Springfield XD Forum banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
(Disclaimer: this review only represents my experience with a single firearm, and may not represent a typical experience. That said, Springfield Armory is about to take a deserved bruising.)

I purchased a Springfield Saint AR pistol chambered in 300 AAC Blackout approximately two months ago. This purchase was made based on price first, and availability second. My search included only AR pistols in 300blk with barrel lengths from 8”-10”. Other platforms considered included the Sig MCX, and CMMG.

My first trip to the range began well enough. Having previously boresighted my Sig Romeo5 red dot I sighted in out to 100 yards with about ten rounds of Fiocchi 150 grain without trouble. I then dialed it into Barnes Vor-Tx 110 grain and picked off a couple apples at the same distance – this is about as good accuracy I can ask for without a magnified optic. However, as soon as I loaded up some sub-sonic cartridges the problems started.

In a magazine with ten round of Fiocchi 220 grain sub-sonic only one cartridge was successfully chambered after firing. Discounting the initial round for which the charging handle was utilized that's a ~ 89% failure-to-cycle rate. I then loaded up a magazine of Hornady Sub-X 190 grain sub-sonic rounds with no better results. Good thing this gun comes with an adjustable gas block, right? I started tearing through the range bag that the gun came with. No adjusting tool could be found. I called the gun shop I purchased it at – no luck. Soon I was communicating with Springfield customer service explaining my situation, and they agreed to send me the hex wrench necessary to adjust the gas block. The tool was shipped expeditiously, and I had it in hand in week.

Range trip #2 didn't go any better than the first. Per the operating manual I turned out the gas block set screw a half turn, loaded a magazine with a single round (sub-sonic), and fired. Shot just fine, failed to hold the bolt open. Backed it out another half-turn, loaded another round, fired... nope. Repeated until the set screw fell out of the gas block (about a box of ammo), and upon close inspection the set screw didn't look right. Referring to the operating manual this set screw was clearly of the non-adjusting variety, and not a metering screw.

Another call was placed to customer service. As soon as I mentioned “sub-sonic” the representative says, “you'll need the adjustable screw to shoot sub-sonic, we'll send that right out to you.” Now, I hadn't said anything but what gun I had, and that it isn't cycling subsonic, yet he immediately knew that I didn't have an adjustable block due to the lack of a metering set screw. This is telling. Clearly, Springfield is knowingly building, and shipping these pistols without the adjustable block that they advertise. Nonetheless, I hung up, and I went back to re-zero with supersonic Barnes ammo (since I'd been messing with the gas system).

More than a week passed before I received notice of shipment for the metering screw. In the meantime I'd done significant research into this problem, and one thing really jumped out at me: if the non-adjustable set screw in my block already allowed the gas to flow wide-open, how would a metering screw help me cycle sub-sonic ammo? I didn't have much hope for their solution, so I went online and I ordered a high-end, polished buffer spring, and a lighter (3 ounce) buffer. I also learned in my research that virtually all 300 AAC Blackout pistol builds utilize: a pistol length gas system, a lighter, carbine weight bolt carrier group (BCG), and a lighter, carbine weighted buffer in order to cycle sub-sonic reliably. I would note that of those three things the Springfield Saint 300blk has only the first. It utilizes a heavier, milspec M16 BCG, and an H1 heavy tungsten buffer.

Nearly three weeks after the last call to customer service my metering set screw finally arrived. I returned to the range, and, as I had unfortunately predicted, the metering screw made no difference in cycling sub-sonic ammo. Customer service should have known better. So, I dropped in the lighter buffer, and tried again. Nope. Tried the new spring with the new buffer. Still no. New spring old buffer? Nah. No combination of my parts would allow sub-sonic rounds to cycle. But it gets worse: I also discovered multiple super-sonic chamberings that wont cycle in my gun. So, here's what does work in my gun: Barnes Vor-Tx 110 grain, Fiocchi 150 grain, Magtech 123 grain. Here's what doesn't work: Remington HTP 130 grain, Remington UMC 120 grain, Remington UMC 220 grain, Fiocchi 220 grain, Hornady Sub-X 190 grain. So, out of eight type of ammo tested only three will run at all, and I haven't put enough through it to know it runs well enough to trust.

Also, I've had two other issues worth bringing up. First, when the BCG strips a round from the magazine it has a bad habit of gouging the brass of the next round. This may be a fail in-and-of itself, as I've got little brass shavings inside the gun, and lots of brass on the underside of the bolt. Second, and it's only happened one time, but a Barnes live round very nearly got stuck in the chamber. It took all of my strength on the charging handle to pull the bolt rearward and eject the round. The cartridge was unfortunately lost, and I suspect the force of the ejection threw it into a different zip code.

As far as the rest of the gun goes: the buffer tube is obnoxiously long, so long in fact that when I put the brace in the crook of my elbow, and strap it on I cannot reach the controls. The flash hider is overtightened, and off by around five degrees. The “T” markings on the rail over-sprayed white all over the place. The trigger is pretty bad, even for milspec. However, the handguard is an excellent size, the gun is accurate, the overall size/weight are really good, the pistol grip is pretty decent, and the whole package looks damn good.


But, here I am, about two months out from my purchase, down about $500 in ammo, parts, and gas (range travel), and countless hours trying to get this thing running... and remorseful. For the money I could have (and should have) bought a more premium brand AR. I can only hope Springfield can get me up and running, and I suspect that it may require a whole new gun to do it. Even then, Springfield has failed here in engineering, construction, and customer service, and it's gonna be damn hard for me to come to trust a Saint with my life.
20181029_162543.jpg
20181029_162811.jpg
20181029_163034.jpg
20181029_163204.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Update: Per Springfield Armory firearm was returned to factory for diagnosis/repair/replacement. Due to a dealer error my firearm sat in a corner for 3 weeks, so it's just now arriving at the manufacturer. Currently in the processes of building my own 300blk pistol: PSA 10.5" upper, FailZero Exo BCG, Stag lower/Ambi charger, SBA3 brace, Mission First Tactical grip. I've read several other reviews of SA Saint in 300blk, and some of those document problems similar to my own. Will update further once firearm is received back from SA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No word yet from SA regarding my defective $950 Saint pistol. However, I've completed my own build.

$800 got me:
PSA 10.5" upper w/ 12" lightweight guard, and forward blast director
FailZero Exo coated BCG
Stag Arms milspec lower
SBA3 adjustable pistol brace
MBUS gen 2 backup sights
Sig Romeo5 2 MOA red dot
MFT 11° pistol grip
JD polished, precision, recoil mitigating buffer spring
Spikes 3oz buffer
A full set of spare parts
Spare milspec BCG

The thing runs like a champ. 100 rounds with no failures. Recoil is negligible. Muzzle rise is notable with hot loads. Cycles everything I throw at it. Posted 1.25" group at 100 yards (I'm not actually this good) with Barnes 110 grain Vor-Tx.

Will update on Saint once I hear something.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Update

I received my SA Saint 300 blk back from the factory today. The firearm received a chamber polishing, gas block adjustment, and live fire testing by SA. It did not, however, receive a cleaning, as it was fairly filthy.

I immediately went to the range, and guess what: the GD thing doesn't work one little bit better than it did before I sent it back. It refused to cycle Remington UMC 220 grain, Atomic 220 grain, and Hornady 190 grain Sub-X. It cycled 150 grain Fiocchi, and 110 grain Hornady. However, it universally damaged brass... badly. There's again brass shavings all over the place. The bolt carrier group, after seeing less than 200 rounds overall, looks like it's made of brass when viewed from the bottom it's so stained. Multiple casings showed dents from lugs. It's nearly impossible to load a magazine with the bolt forward. The AR expert at the shop said the bolt seems to be out of spec, and after examining spent brass also suggested there's a pressure problem.

I got on the phone with Springfield, again, and I was told I'd have to return it to them... again. I was none too happy. I explained, firmly, but politely, that they should be offering me a refund, or a replacement gun at this point. They refused, saying that they would never do that, and I would just have to keep sending it back to them until they got it right, or I gave up. Nonsense. Once I considered things, and talked it over with my dealer, I decided to send it back to Springfield one last time. I don't have high expectations, but I'm very much hoping they'll prove my wrong, as the next step will be a small claims suit for selling me a lemon, and I'd rather not.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
The marks on your brass in the magazine are from sharp corners on the bolt locking lugs, and DON'T disqualify that brass from being reloadable, btw.

The marks on your brass from ejecting a live round and from ejecting empties are from sharp corners in the barrel extension locking lugs.

All the flakes from those scrapes are what are getting spread and smeared around to cause all the coloring you're seeing. An annoyance, but not inherently a deal breaker.

The brass coloring on the ramp section of the bolt carrier, combined with the already identified flaking, is normal.

The short stroking on subsonic ammo is an issue they need to correct though, probably by opening up the gas port in the barrel. Before that, though, try a regular carbine (non "H") buffer, just for the verification that it still won't lock back on empty. If it locks back on empty, it should certainly pick up a round, if it doesn't, it's almost universally a magazine issue when it comes to the 300blk.

If I had it in my hands, I'd probably have it fixed in about an hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
As what WantBigBoom says, try a different buffer. My gun can't run subs unless I've got a suppressor on it, but that's because my gun is a piston gun. You might also need to home gunsmith it a bit as well, opening up the gas port if it's too small. As long as the gas block is adjustable, you can always turn the gas down if it's opened up a bit too much.

Not to dog on any specific manufacturer, but this is also one reason why I've never bought a fully assembled AR. I'd rather put it together myself so I can blame myself when it doesn't work. It also lets me fix it without warranty issues.

I haven't looked, but I wonder if other people have issues with the Saint pistol running subs...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Michael B

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
How does it function with supersonic ammo?
Poorly. It is damaging brass, moreso than is obvious from the video. It only runs about half of the supersonic amount tested. It fails to cycle Remington UMC 120, HTP 130, and Federal AE 150.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The marks on your brass in the magazine are from sharp corners on the bolt locking lugs, and DON'T disqualify that brass from being reloadable, btw.

The marks on your brass from ejecting a live round and from ejecting empties are from sharp corners in the barrel extension locking lugs.

All the flakes from those scrapes are what are getting spread and smeared around to cause all the coloring you're seeing. An annoyance, but not inherently a deal breaker.

The brass coloring on the ramp section of the bolt carrier, combined with the already identified flaking, is normal.

The short stroking on subsonic ammo is an issue they need to correct though, probably by opening up the gas port in the barrel. Before that, though, try a regular carbine (non "H") buffer, just for the verification that it still won't lock back on empty. If it locks back on empty, it should certainly pick up a round, if it doesn't, it's almost universally a magazine issue when it comes to the 300blk.

If I had it in my hands, I'd probably have it fixed in about an hour.
Tested with 3.0 oz buffer, and swapped spring to no avail -- still short stroked sub loads. Tried adjusting the block also. Also verified failure to cycle subs with 5 different magazines of 3 different makes utilizing at least 4 different factory sub loads. The gouging of the brass when stripping a round (the gouge is in the next round) is pretty substantial. The ridges cut me deep enough to draw blood, and that's the reason the underside of the bolt is stained with brass.

I've no doubt many people may be capable of fixing this. However, the reason I paid 1k for an off-the-shelf gun was to avoid all the research I've now had to do anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
As what WantBigBoom says, try a different buffer. My gun can't run subs unless I've got a suppressor on it, but that's because my gun is a piston gun. You might also need to home gunsmith it a bit as well, opening up the gas port if it's too small. As long as the gas block is adjustable, you can always turn the gas down if it's opened up a bit too much.

Not to dog on any specific manufacturer, but this is also one reason why I've never bought a fully assembled AR. I'd rather put it together myself so I can blame myself when it doesn't work. It also lets me fix it without warranty issues.

I haven't looked, but I wonder if other people have issues with the Saint pistol running subs...
It won't run with a lighter buffer, and the gas was wide open. I understand the sentiment about building, and I actually did build my own (partially) while I was waiting for this one to be fixed. I really didn't want to dedicate that much time to learning though, hence the 1k spent on a complete, warrantied gun. I suspect the main, and possibly only problem is with the bolt. The thing is making way too much contact with the 2nd cartridge in the magazine, and I suspect it's losing excess energy reciprocating on the brass riding too low.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
It won't run with a lighter buffer, and the gas was wide open.
Then it has a gas problem, tell Springfield what you've tested with, make arrangements for them to test with the ammo you want it to run with, either with them buying it, or you sending it with the pistol.
I understand the sentiment about building, and I actually did build my own (partially) while I was waiting for this one to be fixed. I really didn't want to dedicate that much time to learning though, hence the 1k spent on a complete, warrantied gun.
Most of us in this forum build our own. I know you joined to share your experience on a Springfield AR, in a Springfield centric forum, but we've been here way longer than the Saint.
I suspect the main, and possibly only problem is with the bolt.
No it isn't. That thing could be shredding the cases and flinging brass confetti all over the place, but if it had enough gas, it would run and spit the gnarly case remains all over the firing line.
The thing is making way too much contact with the 2nd cartridge in the magazine, and I suspect it's losing excess energy reciprocating on the brass riding too low.
The bolt doesn't "ride too low" in an AR. If it did, it wouldn't even cycle by hand because it would bind the carrier in the buffer tube. If you really think there's too much interference and that polishing sharp bits so it doesn't shave brass is strictly a warranty problem, send it back again, and definitely don't clean anything, let whoever is going to work on it see all the evidence of what's not running right.

If you want to try one more thing yourself, back off the mag catch one turn. Might help with the rubbing and hard insertion on a closed bolt. Won't fix the gas problem though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Tested with 3.0 oz buffer, and swapped spring to no avail -- still short stroked sub loads. Tried adjusting the block also. Also verified failure to cycle subs with 5 different magazines of 3 different makes utilizing at least 4 different factory sub loads. The gouging of the brass when stripping a round (the gouge is in the next round) is pretty substantial. The ridges cut me deep enough to draw blood, and that's the reason the underside of the bolt is stained with brass.
What ridges? It's really not that uncommon for some bolts, carriers and barrel extensions to have some sharp corners that need to be polished down. It's annoying on a new purchase, but if it was gassed correctly, it would run and polish out through running, maybe chew up some brass, and run a bit dirty through "break in" that everyone loves to talk about running AR's wet during.

I've no doubt many people may be capable of fixing this. However, the reason I paid 1k for an off-the-shelf gun was to avoid all the research I've now had to do anyway.
You paid specifically to avoid having to learn... alrighty, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,559 Posts
What ridges? It's really not that uncommon for some bolts, carriers and barrel extensions to have some sharp corners that need to be polished down. It's annoying on a new purchase, but if it was gassed correctly, it would run and polish out through running, maybe chew up some brass, and run a bit dirty through "break in" that everyone loves to talk about running AR's wet during.


You paid specifically to avoid having to learn... alrighty, good luck.


Respectfully, on that last part...

Kinda bull$hit.

I wouldn’t buy a new car from a dealer and expect to have to tweak this & that to get it to run right. If I wanted to learn how to work on a car, I’d buy a ‘60’s Valiant.

You expect a new firearm to function properly, just as one would expect a new vehicle to run correctly.

SA is supposed to have some of the best customer service out there, but it seems lately, they’re emulating Kimber’s CS model from the late 90’s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Respectfully, on that last part...

Kinda bull$hit.

I wouldn’t buy a new car from a dealer and expect to have to tweak this & that to get it to run right. If I wanted to learn how to work on a car, I’d buy a ‘60’s Valiant.

You expect a new firearm to function properly, just as one would expect a new vehicle to run correctly.

SA is supposed to have some of the best customer service out there, but it seems lately, they’re emulating Kimber’s CS model from the late 90’s.
Eh, fair enough.

I don't buy anything without researching the hell out of it first. Whole reason I started building AR's when I decided I wanted one is because I discovered just how simple it all was, the hardest part is done by the barrel and bolt makers.

Also grew up poor and always had to work on my own stuff, so I always expect to be able to repair whatever I have, and also the reason I've never bought a vehicle with a warranty, lol.

But you're right on that count, not everybody looks at it like I do, Springfield should make it right, whether they do or not is the reason I'll follow this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,559 Posts
Eh, fair enough.

I don't buy anything without researching the hell out of it first. Whole reason I started building AR's when I decided I wanted one is because I discovered just how simple it all was, the hardest part is done by the barrel and bolt makers.

Also grew up poor and always had to work on my own stuff, so I always expect to be able to repair whatever I have, and also the reason I've never bought a vehicle with a warranty, lol.

But you're right on that count, not everybody looks at it like I do, Springfield should make it right, whether they do or not is the reason I'll follow this thread.
I’m with you; I bought my first AR as a complete rifle, but my second I built so I could learn how everything works...and I’m pretty sure some leftover/upgraded parts from that second one will be going into my pistol build I’m putting together right now.

I’ve bought/traded for complete AR’s since then, as well...but also built several, too, as well as upgraded/replaced parts in the complete buys.

But, it’s not for everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Then it has a gas problem, tell Springfield what you've tested with, make arrangements for them to test with the ammo you want it to run with, either with them buying it, or you sending it with the pistol. Most of us in this forum build our own. I know you joined to share your experience on a Springfield AR, in a Springfield centric forum, but we've been here way longer than the Saint. No it isn't. That thing could be shredding the cases and flinging brass confetti all over the place, but if it had enough gas, it would run and spit the gnarly case remains all over the firing line. The bolt doesn't "ride too low" in an AR. If it did, it wouldn't even cycle by hand because it would bind the carrier in the buffer tube. If you really think there's too much interference and that polishing sharp bits so it doesn't shave brass is strictly a warranty problem, send it back again, and definitely don't clean anything, let whoever is going to work on it see all the evidence of what's not running right.

If you want to try one more thing yourself, back off the mag catch one turn. Might help with the rubbing and hard insertion on a closed bolt. Won't fix the gas problem though.
Thank you for the info. I'll happily admit I'm new to troubleshooting an AR. My first AR was an off the shelf Sig M400, and I never needed to do anything.

My thinking about the bolt "riding too low" was poorly phrased. I suspect the bolt is out of spec. Given the amount of rubbing/gouging brass I was concerned about losing energy, but clearly the gun is also undergassed. However, the undergassed part alone doesn't explain the failures to cycle with supersonic ammo. The gun was left with the dealer to return to Springfield two days ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
What ridges? It's really not that uncommon for some bolts, carriers and barrel extensions to have some sharp corners that need to be polished down. It's annoying on a new purchase, but if it was gassed correctly, it would run and polish out through running, maybe chew up some brass, and run a bit dirty through "break in" that everyone loves to talk about running AR's wet during.


You paid specifically to avoid having to learn... alrighty, good luck.
The ridges that cut me were the ones in the brass of the live round on top of the magazine after the bolt stripped a round in and gouged it deeply.

I didn't mean to say I don't want to learn. I very much do want to learn. My objective is to build a complete AR, 100% self assembled, sometime next year. However, I've been dealing with some medical issues, and I didn't want to put the time in to learn quite yet, because I don't really have the time. I wanted a fully functional, ideal defensive weapon that I wouldn't have to worry about tweaking beyond the gas block.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Well, hopefully you sent it back again dirty, lousy with all the brass shavings still in place.

If you were looking for a defensive use weapon, I would say an AR is fine, but not in 300blk. Your testing and seeing the wide variety of power levels, and functional differences in commercial ammo is pretty much all I should have to say on that subject. Soft Point 5.56/223 is plenty capable while dropping in lethality by A LOT after just 2 layers of drywall.

But, that's hindsight stuff at this point, hopefully your pistol gets sorted out quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,921 Posts
My next pistol build, after the AR9, will probably be a 10.5" 5.56 gun. I like Blackout, but I'm not taking advantage of it without a suppressor. I can get an AK pistol and run it hard at much cheaper ammo prices and comprable power with the .300 super sonics.

The fun part with AK's though is that well, sometimes the bores are off center and will strike the hell out baffles so they're kinda sketchy to run suppressed.

But yeah, still agree that this gun sounds overgassed and needs some help. And if I bought it off the rack brand new from a reputable company, I'd expect it to work as advertised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
My next pistol build, after the AR9, will probably be a 10.5" 5.56 gun. I like Blackout, but I'm not taking advantage of it without a suppressor. I can get an AK pistol and run it hard at much cheaper ammo prices and comprable power with the .300 super sonics.

The fun part with AK's though is that well, sometimes the bores are off center and will strike the hell out baffles so they're kinda sketchy to run suppressed.

But yeah, still agree that this gun sounds overgassed and needs some help. And if I bought it off the rack brand new from a reputable company, I'd expect it to work as advertised.
This gun is UNDERGASSED. By, like, a LOT. I'm suspecting burr in the gas port, or undersized gas port.

But yeah, agreed, and mind changed, off the shelf, it should work as you'd expect.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top