It was just 4 months ago at the NRA Show that Springfield Armory announced their new offering of a SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol. After listening to their customers and taking in a lot of critical feedback they made a lot of small modifications to the original model chambered for 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. This updated pistol is better suited for being suppressed and so is the cartridge it is chambered in.
In this TFB Review, we get the NEW Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol to the range to see how it performs. We will shoot it suppressed and with the standard, factory flash hider. In the end, we hope that you have a better understanding of what this AR-15 Pistol is and is not. Then, you can decide for yourself if this is something you will need to add to your own arsenal in the future.
Specifications: Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol
This AR-15 Pistol is strikingly similar to their original SAINT Pistol chambered in .223 Rem/5.56 NATO which is not surprising. Some of the biggest changes surround the muzzle and the handguard. One complaint or frustration people experienced with the original SAINT AR-15 Pistol was the blast diverter was inside the handguard. This is only a bad thing if you want to suppress your pistol; otherwise, it is not a problem at all.
So while much of the specs on the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol remain the same you have some modifications to the muzzle and its associated handguard length. The complete listing of the specifications for this new pistol can be read below as presented by Springfield Armory:
- Upper Receiver: SA Forged Type III Hard Coat Anodized Aircraft Grade 7075 T6 Aluminum w/ Forward Assist
- Lower Receiver: SA Forged Type III Hard Coat Anodized Aircraft Grade 7075 T6 Aluminum w/ Accu-Tite™ Tension System
- Barrel: 9″ CMV .300 Blackout w/ Melonite® Treatment & 1:7″ Twist Rate
- Gas System: Direct Impingement Pistol-Length Gas Port w/ Adjustable Gas Block
- Trigger: SA Proprietary, Nickel Boron Coated GI Style
- Trigger Guard: Bravo Company
- Pistol Grip: Bravo Company Mod.3
- Handguard: M-Lok Aluminum SA Proprietary T6 Type III Hard Anodized Aluminum
- Forearm Brace: SB Tactical SBX-K
- Buffer Assembly: Carbine “H” Heavy Tungsten Buffer
- Receiver Extension: SA Pistol T6 Type III Hard Coat Anodized Aluminum
- Bolt-Carrier Group: Enhanced M16 Melonite® Finish, MPT, 9310 Steel Bolt
- Charging Handle: GI Style
- Overall Length: 27.75″
- Weight: 5 Lbs. 9 Oz.
The current MSRP for the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol is benchmarked at $989. It comes with a soft side case, owner’s manual, cable lock and one 30-Round .300 Blackout Gen M3 PMAG magazine (silencer and red dot not included… that’d be nice though, right?).
Pre-Range: Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol
Before heading to the range and making brass pour out of this thing like a water fountain, you should always inspect and familiarize yourself with your firearm; so I did. These might seem like very simple checks, but they are essential. The first thing I looked at is the buffer tube nut. If that is not staked that is typically a bad sign of things to come. With the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol it was firmly and properly staked in place.
Next, I personally look over the handguard (especially on free-floated ones) as well as the muzzle. With a simple A2 flash hider, you will want to check that it has the vents or ports directed up which this one was. With the handguard, you want to ensure that everything is resoundingly tight. Nothing should have the faintest amount of wiggle or play in it. This pistol was spot on.
The gas block appeared to be square and true to the barrel. No obstructions were visually in the barrel or chamber. The trigger dry-fired just fine. Manually cycling the bolt-carrier group was smooth and devoid of problems. After popping open the hood or taking the upper off of the lower to inspect the inside of the lower receiver everything looked fine as well.
From a purely visual and function test standpoint, everything looked good to go for a potentially great day at the range.
Range Day Part 1: Springfield armory saint 300 blackout ar-15 pistol
When I got to the range I had quite the buffet of .300 AAC Blackout ammo to shoot through the SAINT AR-15 Pistol. This was all courtesy of Barnes Bullets and Remington Ammunition. So THANK YOU very much to the great men and women at both of those companies who helped fuel our range day and this review for all of us.
I immediately put my silencer on the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol because that is what silencer owners do. If something can be suppressed… consider it suppressed. To begin with I shot some of the Remington UMC .300 AAC Blackout 120 OTFB (Open Tip Flat Base). The felt recoil while shooting suppressed was noticeably light. It was very comparable to .223 Rem/5.56 NATO un-suppressed. While shooting suppressed it did have a tiny bit of gas blowout through the ejection port which was to be expected. I have personally experienced much worse gas blowback from suppressed .223 Rem/5.56 NATO, 9mm and .45 ACP rifles. Another element I really liked is just how quiet it was with virtually no muzzle rise.
Moving on I tried a box of the Barnes Range AR .300 AAC BLK 90 GR OTFB. I slammed home a magazine, flipped the switch, and POP… POP… POP… click! Click? What just happened?… I look at the chamber and a round was still in the chamber (it had not extracted and ejected) and another round was coming out of the magazine and crushing into it.
This looked bad. It was definitely a buzzkill. So I dropped the magazine and attempted to manually cycle the bolt-carrier group a few times to see if I could extract it. No dice… The firing pin had hit the round, but very faintly?… I attempt to shine a light down the bore without entirely muzzling my face and the bullet appeared to still be in the casing.
I have enough tools in my car to re-build an AR-15 and possibly a car, but I did not have anything to punch out this stuck round. So the range day was temporarily over.
Back at the gun bench: Springfield armory saint 300 blackout ar-15 pistol
Once I got back to my gun bench from leaving the gun range I got to work. In a few very optimistic attempts I tried manually cycling the bolt-carrier group, but like last time no such luck kicking out the naughty round. Then, I inserted a cleaning rod with a cupped tip to push the round out. With a gentle tap of my palm, the round fell out like it was no big deal.
Then, I inspected the round and it looked like it had a fair amount of speckling; reminiscent of moisture or water damage. I looked at the rest of the ammo from that specific box and all of the rounds had very light speckles. The round that had gotten stuck was by far the worst.
I then looked at the chamber and it had a bit of the speckling as well after the stuck round remained in there overnight (roughly 12 hours). Everything else on the gun looked great. The bolt-carrier group upon a deep inspection looked good. The Magpul magazine looked perfect. The feed ramp was clean.
My best guess is somehow the hot gun paired with the rounds that had moisture exposure was a bad mix. The only thing to do was thoroughly clean the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol and give it another go. I still had rounds left to shoot and I did not form many thoughts yet.
Range Day Part 2: Springfield armory saint 300 blackout ar-15 pistol
The next time I got out to shoot was a few days later. Different weather, different range, same gun. After a morning of grouse hunting near the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, I found a gravel pit in which to pull out the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol and give it another go.
It was overcast and raining when I began loading my first magazine. In a very theatrical fashion, the rain began to come down harder the closer I got to finishing the magazine and inserting it into the pistol for Round 2 of testing (cue suspenseful Quentin Tarantino background music). Insert. Safety off. Acquire target. POP, POP, POP!!!
The entire magazine fired without a single hiccup. Paper targets, funny looking dirt clouts on the embankment and rotting tree logs were laid to waste. The remaining Remington and Barnes ammunition shot flawlessly including the previous moisture damaged rounds that were a concern before. Apparently, a little more adversity was needed with the weather for everything to come together.
For this second outing, I shot the remaining ammo with no silencer. While shooting the pistol un-suppressed it had moderate recoil which was again expected because it is a .30 cal after all. The handguard also got hotter much faster. When shooting suppressed that was a non-issue. While shooting un-suppressed it was noticeably hot after one magazine. If you were to do extensive shooting with this pistol (which I did), I would highly recommend gloved shooting. Or shooting in the rain has a small cooling effect. So either option should work.
final thoughts: Springfield armory saint 300 blackout ar-15 pistol
My final thoughts and impressions of this pistol are generally positive. The pistol was accurate enough to hit steel, wood logs and paper targets out to 100 yards with my Vortex Crossfire 2 MOA Red Dot with no problem. One thing I did not like about the SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol was the trigger. The nickel-boron coating is a nice upgrade and looks great, but the travel and pull weight still felt very much like a GI trigger (which it is).
While shooting the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol suppressed I really enjoyed how compact it is. Even after the additional length of a silencer. With my Silencerco Hybrid attached, the complete barrel length was still shorter than a traditional 16″ AR rifle. Overall, the package of this pistol with a fairly long silencer was very light, compact and easy to handle.
The one eyesore from this test is the incident with the ammo. I am not sure if the ammo got moisture damage while being shipped to me. It had been fairly rainy in MN the week leading up to me receiving it so it is a possibility. All of the other ammunition from Remington and Barnes performed wonderfully from an accuracy and functioning standpoint. I honestly would have no reservations to shooting more of their ammunition in the future. After going back out in the rain and firing the rest of the ammo perfectly, the one round getting stuck seems like a genuine fluke and not a true representation of the rest of the ammo.
In regards to the Springfield Armory SAINT 300 Blackout AR-15 Pistol, I am a believer! Pete, one of our editors for TFB, has always hyped AR pistols and the 300 Blackout cartridge. Now I can finally say I understand where he is coming from. It is tremendously fun to shoot, you have an enormous grain weight range to play in with ammo, and when you have a suppressed AR-15 Pistol the fun factor is multiplied tenfold!
I appreciated the ergonomics of the Bravo Company furniture Springfield Armory employs. The rigid handling of their proprietary free-float M-LOK handguard. The accuracy, compact design, and running well in a heavy MN rainfall all impressed me. At an MSRP of $989, I might jump on the AR-15 Pistol bandwagon fairly soon myself.
In closing, THANK YOU to Springfield Armory for affording me the opportunity to test one of your products. THANK YOU to Remington and Barnes for providing TFB and myself with ammunition for this review. Finally, THANK YOU the readers for sticking with me if you made it this far. So what do you guys and gals think of this pistol? Yay? Nay? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate the feedback.