Springfield Hellcat RDP: Rapid Defense Package…Pistol

The Springfield Hellcat family has expanded once again. The newest member/model is the Springfield Hellcat RDP. RDP stands for “Rapid Defense Package“, and as you can probably tell from the name it’s an upgunned version of the original Hellcat OSP micro-compact. That stands for Package, by the way. Not Pistol. Which for some reason I keep typing. 

But I digress.

Hellcat RDP Upgrades

Self Indexing Compensator

There two most immediately obvious new features of the RDPackagedammitnotPistol are the micro red dot sight up top and the pistol comp out front. We’ll talk more about the former in a moment. The latter is what they call a “Self Indexing Compensator”. It’s attached to the weapon via a 3.8 in. threaded barrel and is, as with all comps, intended to reduce muzzle flip and mitigate felt recoil. 

Springfield Hellcat RDP pistol comp

The 9mm cartridge is hardly an earth-shaker when it comes to recoil, but it does affect accuracy, particularly when used in a small frame handgun with a short barrel. And while there will almost certainly be one or more “Ithaca Giant” Conley types who’ll deride the need or desirability of a (particularly 9mm) pistol comp, let’s just agree that they work as advertised and are desirable in certain circumstances.

Paul Carlson reviewing the Springfield Hellcat RDP.
Paul Carlson reviewing Springfield RDP somewhere north of The Wall. Video and text are over on The Armory Life (q.v.).

We’ll revisit that fact and whatever comments show up at some point in the future (perhaps in my review). 

Hellcat Self Indexing Pistol Compensator
That isn’t a poof of ball powder or someone sneezing. I increased the contrast on the photo so you could see where and how the comp is venting.

Springfield describes their comp thusly:

Tame muzzle rise with the patent-pending Springfield Armory Self Indexing Compensator made of aircraft-grade Hardcoat anodized aluminum. This compensator vents gasses upward putting downward pressure on the muzzle greatly reducing muzzle rise for better control and faster follow-up shots.​

The Hellcat RDP features a compact and capable compensator that maximizes rapid-fire muzzle control. Machined from 8082 aluminum and anodized matte black, the compensator has a patent-pending Self Indexing design that makes installation or removal easy and does not require shims or additional parts for proper timing.

Hellcat pistol compensator
The Hellcat RDPackage pistol comp is designed for tool-free installation and tuning. And hey look – you can a weapon light or a light/laser combo under there.

(Scroll down for an install video.)

Punching out with the RDP

Punching out with the RDP: Paul Carlson shooting the comped Hellcat RDP for a review on The Armory Life.

Springfield Hellcat Magazines
The RDP will feed from both 11-round and the 13-round 9mm Springfield Hellcat magazines.

Springfield Armory HEX Optics

Wasp Red Dot Sight

Now on to the red dot sight you see up top. That isn’t one of their previous model OSPs with a Holosun, Swampfox Sentinel, or Shield RMSc aboard. That is one of the two new optics from the HEX series of red dots released by Springfield Armory concurrently with the RDP.

HEX Wasp pistol red dot

According to the manufacturer’s specs, the Wasp is a

3.5 MOA red dot sight

with a red dot (vs. green, mind you) and a

half-MOA adjustment capacity and

90 MOA for windage and elevation, in a 

Springfield Micro Footprint (Shield RMSc), powered by a

CR2032 battery rated for 65k hours of use

Springfield Armory Hex optics: Wasp red dot sight

SA says, 

The Wasp is always powered and features an auto-dimming sensor that regulates proper dot brightness based on ever-changing ambient light conditions. Precision machined from 6061 T6 Hardcoat anodized aluminum and outfitted with a scratch-resistant, anti-glare glass lens, the HEX Wasp is a rugged, reliable companion for your optics-ready everyday carry.

Springfield Armory Hex optics: Wasp red dot sight

Springfield Armory Hex optics: Wasp red dot sight

Springfield Hellcat RDP: the Remainder

The RDP also features an optional, low profile, ambi manual safety at the rear of the frame, the new SA Gen 2 hellcat trigger, and their “Tactical Rack U-Notch” rear sight. That sight can be co-witnessed with the Wasp. 

Hellcat Gen 2 Trigger

The Hellcat RDP introduces the new Gen 2 Trigger. Recontoured for enhanced ergonomics, the Gen 2 trigger offers a more comfortable shooting experience and is a refinement of the most important interface between the pistol and the shooter.

Threaded Barrel

The 3.8″ hammer-forged barrel of the Hellcat RDP is extended and threaded and features a tough Melonite finish. (.5 x 28)

Tritium U-Dot Sights

The Hellcat RDP features high visibility tritium & luminescent front sight paired with a Tactical Rack U-Dot rear sight for easy target acquisition.

Optional Manual Safety

The Hellcat RDP is available with an optional ambidextrous manual safety on the frame of the pistol. It is a low-profile, unobtrusive design that features positive engagement and is simple and easy to operate both left or right-handed.

The Hellcat RDP has an optional manual safety (right). Both models will ship with a cover plate for use when an optic isn't present.
The Hellcat RDP has an optional manual safety (right). Both models will ship with a cover plate for use when an optic isn’t present.

Hellcat RDP Review: Paul Carlson on The Armory Life

Hellcat Rapid Deployment Package in action

Paul Carlson, a frequent contributor here at The Mag Life, recently reviewed the RDP on The Armory Life, Springfield Armory’s blog. 

Here’s an excerpt:

While you can have the coolest accessories and features on your carry gun, there is one, single part that is the most important interface with the shooter — the trigger. As with every product offered, Springfield Armory is constantly considering every product it offers and how it can enhance or refine the designs. To that end, the Hellcat RDP features the new Gen 2 Trigger.

Recontoured for enhanced ergonomics, the Gen 2 trigger is designed to offer the most comfortable shooting experience for the broadest range of shooters. Designing such a small pistol to fit a broad range of hand sizes can be a challenge, but the Gen 2 trigger features a higher hinge point and a smooth face to allow shooters with shorter or longer fingers to comfortably engage the trigger…

Throughout this review, I found that the combination of the HEX Wasp, the Gen 2 trigger, and the compensator allowed me to increase my precision. After getting the gun sighted in, I was able to consistently drill a 2″ target at 10 yards with rapid follow-up shots. With practice, I’m sure my skills with the Hellcat RDP will improve even more.

Hellcat RDP Pistol Comp: Installation


David Reeder's Wu Tang name is Lucky Prophet. He is a retired AF veteran, former Peace Officer, and current Tier 2.5 writer-operator. Over the course of his career, he has worked a variety of military and lE billets, served as an Observer-Controller at the National Homeland Security Training Center, a MOUT instructor, and an MTT tracking instructor - all of which sounds much cooler than it really was. Although he only updates his website once in a very great while, he can absolutely be relied upon to post to social media (@reederwrites) at least once a month. -Ish.

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