Florida-based Spike’s Tactical was founded in 2001. They deal exclusively with the AR platform, supplying shooters all over the U.S. with uppers and lowers, complete rifles and pistols, barrels, parts, accessories, and more.
Won’t you join us as we take a closer look? This is our Spike’s Tactical review.
Much like the physical universe which we inhabit, the world of ARs is always expanding. Eugene Stoner came up with the design back in the 1950s, and it remains one of the most popular weapon platforms around. People like Stoner, or Kalashnikov, or Browning – such gifted craftsmen, who gave us so much. Just look at John Browning’s treasure trove of a mind… he’s been dead for almost 100 years, and his designs are still being used as a basis for modern-day weaponry and cartridges!
The AR-15 (designated by the U.S. military as M16) has been called “America’s Rifle”. It’s been around for a long time, seen some major wars and conflicts, and has been revamped and redone by every two-bit hustlin’ firearms manufacturer in the country. With this being the case, does Spikes Tactical have something unique to offer customers of this hugely-popular niche?
Mike (aka Spike) and Angela Register established their family business at the turn of the millennium, in Maitland, Florida. Like so many other outfits, Spikes Tactical began as a hobby but became something more. The company has grown a lot over the years, moved its HQ to Apopka, FL, and has managed to come out with some original and innovative products.
There’s been an amount of controversy regarding some of their business practices and advertising campaigns. Yet, even in the midst of these controversies, the quality of their weapons systems has never been a point of contention or disagreement.
So, what does this company do? Plainly put, Spikes Tactical is helping people build the AR of their dreams. They offer complete rifles too, but I feel it is their “parts and accessories” department which churns out their best-sellers. It seems many people are happy to add a Spikes drop-in product – a lower, an upper, a barrel, etc. – when upgrading their AR-15.
Spikes Tactical Lower
There are currently 10 complete lowers to choose from in Spikes catalog, and they include several different configurations. The MSRP on these is $270-735, depending on whether you go for the enhanced or standard lower parts kit, and what options you choose to purchase when placing your order. It’s not just about a Calico Jack logo or Spartan mag well, even though designs like those are part of what this manufacturer is known for.
Indeed, I feel one of the best things about Spikes Tactical is the personality and character which their designs exude. Is it frivolous? To some degree maybe, if only for the obvious reason that the logo designs and great-looking mag wells are not really essential for proper use of the firearm. On the other hand, personal touches such as those help you develop a stronger relationship with your firearm, and that goes a long way.
The other option is a stripped lower, also available in several designs.
Spikes Tactical Upper
Complete uppers (and parts of uppers) are available through Spikes Tactical. There are unique uppers for 5.56mm, 9mm, 300 BLK, and .308. There is also the possibility of purchasing a complete upper with built-in suppression for 300 BLK and 5.56mm.
As with the lowers, there are different configurations to choose from. This is exactly what the company set out to do with they first got into the business. They wanted to help people build the AR they’ve always wanted, and this is how they go about it. They provide people with many options, to keep things as customizable as can be.
As for parts, you can find various ejection ports, nuts, charging handles, gas blocks and gas tubes, latches and shims. All made in the USA, all tested, all with a lifetime warranty. Some items are on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for.
Spikes Tactical AR-15
One thing I will say right off the bat: with an AR like this, you’ll be able to get a lot more for your money. Spikes is a company which manages to provide a more upscale AR without too much damage done to your wallet.
It doesn’t cost outrageously more than any standard USA-made AR would, but what you get in return is more. The higher quality of this rifle is evident at every turn, from the lightness of its weight to the accuracy of its firing mechanism.
Not all of Spikes ARs are built the same, but I am fairly confident that their team puts as much effort into one as they do into another. One thing worth mentioning in this context is that Spikes complete rifles also have many variants and configurations, and some of them arrive without sights or a magazine.
But for the price that you pay and the quality you receive, it may not bother you that those need to be purchased separately with certain models.
There are many weapons around this world, and some of them are indeed quite good – but Stoner’s AR keeps on trucking. Its popularity never wanes, and it is still used by countless military forces and civilians.
The greatest thing about owning an AR is that it is so very versatile. I know that many weapons are constructed to be versatile, but there is a difference between proclaiming it and being it. The AR-15 didn’t become America’s Rifle for no reason.
Spikes Tactical Crusader
This is one of the more controversial weapons to ever grace the floors of the Spikes Tactical facilities. It is a quality AR-15, like the rest of the company’s lineup, but with some important differences.
The Crusader has drawn some fire from different folks, groups, and organizations, mainly due to the presence of a bible verse (Psalms 144:1) and a Crusader’s shield and cross, both of which are laser-engraved on the receiver.
Plus, when the rifle made its debut in 2016, an executive at Spikes said it was a weapon no Muslim terrorist would want to touch. You can see why this rifle caused something of a stir when it was released.
Some of the rifle’s tech specs:
- Model: The Crusader
- Caliber: 5.56mm
- Capacity: 30 rounds, accepts standard AR-15 mags
- Action: Semi-auto, direct-impingement
- Barrel Length: 14.5”
- Overall Length: 16”
- Weight: 6.6 lbs
- MSRP: $1580
This rifle looks great, and it comes with the parts belonging to Spikes Enhanced Lower configuration, which means that it’s equipped with all the perks of a Spikes system.
- Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel + ST Dynacomp 2 pinned and welded
- ST Battle Trigger
- ST Ambi Safety
- ST Grip
- ST MLOK Rail System 12”
- ST Lightweight Nickel Boron M16 Bolt Carrier Group
- ST-T-2 Tungsten Buffer
- ST Billet Mag Release Button
- Magpul CTR Stock w/ Enhanced Butt Pad
- Magpul MBUS sights
- Holes for weight reduction
The weight reduction is real, people. And this is also the case with many other Spikes models. I’ve lifted and handled more than a few ARs, and this one is noticeably light.
You get a lot for under $1600. Remember, that’s the MSRP, but there are always sales going on online or offline. Don’t forget that gun shows might be a great place to find some bargains as well.
Some shooters are upset with Spikes Tactical for coming out with all of those different logos and symbols for their lowers. These people claim it facilitates the “range ninja” mentality, and that Spikes receivers are being made solely for those who want to look badass as they step close to that shooter’s line.
Now, if this was a crappy gun with a great logo, I may have agreed. But this is not the case.
Guns are a serious business, but some take this logo stuff way too seriously. Anyone can put whatever they want on their gun, as long as they stay within the confines of the law.
If someone wants a Batman symbol, or a Punisher helmet, or a bible verse on their gun – they are free to do that, plain and simple. Will there be people who judge them? Yes, always, but why should that matter?
Spikes Tactical is a respected company and has been for almost 20 years. Their guns are well-made, priced reasonably, and they deliver on their promise. Whether you are interested in purchasing a complete rifle or pistol, or whether you want to buy a drop-in piece of hardware for your AR, Spikes a company worth considering.
In my opinion, the point of owning a firearm is never about being “tacticool”. It is first and foremost a way to exercise that fundamental American right to keep and bear arms.
People carry weapons for any number of reasons, and most of those reasons are as valid as they come. If “because I wanna look badass” is your reason for owning an AR or for ordering that ‘Waterboarding Instructor’ lower receiver from Spikes Tactical – go for it. This is ‘murica after all, isn’t it?
Finally, a word to any “woke” range ninjas out there, and a solid piece of advice – don’t be one. You can personalize and customize your weapon, of course, and that can add a lot of practicality to it. But be cool about it, for crying out loud, and don’t act as if you are God’s gift to shooters or range officers. Don’t be a douche.