The SIG P365 vs. Springfield Hellcat – Micro Compacts Rule
Hot dang, did SIG break the concealed carry market. In one fell swoop, they killed the single stack subcompact 9mm with the P365. They created the micro compact genre of pistols, and ever since then, everyone else has been playing catch-up. The first company that caught up was Springfield. They produced the Hellcat, and they made the second micro-compact. So which is better?
Oh boy, that’s a tough question to ask. However, we can take a look at the two, side by side, and see which works best for you. Or we can certainly try.
The main selling point to these micro-compacts is that they’ve found a way to take a single stack-sized firearm and shove an extra four or five rounds in the gun without increasing the overall height of the firearm. Guns like the Hellcat and P365 are the same size as the Glock 43 but pack at least ten rounds in the magazine.
So who packs more? Well, the SIG premiered with a standard 10-round magazine, with an optional extended 12-rounder available. The Hellcat swung in and literally one-upped SIG by releasing the Hellcat with 11 and 13-round magazines. The 11 and 13 rounders fit into the Hellcat with comparable heights to the SIG 10 and 12 round magazines.
In fact, Springfield even sold the firearm with an 11 and 13 round magazine, whereas SIG made you buy the 12 round magazine separately. SIG later released a 15-rounder that upped the game, and Springfield followed them shortly after with their own 15-round magazine. At this point, from an OEM perspective, the Hellcat edges the SIG out, just a little.
Little guns are little and the SIG P365 and Hellcat both have their strengths and weaknesses. On the Hellcat, I appreciate the aggressive grip texture that clings to your hand. It’s called an Adaptive Grip Texture, and it’s impressive in its design.
SIG’s strength comes from the grip shape. They instituted a great little trigger guard undercut that lets your hand ride high on the little pistol. Ergonomically it’s a very nice setup, and a high grip allows you to maximize your control of the gun.
Control-wise, both are fairly simple with a reversible magazine release, left-side slide stop, front and rear slide serrations, and a lack of manual safeties. However, you can purchase the SIG with a manual safety if you so choose.
I think it’s safe to say the ergonomics will very much be a total matter of personal preference. Neither pistol has a huge advantage over the other.
Lots of things can affect accuracy. The two that shooters often care most about are sights and the trigger. As long as the gun’s mechanically accurate, the shooter will be concerned about sights and triggers. The differences between the two are minor but important.
With the SIG, we get a slightly better trigger. It’s smoother and lighter, with a shorter reset. It’s a great little trigger. The iron sights are SIG’s XRAY3 sights. The XRAY3 front sight uses a tritium insert with a bright green insert wrapped around it. This is a day and night sight system that catches the eye and is very easy to aim with. The rear sight is blacked out with two tritium inserts that make a three-dot sight picture.
On the Hellcat, the trigger is slightly stiffer, but not dramatically so. It’s just a little stiffer, but it’s not a bad trigger. It’s honestly more of a duty-style trigger than the SIG’s. The Hellcat has a flat-faced trigger which I prefer. The sights are where a big difference is made. It’s a huge front sight with a big yellow daylight insert with a tritium lamp locked into the center. The rear sight features a big U-notch, and you drop the front circle into that U and hit your target.
At close range — where both of these pistols are meant to operate — the Hellcat’s sights are fast and easy to acquire. The SIGs are also easy to acquire at close range, but they’re also quite useful at longer ranges as well. I would say they are better at long range than the Hellcat. In all my shooting, the SIG seemed to be more accurate overall.
The Hellcat wisely came with a short section of Picatinny rail. The giant little gun market has spawned a number of little gun accessories. This includes lights, lasers, and more. A single-slot Picatinny rail makes it easier to attach accessories than the SIG proprietary rail.
Where the SIG takes a real advantage is its fire control unit. The FCU is a chassis that is serialized and is legally the firearm. You can remove the chassis and swap it into different grip modules, swap slides, and more. The popularity of the modular P365 has spawned an aftermarket that includes a variety of new grip modules.
Raising Hell 365 Days a Year
The SIG P365 and Hellcat are both solid, reliable little firearms that do a fantastic job of occupying the holsters of tons of concealed carriers. Both guns have been popular enough to warrant a variety of models. We get optics-ready models, bigger than average models, and SIG even has a model aimed at deep concealment and now a 380 ACP variant.
Personally, I’m a fan of the P365 a little more than the Hellcat, but I wouldn’t hesitate to carry the Springfield if my SIG went down. Currently, these two guns rule the roost, and I’m excited to see where the micro compact world is going.