Supercharging the Hellcat RDP
April 1st, 2021
5 minute read
When launched, the Hellcat RDP came with enough upgrades to make it look like a custom pistol right from the factory.
Nevertheless, the gun can be further accessorized to enhance its abilities as a self-defense pistol or as a fun shooter on the range. In this article, I introduce you to a number of the best Hellcat RDP accessories.
We expect more of our concealed carry guns than was the case even a couple of years ago. Previously, the standard was a compact single-stack mouse pistol that packed about the same number of rounds as your typical 19th-century revolver. I carried such a heater for years and was thankful to have it. Nowadays, however, we have even more options that would not be out of place in the hands of a super-agent like 007.
In September of 2019, Springfield Armory launched the Hellcat. Featuring a chassis small enough to hide in a generous pocket but sporting the same prodigious magazine capacity as the classic full-figured Hi-Power, the Hellcat showed us what we could expect from a modern ultra-compact micro carry pistol.
In its original guise, the Hellcat was packable, accurate, and powerful. Nowadays, however, Springfield Armory has taken the Hellcat to yet more rarefied spaces.
Previously if you wanted decent capacity, an onboard red dot optic, a tactical light and a sound suppressor, you needed some big boat anchor of a gun. The radical new Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP (Rapid Defense Package) with accessories like the HEX Wasp micro red dot, a Surefire XSC weaponlight and a Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor brings tactical-grade capabilities to the world of micro carry weapons.
The Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP starts as a standard Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) handgun, nicely upgraded. The base gun sports a slide cut for a red dot sight, an accessory rail on the dust cover, two magazines (10+1 flush, and a 13+1 with enough real estate to accommodate all five fingers), and all the standard cool-guy stuff that makes the Hellcat so awesome.
The RDP upgrade includes a bilateral manual thumb safety (now available as an option on the Hellcat) as well as an extended threaded barrel. Adorning the threaded tube is the Self-Indexing Compensator. This nifty trinket features a detent that automatically aligns the compensator with the gun and repurposes some of the chaos to help counteract recoil and muzzle flip.
A new addition from Springfield Armory is their HEX Wasp micro red dot sight. Powered by a standard CR2032 button cell you can find most anyplace, you just leave this thing on all the time and swap the battery out every other Christmas or so. The Wasp is built like a Main Battle Tank and automatically adjusts itself for ambient lighting.
The Hellcat grip features Adaptive Grip Texture for a firm no-slip interface between gun and flesh, while the magazine release is readily reversible at the user level. The slide is heavily serrated, and the dustcover rail is standard Picatinny for maximum versatility. This means you don’t have to wait on somebody to produce expensive proprietary accessories. These features take the Hellcat to some fascinating places.
Amping Up the Awesome
The Surefire XSC micro weaponlight is about the size of my thumb and weighs a paltry 1.7 oz. It slides onto the accessory of my Hellcat RDP like it was born to be there. Activation is via a simple bilateral push lever that is easily accessed and intuitive.
The light is mil-spec tough and is powered by a proprietary rechargeable 3.7-volt battery. There is a battery-mounted fuel gauge that lets you keep up with power remaining, and the battery can be recharged without dismounting the light from the gun. The XSC puts out 350 lumens and will run for half an hour straight on a single charge. It is one of the best accessories you can add to your RDP.
The Gemtech Lunar 9 sound suppressor is a versatile two-piece design that is built around a 7075 aluminum tube with a 17-4 stainless steel blast section.
Featuring a state-of-the-art baffle design and a plethora of mounting solutions, the Lunar 9 is rated for use with 9mm and .300 BLK platforms, even on rock and roll. Should the spirit lead, the Lunar 9 is also easily disassembled for cleaning and routine maintenance.
The coolest thing about the Lunar 9 suppressor is its customizable architecture. In its full-length 7″ configuration, the Lunar 9 offers maximum sound suppression. However, spin off the far end of the tube and replace the end cap and you drop the can down to a compact concealable 4.7″. In this state the gun makes more racket but it becomes more easily carried.
The end result is as cool as Sean Connery in Thunderball. The can dampens muzzle flip and turns the roar into a snap. The little XSC weaponlight reliably displaces the darkness, while the HEX Wasp makes for unrivaled situational awareness.
The synergistic whole offers something literally not possible even two years ago — a high-capacity micro compact 9mm carry gun that is nicely suppressed and can see in the dark. You know that 007 would be thrilled — I certainly am!
Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!