Hellcat Pro vs. P365 Macro

The Hellcat Pro, Springfield Armory’s do-it-all EDC 9mm, is an excellent concealed carry gun. The Sig Sauer P365 Macro, likewise, has legions of followers who appreciate the largest of the P365 family of 9mms. How do the two stack up against each other?

Hellcat Pro vs. P365 Macro: How We Got Here

Some of you reading this might have been born this century. You may not understand the hysteria created by the Springfield Army XD-S, or way before that, the potential so many saw in the Glock 26. Both of these are capable guns that mark significant concealed carry evolutionary milestones but were imperfect.

The G26 is a boxy little thing, and the grip is not easy to conceal and is harder to hold during live fire. The XD-S is a fantastic single-stack, but the thin frame made shooting it painful.

The size of these two guns is almost identical. The ergonomics are similar. The Hellcat Pro has more texture, high on the grip, but the rest is comparable.
The size of these two guns is almost identical, and the ergonomics are similar. The Hellcat has more texture high on the grip, but the rest is comparable.

But now, this far into the polymer-framed craze, we’re coming back with a serious reality check. We don’t have to carry chopped-up versions of larger guns. And, as so many of us intrinsically understand, thinner isn’t always better.

The G26 is an evolution of the G17, which was cut down to the G19 and then the G26. This used to be how concealed carry guns were produced. We can go back to the single-action revolver days or to the 1911’s Government, Commander, Officer, sizing to see how examples.

But then there were always the odd one-off designs that took thin to new levels. And there’s a place for this in concealed carry, but it is more mission-specific than what’s required for everyday carry.

The Hellcat Pro and the P365 Macro:  Basic Sizing

These two quasi-double-stacks hit the market in rapid succession. Sig was first, but Springfield was right behind. Both were serious leaps forward from the single-stack 9mms that had dominated the decade before, and both were more ergonomically suited for training than the chopped-down double-stacks.

Yet the emphasis was on the small size, still. As both were chambered in 9mm, they produced similar terminal ballistics. Mag capacity in these smallest guns, too, was comparable.

Both the Hellcat and the P365 are available in a variety of sizes. Both are offered with optics from the manufacturers, too--though other options will fit.
Both the Hellcat and the P365 are available in a variety of sizes. Both are offered with optics from the manufacturers, too–though other options will fit.

Sig has adopted a rapid update schedule for the P365 family, and there could be an interesting article to be written that would chart each of the numerous variants. The three main sizes are the original P365, the X, and the XL.

The smallest is the P365. If you add some length to the grip, you get the X. Add length to the frame, barrel, and slide and you end up with the XL. The Macro—in its most basic configuration—is an XL with a full-sized Picatinny rail, though there are integrally compensated versions, too (same length).

The Hellcat has two basic lengths. The short version is similar in size to the P365, while the Hellcat Pro has the larger grip and frame. In the middle is a hybrid of a shorter Hellcat with a longer, compensated barrel (the Rapid Defense Package).

Are They Really That Similar?

Ask any of the fanboys or haters, and you’ll get an earful. They do share many commonalities, though. The first is size.

While some want to call this class of gun a “micro-compact,” there must be a better term. There’s nothing micro about either. But I’ve always thought it was ludicrous to call a GLOCK 19 a compact, too, so I may not be the best one to opine on this matter.

The Hellcat Pro, from Springfield Armory, blurs the lines between a micro-compact and a compact.
The Hellcat Pro, from Springfield Armory, blurs the lines between a micro-compact and a compact.

The guns are big enough that they’re effortless to shoot. Take a training class that will run 500+ rounds and bang out mag changes all day… you won’t end up hurting. There’s ample mass in both and that makes recoil manageable. They shoot flat, without detrimental muzzle flip.

This is crucial. One shot may not be enough. Self-defense requires the ability to manage recoil and accurately place a follow-up shot. Both of these guns allow for rapid, accurate shots.

This size is important. If you gain confidence when training and don’t suffer afterward, you’ll be far more capable with your gun should you ever need it.

Both Are Easy to Conceal

Here’s the next similarity. Both of these guns are easy to conceal (for most of us). I know some really small people and others who don’t want to dress intentionally for concealed carry and who want to find the smallest gun possible. And to that end, there are always options (like the Ruger LCP). But for the rest of us?

The Sig P365 Macro frame is slick above where your palm goes. This allows for the thumb to move freely to the mag release and slide stop levers. It also has a full picatinny rail.
The Sig P365 Macro frame is slick above where your palm goes. This allows for the thumb to move freely to the mag release and slide-stop levers. It also has a full Picatinny rail.

The extra length on the barrel, slide, frame, and grip may require accommodation. Accommodate it. Find a way to carry it that keeps it concealed. It is well worth it.


Springfield is catching up here. Sig’s industry dominance means there are more holsters and parts upgrades for these guns. If you are looking for a project gun—one that can be tailored to suit just what you need—the P365 will be easier to mod. But there are solid options for barrels for the Hellcat now, so times are changing.

Part of this is due to the chassis system. The Macro grip module isn’t serialized, so there are some really bad-ass frame units available. Controls, too. From the mag-release buttons to the slide-stops, there are options.

Lights, lasers, and optics come out just about the same. As both have Picatinny rails, you can use the same lights. Smaller sizes of both guns are more limited and use propitiatory rails. As both are available with optic cuts, and both companies produce their own optic lines, they’re tied up there, too. Yet the P365 still has the edge here for aftermarket support. But there are many solid choices for optics, too, from Holosun, Trijicon, and many others. I’m a fan of the RMRcc.

Where are they truly different?

The trigger is the first thing I go to on many guns, and this is where I find the most noticeable difference. Let’s begin with the Springfield. The Hellcat’s trigger has a bit of take-up before it begins to stack. The wall is crisp, though. For slow, methodical shots, the Hellcat comes out on top.

The P365’s trigger–on both of mine–feels spongy. I have a P226 with a phenomenal trigger. But this one isn’t anywhere near as nice. The pull is consistent until it breaks. There’s very little indication of where that break will be. Though the break is consistent, it isn’t as easy to feel.

If you have no brand loyalty, the decision could be as simple as which sights you like better.
If you have no brand loyalty, the decision could be as simple as which sights you like better. The Hellcat has a white U rear sight and a fat yellow dot.

Here’s the rub. If you ask which one I like better, I’d take the Hellcat Pro every time. And, when shooting for accuracy, I shoot it better. But that’s not always the most important element for an EDC gun.

From the holster, when running defensive drills, I shoot the Macro better. While I don’t think this is all about the trigger, that must play some part in my results. My groups are tighter with the P365. Could it be the sights? Possibly, but I doubt it. I find the Hellcat’s U-shaped rear sight to be ideal for rapid target acquisition. But the ones on the Macro work fine, too. Here, it really comes down to personal preference.

How about the Mags?

The P365 family has 10-round, 12-round, 15-round, and 17-round factory mags. The Macro mags hold 17. For those of us who are used to the GLOCK 19’s paltry 15-round capacity, this is a big deal. The Hellcat Pro ships with a 15 and a 17-round mag, which can be a challenge to load. They’re stiff. The spring inside has to compress into a very small space in mags this slim. That’s not an attempt to dissuade you—but getting a mag loader will help on long range days.

Hellcat Pro vs. P365 Macro: Is There a Winner?

If I’m to trust the court of public opinion, I think the Macro has the edge. There’s more aftermarket support for the platform. My go-to sources for sales have the P365 family at the top of the micro-compact sales figures. Yet the Hellcat isn’t far behind. And Springfield is a force to be reckoned with. The XDs was a hit, and the Hellcat brought thousands of new customers to the brand. And now, the Echelon is doing the same.

In the end, it is going to come down to personal preference. They’re priced very close—these base models of both are north of $600. But Springfield hasn’t tried to keep up with Sig on the new models and constant variations. There, Sig is hard to match. They even have an aluminum-framed version—the AXG Legion—for those who appreciate the old-school feel of metal frames.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife's tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap