Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

Photos by Jeff Jones

Last year, I built up my ultimate AR pistol in 5.56 NATO. Except for a slight difference in barrel length, the new SAINT Edge Pistol from Springfield Armory is virtually identical to the gun I built for myself.

Springfield doesn’t use the words “best” or “ultimate” when talking about the SAINT Edge pistol, but I sure got that impression looking at it. I checked with Springfield and was told, “The Edge is our top tier in the SAINT family and is designed to give the user everything they need on a defensive rifle/pistol, right out of the box.”

Springfield-Armory-SAINT-Edge-Pistol-3
All sorts of extras and upgrades come with the SAINT Edge pistol, including a custom bolt carrier and exclusive flip-up sights.

I think they’ve succeeded in their goal. When looking at all the features, this seems to me to be the best AR pistol for the money on the market.


The SAINT line was born three years ago with Springfield’s entry into the AR-­15 market. What started with a basic Mil-­Spec rifle has grown into 10 variations based on the SAINT platform. It includes one with a free-­floating barrel inside an aluminum handguard, a short-­barreled rifle (SBR), the Saint Pistol with a 7.5-­inch barrel and a fixed SBX-­K arm brace, and the SAINT Edge rifle, which is the Saint platform maxed out for performance. Now comes the SAINT Edge Pistol, a completely different animal than anything else they make.


On The Edge


The original SAINT pistol was available in 5.56 NATO and .300 BLK, but currently, the Saint Edge pistol is only offered in 5.56 NATO. It sticks out in Springfield’s SAINT catalog because of the excellent brace it wears — the Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace — which I believe is the best AR pistol arm brace on the market.

The Saint Edge pistol sports a lightweight profile and a 10.3-­inch chrome moly barrel, which is Melonite-­coated and has a 1:8-­inch twist. The barrel is the heaviest part on an AR-­15, and a thick barrel is absolutely not needed in an AR pistol.

I know you’re probably saying right now, “But with a thin barrel, your zero will shift when it gets hot!” Trust me, in a defensive situation where you’ve fired so much ammo that the zero on your barrel has shifted at all, the bad guys will be so close that tiny change in zero won’t matter. Meanwhile, you’ll appreciate the fact that this pistol is short and light — just 5 pounds, 11.5 ounces — with the center of gravity in the middle of the magazine well.


The barrel is tipped with a standard A2 flash hider and has a carbine-­length gas system. The barrel is .625 inch at the gas block, and the low-­profile gas block is an adjustable model of Springfield’s own design. Best of all, it is pinned in place. The enhanced M16 bolt carrier group is finished with Melonite, just like the barrel.

The barrel is free-­floated inside an aluminum handguard roughly 9¼ inches long. The handguard has M-­LOK attachment slots all around and comes with a small aluminum hand stop mounted at the front. Both the handguard and hand stop are Springfield designs.

Springfield-Armory-SAINT-Edge-Pistol-1
With the Edge pistol, you get a good-looking lower made from billet aluminum sporting a uniquely contoured magazine well.

Check out the stylized billet lower receiver. I’m not sure who started doing this kind of lower first, but a lot of the semi-­custom AR shops (like Battle Arms Development) are producing them, and you’ll pay $250 for just a stripped lower. There are stylized inlets in the side of the receiver as well as slots cut into the integral, oversize triggerguard. You’ll see screws on either side of the receiver, holding the trigger and hammer pins in place, as inside the lower receiver is a drop-­in cassette-­type trigger unit — Springfield’s Match single-­stage trigger.


I can’t tell you how many $1,500 ARs I’ve tested that have had basic triggers. The standard AR trigger pull is 6 to 7 pounds and is usually gritty, which is a technical way of saying it sucks. Any AR that costs over a grand (much less $1,500) shouldn’t have a trigger pull that sucks. The Match unit in the Edge Pistol, on the other hand, provided a nice, beautifully crisp 3¾-­pound, single-­stage pull with a very short reset.

Since this pistol is so light, I decided to stay that course and top it off with the lightest red dot I have, a Trijicon adjustable LED RMR with their quick-­detach (QD) riser mount.

Maxim Defense PDW Brace

In both looks and functionality, the Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace is indistinguishable from the best personal-­defense-­weapon (PDW) stock on the market, which is also made by Maxim. Actually, that’s not totally true. In function, Maxim’s pistol brace is superior to their stock. Not only can you stick your arm through it and use it as a brace, but when shooting it off the shoulder, the rubber brace portion doesn’t slip. It’s so good, some customers are buying the brace to put on their rifles and SBRs.

Springfield-Armory-SAINT-Edge-Pistol-4
The four-position adjustable Maxim Defense pistol brace is one of the best on the market.

The Maxim Defense is a four-­position brace, and you can pull it open with one hand. It has a QD sling-­swivel socket on either side, just behind the receiver. This brace has a shorter-­than-­Mil-­Spec proprietary buffer tube. As a result, it has a smaller buffer and a stronger buffer spring, which requires a little more effort to work the charging handle than with a standard AR. Bought separately, this brace retails for $395.

The first day I brought the SAINT Edge pistol to the range, my intent was solely to have some fun. I’d brought along a lot of loaded magazines and blew through 150 rounds in about 10 minutes, until the oil on the gas block was smoking and the end of the handguard was too hot to touch. The ammo I fed it was a mixed bag of loads consisting of Winchester and Frontier 55-­grain FMJ (5.56 NATO), some Hornady steel-­case .223 Rem. and Black Hills’ 5.56 NATO 50-­grain Optimized TSX, which is my preferred defensive load in ARs with barrels shorter than 16 inches. No matter the load, the pistol ran perfectly.

Springfield-Armory-SAINT-Edge-Pistol-2

Close to Perfection

I don’t know if there’s a better AR pistol than the SAINT Edge. But I know there isn’t one for this price. This pistol is as close to perfect as any company is likely to come. The only thing I don’t like about it is the long lever on the right side of the safety, as it pokes my trigger finger. Considering it only takes about five minutes to swap out a safety, my complaint is almost inconsequential.

Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a nice black nylon case with magazine pouches? Like I said, this really is the best deal for the money. 

SAINT EDGE PISTOL
Type: Direct impingement, semiautomatic
Cartridge: 5.56 NATO
Barrel: 10.3 in.; 1:8-in. twist
Overall Length: 24.6 in. (collapsed), 28.5 in. (extended)
Weight: 5 lbs., 11.5 oz. (tested)
Handguard: SA with included handstop
Brace: Maxim Defense CQB
Grip: Bravo Company Gunfighter
Finish: Type III hardcoat anodized
Trigger: SA Match single stage; 3.75 lbs. (tested)
Magazine: 30-round PMAG
Muzzle Device: A2
Sights: SA flip-up (front), SA low-profile flip-up (rear)
MSRP: $1,560
Manufacturer: Springfield Armory
springfield-armory.com


Recommended for You

Michael Janich of The Best Defense talks about various air guns that and their usefulness during different disaster scenarios. Personal Defense

Air Guns: Useful Weapon and Tool in Disaster Situations

The Best Defense

Michael Janich of The Best Defense talks about various air guns that and their usefulness...

The APX Carry is a 9mm striker-fired, polymer framed single-stack pistol designed for “ultra concealment”. NRA Show

The Beretta APX Carry

G&A Digital Staff - April 29, 2019

The APX Carry is a 9mm striker-fired, polymer framed single-stack pistol designed for “ultra...

Accuracy testing a rifle begins with building a good shooting position. Too often, shooters so focused on shooting and what's happening at the target that they never learn how to create a solid shooting foundation. Without that foundation, we introduce accuracy-degrading variables into our marksmanship. Here are some rifle accuracy testing tips to get you headed in the right direction. How-To

How to Accuracy Test a Rifle, Part One

Tom Beckstrand - July 14, 2016

Accuracy testing a rifle begins with building a good shooting position. Too often, shooters so...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other. Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

Here's the latest competitive intel on the what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why. Rifles

The Top ARs in 3-Gun Competition Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on the what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready. Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

See More Stories

More Handguns

In response to the immense popularity of the SAINT Victor and SAINT Edge pistols, Springfield Armory is pleased to announce the new SAINT Pistol in 5.56mm. Handguns

Springfield SAINT 5.56 Pistol: First Look

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - October 14, 2019

In response to the immense popularity of the SAINT Victor and SAINT Edge pistols, Springfield...

Smith & Wesson's Performance Center enhances a 4-inch-barrel M2.0 Shield and gives us the goods. Reviews

Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Shield Review

Chris Cerino - October 21, 2019

Smith & Wesson's Performance Center enhances a 4-inch-barrel M2.0 Shield and gives us the...

Attention Collectors! Walther has released the PPK/S First Edition; the one-time run is limited to only 1250 units, serial numbers 101-1350. Handguns

Walther First Edition PPK/S Pistols Announced

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - September 04, 2019

Attention Collectors! Walther has released the PPK/S First Edition; the one-time run is...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×