[Review] Springfield Saint Victor: Best Sub-$1000 AR-15?

Do you want to hear a slight exaggeration

The AR market is a little crowded these days. 

I mean, let’s be honest, the AR market is chock full of every gun and caliber you could ever want.

Springfield Saint Victor
Springfield Saint Victor

It’s full of furniture, accessories, lowers, uppers, and everything from boomer cringe to post-modern artwork. 

While I wouldn’t change anything about this, I will say as a gun reviewer, and it makes it hard to review an AR model without some kind of hook.

The Springfield Saint Victor doesn’t have a crazy hook, what it does have is an impressive set of features, a lot of extras, and it comes in at a crazy reasonable price

The hook here is that I think the Springfield Saint is that it’s the best sub-1K AR-15 on the market. The MSRP is 1,073 bucks, but when was the last time you paid MSRP for a gun?

Online they can be found for around 900 dollars. After shipping and transfer, that should still be under a grand. 

850
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Table of Contents

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Specs 

The Saint Victor is a standard AR carbine with a 16.1-inch barrel. It’s chambered for 5.56 and uses a standard AR loadout. You’ll find that this gun is very light–only 6 pounds and 9 ounces. 

Springfield Saint Victor
Springfield Saint Victor

The Victor’s barrel has a 1:8 inch twist, and the upper and lower are both made from 7075 T6 aluminum.

It is 35.5 inches with the stock fully extended, and 32.25 inches full collapsed.

Springfield gave it a type III hard coat anodized finish and M4 feed ramps. 

Brilliance in the Basics

Brilliance in the basics is a term I heard a lot in my USMC time.

It’s merely stressing being proficient in the basics because that’s the most important thing to be good at.

I like to apply this idea to AR-15s. 

brilliance in the basics
See? We even found the quote on an inspirational background.

An AR-15 like Brownell’s retro series is cool, but if they don’t work, what’s the point? If it doesn’t hold together, what are you going to do with a big paperweight?

The Springfield Saint Victor is an excellent example of brilliance in the basics. 

From the outside, things start lining up quickly. Springfield staked both the gas key and castle nut. The handguard is appropriately aligned and installed. It’s not moving a hair in any direction. 

The safety
The safety selector

The finish is evenly applied, and the stock and pistol grip are aligned and locked onto the gun. Springfield pinned the gas block rather than hold it on with set screws. 

Furniture wise the gun doesn’t slap on a standard M4 stock or pistol grip. Instead, Springfield tacks on Bravo Company gear that includes the Gunfighter stock and pistol grip.

I love this stock. I typically stick to a Bravo stock from B5 systems, but the Gunfighter is winning me over. 

BCM Gunfighter Stock
BCM Gunfighter Stock–look how beautiful it is!

The handguard is 15 inches long and made from M-LOK, and it lacks a full length i12 o’clock rail. You get a small rail section for a front sight. This rail design makes it quite light but limits rail space.

If you are looking to run a night vision clip-on or another optic extension, this isn’t the gun for you.  

Do you know what the Saint Victor does out of the box that other guns don’t?

Included sights.

Holy crap, is it hard to tack on some sights to my 1,400 dollar MPX? 

Look at them! They’re beautiful! Well, maybe not that, but at least they come with the gun.

The sights are simple but very useable. It has both a fine and wide aperture for easy target engagement at iron sight ranges. 

The Saint Victor comes with metal front and rear flip-up iron sights. These low profile sights mean your gun is ready to go out of the box. It comes with a PMAG as well as a nice little carrying case for the gun. 

Front sight

It’s a great package, and Springfield did an excellent job of ensuring it’s a complete package out of the box. I can’t state how much I appreciate being able to take the fun out of the box and start shooting it without having to buy anything else. 

The Saint Victor also has a standard M16 bolt carrier group that is HPT and MPI tested. What I particularly liked is that the BCG is made from a more robust 9310 steel instead of your usual Carpenter 158.

The Extras 

I’ve mentioned that the gun is great out of the box. I

t’s well put together and lacks a lot of features that would classify the firearm in the budget category. The Springfield Saint Victor goes beyond that and gives you tons of extra features. 

Springfield Saint
Springfield Saint Victor in the wild

As I mentioned, the stock and pistol grip are BCM made Gunfighter models.

The Gunfighter pistol grip has a sharp downward angle that is more comfortable than the A2 nubby grip. It allows you to pull the gun rearward and into your shoulder. 

The grip also has a small storage compartment for the little goods you can store, like small parts, tools, and skittles. 

skittles
Just the basics, y’know?

Gunfighter stocks have a feature I consider very important–it’s beard friendly.

I didn’t grow this hipster beard for guns to pull on it. The Gunfighter stock carefully avoids that. 

I guess it also offers you a solid cheek weld, easy adjustment, multiple sling points, and a robust wiggle free design. That’s all-important too, I guess. It is an excellent stock, and its plenty comfortable. 

Ain’t she pretty?

In front of the stock is a staked receiver end plate with a QD mount, which is a nice little touch. 

The trigger is a nice flat-faced design inside of an enlarged trigger guard for use with gloved hands. The trigger isn’t matched grade drop-in good, but it’s very nice for a stock trigger. I like the flat-faced design and feel it gives me more control over the trigger. 

I’m not sure if it makes a real difference, but flat-faced triggers are more comfortable to me. The trigger components have a NiB coating that makes everything a little smoother. This single-stage trigger is heads and tails above a mil-spec style trigger. 

The trigger
The trigger

The lower is outfitted with Springfield’s Accu-Tite system. This takes the form of a user-adjustable screw located in the lower. It’s adjustable by the end-user and allows you to tighten the connection between the upper and the lower receiver. 

The Accu-Tite eliminates that sloppy fit between an upper and lower. If you’ve ever chosen an upper by company A and a lower by company B, you may have experienced this slop. You can adjust the screw to tighten it more, but this will make it harder to disassemble. 

accu-tite system
Springfield’s Accu-tite tension system (via Springfield)

The good news is mine came from the factory nice and tight, and I can still take the upper off the lower easily enough. 

The M-LOK handguard comes all the way to the end of the barrel, and the muzzle device is the only thing sticking out.

The handguard does allow for that Costa style C-Clamp grip if you like that sort of thing. M-LOK slots run up and down the rail makes it easy to attach accessories wherever you want them. 

It comes fitted with a muzzle brake that reduces recoil.

The muzzle brake has two slots, one larger than the other, and this shoots the gas sideways. It does a fantastic job of reducing recoil and also making your gun very loud.

loud
Really loud.

Way louder than an AR should be.

The muzzle device is efficient, though, and the gun barely moves. It feels like an AR with a 20-inch barrel. Super smooth, low recoiling with minimal muzzle rise. 

Hitting the Range 

AR-15s are typically all pretty much the same when it comes to handling. Recoil, handling, and even triggers all fall within a very standard design and look.

I will say the Saint Victor isn’t exempt from those descriptors. 

The Saint Victor simply does it in a smoother manner. It does have less recoil than most ARs, and the brake does its job. The trigger is more fluid and lighter than MIL-SPEC ARs, and the stock and grip contribute to improving the already awesome AR 15 ergonomics. 

Springfield Saint Victor
Springfield Saint Victor

The real difference between the Saint Victor and most ARs is how lightweight it is. This low weight makes it easier to hold up for more extended periods, and quicker to get on target from a low ready or when transitioning from target to target. 

Once you factor in the lighter single-stage trigger and recoil reducing muzzle brake, the gun is naturally a fast shooter. If the firearm is barely moving, why not pump 3 or 4 rounds into a target? It’s plenty easy to do. The Saint Victor is perfect for action shooting and excels in this role. 

From a practical shooting perspective, this is an excellent defensive rifle. The trigger is just right for a duty or defensive style rifle, while the handguard allows for plenty of modularity, and a light would be a must-have for a home defense rifle. 

Springfield Saint Victor
Springfield Saint Victor

The term “driving the gun” fits this weapon well. The lightweight design makes it easy to transition between targets, and the lack of recoil makes sure you can do so without much difficulty.

Running simple drills like a failure to stop or box drill is simple, and when you move into the more complicated Viking Tactics, 1-5 drill the rifle still excels. 

How About Accuracy? 

While a lot of focus on the modern rifle is all about sexy close quarters shooting, a rifle is made for more than that. A good gun and a good rifleman should be able to take an AR out to 500 yards and hit a man-sized target. 

The Saint Victor excels in close quarters use, and in my experience, it has no problems reaching out beyond 300 yards. That’s the max range I’ve taken the gun out too, and with iron sights, I scored plenty of good torso shots on a standard silhouette target. 

With an optic, I could be even more precise. The Saint Victor is a solid rifle and performs as it should in various roles. Springfield made a formidable weapon with the Saint Victor. 

Upgrades 

The safety, magazine release, and charging handle are all standard AR-15 accessories.

They also represent the few things I’d change on the gun. The rifle doesn’t need any upgrades but could be improved just a bit. 

The charging handle could be larger, mainly when used with optics, so a Radian Raptor would be my first upgrade. 

84
at Brownell's

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The next would be an ambidextrous safety from Battle Arms Development. It is a modular safety that I’m a big fan of. 

75
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I’m not picky about magazine releases, but a more significant release is always easier to engage. The Magpul model is super big, cheap, and I trust Magpul. After that, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

19
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Let’s not forget a Blue Force Gear Sling, a SIG optic, and maybe a Streamlight TLR 1. The magazine is, of course, the red Lancers. Lancers have long been my favorite and the red ones just make it pop. 

By the Numbers

Accuracy 4/5

I’ve fired more accurate AR-15s, but those guns were built from the ground up to be precision guns. I’ve also fired a lot of less accurate ones. For under a grand, this is a lovely and accurate rifle that will perform accurately up close and at extended ranges. 

Ergonomics 4/5

The AR-15 is already a very ergonomic weapon, and the Saint is no different. The stock, pistol grip, trigger, and rail system make it a comfortable and easy to use gun. I have no major complaints, but with a few more upgrades, it can snag five stars. 

Reliability 5/5

I’ve had this gun for months, and it’s been my primary training AR. I’ve used just about every type of round you can imagine without failure, including Tula and Monarch ammo. It eats it all. 

Customizability 5/5

It’s an AR-15, and you can attach a cup holder for God’s sake. 

Bang For Your Buck 5/5

The Victor is the best sub 1,000 dollar AR on the market. It packs a ton of features into an affordable package, and I can get behind that. 

Overall 4.5/5 

Conclusion

The Springfield Saint Victor is an accurate, reliable, and easy shooting AR-15. It’s well built, and the gun is super light and packed with features. I would have no issues recommending it to anyone and my current favorite AR under $1000.

850
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Have you given the Saint Victor a try, or do you want to? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re here, why not dream about how you’d upgrade it with our Best AR-15 Upgrades list!

23 Leave a Reply

  • Jason

    Okay, Springfield as a company aside: Have about 1000 rounds through mine over the past 3 weeks and I've had 0 malfunctions. Grouping is great, and the recoil with the included buffer and spring feels really nice at speed. The only con for me was the charging handle - simple swap, and I always like to swap to my favorite bolt catch. I honestly wanted to find something to complain about but am at a loss. I just enjoy the hell out of this thing and I really don't think there's anything in it's class at this price.

    1 second ago
  • Jacob Patton

    I've always wanted to buy one of these and most gun shops I go to say it's one of the best AR-15s under 1,000. Good review!

    6 days ago
  • Matt

    You conclusion sentence should read either, "I would have no issues recommending it to anyone as my current favorite AR under $1000" or "I would have no issues recommending it to anyone and it is my current favorite AR under $1000."

    6 days ago
    • JB

      Your* Careful with being grammar police.

      6 days ago
    • Lno

      Come on Matt! Go walk your dog.

      6 days ago
  • Joe

    My friend got one of these. I'll say that I'm a bit adverse to springfield because they are a marketing company and don't really make anything. But they do tend to rep quality stuff, even if they lie all the time and say they made it. Their AR's whomever is making them are Amazing value IMHO. Way better than what Colt offers in the price range. They are basically white labeling some Grade A stuff and selling it from a fraction the price. They come with better parts and features than the S&W offerings, the other king of budget ARs. I know I know, PSA people say, they are budget but I don't generally find them to be value... just cheap and in need of lots of upgrades. Similar for Ruger's offerings. I think if you are focused on $ amounts go S&W then if you are really value driven step up to a springfield. If you want pure performance, you got to get a FN, Colt, DD, KAC, PRI, BCM, but they are all starting well above where the springfield offerings top out. I begin from a position of not really liking the springfield brand. But I'm humble enough to say, they are insane value rifles.

    1 week ago
  • Kyle

    What are your thoughts on the edge vs victor for first at AR?

    1 week ago
    • Carter

      Go Victor. I thought about the edge when buy my Saint but it is a few hundred dollars more and I just didn’t like the features as much. Lighter weight is nice but I don’t like the pencil profile barrel on the edge compared to government profile on the victor. Trigger is also better on the Victor. I don’t remember all the specs on both but after a couple months of going back and forth I bought the Victor and have loved it.

      6 days ago
  • john

    How can you give it a 5/5 customizability with this comment from your review: "If you are looking to run a night vision clip-on or another optic extension, this isn’t the gun for you. "

    1 week ago
  • I like it very much, I am even willing to pay $ 2,000 for it,but I can't buy it. Because i am in asia

    1 week ago
  • Mr. LITERAL

    I’d pay a dime for a dozen AR-15s

    1 week ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      3D printing polymer lowers in your home, we might get to that price someday!

      1 week ago
  • Carter

    I bought one of these back in July and have put close to 400 rounds through it. Haven’t had any malfunctions at all. I also got the chance to shoot it at longer distance with the iron sights and was easily ringing the gong at 200 yards. We also took a few shots just shy of 500 yards and were putting shots on the target.

    1 week ago
  • Kris

    Ruger mpr

    1 week ago
    • HQ

      That's exactly what I was thinking. The MPR seems to have every feature listed for the Springfield, a better (IMO) two-stage trigger and enough money left over for a red dot.

      4 days ago
  • Dennis

    I'll pass on anything Springfield.

    1 week ago
    • Michael Butler

      Pretend I’m from Mars—why pass on Springfield?

      1 week ago
      • Scott C.

        It’s due to the fact that Springfield and Rock River Arms (or their lobby group more specifically) supported gun control politicians and a gun control bill in Illinois in exchange for a specific carve out exemption for them both. Since then the CEO has gone on record, apologizing for it, fired the main lobbyist, etc., etc. however, there are a great many people who have not, and likely will not forgive them for that.

        1 week ago
        • Todd Luciano-DeSmith

          That would be a pretty good reason for NOT supporting Springfield. I prefer Windham and my Windham 15. Best rifle I've owned in a long time! Solid!!!!

          1 week ago
  • Wes

    I wanted a Pew Pew Tactical tshirt for Christmas and yall never sent it to me . That makes me a sad sad Panda

    1 week ago
  • Eric

    Why couldn’t it be a .223 wylde chamber.

    1 week ago
  • jeff

    Why not M&P Smith & Wesson?

    1 week ago
    • Carter

      Because it’s $650 and just not in the same ballpark. Not a bad gun, but definitely not as good as this one.

      1 week ago
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