Spikes tactical questions


February 7, 2012, 08:56 PM
Think about build an AR off of a spikes lower or receiver combo. But I have a few questions.

1, What (if any) is the advantage to a billet receiver?
2, Are the billet receivers worth the several hundred extra dollars?
3, Spikes claims they "no punch tool assembly" what does that mean?
4, Is it always best to buy lower and upper kits? I was under the impression that this way they are made to fit together with a tighter tolerance.
5, Are barrels and accessories going to fit the same with either forged or billet receivers?

Thanks for any help and remember everyone likes pictures!

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February 7, 2012, 09:41 PM
1) Looks and custom features.
2) Depends how much you like the looks and custom features.
3) A standard AR lower requires you to install two rollpins. It isn't hard, but some people screw it up (often people with no business attempting to build a lower). The ST billet lower (and a few others like Quentin Laser) doesn't require installing any rollpins, because the trigger guard is integral and the bolt stop is held in with a set screw.
4) With forged receivers it usually doesn't matter. With billet receivers it sometimes does, because they often deviate from spec in minor dimensions and one brand may not work with another brand. (I have personal experience with this.)
5) Barrels should fit the same with any decent upper. Quadrails and other custom forends may or may not because some billet uppers are too big in areas where some forends index off the dimensions of a forged upper. Best to search on the exact combination of parts you intend to use.

February 7, 2012, 10:30 PM
Thank you for your feedback!
One more question. What about strength of the receiver? I have heard both ways about billet vs forged.

February 7, 2012, 11:08 PM
I've never found anything conclusive about the strength difference between the two. It simply doesn't matter. Both are stronger than they need to be and no one reports breaking either kind (I should say, any kind of aluminum lower receivers, even 6061 billet models - there are enough reports of people breaking the plastic lowers offered by some companies).

Just make sure you buy one that is properly machined. I expect the Spike's would be. I have billets from Mega and Kies and both are well machined. Some of the offbeat, "who?" brands of billet lowers seem to have issues with dimensions being off, causing problems with assembly or use.

February 8, 2012, 08:47 AM
Forged or billet is more than strong enough for the application. DPMS uses extruded 6000 series aluminum for there .308 AR uppers.

Billet receivers normally have custom features, require much more machine time, hence the higher cost. Billet uppers can be made with thicker dimensions for higher strength, often used with long barrel precision rifles.

Upper and lower fit is normally not a problem even when using different brand uppers/lowers. Even if you do have some play it's very easy to correct.

A ambi mag release or ambi bolt release may not fit on all billet lowers because the outside dimensions may not be to normal spec. This is something the manufacturer should know and can tell you.

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