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For more than 60 years the AR platform’s very construction limited it accuracy potential. Better barrels, better ammunition, and the correct twist rates have been developed, but the rifle’s construction has remained the same. Forged and billet receivers have been developed and tweaked, but the basic methods of holding it all together haven’t been improved until now. The new Springfield Armory SAINT Edge ATC delivers a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee. Springfield achieved this by changing the way it builds the AR platform.

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge ATC

The Achilles heel of AR accuracy has been the inability to truly free float the barrel. The problem rests not within the operating system, but the handguard. As long as the handguard is attached to the barrel nut any force applied to the handguard is transferred to the barrel nut. The longer the handguard and further out on the handguard that force is applied the worse it gets. If you don’t believe it there are plenty of simple drills you can experiment with that demonstrate how applying a load to your handguard impacts the point of impact even on heavily-built rifles.

Springfield challenged the classic build style and solved the load issue by creating a truly free-floated system. Rather than a conventional upper with handguard pinned to a conventional lower, Springfield created a chassis (Accurized Tactical Chassis, or ATC). Much like the chassis rifles you’ve seen in precision bolt gun competitions, the action is secured by a piece that extends out under the barrel to effectively serve as a lower handguard. The “upper handguard” then attaches to that chassis. Any force, such as a bipod or human hand, applied to that chassis may be applied to the action, but does not apply to the barrel. The barrel is finally, truly, free floated. Finally, we can truly find the accuracy potential of a barrel and load combination.

Modular Compatibility Retained

If you’re like me and immediately thought of some favorite barrel makers fear not, as long as the handguard is removed, and the barrel nut fits the chassis, you can run the barrel of your choice in the Springfield SAINT Edge ATC. We’ll have one in hand soon for a further review in an upcoming issue of Tactical Life Magazine. You can expect a thorough test in that article, including some hopefully new accuracy records with various loads, and possibly some results of other upper and barrel combinations tested as a conventional AR, then again in the SAINT Edge ATC.

A monolithic lower receiver, the Accurized Tactical Chassis, enables the free-floating of the barrel on the Springfield SAINT Edge ATC.

We got a first glimpse at the SAINT Edge ATC at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, and we’re ready for more. For even more info, please visit springfield-armory.com.

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge ATC Specs

  • Caliber: .223 Wylde
  • Color: Black
  • Barrel: 18-inch Ballistic Advantage, Melonite, 1:7
  • Sights: N/A
  • Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Forward Assist, M4 Feed Ramps
  • Lower Receiver: ATC Chassis, Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, QD Mounting Points
  • Bolt Carrier Group: M16 With Carpenter 158 Steel Bolt, HPT/MPI, Melonite
  • Gas System: Direct Impingement Mid-Length, Low-Profile Pinned Gas Block
  • Handguard: Integral to ATC Chassis, M-LOK
  • Stock: B5 Systems Enhanced SopMod
  • Trigger: Flat Modular Match
  • Muzzle Device SA Muzzle Brake
  • Receiver Extension: Mil-Spec
  • Receiver End Plate: QD
  • Buffer Assembly: Carine “H” Heavy Tungsten Buffer
  • Charging Handle: GI Style
  • Safety Switch: Single Side
  • Trigger Guard: Integral to Receiver
  • Grip: B5 Systems Type 23 P-Grip
  • MSRP: $1,549

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge ATC Elite Specs

  • Caliber: .223 Wylde
  • Barrel: 18-inch Ballistic Advantage, Melonite, 1:7
  • Sights: N/A
  • Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Coyote Brown Cerakote H-250, Forward Assist, M4 Feed Ramps
  • Lower Receiver: ATC Chassis, Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Coyote Brown Cerakote H-250, QD Mounting Points
  • Bolt Carrier Group: M16 With Carpenter 158 Steel Bolt, HPT/MIP, Melonite
  • Gas System: Direct Impingement Mid-Length, Low-Profile Pinned Gas Block
  • Handguard: Integral to ATC Chassis, M-LOK
  • Stock: B5 Systems Coyote Brown Precision Stock
  • Trigger: LaRue MBT Flat 2 Stage
  • Muzzle Device: SA Muzzle Brake
  • Receiver Extension: Mil-Spec
  • Receiver End Plate: QD
  • Buffer Assembly: Carbine “H” Heavy Tungsten Buffer
  • Charging Handle: GI Style
  • Safety Switch: Single Side
  • Trigger Guard: Integral to Receiver
  • Grip: B5 Systems Coyote Brown Type 23 P-Grip
  • MSRP: $1,899

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