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FOG HORN May 2019 Twobirds Flying Publications Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol Copyright 2019,

FOG HORN

May 2019

Twobirds Flying Publications

FOG HORN May 2019 Twobirds Flying Publications Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol Copyright 2019, Towbirds

Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol

2019

Springfield Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol

By: Sal Palma

Armory’s SAINT™ EDGE 5.56 Pistol By: Sal Palma Springfield Armory was the first U.S. armory established

Springfield Armory was the first U.S. armory established during the Revolutionary War. It was officially closed by the U.S. government in 1968. After its closing, the name Springfield Armory was used by LH Manufacturing; it was its business goal to produce a civilian version of the M14, the M1A. In 1974 Elmer C. Balance, owner of LH Manufacturing sold the company to the Reese family; moving the company from Texas to Illinois. Soon after the acquisition, the Reeses began pistol production, a product line that included the venerable M1911. Springfield Armory continued to grow, expanding its manufacturing and import business. Today, the company retains its Springfield Armory name in honor of the first U.S. armory.

It’s quite an interesting history and a great legacy of producing some outstanding firearms.

So how do you get from the M1911 pistols and 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 by Inca virgins from the temples of Machu Picchu and machining with the precision of a Rolex, etc.

Picchu and machining with the precision of a Rolex, etc. The SAINT was not the hottest

The SAINT was not the hottest game in town but it got you into an AR platform for right around $800 and that was a good thing. However, it also laid the ground work for the introduction of midlevel and high end SAINT models.

The original SAINT was introduced in both rifle and pistol form factors as well as a short barrel rifle (SBR) chambered in 5.56x45 and 300BLK.

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

2019

Since 2016, Springfield Armory has been filling in the SAINT line with the introduction of its SAINT Edge high end rifle in 2017 and more recently its midlevel SAINT Victor offering.

In this review, I introduce Springfield’s SAINT 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. The enhancements usually include, trigger, ambidextrous controls, handguard, buttstock and bolt carrier group. Well, Springfield Armory, hereinafter referred to as SA, has done that for you in the Saint Edge models.

to as SA, has done that for you in the Saint Edge models. Starting with the

Starting with the pistol brace, SA went with the Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace. The company manufactures the finest CQB buttstocks and pistol braces on the market, bar none, by orders of magnitude. M.S.R.P. ranges $359.95 $494.95 depending on configuration.

ranges $359.95 – $494.95 depending on configuration. This is a 4 position brace with QD sockets

This is a 4 position brace with QD sockets port and starboard and measuring 5.375” closed, 6.875” 1st detent, 8.375” 2nd detent, 9.24” fully extended.

detent, 8.375” 2nd detent, 9.24” fully extended. Moving to the lower receiver, the selector is fully

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

Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

2019

approach as a weight reduction strategy, the theory being the less metal the lighter. However, I’m not sure how effective that 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.

finish added a bit of friction that a little wear resolved. SA made the trigger guard

SA made the trigger guard integral with the lower receiver and it’s large enough that operating the pistol with gloves is feasible.

The lower is also fitted with SA’s Accu-Tite™ Tension system. So, if you’re a shooter that likes a tight upper to lower fit, SA has you covered. Adjusting that tension requires removal of the Bravo Company Mod 3 pistol grip to access the Accu-Tite™ screw.

It’s been my experience that upper to lower tension is a shooter peculiarity; AR accuracy is a function of its chamber, barrel and trigger.

accuracy is a function of its chamber, barrel and trigger. Something I ended up adding to

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 calls the Edge’s trigger a Match Single Stage w/ Short Reset modular trigger. I was extremely impressed with it. There is no grittiness whatsoever, no take-up, my review pistol consistently breaks at precisely 4 lbs., no creep and the reset is in fact short at .1”. Not your off the shelf Mil-Spec AR.

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved

Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

2019

Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol 2019 The handguard, a slim free-float design, features the M-Lok

The handguard, a slim free-float design, features the M-Lok mounting system and is a patent pending SA design. Included with the hanguard is a pair of locking tabs and an aluminum forward hand stop. A brief note on the hand stop, it also works extremely well as a barricade stop should you need to fire from a partially covered position.

Removing the handguard requires the removal of 4 T20 screws, two on each side; followed by removing the locking tabs. Once completed, you can simply slide the handguard off the barrel nut.

SA equipped the Saint Edge with a pinned .625 low-profile adjustable gas block. This particular implementation ensures that you don’t accidentally misalign the gas block and that you can appropriately gas the pistol for suppressed use. SA includes the wrench and gas regulator as standard equipment.

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.

SA installed a 10.3 inch thin profile barrel thats 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 pistols barrel length. There’s a rule of thumb that we can apply to help us understand the relationship between barrel length and muzzle velocity. For every inch shorter youll lose about 50 feet per second in muzzle velocity.

Crunching some numbers, M193 (55gr NATO) fired from a 20 inch barrel has a muzzle velocity of 3306 feet per second. Using the same ammunition through the Saint Edge pistol, you can reasonably expect a loss of 485 feet per second resulting in a muzzle velocity of 2821 feet per second. The reduced muzzle velocity will have an impact on terminal ballistics.

muzzle velocity will have an impact on terminal ballistics. The second consideration when using a short

The second consideration when using a short barrel is flash signature. The muzzle blast will be loud and carry a considerable amount of flash and unburnt powder. The remedy for this condition is to use a suppressor, and the SAINT Edge pistol screams suppress me.

a suppressor, and the SAINT Edge pistol screams suppress me. Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved

Springfield Armory’s SAINT EDGE 5.56 Pistol

2019

SA also upgraded the bolt carrier group on the SAINT Edge pistol. The engineers used an enhanced M16 bolt carrier group that is also finished with Melonite®. The actual bolt is a premium 9310 HPT/MPI steel bolt which is superior to Mil-Spec.

My range session can only be described as a satisfying experience. I shot the pistol with an Aimpoint sight, and using the brace.

shot the pistol with an Aimpoint sight, and using the brace. The trigger is absolutely magnificent,

The trigger is absolutely magnificent, I can’t say that enough and the MAXIM brace and buffer system performed extremely well. In fact, felt recoil was comparable to the AR’s I’ve fired with hydraulic buffers. This MAXIM brace is excellent in every respect.

My range session was using Lake City M193 55gr ammunition and as we anticipated the muzzle velocity clocked in at 2706 fps. Any terminal ballistics deficiencies can be readily addresses with different ammunition and bullet geometries.

As expected, muzzle flash was considerable and I would strongly recommend shooting the SAINT Edge pistol suppressed.

In closing, Springfield Armory hit a homerun with the SAINT Edge 5.56 pistol. Without any reservation, it is the best 5.56 pistol on the market. Other than selecting the appropriate weapon mounted accessories, there’s 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 Adjustable

TRIGGER GUARD: Integral to Receiver

PISTOL GRIP: Bravo Company Mod 3

HANDGUARD: M-Lok Aluminum SA Patent Pending Free FLoat w/ SA Locking Tabs & Forward Hand Stop

FOREARM BRACE: Maxim Defense CQB, Adjustable 4- Positions

BUFFER ASSEMBLY: Maxim System

RECEIVER EXTENSION: Integral w/ Maxim System

CHARGING HANDLE: SA Mid-Size

BOLT CARRIER GROUP: Enhanced M16, Melonite®, HPT/MPI 9310 Steel Bolt

MAGAZINE: 1 - 30 Round Magpul PMag Gen M3

CASE: Soft Pistol Case

MSRP: $1,559.00

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved