Saint Edge + Leupold DeltaPoint Pro NV, Best AR 5.56 with 11.5 inch Barrel under $1,300

Ever since I served in Iraq, 2005 – 2007, I wanted to own a M-4 type of rifle of my own. Semi-auto for sure. I believe from 40 years of being a cop, I see no need for full-auto rifles for general patrol duty. I know from experience, when copper-jacketed lead starts flying in your direction the temptation to go full-auto on the bad-guys is almost instinctual. In a firefight another contractor, International Police Advisor as I was, emptied five mags of 5.56 and was dry. (we were only issued five mags per.) The issued weapon I chose had three shot bursts as well as the semi-auto. I only fired on targets, and never “sprayed and prayed” that I would hit one. Being somewhat experienced about contracting work, as soon as I was in country, I scrounged up an additional eight military mags. My excitable fellow team mate was out so I threw him two mags and yelled “Make these last!”


The U.S. Army Heros were issued semi-auto M-4 rifles. In their squad they had one SAW or squad automatic weapon, interestingly almost always issued to a 5’ 2” woman Hero. So, if our men and women who go into harms-way carrying issued semi-auto M-4s, the question begs to be asked; why do civilian patrol officers need full-auto rifles? City, County and State agencies never spend the funds to train, and continue training officers with handguns let alone full-auto rifles. Paying for the needed training entailing 1,000 rounds every six months. A medium size department 60 patrol officers, not counting overtime, would have to spend about $72,000 a year. I know others will strongly disagree. But opinions are like bellybuttons, everyone has one.

Ruger Firearms

Back Stateside as a law enforcement officer I was issued a full-auto M-4. The reason for this was the department bought them before I arrived to take the Chief’s position. In their defense, we were a small department in Western Kansas where backup was twenty minutes away. Officers rode alone with a major highway running through town. Never the less if it had been up to me, semi-auto M-4 rifles would have been purchased. However, I like the shorter version of the M-4 type of rifle over the full size 20” barrel models. I like the fact it is more compact and easier to maneuver in tighter confinements.

The Springfield SAINT® Edge SBR 5.56 AR-15 Rifle with its 11.05 inch barrel was the ticket for me. The detachable A2 Flash Hider extends the length but not much. Of course, you must pay for the federal tax stamp to own this rifle which is only 4.5 inches shorter than the non-taxable rifles. Is it worth the hassle of paperwork, waiting, and paying the tax stamp of, at this writing, $200? I say yes, it is.

Springfield firearms has a rich history of providing weapons for our heroes in the military services. I own several and have for many years. Their quality is as good as the much higher priced firearms made elsewhere. I would say to a buyer, “Do you want to buy a show piece? Or, do you want to buy a work gun which will go bang each and every time you pull the trigger?” If you buy a $2,200 semi-auto AR type rifle, will it be in the safe, or will it be in the truck or accessible at home in an emergency? NOTE: Do not leave firearms in vehicles overnight. We, law enforcement, do not want to face a firearm because an owner was too lazy to take it into the house.

On a nice and windy Oklahoma day, I took Dave and Gridley out to test and evaluate the Springfield SAINT® Edge SBR 5.56 AR-15 Rifle. The great people at Hornady provided the 5.56 – .223 ammo. For reasons I learned as a cop, I like the heavier bullets of the 5.56 or .223 rounds. The heaver bullets penetrate better and do not fragment on double walled sheetrock. A hard lesson learned.

First, we had a refresher safety talk, then loaded magazines. In the video I stated Dave was a first time AR shooter. Later I learned he has an AR type rifle. So, he was somewhat familiar with the operation. As many of us, we do not go out and shoot our firearms enough. We need to do so. I am always shooting other firearms for evaluation and do not shoot my carry weapons as I should. My carry is a 1911 pistol. I plan on doing some catchup.


We test fired the Saint Edge by feeding some 200 rounds through it. Shooting Hornady ammo in an AR is like eating potato-chips. You cannot eat just one, and you cannot just shoot a few. We shot all we brought. At no time did we experience a problem with the Saint Edge or with the Hornady ammo. Prior to taking the Saint Edge to the range, I lightly lubed the bolt, mainly because I basically disassembled this rife to check out the quality. The quality was good as I have seen in other much more expensive rifles. Well finished. This Saint Edge is a shooter for sure. Check out the video to view how well it worked.

The 11.5″ CMV chrome moly vanadium barrel is Melonite® treated both inside and out for unrivalled accuracy and wear resistance. I found this to be a fact. A trip to the bench range convinced me. The BCM Mod 0 SOPMOD stock adjusts easily while remaining sturdy and comfortable. My T&E sample was a little stiff, but after several times adjusting the length the stock was easy to work. “A tactical firearm is only as good as its trigger, and the short-reset single-stage design on the SAINT® Edge SBR is as good as it gets.” I agree with this assessment. The trigger on my sample was and is excellent. I was pleasantly surprised.

The nice people at Leupold sent me their DeltaPoint® Pro NV (Night Vision) “This is proof that you do not have to compromise performance on a small sight. And now, it supports modern night vision devices with 10 brightness settings, including two that fine tune the red dot to match the sensitivity of your night vision equipment.” The American made Leupold is finest optics company in the USA, therefore the World. My sample was amazing. Leupold sent the mount too. I suggest using Leupold mounts for all their optics. I have several Leupold optics including their binoculars. They are just the best and worth the extra cost. If you are going to bet your life on a firearm and or optic, you better get the best.

The Delta Point Pro NV has a single battery easily accessible, which at the low setting can last up to 1,600 hours. Amazing! And for guy and gals who forgets why they walked into another room, if there is no noticeable movement the Delta Point Pro NV will shut its self-off. A great feature. Buy American. Buy Leupold and buy Springfield.

SAINT® Edge SBR 5.56 AR-15 Rifle

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 REM)

Color: Black

Barrel: 11.5″ CMV, Melonite®, 1:8

Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Forward Assist, M4 Feed Ramps

Lower Receiver: Machined 7075 T6 Billet Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Accu-Tite™ Tension

System, QD Mounting Points

Bolt Carrier Group: Enhanced M16 w/ 9310 Steel Bolt, HPT/MPI, Melonite®

Gas System: Direct Impingement Carbine-Length, Low-Profile Pinned Adjustable Gas Block

Handguard: Aluminum Free Float w/ SA Locking Tabs, M-Lok


Trigger: Modular Match

Muzzle Device: A2 Flash Hider

Receiver Extension: Mil-Spec

Receiver End Plate: QD

Buffer Assembly: Carbine “H” Heavy Tungsten Buffer

Charging Handle: SA Midsize

Safety Switch: Ambidextrous

Trigger Guard: Integral to Receiver


Magazines: (1) 30-Round Magpul PMAG Gen M3

Weight: 5 pounds 10 ounces

Length: 27.5 – 30.75 inches

MSRP: $1,379

 Leupold DeltaPoint Pro NV

Part # 179585


Adjustable Objective: No

Side Focus: No

Reticle Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane

Elevation Adjustment Type: Coin Click

Locking Dial: No

Revolution Indicator: No

Windage Adjustment Type: Coin Click

Custom Dial System (CDS): No

Custom Dial Compatible: No

BDC Dial Included: No

Reticle Type: Illuminated

Reticle: 2.5 MOA Dot

Magnification Type: Fixed

Battery Type: CR2032

Switch Type: Push Button

Daylight Bright Illumination: Yes

Electronic Reticle Level: No

Guard-ion Lens Coating: No

Weight: 2 ounces

Elevation Adjustment Value per Click: 1MOA

Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA): 60

Elevation Adjustment Range (MIL): 17

Elevation Adjustment Range (cm @ 100m): 175

Elevation Adjustment Per Revolution: 40 MOA

Elevation Dial Travel Limit: Total Scope Travel

Windage Adjustment Value per Click: 1MOA

Windage Adjustment Range (MOA): 60

Windage Adjustment Range (MIL): 17

Windage Adjustment Range (cm @ 100m): 175

Windage Adjustment Per Revolution: 15 MOA

Magnification Min: 1

Eye Relief Low Mag (in): Unlimited

Battery Life (hr), Low Intensity: 1600

Battery Life (hr), Medium Intensity: 1000

Battery Life (hr), High Intensity: 300

Number of Illum Settings: 10

Total Mounting Space (in):  0

Front Mounting Space (in): 0

Rear Mounting Space (in): 0

Eyepiece Length (in): 0

Objective Length (in): 0

Objective Diameter (in): 0

Eyepiece Diameter (in):  0


Springfield Saint Edge AR SBR 5.56 11.5 Inch


DeltaPoint Pro NV, Part # 179585


5.56 NATO 62 gr FMJ Hornady BLACK®!/

223 Rem 75 gr BTHP Superformance® Match™!/


Henry Repeating Arms