Exclusive: Springfield Armory’s New SAINT 5.56mm SBR AR-15s

By Michael O. Humphries

When Springfield Armory introduced the SAINT Series of 5.56mm AR-15 firearms, some said they were too late to the game. Everybody and their uncle was already making ARs, so why should people pay any attention? Well, that thought ignored everything we know about Springfield and their approach to product development. If Springfield is going to make something, they are going to make it right — and make it at a good price for the consumer. If that means coming a little late to the party, then so be it.

The SBR offerings in the SAINT line give Springfield fans a shorty option of the excellent 5.56mm carbine. Images courtesy of the manufacturer.

I’ll admit, even I was a bit lukewarm when I first heard about the SAINTs (and was not taking my own advice from above). I had tested a lot of ARs and owned many more. I was frankly a bit jaded. But when I took the first SAINT out to the range, I realized it was something special. It offered a lot of great features at a price point that was just right. It wasn’t a bargain-basement commodity gun, but rather one with higher-end features at a low mid-range price.

With the success of the first SAINT, Springfield set about expanding the line to include a free-float handguard model, the really cool SAINT Pistol and the SAINT Edge that features numerous upgrades and enhancements over the “standard” SAINT — and all at great prices.

Going Short

Never one to rest on its laurels, Springfield has two new additions to the SAINT line with its short-barreled rifle (SBR) versions of the SAINT free-float handguard (FFH) and SAINT EDGE carbines, with 11.5″ barrels, described by the company as being the best balance between length and ballistic performance for the 5.56mm cartridge.

The SAINT SBR sports an 11.5″ barrel to give you the best balance of compactness and ballistic performance.

The SAINT Edge SBR gives you a shorty 5.56 with a lightweight billet lower and enhanced controls.

The primary difference between the two NFA-restricted SBR models is the standard forged lower of the SAINT and the lightened billet lower of the SAINT Edge. Both SBRs feature free-float M-LOK handguards as well as Springfield’s pinned multi-mode adjustable gas block to allow for suppressed and unsuppressed use. The barrels of the SBRs have a lightweight profile, 1:8″ rate of twist and Melonite coating. Both also feature the Accu-Tite tensioning system to reduce movement between the uppers and lowers.

The new SBR series from Springfield is a great addition to the SAINT series of firearms.

Upgrades to the SAINT Edge SBR over the SAINT FFH include QD mounts machined into the billet lower, ambidextrous 90-degree safety and an extended mid-sized charging handle. In addition, the trigger is a short-reset single stage model unique to the Edge. MSRP on the SAINT SBR is $1,049, and $1,299 for the SAINT Edge SBR.

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