Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP – Karen Hunter Review
Springfield Armory introduced the highest capacity micro 9mm to world in September of 2019. I was privileged to receive my own Hellcat prior to its introduction and was extremely impressed as it was evident Springfield not only listened to the needs and wants of their customers, but they also brought them to fruition with a pistol built for concealed carry. Now, less than two years later, Springfield has taken the Hellcat to new heights with the release of the Hellcat RDP.
RDP stands for Rapid Defense Package, a package that offers key features Springfield deems important to aid in self-defense. These added features include a threaded barrel fitted with a patent pending compact compensator, and the all-new HEX Wasp red dot optic. Combined, these components are believed to increase your skillset with faster target acquisition and follow-up shots. Getting on target quickly and accurately is key to self-defense, and Springfield is confident they have provided this for their customers with the Hellcat RDP.
The patent pending, self indexing compensator is unique, and something that has not been done before. “Self Indexing” means that the compensator indexes itself to the threaded barrel by simply rotating it on. Typically, something of this nature would require a shim, or even tools to get it aligned and fitted properly. With this pistol, the threads of the barrel and the proprietary compensator are cut in a fashion that allows you to attach and tighten it to spec, having it perfectly oriented. This can only be accomplished when the barrel and compensator are made by the same factory. Springfield states that the added compensator will tame muzzle rise, lending to faster and more accurate follow-up shots.
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The other major aspect of the RDP package includes the all-new HEX Wasp optic. The Wasp is a micro-sized red dot optic designed to pair with the Hellcat RDP. The Wasp co-witnesses with the Hellcat’s iron sights and is optimized for direct, low-mounting. Featuring a premium glass lens, machined 6061 aluminum body and 65,000 hours of batter life, the HEX Wasp is an incredible addition to the Hellcat.
Other features of the Hellcat RDP include an all-new Gen 2 trigger with enhanced ergonomics, optional ambidextrous manual safety, threaded barrel, tritium and luminescent front sight paired with a Tactical Rack U-Dot rear sight, and two magazines – a patented 11-round magazine with pinky extension and a 13-round extended magazine.
Experiencing the Hellcat RDP on the range was every bit as satisfying as my experience with the first Hellcat, if not more so. My only disappointment was not being able to fully utilize the normal amount of ammunition that I usually do with a firearm T&E, (test and evaluation). The Hellcat RDP, in all honesty is a lot of fun to shoot and I immediately fell in love with the HEX Wasp optic. It is low profile and lends quick target acquisition with crystal clear glass. Given the fact that I am conserving ammunition, I did not sight it in for me, but with finding a good hold I was able to have consistent and accurate follow-up shots and maintained groups of 1.5”. I quickly noticed the difference of the enhanced Gen 2 trigger in comparison with the first Hellcat released. The Gen 2 trigger lends a smooth pull and is crisp and clean with a nice short reset. It is also extremely comfortable proving Springfield’s claims of enhanced ergonomics. I train often and have become skilled with managing recoil, so it was difficult to ascertain how much of a difference the compensator made in that area. None the less, I believe the compensator rounds out the RDP package quite nicely. The fact that this pistol has a threaded barrel brings the benefit of utilizing a suppressor. Shooting suppressed is quite fun, so to me this is a wonderful addition.
The Hellcat RDP is a great package overall, especially for concealed carry. It is a comfortable and fun gun to shoot while incorporating some great benefits for any shooter. This gun is easy to conceal while also lending an 11 to 13 plus round count, which is crucial for anyone who carries for self-defense. Currently there are several companies in the process of making an applicable holster, and Galco Gun Leather already has one available. Springfield Armory has done a tremendous job when it comes to listening to the needs and wants of their customers. Engineering the Hellcat RDP is physical proof of their continued commitment of bringing quality, reliable and cutting edge technology to firearm owners. If you are looking for a reliable firearm, especially for an EDC gun, I would highly encourage you to check out the all-new Hellcat RDP.