The Springfield Armory SAINT Line
January 29th, 2021
9 minute read
Springfield Armory rocked the firearms community with the introduction of the SAINT rifle in 2016. The top tier AR-15 rifle offered incredible performance at a very reasonable price. Since then, the company expanded the line of guns to include a range of variations that fall into three main lines.
In this article, I will explain what each of the SAINT gun lines are and why you might select one. But first, let me explain what the SAINT is.
What Is the Springfield Armory SAINT?
Put simply, the SAINT is Springfield Armory’s line of AR-style rifles and pistols. The guns were developed as a critical piece of home defense gear and as a way of honoring those that take responsibility for their safety.
Since its introduction, the wildly popular SAINT lineup expanded to include a broad selection of specialized variants. Configured for a range of uses and chambered for several cartridges, this family of guns is divided into three main categories: the SAINT, the SAINT Victor and the SAINT Edge.
Let’s take a look at each of these guns and help you decide what makes the most sense for your needs.
The SAINT is the foundation of the Springfield Armory AR line. It was the original SAINT rifle that launched the platform and remains its anchor, and has had upgrades and options added in the years since its launch.
These rifles offer a solid Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) chambered in 5.56 NATO (if you want to find out if the SAINT fires 5.56 NATO or .223, click here) with high-quality parts and some of the most sought-after upgrades. While Springfield updated the base SAINT rifle during the past several years, the company’s kept the price very affordable.
Unlike the “entry-level” guns offered elsewhere, all versions of the SAINT are fully equipped with features including a nickel-boron coated single-stage trigger, handguards with M-Lok attachment points, the Accu-Tite tension system and an M16 bolt carrier group. Barrels are a standard 16” with a mid-length gas system and a 1:8” twist. They are all Melonite treated for increased durability and resistance to corrosion.
Two models feature Bravo Company USA BCMGUNFIGHTER furniture: the Mod 3 pistol grip, Mod 0 adjustable stock and the PMCR M-Lok handguard. One of these has an A2-style front post with a low-profile flip-up rear. The other rifle replaces the A2 tower with a low-profile gas block and front and rear flip-up sights.
The third SAINT rifle features B5 Systems furniture. This includes the Bravo Stock, M-Lok handguard and the Type 23 P-Grip. These low-profile components combine for a 7-oz. weight reduction when compared to the other two rifles.
[Read Alan M. Rice’s Springfield SAINT B5 Review here.]
Regardless of the model you prefer, all of the rifles have a suggested retail price of $995. Considering the components used in these builds, that is an exceptionally fair price.
Combining ruggedness and light weight, the SAINT Victor is aimed at the professional market but still within the price range of the weekend warrior. These offer performance upgrades that can tighten your groups without crushing your wallet.
Most of the rifles are equipped with 16” barrels with a Melonite treatment, but Springfield Armory also offers an 11.5” SBR version in 5.56 NATO. Of course, all NFA regulations apply. (To learn more about what NFA means, click here.)
The 5.56-chambered SAINT Victor rifles are available in four colors: black, OD green, Tactical Gray and Desert FDE. Each of these rifles is upgraded with a free-floating, aluminum M-Lok handguard for improved accuracy. Additional refinements include a muzzle brake to reduce felt recoil and muzzle rise, spring-loaded flip up sights, an enhanced M16 bolt carrier group and a nickel-boron coated, flat trigger.
One of the 5.56 rifles uses a B5 Systems SOPMOD stock and Type 23 P-Grip while the others use Bravo Company USA gear. The SBR model also uses Bravo Company furniture.
For more downrange energy, take a look at the SAINT Victor in .308 Win. This rifle offers all of the same features as the 5.56-chambered rifles in a package that is remarkably light: only 7 lbs., 11 oz. It ships with a 20-round Magpul PMAG magazine. Be it hunting or home defense, this gun provides serious knock down power.
When you want the best, you want the Edge. Springfield Armory offers the SAINT Edge rifle line as a no-compromise series of Modern Sporting Rifles with premier components for the utmost in reliability and performance.
Available in 5.56 NATO only, these guns are built on 7075-T6 billet lowers. CNC machined, these lowers have a distinctive look with cuts designed to shave ounces from the gun without harming performance or reliability. The lowers use the Accu-Tite tension system to eliminate the loose feel, or slop, found in many AR-style rifles.
Another upgrade in the Edge line is the use of an adjustable gas block. The gas block uses three different modes that allows you to tune the gun to the specific ammunition you are using. As delivered, the gun will run the vast majority of 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem ammunition with perfect reliability. However, if you are using specialized ammunition, a suppressor or anything that would affect the function of the gas system, you can make adjustments to keep the gun running perfectly.
In addition to the standard model with a 16” lightweight profile barrel, Springfield offers a short barrel rifle model. The SBR trims the barrel to 11.5”. In addition to reducing the overall length of the gun, it also lightens the package by 9 oz. Barrel length isn’t the only difference between the two Edge models. The SBR uses an A2-style flash hider instead of the multi-port brake on the muzzle.
Some have argued that the AR-platform is the most versatile small arms system ever developed. In addition to it being suited to work well with people of all shapes and sizes, the AR platform can be configured as a pistol as well as a rifle. Didn’t know that? Check out Will Dabbs’ article “What Is an AR Pistol?”
Springfield Armory has a number of SAINT pistol options for people wanting a smaller AR gun. As with the rifles, the company offers them in three different lines: the SAINT, the SAINT Victor and the SAINT Edge.
The SAINT Pistol comes in two models differentiated by the furniture used. Both pistols are chambered for the 5.56 NATO cartridge, have a 9.6” long, Melonite treated barrel with a 1:8” twist, use a forged upper and lower, are equipped with the smooth nickel-boron coated trigger, and use an M16 bolt carrier group.
Additionally, both SAINT Pistols are fitted with a Trinity Force Breach Brace arm support to improve shooting stability and accuracy. The brace seems to work well, and I particularly like the styling that gives it an industrial look.
One of the two SAINT pistols comes with the Bravo Company USA BCMGUNFIGHTER PMCR M-Lok forend, BCMGUNFIGHTER triggerguard and BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 3 pistol grip. The other version is fitted with a B5 Systems carbine-length M-Lok forend, triggerguard and Type 23 P-Grip. Both guns come standard with a Magpul 30-round PMAG Gen M3 magazine.
SAINT Victor Pistol
As with the Victor rifles, the SAINT Victor pistols offer the widest range of caliber and color options. They also offer numerous enhancements over the standard SAINT pistol while remaining in the target budget of most shooters looking for a smartly equipped AR pistol.
Three cartridges are supported in the SAINT Victor line: the 5.56 NATO, the .300 BLK and the .308 Win. In 5.56 NATO, your choices are broadest with options for Bravo Company USA, B5 Systems and Magpul furniture. Each pistol has specific color variants that are available.
Springfield Armory offers SB Tactical arm braces on these models. Standard black models are fitted with the popular SBA3 brace. Other models in FDE, OD green and Tactical Gray, use the SBX-K arm brace. Both work extremely well, so it comes down to what color tickles your fancy.
A .300 BLK Victor model is also available. Since the .300 BLK is often used with a suppressor, Springfield includes an adjustable gas block that allows you to ensure reliability with any configuration of ammo and sound suppression you devise. It uses the same Bravo Company USA furniture as the standard SAINT Victor in 5.56 does.
Even though there are differences, the SAINT Victor pistols are more similar than different. For example, each of them features:
- Nickel-boron coated, flat trigger
- Springfield Armory blast diverter on 5.56 models (flash suppressor on the .300 BLK gun)
- Free-floating forend with M-Lok attachment points
- Pinned, low-profile gas block
- HPT/MPI tested
As you might expect, the .308-chambered SAINT Victor Pistol is different than the rest. First, it is built on the company’s 7.62mm receiver. Second, it has a longer barrel (10.3”) with a two-piece blast diverter instead of the single piece unit used on the 5.56 pistols.
Other features are the same. For example, the SAINT Victor in .308 uses the SBA Tactical SBA3 arm brace and a Bravo Company USA BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 3 pistol grip. The larger handgun uses a nickel-boron coated GI-style trigger as well.
SAINT Edge Pistol
As with the rifles, the Edge pistols are the top tier of SAINT firearms. The features readily show this to be true. The heart of an AR is often considered to be the lower receiver. In this case, Springfield Armory machines billet 7075-T6 aluminum for superior strength with a custom look. Additionally, the company uses its Accu-Tite technology on this and all of its SAINTs to ensure a tight mating of the upper and lower for maximum precision.
With the relief cuts and impressive styling of the lower, Springfield also opted to add an ambidextrous safety. In the upper, the bolt carrier group uses a premium 9310 steel bolt that is HPT/MPI tested and finished in Melonite. The uber-durable Melonite process was also used on the Springfield Edge pistol barrels. Here, the company offers two options: a 10.3” lightweight barrel with a 1:8” twist and a PDW version with a 5.5” barrel with a 1:7” twist. Both use CMV steel for strength and durability.
Additional upgrades include an exclusive mid-size charging handle and a single-stage, nickel-boron coated flat trigger. Springfield wasn’t finished with the Edge yet. For these handguns, the company selected premium Maxim Defense arm braces.
If you prefer the ultra-short PDW model with its 5.5” barrel, Springfield Armory equips that pistol with a Maxim Defense SCW brace.
These guns are the top end of the SAINT pistol line and they shoot like it.
Where Is the Springfield SAINT Made?
All of the Springfield Armory SAINT rifles and pistols are made in the USA by hard-working Americans. Liked the forged lowers in the SAINT AR, the men and women building these rifles are resilient — embodying the American spirit celebrated in the guns’ design.
Hopefully, this gives you a good overview of the entire SAINT line. Please follow the links in the article to read more about these different firearms. The entire line is impressive, and I know you will think so, too.
Due to an ATF ruling regarding the configuration of pistols with stabilizing braces, these firearms can be subject to NFA (National Firearms Act) regulations as short-barreled firearms. It is the buyer’s responsibility to comply with all rules, restrictions and/or laws determined by your city or state. Please ensure you are up-to-date on all current laws.
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