IO Hellcat II .380 Pistol

I.O., formally known as Inter Ordnance, has developed an improved version of the original .380 HellCat pistol which first went on sale in 2010. The Hellcat II features high viz sights, improved trigger bar and trigger cam, improved extractor and modifications to the frame to ensure easier more reliable feeding form the magazine. The MSRP remains the same starting at $250.

From the press release …

The newly improved extractor design offers strong, consistent operation for when you need it most. You can count on the durability of our parts to function properly, giving you the most protection and peace of mind.

Finally, we have added high-visibility sights to help you focus faster and fire more accurately. In the heat of the moment when time is critical, we want to give you the advantage to react quickly and make it count.

The Hellcat is chambered in .380 Auto and has an overall length of 5.16,” a width of 0.82” and a height of 3.6.” It features a 2.75” steel alloy barrel with 6 grooves and 1:16” twist. Designed with both male and female shooters in mind, the Hellcat weighs only 9.4 ounces with an empty magazine. The magazine capacity is 6+1.

The Hellcat has an MSRP of $249.95 and comes with a 6 round stainless steel magazine and custom pocket pouch. It is available in 3 finishes to best suit your needs.

The Hellcat has an aluminum frame but weighs the same as the polymer framed Ruger LCP (although more than a Kel-Tec P3-AT)

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Another clone of the Kel-Tec. How is it that it is so easy to rip off the design of the P3-AT?

    • Brandr

      Because a blowback operated pocket pistol, is a blowback operated pocket pistol, with the exception of say one of the multitude of zamack framed (pot metal) 99 dollar specials thats about as dangerous to the shooter as the target.

      • buster charlie

        You do realize the p32 and p3at are not blowback operated pistols?

        They’re short recoil tipping barrel similar to the SIG and other such full sized pistols. I can’t speak for the hellcat, but the Ruger LCP slide will allegedly fit on the kel-tec P3at frame, real classy.

        Also the extractor is not screwed to the outside of the frame on the kel-tec, that would be a flat spring that actuates the extractor which is a machined claw type.

        good exploded diagram here

        You can see the extractor, spring, and the locking cam on the barrel.

      • mosinman

        actually i have a zamak\poly pistol that is blowback operated….. and when i shoot it i feel just as safe as when im shooting an all steel german made revolver

      • Well most of the patents ran out in 1924 or so. The P3-AT uses a standard browning style lock-up (NOT blowback) just like a 1911. Actually since it is linkless it is more like a Hi-power.

        Obviously KT could pursue trade dress infringement suits, but KT is a small company, and lawyers cost money, even if you do win (eventually)

  • TZH

    I just bought my P3AT two months ago (yes I’m a happy owner), and I’m a little envious about those hi-viz sights on the Hellcat II.

    Oh well, competition is good for everybody.

  • Andy from West Haven

    What it up with that tiggerguard? They couldn’t sweep it forward a tad more??? It’s actually going back towards your trigger finger.

  • MJ

    I assume that the trigger pull on the IO is the same mile-long pull as on the LCP, unless the improved trigger bar and trigger cam really improves things?

    • Sian

      The only micro-380 I’ve seen so far with a decent trigger pull is the Taurus TCP, whose trigger feels like a decent DA revolver’s, firm and smooth, and not the ‘has it gone off yet? Why hasn’t it gone off yet??’ excessively long and squishy LCP trigger.

  • Bret

    Do my eyes deceive me, or is that extractor screwed onto the outside of the slide? I can’t decide if that is good-interesting or bad-interesting.

    • MJ

      I believe that the Kel-Tec is the same way. I think that Kel-Tec fans call it the “Frankenbolt.”

  • El Duderino

    Hmm these look OK but for a cheap .380 I think I’d like a Masterpiece Protector. Street price is a little higher but they look well-made.

  • KM

    At least they test their guns. If Kel Tec ever did that, they’d have to spend a half hour to go through 30 rounds. Yes I own a p3at and yes it’s a POS. It’s not a bad gun, It’s just your typical p3at that some people foolishly trust their life to.

    • KM

      Hope they beefed up the trigger spring too. p3at’s (not sure about rugers) are notorious for breaking them with moderate use (my p3at for example after only a few hundred pulls)

    • KM

      To the people who downgraded my comment, do you own a p3AT? If you do, be honest with yourself, how many times has it jammed? how many times did you have to send it back? If you had to use it in a defensive situation are you comfortable having a gun that will “probably” fire after all the trouble you went through? No, it’s probably perfect and has never had a problem never failed to feed or eject. There’s a conspiracy to bash Kel Tec. well, I dropped some decent money to buy mine and I ain’t ever getting that back.

      • jdun1911

        Apparently it a good design because other companies are cloning it. At the very least it is a design that makes money.

      • JMD

        It’s a design that’s cheap to make and easy to sell to scared people who just want a pistol for protection RIGHT NOW, and don’t know better. That’s all.

      • Last week I would have said my P3-AT has never jammed, last weekend it jammed every round. Inspection showed that it was absolutely filthy, not with gunfire reside but with dust bunnies, lint, and left over bits of Arizona.

        (remember to clean your pocket guns even if you haven’t fired them recently)

      • jdun1911

        Pocket guns are pocket guns. They are not range guns. They are not fighting guns. They are design for concealment and ease of carry at the expense of reliability and stopping power. Even pocket guns that cost 3 to 5 more than Kel-Tec will have the same problems as Kel-Tec. It is what it is.

    • Michael

      I own a KelTec 32 and 9mm. They have been 10% reliable.
      Would I carry one of them for self defense? YES
      Are there better guns out there? YES
      What do I carry? A Glock

  • Jim

    That MSRP is remarkable. I imagine that will market for $200-230.

  • G3Ken

    I don’t know about you guys, but any time I see “new and improved”, all I think is “wow, the old one must have been one heck of a POS”.

    I wouldn’t buy a “new and improved” television, so I sure as hell wouldn’t buy something like that if I needed to rely on it for my life.

    • vyse

      Handgun manufactorers normally improve on designs over time. Sig does it, Ruger does it, Glock does it, etc. IO doesn’t have the vast selection that a company like Sig has, so it makes sense that they would want to improve on what is already there… Especially if it is one of their biggest sellers.

  • Charlie

    I’m happy with my LCP, but as I only have one handgun in .380, I will certainly give this one a second look at this price.

  • Tony Stark

    4140 is not stainless geeze…

  • jim

    nice “indoor range”..

    • TZH

      short range!

  • Cameron

    I’ll stick with my LCP. I’m aware it was a copy of the P3AT, and I tried both before purchasing. I paid the bit extra for superior finish and reliability. I’d do it again, 800 perfect rounds in.

  • Hellcat? a 380?
    maybe hell kitten, with a limp…


  • mosinman

    as far as ive seen, most of these small pistols have sights…. that well arnt the best…… its good to see that is changing

  • Brad

    Low weight and low price with an aluminum frame? +1

    That means this pistol can use tighter tolerances than a plastic frame pistol, because plastic can expand under heat and aluminum won’t. That’s the reason for all the daylight one can see between the frame and slide of most plastic frame pistols, to provide room for the warping of the frame when it heats up from firing. Without that clearance, a plastic frame might bind with the slide as the frame expands.

    • Buster charlie

      The kel-tec has an aluminum frame, look at the exploded diagram, the plastic “frame” you see is more magazine well, grip, and dust cover. The guts of the pistol are the aluminum reciver block that is pinned inside the plastic outer shell.

      Just FYI

  • Netforce

    I’m not into .380 pistol. But with various models available now and with this Hellcat, I might have a change of heart.

  • Rex

    Boughtp one of thes pistols two weeks ago. The first impression was what a handy conceal weapon this would be. Got to tell you guys I bought it for the looks and feel. Both were very appealing. Only after I purchased the pistol did I read the horror stories of jams and broken extractors. Before firing it I cleaned it like the instructions said. I put 150 rounds with no problems. worked flawless and was putting 3″ groups at 15feet in a short period. All I can say I like mine pretty well. Remember to use brass case ammo, like per instructions. Good luck guys these guns are worth a second look.

  • James Bond

    I purchased the IO Hellcat after i got my CPL “or ccw for the older generation and i mean no offense with this just something i’ve been finding with the age gaps.”
    I wasn’t able to fire it right away as i did not have the time to do so. I finally got some time two days last week and decided to try it out. The first day i only had my hollow points on me and only two clips worth plus one in the barrel. Of the 13 shots i hit the target probaby 3/4 of the time but i wasn’t the only one shooting it my father was as well. However i had 2 shots that didn’t hit and i chalked it up to bad ammo as i’ve heard horror stories on some ammo’s. a few days later i was out shooting with my grandfather i had more ammo but still only used the same amount 13 shots. Of those 13 i only had 4 that actually went off my pistol had a bad firing pin. However i must say of the 4 that went off at around 30 feet or so shooting at the small 12 OZ Gatorade bottles i was able to site the bottles in with one shot “they were spaced arounda foot apart” and hit the bottles with the second third and fourth shots. Right now my pistol is in being fixed so as long as it comes back working and better than before i’ll have no complaints as it shoots beautifully was within my price range and is great to carry concealed.

  • Shock

    My dad bought a hellcat a couple months ago. First time out we fired the first round then fte cleared the jam shot second round and the same thing happened over and over again. He took it back to gander mountain for a full refund.