P365 Vs Hellcat – Micro Compact Combat

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Springfield Hellcat vs SIG P365

2018 was the year of the SIG P365. It premiered, had a few faults, was promptly fixed, and went on to be one of the best selling carry guns of 2018. Its popularity continued well into 2019. After the advent of the P365, the concept of the micro-compact carry gun was drastically changed. For some time the P365, with its remarkably small size and ten-round capacity initially had no real challengers. That changed in September 209, and the challenge came from Springfield Armory in the Hellcat pistol. Comparisons were an obvious immediate demand and both continue to occupy a special place in the concealed carry world. This naturally made us want to stack the two against each other. So who comes up in a P365 vs Hellcat contest? 

Read on.

Comparing the Hellcat and SIG P365

Comparing the Hellcat and SIG P365. Which micro compact is better?

P365 vs Hellcat Specs 

The P365 and Hellcat both offer doublestack capacity in a package the size of a single stack. You are getting ten rounds at a minimum in a gun that looks like it should hold six. This impressive feat is a combination of managing gun and magazine size. The guns display many other comparisons and contrasts as well. 

Both guns are quite small. The SIG P365 is just a hair lighter at 17.8 ounces when compared to Springfield’s 17.9 with the flush-fitting magazine. The P365 is also a shorter gun but has a longer barrel. The SIG is 58 inches long with a 3.1-inch long barrel. The Hellcat is 6 inches overall with a 3-inch barrel. 

The SIG P365 is a little taller at 4.3 inches compared to Hellcat’s 4-inch height. The SIG is 1 inch thick, and the Hellcat’s grip is 1 inch wide at the grip. 

Micro compact concealed carry pistol comparison.

The Hellcat is slightly more efficient when it comes to ammunition capacity. The flush-fit magazine for the Hellcat holds 11 rounds while the SIG P365 flush magazine holds ten rounds. One more round doesn’t seem like much, but hey, it’s 10% more ammo. 

SIG also has 12 and 15-round magazines, but neither is a flush fit. The Hellcat also comes with slightly extended 13-round magazines, whereas the SIG comes with two 10-round magazines. I personally appreciate that Springfield includes the 13 round magazine with the Hellcat.

P365 vs Hellcat: Sights

Both guns come with Night/Day sights that are absolutely outstanding. SIG uses its own XRAY3 sights, and the Hellcat is equipped with tritium U Dot sights. I’ve been using the SIG sights for almost two years now, but I’m still faster with the U Dot Sights. 

Hellcat sights vs. P365 sights

The Hellcat tritium U Dot sight on is on the left, vs the P365 XRAY3 sight on the right.

The U Dot sights are honestly my favorite part of the Hellcat. I’m leaning towards equipping a few other guns with these awesome sights. I find it quick and easy to get the dot dropped in the middle of the white U on the rear sight and get on target. If we were just doing a P365 vs Hellcat sights article, the Hellcat would win. 

P365 rear sights vs Hellcat rear sights

 

The XRAY3 sights are traditional three-dot night sights with a high viz front sight as well. I can get on target and shoot rapidly with these sights too. Both guns feature excellent sights, but I prefer the U Dot sights. 

How they Handle – Ergonomics Differences 

Grip Texture and Shape 

The grip texture of both guns is similar. Both are light enough not to chafe when carried but deep enough to give a good solid grip. The Hellcat’s texture goes a bit higher than the P365’s, which is nice. The extended baseplates of both guns are also textured to engage the pinky in the grip. 

I can’t reasonably say one is better than the other. 

When it comes to grip shape and how it feels in hand the P365 feels more comfortable to me. I appreciate it’s round design. The Hellcat is plenty comfortable but has a boxier design overall. The boxier design does lead to a slightly wider magwell, which allows for more intuitive reloads. 

Serrations 

Both guns have forward and rear serrations. They have a few differences. The P365’s serrations are deeper and have very squared ledges. The Hellcat’s serrations go over the top of the slide, and I like that as well. Again, no major differences that constitute a win or fail in this portion of the comparison.

The Hellcat has slide serrations that go over the top.

The Hellcat has slide serrations that go over the top.

Controls 

The guns are similar in the fact that they lack any manual safety. The Hellcat has a finger safety on the trigger, which will please those who prefer that feature. The SIG’s trigger is round, and the Hellcat has a flat-faced trigger. 

Both guns have reversible magazine releases. The Hellcat is more button-like and is a little bigger. It’s easier to reach, and it’s slightly extended. It also feels more responsive and easier to drop magazines from.

P365 vs Hellcat comparison

P365 vs Hellcat – Note the differences in magazine releases.

I noticed the difference when I was running any drill that required a reload. I was surprised when running the El Presidente drill at how quick and easy reloads with the Hellcat are. 

The SIG P365’s triangular’s magazine release is easy to reach and accessible. It just feels spongier and requires more force to press and eject the magazine. 

Both guns have a slide lock that’s basically useless with my hands. My thumbs sit on it and prevent it from engaging the slide after the last round is fired. The controls are similar enough, but the Hellcat’s magazine release is better overall. 

Slight Differences 

One thing I did notice is that the SIG P365 is easier to rack than the Hellcat. The Hellcat has a much stiffer recoil spring. Another interesting factor is the fact that inserting a fully loaded magazine into the Hellcat is easier than inserting a fully loaded magazine into the SIG when the slide is forward. The SIG takes a little smack, and the Hellcat does not. 

Hellcat-vs-P365

SIG’s mag cutouts make it easier to grip the magazine.

The SIG’s grip has two scalloped cut-outs that also allow you to grip the magazine easily. These cut out are well suited for when the magazine doesn’t drop free, and it needs some five finger convincing. 

Shooting Impressions 

This is where we make our money, how does each gun handle? As far as small guns, both are comfortable to shoot. The recoil isn’t slappy, and neither has any slide bite. The guns are comfortable and fun to fire. 

Shooting the Hellcat.

Shooting the Hellcat.

Recoil wise, the SIG P365 seems to have less recoil and muzzle flip. The Hellcat seems to be a bit snappier and slower to get back on target. In fairness, this could very well be due to familiarity, as I have years worth of P365 experience. I’ve shot the P365 a lot more than the Hellcat, but to be fair, I’ve been shooting the Hellcat exclusively for almost two weeks and put a ton of lead out.

Shooting the P365

Shooting the P365.

The SIG P365’s trigger is also smoother and more refined. Its pull is noticeably lighter than the Hellcat’s trigger. The Hellcat has a nice short pull but it slightly stiffer.

Hellcat vs P365: that's what she said

Both are excellent triggers, but the P365 is better, in my opinion. When I started shooting the P365 today, I was used to the Hellcat’s trigger. I was a little startled when I cracked off the first round. I was not expecting such a quick and smooth break. 

What About Accuracy? 

I kind of hate accuracy testing because it’s so dependent on the shooter. However, in my testing and experience, the P365 is more accurate at longer ranges. In my P365 Vs Hellcat testing, I backed off to 25 yards and fired three round strings. I fired several, and these are my best groups from both. 

Springfield vs SIG comparison targets

My best grouping with the P365 at 25 yards.

Every time I fired a group, the P365 was tighter and closer to my point of aim. I seem to fall into the habit of throwing shots to the left a bit with the Hellcat. This seems to happen when I first start shooting for the day. It straightens out eventually, but it is always more pronounced at longer ranges. 

Hellcat-vs-P365

My best grouping with the Hellcat at 25 yards.

The SIG P365’s sights are certainly better suited for long-range firing. The U Dot sights are better suited for close-range shooting and speed. In practice, I found the Hellcat’s sights to be better-suited for shooting from the draw. It was easier to line them up and drop the dot into the white U and pull the trigger. 

Rarely could I beat my Hellcat’s draw-and-fire time with the SIG at ranges 10 yards and closer. That said, even when I was close and shooting, the SIG’s groups were often smaller. In fact, I landed two shots in one hole from a draw-and-fire drill at 10 yards. I couldn’t repeat that performance with the Hellcat.  However, I could still land effective shots with the Hellcat much quicker. Up to .10 seconds faster. Here are 3 shots from the draw with the Hellcat. 

Target comparisons, Hellcat and P365 review

Reliability wise, both guns are top-notch performers. I would trust both of them with my life.

Differences Worth Noting 

Before we finish up, I want to bring up three differences that are worth noting. The first two are rather important and interesting, the third is kind of important, and the last is just neat. 

The P365 has a chassis system, just like the P320. This allows you to swap grip modules with ease. This is why I could drop the chassis into a metal frame from Icarus Precision and rock and roll. I can’t do that with the Hellcat. 

Hellcat-vs-P365

The Hellcat comes in two flavors, standard, and OSP. The OSP is optics-ready. SIG does not offer the P365 standard in an optics-ready design and reserves the optics-ready version for the P365 XL. 

The Hellcat also comes with a standard Picatinny rail. This allows you to attach lights and lasers without having to buy proprietary designs. The SIG has a proprietary rail, but as you can see, there are some lights and lasers available for it. 

Lastly, the Hellcat has a built-in standoff device under the barrel. If you drive this weapon into someone’s gut, the slide will not come out of battery, and you can keep shooting. It’s a neat feature we rarely see in guns. I may never use it, but I like the idea of having it. 

Springfield Hellcat standoff device

Notice the Stand-Off device on the Hellcat.

Which One? 

The differences are minute, and if you said I could only have one, I’d stick with the P365. There are a few reasons. I do like the trigger more, and the grip is more comfortable, but I also have almost two years of P365 shooting and ownership. I have tons of magazines, accessories, and holsters to go with it. 

If I didn’t have this time and money invested in the gun, the choice would be quite a bit harder. The Hellcat OSP model, in particular, is really attractive to me. I could see myself being attracted to an ultra-small, relatively high capacity carry gun that’s equipped with a red dot.

Luckily, this is America, and I can happily own both.

Which would you choose from our P365 Vs Hellcat competition? Have you tried both yet? 

Springfield Hellcat magazines: feed your machine

SIG P365 magazines: gas it up

Springfield Hellcat: read more about it

SIG P365: check out some other articles

 

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More info:

Springfield Armory

SIG Sauer 

 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.

  • supergun

    The Sig 365XL Romeo Zero holds 12 plus one in the chamber, 13 total. The red dot comes on automatically when held. Goes off if not in use. 10,000 hours of battery life. Just as light. Very soft Sig recoil. X-rays with night sights is wonderful. Can see the sights and red dot together. Super nice gun to carry and shoot. Unbelievable small.

    • Mike

      It might be unbelievably small but still quite a bit bigger than the hellcat. I own a 365, never fired a hellcat yet but am disgusted that sig refuses to have an optics ready version of the 365. No the 365XL is not the same. Im thinking of buying a hellcat just to be able to have a cheap trigger job, the 365 I have has a horrible trigger and the cheapest trigger job is from the sig armorer in TX at over $200.00 plus shipping. Powder river precision makes a kit for the hell cat for almost half that cost and can be installed by the user.
      No Im not a SA fan, just disgusted at Sig for forgetting the 365 needs help.

  • Bimmerguy

    I have tried both and I personally like the Hellcat. I tried the SIG first and the trigger felt mushy and not crisp at all. As I did not shoot either one from a rest I could not see any difference in the accuracy. I would not plan on doing target shooting with either one. The 2 main things I like about the Hellcat is the larger capacity and since I bought the OSP version, the ability to mount a red dot. Just not sure the RMSc is the one I want, so I will wait for other options.

  • fireball1322

    Sig offers a 12 round mag, as well as a 15 round magazine for the P365. 15+1=16 rds….one less than the P320 standard magazine holds. I own both, with the P320 being an M17 model,both in 9mm Luger. I really like the P365 for concealed carry. The night sites are prett good to have as well.

  • Cave Wyatt

    I went P365XL, just a touch longer and taller than the original or SAS but with all-around better shooting characteristics (for my money).

    And GMW sells the 12-round P365 magazine which now comes with the flat floor plate so it will fit the XL. I know because I bought two from GMW and will soon buy two more! Thanks, guys!

  • tCotUS

    I tried both before buying..Hands down the 365 was way more concealable, & isn’t that what a deep concealment is all about? The 365 felt better in my hand, zero failures so far, & at 20 yards can place them in a 2″ group. I wouldn’t trade it off for anything else..So Far.

  • Dennis Eagleberger

    Love my 365XL, it’s a No to the springfield.

  • JMICHAEL270

    Sig P365 SAS-C is my choice. It is highly accurate and fast when you get use to the FT Bullseye sights.

  • BraveNewWhirled

    Yep. This is America. Let’s keep it that way.

  • Harry Callahan

    This review failed to mention a few key differences. First is about the control: from day one, SIG announced that P365 would be available with manual safety for those customers who prefer this setup. They delivered that promise in 2019. Springfield never mentioned any possibility of a manual safety. After half a year on the market, they are still not saying anything.

    Second difference is in the ergonomics: with my medium to medium-large hands, and flush magazine in both guns, I can get a near 100% full three-fingered grip on P365. My pinky is more than three-quarter on the grip, and doesn’t slip off after rapid firing a full mag. I can’t even get a quarter of my pinky on the grip with Hellcat, no way whatsoever. That is a huge deal breaker for me, because I do pocket carry, so I always use the shortest mag. That’s why I swapped the extended floor plate (from the other included 10rd mag) with other P365 owners for the flat one. There’s no need to use the extended plate (which gives me a tiny bit more than 100% full grip) when the shorter one works just as well.

    Those are two deal breaking differences for me, why I’m a P365 MS (for manual safety) owner now. When I first saw Hellcat picture I suspected that I wouldn’t be able to get three-fingered grip with it (and confirmed my suspicion in the gun shop). Instead of horizontally flat grip bottom like the Hellcat, P365’s grip bottom is slanted, with longer front strap than rear. This design let user put three fingers on the grip (those don’t have oversized hands, like me), and only a minimum sized extension to give larger handed people a full grip. And, the overall height increase is very small as pointed out by the author of this article. This is smart engineering, and why I think it’s better even though it holds one less round than the Hellcat.

    • tCotUS

      One other key difference between Sig & SpringField… Is Springfields Sell Out and Betrayal
      of the 2nd Amendment back a few years . I can still remember it as well as yesterday…
      “Gun Licensing Act in Illinois ” …..Illinois Firearms Manufacturig (IFMA) Springfield & Rock River who funded this miserable anti-2nd Amendment organization.

  • Mike Strunk

    The Hellcats trigger could have been refined a bit more…..only issue I see. Sig drives me nuts with their magazines…..barely can hold the claimed capacity without using a loader on the last round! I have the NRA 365 FDE already and will stay with it. My G26 Gen5 gets carried the most though.

    • Brad Erickson

      After keeping my P365 mags loaded to minus one for about three months, I could load them all to the top without any real effort. Like you, I’m used to a G27 which I carried for 20 years and if we’re complaining about mag springs, Glock is even tougher than the Sigs – but those are the only mags I trust can stay fully loaded for years and not lose their functionality. All that being said, after carrying that G27 double stack width all these years, the P365 feels fantastic. The G27 is now my winter OWB and the 365 is my three seasons IWB carry tool.

  • Dave Samples

    i have a 365 and if i had to make a choice i would keep the 365 and invest in optic ready 365xl. i also would like someone to discuss 9mm+p in the 365 vs the hellcat

  • Michael Palm

    I have a Glock 26 and am NOT giving it up. These new guns I wouldnt trust with my life. Too new..Just like new car models. There’s been many problems with the Sig 365 reported. The Hellcat is just too new for all the bugs to work out. My Glock has been around since 1995.
    365, Hellcat ….2 years No thanks!

  • jay

    I don’t own either, as yet. But other than the big U for sights, I can’t think of a reason to go with the Springfield. And 1 round doesn’t count. 4 rounds, yes, as I wouldn’t have a single column. The ability to add optics to a deep concealment gun, is silly.
    So, better trigger, effective sights (more accurate), easier to rack, much more comfortable grip. Modular fire control group. Well I’ve talked myself into a P365. Did I mention, the Sig is made here. The Springfield is not.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’ll stick with my CZ 75 D Compact PCR. Didn’t like the way the P365 felt in my hand.

    • goodnewsnathan

      Agreed. Best I’ve ever owned.

    • Omer Woodruff

      Cz75 is a good gun too but super compact guns are not for a lot of shooting but rather for concealment . Try the 365 with the 15 round magazine . The extension matches the grip for larger hands .

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        Well then I’ll carry my CZ2075 RAMI . . . 14 rounds w/extension

  • Randy G.

    I haven’t gone with either yet. I was going to purchase the sig P365 and then started seeing all those videos about how the firing pin drags across the primer cap on everyone of them. And then it snaps off the end of the firing pin after about 500 or more rounds…When practicing with a carry weapon, you should end up putting 500 rounds through it within a certain period of time so it isn’t a question of if, but a question of when it will snap off. I believe the gen. 3 is the one they are shipping now and where sig says the problem is fixed, the videos are still showing up with the same results. Snapped firing pins. And to tell the truth, I really wanted the sig a lot. But this problem is a game changer for sure..gonna wait a little while longer and see if they finally fix this problem….

    • Brad Erickson

      It’s fixed.

  • Snake Pleskin

    I am always curious as to what situations many of the people posting think they are going to get into?? Most violent encounters are sudden,surprised,fast and without warning,which negates the Gunsite 4 point draw,side step and other bull.You never know what hits you ,period. If you think you are going to be some home town hero, standing tall and trading rd after rd of 9mm with the bad guy, I think you need professional help. Situational Awareness will keep you out of 99% of trouble,if you use it and follow it! The other 1% is an x factor that few have any control over. So SIG or Hellcat,it really does not matter. I can personally say,after many yrs of govt work overseas,taking out the trash, that the platform, ie firearm used matters little, nor does the caliber, because when shtf you will not be worrying about your reset distance,your tactical grip,flash site picture,etc etc, .If you want to stay alive,you will be aware of your surroundings, react quickly and immediately move to some form of solid cover, assess the situation for a way out,and return fire only as a last resort. You never play the other fellows game,never. Like I said, it amazes me what people think they are going to do,who have never had to do it.

  • VetUSAF

    Having fired about 250 rounds through each, I have to say that I really like both guns! However, with my hand size, grip position (thumb placement, etc.) and angle, the Hellcat just “fits” my hand & style better. Personally, what I think it boils down to is, which one feels/works better for each individual shooter.

  • Bob Gilman

    Nice article, small typo: ” The SIG is 58 inches long with a 3.1-inch long barrel.” That would be difficult to conceal!

  • Omer Woodruff

    I was glad I got the 365 and found out there is a 15 round mag for it too that extends the grip nicely for larger hands for target shooting or as a spare mag .

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  • Michael A

    I think I will just change out the sights on my M&P shield 9 and keep it thanks.

    • keith sw

      I agree, I have tried probably 5 other guns, and keep coming back to my Shield

  • Omer Woodruff

    I have the sig 365 and I know Springfield makes nice guns too . I bought a 365 because no one had the Springfield hellcat . I then found I could get a 15 round mag for my sig 365 with a nice extension on the mag that is the same diameter of the grip for larger hands .

  • theobldbard1968

    I have the Hellcat, getting used to a smaller frame takes a little time, but I DO LIKE IT.
    My first pistol was a Jennings .380, so just to let you know, my hands forgive me now.
    No bite on the Hellcat.

  • Rufus

    I still see no reason to give up either of my Walther PPS Classic or my PPS M2.