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Old December 15, 2019, 01:07 AM   #1
wmg1299
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Hellcat Reliability

I picked up a new Springfield Armory Hellcat. I saw some online reviews saying they had experienced a small number of malfunctions with the gun. I’ve got 200 rounds through it, with one failure to fire with Winchester white box 115 grain FMJ. When I have experienced break-in issues with other pistols, they have always been failures to feed or failures to eject that disappeared after a proper cleaning and lube. Have any of you guys experienced FTF’s with the Hellcat, or heard of similar problems with range rentals? I know that one is a low number of failures, but it is one more than any of my Glocks or my 365.
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Old December 15, 2019, 05:02 AM   #2
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Winchester White box - says it all. Most handguns have a few break in jams, especially subcompacts, where they have to make substantial compromises for size.
As for the little Hellcat, haven't heard anything negative yet.
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Old December 15, 2019, 07:52 AM   #3
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Usually break-ins don't involve failures to ignite.

Did you check to see if it looked like a light primer strike? Could have been one hard primer.

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Old December 15, 2019, 08:54 AM   #4
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If that happened only once, I’d be inclined to believe it’s the ammo.

That said am I the only idiot out there who has always had extraordinarily good luck with WWB over the years. Nary a problem ever for me across many firearms.
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Old December 15, 2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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I have seldom had problems with Winchester White Box, but it is cheap ammo. That said, I want any gun I might consider carrying to handle the worst and best with little or no problems. I am curious if the primer on the failed round looked like a light strike, but in reality, I would say to shoot it a lot more before any sort of judgement, and try different types/brands of ammo. If the gun is properly cleaned and lubed and has continual malfunctions (feeding or firing) after a few hundred more rounds then one might begin to question the reliability. Personally I would shoot it a bunch to see how it performs; 200 rounds is just getting started.

On another note, I am curious how much striker drag the Hellcat exhibits?
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Old December 15, 2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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WWB is the worst ammo on the market.

However, hard primers isn't a common complaint among many against it...
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Old December 15, 2019, 11:32 AM   #7
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For break-in, I prefer a warmer ammo. If you can get 124gr NATO or 147gr Winchester Train, it works best for me.

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Old December 15, 2019, 01:13 PM   #8
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The Hellcat's an interesting pistol. I'd be interested in your further adventures with it, and anybody else's too.

Good luck.
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Old December 15, 2019, 03:15 PM   #9
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I held one the other day. It is a HAIR. Chunkier then the P365. Feels slightly more substantial that said they are INCREDIBLY close in size and feel to each other and anybody who has not handled one or the other should do so simply to see how small they really are for 10+ round pistols. They are not in my wheelhouse but damn they really are pretty amazing.
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Old December 15, 2019, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
Usually break-ins don't involve failures to ignite.

Did you check to see if it looked like a light primer strike? Could have been one hard primer.

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I would normally check the primer, but the round ejected over the dividing wall and into the lane when I did my tap-rack. Fired about 75 rounds without issue after the failure, but it seemed odd because I have never had a break-in issue involving failure to ignite. I'm aware that WWB is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but I've put thousands of rounds through multiple guns without any similar failures. I hold any gun that I plan to carry to a very high standard, and probably won't be comfortable carrying this one until I get a few hundred more flawless rounds through it. At this point I'm mainly trying to learn if it may be a warranty issue.
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Old December 15, 2019, 11:31 PM   #11
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Gotcha. You can also check the primer indentations of cases that did fire to see if it looks like they are being well struck.

I've shot thousands and thousands of rounds of WWB. I had two failures, both of which were poorly seated rounds. I've also had boxes with inconsistent powder charges. I've had worse experiences with Remington UMC. But even then, any failure to fire I've had has been due to another issue with the firearm itself. I'd keep evaluating the firearm and keep checking spent cases.

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Old December 16, 2019, 06:57 PM   #12
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Never had a problem with WWB, CCI, or Federal 9mm.....the cheap "cannon fodder". The only stuff I wouldn't take...even for free...is Remington green box. Real crap ammo, especially in milsurp pistols. I have a case of it stashed and keep meaning to shoot it up, but I don't even want to look at it.
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Old December 16, 2019, 09:03 PM   #13
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That said am I the only idiot out there who has always had extraordinarily good luck with WWB over the years. Nary a problem ever for me across many firearms.
You're not alone. I've fired countless rounds of WWB, through many different handguns, using many different calibers and have always had good success with it. Others apparently have had problems with WWB; I can only speak to my own experience with it over the past several decades (or however long it took for it to come on the market until now).
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Old December 17, 2019, 07:58 AM   #14
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So far, how do you like the Hellcat otherwise?

And like others, I'd guess it was a primer issue unless you see it consistently.
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Old December 19, 2019, 02:36 AM   #15
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So far, how do you like the Hellcat otherwise?

And like others, I'd guess it was a primer issue unless you see it consistently.
Other than the one issue, the Hellcat seems like a quality firearm. The sights are unique, but require some getting used to. I can put all my shots in a quarter-sized hole at 3 yards, but the group opens up considerably at 7 yards. The 7 yard shots are still all in the 5-ring on a silhouette, but the difference in group size is much greater than I have ever experienced with three dot sights.
I need to put some more rounds through it before I make a final decision, but I don't currently see the Hellcat replacing the Sig 365 as my EDC. The Hellcat feels chunkier, and the trigger guard makes it difficult for me to get a full grip. The 12 round 365 mag offers more grip area than the 13 round Hellcat mag. I really want to like the Hellcat and am hoping that it grows on me over the next few range sessions.
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Old December 19, 2019, 08:51 AM   #16
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I have the P365. One thing I've noticed is Sig did a really good job sculpting two areas that help it conceal well; the slide at the back angles towards the front and the bottom of the grip angles towards the front.

Both of these make it print less.

The Hellcat doesn't seem to have either of those angles. I don't think just thickness is all that matters in comparison.

Meh. Hope you find your groove with the accuracy.
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Old December 19, 2019, 11:32 AM   #17
Carl the Floor Walker
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At this point, I like the Hellcat much better than the Sig. While I have put 200 rds through the Sig, the gun was just a bad fit. The Narrow space between the receiver and the grip was just too shallow. A member from another forum did a great review on this issue, and members of my club that shot the one we tested all agree. (5 members). We had 6 failures from 1,000 rds which we contributed to user error. Riding the slide, which we warned all shooters to not do before shooting.) For some folks they will need to modify their grip style to shoot well. I wish Sig would ditch the hulky take down lever and slide lock.Just not needed on a small Micro 9mm. I have a feeling Sig will redesign the grip in future Gens.
The Hell cat did a much better job of recessing them in.
The Hellcat obviously looked at this and the grip is much nicer for all hands. I have held the Hellcat and it was perfect. Still waiting to shoot one at my club.

Congrats to the OP, please keep us posted in the future. I will most likely get one although a year down the road.
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Old December 21, 2019, 11:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dgludwig View Post
You're not alone. I've fired countless rounds of WWB, through many different handguns, using many different calibers and have always had good success with it..
As have I, and as a bonus: good, inexpensive brass for reloading!
Good to hear that that Hellcat is working out well for you, wmg1299. I may get one as a backup to my P365 if it ever goes out of service.
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Old January 1, 2020, 05:21 PM   #19
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Well unfortunately the p365 just didn't work out for me. It is currently on its second trip back to Sig. Failure to return to battery mostly with the occasional stove pipe malfunction. After its first trip back, it wasn't any better.....in fact no difference at all as far as I can tell. We'll see what happens from here.

The Hellcat has been wonderful, although I do need to practice more with it. About 400-500 rounds so far without a single problem. Accuracy between the two is adequate if I do my part. Hellcat is a bit more comfortable to me and many who have held mine. Cannot tell a lick of difference between carrying the two, in fact the holsters I have for the p365 work for the Hellcat as well without any compromises.

It will be interesting to see how the Hellcat does as more shooters put theirs through the paces. For those who have them, many (including me of course) would appreciate it if you would be willing to share personal experiences.
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Old January 22, 2020, 07:08 PM   #20
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I just ordered a Hellcat. Are you guys having difficulty finding accessories for it since it is still fairly new? I have a Crimson Trace light/laser combo on my Glock 43 that I really like. It is grip activated and completely intuitive. I saw it available for the XDS line, but not for the Hellcat yet. Also, holster manufacturers are probably playing catch up as well. I carry the Glock 43 with two spare mags that I put the +2 on. That gives me a total of 23 rounds. If I carry two 13 round mags with the 11+1, that brings me to 38 rounds. I'm sure some will say it is overkill, but better overkill than running out of ammo.
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Old January 22, 2020, 08:57 PM   #21
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I have a feeling Sig will redesign the grip in future Gens.
Carl, hmmm. I don't think so. I find the grip on the Sig P365 to be outstanding, especially with the twelve round magazines.

Quote:
Well unfortunately the p365 just didn't work out for me. It is currently on its second trip back to Sig. Failure to return to battery mostly with the occasional stove pipe malfunction.
Wheel-gunner, are you sure you weren't limp-wristing your P365?
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Old January 23, 2020, 05:06 AM   #22
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Failure to return to battery mostly with the occasional stove pipe malfunction.
Classic limp-wristing.
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Old January 23, 2020, 08:06 AM   #23
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I had a failure to fire a couple months ago.

Prvi Partisan 115 g 9mm JHP...the primer was indented well enough and I have no explanation except maybe no powder charge or a defective primer? It certainly wasn't a light primer strike.

The pistol was a well proven striker weapon with nearly 1000 rounds and no malfunctions of any kind.

This is no indictment of Prvi ammo as I have found their '06 and 7.62x51 ball ammo to be some of the best in Garands and a PTR91....just saying that the OPs malfunction was probably ammo related.
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Old January 23, 2020, 09:04 AM   #24
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Wheel-gunner, are you sure you weren't limp-wristing your P365?
Thank you for the suggestion, rather than issuing a conclusion.

Limp-wristing? Well, that was my initial thought even though I have never had the problem before. My p365 has been shot by 4 different individuals with the same results. I have had more observe me shooting it. I think it is safe to rule limp-wristing out in my case.

Quote:
Classic limp-wristing.
Classic jumping to conclusions regarding a situation you are far removed from. As stated, that was the first thing I ruled out.

Hellcat has been flawless with close to 1000 rounds fired. Hopefully I can get the p365 to do the same.
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Old January 23, 2020, 09:08 AM   #25
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My wife with very small hands and poor wrist strength has been able to shoot my P365XL without any issues. It's been nice since she definitely has encountered issues shooting Glocks.

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