What's new on this innovative subcompact carry gun?
In a market where everyone is trying to cram as much value as possible into every firearm, Springfield just piled on with their new Hellcat RDP. Building upon the original groundbreaking design, the new Hellcat RDP adds features normally found on larger guns but sized for the compact carry world.
RDP stands for Rapid Defense Package and incorporates the HEX Wasp micro red dot and a self-indexing compensator. Yes, you read that right: a compensator on a subcompact carry gun. Is this a good idea? The jury may still be out for a while, but Springfield certainly thinks it is.
Whether or not you like the compensator on the 3.8-inch Melonite-finished barrel, it's held on with a threaded end, which means you could remove the compensator and replace it with a suppressor. Who doesn’t like that, right? So it’s a win either way!
In addition to the compensator, the RDP also comes with Springfield’s Gen 2 trigger with enhanced ergonomics, which Springfield says “offers a more comfortable shooting experience and is a refinement of the most important interface between the pistol and the shooter.”
As for the red dot, it’s Springfield’s proprietary low-profile 3.5 MOA HEX Wasp that sits low enough to co-witness with the same built-in high visibility tritium & luminescent front sight paired with a Tactical Rack U-Dot rear sight found on other Hellcat models. The Wasp red dot features a premium glass lens, a tough machined 6061 aluminum body, and 65,000 hours of battery life.
If you’re unfamiliar with HEX, it is a special project Springfield has been working on for some time now to outfit their firearms – and eventually others – with new red dot options. So far they have just two models, one for small guns and another for larger framed pistols and rifles, and are working on a full line of optics for a variety of firearms. The RDP is the Wasp’s introduction.
One curious feature of the new RDP is an ambidextrous manual safety. Springfield has been long known for their manual safeties, including a grip safety on several on the XD series, but this one is an anomaly. It seems out of place on a striker-fired gun, especially one that already has a trigger safety and all the internal safeguards common to other strikers.
MSRP for the new Hellcat RDP is $899, which includes both the compensator and Wasp red dot. Considering the red dot alone sells for $299, this is a great combo price for a proven subcompact that holds up to 13+1 rounds of 9mm. Springfield will likely sell a ton of these. If you get one, remember it needs a holster or two.
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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