Gun Review: Springfield Armory SAINT Victor AR-15 Rifle

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The AR 15 market is quite crowded, and admittedly it can be a dull market to browse. At this time, there aren’t many surprises left out there. What you can look for is innovative systems like BCM’s new upper, or you can try and find the best bang for your buck.

This article is about the latter. The Springfield Armory SAINT Victor is not a budget AR or a high-end model. It’s a moderately priced AR platform rifle that offers a lot of features at a modest price.

It slides in at under a grand street price and seems to be well worth it. The SAINT Victor is just one AR in a very big market, but I can appreciate a few of the rifle’s distinct features.

The SAINT series is comprised of the basic SAINT, the SAINT Victor, and the SAINT Edge. The Victor sits firmly in the middle of the SAINT series in both price and features. Before we get too far into this review, the Victor has two things I appreciate from any rifle company.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

Give me sights, damn it. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The first is mother-flippin sights. I have rifles from SIG that cost well over a grand, and they don’t even come with sights. Springfield includes front and rear low profile flip up sights. They are perfectly suitable for shooting of all types. Gun companies need to include sights with their rifles.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

The SAINT Victor’s dual aperture rear flip up sight. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Next, the gun comes in a cardboard box. But in that box is a simple soft case. It comes with two magazine compartments and a large central area that’s perfectly fitted to the carbine. Again, most guns just come in a plain box, even at higher price points, it’s just usually just cardboard and foam.

The SAINT Victor – Ergonomics

The Springfield Armory SAINT Victor is a standard, modern AR-15 in all ways. It has a 16-inch chrome moly vanadium barrel with a 1:8 inch twist rate. The rifle has an adjustable stock, M-LOK handguard attachments, etc. What sets the rifle apart is the quality of those parts and pieces attached to it.

The stock trigger guard and pistol grip, in particular, are excellent. These are Bravo Company parts from their BCMGUNFIGHTER series. The stock is BCM’s Mod 0 model which has QD mounts (there’s also one on the lower’s end plate). It’s robust, allows for a lovely cheek weld, and it doesn’t pull at the beard hairs either.

The pistol grip has less rearward cant and is more accommodating to the shorter LOP of a carbine compared to the old A2 grips. BCM furniture was a great choice.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The M-LOK rail is ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight. It lacks a 12 o’clock rail (or M-LOK attachment points) save for a small portion at the muzzle end where the front sight is mounted. You can get a solid grip on the rail and go full Hailey/Costa C-clamp grip should you so choose.

It also makes the barrel end very well balanced with the rest of the rifle. The downside of a light rail system is that they tend to heat up quickly, and this gun does just that.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

The SAINT Victor’s chrome moly vanadium barrel is Melonite coated inside an aluminum free-floating handguard. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

After a hundred rounds fired rapidly, the rail is pretty toasty. Getting to 150 rounds forces, you slow it down or put gloves on.

The rifle is a light weight 6 pounds,  9 ounces. Like most AR platform rifles, it’s a comfortable weapon and very ergonomic. After a long day of shooting and training, I can be appreciative of that relatively low weight.

The trigger is an excellent flat-faced design that is consistent and very smooth. It’s a single-stage trigger, and it’s nickel boron coated. It’s not as good as a decent aftermarket drop-in trigger, but it’s far better than a standard mil-spec trigger.

It’s about six pounds and nice and smooth with a positive reset. There is some creep to it, and you’ll feel during a slow and deliberate trigger pull.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

The SAINT Victor features a mid-length low profile gas system. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Some stuff is standard, like the safety and charging handle as well as forward assist, bolt lock, and magazine release. The only change I would make is the charging handle. I like a bigger, beefier handle, especially if I’m wearing gloves.

The Little Things

The differences between a budget AR and a nice AR are often small, and looking over the Victor, and you see some of those differences. The castle nut is staked, so is the gas key on the bolt carrier group. The gas block is pinned rather than using set screws. The Melonite coated BCG is HPT/MPI tested and made from 9310 instead of old 158.

Accu-Tite System

The lower also has something Springfield calls the Accu-Tite tension system. This is an internal, adjustable device that is there to reduce the play between upper and lower receivers. I’m familiar with this play and remember a friend’s M4 having quite a bit of slop, but I haven’t run into outside of the military.

I’m also not sure if a little play affects accuracy or function in any meaningful way. Nick Leghorn asserted it does not, and I’m prone to trust him on that. The Accu-Tite adjustment screw is located in the lower and is adjusted by removing the pistol grip and using an Allen wrench to tighten it. If you don’t like the play, this can eliminate it.

The downside to this is it makes taking the rifle apart more difficult. I didn’t mess with it as I found the SAINT Victor receivers were already pretty damn solid.

On the Range with the SAINT Victor

An AR-15 is an AR-15, right? When reviewing one, you have to look for the little differences for it to matter. One of the most noticeable with the SAINT Victor is the included SA Muzzle brake. It’s a two-ported brake that does an excellent job at reducing recoil and making the rifle controllable for follow-up shots.

It’s kinda neat shooting something like a Mozambique drill and feeling such a high degree of control on such a light weapon. It works and it’s an enjoyable experience. My typical experience with AR-15s is heavy ARs hardly recoil, and lightweight rifles tend to handle roughly.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

The Springfield SAINT Victor’s SA Muzzle Brake (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The SAINT Victor is also plenty accurate. At 100 yards in a simple prone position, I was printing sub-1-inch groups with my Nikon ProStaff 5 2.5-10X. I used Federal 62 grain ammunition, and it reached out and made a nice little patterns. The combination of a decent trigger and a very supportive stock help a lot. You can get an excellent cheek weld on the gun with the BCMGUNFIGHTER stock.

The SAINT Victor is plenty accurate with just the supplied iron sights, which I used for the vast majority of my shooting. I found them to be perfectly adequate. The flip-up spring-loaded nature makes the sights quick to access, and they fold down very low for a clear sight picture when using an optic.

Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The Springfield Armory SAINT Victor is plenty reliable. I haven’t experienced a stoppage while shooting it yet. It’s been hit with Tula, Monarch, Federal, and Wolf Gold, and it ate it all without complaint. The single included Magpul P-MAG magazine is reliable, as we all know.

An AR is only as good as the sum of its parts contrasted with the sum of its cost. The ratio between a reasonable price and decent components here is pretty damn good. As far as ARs go, the SAINT Victor is a well-built design that costs less than a grand and comes packed with some very nice features.

Armscor Ammunition

Specifications: Springfield Armory SAINT Victor

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Overall Length: 35.5 inches fully extended
Weight: 6.9 pounds
MSRP: $1,073 (street price about $850)

Ratings (out of 5 Stars):

Ergonomics * * * *
The AR-15 is an already a wonderfully ergonomic design. Springfield’s choice of high-quality BCM parts for the SAINT Victor is a nice touch, as is the rifle’s light weight, low profile rail system. The flat trigger is also a nice touch. The only downside is how hot this little fella gets.

Accuracy * * * *
It’s not a precision rifle, but it’s capable of shooting better than 1 MOA. For an AR-15 carbine that costs under a grand, that’s a good thing.

Reliability * * * * *
It goes bang and keeps going bang without issue.

Looks * * *
It’s pretty much a standard-looking AR-15. It’s plenty attractive with its slim M-LOK rail, and BCMGUNFIGHTER furniture. That vast engraved billboard logo on the lower bothers me, but it’s not a big deal.

Bang For Your Buck * * * * *
Other gun companies should take notes. Include sights and something more than a cardboard box if I’m spending close a grand on your gun. Factor in the rest of the features and the high quality of the parts and the SAINT Victor calculates out to a great value.

Overall * * * *
The SAINT Victor is a great rifle. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s very competently built, feature-filled and affordable. Its niche in this overly crowded AR-15 market is offering a very good gun at a reasonable price.

comments

  1. avatar former water walker says:

    Never a Springfield for this ILLinois resident!

    1. avatar BIL from ill says:

      Same here. Never another Springfield piece of crap. They screwed us over big time in Illinois.

      1. avatar Sprungfield says:

        #NeverSpringfield

        #SSaintSucks

        The SSaint was born and aggressively advertised under the Stalinist rule of Springfield upper management. The tree of liberty must prune traitors including Springfield at the gates of gunshop counter (and internet sales).

    2. avatar Biatec says:

      Yes they can shove it. Rock river arms too

      1. avatar Chicken Wing says:

        What did RR do?

        1. avatar Biatec says:

          They owned the lobby group with spring field armory and okayed gun control if they had a carve out.

        2. avatar Chicken Wing says:

          Thanks biatec. Didn’t know they were in on it. The stuff I had seen at the time was the SA political donations and their lobbying stuff. RR seems to have gotten off for some reason. Maybe because they’re already doing bad?

        3. avatar Biatec says:

          lol maybe.

        4. avatar Red in CO says:

          They probably had some involvement but they’re a smaller company so I’d imagine it was primarily SA who did the damage. Also, Rock River simply stayed silent when that all came to light while SA very loudly issued several conflicting statements and blatantly lied to us so they got most of the flak.

          Which is a damn shame. I own a Rock River AR (purchased pre betrayal and also used, so they didn’t get a penny) and it’s an absolutely fantastic rifle. I’d like to recommend it to people but I simply can’t do so in good conscience

      2. avatar Hans says:

        Hear, hear, Biatec!! All of their production
        belongs in a museum or in a punch press.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      Grow up

  2. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Thanks for the thorough review.

    Love me those Lancer mags. Red and purple make good stocking stuffers … if you can find them in stock.

    Maybe I’m missing something but the new BCM new upper seems like an evolutionary, relatively modest step. Arguably innovative, I suppose, but not something that makes a major difference for most of us. Kind of like, um, colored magazines.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Photo shows Travis Pike modeling the Saint without eye or ear protection. Odd for a pro-gun review of a battle rifle platform.

      1. avatar Sprinkgfelild says:

        The photos are as fake as Springfield patriotism. Where is the clenched fist of truth when we need it.

  3. avatar Sarcastro says:

    Apparently the current spot price is about $850 for thirty pieces of silver.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      $850 for 30? You need a different source my friend. Spot + 3 is the max I’ve ever paid for Eagles. Generally spot + 2.50 is normal…

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Unless you’re going for the biblical play…

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Which I think was his point. Hence his username “Sarcastro”.

      2. avatar Hans says:

        16v, Ag spot would require about 42 pieces of silver.

  4. avatar Chicken Wing says:

    Don’t worry fellas! The CEO of Springfield just had no idea what his paid lobbyist was doing for Springfield as a lobbyist. Rogue lobbyists are an epidemic! It was just pure luck that Springfield was protected from harmful anti-gun legislation by the actions of their paid lobbyist. If you guys can’t believe the CEO’s “Oops!” excuse you just don’t know anything about real business.

    Sincerely,

    J.A. Bootlicker

    1. avatar KenW says:

      What’s with the Farsi?

      1. avatar Someone says:

        It’s a link to this guy’s web store. He posts meaningless comments or simply copies them from other commenters to get free exposure for his business.

  5. avatar George WashingtonGl says:

    Oh well….I can’t turn my back on a manufacturer over some obscure laws that don’t immediately affect me…. Although, whatever they’ve done to the residents of their own state has apparently pissed them off pretty good… so I won’t condone whatever they’ve done either ..
    As long as their not making sub standard 1911’s, I would love to have one of those along with a Garand….

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      When the issue came to light, SA fired the lobbyist and worked actively to kill the bill. When it did pass, over SA lobbying, there was no carve out. Everybody got screwed.

      I bought to SA 1911s this year, a used GI model and an EMP package. I’m not apologizing for it either. If some of you want to carp about it a couple of years later, whatev. Each to his own.

      1. avatar Springfield sucks says:

        Traitor! SA was the lobbyist. Be sure to vote demon-crat at the next election.

      2. avatar Someone says:

        Mark, I bet you don’t live in Illinois. The bill would most likely get killed right away if not for promise of “no opposition” from these companies. You are also conveniently forgetting to mention the donations they paid to known anti gun Democrat politicians. Some of us in Land of Lincoln still hold grudge.

  6. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Oh goody, another AR…
    I think I’ll just stick to my tried and true 14yr old DPMS AP4…

  7. avatar StuckInIllinois says:

    Hard pass. FU SA.

  8. avatar Rick O’Chet says:

    Springfield Armory? No, thank you.

  9. avatar Ironhead says:

    Nope.

  10. avatar Don Ward says:

    I’m only here to read the comments trashing Springfield.

    1. avatar JW says:

      I’m only here to read the comments left by those reading the comments trashing Springfield.

  11. avatar Springfield sucks says:

    I would choose death over giving one dime to Springfield Armory. I would at least be dying with some dignity.

  12. avatar Red says:

    The first is mother-flippin sights.
    I didn’t mess with it as I found the SAINT Victor receivers were already pretty damn solid.
    The ratio between a reasonable price and decent components here is pretty damn good.

    Exactly how does the above foul-mouthed comments help in the evaluation of this firearm? Apparently, a product of the public schools who believes this is normal. This guy calls himself a writer?

    1. avatar Someone says:

      Writer writes as he feels it. It’s up to the editor to decide the level on which he wants to hold his blog. I for one still miss Israeli super models.

  13. avatar PNW_Grunt says:

    I never cared for any AR15 till I put my hands on one of these victor’s. I was impressed enough I bought it, and its a real dream to shoot. The only thing I’m not thrilled with is the trigger pull weight, its gotta be up in the 8# range. Other than that I’m looking foward to seeing how a set of JP springs and my hand loads affect the accuracy.

  14. avatar JUst4FunLP says:

    I don’t know about all this political bs. It’s kind of hard for me to imagine a firearms company knowingly working against gun owners…

    I put 70k rounds through an XDm. Beat the hell out of it, and they fixed it twice with no charges, no questions asked, and paid for shipping both ways. I’ve carried an XDs for years and have put quite a lot of rounds through it as well. It’s NEVER had a hiccup.

    Now, after years of pistol shooting I finally broke down and bought an AR. And after years of shopping I decided on the Victor and I expect I’ll enjoy it for many years. I plan on shooting he crap out of this thing…

  15. avatar Simon Laurent says:

    Noticing all the ratchet-up chat at the beginning, I just have to ask. WTF are you all talking about? Can just one person get off their living room soapbox and explain what happened. It it’s just about whining because gun companies come under pressure from politicians and politically correct notions of no AR’s then it’s really just whining. What were the issues and what happened.
    Why assume we all spend hours online following every false trope from the Trumpet, or Pelosi-style lies. A lie, is a lie: they go halfway around the world before truth gets out the door. We live in a place that they ( the two-party government) all feel that weapons should be out of the hands of the working people.
    Yes, we all are working people because you wouldn’t be here looking at a Springfield weapon, you would be over at the H & K, Sig websites and opening your fat wallets for a high end weapon: like an expensive trapshooting shotgun from Beretta or beyond.
    Just give us the facts and go vent at the local bar…
    BTW- for under $1000, and yes I own what started life as a California model, it’s pretty good IMO. It started to get modified within a month of entering my house… If you had to put up with all the BS in California laws and stupid rules, you would already be in an insane asylum.
    Don’t get me fired up. Stick to the facts. No outfit could be worse than the Remlin company: how many did they layoff or Beretta either in that marvelous manufacturing area known as Nashville. No wonder the product has issues there because management only cares about profits, not the assemblers’ standard of living.

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