SBR Episode III: SAINT and SAINT Edge Short-Barreled Rifles

By Rob Leatham
Posted in #Guns
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SBR Episode III: SAINT and SAINT Edge Short-Barreled Rifles

July 27th, 2019

3 minute read

In our SBR Episode I: Short Barreled Rifles – A Short Crash Course article, we outlined a brief history of rifle development and touched on the U.S. National Firearms Act (NFA) and NFA Firearms.

In SBR Episdode II: Short Barreled Rifles – Worth the Work, we discussed the pros and cons of an SBR and why we think it’s worth the investment – the process, wait, and cost involved to become a legal SBR owner.

And in this article, SBR Episode III, we will introduce you to the very cool specifics of the Springfield Armory Short-Barreled Rifles – the SAINT and the SAINT Edge.  


We started with the wildly popular Springfield SAINT rifle with the free float handguard. We then reduced its barrel length from the unrestricted 16-inch length to 11.5 inches, applied the proper gas system “magic” and of course put on an appropriately fitted, shorter hand guard. The SAINT SBR also fires the same ammunition (as the original SAINT) with the same magazines, it’s just much more compact. 

Shortening Specifics

Engineering an SBR is a little more involved than just cutting off 4.5 inches of barrel.

Removing approximately 1/3 of the barrel of a perfectly timed “machine” does require some tuning. Primarily a revision of the gas system – to optimize the rifle to function with a different port position in the barrel. 

A lot of engineering talk could be included here by someone far smarter than I am, but the base design concern is with the different gas port pressures and the reduced dwell time of those pressures, both which are caused by locating the gas port closer to both the chamber and the muzzle. 

But don’t worry, at Springfield we certainly know what we are doing!

We learned a lot about short-barreled gas systems when we developed the 7.5 inch-barreled SAINT pistol. While a little tricky to perfect, when it IS right, the reward is reliable, consistent function. #MissionAccomplished

Therefore when we (Springfield Armory) got into the SBR market, we already had a lot of knowledge, reliable data and current, valuable experience. 

The end result with the SAINT SBR is reliability and durability, the same features you have come to expect from all of the models in the Springfield Armory product line.

The Proof Is In Your Hands

When you get the chance to shoot one, you can’t help notice how compact, easy to handle, accurate and reliable this SAINT SBR is. It immediately feels quicker, lighter and more maneuverable (than the SAINT with a 16-inch  barrel).  The SAINT SBR is extremely easy and enjoyable to shoot. #FunGun


The SAINT Edge is our top of the line AR-15 rifle, and the SAINT Edge SBR version has the same upgraded features. 

The Edge SBR’s light-weight 11.5 inch barrel is a great compromise between ballistics and compactness. It uses a low profile, free float hand guard with enough length to make it easy to hold.  This length affords multiple positions for gripping and has enough barrel exposed to mount muzzle brakes and suppressor adapters. 

Many M-Lok attachment points along the aluminum free float hand guard allow for the addition of lights, lasers, grips and hand stops. And it includes an integral quick-detach sling swivel point. Like the grips on your pistol, the hand guard is extremely important and this one is very nice indeed. 

Trigger Talk

If you know me at all, you know I am all about trigger pull. Just like the full-size SAINT Edge, the SBR has the same excellent trigger, Springfield Armory’s proprietary modular match-grade, short reset, single-stage trigger. It has a short, light pull that is clean and crisp. I couldn’t have done it better myself. Honestly, in a world of many choices, you cannot find a better trigger than this. #Perfection

An adjustable gas system also allows you to fine tune the operation of the action to specific loads for suppressor use. 

And the cocking / charging handle is both great looking and easy to operate. 

While there are more features to talk about, when you add it all up, this is an SBR that squarely “punches above its weight class.”

Just looking at a SAINT Edge SBR is enough to make you want one and, believe me, your eyes do not deceive. The short barrel creates a very compact, cool, and purposeful appearance. 

So, when it’s time to add an SBR or two to your gun collection, you can do so with the knowledge and assurance that whenever and wherever you may need it, the Springfield SAINT SBRs will have your back just like an old friend.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Rob Leatham

Rob Leatham

Rob Leatham, captain of Team Springfield, has been with the Springfield Armory family since the late 1980s. He is a world-renowned competition shooter and firearms instructor who is highly regarded as one of — if not the — most-winning Practical Pistol Competitor in history. Rob's sheer number of National and World Shooting Titles make him unique in the firearms industry. He has trained shooters from all walks of life — from IPSC World Champions to Military Special Forces Operators and from Law Enforcement Officers to civilians for Self Defense. In the competitive shooting world of IPSC, USPSA, Steel Challenge, IDPA and NRA Action Pistol, Rob’s competition career has spanned decades.

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