Supercharging the Hellcat RDP

By Will Dabbs, MD
Posted in #Gear
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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.

Hellcat RDP with the best accessories
Tricked-out with the best accessories, the Hellcat RDP is tiny, powerful, accurate and cool.

Expectations

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.

Shooting a Hellcat RDP pistol with suppressor attached
The Hellcat RDP may not confer Super Agent status, but when it is equipped with a Gemtech suppressor, HEX optic and SureFire light it gets close.

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.

Hellcat compensator muzzle accessory
Springfield designed a very special feature for the Hellcat RDP: a self-indexing muzzle comp to reduce rise during recoil.

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 Gun

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.

HEX Wasp micro red dot sight accessory on Hellcat pistol
The HEX Wasp micro red dot sight by Springfield Armory was designed with the Hellcat in mind.

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.

Hellcat pistol with suppressor
Previously, if you wanted a high-capacity pistol fully kitted out, it called for a full-figured handgun like this superlative 9mm XD-M Elite Tactical OSP.

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.

SureFire XSC light for pistol
Extremely compact, the Surefire XSC throws a profound amount of light.

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.

Gemtech Lunar 9 sound suppressor for pistol
The Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor can be configured in either long or short (shown) modes.

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.

Lunar 9 suppressor by Gemtech
In its full-length 7″ configuration, the Lunar 9 offers maximum sound suppression.

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.

Trigger Time

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.

Fully equipped Hellcat RDP pistol
This fully equipped Hellcat RDP is ready for nearly any project, plan or mission.

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!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Will Dabbs, MD

Will Dabbs, MD

Will was raised in the Mississippi Delta and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After eight years flying Army helicopters, he left the military as a Major to attend medical school. Will operates an Urgent Care clinic in his small Southern town and works as the plant physician for the local Winchester ammunition plant. He is married to his high school sweetheart, has three adult children, and has written for the gun press for a quarter century.

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