Springfield Armory Saint Review: An Excellent Entry-Level AR-15 [2022]

Looking for your first AR-15? Check out our review of the Springfield Armory Saint, an excellent entry-level rifle....

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Springfield Armory Saint Review: An Excellent Entry-Level AR-15 [2022]
ImageProductPrice
springfield armory saintSpringfield Armory SaintCheck Price
Sig Sauer M400 TreadAlternative – Sig Sauer M400 TreadCheck Price
Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport IIAlternative – Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport IICheck Price

Introduction

I honestly have a hard time calling the Saint an entry-level AR-15. It seems to fall in that category if you’re just looking at the specs. However, shooting the Saint side-by-side with a few other entry-level ARs, it stood out as the most well-balanced and solid rifle.

This specific Saint rifle is the most budget-friendly out of the Saint line. Springfield did a great job ensuring the basic features and more were still covered while providing us with an affordable Saint model. Let’s dive into what makes the Springfield Armory Saint such a popular AR-15.

Springfield Saint Review

springfield armory saint

Specifications

Caliber5.56 NATO/.223 REM
Capacity30 Rounds
Length32.25 to 35.5 Inches
Barrel Length16 Inches
Barrel Twist1:8
Upper ReceiverForged 7075 T6 Aluminum
Lower ReceiverForged 7075 T6 Aluminum
Bolt Carrier GroupM16 w/ Carpenter 158 Steel Bolt
Weight6 Pounds 11 Ounces
SightsFlip-up Sights
HandguardBravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) M-Lok

In the Box

Have you ever seen the memes online where a person buys a new gun but is more excited about the sticker that comes with it? Well, those people would be ecstatic if they bought the Saint because it comes with a PVC patch! I collect patches, so I was excited to see that it came with one, but the rifle definitely had me more excited.

Springfield Armory Saint
I’m a sucker for patches! I was glad to see that the Saint came with a soft rifle case and a patch.

But in all seriousness and more importantly, the Saint comes tucked away inside of a nice Springfield soft rifle case with a 30-round Magpul PMAG. You’ll also find the standard firearm lock, documentation, and the like, but the soft case and PMAG are appreciated. 

Features

As I mentioned, Springfield did a fantastic job ensuring all of the basic features were covered and then took some a step further. For example, you’ll find Bravo Company Manufacturing furniture, where many ARs at this price point will have the basic A2 pistol grip and the basic six-point adjustable stock. I’ll get into each one of those in more detail later, but it shows that there was a ton of thought put into the rifle, both from a performance and aesthetics perspective. 

Springfield Armory Saint
You won’t find the super basic furniture on the Saint, like you would with some others at this price point.

Handguard

I love this handguard. While I wish it was longer, it was a great choice overall made by Springfield. The handguard is the BCMGUNFIGHTER PMCR (Polymer M-Lok Compatible Rail) from Bravo Company. It’s relatively lightweight, and has aggressive texturing and multiple M-Lok mounting slots. One of my favorite aspects of the handguard is the small hand-stop at the end to stop you from sliding your hand too far forward. 

Springfield Armory Saint
I found the Bravo Company PMCR handguard to be extremely comfortable while shooting.

Sights

I hate when rifles don’t come with back-up sights. The Saint isn’t one of those firearms luckily, and happens to be outfitted with Springfield’s spring-loaded flip-up sights. You can adjust them for windage and elevation like most other flip-up sights and they are low-profile when folded down. 

Even though I’m used to the Magpul flip-ups, the Springfield ones were very easy to get used to and adjust. The rear flip-up sight has distinct white increment markings so it’s easy to see while you’re adjusting them.

Springfield Armory Saint
Springfield did a great job ensuring these flip-up sights were low-profile and easy to adjust.

Stock

The stock is also made by Bravo Company (BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 0) and is marketed as the strongest lightweight polymer stock available for mil-spec receivers. I can’t speak to the longevity yet, but it definitely feels sturdy and durable. 

It has a snag-free design to avoid getting caught on your gear while maintaining the must-haves like QD mounting holes. I don’t find it to be the best-looking stock out there, but it’s definitely better than the standard. 

Springfield Armory Saint
The stock is one thing I would consider swapping out, purely due to aesthetics. That’s just a personal preference though.

Grip

Long story short, I love this grip. It’s another piece of furniture from, you guessed it, Bravo Company. It’s their BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 3. It has great texturing, a hinged trap door for storage inside the grip, and a reduced angle for better ergonomics. 

If there was one thing I’d change about it, I’d probably make it a little bit wider since I have large hands, but that’s a personal preference. Overall, it’s a really nice grip.  

Springfield Armory Saint
The BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 3 grip has a cap to securely store things like batteries or a couple extra rounds inside.

Magazine

If you already have an AR, you probably have a ton of Magpul PMAGs. Well, you can add another to your collection if you buy a Saint, because it comes with a 30-round Gen M3 PMAG. This specific PMAG is one of my favorite polymer mags on the market, so I was glad to see one when I opened the bag. 

Trigger

Springfield went with a nickel boron-coated single-stage trigger on this rifle. It’s super smooth and has a nice crisp reset. Right around six pounds is where most people find the trigger pull to be, which without a trigger gauge at the moment, at least feels pretty spot on. For a stock trigger, this one definitely suffices.

Springfield Armory Saint
The nickel boron coated trigger really stands out since the rest of the rifle is black.

Controls

I’ve had a lot of good things so far to say about the Saint, but the controls are where my main complaint stem from. I’m a right-handed shooter, but I still feel that every rifle should be ambidextrous. I know the changes are easy to make, but it would have been nice to have ambidextrous controls from the start. But, they work as they should and I don’t have any complaints about their functionality. 

Springfield Armory Saint
Unfortunately, no ambidextrous controls on the Saint, unless you go for one of the upgraded models.

The Finer Details

While aesthetics play an important role for most of us, the finer details of the rifle should be even more important. In case you skipped over some or all of the specs earlier, there are a few key aspects of the rifle I want to go over and expand on to highlight the durability. 

The forged upper and lower are 7075 T6 aircraft aluminum and Type III hardcoat anodized for superior weather resistance. The Saint’s bolt carry group also has a Carpenter 158 steel bolt with a Melonite treatment throughout. 

A more unique feature to help reduce wear on the parts and to improve accuracy is the Accu-Tite Tension System. It essentially allows the shooter to tighten the upper and lower receivers to remove any wobble between them. All of this should help improve the longevity of your rifle.

Range Report: Reliability and Accuracy

I’ve been having so much fun shooting the Saint. I’ve only been able to shoot 180 rounds through it so far, but I haven’t had a single issue. When I test rifles, I tend to shoot a wide range of loads through them to see how they handle them. I’ve shot 55gr FMJ 5.56 rounds, 62gr Green Tip 5.56 rounds, and even a few 45gr JHP .223 rounds

They all cycled great, and I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot any of them again. The recoil proved to be well mitigated and it’s a very smooth shooting firearm. 

Springfield Armory Saint
My first trip out with the Saint was at a local 25-yard indoor range. It was nice to have the range to myself that day!

I captured my first 25 rounds through the Saint, at distances between 20 and 60 feet. I had a little bit of over-correcting happen with a few rounds at the 50 and 60 feet mark, but overall my groupings were three inches or less. 

The next range trip was to my favorite outdoor range and after a few magazines, I was easily ringing 8” gongs at 45-50 yards and a full size silhouette at 100 yards. For the gun being new to me and my first time using these iron sights, I’m happy with that accuracy. 

Springfield Armory Saint
These were my first 25 rounds through the Saint. These groupings were with no adjustments to the flip-up sights.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Reliable
  • Upgraded Furniture
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No Ambidextrous Controls

Accessories

ImageProductPrice
strike industries mod 1Strike Industries MOD 1Check Price
holosun hs403c Holosun HS403C Check Price
vortex optics crossfire Vortex Crossfire Check Price

AR-15s are some of the most modular and versatile firearms available. You can swap out individual parts, add accessories or even swap out entire lowers or uppers. To keep things simple, let’s discuss a few add-on accessories. 

Stocks

There is nothing wrong with the BCM stock that comes on the Saint, but there are many great options out there that have a little bit more “sex appeal”, in my opinion. If you’re looking for a solid minimalist stock, check out the Strike Industries MOD 1. But, if you’re like me and like your AR to have more of a substantial one, take a look at the Hogue OverMolded collapsible stock. 

Optics/Sights

I wouldn’t swap out the iron sights if I were you, they are good to have on as a backup and work perfectly fine, but I definitely would add a quality red dot. A couple that are worth exploring and won’t break the bank are the Holosun HS403C and the Vortex Crossfire. Either can typically be found under $200!  

Alternatives

Sig Sauer M400 Tread

Sig Sauer M400 Tread

The M400 Tread is similar to Saint in the fact that you’ll get a ton of upgraded furniture included at a great price. But, you also get ambidextrous controls, which is a huge bonus.

Sig Sauer M400 Tread

It comes with a very cool three chamber compensator and also a single-stage polished/hard-coat trigger. You’ll likely find one right around the same price as the Saint, at least during normal economic times. 

Sig Sauer M400 Tread

Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport II

Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport II

A huge bang for your buck, you’ll typically find the M&P15 Sport II at a lower price than both the Saint and M400. You won’t get the fancy furniture, but you will get a very reliable and accurate AR-15 with a proven reputation.

Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport II

I’ve actually had one for several years and have put thousands of rounds through it, with very few issues. I have recommended them to quite a few friends who also wound up having good experiences with them. 

Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport II

Final Thoughts

The firearms industry has been getting so competitive, that even these entry-level AR-15s don’t give you that particular impression. The Saint is a great rifle at a great price. Springfield’s attention to detail shows with the impressive parts and features that they decided to include. For the money, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many other comparable AR-15s. Whether you’re looking for a home defense firearm, a 3-gun competition rifle or a simple range toy, I think you’d be pleased with choosing the Saint.

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Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.

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