What are the differences between the original Hellcat OSP and the new Hellcat RDP?
When Springfield introduced the original Hellcat, the world stood up and took notice. Designed as a Sig P365 killer, the Hellcat featured some impressive features rarely before seen in compact or subcompact firearms. Capacity was up, the grip was more aggressive, and the overall package looked like Springfield had taken a full-size gun and thrown it in the dryer on high heat for too long until it shrank.
Some of these features included an 11-round primary magazine and 13-round backup, a match-quality trigger assembly, and last but not least an optional OSP plate for mounting a micro red dot. It’s hard to remember a time when nobody made those, but Springfield was one of the first.
Not satisfied to stand still very long on their innovations, Springfield has introduced an even more impressive Hellcat: the RDP, short for Rapid Defense Package. If the original Hellcat was so novel and innovative, what could possibly be better about this new RDP version that was missing on the original? Let’s do a side-by-side comparison to better understand the before and after picture.
First, the similarities between both Hellcat models:
- Billet Machined, Melonite Finish, Optics Ready Slide
- Black Polymer Frame with Adaptive Grip Texture
- Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack U-Notch Rear Sights
- 8” Hammer Forged Steel Melonite Finish Barrel with 1:10 Twist
- Height: 4” with Flush Mag, 4.5” with Extended Mag
- Dual Captive Recoil Spring with Full-Length Guide Rod
The original Hellcat carries an MSRP of $599 without the available optic, $799 with it. Since its introduction, the Hellcat OSP has changed to the new a 4-M.O.A. Shield SMSc mini-sight compact red dot.
The new Hellcat RPD carries all the same base features as the original but then builds upon the solid foundation with some impressive upgrades. The most obvious from the outside is the square compensator threaded onto the muzzle. It’s boxy, but so is the slide, so aside from the slight barrel extension (about an inch), it doesn’t look terribly out of place. The thread pattern also allows a suppressor if you are so inclined.
Other upgrades include Springfield’s propriety HEX Wasp red dot that sits lower than the older Shield SMSc to allow for easy cowitnessing with the iron sights. This little feature not only helps with shooting but makes zeroing the optic super simple, providing a built-in reference point.
The final major upgrade to the RDP over the original is the Gen 2 trigger, with a slightly different contour for what Springfield says is a more comfortable shooting experience.
The RDP retails for $899, including the optic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Workman is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. As an NRA-certified instructor, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. “Real-life shootouts don’t happen at a box range.”
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