You are on page 1of 6

FOG HORN May 2019

Twobirds Flying Publications

Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.


2019
Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol

Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE It’s quite an interesting history and a great
legacy of producing some outstanding firearms.
5.56 Pistol
So how do you get from the M1911 pistols and
By: Sal Palma
M1A rifles to AR platforms branded Saint?

I have to admit that the “Saint” brand intrigued


me, so I asked a company representative for
some perspective on management’s decision to
create the Saint brand. Well, I’m still waiting for
a response, but a theory that I’m going to
advance in this review comes from Catholicism.
The Church associates a belief in Saints with
guidance and protection. The Catholic Church
teaches that Saints should be emulated in life
and prayed to for guidance and protection. So,
what could constitute better marketing than to
call Springfield Armory’s exceptional AR rifles
“Saint”?

The SAINT, Springfield’s initial entry into the AR


space, was introduced Q4 2016 - some call that
period the height of the AR market. The SAINT
was an entry level offering at a time when
manufacturers were advertising barrels made
Springfield Armory was the first U.S. armory by Inca virgins from
established during the Revolutionary War. It the temples of
was officially closed by the U.S. government in Machu Picchu and
1968. After its closing, the name Springfield machining with the
Armory was used by LH Manufacturing; it was precision of a Rolex,
its business goal to produce a civilian version of etc.
the M14, the M1A. In 1974 Elmer C. Balance, The SAINT was not the hottest game in town
owner of LH Manufacturing sold the company but it got you into an AR platform for right
to the Reese family; moving the company from around $800 and that was a good thing.
Texas to Illinois. Soon after the acquisition, the However, it also laid the ground work for the
Reeses began pistol production, a product line introduction of midlevel and high end SAINT
that included the venerable M1911. Springfield models.
Armory continued to grow, expanding its
manufacturing and import business. Today, the The original SAINT was introduced in both rifle
company retains its Springfield Armory name in and pistol form factors as well as a short barrel
honor of the first U.S. armory. rifle (SBR) chambered in 5.56x45 and 300BLK.

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.


2019
Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

Since 2016, Springfield Armory has been filling Starting with the pistol brace, SA went with the
in the SAINT line with the introduction of its Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace. The company
SAINT Edge high end rifle in 2017 and more manufactures the finest CQB buttstocks and
recently its midlevel SAINT Victor offering. pistol braces on the market, bar none, by orders
of magnitude. M.S.R.P. ranges $359.95 –
In this review, I introduce Springfield’s SAINT
$494.95 depending on configuration.
Edge pistol, the company’s high end 5.56 mm
AR pistol, introduced 4Q 2018.

The question most shooters will want to answer


is why should they pay $1,559 M.S.R.P. for the
SAINT Edge pistol when they can purchase the
SAINT pistol for $1059 M.S.R.P? Are the
upgrades really worth the additional 500 clams?
That’s a very personal decision that only you
can make but let me tell you why I would rule in
favor of the SAINT Edge.

As most AR aficionados know, their rifles


undergo a makeover after the initial purchase. This is a 4 position brace with QD sockets port
The enhancements usually include, trigger, and starboard and measuring 5.375” closed,
ambidextrous controls, handguard, buttstock 6.875” 1st detent, 8.375” 2nd detent, 9.24” fully
and bolt carrier group. Well, Springfield Armory, extended.
hereinafter referred to as SA, has done that for
you in the Saint Edge models.

Moving to the lower receiver, the selector is


fully ambidextrous and features a long arm so
there’s no need to break your grip in order to
operate the safety.

The lower, is a “skeletonized” machined billet


receiver; SA appears to have taken this

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved


2019
Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

approach as a weight reduction strategy, the It’s been my experience that upper to lower
theory being the less metal the lighter. tension is a shooter peculiarity; AR accuracy is a
However, I’m not sure how effective that function of its chamber, barrel and trigger.
strategy is relative to manufacturing costs.

The magazine well was also given a different


look with a v-cut. Again, I’m not sure what
impact on weight this has but it does have some
artistic flare.

While on the magazine well, as soon as I


unboxed the Saint Edge pistol, I tried running
through a couple of empty magazine changes
and experienced a number of sticky magazines,
with steel mags. That condition was temporary
and disappeared with use. I think the magazine
well finish added a bit of friction that a little
wear resolved.

Something I ended up adding to the SAINT Edge


pistol is Magpul’s B.A.D. (Battery Assist Device).
It makes locking and releasing the bolt much
easier and faster. It’s very much worth the $20
or so that you pay.

SA made the trigger guard integral with the SA calls the Edge’s trigger a Match Single Stage
lower receiver and it’s large enough that w/ Short Reset modular trigger. I was extremely
operating the pistol with gloves is feasible. impressed with it. There is no grittiness
whatsoever, no take-up, my review pistol
The lower is also fitted with SA’s Accu-Tite™ consistently breaks at precisely 4 lbs., no creep
Tension system. So, if you’re a shooter that likes and the reset is in fact short at .1”. Not your off
a tight upper to lower fit, SA has you covered. the shelf Mil-Spec AR.
Adjusting that tension requires removal of the
Bravo Company Mod 3 pistol grip to access the
Accu-Tite™ screw.

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved


2019
Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

SA installed a 10.3 inch thin profile barrel that’s


Melonite® treated inside and out. Rifling is a 1:8
right hand twist, so it will stabilize anything
from a 55gr to 77gr projectile. It’s important to
note a couple of very important points when
dealing with pistol size barrels.

First, your muzzle velocity will be considerably


lower given the Saint Edge pistol’s barrel length.
There’s a rule of thumb that we can apply to
help us understand the relationship between
The handguard, a slim free-float design,
barrel length and muzzle velocity. For every
features the M-Lok mounting system and is a
inch shorter you’ll lose about 50 feet per
patent pending SA design. Included with the
second in muzzle velocity.
hanguard is a pair of locking tabs and an
aluminum forward hand stop. A brief note on Crunching some numbers, M193 (55gr NATO)
the hand stop, it also works extremely well as a fired from a 20 inch barrel has a muzzle velocity
barricade stop should you need to fire from a of 3306 feet per second. Using the same
partially covered position. ammunition through the Saint Edge pistol, you
can reasonably expect a loss of 485 feet per
Removing the handguard requires the removal
second resulting in a muzzle velocity of 2821
of 4 T20 screws, two on each side; followed by
feet per second. The reduced muzzle velocity
removing the locking tabs. Once completed, you
can simply slide the handguard off the barrel will have an impact on terminal ballistics.
nut. The second consideration
when using a short barrel
SA equipped the Saint Edge with a pinned .625
is flash signature. The
low-profile adjustable gas block. This particular
muzzle blast will be loud
implementation ensures that you don’t
and carry a considerable
accidentally misalign the gas block and that you
amount of flash and
can appropriately gas the pistol for suppressed
unburnt powder. The
use. SA includes the wrench and gas regulator
remedy for this condition is to use a suppressor,
as standard equipment.
and the SAINT Edge pistol screams suppress me.
Aiming the pistol is accomplished via any rail
mounted accessory or the included BUIS. The
iron sights are a flip up SA accessory. The rear
sight features two aperture sizes and is
adjustable for wind in ½ MOA increments. The
front sight is also a spring-loaded folding design
adjustable for elevation in ½ MOA steps.

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved


2019
Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

SA also upgraded the bolt carrier group on the As expected, muzzle flash was considerable and
SAINT Edge pistol. The engineers used an I would strongly recommend shooting the
enhanced M16 bolt carrier group that is also SAINT Edge pistol suppressed.
finished with Melonite®. The actual bolt is a
premium 9310 HPT/MPI steel bolt which is In closing, Springfield Armory hit a homerun
with the SAINT Edge 5.56 pistol. Without any
superior to Mil-Spec.
reservation, it is the best 5.56 pistol on the
My range session can only be described as a market. Other than selecting the appropriate
satisfying experience. I shot the pistol with an weapon mounted accessories, there’s
Aimpoint sight, and using the brace. absolutely nothing that a prospective buyer
need do to this pistol. The only thing I’d like to
see is a SAINT Edge 300 BLK pistol; hopefully
that will happen going into SHOT SHOW 2020.

-SP

Manufacturer Specifications

 CALIBER: 5.56x45mm (.223 REM)


 LENGTH: 24.6" Collapsed / 28.5" Extended
 WEIGHT: 5 lbs 11.5 oz
 UPPER RECEIVER: Forged Type III Hard Coat Anodized,
7075 T6 Aluminum
 LOWER RECEIVER: 7075 T6 Billet w/ Accu-Tite™
Tension System
 BARREL: 10.3" Lightweight Profile CMV, 1:8 Twist,
Melonite®
 GAS SYSTEM: Carbine Length .625, SA Low-Profile
Adjustable Gas Block
 TRIGGER: SA Match Single Stage w/ Short Reset
 SIGHTS: Front: SA SPring Loaded Flip-Up, 1/2 MOA
Elevation Adjustable, Rear: SA Spring Loaded Low
Profile Flip-UP, Dual Aperture Sight, 1/2 MOA Windage
The trigger is absolutely magnificent, I can’t say Adjustable
that enough and the MAXIM brace and buffer  TRIGGER GUARD: Integral to Receiver
 PISTOL GRIP: Bravo Company Mod 3
system performed extremely well. In fact, felt
 HANDGUARD: M-Lok Aluminum SA Patent Pending
recoil was comparable to the AR’s I’ve fired with Free FLoat w/ SA Locking Tabs & Forward Hand Stop
hydraulic buffers. This MAXIM brace is excellent  FOREARM BRACE: Maxim Defense CQB, Adjustable 4-
Positions
in every respect.
 BUFFER ASSEMBLY: Maxim System
 RECEIVER EXTENSION: Integral w/ Maxim System
My range session was using Lake City M193  CHARGING HANDLE: SA Mid-Size
55gr ammunition and as we anticipated the  BOLT CARRIER GROUP: Enhanced M16, Melonite®,
muzzle velocity clocked in at 2706 fps. Any HPT/MPI 9310 Steel Bolt
 MAGAZINE: 1 - 30 Round Magpul PMag Gen M3
terminal ballistics deficiencies can be readily  CASE: Soft Pistol Case
addresses with different ammunition and bullet  MSRP: $1,559.00
geometries.

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved