Hellcat Red Dot: The JPoint Micro Reflex
June 24th, 2020
5 minute read
I don’t know about anyone else, but I have wholeheartedly embraced the pistol-mounted mini-red-dot phenomenon. Maybe it’s that I have crappy eyesight (that sure as heck isn’t getting any better as I get older…) or maybe it’s carryover from work with a carbine.
Having a red dot simplifies the aiming process, speeds up target acquisition and makes getting solid hits easier. Sure, it’s not as precise as fine-tuned, target-oriented sights, but I’m not putting a red dot on a pistol to participate in 50-yard Bullseye tournaments. I’m putting a red dot on a pistol to make good hits, fast.
That’s all well and good in the cooler months, when cover garments help conceal a full-size XD-M Elite with a dot, but as the summer months approach, smaller works better. That’s where guns like the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP really shine: holding up to 14 rounds in a package only slightly larger than many pocket .380 pistols, this one is easy to conceal.
The Perfect Platform
Having the OSP version of the Hellcat means it’s ready for a micro-red-dot, like the JP Enterprises JPoint 8-MOA dot I have here today. Coming in at a ridiculously light 0.5 ounce, it’s not adding significant weight to the light Hellcat OSP. One area to note is a slight overhang on the slide: the JPoint is exactly 1″ wide, while the top of the Hellcat’s slide is just a little less; this is common with pistol dots, but it is something of which to be aware.
Installing the JPoint is simple, provided you have the right tools. Remove the protective plate on the Hellcat’s slide, install the battery, place the JPoint in place and tighten it down. Obviously, check the mount from time to time, certainly when you’re cleaning the gun after a trip to the range.
Once installed, several things become apparent immediately with the JPoint on the Hellcat. First, the JPoint allows co-witnessing with the Hellcat’s U-Dot sights. This is quite fortuitous with the pistol, as the standard sights are pretty darn good and I’m a cheap SOB — no need to change something that works. The Hellcat’s sights feature a large white “u-notch” on the rear, and the front is a large tritium/luminescent dot that’s easy to pick up. Springfield also offers the Hellcat with a fiber optic front sight, if you so desire.
Second, the JPoint’s dot is easy to pick up, a common concern of shooters who either aren’t familiar with mini-red-dot sights or haven’t had training (such as the Modern Samurai Project, run by Scott “Jedi” Jedlinski, which is a great source of red-dot instruction, and he puts on classes all around the country. Off my soapbox…).
Lastly, and this is true no matter which red dot you choose, you must be sure to check your gear. Not all dots and slides play well with all holsters. In this case, the Mission First Tactical Minimalist holster is designed to accommodate the Hellcat OSP, and carrying it has been a breeze. The extra size and weight of the JPoint is really just so minimal that it might as well not be there in day-to-day carry.
One other thing, and this is another constant across all red dots: Check your lens. It’s not quite as bad with the JPoint as with larger pistol dots, but lint and dust will accumulate there. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as bringing the sight up to your eye and being greeted with a thin layer of dust, mocking you for not getting to the range more often.
I’ve found it quite simple to draw and present on target quickly. For a sight with a physically small window, it’s surprising how quickly you can pick it up. I suggest dry-fire practice as it will help quite a bit with any irregularities in picking up the dot. Once you’ve gotten the process refined, there shouldn’t be any significant difference between a larger pistol/dot combination and the Hellcat/JPoint.
The small size of the JPoint doesn’t interfere with my draw, and getting the Hellcat out and on target is part of regular practice. If you’re not certain about acquiring the dot, here’s another great thing about the design of the JPoint — if you can see the front sight settled in the rear notch, you’re going to see the dot. Any concern about not seeing the dot is pretty much rendered moot: if you don’t see the dot, you’re not seeing the front sight.
The JPoint I received for testing has an 8-MOA dot, and I’ve found it’s just fine for a small, concealed-carry option you are likely to employ at distances well under 25 yards. There’s a 4-MOA version available if you want a more precise aiming point. MSRP of the JPoint is $299.95. If you’re searching for a compact and capable red dot for your Hellcat, this one definitely deserves a look!
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