Subscribe To the GunsAmerica Digest and News This Week

Introducing The Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 – Clay’s Full Review, Mag Dumps, Torture Tests & Silly Man Tricks

Send to Kindle


For more information, visit https://www.defendyourlegacy.com/.

To purchase a Springfield Saint on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=saint

Well, here we are, on Springfield Armory Saint day. As you may have noticed from our lead picture, or anywhere else on the internet today, the Saint is an AR-15. So what is the big hoopla? Aren’t there about as many AR manufacturers in the country as there are dirty politicians in Congress? True, but Springfield has done some things different, and in my opinion batted it out of the park on this one.

The new Springfield Saint is a well-appointed AR at a really good price point. Image courtesy of Springfield Armory.

The new Springfield Saint is a well-appointed AR priced at a competitive MSRP of $899. Image courtesy of Springfield Armory.

The Saint is marketed and priced as an every day, everyone rifle as part of the company’s “Defend Your Legacy” campaign, and it shines in that regard. And, it is priced well below what you would expect for a rifle with its features and performance. I have built and bought better-performing AR-15s than the Saint, but not even close to the $899 price point they have on this. As an entry-level AR, I have never seen its equal. I really like the idea of someone making a solid, well performing, bargain priced rifle, and marketing the idea that everyone should own one for defending themselves. I agree 100%.

The "Saint" is a new AR from respected manufacturer, Springfield Armory.

The “Saint” is a new AR from respected manufacturer, Springfield Armory.

SPECS

  • Chambering: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch, 1:8 RH twist
  • OA Length: 35.5/32.5 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs., 11 ozs.
  • Grips: Bravo Company USA
  • Sights: A-frame front, folding rear
  • Action: Direct impingement mid length gas system
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • MSRP: $899

I received my Saint a month ago, which has given me plenty of time to wring it out. Lets start with the opening impressions. For starters, Springfield ships the gun in a case that is actually useful. The case is made of what looks like a very durable plastic, and it is thick, unlike some of the junk you see with even higher-end rifles. It actually looks like they just upscaled the Springfield pistol box, and dyed it black. The hinges are solid, it has nice steel clasps, and the lock holes are actually made for a grown-up-sized padlock. Why does this matter? It’s the first time EVER that I have gotten a rifle in a box that I could take to the airport and fly with if I wanted. Usually, the first thing I do with a new rifle is toss the cheap garbage it came in and buy a pelican case. The Saint packaging is something you would actually use, whether to secure the gun from prying little hands, fly to a match, or just keep your optic safe. I intentionally bounced mine around in the back of my truck during my test period. The plastic is now scratched to hell and back, but it isn’t broken, and that matters to me. It is even more important if you are considering this for your first rifle purchase. I have a gun safe and generic rifle boxes up to .50-cal size. If you buy just this rifle, it comes in a usable piece of equipment.

The author found the new Saint to be a great carbine-style AR for a really good price.

The author found the new Saint to be a great carbine-style AR for a really good price.

Where It Counts

Now that we are past my love affair with the box, how about the rifle? This is a very well thought out gun, in almost every detail. It comes with a six-position Bravo Company butt stock, which includes QD sling mount holes built in. The stock has a thin rubber pad on the end, which does matter if you shoot enough in one day, or if you aren’t acclimated to shooting a shoulder-fired weapon to start with. Also featured is the BCM MOD 3 pistol grip. This is billed as more vertical than traditional pistol grips, and conducive to “ modern gunfighting technique.” I don’t know about all that, but it feels to me closer to a 1911-ish grip, which many people will like. I definitely like that at the bottom of the grip is a trap door, allowing you to use the inside of the pistol grip as a storage compartment. This isn’t exactly groundbreaking technology, but it is nice to see that included in a rifle at this price. And the BCM version locks up tight; it didn’t inadvertently open on me once during my testing. It is a great place for a bottle of oil, mini survival kit, your last two bullets, whatever fits your lifestyle. Instead of the old standby safe/fire selector markings, the Saint features some really nice artsy engraving over the words. It’s a nice touch, and it does look cool. This is on both sides of the receiver, which makes me think a factory ambidextrous safety will be in the line up soon. On the left side of the receiver, with the serial number and Springfield Armory name, the rifle is marked “ multicaliber”, which makes me hope 6.5 Grendel and other flavors are on the way. On the right, the entire side of the magazine well area is engraved with Saint, in the same font as the advertising that has been circulating. This is another nice touch, as it gives the gun some character, and shows me Springfield didn’t skimp on the machining.

A nickel-boron-coated trigger system provides the Saint with a surprisingly good trigger pull.

A nickel-boron-coated trigger system provides the Saint with a surprisingly good trigger pull.

The slightly triangular-shaped hand guard by Bravo Company Manufacturing comes standard with internal heat shields.

The slightly triangular-shaped hand guard by Bravo Company Manufacturing comes standard with internal heat shields.

The truest value point of the lower receiver though, is the trigger group. The Saint doesn’t have some mil-spec parts overruns for a trigger, not by a long shot. The trigger is a proprietary nickel boron single stage GI trigger. I have some guns with nickel boron bolt carriers, and it is a very unique and hard wearing finish. The strangest thing about nickel boron is its inherent lubricity. Even totally dry, nickel boron feels slick. The benefit of this in a trigger group is now obvious, though I have never seen it done before. The trigger breaks at 6.5 lbs. according to the gauge, but doesn’t feel that heavy in practice.  Barring rifles that include an aftermarket trigger ( AR Gold, AR Black, Geissele), the Saint has the best production AR trigger I have ever shot. That is nothing to sneeze at.

The A-frame front sight assembly is backed up by an included folding rear sight that the author really liked.

The A-frame front sight assembly is backed up by an included folding rear sight that the author really liked.

Moving to the upper receiver, Springfield again included some nice touches. The upper is a flat top, no surprise, and the bolt carrier is Carpenter 158 steel, the same as mil-spec. The first thing you notice as different is the rear sight the gun ships with. Clearly not happy with available commercial rear sights, Springfield built their own. The sight is steel and very thin, which is a godsend if you are trying to mount optics over top of it. It fit below four different optics I tried, which is a first. I also really liked that you can stow the sight with either the small or large aperture in the ready position, due to the way it folds. It locks solid in the up position, and is overall a pretty incredible sight. If Springfield sells them as a standalone part I will have at least two; they are that good. The movement direction with an arrow is printed on the side of the sight to make it dummy resistant, and the adjustments are stiff, which is also a positive on a back-up iron. The adjustments are a bit coarse, but that is not a deal breaker to me.

The hand guard is an exclusive Bravo Company addition as well. The hand guard is a two-piece polymer key mod design, held together by a Delta ring assembly for an old school feel. I was happy to see heat shielding was built in, something I have never had outside of the military. The heat shielding actually works too. Three to four magazines deep, you don’t notice any change in temperature in your hand. The handguard is also uniquely semi-triangular, perhaps a throwback styling to the original M16. The key mod attachment points are on the bottom, left and right, instead of four-sided like most hand guards. I thought this would be strange for sling attachment and flashlights, but it proved to be no problem. There is also a built-in handstop on the bottom, at the muzzle end of the hand guard. The front sight is an A-frame, which again contributes to the heritage look of the rifle in general, complete with a standard GI-style sling swivel on the bottom and a bayonet lug. You can’t argue that an A-frame front isn’t durable, I will give it that. I have never seen one broken in my career, and that is a world where guns are abused on the regular. Not what I expected on this rifle, and probably the only thing I would have changed if I were King of Springfield. Still, not a terrible choice, and it didn’t get in the way of any of my optic choices. This was the first time I ever shot a 20 power scope on a rifle with an A-frame, and I was quite surprised that it worked. The flash hider is a standard military M16A2, which combined with the bayonet lug, tells me Springfield meant business when they created this as a battle rifle. I hope they sent Senator Feinstein a post card.

During testing, the author got a 1 3/8th inch group with Black Hills 77-grain ammunition.

During testing, the author got a 1 3/8th inch group with Black Hills 77-grain ammunition.

The barrel is another component where no expense was spared. The Saint has a 16-inch chrome moly vanadium barrel, with a 1:8 twist, and another twist. It was Melonite treated. Melonite is a salt bath nitriding process, and it isn’t cheap. I shot on the professional team for years of another company that uses Melonite treatment, so I have some familiarity. These words are mine, not Springfield Armory’s, as they offered nothing else about the process and the results. First, directly from the Burlington Engineering website, a company that does the process for numerous industrial customers:

“Resulting properties from these chemical and structural composition changes are increased surface hardness, lower coefficient of friction, enhanced surface lubricity, improved running wear performance, increased sliding wear resistance, and enhanced corrosion resistance.”

“Enhanced corrosion resistance” does not do this justice. One of the rifles I have with the treatment I have never cleaned in four years, and I used it for daily training and at matches, mostly when I lived in the high humidity Southeast. Through four long summers and winters, sweat, rain, mud, snow and not so much as a wipe down, there is not one spec of rust on it. And surface hardness is also a huge benefit. On average, my barrels with a Melonite treatment last twice as long as a normal barrel, often three times. In my experience, it takes between 20,000 and 30,000 rounds to wear one out, which is more than most people will shoot in a lifetime. Springfield clearly built this gun to last. A single 30-round Gen M3 PMag rounds out the package.

Hands On

shooting-resultsIt’s pretty and has a nice dress. So how did it shoot? Fantastic for a rifle below $1,000. Out of the box, with a Leupold 20 power scope for testing, I scored a 1 3/8 inch, 100m, five-round group. Considering that the trigger is great, but heavier still than a precision trigger, and the barrel isn’t free floating, there may actually be more mechanical capability in it than that. Still, that is an incredibly tight bit of shooting for a rifle at this price. I have had more expensive ARs that won’t do that, and you would have to double the price in many cases before a manufacturer guarantees sub-inch.

As a final bit of testing, I have to tell a semi-embarrassing story. I have shot about 1,200 rounds out of the Saint, without a hiccup. Not one failure. It didn’t occur to me until that testing was almost over that I forgot to put oil on the gun. Not one drop. I took it right out of the box and went to work with it. I don’t recommend you do the same, but that is a pretty bold endorsement for a direct impingement rifle. I have zero qualms about saying this is the best entry level AR-15 I have shot, and will be my new recommendation for anyone looking to buy an AR that doesn’t break the bank. I also did a seven mag dump run with the Saint where I then dumped it into a mud puddle to cool it. It still ran just fine after all that. This is a great rifle. Don’t believe me, then take a look at the video.

For more information, visit https://www.defendyourlegacy.com/.

{ 122 comments… add one }
  • Bobby B November 24, 2016, 8:22 pm

    Accurate review. I also have the Ruger AR and they are similar. The handguards on both leave something to be desired but overall they are both quality rifles. Funny how important handguards are really. The 3 piece SA is a bit flimsy compared to the 2 piece glass Ruger but the cheapo Ruger plastic delta ring which requires the application of antiseize paste to the threads is a pain and is my only real complaint with the rifle which overall is tighter than the SA. Both shoot 3 shot groups at 100 yds under 2 inches with irons 55gr 193 and 60+ yo eyes. I am a better than average shot. The Ruger is a carbine ejects everything in a neat pile at 4:30. The SA is a middie and has an H buffer ejects 223 at 4 and 5.56 at 2 if you care about that I dont. Both have about 500 rounds through them w/o a single bobble. My 1400$+ middie BCM took about 700 rounds to debug has the same trigger as the Saint nicer cosmetics tougher components and the KMR alpha rail IS way way better but overall it is NOT twice the gun. The lower set screw which tightens up the upper and lower on the SA not mentioned in the review ? is a nice feature. The Ruger polymer rear sight is more solid than the steel SA which is more precise. The SA trigger is much better than the Ruger but as mentioned I think maybe I got a Monday morning built tight Ruger and so the groups are similar. I plan to scope the SA because I suspect it will outperform the Ruger further out b/o the trigger and receiver tightening option but right now if I had to grab one and run it would be the Ruger.

  • Barry November 18, 2016, 12:11 am

    I will let you in on a little secret that Springfield does not want known… Bravo Company Mfg. makes the Springfield Saint. Yes, you heard me… the Springfield Saint is a BCM rifle which bears the SA brand name. How do you feel about it now?

    • clay martin November 23, 2016, 2:01 am

      Same as I did before. Quality is quality, it doesn’t matter if it is signed by Picasso or the hobo down the street.

  • DRAINO November 3, 2016, 10:14 am

    LOL!!! I Love watching all these idiots make comments on here about how an AR is not direct impingement or how multi-caliber means 223/5.56…….It really makes me laugh…..the stupidity of some people!!!….LOL!! Like those “man on the street” interviews they do with idiots who don’t even know who the president is….Lol!! Oh!…and idiots who are wondering why another AR…….Why the FLIP NOT!?!?!?! If you don’t like it, DON’t BUY IT!!!! If it’s good, it will come through the wash just fine…if it sucks….like all these cheap “builds” that these hobby knobby’s are doing, then they will fall apart and fade away like crap does. The Saint seems decent enough. And I like Clay’s no BS writing style. Also nothing wrong with reviewing a gun from an advertiser. I think we’ve seen enough of Clay’s writing to know he would call it junk if it was junk. People need to remember……Another AR isn’t your enemy!!!!…..HILLARY IS!!!!!! Put your anger where it’s more useful….at the voting pols. And Get over Yourselves. Life is too short.

    • Slick 49 November 9, 2016, 10:34 pm

      what makes you the premo expert msybe ur the idiot

      • Mike Stroven November 14, 2016, 10:04 am

        Maybe it’s just his ability to spell…

    • Endgame November 21, 2016, 6:58 pm

      You’re obnoxious…

  • M. Sage November 2, 2016, 1:08 am

    The AR15 is NOT direct impingement. It has a piston.

    I wish you “experts” would realize that, or (better yet) stop pretending to know WTF you’re talking about.

    • John November 2, 2016, 12:44 pm

      You’re completely fucking incorrect, you moron. Shut up while grown-ups are talking.

      • Dustin November 5, 2016, 10:46 am

        Your comment would be well received if you could refrain from using language that teenagers use on the streets.

    • Stan November 2, 2016, 6:10 pm

      Jesus M.Sage, I don’t think I’ve ever read a more immature, and just down right WRONG comment on any gun site in my life. I can’t exactly cuss you out, as others did, mostly because I’m laughing too much…

    • HAROLD SHEETS November 6, 2016, 1:27 am

      Where can I ORDER ONE FOR LESS AHAN 1000.00 DOLLARS?

      • Adam November 27, 2016, 2:23 am

        Academy Sports for $864

  • John Peschke November 2, 2016, 12:27 am

    I wish all of you AR fanboys would just “take it down a notch” if you don’t like it, DON’T BUY IT ! This is America, where you are free to order all the junk parts that you want, and “build” ( perform basic assembly) of your own Lego gun, that most of you will swear is the most accurate gun that YOU have ever shot 😂

  • Rootie November 1, 2016, 10:50 pm

    Ok I like any new AR regardless of its features, doesn’t mean I would buy it when I can build a better one for less. Also I think a 10/22 would have survived that “torture test”

  • Johnny Van Zandt November 1, 2016, 9:58 pm

    They are a bit late to the game. All that hype for another AR.

  • Michael November 1, 2016, 9:35 pm

    I purchased one (SA Saint) today and have not had a chance to get to the range yet. However, reading Clay’s comments I am pretty disappointed in the case. It is nothing like a larger version of the case for my XDs or XDm as described by Clay. The case does not close properly and has an approximately 1/8″ gap on the front side and the back (hinge) side. The hinge pins are a cheap, white plastic that I hope will hold up. Not a big deal, as I didn’t purchase the Saint with hopes for the quality of the case. Instead I purchased it due to my trust in the quality which I have experienced with my Springfield pistols. The only reason I am leaving a comment at all is b/c Clay went on and on about the case. I simply don’t see it. I can’t wait to get to the range, however, and have high hopes based on my experience with Springfields. I’m not really sure what people [posting negative comments on the Saint itself] expected? Maybe an AR that cleans itself, loads itself, shoots itself? I don’t think it’s a steal at $899 but I don’t think it’s unreasonable either.

    • clay martin November 2, 2016, 10:22 am

      I thought the case was a really good one. Its not quite a pelican case, but mine fit really well, and the plastic is tough. If yours has those weird gaps, I would call Springfield and ask them to fix it.

      • Michael November 2, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Thanks Clay, will do. Hopefully it’s a fluke or I’m missing something.

      • ralph mccrery November 14, 2016, 10:00 am

        I just bought one and I am also disappointed with the case, it is pretty poor quality, the case that is.

    • Lucas November 11, 2016, 2:46 am

      Where did you find one.

  • Nameless November 1, 2016, 7:37 pm

    The lack of innovation in the gun world is just sad. Honestly this may be a fine item but it is the perfect embodiment of what is wrong with the gun industry today. The highlights are that it has “SAINT” on the side, a coated trigger,their own sights, and a handguard only found on this rifle…..AND? Is SA actually making the receivers uppers & lowers or are they just rebranding Aero or Anderson parts?

  • Dave Emery November 1, 2016, 7:12 pm

    Hey guys, thanks for the article. I really enjoy them and especially the ones by Clay. He’s a funny badass American patriot. Hooah Clay.

  • Archangel November 1, 2016, 6:41 pm

    WOW, I HAVE NEVER SEEN A RIFLE LIKE THAT!
    5.56 CALIBER, 1:8 RIGHT HAND TWIST, DIRECT IMPINGEMENT GAS SYSTEM, A 30 ROUND MAGAZINE, AND IT COMES IN BLACK!
    WOW!
    What a novel idea!

  • Mike Watkins November 1, 2016, 3:59 pm

    “Love” all the Clay and Springfield bashers.

    I would take slight issue with calling the Saint an “entry level AR,” though. Entry level, to most people, would probably mean one of the generic M-4geries being offered for under $600, and once in a while under $500. And I don’t have anything against those, as long as they weren’t cranked out by some guy whose armorer training came solely from YouTube, and using such dubious parts sources as Blackthorne aka Hesse.

    And btw… That is probably the only way anyone can build a $400 AR, and not sure even Blackthorne gets you down to 400 when you include such minor details as shipping costs and that transfer fee you pay to your FFL for taking delivery on the lower receiver.

    But with Springfield’s reputation, and the stuff put on the Saint that’s a notch or 2 above basic, they’ve probably got a winner.

    Oh. Another btw. If there is anyone on here who thinks they just won’t bother getting out to vote next week, I sincerely hope the next gun you fire blows up and takes your face off!

    • PMNOrlando November 3, 2016, 10:40 pm

      AMEN to your comments about voting. I went to a Trump Ralky in Sanford, FL about 10 days ago where mainstream media reported there was a small crowd, when in real life there were more than 10,000 Patriots there. While waiting in line we noticed a YUGE Bald Eagle circling overhead. Could that have been a sign from God as to who his choice is? When he has flies landing on the other? I’d like to think so. With the FBI investigation being reopened last Friday (6 days ago), the question now is, will she get arrested before the election 5 days from now? Or will they risk letting her run and us having to sit on pins and needles for 12-18 months until she’s impeached.
      Crazy Times We’re Witnessing Right Now!
      God Bless anyone who reads this and may God Bless America!

      • Dustin November 5, 2016, 10:56 am

        God Bless you my friend, my grandmother before she died gave me this verse Isaiah 40:31

        but those who hope in the Lord
        will renew their strength.
        They will soar on wings like eagles;
        they will run and not grow weary,
        they will walk and not be faint.

        At my grandmothers funeral there was a rare siting of a bald eagle. We may not understand what is happening in America right now but our Lord sees the bigger picture.

        • Jonny November 6, 2016, 6:23 pm

          If baby Jesus was about today, he would vote for Trump for sure. In fact, I\’m sure the Lord would vote for the Donald also. AMEN

          • Michael November 8, 2016, 4:22 am

            Im pretty sure Jesus would vote Libertarian. Ask him when you get there.

  • KCshooter November 1, 2016, 3:50 pm

    Apt title.
    Clay is indeed a “silly man”.

    • KCshooter November 1, 2016, 4:13 pm

      Looking forward to a more impartial review from a more literate reviewer on a more respected firearm website/blog.

      • Dave Emery November 1, 2016, 7:06 pm

        I hope you are joking.

      • clay martin November 1, 2016, 7:42 pm

        I was busy getting your mom impartial with her ankles by her ears, sorry I had to rush the video. And the Saint video too.

        • Kevin November 3, 2016, 10:32 am

          I was all into your assessment of the rifle and was thinking that this might be a nice addition to my hunting group of guns and then you say something like this.
          How do you expect to get any credibility with a remark like that?
          If you expect anyone to take you seriously, about anything, just Grow Up.

        • secret squirrel November 3, 2016, 9:21 pm

          What wrong Clay, you get your butt hurt?

  • olivehead November 1, 2016, 3:41 pm

    The MSRP on this is $899, and if the Smith Sport II and Ruger AR556 are any indication, you’re looking at roughly $749-799 retail. That’s about $100 or so more than the typical retail price of either the Smith or the Ruger. For that $100 extra, out of the box you get a mid-length (which everyone seems to argue is ideal for a 16″ barrel), and instead of the A2 grip and M4 stock that most will replace anyway, you get a very good grip and stock (worth about $85 combined), a FA bolt carrier and H-buffer ($200), and what looks to be a trigger comparable to the PNT from BCM (about $45 I think — and given the obvious affiliation between BCM and Springfield on this gun, it may in fact be pretty much the same trigger). I think all in all that’s a pretty good deal. The only thing I see in the “budget” or “entry-level” AR market right now with comparable specs (but still a commercial BCG) is the Smith MOE mid-length, and the best price I can find on those is over $1000. I find the giant “SAINT” on the receiver a bit much, but not as bothersome as the “Magpul” forever carved into the Smith mid-length receiver. I like Magpul stuff as much as the next guy, but not on my receiver. Also, for purely aesthetic reasons, I’d probably swap out the Saint’s handguards for something else.

  • bluestar 48 November 1, 2016, 2:42 pm

    and where is this new AR MADE in what country,

  • TacSKS November 1, 2016, 2:09 pm

    “Out of the box, with a Leupold 20 power scope for testing, I scored a 1 3/8 inch, 100m, five-round group.”

    So are your “accuracy results” really only a single group? What did the rest of the groups look like? How about average group sizes?

    • KCshooter November 1, 2016, 4:09 pm

      I’m not sure 1.5moa using a 20x Leupold at a mere 100yds gets any bragging rights for $900.

      • John November 1, 2016, 7:47 pm

        yes i would hang my name tag on the hall of shame if thats all i could claim ,, {like that sucks }

        • TacSKS November 2, 2016, 10:58 am

          I’m not saying he can’t shoot–he’s probably a better shooter than me any day. Just saying that a single group doesn’t really tell you anything about accuracy. That could be an unusually good or unusually bad group.

          Either way 1.5 MOA for a non-free float isn’t too bad, and good enough for most people’s needs.

  • John Bibb November 1, 2016, 1:34 pm

    ***
    SA builds excellent firearms! Good review–probably a good choice. The only thing that would have made it better would be providing a short rail under the barrel or at the front of the handguard to make it ready to mount a combined weapons light / bright green laser for low lighting conditions. Also a big help for Seasoned Citizens with focusing / vision problems.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  • David Perkins November 1, 2016, 12:20 pm

    This looks like a really nice rifle and a great price point for what you get. I built a rifle earlier this year and it has everything except the barrel that I choose. I wanted a 1-8 twist barrel, but there weren’t any in a price point that I could afford,so it’s great to see Springfield put some really thought into a twist rate that is a great choice for stablizing a wide range of bullet weights. I know it won’t meet with the wanta be “special forces” armchair types because it doesn’t have all “in” features that make them think they’re worthy, but this looks to be a really solid entry level rifle that will do the job. Nice job Springfiel!

  • inidao November 1, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Clay, Thanks again for your military service, I wish I have had the experience you have, or at least some. I look forward to some training from you here in eastern Idaho. I appreciated the reviews and articles, and again thanks for taking you time to write and test.

    • clay martin November 2, 2016, 10:24 am

      Glad to brother. I will have new training dates for Parma up on the website soon

  • Steven Parker November 1, 2016, 12:00 pm

    Sorry I was hoping for a piston driven gun from Springfield. I know I will catch flack for this but I am a piston kind of guy.

    • Steve S. November 2, 2016, 12:09 am

      Amen brother. Just a couple hundred more and you could have a piston driven POF Puritan.

    • Steve S. November 2, 2016, 12:26 am

      Yay. Another AR15… I guess I’m just a little upset because they have a connection with a company in Croatia that not only make a kick butt handgun but is also making a seriously sweet bullpup, the VHS-2, with an actual adjustable stock that would be awesome for female users (something not found on any other bullpup making it tough for shorter armed women to handle them). Bullpups in general are a better weapon because you keep the barrel length but cut the overall length down to a SBR which is great for use within the confines of ones home. Though I’m sure it’s a great out of the box rifle for people just starting out and wanting a budget conscious AR I was really hoping for something truly special. Guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer…

  • Arfan November 1, 2016, 11:20 am

    Oh, yawn.

    Despite a valiant effort and a well written piece by the author, its just another AR pig with lipstick put on it

    Hey Springfield, how about canning the “high end entry level AR” and putting the development funds into making a better quality high end entry level M1A out of the box without raising prices on us?

    You know, the kind where the magwell is not overly tight, the trigger is not clunky and gritty, and parts dont break or fly off after 100 rounds fired (Doh!, ouch)

    • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 12:02 pm

      Hey that’s the animal buddy. If you can’t deal with it, maybe a more dainty piece of hardware like a nice AR would better suit you. You got anyone else out there willing to have machined steel M1As made, glass bed them, commission custom polymer stocks etc? Without SA the M1A would be dead. Why is the internet so full of whiny pricks.

      • Peter November 1, 2016, 12:43 pm

        Whiny pricks doing that which they do best causes the majority of us to shine.
        Welcome, new rifle. Now, I must return to composing my post card to finestein.

      • Robert November 1, 2016, 3:04 pm

        Paul,
        Why do you feel its your mission to be a class “A” jerk to people? While I like most of your Prepper articles, I find most of your comments irritating. There is no doubt there are some real morons out there and I’m sure you deal with a lot of them, but you are like this all the time. It seems you go out of your way just to talk down to people. Earlier I read your comments about AR-15 builders being losers. Now maybe building and AR is not for you but it sure ain’t rocket science. I’ve built 4 and they are all tack drivers with match ammo. All four built for about $800. Without explaining all the components ,all 4 definitely outshoot my SCAR in accuracy. The Rock river 2 stage triggers in them don’t even compare to the SCAR. Try to lighten up, or maybe a little female companionship might put a smile on your sourpuss.

        • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 6:41 pm

          Robert, I’d like you to do me a favor. I just did this the other day actually so I will warn you to bring a pair of heavy rubber boots, because you’ll be knee deep. Go down to your local bookstore, or even supermarket, and check out the gun and prepper magazines. Take a good hard look at what you get for ten to fourteen bucks. You don’t even really need to read the articles. Just check out the ads and the articles will reflect them nicely. Then go search around for comprehensive gun reviews by knowledgeable people, who are given the freedom (and the paycheck) to write comprehensive reviews that are both complimentary and critical. See if they review guns that are not from big advertisers.

          You won’t find one Robert, because GunsAmerica isn’t one of many. We are unique, in the true sense of the word, and that anger you see from me is the reason. If you search Amazon for me, you’ll see that I was an early pioneer of internet automation, and I actually invented the precursor to Wordpress, which we are using right now, and gave it away for free. The internet was supposed to be a rich resource of connections, opinions, information, but it is not that today except in small recesses like GunsAmerica. The reason people like you, who take, without even saying thankyou. On GA at least we have hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t like you, so we keep at it. But the people who have the audacity to say that it is somehow wrong of us to help out a longtime advertiser, friend, and uncompromisingly high quality company like Springfield, yea, I’ll be an asshole to them, in hopes that they go away. And also in hopes that infotainment fools like you go away too.

  • Clyde November 1, 2016, 11:13 am

    I dont leave home without my SA XDs. But another black rifle? My modified SKS was less than $300, has the reliability of the Garand, the ammo is cheap, packs more punch than the 5.56 and does everything i expect a weapon of this type to do. It may not have the cachet of the M-16 family but I could really care less.

  • Mark Bell November 1, 2016, 11:01 am

    Does anyone know what the acronym stands for ?
    I get SA = Springfield Armory, but the “int” ? I can only opine that the T might be Tactical ?
    I have no real opinion on the rifle, other than to admire outstanding marketing. November 1st is All Saints Day.

  • Mike C November 1, 2016, 11:00 am

    What I’d like to know is- where are some of you building a decent, complete AR15 for $400 retail all in, paperwork etc? That is stupid. Can’t be done.

  • Mike C November 1, 2016, 10:55 am

    just like to add that I also tried new Federal SWC target loads in the XD45 and they stovepiped just as much as the target reloaded SWC ammo- The reason I tried the brand new ammo is because Springfield blamed ME for using reload ammo and firmly blamed the issue on the ammo. I called them back to tell them about the same issue with brand new Federal ammo, and I even offered to send them some of the bullets to test with, and they pretty much hung up on me. I wasn’t being a dick or anything, I had a reasonable concern. They firmly did not care one bit. I wanted to mention this since using reloads can sometimes cause problems- and I normally would agree – but not in this case.

  • Wiscogunner November 1, 2016, 10:53 am

    Stop bashing it. Smith has the money to lay out a Campaign to promote its new product. It is also promoting the 2A. We have a new weapon to check out. No one says you have to like it, but it’s a lot better than having one less gun to look at. Stop being so cynical!

  • Jeff November 1, 2016, 10:39 am

    Love the skit before the review!
    Well played!

  • Meeester November 1, 2016, 10:18 am

    Friend of mine just bought a Ruger AR556 for under 600 bucks.
    I read the article looking to see why this was so special at $900 MSRP

    • WB3 November 1, 2016, 3:17 pm

      Actually the Ruger AR556 msrp is listed at $799 where the saint is listed as $899. So not much different in that respect. It will be interesting to see what dealers have then for once they are on the shelves.

  • Lee November 1, 2016, 10:07 am

    Sooooooo…. its another entry level AR… whats the big deal? Besides the over done marketing….
    Honestly I did expect more with all the pre-intro hype they put out, and as disappointed as I am, I’m still glad they jumped on the AR bandwagon. Its a start, maybe they’ll actually put something cool or unique out later.

    • Leslie Ottele November 1, 2016, 11:42 am

      SIMPLE! A kick in the teeth of those who may wish to take away your right to own an AR, AK, FA, FN, or any other “Nasty Black Rifle (Assault Weapon)”. For 30 years I gave up my freedom and carried a true Assault Weapon in protection of your “Rights”. For ten years now I have not picked up a weapon, till this year, Folks have gotten me thinking about running for the hills, not here but Northern Canada or Central America. Oh! by the way. A simple, well made, (Black Rifle) is the coolest and unique thing when the time comes to use it.

  • Jeremy November 1, 2016, 9:58 am

    Reviewer says he believes that “multi-caliber” means that SA might have a 6.5 variant in the works?! Maybe Guns America ought to hire a more competent reviewer. Multi-caliber simply means that the rifle is chambered for 5.56mm NATO, and will also chamber .223 Remington.

    If you’re going to highlight something on a firearm you are reviewing, at least take a minute to research it so you can speak knowledgeably about it first.

    • Gene November 1, 2016, 10:56 am

      Uh, no it does not mean that. It means for ATF purposes the gun can be used with various calibers, that way you are not locked into one caliber. It makes sense for a manufacturer who may want to offer a variety of calibers.

      • Fal Phil November 1, 2016, 12:30 pm

        “It means for ATF purposes the gun can be used with various calibers, that way you are not locked into one caliber.”

        Are you sure? I don’t have anything like that on any other of my switch barrel rifles or switch upper autoloaders.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 11:06 am

      Dear Chucklehead,

      No, multicaliber doesn’t mean 223/5.56. In case you crawled out from under a rock, the same AR lower fits 6.8, 300 AAC, 5.56/223, 6.5 Grendal, 300 Whisper, and other wildcat cartridges. The lower is what you need to change for those other options.

      • Kevin November 3, 2016, 6:31 pm

        No Clay…….It’s the upper is what you need to change for those other options.

      • Kevin November 4, 2016, 11:33 am

        Clay:
        Chucklehead is correct: According to Springfield Armory, Customer Service Person “Gracie”, in conjunction with other Customer Service Employees agree that SA put Multi Cal on the receiver to indicate that this model will chamber and fire both the 5.56 and the .223 Rem. calibers.
        There seems to be some accurate information under Chuckleheads rock.

    • It's SIR to you! November 1, 2016, 11:11 am

      Jeremy. Maybe YOU should do Your Research before showing YOUR Lack of Knowledge! The author is CORRECT, you are WRONG, not only are you wrong, but Totally and Completely WRONG! The caliber markings on the receiver have nothing to do with the caliber of a Modern Sporting Rifle (AR for those of you in Rio Linda). The CALIBER is determined by the CHAMBER, which happens to be in the BARREL, which means ALL MSR’s will have the Barrel marked with the caliber of that particular firearm. So that makes the receiver caliber marking totally useless, if you change the barrel to say 300 Blackout. Manufactures wishing to make multiple calibers without dedicating receivers to a particular caliber, can and do mark them MULTI. So the Author gets and “A”, you get a “L”.

  • Matthew November 1, 2016, 9:51 am

    I think it’s awesome that Springfield Armory right before the election offers an AR15 and presents it in the way that they do. It’s a huge F-U to all the gun control lobbyist! It’s like we know we may not be able to sell a ton of these in the event of a ban but we’re going to do it anyways and pump as many out before you do! Props, that they released what they did and they didn’t release some Republic of Kalifornia compliant bullshit. They released the very gun that our government is trying to take away! That’s the way I see it.

    • Hugo November 1, 2016, 11:08 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. When Hillary loses the election, she can rest easy knowing that us common folks have another tool to protect ourselves from all of the radical islamic refugees her old boss let in before Trump could slam the door.

  • BOB November 1, 2016, 9:45 am

    Depressed it didn’t have the “grip zone” on the BCM Mod 3 grip..
    Looks like a good rifle for a price point gun. right in line with the other 30 AR15’s out there. Springfield guys will buy one because it’s a Springfield. I may own 30 S&W pistols, but I don’t own a S&W AR15.. Why is everybody being a dick and pointing out they can build one for $400 or their own.. Are you guys in business??

  • Jim November 1, 2016, 9:44 am

    The big SAINT logo on the receiver looks horrible. $900 is still a lot of money for an AR-15. If it was like $500-$600 maybe, but I don’t think I would spend $900 for that. SA had a nice mysterious lead up to the release and had me intrigued as to what it would be, but am let down by the $900 AR-15 reveal.

    • Roscoe November 1, 2016, 10:19 am

      Short memory – After newtown just 3 years ago AR’s were bringing double to triple normal price – it’s just 8 days until that might happen again.

  • Aaron Maitz November 1, 2016, 9:36 am

    Wow, check out the commercial, a bunch of good-looking people shooting an AR! I need one now!

  • JohnR November 1, 2016, 9:34 am

    Sounds like a great rifle. I like Springfield products and own two that will never be sold or traded. if I were looking for one it would definitely be a consideration. One question that did pop up while reading the article was why Springfield would go to the trouble of building an above average AR but not free float the barrel?

  • Soylent Green November 1, 2016, 9:29 am

    This is my “underwhelmed face”. I really like SA products, (I have two XDm’s and a XDs), but the only thing I can think here is that this is about brand extension. Meaning they are targeting the person who has some SA handguns, and they like them, and they decide they need an AR15, and they know little about AR15s, so they might be predisposed to just pick up a “saint” AR15 from them.

    Nothing wrong with their offering, just that was a lot of build up for a generic AR15, with nothing unique, and sooooo late to the game.

  • jim November 1, 2016, 9:27 am

    Nice review. Way better than the “video” SA put out. Actually had some information on the product.
    Since they went through the trouble of making a nice(r) case, seems like they might have put stronger latches on it. Seemed run-of-the-mill. Not so keen on the giant SAINT logo on the rcvr, but it doesn’t break the deal (what does the “INT” part of it stand for?)
    Some of you guys are pretty grumpy.
    I too am surprised SA go in the game so late and before this election.

  • Irving Cobb November 1, 2016, 9:27 am

    This was a Nice show, you gave full demo. of how to take it apart an shoot. Where can I find a place where I can try it out and compare the Saint AR-15 to my AR 15.

  • Bobby Robbins November 1, 2016, 9:11 am

    I’m not sure what all the hype is about in this article. “The trigger breaks at 6.5 lbs. according to the gauge…the Saint has the best production AR trigger I have ever shot.” The S&W M&P Sport II has a trigger that breaks at 5.5 lbs. (and has a $160.00 less MSRP). “The barrel is another component where no expense was spared. The Saint has a 16-inch chrome moly vanadium barrel, with a 1:8 twist…” Twist rate aside, this is the same barrel that comes standard on most entry level ARs. It will be interesting to see a non-biased review of the Saint. I’m a sales manager at a LGS and none of my major suppliers have it listed yet so I’m curious to know what the actual price point will be (around the $750-799? is best guess).

    • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 9:18 am

      It is a common misconception among people who have only read the print gun mags to assume that a trigger is all about the trigger gauge measurement. It isn’t. As Clay explains, the material of the sear and the finally polishing and adjustment make a huge difference. I can give you a Colt Python and a SW revolver side by side, and they will measure the same on a trigger gauge, but the SW will take $500 in gunsmith work to compare to the Python. The same thing goes for 1911 triggers. AR triggers are so finicky that they have made complex two stage systems, but done right, with attention to detail, a single stage AR trigger can be all you need.

      • Bobby Robbins November 1, 2016, 10:40 am

        I came across this article in hopes of giving the customers who come to my gun store some information on the Saint. The economy I live in is tough (as with many areas) and it’s hard for customers to justify spending X amount more for a rifle when a lower price point one has the same features. Based on the specs, the Saint has similar features as the Sport II or the Ruger AR-556, both with lower price points. After almost 20 years of selling guns in the area, “I want the best bang for my dollar” is what most of my customers are looking for in an AR.
        I do agree that trigger pull isn’t everything but I figured a gun that had as much hype as the Saint would break a little lighter.

        • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 12:09 pm

          Why don’t you wait to try the trigger yourself? The SW is a great buy, but the hardware and parts aren’t the same caliber as this gun. Side by side you’ll see once it is in hand.

      • Kevin November 4, 2016, 10:37 am

        Paul:
        I understand what you’re saying, but you’re comparing apples to grapes. Lots of honing and polishing is what one would expect on a fine hunting gun but this is not a fine hunting gun. I would expect that the trigger on your Python might not hold true after a dunk in the mud. Dependability is primary on any battle rifle and time alone will decide if the SA is worthy.

  • zupglick November 1, 2016, 9:08 am

    Just another Barbie gun.

    • Leslie Ottele November 1, 2016, 11:46 am

      Yes and Barbie, and her sisters, can knock off your high horse at 360 meters with ease.

      • Keith November 1, 2016, 5:00 pm

        55 grain 5.56 x 45 is less effective beyond 120 meters. 77 grain 5.56 x 45 from an 18 inch barrel is effective to about 240 meters and semi effective beyond that. At 360 meters you may or may not knock someone off their high horse with 5.56 x 45. If you want an AR-15 effective to 500 meters and beyond go with a 6.5 x 39 Grendel AR-15.

  • DIYinSTL November 1, 2016, 9:06 am

    I find it interesting that they make a point of including a bayonet lug on their AR platform when Springfield still refuses to restore the lug on their M1A that was removed for the Clinton “Assault Weapons Ban.” The specs don’t mention how much of the rifle is of U.S. manufacture; always a question with SA.
    At least the barrel is 1:8 twist which is better for the ubiquitous and affordable 55gr bullets than the 1:7 twist most manufacturers peddle.

  • Mark Tercsak November 1, 2016, 9:04 am

    Dear Springfield Armory,

    I have some Ideas How about a production run of original style Ar-10’s not the enlarged Ar-15’s but original Ar-10’s where the finger lever is located on top of the receiver inside the carrying handle.

    How about the Johnson Automatic Rifle chamber is 30-06 ten round rotary magazine that can be fed from 5 round springfield stripper clips or cartridge at a time, had reciprocating barrel, it is said U.S. Marines preferred the Johnson over the M1-Garand.

    How about a M63 Stoner Rifle or the Ar-18 instead.

  • Rob November 1, 2016, 8:54 am

    All this time waiting and anticipating the “Saint” has lead up to the unveiling of another AR-15?? I must admit, I am disappointed. Nothing revolutionary about an AR-15. I do like some of the features but talking about hype! As far as “Entry Level” goes, Although I have a “Real” job and am by no means a “loser”, I COULD build an entry level AR for $400! I do also find it amazing at the comments where people slam these cheaper builds though. Not everyone is a full blown “Operator” like some on here feel that they are! Not everyone on here that reads these comments are working at a job paying 6 figures. How about instead of slamming people’s builds, you be a little more inviting to those trying to get into the sport. Always a prick in the bunch!

    • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 9:25 am

      The important thing about any entry level gun is that it works perfectly and is pleasant to shoot. To even build an AR for under $700 you are dealing with cheap Chinese parts that are often out of spec, and a receiver that is on special 2/$80, which as Clay just covered in the Delton kit, often have tolerance issues. “Inviting” someone into the sport with a gun that might work for a little while and then won’t isn’t doing anyone any good, except you for the $50 you put in your pocket. No offense, but AR “builders” are really just parasites on the industry that defends our gun rights with actual dollars. I would tell you to get a real job, but I’m sure you are just doing the best you can in this joke we call an economy.

      • Uncle Nat November 1, 2016, 10:43 am

        Dear Paul–OFFENSE TAKEN! I thoroughly enjoy putting together AR’s, often with parts bought online from GA. But what do I know–I’m just another parasite!

  • Don Backus November 1, 2016, 8:35 am

    Oh goody another AR-15, blah blah blah.

  • KCshooter November 1, 2016, 8:10 am

    Hey, for a free $900 gun, I will also give your plain jane AR-15 a glowing review also, touting all your hum-drum features as groundbreaking technology, in order to turn your month-long-plus advertising campaign some validity!
    (“Oooh, a case!”)

    Gotta pay for video production quality like that somehow.

    How am I not surprised Clay is the tool they assign this task to, and he just laps up that kool-aid and asks for more.

    • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 8:37 am

      What kind of case comes with a 6920 tard? Oh yea, it’s a cardboard box, if Walmart didn’t throw it out.

  • Browncoat November 1, 2016, 7:56 am

    $899 MSRP? No thanks… I’ll be ordering my own parts and assemble my own ‘entry’ level weapons.
    It is pretty though, what with all the BCM stuff.

  • Me November 1, 2016, 7:46 am

    Springfield must have some balls to spend the money to hype and release an AR seven days before an election and a possible Nazi as president. I’m with the reviewer, give us a 6.5 Grendel!

    • Jon November 1, 2016, 8:56 am

      Oh, you mean the candidate who will protect the Second Amendnent, not illegally gut it with Executive Orders?

  • Fred W Kuntz November 1, 2016, 7:35 am

    when will they build one

  • Fuzzy Bruce November 1, 2016, 7:28 am

    I have to wonder what the street price will be. The marketing hype, branding and case seem to have added at least a couple hundred bucks to an entry level rifle. I am torturing an American made AR style rifle with a price under $600 including deliver and background check charges the does everything this rifle does except for the case.

  • Jack Hinson November 1, 2016, 7:10 am

    One of the best gun reviews ever. Had my attention from the opening skit to the mud bath.
    Thanks Clay.

  • Michael November 1, 2016, 6:48 am

    Hoopla hoopla hoopla – AR15… Really?

  • Mark G November 1, 2016, 6:42 am

    Looks like a nice entry level rifle, just as he says. A $699 rifle with $200 of brand on top of that.
    just out of curiosity, how many brands of entry level ARs are on the market right now? 50? more?
    I love Springfields, but have to wonder what they are doing jumping into this melee.
    BTW, motorcycles and ARs, buy used to start and learn what is important to you.

  • Scott November 1, 2016, 6:10 am

    It would truly be a saint if Springfield found a way to bypass Connecticut’s stupid gun laws and sell it here. I will light a candle and pray for that.

  • Blaine Campbell November 1, 2016, 5:44 am

    Yeah Springfield has earned my Fandom cheap high quality guns nuff said.

  • Free Targets November 1, 2016, 5:22 am

    I guess these days over hyping something is just equated to regular marketing. Went to the SA website and could not make it through the shitstorm of bullshit thrown in my face via FULL SCREEN VIDEO bla bla bla.

    About 6 months ago I bought a colt LE6920. Might have looked at one of these SAINT rifles, might in the future if SA gets real and stops the total in yur face BS routine seemingly aimed at 19 yr old millennials.

    Guess I do like I normally do and wait a few years and let the idiots beta test it first. If it is good, time will tell.

    • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 6:49 am

      Beta test an AR-15 LMAO? Maybe it takes a fullscreen video to compete with the shitstream of nonsense that comes from people like you. You’re just pissed because you bought an inferior gun for more money, which you did. 😉

      • Switzerland November 1, 2016, 6:57 am

        For “reviewing” a rifle, you would think that GA would keep it objective. Way to show you were paid off an this “article” is just a long ad.

        • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 7:45 am

          What is there to reviewing an AR other than to show you the features that the company chose to put on the otherwise well known platform? Basic accuracy and reliability is what someone who actually might buy the gun needs to know. As opposed to a kit gun that a local loser who couldn’t get a real job built in his garage on a $40 receiver and now wants $650 for… The heat test is more than you’ll see from any print magazine, blogger, or any other reviewer, as well as the puddle test. wtf? Are you just an asshole looking for an outlet?

          • Fred November 1, 2016, 9:40 am

            Sorry, for once I have to agree with Clay’s detractors. For someone as sarcastic and pessimistic as he is (which I like!), this article glows a bit too much over too little.

          • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 12:14 pm

            Come on Fred it’s an AR for heaven’s sake. What do you want him to say about it? “I was disappointed because it didn’t come with a $250 drop in trigger” or “I really think that for this price they should have included a laser, because my cat really loves that shit when I play on the floor.” Our regular readers know that I have little patience for dumbass comments, and this is why. What would you have him say?

          • Switzerland November 1, 2016, 10:42 am

            I might be an asshole, who knows. What I was pointing out is how, you, as a guy who writes for GA just slammed a reader for knocking a gun your site reviewed.
            Sad.

          • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 12:07 pm

            Well if you’re an asshole you’re just not a bigger asshole. Come on you can do better than that. Your whole self worth is probably tied up in internet comments, which you are not terribly gifted at.

          • Switzerland November 1, 2016, 12:37 pm

            You know, I am one of your regular readers, I just don’t comment very often. Not anymore.

          • Paul Helinski November 1, 2016, 12:41 pm

            Then you will join tens of thousands of people who read and watch our stuff every Monday and Friday, and never feel the need to comment. We are producing the equivalent of at least 2 magazines, plus video and current events, without whoring reviews and lying about shooting guns we don’t shoot like the print mags do. Springfield is a long time and big advertiser here, and you know what, it’s really ok for us to make a big deal of their entry into the AR market. Springfield does everything well, and they bring incredible value, thoughtful products, and better than average customer service to our industry. Everyone should make a big deal out of it, and of all the people who were invited to the event in the desert, only a handful of us who have any reach have helped the cause.

      • James M November 1, 2016, 8:32 am

        Ha ha ha. As I laugh “free targets” is frantically looking for the usb port on the saint.

  • Dmitri Kzechysa November 1, 2016, 2:46 am

    Meh

  • Mark N. November 1, 2016, 12:09 am

    So when will they build one in .308? Springfield is one of my favorite manufacturers.

    • matt November 1, 2016, 8:35 am

      I have a SA xdm 9mm and it as served me well. I like SA that stand by their products. I am waiting for the price drop that will eventually come along with the slew of options and upgrades. 7.62×39 or 308. Is what I am waiting for. SA will do you proud, despite the marketing hype.

Leave a Comment

Send this to friend