With the release this week of the SAINT Pistol variant, the Springfield Armory AR-15 family comes closer to completion. Not content to just chop down a SAINT and slap a forearm brace in place of the buttstock, Springfield has added some design features that make this AR pistol the one to beat.
- Type: Direct-impingment semiautomatic pistol
- Cartridge: 5.56x45mm NATO
- Capacity: 10; 20; 30 rds.
- Weight: 5 lbs., 8 oz.
- Overall Length: 26.5 in.
- Barrel Length: 7.5 in.; 1:7-in. twist
- Trigger: SA; Nickel-Boron coated
- Handguard: M-LOK
- Forearm Brace: SB Tactical
- MSRP: $989
- Manufacturer: Springfield Armory
At the heart of the system is the same basic set up as the SAINT rifles, which we have reviewed here and here. It features the same nickel boron trigger, same detailed engravings, and the same BCM pistol grip. The trigger I am especially happy about, it remains significantly better than Mil-Spec.
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The forearm brace is the key to making the SAINT a pistol instead of an SBR, and it is here that the Springfield version shines. The brace is longer than most pistols, I dare say the same length as a rifle buffer tube. The brace is made by SB Tactical, though it is a version not seen on their own website. Unlike many other braces, the SAINT version is rock steady and doesn’t move at all. The rubber of the brace is extremely stiff, keeping it from folding under recoil against your arm. The overall design of the pistol’s back end makes it feel like a collapsible rifle buttstock set in position four, or so I hear. Not that this would be a design feature, but the stock could very easily slip into your shoulder, and if it did it would provide excellent cheekweld and optimal length for shooting. The pocket for your forearm to Velcro it is roomy and easy to use.
The rail on the forend is a modified version of the free-floated SAINT rifle. Like its longer brother, the small diameter handguard fits nicely in the hand. Although, it’s important to note that there are some adaptations for the pistol version.
The top Picatinny rail has been mostly shaved off, leaving just enough on the muzzle end for a front sight post or a flashlight. This makes sense, most of that rail would be wasted space anyway, unless you plan on using clip-on night vision for your pistol. The underside of the rail comes with a handstop already installed, which is an important feature on a pistol. It is very easy to slide your hand over the end of the 7.5-inch barrel, the handstop is a must. Finally, in place of a normal muzzle brake, Springfield has put what they call a forward blast diverter. It functions a lot like the blast jacket, and pushes all the gasses forward. Another safety feature, I have seen more than one person lose thumb meat from the side of a muzzle brake on an SBR. This has the added benefit of making the SAINT slightly less noisy for the shooter, compared to other pistols.
Performance wise, I was very happy. I teamed my SAINT with a Vortex AR Sparc, as a red dot is an obvious choice on for this platform. I had to resort to the elite Center Axis Relock style of shooting because I would never shoulder a pistol brace. Scouts honor and I don’t care if the ATF said it is cool this week. From my experience using SBR rifles in the military, I would say the SAINT handles exactly like one. The recoil curve is stout, as the gas system has been radically shortened.
The SAINT pistol is a great addition to the Springfield Armory line. If you have been on the fence about an AR pistol, this is the one to get.
For more information about the SAINT pistol, click here.
For more information about American Eagle ammunition, click here.
For more information about the Vortex AR Sparc, click here.
To purchase a Springfield SAINT on GunsAmerica, click here.