Understanding the Springfield Hellcat U-Dot Sights

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Understanding the Springfield Hellcat U-Dot Sights

February 4th, 2024

5 minute read

The Springfield Hellcat set new standards for sights on subcompact handguns. The U-Dot sights are truly remarkable and are superior to everything else offered from the factory from other gun manufacturers. Today’s article written by Editor-in-Chief Mike Humphries explains the Hellcat’s U-Dot sights and what makes them so special.

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.

In this photo, the author displays the U-dot sights installed on the Hellcat pistol slide. The front dot sight combines with the rear sight for Springfield Armory 's best sight picture. The sight set is the best set of so-called iron sights on the market with a tritium front sight and a wide U-notch rear sight. Simply put, the Springfield Hellcat comes with the best night sights installed at the factory.
The Hellcat offers shooters an amazing micro 9mm EDC pistol, and one with an exceptional set of sights.

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.

In this image, you can see the top of the Hellcat with a Shield red dot sight mounted on the gun. The Hellcat is an optics ready defensive handgun that is ideal for concealed carry (CCW). With a reflex sight mounted on the Springfield Armory pistol, you can get a perfect co-witness with the factory sights. This provides optimal visibility in a stressful situation. Also, most Hellcat holsters are designed to work with red dot sights. U-notch sight on Springfield Hellcat co-witnesses through a red dot sight.
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.

The name of the sights should give you an idea of how they are designed: a front night sight surrounded by a photoluminescent ring matched to a U-notch rear sight.

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.

In this image, a man is shown shooting the Hellcat using the u-notch night sights from the factory. It doesn't take a lot of mathematics to figure out the high-quality nature of these sights. While some people prefer a qpxzvvbmswqpdg style sight, the author believes the factory sights offer a sharper sight picture. Regardless, they are quality night sights that allow for fast sight alignment with or without the use of a night-vision device when shooting.
Getting on your sights quickly and effectively is a must for defensive-style shooting.

What I wanted was a good set of tritium night sights, 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 Springfield Hellcat night sights like this would normally set you back something in the range of at least $100 — and often $150 or more.

In this picture, we see the Hellcat front sight with photoluminescent ring around the green tritium vial. Night sights are designed to provide a great sight picture in day or night conditions. The Hellcat OSP and Hellcat Pro both come with these sights standard. They are not suppressor hight and fit into the dovetails machined into the slide. The are compatible with night vision goggles and equipment. 
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. In low light conditions, a front night sight can be a literal life saver.

In this image, we see that the front sight visible through the u-notch rear sight even with a red dot sight installed. This is a great sights feature. Springfield Hellcat sights like the tactical rack u-dot rear sight are perfect for a personal defense weapon and home defense. Personal safety is very important when looking at Hellcat sights.
The U-Dot system allows for quick, instinctive shooting. Just drop the front “ball” into the rear u-notch.

U-Dot Gets Your Springfield Armory Hellcat 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.

In this image, we see that the front sight visible through the u-notch rear sight even with a red dot sight installed. This is a great sights feature. Springfield Hellcat sights like the tactical rack u-dot rear sight are perfect for a personal defense weapon and home defense. Personal safety is very important when looking at Hellcat sights.
The rear sight has a white “u” that outlines the semi-circle notch cut into it.

I’ve run these Springfield Hellcat sights on my pistol for several months now, and I really like the u-notch rear sight. The visibility and speed are unmatched.

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.

In this photo, we see the rear sight on the Hellcat OSP pistol. It is wide with a bright U outline which makes it easy to find the front sight in a wide range of lighting conditions. The sights come from the factory adjusted for optimal accuracy without the need for a set screw. They are perfect for all kinds of ambient light and are vastly superior to the rear sight for SIG Sauer pistol or other rear night sights. OSP plate on the slide of a Hellcat
The OSP version of the Hellcat sports the U-Dot sight just like the standard pistol. Note the removable cover plate where an optic would mount.

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.

In this image, we get a side view of the Hellcat's U-Dot sight set as it comes from the company. Students for concealed carry around the country understand what a great gun this is and how these night sights for Springfield Armory are a real game changer. 
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.


Like I said, I get why so much attention has been focused on the OSP model and its micro red dot capability. But these Hellcat night 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 install anything new on this carry gun as, for me, they are the best sights for the Hellcat currently available!

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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 and videos 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.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

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.

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