinny rail addition does allow for more universal use of accessories.
The Hellcat also features a flat-faced trigger with a Glock style tab. The SIG P365 uses a traditional rounded trigger, but flat-faced triggers are available. The Sig P365 holsters from Clinger will work with either trigger group.
The P365 also has a removable chassis, and you can swap frames and slides to alter your P365 is nearly every direction. I own an aluminum frame for my P365, and swapping between the two platforms is very easy to do. The Hellcat does not have that feature.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Shooting Characteristics
Recoil wise both guns are very comfortable. They don’t slap the hand or cause discomfort when firing. I could fire both guns all day long and never run into any pain. Small guns that are pleasant to shoot are guns that people will train with.
Accuracy wise you’ll be able to stretch your toes out to 25 yards and still score headshots. The sights on both guns are incredibly easy to focus on. These are pro-grade sights that are well made and crafted for accuracy.
Contributing to both the gun’s accuracy is their excellent triggers. I prefer a flat face trigger, so a personal preference goes to the Hellcat. However, the P365 is still my carry gun, and the stock trigger is excellent. Both triggers haves light and crisp pulls, consistent performance, and excellent resets.
I’ve had the SIG for over a year, and it’s seen several thousand rounds at this point. I’ve had the Hellcat for just a week, so calling it on reliability is difficult. The SIG has proven itself plenty reliable in my experience. The Hellcat is still new, and we haven’t seen a massive amount of experiences with it.
The guns are so close in size and specs that it’s hard to find major differences between the two. I could likely have you shoot both blindfolded, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference of either.
Springfield Hellcat vs Sig P365: Concealment
Here is where both guns will be used 99% of the time. Concealing a gun can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. The right holster can make any gun a dream to carry, but the Hellcat and P365 are both already dreamlike to carry. They are small and lightweight, and when combined with a good holster like the V3 No Print Wonder, they disappear completely. They are also comfortable to carry guns, and when paired with the right holster, you’ll forget you are carrying it.
The P365 has been my go-to carry gun for quite some time, and it has never been spotted. Even when carried OWB, you can’t see it.
The Hellcat is still new, so holsters are hard to find. Yet, Clinger Holsters has multiple holsters available for it. It conceals just as easy. The gun disappears under my shirt, and I can carry it all day comfortably.
Both SIG and Springfield Armory have created guns that are near pocket pistol size, so concealing either is rather simple.
The market is changing and will be permanently altered by the P365. SIG now has Three P365 models, including the standard, XL, and SAS models, so they do offer choices with a ton of different features.
The Hellcat is the first real competition the P365 has faced. Springfield came out swinging with both a standard Hellcat and an OSP model. Now the rest of the industry needs to catch up and toss their hat in the ring.
The guns are packed with features that make them amazing choices for concealed carry. Mixing small size with high capacity has given the P365 and Hellcat a major advantage for concealed carriers. Best of all, these guns are relatively affordable and stuffed full of features. They are comfortable to carry so they will be carried, and they are comfortable to shoot so they will be shot.
This makes them fantastic firearms and the perfect choice for both experienced and new concealed carriers.