AR-15s

Review: Springfield SAINT Victor .308

Springfield SAINT Victor

I own several of the original Springfield SAINT 5.56 NATO rifles. I find them good rifles and among the best buys of any AR-15 rifle.

I own several AR rifles and have not yet fired the SAINT as extensively as I would like — bad on me.

On the other hand, I own only one .308 Winchester AR and have fired it a lot and hope to fire even more. The SAINT has bulked up into a .308 rifle.

While the 5.56 NATO may be America’s favorite caliber, the .308 Winchester is more powerful and more accurate at greater range.

For medium game, the .308 Winchester is more certain. Some of us just like the .308.

Having grown up firing the .30-30 Winchester and then the .30-06 Springfield, I find it odd that some shooters complain of the ”hard kicking” .308.

I suppose they have been spoiled by the .223 Remington.

M-Lok AR-15 Handguard
A 15-inch M-Lok handguard is a good feature.

The Springfield SAINT

The SAINT enjoys an excellent reputation. If you pay more for a rifle, be certain you get your money’s worth. The SAINT is a reliable and accurate firearm.

It is arguably the best buy among modern AR-15 rifles, or at least one of the top two or three.

Much of what we see in the Springfield SAINT Victor is standard fare, but it is done well in this scaled-up AR rifle.

The Victor uses a gas-impingement action and Magpul magazines. I am all for high capacity, but for bench resting the rifle, I used the Magpul 10-round magazine.

The rifle is supplied with a high-quality carrying case. The finish is Melonite, a proven coating, and the barrel is a 1:10 inch twist chrome-moly job.

The barrel is also tipped with a muzzle brake. The barrel is 16 inches in length, making the SAINT Victor a carbine.

The SAINT Victor isn’t as light as some rifles, but it is not a heavy rifle either. It is just right I would say for the .308 Winchester cartridge.

The weight unloaded is seven pounds and 13 ounces. The stock, pistol grip and forend are Bravo Company.

For many years, we have used various devices from the humble red plug up to bedding to eliminate play between the upper and lower receiver.

This rifle features a factory-installed Accu-Tite device. This device cinches up the receivers and may be tightened as needed.

The rifle features plenty of room for optics, lights and lasers. The rifle also features a gas-regulation system.

It is accessed from the muzzle end by means of a long, thin wrench. Metering screws are color-coded and there is a single screw as well that offers multiple adjustment.

This allows the use of light or heavy handloads and fine-tuning the rifle for suppressor use if desired.

AR-15 barrel
The 16-inch barrel features a mid-length gas system.

SAINT Victor Features

The controls are standard AR-15 type. This means good ergonomics and handling. There is no learning curve if you own an AR.

If you don’t, the controls are as natural as scratching your head or touching your nose. The trigger is a standard AR type.

At seven pounds, it isn’t light, but it is tight and works fine in benchrest firing.

An excellent addition to this, or any other AR-type rifle, is the Wilson Combat TR-TTU-M2 two-stage trigger.

This is the premier AR trigger, at least in my gun safe.

The bottom line is that while the Wilson Combat unit offers a crisp 4.1 pound trigger, the company’s products are proven in hard use by professionals.

I like this trigger very much. The overall practical accuracy of the rifle is improved by this trigger and so is the ease of getting fast hits offhand.

This rifle is a fine all-around defensive rifle, a great hunting rifle for medium-sized game, and fine recreational shooter.

The Springfield SAINT Victor is supplied with iron sights, but these sights, well good examples of the type, limit accuracy past 100 yards.

The Warne R.A.M.P. (Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform) cantilever mount was bolted to the rifle and a Leupold scope added next.

If there is a finer all-around rifle scope than the Leupold Vari-X6, or one with a better reputation, I have not seen it.

I ordered the Fire Dot reticle, as the illuminated reticle really helps in all lighting conditions.

I have fired about 1,000 rounds in the rifle to date with no failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject, and have experienced a high degree of practical accuracy.

That isn’t a lot of ammunition over the course of a year or so, I wish I had fired more!

Wilson Combat AR-15 Trigger
The Wilson Combat TTU was a nice addition to the Springfield rifle.

Shooting the Springfield SAINT Victor

The story in accuracy in this rifle comes in several stages.

With iron sights and the original trigger using my own handloads and inexpensive FMJ factory loads, the rifle easily groups three shots into 2.0 inches or less at 50 yards.

Firing off hand quickly, the rifle is controllable with good hit probability. I added a TruGlo red dot at one point. The rifle proved even faster on target.

This is the setup for personal defense and perhaps hog hunting. Finally, I bit the bullet so to speak and added a Leupold Vari-X.

The rifle simply deserved this optic.

Firing for accuracy off a solid benchrest at a long 100 yards, practically any loads would put three rounds into 2.0 inches at the football-field length as the rifle was issued.

Among the most accurate loads have been the Hornady Critical Defense and Hornady A-MAX loads. I would feel confident with this rifle in practically any role.

I wish to stress that the Leupold scope makes this rifle a capable piece to more than 200 yards.

When perimeter defense is needed, your skill is the final arbiter of how wide the perimeter is.

Fieldstripped Springfield SAINT Victor
The Springfield SAINT Victor fieldstrips easily like every other AR rifle.

I am continuing to experiment with the SAINT Victor. Fitting the Wilson Combat trigger resulted in a flat 0.5 inch off the final grouping at 100 yards.

But the real difference is in offhand speed. The rifle is much faster to a solid hit with this trigger.

Keeping in mind this is a fairly light carbine not a heavy target rifle I have managed several 1.5-inch, three-shot groups at 100 yards.

The Springfield SAINT Victor is well worth its price.

Have you tried shooting the Springfield SAINT Victor? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (8)

  1. I also bought a 5.56 Saint that refused to feed and extract properly. I sent it back to Springfield immediately. Just a week or so later, I received my repaired rifle back. It now performs flawlessly, and is supremely accurate. I trust it and will keep it nice rifle. Excellent service from SA.

  2. One thing I would note is that this is not a AR-15, this has been fixed on the Springfield Armory website to reflect that it is a AR-10 now. When I purchased my own, it showed AR-15 in both the paperwork and the Invoice. Upon reaching out to Springfield Armory, they have confirmed that it is not an AR-15 as purchased, but is in fact, an AR-10. Just figured I would let you know, since I was surprised to see it reclassified recently.

  3. also, the ejection port door would not close because the catch/bal bearing thingie was pressed into the door too high up. that door is standard but couldn’t change it out without the PROPRIETARY BARREL NUT which is not available. filed down the catch (not the receiver!) so that works now.

  4. I bought one of these carbines shortly after they came out. The finish, attention to detail, the nice trigger, and included buis all very nice touches. It is a light weight package without much recoil at all for a .308, it is a great compromise weight. i have plenty of experience with giessele triggers and i am not really convinced yet to change out this trigger. no ftf’s etc. Now for the bad. i noticed quickly that the barrel was canted ever so slightly, because the rear buis orifice had to be adjusted half of its travel to the far right to be zeroed correctly at 100 yds. 5 emails later and 4 very lengthy phone calls later over a period of 3 or 4 days I was not able to find out if a barrel nut wrench existed and if they knew where i could get one. They just told me to send it in for a minimum of 5 weeks but maybe as much as 8 weeks. this rook me 4 days to find out, the phone guys and gals only knew information i could get from the owners manual and the reviews on the internet. they were like product brochures that could talk. I found the plant manager’s contact info on LINKED IN and finally got ahold of him. so they told me the big secret . no barrel nut wrench available anywhere, it was proprietary it is not the same size as the saint .223 though it looks similar. so for now your your gunsmith can’t work on your rifle until someone makes a weird shaped wrench for this oddball looking nut. At this time, i did not think is wise to send off my firearm for extended wall time in their factory. very disappointed in their lack of knowledge, truthfulness, effort. And why did i have to move heaven and earth to find out the skinny on the non existent tool? very bogus. i still like the rifle, i will just shoot it crooked until a wrench comes out, or they can service it in a normal time period, perhaps during a less gun crisis time.

  5. To the gentleman that had trouble with the AR-15 not extracting. If you had the chamber tested, you may have found out that it was cut small. The chamber dies wear down and cause the chamber to be tight. It happened on a .270 that I had and my gunsmith reamed it out by a thousandth or two. I shoot an AR-10 and have no trouble with it. I use Remington .308 ammo.

  6. I’m leery of drop-in triggers. The hammers on them always seem to hit soft, but that one sounds reliable enough.

    Factory-loaded 308 cartridges tend to go heavy on the powder in my experience, which could explain the big kick that some shooters complain about. The 308 handloads my brother makes for my deer rifle use 39grs powder for a 165-gr ballistic tip. Kicks enough to shake me out of eye relief, but no where near shoulder-bruising territory.

  7. Chris,
    Your bad experience is a singular one. I would bet gas regulation was off.
    My family and I have several of these rifles in 5.56mm. This is the only .308
    Reliability has been stellar. A few years ago I wanted to give my son the best
    AR 15 I had. It was a Daniel Defense and he still owns and shoots it with excellent results.
    They are worth the money.

  8. I have not fired the .308 version of the Saint, but I did own a 5.56 version, and it failed to extract right out of the box using match grade ammo from Hornady. The rounds were badly marred after I had to punch them out of the chamber with a cleaning rod. After 5 rounds I gave up on firing the rifle. Even trying to manually load and unload the rifle the rounds were difficult to extract. I had to send the rifle back for repair, and after that I sold it as I did not trust it to function when it really mattered. Just my two cents on one specific rifle I got from Springfield. Though more expensive I would choose a Daniel Defense. I have two that easily shoot sub MOA out of the box with an 8 power Trijicon scope using 77 grain Blackhills ammo.

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