All posts tagged M4 Carbine Upper Receivers

Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers

Now that we have our FFL, we can still see the same sales data that proves that Spike’s Tactical is still the #1 AR builders brand name.    We have a long history of selling the Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers.   Now that the new wave still leans towards Pistol AR’s and SBR’s,  the pattern is still there.   We are planning on stock more of the AR15 Upper Receivers in 2018 as well as various lower receivers, most are in and around the $100 range and they have been a high volume product line.   We are also see quite a few of the 9mm lowers sell.

People are very particular about the rail sections they want, the M-Lok and SAR and SAR3 are the top movers and you can put those handguards on whatever Carbine you already own.   All of the Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers we sell all come with the complete bolt carrier group and charging handle, far more people buy complete AR15 uppers than build them, the lower receivers are what most people put together.


Slinging an AR15, things to think about and Spikes Tactical Upper Receivers might be for you

Spikes Tactical Upper ReceiversWe are often asked if we “sell slings” because everyone that takes a carbine course is going to have to have one, but there really is a lot to think about and we are often opening up boxes or showing them in display with one of our plastic black rifles at work just so the customer comprehends why you might want one over the other.    The most popular sling we sell are the Elite Survival Systems Single Point bungee slings but even though I have one on one of my carbines, I’m liking the Magpul MS3 Sling more and more each time I use it that I might do an eventual overhall of the firearm.   The most common problem we find people have when looking for a sling is finding out they have to get a sling attachment plate and the next thing is not knowing how to remove the plate they have.   It’s not a hard thing to do, but i have to admit that I know of 2 incidences where the detent on the rear take down pin of an AR can easily be lost because it will fly out of the back of the rifle when you are taking the castle nut off and replacing the Sling Attachement plates.   You just have to watch it on Youtube before you do it, and then take it slow and do it right.

Now that machining firearms is such an easier process, some of the quadrail systems out there like the Spikes STU5025-S2S have the QD (quick detachment) holes in them that you have multiple points on these Spikes Tactical Upper Receivers where you can place your sling.   Between have an MS4 sling and an AR15 with this type of AR15 Complete Upper Receiver, you are going easily be able to transition the firearm in multiple situations like climbing up ladders, kneeling positions or just standing guard.   It might not just be what type of sling you have anymore, the stocks, upper receiver rail systems, can all give you a edge in being a highly productive operator.


Does LWRC still make the best piston upper receiver?

LWRC upper receiversThe answer to that is yes, and a big yes, but there are a lot of nice less expensive gas piston guns out there, but LWRC is still the most proven design and there SBR’s a hands down the best.   We have dealt with several security and special forces groups that are using the 6.8SPC and now we hear LWRC is actually making a 6.8SPC gun because there were too  many issue with magazines and mag wells when people made their 5.56 guns into 6.8.   There are also some very big improvements to the 6.8SPC cartridge and it the ballistics of the cartridge.  I won’t get onboard with this yet, but I do think that if the military changed from the 7.62 Nato round to the 5.56 NATO they should seriously think about the advantages of the 6.8 SPC  now that bad guys have more body armor and bullet range and penetration can be increased.

There were many issues with POF guns when they first came out and there were issues with bolt carriers tilting and causing reliablity issues that I was the first amongst my group to try out the LWRC M6A1.   There have been some changes with the LWRC upper receivers over the years but they really do have a fantastic design that is at the pinnacle of what a gas piston gun is suppose to do.  The short barrel 8inch, 10.5 inch and 12 inch upper receivers are well known for being outstanding suppressed and their LWRC M6A2 is available in several variations and finishes.   There are a few other models that are available but due to the high demand  in production they have been very restriction on how many models they are producing.


Blowing money or just having fun with a rifle?

There are several AR15 guns that we’ve seen come out that were basically a novelty.   I wouldn’t trust some of the direct impingement 5.45×39 guns with my life because it’s just a flat out bad idea to expect a gun to run on ammo that dirty and in a firearm like an direct impingement AR15 for very long.   Some of the differences in barrel life vary from firearm to firearm and the machining and matching of parts can mean the difference between a hobby gun and a combat firearm.  From my experience putting a gun together properly is a big deal and i’ve seen many imported firearms just not cut it because the gunsmithing and assemble were so bad a firearm like a FNFAL can get a bad image.

Century Arms was notorious for making cheap AKs and FAL amongst other things and there have been some dud companies that made AR15s.  AR15 rifle have improved and there are many guns that can become great hunting rifles with Bushmaster upper receivers that have the configuration that you might want for deer or varmint hunting.   I have a Bushmaster XM15E2 that is the second firearm that I train new shooters to use.  The iron sights on a carry handle and the long 20inch heavy barrel are very good training guns.


Gas Piston Systems what’s the difference?

I’ll write this blog as the biggest non-expert on the topic,  I know what POF and AR18s are like in comparison to LWRC guns but after that, I have no idea what all of these new piston guns from Ruger, Adams and other are like internally.  It’ll take awhile to have to go through the specifications on them or a tall coffee and a couple hours of watching Youtube video clips.  Some of the reviews are really well done, but takes almost as long to find a good review about a product as it does to comprehend all of the minor differences.  I;ll never forget the time it took me to realize that the terms “hook and loop” closure meant velcro on shirts.

The Metallurgy in making bolt carriers, and barrels has changed so dramatically in the last 7yrs, that I seriously need a refresher course before I can even talk about firearm differences. We have a huge number of backorders for the Adams Upper receivers but I have not had the time to actually take one out and compare it to my LWRC stuff.   I think the only thing I can say about the less expensive piston guns is that the designs may be similar, but I would have to say if saving $300 on an  upper for a proven design means saving anything.


Lots of people wondering what happened to the LWRC M6AK

We sold off the last of the M6AK rifles a few months ago but people are still calling and asking about them.  I remember being in the LWRC facility a few years ago and it was just at the beginning of the product run.  I was told second hand that the M6AK rifle was made of left over parts from the other M6 rifles and it was a one off product thing.   I have seen a lot of the Smith & Wesson 5.45×39 uppers go out the door with very few complaints, but I never thought it was a great idea to make a gun in 5.45×39 that was a direct impingement gun.  Just too damn dirty if you ask me.

The LWRC guns were all sold out and gone about a year and half after production and that was it.  As far as AR15 complete upper receivers,   The Adams 5.45×39 seems to be the next hot seller.   You will have to replace the spring in your lower so expect to designate a lower for this caliber.  It’s not a good idea to be lazy and not replace the hammer spring on your firearm. The great thing about AR15 uppers is how interchangeable they are but once you get into caliber variations, you probable want to just get another gun.


Going form one AR15 to another configuration

The thing that I love about the AR15 is that there are so many choices out there and the guns are just getting better and better.  I personally prefer LWRC guns because they are easy to maintain and the machining and quality is so good.  Many of the gas piston driven AR15’s out there are kind of pricey but in the long run they should cut your gun cleaning time by 75%.   Although that whole argument about gun reliability doesn’t real  hold any water anymore because AR15 reliability has more to do with the type of gun magazines you use than how much cleaning you do.

Several firearms instructors I have spoken to have told me that they’ve seen more firearms damaged by over cleaning than guns ruined by not being cleaned.   It’s seems that many AR15 upper receivers for sale at Rogue Elite can be found on Youtube with some type of malfunction drill where dirt and water tests were done and the guns passed.   All firearm machining has improved in the last decade and the differences between the manufacturers has more to do with the mission or preferences than about durability and reliability.


It’s not always about the quality of the metal on a gun

It’s not always about the quality of the metal on a gun because these days many firearms are made of material other than metal.  If we are talking strictly about AR15 rifle, much of what keeps a firearm running is how the parts were put together and operator maintenance.   I have yet to see an AR15 go down because it was not clean, most of them went down from bad magazines, screws that were not staked on properly, stocks that were not tightened all the way and extractor springs that should have been replaced thousands of rounds earlier.

Guns go down more to lack of maintenance and monitoring of anything that can be tightened or screwed down.  Not all AR15 upper receivers are the same quality and there has been some major improvements in machining.   Spikes Tactical Mid length uppers are probable the best bang for the buck and they have now become our number one complete upper receiver.  There are so many variations with AR15 uppers now and many of the differences are really personal tastes.   Just like Legos, sometimes it’s really just about what you want to build.






I’m an LWRC Piston guy, but……….

I’ve been on bandwagon with LWRC long before we sold their upper receivers and I really have a hard time spending money on anything but.  We’ve been involved with gun builds at various places in the Country and it’s been loads of fun doing it and see people build or assemble their first AR15.   The AR15 is still the next best training rifle after a 22LR bolt action for new shooters.   You can teach range adjustments and get people to learn how to manipulate a firearm that is basically the same thing that most of our standing military uses.

If you are looking to get your first AR15, I would not hesitate to tell you that you really don’t need to spend more than about $600.   I see nothing wrong with people buying something like Spikes Tactical Uppers and slapping it on a used upper receiver or a less expensive gun.   Spikes Tactical Uppers give you a very good starting point with quality parts and a good price point.   If you don’t think you’ll be put on the front line and be shooting 10,000rds a year through your barrel, don’t worry about spending the $2000 on an LWRC.

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