I.O. Hellcat 380

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I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby adam01364 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:03 am

I picked up this I.O. Hellcat parts gun for short money. The reason it's a "parts gun" is the barrel. The rounds don't chamber per se, rather they drop all the way into the barrel.

The Hellcat got mixed reviews (and are no longer made). You either got a good one and loved it, or you hated it. One of the issues was extraction failure. With a barrel like the one in this gun, I could see how that could happen!

Anyway, I couldn't help but notice the Hellcat looks a heckuva lot like the Kel-Tec P3AT under the surface. In fact, it appears to me like I.O. unabashedly copied the P3AT pretty much everywhere they could. So, I took the barrel out of my P3AT and tried it on the Hellcat - it's a perfect fit.
I'll take the "Hell-Tec" out to the range for a trial and post a range report in a day or so.

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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby Papa G » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:32 pm

That is so cool! Imagine the Kel-Tec barrel fitting the IO, that sure reduces the search for an IO barrel. :)
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby Flowmaster » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:21 pm

I'm still looking for a used one to buy. Its just one of those oddities that wasn't on the market for all that long and didn't seem too popular. I had a guy at a show offer to sell me his for $150 with the box but he admitted that it didn't work. I declined the offer.
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby adam01364 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:42 am

I took mine to the range yesterday and swapped out the barrel with my P3AT.
The gun when click but didn't fire. Waited 30 seconds, extracted the round, nary a mark on the primer. Repeated; same result. Argh.
It dry cycles fine, which to me means that the rounds have chambered correctly in the gun. (Rounds will NOT eject at all from the original IO barrel)

Upon closer examination, it appears the hammer block is the culprit; the hammer does not come forward to hit the firing pin. I'll continue to play with it and report back.

BTW, Flow- that's exactly why I wanted the Hellcat: It's an oddity that you just don't see very often.

Maybe it's a Sedco reincarnated in a higher caliber. :lol:
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby adam01364 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:34 am

It's definitely the hammer block. It, along with the hammer, are showing a lot of wear and for whatever reason (maybe the wear?), when the trigger is pulled, the hammer block moves forward, but it doesn't stay forward long enough to allow the hammer to get past it before going back into the home position, blocking the hammer from striking the F/P.

The hammer block & hammer block spring are located somewhat down inside the grip frame and while they are exceptionally easy to remove, putting them back into place is a real PITA. Guys on KTOG advise not to tough the hammer block, and as a matter of fact, Kel-tec sells their spare P3AT grip frames with these parts pre-installed. Um, yeah it's THAT unfun.

<EDIT>
Well, well, well. When I removed the hammer block and spring, I put it back just the way it was... and whomever worked on this gun before installed the hammer block backwards. (looking at my P3AT was the tip off) So I took a deep breath and removed the hammer block and spring and flipped it around. Thankfully re-installation was easier this time around and it appears to work. I'm not saying I've cured whatever ails this gun, but I have taken a giant step in the correct direction.
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby Flowmaster » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:39 pm

I'm glad you've probably got it figured out. Many other gun people would've probably just turned around and sold it.
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby FergusonTO35 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:39 am

The aggressive palm swell reminds me of the L-25. That, plus the painted on three dot sights were your assurances of quality!
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby adam01364 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:44 am

FergusonTO35 wrote:The aggressive palm swell reminds me of the L-25. That, plus the painted on three dot sights were your assurances of quality!

It's got a case of Lorcin-itus; still goes "click" but still no bang. Maybe I can find myself a P3AT parts kit and swap innards making it a true Hell-Tec.
That, along with quarantining it from the Sedcos and Lorcins might make a difference.
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby David Vincent » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:24 pm

lots of keltec clone with accept keltec parts either straight out or with minor fitting. I would give it a shot and change out every part possible with the p3at including all the springs. Thats what I do with cobra partiots.

you should contact inter ordnance and speak to the techs over there. The hellcat was kind of a pet project for them and they were really into it. They may even have a good supply of parts left.

I thought the hellcats were neat clones they just didnt last long on the market and many of the bugs were not worked out yet. They did make some changes though.

I think you can get it working.
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Re: I.O. Hellcat 380

Postby 84minieldo » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:05 pm

Wtf lorcin itis was mentioned and no story of Waldorf fingerprints on io or the hell cat from u DV??...or his involvement with keltec?
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