One way to test out a new gun might be to run it through the world-famous Popper Palooza course of fire.
What’s that, you ask? Picture this. You’re standing at a table with four fully loaded AR-15 magazines in front of you. That’s 120 rounds of ammo at your disposal just asking to be burned. Your front perimeter is filled by a horde of 100 “popper” targets arranged in a vast semi-circle of metallic “threats” just asking to be shot. (In case you don’t know, a “popper” is a heavy steel target weighing, oh, about a billion pounds by my estimate, which falls over slowly and with prodigious drama when you hit it in the right place.) Your mission is simple: knock them all down as fast as you possibly can. It sounds easy. After all, you have 20 extra rounds with which to miss. But when the clock’s running, the crowd is watching, and the barrel heats up to infinity degrees from rapid fire, not so much…
I recently had the opportunity to run a brand new gun, Springfield Armory’s SAINT, through a Popper Palooza, a “Field of Chaos,” and a plethora of other fun shooting exercises for a couple of days at a preview event in the Nevada desert. You may have seen references to the SAINT. Springfield Armory has been teasing this product launch with ads and social media references for the past few months, and now we know that the SAINT is Springfield Armory’s first foray into the AR-15 modern sporting rifle market. Chambered in 5.56mm NATO, you can shoot both 5.56mm and .223 Remington ammunition.
After shooting somewhere over 1,000 rounds from a pair of SAINTs, I can say that it’s not another “me too” product. The folks at Springfield Armory put a lot of thought into what a defensive rifle should be and designed it according to that roadmap. Let’s take a quick look.