Introducing the Springfield Saint Edge ATC! A new AR with an amazing increase in accuracy by changing the way the rifle is built.
Limits to AR Accuracy
The AR platform’s construction inherently limits accuracy. Better barrels, better ammunition, and the correct twist rates have been developed, but the rifle’s construction has remained the same. Manufacturers are constantly tweaking their receivers designs. Until now, the basic methods of holding the gun together haven’t changed.
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. When 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 hand guard that force is applied the worse it gets. If you don’t believe it there are plenty of simple drills you can experiment with. These drills demonstrate how applying a load to your handguard impacts the point of impact even on heavily-built rifles.
Springfield is Changing the Accuracy Game
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. A piece that acts as a lower handguard extends under the barrel, and secures the action to the chassis. This is similar to chassis bolt-action precision rifles. The “upper handguard” then attaches to that chassis. Applying force to the chassis doesn’t transfer to the barrel. The barrel is finally, truly, free floated. Finally, we can truly find the accuracy potential of a barrel and load combination.
You Can Still Use Aftermarket Barrels
If you’re like me and immediately though of some favorite barrel makers, fear not. Will aftermarket barrels work? Yes, so long as you remove the handguard. Plus, the barrel nut has to fit. 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 Springfield Saint Edge ATC.
For more information, visit Springfield Armory’s website.