Gun Review: Springfield SAINT AR-15 Pistol — A Compact Powerhouse
Last year, one of the oldest gun companies in the U.S., well known for its’ world-class pistols, entered the AR-15 market. While this may cause only a minor stir in some corners, the firearms industry as a whole did a double take. When a company that started making guns in 1794 and spent the next 150 years supplying firearms for every major American conflict makes an AR-15, you better take a closer look. The SAINT was officially launched in 2016 and was a major hit. Riding that wave now, Springfield has gone to the next level and made a gun for an ever-growing market. Say hello to my little friend — the SAINT AR-15 pistol.
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The new SAINT AR-15 pistol maintains the same quality and reliability of its larger brother but only in a pistol format. The AR pistol market has been growing steadily and Springfield has made a gun that will certainly be a leader in this category. This compact blaster is a great choice for a truck gun, home defense or “just because.” Coming in at only 26.5″ and weighing a light 6 lbs. it is a fast handling problem solver to say the least. “The new SAINT pistol delivers high precision and proven AR-15 capability in handgun form,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “We’re always looking for new ways to give our customers more shooting options, and more firearm for the money. The SAINT AR-15 Pistol does both, and then some.” The new SAINT AR-15 enters the pistol category by utilizing a comfortable SB Tactical SBX-K forearm brace. SB Tactical has led the charge in making AR pistols an easier to run and ATF friendly platform. Their brace is a great part of this entire package.
You can buy the SAINT AR-15 pistol on GunBroker.com.
The gun has a short 7.5″, 416R stainless steel barrel with a 1:7 twist. It is Melonite treated to be harder and more accurate than chrome. This is one of the major perks of the AR pistol platform. The gun is small, light and fast. Springfield has taken all of the popular features of their full-size gun and moved them into this small fighter. The exclusive Springfield Armory free float handguard is very slender and comfortable. It comes complete with locking tabs and features a forward hand stop. One of the most notable is Springfield Armory’s Accu-Tite tension system that increases the tension between the upper and the lower receivers, ensuring an ideal fit. With this design there is no rattle or sloppy fit.
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Both the upper and lower receivers are forged Type III hard-coat anodized 7075 T6 aluminum. One of the most striking features of the pistol is the unique muzzle device. Springfield calls it a blast diverter and that is a pretty good name. The unique design pushes sound, concussion and debris forward towards the target thus minimizing what the shooter experiences. The gun comes with a precision-machined M16 bolt carrier group made from Carpenter 158 steel, shot peened and magnetic particle inspected and finished in super-hard Melonite. The trigger is a GI single stage that has been enhanced by Springfield and nickel boron coated. It sits inside a Bravo Company trigger guard. The system also includes a smooth-operating heavy tungsten buffer system, low-profile pinned gas block, GI style charging handle, and Bravo Company Mod 3 pistol grip that have all been well proven in the full-size SAINT rifle models.
“Coming in at only 26.5″ and weighing a light 6lbs. it’s a fast handling problem solver to say the least.”
The proof of things though is in performance and that is what range day is about. I mounted a Trijicon MRO onto the SAINT AR-15 Pistol and went out to punish steel and paper. While I could have benched the gun to demonstrate accuracy, it would not really be a true representation of what the gun is about. If you own this gun, I highly doubt you will be sitting behind a sandbag shooting groups. With that being said it was time to get moving.
The AR-15 pistol takes a rifle caliber weapon and puts it in a very small package. The small package is very quick to bring into a fight as well as manipulate. It was these characteristics I wanted to explore on the range.
First up was a simple snap up drill on steel at 25 yards. The SAINT AR-15 Pistol excelled at this and several things were noticeable. First was the trigger. While it was technically a standard Mil-spec duty trigger, it was very clean and smooth. When Springfield said they had improved it, they weren’t joking. The next noticeable point was the muzzle device they have installed on the SAINT. Its unique design works as advertised and kept this potentially barky gun at bay. One quick note is that even at 5 yards, the forward blast on paper was pretty significant. At three yards it blew the target off the backer. The pistol proved itself to be reliable as well. It dutifully ate and ran every bit of ammo I fed it during our time on the range.
The MRO was a solid addition to the gun as it allowed me to very quickly acquire my target and then move to the next one. Being able to shoot with both eyes open made this small speed demon even faster. At the end of the day we had a bucket full of brass and a gun still ready to go. With a bigger ammo budget — we would probably still be out shooting.
While some would say that the AR market is full right now, I would say there is always room for high quality products. Springfield has made a name for themselves as serious gun builders. Their history is impressive and if they bring anything to market, it is certainly worth a serious look. The SAINT AR-15 pistol is a well made and a solid addition to their line. The SAINT AR-15 pistol is a small lightweight fighter that brings much more punch than its size would suggest. If you are looking to add an AR pistol to your armory, the SAINT AR-15 pistol is certainly worth a long hard look!
SAINT AR-15 PISTOL SPECIFICATIONS:
- CALIBER: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 REM)
- WEIGHT: 5lbs 8oz. WITHOUT MAGAZINE
- LENGTH: 26.5″ OVERALL
- UPPER & LOWER RECEIVER: FORGED TYPE III HARD COAT ANODIZED, 7075 T6 ALUMINUM WITH ACCU-TITE™ TENSION SYSTEM
- RECEIVER END PLATE: SA WITH QD SWIVEL MOUNT POINT
- BARREL: 7.5″ 416R STAINLESS STEEL W/ A 1:7 TWIST, MELONITE® TREATMENT
- MUZZLE DEVICE: SA FORWARD BLAST DIVERTER
- GAS SYSTEM: DIRECT IMPINGEMENT PISTOL-LENGTH GAS PORT WITH A LOW PROFILE PINNED GAS BLOCK
- TRIGGER: SA PROPRIETARY ENHANCED NICKEL BORON COATED GI SINGLE STAGE TRIGGER
- TRIGGER GUARD: BRAVO COMPANY TRIGGER GUARD
- PISTOL GRIP: BRAVO COMPANY MOD 3
- HANDGUARD: M-LOK ALUMINUM SA PATENT PENDING FREE FLOAT WITH SA LOCKING TABS AND FORWARD HAND STOP
- FOREARM BRACE: SB TACTICAL – SBX-K
- BUFFER ASSEMBLY: CARBINE “H” HEAVY TUNGSTEN BUFFER
- CHARGING HANDLE: GI STYLE
- BOLT CARRIER GROUP: ENHANCED M16 BCG, MPT, MELONITE® FINISH
- MAGAZINE: 1 – 30 ROUND MAGPUL PMAG GEN 3
- MSRP: $989.00
For more information, visit www.springfield-armory.com