This is the article on the Spikes Tactical ST-22 Upper for the AR.  Please click the READ MORE below to read the article and get the video link.  As always, please support us by booking your travel with Civilian Tactical Weapon Resorts (CTW Resorts) at

Spikes Tactical ST-22

by Jessie Indracusin


It seems like every day, .223 ammo is becoming harder and more expensive.  Forget putting gold in your stock portfolio, these days, putting cases of .223 in your profile is nearly worth it's weight in gold.  If you were to tell me about getting a .22 upper for an AR 5 years ago, I  would probably respond with "Why do you want me to waste my money on that crap?"  Lately, I have done a 180 on that opinion.  I sometimes feel I need to find a layaway plan on ammo when it comes to buy even cheap .223 ammo.  This, coupled by the fact that most ranges tend to be indoors at 25 yards only, has really opened up my opinion on this.  You can buy bricks of .22 ammo for practically nothing.  If you want to practice some short range (25 yards and less) Combat Carbine shooting, this is an excellent option.  Although this is not a cheap option, this will give you an excellent return on your investment if you tend to like to do a lot of shooting.


First question I tend to always get about this is why not just get an insert kit?  These options are NOT good for your barrel or gas tubes !  A complete  upper has a few benefits that I feel are worth the investment.   One is your .223 barrel is left intact.  The other is you can experiment with other optics without having to put different optics on and off (therefore having to re-zero)  the gun when you are changing cartridge types.  Some people may say why would you need different optics? With a .22 upper, you may not want to use any form of magnified optics.  On an optic that has magnification, it's a bit overkill for a .22.

The quality of this system is top notch (but definitely at a top price).  The one tested has the Daniel Defense Rail system on it (9" version).  The barrel is correctly rifled for the .22 at a 1:16 versus your typical 1:9 or 1:7 you find on an AR.  This upper came as a 16" barrel.  You can order these with various barrel lengths, rails, tactical flip sites, full auto kit (Class III Kit) and many other options.  We ran our tests on the S&W M&P15T frame.  This upper will fit on any normal AR lower.  I would recommend talking to the manufacturer directly if you want to know if a specific lower will work with this.  The craftsmanship that Spike's Tactical uses is excellent.  No sharp edges, everything fits smooth and tight with the S&W lower.  Overall, just a very high quality upper.

The bolt system on the Spike's Tactical is very interesting.  It splits a bit different then you would normally see on an AR.  When you pull the magazine out, the slide goes closed instead of the typical bolt open on an AR after the last round is emptied in the gun.  For tactical carbine training, you may want to do a combat reload before the gun runs dry.  The Black Dog magazines hold 27 rounds which we used in the test.  Doing fairly consistent shooting with a red dot, non-magnified scope resulted in emptying all 27 rounds into pretty much a quarter size group at 25 yards with a roughly 1 round a second shooting from a bench.  This is an incredibly fun option to shoot, especially if your friends want to shoot an AR but you don't want to feel obligated in providing all the ammo.  For the price of 22 ammo, I could careless how many magazines anyone shot from it.  

We tried some faster rapid fire shooting and could not make the gun jam. We have an upcoming weekly webcast that will be a range video on the shoot we had.  


Excellent product...if you can afford it.  This option from Spike's Tactical is about $750-900.  It really saves you money in the long run if you shoot a lot.  Pretty much besides the cost, I have no complaints about it.  Time will tell about this upper since after firing a few hundred rounds it was an enjoyable experience, but I can not say how this holds up under some long term shooting.  My concern might be the bolt portion.  I don't know how reliable the springs are on it.  It seems good, but without shoving a few thousand rounds in it, it is hard to tell.  I don't know what to say though.  Overall, this is an excellent option and should be looked at very closely if you are considering a .22 upper for an AR rifle.

P.S. excuse the company's crying cat in the background...LOL


Last Updated (Sunday, 26 April 2009 16:24)