The SIG Sauer P365 is rightfully considered by many the best concealed carry gun currently available on the market. But there are many other micro and subcompact pistols that are trying to take this title away from the SIG, such as the Glock 43, S&W M&P Shield M2.0 or Walther PPS M2. However, the one pistol that has recently become the SIG’s fiercest competition is without a doubt the Springfield Armory Hellcat.
Just try and search for the best sub-compact pistol on Google and I’m pretty sure you’ll see both pistols on any list you come across. And if you’re looking for a new carry gun and you end up deciding between these two pistols, I’ll take you through their main differences and similarities. All of it in a good hope that it will help you decide which one suits your everyday carry needs more.
SIG Sauer P365
source: Guns and Ammo
The SIG P365, developed by SIG Sauer Inc., is a micro-compact semi-auto pistol, considered by many the greatest modern concealed carry handgun. And there’s a couple of reasons for such a bold statement. Not only is the gun very compact (just like its classification suggests), it also offers high capacity, impeccable accuracy and considerable firepower. If matched with a well-fitting SIG Sauer P365 holster, this pistol also becomes an ultimate choice for everyday concealed carry.
Springfield Armory Hellcat
source: Shot Business
The Springfield Armory Hellcat (for the sake of brevity further referred to as Hellcat) was introduced only very recently, in 2019. This fierce competitor of the SIG is sold in the states by Springfield Armory, Inc., but it was surprisingly developed in Croatia by HS Produkt, a famous gun manufacturer from the Balkan Peninsula. The Hellcat has quickly become one of the hottest micro-compact pistols, and in 2020, it was even named the Handgun of the year by American Rifleman magazine. If you match the pistol with a custom made Springfield Hellcat holster, you'll be able to enjoy a great everyday concealed carry experience.
SIG P365 vs Hellcat face-off - important specs and features
Now that we’ve been through the basic introduction of these pistols, it’s clear why you can find both of them on nearly every list of the best everyday carry handguns. However, if you have trouble deciding which of these you should make a part of your everyday carry set, let’s break down the similarities and differences of these two pistols. By the end of this chapter, we’ll also look at the main specs of either of these awesome micro-compact handguns.
The size face-off
source: Handgun Hero
The SIG P365 is one of the most compact pistols ever created. The pistol 5.8’’ long and mere 1’’ wide, featuring a 3.1’’ long barrel. While this comes at the cost of firepower when compared to the full-sized handguns, it definitely results in super easy concealment. After all, isn’t that what everyone is looking for these days?
Compared to the SIG, the Hellcat is a tiny bit larger with an overall length of 6 inches. On the other hand, this gun features a slightly shorter 3’’ barrel. When it comes to the pistol’s width, it’s 1’’, which makes it identical with the P365. The pistol’s height is 4 inches, which is 0.3’’ less than in case of the SIG. Due to its small dimensions, the Hellcat works very well when carried in the IWB or AIWB style, as you won’t experience any discomfort.
Talking about weight, both pistols are again almost identical. When unloaded, the SIG weighs 17.8oz and the Springfield Hellcat 18.3oz. So, no matter which one you pick, you will hardly notice the pistol on your belt.
Based on the size and weight comparison, the first battle ends in … a TIE
The magazine and capacity
The SIG Sauer P365 was designed with one particular thing in mind - high capacity. And that’s exactly what SIG Sauer Inc. delivered. The SIG undoubtedly offers the highest capacity among sub-compact handguns (alright, the Hellcat beats it, but only by a bit). The SIG’s flush magazine comes with 10 rounds of ammo. If you get your own SIG, you’ll also receive also another 12+1 rounds magazine available, featuring a pinky extension. But SIG didn’t stop there as later on they amazed the world with another extension, this time a breath-taking 15 rounds magazine. And if you’re wondering how the heck it’s possible to stuff 10 rounds into such a small handgun, the answer is simple - a double stack magazine!
Besides the SIG, the Hellcat is one of the very few micro and subcompact pistols that also features a double stack magazine. And it’s really the only pistol in the world that can compete with the P365 when it comes to capacity packed in such a small package. The Hellcat offers an incredible 11 rounds flush magazine that can be further extended to 13+1 rounds. That’s just insane. Moreover, many claim that Hellcat’s magazine finish is one bit better than the SIG’s. The Hellcat’s magazine is also much cheaper than that of the SIG Sauer, which can be important if your budget is quite restricted. If we were judging the pistols solely on their magazines, the Hellcat takes a slight edge.
So, the second round goes to … the HELLCAT
Accuracy and shooting performance
The P365 is a highly accurate pistol, mainly thanks to the SIG Sauer XRay3 Night Sights, offering excellent visibility in pretty much any light conditions. The pistol’s front sight consists of a high visibility green ring around a tritium vial. The rear sight consists of two tritium vials and it is serrated in order to reduce glare, which is an ideal solution for brighter environments. However, upon the gun’s release, there were quite many complaints about the SIG’s sights system. Luckily, SIG Sauer were quick to fix these problems and the P365 can now compete even with full-sized handguns when it comes to accuracy and target acquisition.
The Hellcat comes with both front and rear sights. The tritium & luminescent-ring front sight of the Hellcat is set in a dovetail, and the front of the slide has cocking serrations. The rear end of the pistol’s slide is equipped with a Tactical Rack U-Dot™sight for easy target acquisition in all lighting conditions.
Although both guns feature similarly amazing and well-built sight systems, the main difference can be seen in speed and precision of target acquisition. Now it’s all a matter of perspective and preference, but to many, the Springfield pistol slightly outperforms that of SIG Sauer. At least in the field of accuracy.Even though both pistols have equally awesome sights and good triggers, it’s probably the SIG that delivers a better shooting experience, mainly when putting in a number of consecutive rounds. The SIG also delivers more accurate shots, especially when fired at a longer distance.
As shooting is what matters most, I’d say this round goes to … the SIG
Caliber and firing mechanism
Both SIG P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat are chambered in the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. The 9mm definitely is the most popular (and affordable) caliber when it comes to everyday carry guns. It might not boast such firepower as the .45 ACP, .40 S&W, or the 10mm, but it definitely does the trick. For personal-defense and a bit of plinking fun, this caliber is more than ideal.
The Hellcat and P365 are also identical in the firing mechanism, as both pistols are striker-fired. Now what does that mean? Simply put, a striker-fired pistol engages a round via a striker hitting the firing pin. The firing mechanism is built into the pistol and fully covered by the pistol’s slide. Such mechanism results in slightly lower firepower, especially when compared to hammer-fired pistols. However, it also means that both the SIG and Hellcat are composed of fewer parts, which SIGnificantly reduces the threat of any hardware malfunctions.
Based on the caliber and firepower, I’d say this battle ends in a … TIE
Let’s talk concealed
If you’re deciding between the SIG P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat, you are most probably looking for a new everyday carry gun. And as both the Hellcat and SIG are very compact and lightweight, you can easily conceal them utilizing any carry style without anyone noticing. However, no matter which carry style you pick, I’ve already stressed how crucial it is to pair up either of these pistols with a well-fitting holster.
As both pistols are very small and lightweight, IWB (inside the waistband) and AIWB (appendix inside the waistband) holsters seem to be the ideal everyday carry solution to get the maximum possible concealment of these handguns.
Conclusion - Who wins the battle?
I’d say this battle really is the ultimate one. It’s just so difficult to tell whether you should go for the SIG, or if you make a better decision selecting the Hellcat. It's clear that Springfield Armory Hellcat is one of the fiercest competitors of the P365. Although the Hellcat (produced by HS Produkt) is still 0.2'' longer, it offers an extra round of ammo and at 11+1 rounds is the only micro-compact pistol with higher default capacity than the SIG P365.
That being said, for me, the winner is still the P365, mainly due to the famed name of its producer. SIG Sauer simply is more famous and reliable than the Croatian HS Produkt. However, I’m by no means trying to put the Balkanians down and the Hellcat still is a perfect carry gun. Both pistols deliver more than satisfying capacity, they are both extremely compact and they’ll give you plenty of fun once you take them to the range. Most importantly, both the SIG and Hellcat fulfil their ultimate goal - personal defense. But there are so many other factors that can (and should!) be taken into consideration, so it’s probably best to try out either of these guns and see for yourself which one fits you better.
Are you leaning towards the SIG? Well, good choice, but don’t forget to pair it up with one of the well-fitting SIG Sauer P365 holsters you can get here. Is your favorite the Hellcat? Also a great choice! However, make sure you get a custom made Springfield Hellcat holster for it. And if you simply can’t decide yet, read our SIG Sauer P365 review as well as the Springfield Armory Hellcat review, which might give you an even better idea of what either of these excellent carry guns can deliver.
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