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Bridget’s Self-Defense SAINT Mods

During the summers I spend my time living in a vintage camper trailer and moving around public land camping spots. Being a person alone in the wilderness every night, it’s imperative that I can effectively protect myself when staying in my camper trailer. I’ve participated in this summer “trailer living” for four years now to run my isolated fly fishing guide services and outfitter business. Upon the few “sketchy” situations in the wilderness that I’ve had to draw my gun in my trailer, I realized that there were certain drawbacks to the guns I was using for protection and I set out to buy and build the best at-home, or in my case “at-trailer” defense weapon. After tons of research, I decided on the Springfield SAINT Edge AR-15.

Here is Bridget’s SAINT Edge rifle, rigged exactly for her self-defense needs.

The Springfield SAINT Edge has been strategically designed to include a lot of AR-15 upgrades standard right out of the box. At first, I used my SAINT as a defense weapon without any modifications, but after some time and research, I decided to add on three specific mods.

Shine A Light

What if the enemy threatens your life in the dark? You want to maintain the element of surprise and not turn the lights on if avoidable. Adding a light to my AR-15 was a must in order to see where I’m pointing my gun in the dark, but also to disorient the enemy. My Viridian X5L-RS light can act as a laser, target light, and strobe light all in one. It is easily mountable to the rail of your SAINT, and can be charged on any wall outlet. As a lefty, I mounted it on the left side of my barrel and placed the toggle on/off switch on the right side of my barrel. The switch is strategically placed so that my finger can easily turn it on and off from the natural position of my hand on the gun. 

In this photograph, the author is on the shooting range with her AR-15 rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge.
Bridget fitted out the forend of her SAINT with a Viridian X5L-RS, which gives her good low-light capabilities with the rifle.

Reaching Out

Next, I wanted a superior optic for my AR-15 that was versatile and reliable. Besides using my AR-15 as an at-home defense weapon, I also loved the idea of taking it to the desert and using it for coyote hunting. As a deer hunter, I love protecting the fawns and future big bucks from the invasive coyotes. For this, I needed something that worked effortlessly in close quarters for defense, and also at distances of 100 yards or more for varmint hunting.

In this digital photograph, the author carries a Springfield Armory, Inc. AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with a detachable box magazine typical to the firearm of this type.
Since Bridget is often out in the wild, she must take measures to defend herself. This SAINT helps her do that.

I decided on the Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot. This red dot has a 50,000 hour battery life and is accurate near and far with my SAINT. I’ve accurately hit small targets at 100 yards with my Crossfire since purchasing it, and I’m confident I could do so at 200 yards as well. The illuminated sight is easy to see and easy to put on target, both up close and at a distance. Red dots always increase accuracy and I highly recommend putting one on your rifle before anything else! 

Here we see a red dot sight mounted to the top of the rifle using the M1913 Picatinny rails. The iron sights are also visible.
For an optic, Bridget went with a Vortex Crossfire Red Dot that gives her both close and reasonable longer-range capabilities for both home defense and coyote hunting.

The Right Angle

For my last AR-15 modification I wanted a grip on my rail for a more comfortable and customized shooting position. I tried different grips at my local gun shop and decided on the Magpul Angled Fore Grip (AFG) for its comfort. I mounted it where my right hand naturally sits on my rail. This grip makes emptying the magazine much more effortless, giving you a stable and comfortable point of contact on the rail. And let’s be honest, it also looks awesome! 

In this photograph we see how the author used the Magpul M-LOK attachment points on the side of the handguard.
The Magpul AFG (Angled Fore Grip) was Bridget’s top choice for rigging out the forend of her SAINT. Note the Viridian’s pressure pad controls above it.

The Springfield SAINT Edge AR-15 is designed to be easily modified. All of these products can be put on from the comfort of your home, or at your local gun shop. I’ve linked all the products below for your convenience, as well as the mounting hardware needed for some of these modifications. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and it inspires you to set up your own perfect self-defense firearm!

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