I've not been much into "Black Guns" myself. I had a Colt CAR-15 in my 20's (Circa 1984 or so), but it was stolen and never recovered, and I wasn't much interested in replacing it. If it hadn't been stolen, I'd likely still have it today. I don't sell/trade guns once I own them, and it was a good gun, but I wasn't in love with it enough to replace it.

But with the myriad of AR's out there, my changing world view, and the vast supply of cheap ammo, I'm rethinking. I have a buddy with two Springfield pistols and he swears by their quality and service. When the SAINT was introduced, his only comment was "What, no .308?" Kind of tongue-in-cheek, but his fav rifle is his AR-10, which is a .308. But he does acknowledge that if Springfield puts out an AR, it's likely a very good AR. I guess they aren't in the habit of releasing anything until it's well tested.

The initial inventory of SAINTs in my neck of the desert was sold out in days, so when I first went looking, I never found one. Finally held one in my hands last week. And I must say it's a very solid rifle. Well put together. Can't say much more than that. Best price in my area is Sportsman's Warehouse at $849, but they don't have any. The one I saw was at a local owned shop for full retail at $899. I suspect they'd probably match or beat Sportsman's, but probably not by much. What I saw next to it intrigued me more. I'm so ignorant of "black guns" I didn't know Ruger made one. And it was a couple hundred less. I dig Ruger.

A midwestern buddy of mine and I were discussing the "black gun" situation after I saw the Ruger. He's interested in the "black gun" scene. Goes to a lot of gun shows and preparedness expos and such. He suggested waiting a bit, because of the recent change in the political situation. He said, at last count, there were something like 350 outfits making/marketing AR's, and he suspects sales are going to taper off this year, and rather quickly, which could lead to some perhaps intense pricing competition. He may be on to something, because the very next day I got an email from Defender Outdoors advertising a Colt AR for $899, down from something like $1019.

He also introduced me to the "piston driven" vs. "gas impingement" argument about AR's. A new one on me. The original AR, like the Colt I had, uses "gas impingement", what we used to just call "gas operated". There's a relatively new development of piston driven AR's which some say are superior. Cleaner and cooler operating. But after I checked into it, I'll stick with gas impingement because of the simplicity and universal nature of the parts. Basically a standard gas tube that fits everything. Piston driven ARs need manufacturer-specific parts if something goes "ka-poof". Both the SAINT and the Ruger AR-556 I saw are "gas impingement".

I watched a youtube video after the SAINT was introduced, by some fellow who's apparently well respected for his reviews of military-type stuff (don't remember the name, so granted this info probably isn't very helpful), but it showed him shooting the SAINT until the barrel was practically steaming, then he set the whole rifle in a water puddle in the dirt road to cool it off, then he took it out, shook the water out, and went back to shooting it. It was still accurate and functional (he said). I don't think there was any trickery involved, and I was pretty impressed. It would be nice to have gun companies give us rifles to abuse!