By Michael O. Humphries
The new Edge in the SAINT line of AR rifles takes an already great rifle and makes it even better without breaking the bank. Images courtesy of Springfield Armory.
The Edge is priced at an MSRP of $1,299, but has features — like a billet lower receiver — that come on much more costly rifles.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Springfield Armory writer’s event in Las Vegas, where they gave us a sneak peek at some really cool new products they have in the works. Some you have seen (click here for a review of the new SAINT AR Pistol), and some we cannot talk about just yet. But one of them was released today, so we wanted to give you a first look at it. That product is the new SAINT Edge, the newest addition to the SAINT AR product line.
I know what you are thinking. “Why should I care about another AR on the market?” I’ll admit I had the same reaction a year back when Springfield introduced the first SAINT — until I shot it. The original SAINT followed a pattern I have recognized with Springfield: While they might not be first to market with a firearm type, they make sure the one they release offers you more than you ask for at a lower cost than you would expect. And the new Edge follows that theme.
The free-float M-LOK handguard covers a mid-length gas system with a multi/mode adjustable gas block.
The rifle weighs a feathery light 6 lbs., 3 oz.
The muzzle is topped off with a proprietary Springfield muzzle brake design dubbed the SA-Lite.
More, For Less
The first SAINT followed the premise that Springfield wanted to make a splash on the AR market by offering a gun that was fine-tuned to just what an AR buyer would want/need. It was not intended as a bargain-basement rifle with bare bones features, nor was it meant to ring out at the top-end of the price range with every possible (and possibly unneeded) accessory and feature available. It was a sort of “just right” Goldilocks approach to the design, and I for one was really taken by it. In fact, I bought one for myself right after the introductory event (and I already have more ARs than I know what to do with, if that means anything).
The 5.56mm Edge doubles down on this concept, taking the SAINT and packing it in with more upgrades and features, but still keeping the price reasonable. While the first SAINT priced in at an MSRP of $899 and the follow-up model with a free-floated fore end priced at $1,049, the new Edge is priced at $1,299. But what you get for a extra few hundred dollars far outweighs what you are spending.
First and foremost, let me point out one feature of the Edge that I noticed as soon as I hefted it at the Springfield event — it is light. Very light. It comes in at an empty weight of 6 lbs., 3 oz. and features an attractive and ornately machined billet 7075 T6 aluminum lower receiver (with the Accu-Tite system from the original SAINT ensuring a tight fit between the upper and lower receivers). The upper is a flat-topped forged 7075 T6 aluminum receiver, and folding sights come with the rifle.
Inside the lower receiver is a new modular match short-reset single stage trigger. Let me boil all that spec’ish jargon down to my impression when I got behind that trigger on the range. It is a good trigger. In fact, it is an excellent trigger. And its modular drop-in design just begs for it to be sold as an accessory part.
Under the proprietary Springfield free-floated handguard (M-LOK design) is a mid-length gas system with what Springfield calls a multi/mode adjustable gas block. The 16″ barrel is a slim profile to help minimize weight, and is topped off with Springfield’s new SA-Lite muzzle brake. The barrel itself is Melonite coated and has a 1:8″ rate of twist.
Folding back-up iron sights come standard on the SAINT Edge.
Mike really liked the Edge and was particularly impressed by its great trigger.
The billet lower of the Edge is a real looker, and Mike — a southpaw — really appreciated the ambidextrous safety.
While I did not have the opportunity to really wring out the Edge with a full test, I was able to spend some time with it on the range and was very impressed. As noted earlier, it has a great trigger. The muzzle brake really kept muzzle rise down, and the light weight made it a pleasure to shoulder. It ran like a top through all my shooting, and it was pretty darn accurate on the Action Target steel plates Springfield had set up for us to use.
I am really looking forward to getting the opportunity to put this rifle through a full test. It is right in line behind the SAINT AR Pistol I also have on order. And trust me, those were not the only two winners we saw at the event, so be sure to stay tuned for when we can talk about all the other cool stuff we saw!
Also, Springfield has a great promotion going on right now where you can enter for the chance to win an Edge for yourself. Visit www.GetYourEdgeGiveaway.com to enter. To learn more about the Edge, check out: