Springfield Armory Hellcat vs. SIG Sauer P365

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Some contests are clearly not much of a fight — like a Hi-Point versus a Springfield 1911. But then, some are six of one and a half-dozen of the other.

The SIG Sauer P365 came first and the higher-capacity Springfield Armory Hellcat came along after Springfield had time to make improvements perhaps.

Would I trust or carry either? Of course I would. Sometimes things are unexpected.

As an example, the great song and dance man Jimmy Cagney once said to Bob Hope ‘I did that routine first!’ and Hope replied ‘I did it right!’ Hope could more than hold his own against the greatest Irish dancer.

The SIG and the Springfield certainly each hold their own. Brand loyalty is important and, in this case, performance is pretty close, but with some important differences.

SIG Sauer P365 and Spare Magazine
Despite its high capacity, the SIG P365 is a compact handgun.

Initial Differences

There is no handgun more popular for concealed carry than the slim-line 9mm. The smallest polymer-frame 9mm Luger double-column magazine pistols are becoming even more popular.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat and the SIG Sauer P365 each have good features. The 9mm Luger is everyone’s cartridge.

Readily available, affordable and, with highly-developed defense loads, the 9mm is a reasonable choice for personal defense and offers about all of the recoil anyone wants in a compact pistol.

Each pistol is light enough, thin enough and compact enough, and features good sights as well as a useful trigger. Neither is as easy to shoot well as a full-size pistol.

However, they are easier to use than the smallest 9mm pistols and the snub-nose .38, traditional concealed-carry guns. SIG Sauer enjoys a great reputation as a maker, but then, so does Springfield Armory.

Neither is likely to bring something into the market that isn’t thoroughly proofed. Let’s look at the two 9mm Luger pistols and see if one is the better choice for most shooters.

Springfield Hellcat Compared to S&W J-Frame
Compared to the traditional snub-nose .38, the Springfield Hellcat is downright svelte.

Spec and Feature Differences

I like a pistol with a good mix of adhesion and abrasion in the grip. The Hellcat has tackier grip. I like being able to keep hold of the grip despite wet, oily or sweaty hands.

The SIG Sauer P365 grip is more rounded and comfortable in firing. Most of us use computers not jackhammers these days, and the SIG isn’t as abrasive.

Just the same, the Hellcat is the more secure overall in all firing conditions. The SIG is more comfortable to fire.

As far as handfit, neither really fits my hand better than the other, it is the grip treatment that makes the Hellcat a little better. There are several magazines, including extended magazines, available for either pistol.

The Hellcat holds one more cartridge in the standard magazine. I like that, and the extended magazine, which isn’t really that large, holds even more.

It takes a lot of handling to prove it, but the Hellcat magazine is slightly faster during speed loads. If you practice with either, you will not be at a disadvantage.

The Hellcat’s slide serrations do not have quite the gripping area of the SIG. It is a little more difficult to rack the slide on the Hellcat. This stronger recoil spring may make it better suited to +P loads.

The SIG light rail takes only SIG lights. The Hellcat has a standard rail. Truth is, neither is really well suited to combat light use they are simply too small.

The Hellcat sights win hands down for combat use. The U-shaped white outline rear and fiber-optic front are very fast to pick up quickly.

The P365 sights are low-profile, but are not as fast to pick up during combat shooting. The trigger action of each is good to excellent for concealed carry.

The Hellcat is about six pounds and the SIG is about five pounds. The Hellcat trigger and sights are good, the SIG trigger is excellent and the sights are ok.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Sights
The author preferred the Springfield Hellcat’s sights.

Performance Differences

On the range, using Winchester ball ammunition, the SIG is slightly more accurate in slow fire.

In fast combat-style shooting, neither has a real advantage, although I think the Hellcat is the more controllable at ten yards or so. I cannot detect a real difference in recoil in either gun.

I moved to the formidable Winchester 124-grain PDX +P in testing. I think that for most shooters this load is too much in a compact pistol. Small-parts wear will be accelerated.

With the standard Winchester 115-grain Silvertip and 147-grain PDX, there isn’t much to choose from in recoil. I can hold the Hellcat better, however.

In firing from a solid benchrest, taking my time for each shot, the SIG demonstrated slightly better groups, with 15 yards groups of 2.0 to 2.7-inch groups, versus 2.2 to 2.0 inches for the Hellcat.

Not that great a difference, but more pronounced at greater range.

 

sig p365 vs hellcat
Combat groups with either pistol are good.

 

Conclusion: Springfield Armory Hellcat vs. SIG Sauer P365

In the end, choose the pistol that suits your hand and style best.

Either firearm will do the business. I like the Hellcat best, but among my circle of shooting friends, the SIG Sauer P365 is the more prevalent choice.

Have you tried the Springfield Armory Hellcat or the SIG Sauer P365? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!



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