Springfield Saint AR-15 [Review]

You get what you pay for in firearms, we all know that.  But in the ever-evolving world of the AR-15, prices are dropping while quality is skyrocketing for America’s favorite sporting rifle.

You want a quality AR-15 and want to spend under $1000? Then the Springfield Saint might be the rifle for you!

Springfield Armory Saint defend your legacy
Springfield Armory Saint

In late 2016, Springfield joined the competitive and ever-growing market for America’s favorite sporting rifle. 

While many people (myself included) were skeptical of Springfield’s first AR-15, the Saint has proven itself to be a stand-out among entry-level AR-15’s.  You may know Springfield from their famed M1A rifles and 1911’s – both good signs of a quality arms company.

Already looking to purchase my first AR-15, I did what any gun lover on a budget would do: Research

Hours of review videos later, I found myself with a lengthy internet history and some positive assurance about the Saint.  Can a rifle be reliable, accurate, and fiscally reasonable? I just had to find out for myself.

Springfield Saint
My Springfield Saint

Who is it For?

The Saint truly hits a sweet spot with this combination, especially for first time AR-15 buyers or anyone looking for a solid rifle with the availability for personalized modifications.

Best Selling
800
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Fit & Feel

Upon first uncasing my new love, I took special attention to how durable the Saint looked and felt.

I’ve put hundreds of rounds of 55 grain and 62 grain 5.56×45 NATO ammo through it with no malfunctions.  While the Saint is chambered for the 5.56mm round, it will also accept .223 Remington (like all other 5.56mm rifles).

The Bravo Company Buttstock is sturdy yet comfortable, the A2-style front sight gives it a vintage look, and the Nickel Boron bolt carrier slides with ease.

57
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For my first AR-15, I have no complaints.  In addition to shooting it myself, I have also had quite a few friends and first-time shooters experience the ease and enjoyment of the Saint. 

It is simple and straightforward to operate, and the sturdy, but not quite heavy, weight of the rifle minimizes felt recoil.

Comparable Models

If you have access to a firing range with guns for rent, I would definitely recommend shooting as many as you can to get a feel for what you like. 

At least taking a few trips to the gun store to hold the gun, feel the bolt, and test the trigger will ensure a worthwhile purchase.

During my research, these are the other entry level AR-15s I considered.

Specifications

For my fellow gun-nerds out there, here are the key specifications and the numbers to go with them, provided by Springfield.

Size:

  • Length: 32.5” collapsed, 35.5” extended
  • Weight: 6lbs 11oz

Upper:

Springfield Saint Upper
Springfield Saint with Bravo Company handguard and VFG
  • Receiver: Type III Hard Coat Anodized Aircraft Grade 7075 T6 Aluminum Flat Top
  • Barrel: 16″ Chrome Moly Vanadium, 1:8 RH Twist, Melonite
  • Gas System: Direct Impingement Mid-Length
  • Handguard: Bravo Company (KeyMod)

Lower:

  • Receiver: Type III Hard Coat Anodized Aircraft Grade 7075 T6 Aluminum,
  • Trigger: Springfield Proprietary
  • Pistol Grip: Bravo Company Mod 3

By The Numbers:

For those who care less about the numbers and more about the overall review, I’ll sum up the key points you should know before possibly purchasing a Saint.

Reliability: 5/5

I have not had any issues personally! So far I have used your standard, cheap (see the trend here), FMJ ball ammo.  This is one of my favorite aspects of the Saint.  The last thing I want to do is save up for a gun just to spend money on a gunsmith–that is certainly not a problem here.

Accuracy: 3.5/5

With about a 6.25 lb trigger pull, the Saint is a bit better than the standard entry-level AR-15 that normally rocks the infamous MilSpec AR trigger.  When it comes to putting holes in paper, the Saint’s trigger is great. 

The improved trigger helps and 1.5-2 MOA is readily achievable out of the box—or shall I say great quality hard case (keep reading for more details on that).

If you want to improve the trigger further and help your accuracy, then check out what we think are the Best Drop-in AR-15 Triggers.

Looks: 4/5

These days, AR-15 design can get pretty fancy, and yes I’m talking about you Daniel Defense.  The Saint combines the standard A2 look with a sleek a timeless design.

Springfield Saint AR15 Front
Rattlecan paint job really came out nice!

Ergonomics: 4.5/5

Form meets function and sets the Saint apart from competitors like the S&W M+P 15, which can have a bit of a plastic feel.  The BCM handguard features a rougher texture at some points, which lets you use a bit of a tighter grip with your support hand. 

Manipulation is comfortable and natural, while the overall feel is sturdy but definitely not heavy.

Customization: 4.5/5

Something I loved about the Saint before I even bought it was the option to customize.  While it was great to shoot right after swiping my card and filling out the 4473, I knew I wanted to make this gun mine. 

Since purchasing, I have outfitted my Saint with a Vortex Spitfire AR (1x) red dot, which has worked great and was quite easy to zero.  Find the right optic for you in our Best AR-15 Optic 2018 review

I also added a BCM Vertical Foregrip, because why not.  Springfield recently released the Saint in an FDE version, which features the gun community’s favorite tan but better color on the stock, grip, and handguard.  I do admit I was a bit jealous, but a few cans of spray paint cured my jealousy. 

My awesome coworker blended together OD green, grey, and FDE, which turned out to be a great combo that gives it the rugged and war-torn look.

Springfield-Saint FDE
Springfield Saint in FDE

Bang for the Buck: 5/5

It really comes down to how much you want to spend when you’re buying a weapon.  I knew I didn’t want to eat Ramen for a month, but I also wanted a rifle that was going to last and accomplish the necessities. 

While my mom might think differently, purchasing the Saint was a great choice because of its great value and many other great features. 

In addition to a great rifle, you also get an awesome hard case.  While it’s not quite Pelican level, it is certainly better than a cheap Plano, and definitely better than getting a gun in a cardboard box. 

After many hours spent talking with people, reading reviews, and shooting it myself, it seems as though you can’t do better for the price.

Overall Grade: 4.25/5

Yes, I know that’s a super weird number but go with me here.  I would recommend it to a friend, first-time AR-15 buyer, or anyone who wants a solid rifle that will perform without you feeling guilty when the credit card bill arrives.

Conclusion

Springfield Saint
Springfield Saint with FDE, OD Green, and Stealth Grey Rattlecan Paint Job

This is easy to use, easy to customize, great entry level AR-15. Perfect for sporting or home defense, the Springfield Saint lives up to the quality you would expect from Springfield Armory and delivers on the basis that has made the AR-15 one of the most popular rifles today.

Since I bought mine, Springfield has turned the original Saint into its own line.  You can now buy the Free Float Handguard version, the Lightweight Edge, or Pistol with SB Tactical Brace and 7.5” barrel!

Need ammo for your new AR15? Find the best options for the range and home defense in our Best AR-15 Ammo review!

18 Leave a Reply

  • Jake Larson

    Lol. People that say this gun is junk crack me up !! Anyone own a BCM ? If you can compare it with the Saint. It is the same damn rifle, and not just the furniture. is BCM junk ? Hell no it's not and the saint is no different. 5,500 round and have had one failure to extract. My JP rifle that was 3 times the price has experienced the same thing.

    21 hours ago
  • JP

    The first time I shot my new AR Saint the retaining pins for the trigger group backed out. I had put less than 20 rounds through it. When the pins backed out it caused it to shoot full auto for the rest of the mag. I emailed customer service, still haven’t gotten a response for that. Finally got in touch by phone. Sent it in. They replaced the pins. Took weeks to get it back. I’ve probably put about 100 rounds through it. Now the new pins are backing out. I have another Springfield product that I’ve had to send in twice for two different recalls. DONE WITH SPRINGFIELD!!!!!

    3 months ago
  • Steve Simpson

    Recently purchased the SA Saint AR-15 and was finally able to take it out today. I'd like to give my first impressions. I am fairly new to the gun world as I just moved from CA to AZ with only a few guns that were handed down to me from my grandfather, so when I moved to AZ I went a bit crazy buying a new gun each moth for the past three months. First two were handguns (S&W 9mm) but my latest purchase was the Saint. I hate calling it 'The Saint" and have only been saying its my new AR so I don't sound like a fool. So I ordered my SA Saint from the local Bass Pro Shops- Wanted brand new with no other hands on it besides the test fire dude/dudette. Yesterday I field stripped and lightly cleaned it- Rifle came nicely lubricated but a little too much for my standards so I wiped and cleaned then re-oiled. When I bought the gun I also purchased two extra PMAG-30 and a PMAG-40. So glad I did because the PMAG-30 that came with the gun felt a little weak as if it was a mag not suitable for retail sale by itself- Just a hunch I thought. I also added a Vortex SPARC AR red dot sight (love it). So mags loaded and gun cleaned I took it to the range this morning. Let me add that before I ordered the gun, while I waited, and during the time between receiving it and actually shooting; I watched dozens of YouTube videos of how the Saint jams up- Especially that guy that made a three part video about his issues with the Saint and SA. I was a little worried. But I took it tot he range and took it easy- Sighted in my red dot and and took single shots. Didn't want to overheat a new gun- Not sure if it matters but seems like it was a good idea to take it east the first hundred or so rounds. The first 30 rounds went through with no problem- Used the new PMAG-30 I bought separately. Tried to load the PMAG-30 that came with the gun and it would not seat in place- Not sure if it was too hot, so I grabbed my PMAG-40 and it locked right in. Shot three rounds from it then tried the original PMAG- This time it set in fine. Let me add that loading the PMAG that came with the gun felt loose and not that solid but when I loaded the 2nd purchased POMAG it felt much better. I think I might just trash the PMAG that came with the gun. No big deal since I will likely buy 4-5 more mags. Overall the gun ran fine with no jams or issues. None at all- The gun sighted in quickly and was super accurate. The heat plate inside the barrel grip smoked a little after the first 30 shots so I took it a little slower- I am sure it was just the newness burning off and the heat plate getting "seasoned". The trigger weight was perfect too- I actually like it better than my S&W shield weight- I am sure that is comparing apples to oranges but it is how I feel pulling the tigger. So my first impression is HELL YES! I am so happy with my new AR - My only AR actually. The gun is amazing and I love it - Not as much as my grandpa's old 30-30, but very very close! I highly recommend this gun!

    11 months ago
  • Connor H

    Ruger MPR; free floated M-LOK handguard, 18" cold hammer forged QPQ nitride barrel, rifle length gas system, Magpul MOE grip, MOE-SL stock (amazing), and Ruger 452 trigger, a very smooth, ~4lb 2 stage trigger. $650 for the whole rifle. Trigger, grip, and stock ($150+$25+$50) is more than $200 of add-ons to begin with. Beautifully shooting rifle, honestly compares with a $1400 Daniel Defense I have. I recommend nothing but the Ruger MPR to those new to MSR's. I've put 500+ rounds through a Saint. It's a fine, solid rifle, but for the cost, you get a lot more features (free float, rifle gas system, full length top pic rail) for LESS money than a Saint. Just trying to help new buyers. Great review overall.

    1 year ago
  • JRoland

    Delton AR15 ECHO, IMO can't be beat. High quality, super reliable and inexpensive. I paid $399 shipped + $25 FFL = $424..

    1 year ago
  • Jason borne

    When the Saint hit the stores I could not wait to get my hands on I own some Springfield firearms and was excited but because they had not put out such a firearm I decided to wait for a year and see the reviews and until today 2018 February 14th I heard it's still a piece of junk I live here in Nevada where you can shoot before you buy and found it few of the stores do not even allow you to shoot the saint and when I finally did it did exactly what everyone said it jammed every 15 rounds I always see these massive reviews about junk Glocks the junk vp9 and now the junk saint I believe that the people riding these reviews are either being paid by the big companies or have never actually done any real hands on reviews of the Firearms they're talking about going out to the range and shoot in your 10-round magazine does not make it an excellent or superb or reliable firearm so once again do yourself a favor drop a Sig and let me know how it goes

    1 year ago
    • Em Es

      Can't trust a review from someone that doesn't know how to use a period. Geez man.

      2 months ago
  • Carlwinslo

    Springfield can go die in a fire

    1 year ago
  • hogheaven

    Could be wrong but I heard the Saint was made in China? Anyone know for sure?

    1 year ago
    • Collin

      Definitely made in the u.s can speak in 100% assurance

      1 year ago
    • David

      I've heard these rumors also but can't find any basis for them, it also doesn't make sense since Springfield has a major US manufacturing plant and import laws on rifles would make outside production difficult and costly.

      1 year ago
  • Chuck

    Don’t waste your money on a Saint I bought one and immediately had problems with trigger not resetting then after they sent it back to me it wouldn’t extract spent casings so after sending it in again I got it back and had several double fires Sent it in 4th time and demanded either a new rifle or refund so they gave me a brand new one and as soon as it came I traded it for a DDM4V9 soo Happy now

    1 year ago
    • Carter

      How were you able to trade a $700 Saint for a $1700 DDM4V9?

      2 weeks ago
  • Coach

    The Ruger 556 mentioned above is a much better deal when you get it for $475 at Sportsman's Guide. Liked mine so much I bought a second for my son! Have to admit, it I had the funds, I would love to try the Saint.

    1 year ago
  • Kent

    How do define a “good” AR15? I bought a StagArms and Im really happy with it. It seems well built, and I’ve never had a problem with it. Yet, fellow gunners at the range seem to look down on it. I’m curious to hear your thoughts, or anyone else.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      I'm testing a Stag 9mm right now so stay tuned for the full review! It works...so no complaints in that department.

      1 year ago
    • Kevin

      I have had a Stag for 7-8 years now, model 2 flat top. I have not had any problems with it. It eats everything it's fed. I put on a different handguard, BUIS, and trigger in it. It is accurate to 300 yards (longest range I have available) with a Hi-Lux MM2 red dot. I'm happy with it, it's a good little rifle. I have built a few since but it was the first AR I got. I have always thought of Stag's as being solid mid level guns, nothing fancy but good quality.

      1 year ago
      • Kent

        Thank you

        1 year ago
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