When I received a test gun prior to the Springfield Armory Hellcat’s release there was a hand-written note from CEO Dennis Reese saying, “This is the first step in a new direction for Springfield Armory polymer handguns and we are excited to share it with the world.” I remember thinking, if this is just the first step, I can’t wait to see what’s next! Now next is here with the Hellcat RDP.

First Look at the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP Pistol

The Rapid Defense Package (RDP) incorporates a micro red dot optic, a compensator and an optional ambidextrous, frame-mounted safeties. The RDP also features a new Gen 2 trigger with improved ergonomics. Designed for concealed carriers who want a red-dot optic and a compensator to get back on target more quickly, the RDP package offers tremendous value and is devastatingly effective.

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the RDP is its compensator. Small, lightweight polymer guns chambered for 9mm can generate quite a bit of muzzle rise and torque, and the compensator can effectively tame both. Springfield machines its Self Indexing Compensator from 8082 aluminum and anodizes it matte black. Also, the carry compensator has a patent-pending self-indexing design that makes installation or removal easy and does not require shims or additional parts for proper timing. Springfield also includes a thread protector cap in the event you want to remove the comp.

Springfield Armory equips the RDP with its new Gen 2 trigger, which has improved ergonomics for the shooter. My test sample broke with 5 pounds of pressure and that’s about a half pound lighter than my original Hellcat test sample. Springfield also offers manual, frame-mounted, safeties located in the 1911 position as an option for the Hellcat RDP, which my test sample came so equipped. Like the 1911, the up position is on safe, and down is to fire. The safety levers are low profile and should provide an extra layer of safety for those who feel they need it. 

The Introduction of the HEX Wasp

The RDP package also launches Springfield Armory’s brand-new optic line: HEX Optics. The Hex Wasp is a micro red-dot designed to ride low on the Hellcat’s slide so the iron sights can co-witness. Also, joining the Wasp is the larger HEX Dragonfly red dot for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Our sister site has a complete review of the HEX Dragonfly.

The Wasp’s body is machined from tough 6160 aluminum, hardcoat anodized and weighs just 0.7 ounces. It uses a premium, anti-glare, glass lens and has a 3.5-MOA dot. It also has an auto-dimming sensor to regulate the red dot’s brightness depending on ambient light conditions.  The Wasp uses commonly found and inexpensive CR2032 batteries, and they provide up to two years or 65,000 hours of battery life. This micro red-dot also shares the same footprint as the popular Shield RMSc and comes with a lifetime warranty. The Hex Wasp is available as part of the RDP or sold separately at with a retail price of $299. 

Want to read the rest of our review? Pick up the April/May 2021 issue of Personal Defense World magazine. Grab your copy at For even more info, please visit or

Springfield Hellcat RDP Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel: 3.8 inches
  • Overall Length: 7 inches 
  • Overall Weight: 19.4 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Polymer 
  • Sights: Tritium front, Tactical Rack “U” notch rear, Hex Wasp micro red-dot  
  • Action: Striker-fired
  • Finish: Anodized black
  • Capacity: 11+1/13+1
  • MSRP: $899

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