Understanding the Hellcat U-Dot

Written by Mike Humphries
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Understanding the Hellcat U-Dot

October 4th, 2019

4 minute read

Let’s be frank. There are so many cool things about Springfield Armory’s new 9mm Hellcat, it’s hard to decide where to focus. From its 11+1 capacity in a stunningly compact gun to its excellent grip texture to its streamlined design, there’s a lot to talk about here.

But if there’s one thing that seems to have really caught everyone’s attention, it’s the pistol’s ability to accept micro-sized red dots on the OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) version. There’s no getting around the fact that being able to cram a little red dot like the Shield RMSc onto a gun this size is remarkable.

The Optical Sight Pistol (OSP) version of the Hellcat accepts red dots like the excellent Shield RMSc. But let’s not forget those iron sights backing it up…

But what about those sights backing up that red dot, featured on both the OSP and standard versions of the Hellcat? In my opinion, these “U-Dot” sights are one of the coolest features of the new pistol.

Setting Your Sights

To be honest, I’ve only recently started getting into customizing my CCW guns. For years, I would stick with “stock” guns only. However, over the past few years I’ve started adding/changing things here and there, and slowly warmed up to more thoroughly customizing my guns. And one of the first things I would change out was the sights.

What I wanted was a good tritium front sight, preferably with a high-visibility ring (in a bright color) around the night sight dot. This would give me a sighting system that would offer high visibility in the bright sun, as well as night sighting in low-light. I’ll tell you from personal experience that getting a good set of sights like this is going to set you back something in the range of at least $100 — and more like $150 or more.

The front sight of the U-Dot system features a tritium dot surrounded by a large and highly visible green luminescent ring.

Which brings us to the Hellcat’s U-Dot sights. These things are exceptional, and rival many of the aftermarket sights I’ve used over the years. Factoring in the $569 MSRP of the standard Hellcat (and $599 for the OSP version), these sights alone in my opinion make the gun a smart buy.

The U-Dot’s front sight is a tritium night sight dot surrounded by a bright green luminescent ring. For me, this is ideal as it gives me the best of both worlds. The green ring around the tritium dot gives me a large, easy-to-see aiming point in bright light for fast, instinctive shooting. And the tritium dot gives me a reliable aiming point for the pistol in diminished light.

The U-Dot system allows for quick, instinctive shooting. Just drop the front “ball” into the rear u-notch.

Getting On Target

Speaking of fast, instinctive shooting, let’s talk about the rear sight. The “u” of the U-Dot system is located here, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The white outline on the rear sight is a “u” shape following the semi-circle notch in the rear sight. To use, you basically “drop” the round front sight into the u-notch of the rear sight. These sights are not designed for bullseye shooting at 25 meters, but rather for quick and reactive shots at a threat. That being said, the Hellcat is proving to be an extremely accurate shooter that can hold its own at distance.

The rear sight has a white “u” that outlines the semi-circle notch cut into it.

In addition, the rear sight also has a “Tactical Rack” ledge on its front face. This feature is quite in vogue these days on defensive handguns, offering a shooter the ability to rack the slide with one hand against a hard surface should your support hand become incapacitated.

The fact these sights are high enough to co-witness through a micro red dot like the Shield RMSc on the OSP version might lead you to believe they are tall “suppressor-height” sights, or that they are different heights on the standard versus the OSP versions. No dice. The sights on both models are very low profile, with the only real difference between the two being the rear sight on the OSP model having a shorter front-to-back length to allow room for the optic mount. It is also mounted slightly farther back on the slide than on the standard model.

The U-Dot sights are very low profile, on both the standard (shown) and the OSP version. Note the Tactical Rack ledge on the rear sight’s front face.

Conclusion

Like I said, I get why so much attention has been focused on the OSP model and its micro red dot capability. But these iron sights on both the OSP and standard model are exceptional and show how much thought was put into the design of the Hellcat. These sights are low-profile, high-visibility, capable in bright and low-light, and come standard on a very reasonably priced gun. Looks like I don’t have to tinker any with this carry gun!

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.

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Mike Humphries

Mike Humphries

Michael Humphries is editor of The Armory Life. He has worked for nearly two decades in the firearms industry, serving on the editorial staff of American Rifleman with the National Rifle Association as well as holding editorial positions with publishers such as FMG Publications and GunsAmerica.com. He currently lives in Iowa with his family and enjoys trying out new guns and gear whenever possible.

© 2019 Springfield Armory. All rights reserved.

Springfield Armory

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