The Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP

A carry gun “as good as it gets”

Thread a sound suppressor like this compact Gemtech Lunar 9 on the end of
its snout and you can take the Hellcat micro compact pistol in some shocking new directions.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat showed the world what we could expect from the next generation of concealed carry guns. Packing an industry-leading 13+1 rounds into a chassis you could conceivably hide in the front pocket of your cargo shorts, the Hellcat brings full-sized combat pistol capabilities to the realm of deep concealment mouse guns. However, it seems the wizards at the Springfield Armory skunk works were not satisfied to simply sit back and bask in the unfettered coolness of this groundbreaking defensive handgun.

The new Hellcat RDP (Rapid Deployment Package) takes everything righteous and wholesome about the Hellcat and amps it up a notch. The peerless ergonomics and state-of-the-art quality are obviously still there. In addition, however, now the Hellcat RDP includes a Self-Indexing Compensator mounted onto an extended threaded barrel, a Springfield Armory exclusive HEX Wasp micro red dot optic and an optional bilateral manual thumb safety. The end result is solid enough to bet your life on.

I’ve packed heat for 30 years. The sex appeal was gone after the first 48 hours. Carrying a gun is uncomfortable and a hassle. However, if you ever need it for real, it will be worth more than your house and your 401k put together. If it’s a piece of kit that spells the difference between going home to momma and going home in a box you want it to be the best you can afford. Behold — the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP.

The new Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP (Rapid Deployment Package) takes
the already superlative Hellcat and makes it even better.

The Hellcat’s Claws

The basic Springfield Armory Hellcat features unimpeachable reliability, a trigger blade safety and a magazine release reversible at the user level. Adaptive grip texture consists of scads of little microscopic pyramids. The harder you squeeze, the tighter it grips. Tactical rack sights look like a tritium-powered grinning cyclops and are the best in the business.

The gun comes with a flush-fitting 11-round magazine as well as an extended 13 rounder. Magazines fall free cleanly. The front end of the recoil spring guide rod sports a rough surface so shoving the gun against something hard doesn’t inadvertently retract the slide and deadline the gun. The slide has deep gripping grooves both front and rear.

The Hellcat used for the RDP package is the OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) version. The Hellcat OSP features a milled rear slide deck to accept a micro red dot. Previously you had to track down your own red dot and make sure it fit. The Hellcat RDP comes fitted with a red dot from the factory.

The new HEX Wasp micro red dot is Springfield Armory’s first foray into the world of electro-optics. The sight stays on all the time and adjusts its brightness automatically to compensate for ambient light. Expect a couple years out of a battery. Just plan on swapping it out every other birthday or so and you’ll be fine. The batteries can be had at any drug store or Walmart.

The Hellcat RDP is also available with an optional bilateral thumb safety. Use it if you want, ignore it if you don’t. I work closely with children and personally like the option.

The Self-Indexing Compensator is cuter than a bucketful of puppies and helps redirect some of the chaos into something useful. Ports on the sides and top help counteract both recoil and muzzle flip. The compensator threads directly onto the muzzle without a fuss and includes a spring-loaded detent to keep it lined up and secure. As the barrel is threaded 1/2″-28 it will accept any appropriate handgun suppressor as well.

The SureFire XSC micro compact weapon light is rechargeable without removing the light from the gun. It will run about half an hour before needing a boost. The battery has a built-in fuel indicator to let you know when it needs attention. This thing is about the size of my thumb yet still puts out 350 lumens of night-shredding illumination. Unlike some other guns, the dust cover rail on the Hellcat is of standardized dimensions.

The HEX Wasp is Springfield Armory’s first foray into electro-optics. It is tiny, rugged and capable.

The most obvious addition to the Hellcat RDP is the Self-Indexing Compensator.
This nifty rig puts some of the muzzle chaos to work controlling recoil and muzzle flip.


The Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP runs just like the previous unadorned Hellcat only better. Recoil is snappy without being frustrating and this tiny little gun will keep my rounds in a tangerine all day long at reasonable handgun ranges presuming I do my part. The trigger is of the expected 5.5 lbs. or so and remains monotonously identical from the first shot to the last. Unlike most tiny little compact carry guns which will just beat you to death on the range, the Hellcat RDP is actually kind of fun to run.

If you’re going to bet your life on some mechanical contrivance, you don’t want it done halfway. My first carry gun was a $50 FIE Titan in .25 ACP. The piddly little peashooter was a gift from my precious wife and was all we could afford at the time. I still own lots of cheap guns. These are not, however, what I choose to carry every day. If you want to pack the state-of-the-art in micro-compact concealed carry iron, nowadays it would be the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP. This is as good as it gets.

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