BY: NICK JACOBELLIS

The Springfield Armory 9mm Hellcat Rapid Defense Package Pistol is designed and equipped 

from the factory, to serve as a premium brand concealed carry/personal defense/home defense firearm.

The truly amazing thing about the RDP, is that this 9mm pistol is classified as a mico compact. The

Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP is also the most well equipped micro compact 9mm pistol that is

currently available for sale. This is the case, because the RDP comes equipped from the factory with a

Hex Wasp Micro Red Dot, a 3.8 inch barrel that is fitted with an easy to remove and install self

indexing Compensator, captive dual recoil spring with a full length guide rod, an optics ready slide

assembly, a superb striker fired trigger system, a very user friendly Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight

and a fast acquisition Tactical Rear U Notch Sight, a Meonite Finish, a black polymer frame with a

perfectly textured grip, as well as the option of using an 11, 13 and 15 round magazine. All of this

comes in a package that weights 19.3 or 19.6 ounces (unloaded) depending on the magazine used.

While some end users might not consider a pistol fitted with a 3.8 inch barrel and a Compressor 

to be a true micro compact, the Hellcat RDP is amazingly easy to carry concealed, even when the Hex

Wasp micro red dot is installed on this incredibly well made firearm. I say incredibly well made,

because my best friend is a veteran law enforcement armorer, who completely disassembled his RDP

and was so impressed with the quality of construction, as well as the fit and finish of his pistol, that he

plans to purchase another Hellcat RDP. Even though I am by no means as technically inclined as my

best friend, I have evaluated enough firearms over the years, to concur with his assessment.

While field testing the Hellcat RDP, I found this pistol to be very easy to operate and use to 

engage different size targets at different engagement distances. This included engaging relatively small

targets at distances out to 30 yards. I also fired this pistol with and without the Compensator attached

and while using both the 11 and the 13 round magazines. While the Compensator effectively dampens

felt recoil and serves to limit muzzle flip, the RDP is also very controllable when fired rapidly without

the Compensator attached.

As far as ergonomics are concerned, even though I have a large hand, I had no problem using 

the rather compact grip on the Hellcat RDP. I also found the texturing on the grip portion of the frame

to be very well executed.

During testing I evaluated two different Springfield Armory Hellcat Rapid Defense Package 

Pistols that proved to be flawlessly reliable. I should also mention, that both pistols were manufactured

at different times. Even though this was the case, the fit and finish on both pistols, as well as the

operational performance of both RDPs, was identical. This is a clear indication that Springfield

Armory has maintained tremendous consistency in its manufacturing process.

When you engage targets with a red dot equipped pistol and your arms are extended, the 

illuminated reticle/red dot is positioned much further away from your eyes. This can cause your eyes to

initially instinctively focus on the traditional fixed iron sights that you are used to using, before your

eyes “search” for the illuminated dot, that moves with the slightest motion of your extended shooting

hand. The good news is, with patience and the proper training, you can eventually get to the point,

when you will utilize your optic equipped pistol to engage a target and your eyes will become

acclimated to acquiring the red dot. Like anything else, with the proper training you can achieve

and maintain proficiency.

                CLOSING REMARKS 

If you are looking to transition to an optic equipped pistol, that is loaded with other features, 

the Hellcat RDP is definitely worth purchasing. The fact that the RDP is also easy to carry concealed,

for a pistol that can be loaded with 12 to 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition, is another reason to adopt this