Last year, Springfield Armory rolled out the Saint Rifle. The Saint was well received, but shooters were chomping at the bit for a version with a free-float handguard. Springfield listened, and has now brought to market a Saint rifle with a free-float, 12.5 inch M-LOK handguard. I was recently provided a Springfield Armory Saint for review.
Reviewing an Ar-15 is easy. There are three questions that need to be answered for a proper review. Did Springfield Armory use good parts in the construction of this rifle? Was it accurate, and was it assembled correctly?
Did Springfield Armory use good parts?
From the infographic below you can see that Springfield used military grade steel and aluminum, as well as quality accessories. In my opinion the most important parts on this rifle are the barrel and the bolt carrier group. Springfield used an excellent barrel with a 1/8 twist. 1/8 twists will generally stabilize everything from 52 to 77 grains. The bolt carrier group appears to be military grade and the bolt is made out of 158 Carpenter steel. Springfield also used a suite of high quality, modern accessories.
Is the Saint rifle accurate?
Accuracy testing was done at a private ranch in Central New Mexico. Testing was done in the prone position off a loaded Harris style bipod. For testing I used 55 grain PMC Bronze ammunition, as well as 69 and 77 Grain Federal Premium, GOLD MEDAL MATCH ammunition. The 55 Grain PMC Bronze grouped 1.75 to 2 MOA at 100 yards. The 77 Grain Federal Premium, GOLD MEDAL MATCH ammunition grouped 1 to 1.25 MOA, while the 69 Grain Federal Premium averaged .75 MOA to 1 MOA at 100 yards. Groups could have been tightened up with handloads and a match grade trigger.
Was the Saint assembled correctly?
Military grade parts are essential for an Ar-15 to work properly, but just as important is the actual assembly of the rifle. After test firing the Saint, I took it to my armorers bench to tear it apart, and make sure that it was properly assembled.
Springfield Armory did a very good job with this product. The Saint that I was provided for testing was made with excellent parts, assembled correctly, and was accurate. I would consider the Saint a military grade rifle. I spend a lot of time shooting, training, hunting, and testing gear, and I consider my rifles as consumables. The Saint I was provided for testing meets the quality standards that I require for my personal guns, and the rifle I was sent, will be purchased from Springfield and used indefinitely. If you are in the market for an Ar-15, I highly recommend this rifle.
The Springfield Armory Saint with free float handguard has an MSRP of $1049.
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