Springfield Armory Goes Retro With The New SA-16A2

We saw a lot of retro AR’s pop up at SHOT this year, and it looks like that trend isn’t over yet. Springfield Armory just announced the release of the SA-16A2. It’s pretty much what it sounds like, a semi auto clone of the M16A2 service rifle which as adopted in 1983.

I still remember that well, and am old enough that A2’s hadn’t even trickled down to Basic Training units or the Army Reserve when I went into the Army in 1988. To plenty of other folks born since that time the A2 is practically an antique design.

The SA-16A2 looks to be a nicely made homage to the M16A2. It has an A2 carry handle upper with brass deflector block, forward assist and A2 iron sights, and an A2 pattern lower. Both are made from 7075 T6 aluminum with a black Type III hardcoat anodizing. The barrel is a chrome lined with a 1:7 twist, 20-inch 4150 CMV unit that looks to be government profile, although I don’t see that specifically listed.

The rifle is capped off by an A2 flash hider and a proper non-F-marked front sight tower complete with bayonet lug. Stocks are traditional A2 consisting of the A2 pistol grip with finger groove, A2 length butt stock with trapdoor cleaning kt compartment and round ribbed A2 handguards.

Aside from following the overall lines and specs of an A2, Springfield also did a nice job on the lower receiver markings. The magazine well has the Springfield Armory logo followed by “Property of U.S. Gov’t” as well as “SA-16A2” and “CAL 5.56 MM” and then the serial number. That’s the same format you see on Colt and FN contract M16A2’s.

Even the selector markings mimic the M16A2 with Safe, Semi, and Burst indicators present. The Burst is just for looks  though, this is still a semi auto only rifle. It comes with one 30 round GI style aluminum magazine and a padded nylon rifle case.

Springfield Armory made a couple of tweaks that deviate from a basic A2 rifle, but they should improve function, and they’re on the inside where they don’t affect the classic military look. The barrel and upper have M4 feed ramps to enhance reliability, the mag well is slightly flared on the inside to expedite reloads, and the lower has  Springfield’s Accu-Tite tensioning screw to snug up the upper and lower receivers. The screw isn’t visible from the outside of the gun so nothing non A2 looking stands out.

I built my own M16A2 clone a little while back and don’t really need another, but I have to say that the Springfield SA-16A2 looks pretty nice. I had great luck with the Springfield Armory Saint when it first released, and I ended up buying my review gun. It probably wouldn’t take much arm twisting for me to grab one of these too, whether I need another A2 clone or not. The SA-16A2 has an MSRP of $1,249 although I’m already seeing street prices about $100 cheaper than that, which makes it competitive with other A2 clones on the market right now.


Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 REM)
Color: Black
Barrel: 20″ 4150 CMV, Chrome Lined, 1:7
Sights: A2
Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Forward Assist, M4 Feed Ramps
Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, Type III Hardcoat Anodized, Accu-Tite™ Tension System
Bolt Carrier Group: Enhanced M16 w/ 9310 Steel Bolt, HPT/MPI, Phosphate
Gas System: Direct Impingement Rifle-Length, A2 Pinned Gas Block
Handguard: A2 Polymer w/ Integral Heat Shield
Stock: A2 Fixed
Trigger: Mil-Spec
Muzzle Device: A2 Flash Hider
Receiver Extension: Mil-Spec Rifle Length
Receiver End Plate: Mil-Spec
Buffer Assembly: Rifle
Charging Handle: GI Style
Safety Switch: Single Side 90 Degree
Trigger Guard: Mil-Spec
Grip: A2
Magazines: (1) GI Aluminum 30-Round
Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz
Length: 39.5″
MSRP: $1,249



2 Responses

  1. To each their own, I guess.

    If I wanted to go ‘retro’, I’d want to do with a bit of class.

    Like, a set of gorgeous hardwood furniture instead of the standard plastic :

    Now *that* would be cool. Wood like that would give me some serious wood every time I picked it up… 😉

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