The firearms market is littered with countless AR-15 revisions and designs, so when a company like Springfield Armory joined the vast AR market they must have had something to offer. Today we will be looking at one of the Springfield Saint AR-15 models, to see what Springfield has to offer in this flooded market of rifles.
CALIBER: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 REM)
BARREL: 16″ CMV, Melonite®, 1:8
UPPER RECEIVER: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Forward Assist, M4 Feed Ramps
LOWER RECEIVER: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Accu-Tite™ Tension System
BOLT CARRIER GROUP: M16 w/ Carpenter 158 Steel Bolt, HPT/MPI, Melonite®
GAS SYSTEM: Direct Impingement Mid-Length, Picatinny Pinned Gas Block
HANDGUARD: Victor M-Lok Handguard
STOCK: BCMGUNFIGHTER™ Mod 0
TRIGGER: Nickel Boron Coated GI
MUZZLE DEVICE: A2 Flash Hider
BUFFER ASSEMBLY: Carbine “H” Heavy Tungsten Buffer
CHARGING HANDLE: GI Style
SAFETY SWITCH: Single Side
TRIGGER GUARD: BCMGUNFIGHTER™
GRIP: BCMGUNFIGHTER™ Mod 3
MAGAZINES: (1) 30-Round Magpul PMAG Gen M3
WEIGHT: 6 lbs 11 oz
LENGTH: 32.25″ – 35.5″
Springfield Armory has been well known for decades for making great firearms. The Saint series of rifles is Springfield’s venture into the AR-15 or Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) market. The Saint rifles claim all the best features that come with an MSR, the question I plan to answer today is whether the Saint is an exceptional rifle as far as MSR’s go or if it is just another AR.
Springfield has put extensive work into broadening the Saint rifle lineup, with a model of the rifle in near any desirable configuration, including dedicated marksman type rifles, compliant models, and SBR and pistol variants.
BCM Gunfighter furniture- Buttstock and pistol grip come from the popular BCM Manufacturing
M-Lok compatible handguard- Allows for easy addition of accessories
Nickel Boron coated internals- Trigger parts and BCG parts treated for better wear and durability
Forged upper and lower receivers- for strength and hard anodized for durability
The Saint comes in a black anodized color, with other color options in Cerakote like OD Green and FDE. The variants of the rifles can get quite extensive, there are both 5.56 and .308 caliber versions of the rifle. Most of the general options can be had in a low capacity or compliant configuration. There are both sixteen and twenty inch barrel options, and even an SBR 11.5 inch version of the rifle.
On the Range
My first impression of the Saint came as I lifted it from the box, it seemed light enough for its size. And most everything about it seemed exactly as I expected. The M-Lok handguard looked bare with nothing on it, I would change that soon enough. The BCM buttstock was easy to collapse and extend to alter the rifle’s length, there are a couple sling-mounting cups in the back of it to attach a carry sling. The matching BCM pistol grip was a comfortable fit, and textured to give better purchase.
I ran the charging handle a couple times to check the rifle for safety, the smooth melonited bolt carrier slapped back and forth with the familiar boing of the buffer spring. That familiar smell of freshly anodized aluminum sliding against itself reminded me of every other new AR that’s graced my shoulder. Springfield also nitrides their trigger assembly, I expected it would make it smoother than a standard mil-spec trigger. After giving the trigger a few presses, I’d say its a bit better than average, but nothing spectacular. It does have a nice firm and audible reset though.
Rifles like this are typically setup for short to medium range, with that in mind I decided to go with a simple Vortex red dot sight. With that taken care of, I added a couple other things to the rifle. A Magpul MS4 sling, and a small down-grip up front. I like using these as a place to grip and pull with my support hand. The Saint comes with a pretty standard bird-cage flash hider, but I was surely going to swap that out for one of my own. I intended on running my Yankee Hill Machine Turbo on the rifle, so I mounted up a compatible muzzle brake as well.
With nothing left to do but get treat this Saint to heat of hell’s fire, I grabbed some American Eagle ammo and headed up to my shooting spot. With a stack of GI and Pmags loaded, I set to zero my red dot. The rifle was easy enough to get zeroed which allowed me to spend more time shooting instead of goofing around with the turrets. The light weight of this rifle makes it very easy to throw around, recoil is very modest particularly when suppressed.
Accuracy of the Saint was pretty standard, I had no problems hitting most things that I aimed at within a reasonable distance. Hitting milk jug sized targets at nearly three-hundred yards was pretty repeatable, and close stuff like fifty yards was obviously no challenge at all.
The rifle felt just like it should, easily integrated into my shooting style. The ergonomics of the AR 15 have been perfected over the decades, and the Saint is no different, it fit me well allowing me to shoot it like we were old friends. I hammered through a couple hundred rounds which went all too fast, I’ll happily report that during this short duration I experienced zero malfunctions.
The several hours of range time with the Springfield Saint were great, and I think that for the $1100 or so dollars it goes for on the street are probably worth it. I’m sure there are countless similar rifles that go for much more, and others that go for far less. I prefer to pay enough to know that I got something worth having around.
Pros and Cons
Compatible- The Saint meets the needs of most modifications or accessories most shooters want
Reliable- No malfunctions were experienced, and it appears Springfield Armory has taken the extra steps to ensure reliability
Accurate- Accuracy was more than adequate for a rifle of this type
Many Options- Plenty of colors and models to choose from
Plane Jane- There wasn’t anything about this gun that made it stand out from any other to me
Shootability (A) the gun was a blast to shoot, easily manipulated and adapted to various shooting positions
Reliability (A) No malfunctions of any kind were experienced
Ergonomics (B+) The Saint was a great fit, I would have loved to see something like extra bolt-catch or ambi mag release
Accuracy (B+) Accuracy was pretty typical, shooting 55 fmj’s typically rendered 1.5 MOA
Value (B+) I think the Saint is a safe buy if you are looking for an AR rifle of this type
I shot mostly American Eagle ammunition through the rifle, though I also shot some PMC bronze 55 grain as well. Both ran flawlessly through the rifle and performed well downrange.
I think a good recoil reducing brake makes this rifle even easier to shoot well, I used the YHM Phantom Micro brake. It worked great and had the added benefit of allowing me to quick mount my suppressor to the rifle.
A good sling is a must, the Magpul MS4 was a good choice, but anything comparable to it would likely serve you well.
I enjoyed using a red dot sight on the Saint, the Vortex Strikefire worked great for me. But I also would recommend the Sig Romeo as well, as it is a little more compact.
The Magpul downgrip was also convenient for better handling the rifle, anything comparable or that better fits your grip would be a good choice.