Launch Coverage: Springfield Armory’s SAINT Day 1 | Part 2 of 3

Sight in 2

Since we have revealed what the SAINT is in part 1 of our launch coverage, I can talk about what Springfield Armory had put together for the event. I wanted to let you guys see everything since the whole event was so jam packed with learning, fun, and plenty of information about the SAINT.

It started with a flight to Las Vegas with little information. Sadly my itinerary was never delivered due to an email problem, so I didn’t even know if there were dinners planned that I should look reasonably decent for. All I knew to be prepared for was outdoor range time, lots of shooting, and a window seat on the plane.

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It appears that this is as close to the Grand Canyon I am going to get this year. One day I will make it there.

Once I landed in Vegas, I found that there was a driver and one of the event staff waiting for me at the airport. Once shuttled to the Paris hotel I knew I had a few hours to unpack and work on some pending reviews before dinner at Tom’s Urban about a mile from my hotel in New York New York.

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Le Hotel

While I was waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, I snuck into the casino and used exactly two dollars of my five dollar gambling budget. In truth, I don’t much enjoy gambling and planned to force myself to try to play some slots while I was there. A short time after I fed the machine a few bills I was left with a forced payout of exactly one cent. Way to go Patrick. Awesome.

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Vegas is a tough mistress.

After dinner, it was back to the room at around 11:30 for a bit of sleep before meeting up with the group again at 7:45 in the morning for breakfast and a quick briefing as to why we were there. There were also forms to sign that included a modeling agreement. Does this mean I am a model now? Sweet!

In reality, this form was needed because the whole event was being filmed for promotional purposes.

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Patrick R. the model. Eat your heart out ladies.

After we were done there it was off to the cars to get the group over to Pro Gun Club Vegas for the first day of shooting. We pulled up at about 9 AM to find none other than Rob Leatham and the crew from APEX Professional Solutions waiting for us.

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Rob Leatham gave us a safety brief because he would prefer to not be shot. Not being shot is good.

After a short safety brief from Leatham we put on our provided holsters, loaded some mags up, and were issued the XDm OSP pistol we would be using for the handgun portion of the event.

A quick note about the XDm OSP, there are some things I don’t like, but I don’t have an overall distaste for the guns like I do their older brother the XD. The OSP did shoot reasonably well during the short time I spent on the range with it, I would like to spend some time with a 9mm variant to see if it something I could work into my collection or if the pistol just isn’t for me.

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XDm OSP with a Trijicon RMR mounted.

As you might imagine, not being able to shoot a pistol too well and having limited experience with a RDS on a handgun was pretty apparent to Rob. He started working down the line, correcting issues he saw based on several rounds we fired at our own pace. I will talk more about how he worked with each shooter than needed coaching in the last installment of the event coverage.

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Rob pulling the trigger while the student aims.

Next up was some simple draw from the holster drills on the timer where we would draw, fire, and reholster. Then we moved to draw, fire on one target, transition to another target and fire, then reholster.  After some coaching from Rob, my shooting improved quite a lot.

When Rob walked down the line to check on my process I heard “How’s he doing, is he suckin … Woah my god! Why don’t you just do that, forever?!?” and my friend Bryan with APEX quickly claimed to have shown me how to do that.

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All in the A zone, nice and tight.

Once we had run through the pistol drills, it was a break for a good BBQ lunch at the clubhouse. After we were properly full we headed over to the shoot house to configure our rifles with some quality accessories.

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Once we were done there it was back over to the range to zero both of our new rifles. Like I said in part one, the rifle shot tiny little groups with my mediocre semi-supported position. Much better than it should given its sub-thousand dollar MSRP.

It took some of us a while to get our rifles dialed in, some because they were not very good with a rifle, others like myself because someone (Cough Steve Cough) played with the elevation knob before we got over to the range to zero.

Sight in 2

After everyone was hitting where they needed to be, we were told that the next bay held a surprise. We were told to bring gloves and our MRO rifle.

They set something up called “Popper Palooza.” Springfield acquired 100 poppers from Action Targets and set them up in a semi-circle. We were then given 120 rounds in 4 mags to knock them all down while being timed by Rob Leatham.

Photo courtesy of Funker Tactical.

Photo courtesy of Funker Tactical, I was too excited to take one.

Given I have never shot competition or taken an instruction class, I expected to be on the slow side. I volunteered to go first to get past the embarrassment of sucking, I also wanted to shoot while the sun was still high enough to give me good light.

The rules were simple, 120 rounds to knock them all down and a 10-second penalty for any popper left standing.

Much to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I was able to knock all 100 poppers down in 67.47 seconds with 4 rounds remaining. Even more surprisingly I remained in first place all the way to the end. Most other writers were shooting times of 80 seconds plus, some over 100. The very last shooter stepped up to the line and burned out a time of 61.xx seconds and finished with one round remaining.

Damn. Still proud of myself, second isn’t too shabby when you are talking about 16 shooters who literally make a living working with guns.

For reference, here is the Springfield video with most of the writer’s times.

Since the sun had gone down, there was nothing left to do but go back to the hotel and grab a bite at Beer Garden, wind down, prepare for the next day, and try to sleep. I was going to need it after all, the marketing folks for Springfield warned me that tomorrow held the “holy shit, that is awesome” event.

Check out the Springfield Armory SAINT over at the Defend Your Legacy website HERE.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Beardedrambler

    So this is how they got the gun media fired up over yet another ar15. They built this up way too long. A wheel gun would have been much more exciting.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Hey now. If the rifle sucked, I would have been the first one to say it. Truth is, it turned out to be a decent gun for the money.

      • Malcomr

        You used hand-picked, hand-tuned rifles for a press event. How can you possibly know this?

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          We were assured that they were pulled from the same batch going out to retailers last Friday.

          I will know next Monday when I am back in the office if that is true, the company I work for is getting a bunch in this week.

          • Malcomr

            Roger that

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Actually, a new wheel gun would be interesting. Kimber’s “revolutionary” revolver was over-hyped and a bit of a letdown, but new revolvers are still appreciated. Another AR? Not so much.

  • Mr. Stoner

    Popper Polozza is something I would definitely buy a ticket for! And nice shooting Pat.
    My main question is STILL – what does the acronym stand for… ?
    Springfield Armory “Impingement”… New Tool? Now Trending?
    Semi Auto Impingement (hopefully) Not (too) Late?

    • Mr. Stoner

      My error on the last parentheses, but I may have it!
      Springfield Armory – Impingement Now, Too!

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Thank you!

      I would also buy a ticket to that. I have never wanted a range in my back yard more than now.

      I don’t think it is an acronym, just a name.

      • LumberJaq

        SAINT in all caps….I was really hoping it would be an acronym. Regardless of the name I would still like to see one in person some day. I really enjoy SA products including their Croatian imports. Carried an XD for a long time and it was a great pistol.

  • PersonCommenting

    Rob Pincus is everywhere. I really need to take one of his classes. What exactly does he teach?

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I think right now he’s teaching a counter attack self defense shooting. I never seem to get a clear picture of what he teaches so I’d also like to take his class.

    • Malcomr

      He teaches: “Those who can’t do, teach”.

      • DrewN

        In my experience, folks that are really,really good at things are often terrible teachers.

  • Suppressed

    Part 1 is leading to a “Oops! That page can’t be found” page.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Ill get that taken care of. I went to bed before the links were generated.

      • Suppressed

        It’s working now. Before it was, I tried clicking from the front page on the headline, then on the comments, and finally on the “read more” and none were working. It’s all good now though, thanks anyway.

  • FulMetlJakit

    Living vicariously (digitally) through you my friend.
    Jeremy seems to have given you a “shout out” @ TTAG as well.
    Friends formed from drink are usually good, friends formed from firearms are usually forever.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      He really is a good dude that I am happy to call a friend, even though he works “for the other guys” LOL.

      • thedonn007

        Jeremy S? If so, I have not read that “other” website in a while.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          That is the one!

  • codfilet

    Considering the ominous political climate, I’m surprised SA hasn’t come out with a Mini-14 type rifle to go with their M1A.

    • tsh77769

      A mini-14 using AR mags or Mini-14 mags at a decent price would actually be more interesting than this. The Mini-14 is great, but being over priced and especially the expensive proprietary mags hobble it.

      • Cymond

        Releasing such a rifle would give antis the chance to include it in the ban by name. Ideally, they should develop it and keep it under wraps.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          Hopefully they had the same idea a while ago…

      • codfilet

        I think so,too.

  • I really like those selector markings on the SAINT rifle. Pretty nifty to have the bullet pictograms AND the Fire/Safe writing.

  • Rusty S.

    Great articles, Patrick!

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Thanks Rusty.

  • Dougscamo

    As I was reading through your first scenario, I couldn’t stop the thought from popping into my head and then out of my keyboard…..DAMN, I bet the Jehovah’s Witnesses live hard in your neighborhood!…. 🙂 ….but I’ve been in shoot houses before so I know that you are on high alert….

  • Grant

    Good to meet you Patrick and good shooting!

    Grant

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Good shooting with you as well Grant! Glad to have made friends with you and your kind wife.

      Also, I suck at life for forgetting to mention all the other writers. They all added to the event as well.

      • Grant

        No worries Sir.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    When TFB posted the article a few weeks ago about the mysterious SAINT project, my comment (which was completely a joke) said:

    “It would be hilarious if they were announcing their brand new milspec AR15…”

    It was meant as a joke. I thought the idea was completely preposterous yet here it is. I would have much preferred a 5.56 length action M1A or something in 10mm.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I wants badly to say something snarky.

      • Dougscamo

        Go ahead….everyone else does….

        • Billy Jack

          That you Springfield CEO?

          • Dougscamo

            Nope, I’m a noob….not a retread…..

    • Anonymoose

      They had a 10mm way back in the day. It was called the Omega, and it wasn’t quite a 1911, but a hybrid pistol designed by some now-defunct company in Germany. After that partnership ended Springfield introduced a modified 1911 in 10mm with a Hi-Power-style linkless barrel, and now that has been discontinued as well.

    • AC97

      “5.56 length action M1A”

      You mean the Mini-14?

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Yes but one that can hit the broad side of a barn

        • Twilight sparkle
        • AC97

          Why would you even want a M1 style action?

        • JSmath

          You and two other people in the world want and would actually pay for such a thing.

          Anything based on an M1 action will shoot like crap, honestly. That’s why the Mini-14 sucks, period; Not unless it’s glass-bedded, in which case, enjoy your moderately-fragile pile of crap. What you are really asking for is a new piston gun 5.56 that has the aesthetics of an M1, and nothing more. And if it took MSR mags, I’d probably buy one of those too.

          • George Bevis

            I love how people talk out their ass. Any 580+ series mini will hold its own with any ar in the same ballpark price. Tighten up butter cup.

          • JSmath

            George, you seem to be confused. I know what the mini-14 can do, but I have no delusions about it. Yes, it performs right on par with the AR’s in its price range.

            That is exactly what I am saying.

            He is asking for a forged/milled receiver and a slew of other parts that won’t do anything to actually make the weapon better than a mini when it is other aspects that actually hinder the platform/design.

  • David G

    Very exciting! Did they also unveil the time machine they are using to go back 10 years in time to make this gun relevant?

  • tsh77769

    Another freaking AR? Really? And, being from Springfield it is probably made in Croatia or Brazil. Screw those guys. What a disappointment.

    • Rhesus Feces

      Total let down. I had my fingers crossed for a training system or some kind of ground breaking modularity. A mil spec ar. YAWN

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Everything on the saint is made in the US and assembled by Americans.

  • Beomoose

    Nice shooting, though you had that up till the last shooter

  • ozzallos .

    I’m torn between having SAINT or GRIPZONE stamped on the side of my rifle.
    Somebody please decide for me.

  • Scott Wagner

    Eh. Color me unimpressed. The issues with the handguards and the use of a UTG rear sight just means that there’s another ~100 bucks I’m going to have to sink into the weapon to make it half-way good to go. Their website is long on marketing, short on details. At the end of the day, it’s an entry-level AR of unknown longevity from a company that’s most known for NOT making ARs. I’m all for more AR options, but ultimately it’s like Colt coming out with a middy setup: Too little, too late.

  • thedonn007

    Patrick R. I just saw you on a facebook ad for the Springfield Armory Saint.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Lol, video or banner?

      • thedonn007

        It isna video. At first I saw your face in a crowd, then they had your name on screen and showed a handful of you guys and gal shooting the 100 poppers.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          Sounds like the popper video. That was a ton of fun.