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DIY – Springfield Hellcat Trigger Job

The Hellcat has been one of Springfield’s most successful product introductions, easily outstripping supply and making it a hot ticket item in the micro-9 segment. It’s ability to shoehorn 13+1 rounds into a tiny package has given its main rival, the SIG P365 a run for its money, but there’s one area in which the petite pistola loses out. And that’s its trigger. So it's time for a Springfield Hellcat trigger job. 

Our sample originally tripped the gauge at a healthy 7.25 pounds with a certain amount of grittiness before the break and being trigger snobs, that didn’t cut it. Enter the guys at Apex Tactical, who fortunately live just down the road from the editorial compound. With their newest trigger kit in our sweaty paws, we hastened to the workbench to give the Hellcat a trigger job. The whole process takes less than half an hour, and results in a smooth rollover break, right at about 5.5 pounds. If you’re looking to improve your own trigger, here’s how. You'll need a few basic tools, such as a bench block, 1/16 inch punch and hammer, Dremel, felt bob and polishing compound.

1. Field strip the handgun and using a 1/16 inch punch and bench block, drive out all three pins.

hellcat field strip

Springfield Hellcat disassembly

The three action pins should press out easily. Note their locations, denoted by the number of grooves


2. Lift out the locking block and wiggle out the takedown lever and spring.

hellcat locking block

Hellcat locking block removal.


3. Remove the slide lock lever and sear housing, along with the mag blocking lever.

hellcat trigger job instal

4. Remove the trigger bar from the sear housing by pulling up and forward to disengage from the slots. Once you have the trigger bar free, use your punch to drive out the pin connecting it to the trigger.

hellcat trigger removal

5. Replace the trigger with the one from the APEX kit, using the instruction card as a spacer between the trigger bar and the trigger slot. If you don’t use a spacer, you could wind up collapsing the slot, causing it to drag on the bar – not good.

hellcat trigger job apex
6. Remove the sear from the sear housing by pushing out the retaining pin. Separate the sear spring from the sear using a pair of needle nose pliers, and replace it with the new one.

hellcat sear

7. Using your trust Dremel and a felt bob with a little polishing compound, polish the sear engagement surfaces to a mirror finish, then replace the sear along with its new spring back into the sear housing. While you have it in hand, polish the top of the trigger bar where it makes contact with the safety plunger in the slide.

hellcat dremel

Use your Dremel to polish the sear engagement surfaces.

8. Place the trigger bar back into the sear housing and replace the whole shebang back into the frame, along with the mag blocking bar.

hellcat apex trigger instructions

Use the instruction card that came with the trigger kit to take up space between the trigger and trigger bar.

9. Reinsert the locking block and slide lock lever, then replace the action pins. That’s it for the frame portion of the trigger job – now on to the slide.

hellcat back plate removal

The Springfield Hellcat extractor assembly is under tension. Be careful as you slide the backplate off, or you'll be chasing it across the room. Takedown tab is just below the rear sight.

10. Remove the backing plate by pressing in the little tab at the top, then sliding it down. Be careful as the striker and extractor are under spring tension.
11. Remove the striker and extractor assemblies, then the safety plunger.

12. Remove the striker spring by pressing it down on the striker, then separate the two halves of the split collar.hellcat striker 13. Polish the striker tail where it contacts the sear, then install the new spring by compressing it and reinstalling the split collar.
14. Polish the safety plunger, then reinstall it, along with the striker, extractor spring and backplate.
15. Reassemble the pistol, function check and you’re done!

hellcat disassembled

When looking to upgrade your handgun, it's a harsh debate between sights and the trigger as the recommended first choice. Thankfully Apex as tackled so many common handguns that they keep the argument going. It's no black magic to replace the trigger, and it doesn't make anyone a better shooter, but there's something to be said about making small improvements, so long as there's practice to match. A Springfield Hellcat trigger job boosts the appeal of this contender in the sub compact market

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One response to “DIY – Springfield Hellcat Trigger Job”

  1. Steve Young says:

    I am wondering why they include a trigger safety on the new models with a manual thumb safety. It seems redundant. I’ve never been a fan of the trigger safety. None of my other weapons have one and they just feel odd to me. I prefer old school manual thumb safeties. It’s all about trigger discipline. If you have that you don’t need a trigger safety.

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  • I am wondering why they include a trigger safety on the new models with a manual thumb safety. It seems redundant. I've never been a fan of the trigger safety. None of my other weapons have one and they just feel odd to me. I prefer old school manual thumb safeties. It's all about trigger discipline. If you have that you don't need a trigger safety.

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