Lots to Love About SIG’s Latest MCX Rifle: The Spear LT
If you consume any firearms news, you must have heard all the recent talk about the new SIG Sauer MCX Spear. The Spear is the latest development in the MCX family, with some new features and an aesthetically pleasing presentation.
I, too, have been bombarded with all the news, and I decided to take a look at the Spear LT in 5.56 NATO and see for myself if all the hype is real.
The Spear LT shown here is a short-barreled version of the rifle, which comes in an assortment of small-frame AR calibers. This one is chambered in 5.56, but the LT can be had in other calibers like the .300 BLK and the long-awaited 7.62x39mm. Or if you want to be fancy, you could buy multiple barrels and switch back and forth using the MCX’s clever barrel-swap feature.
My Spear LT features an 11-inch barrel with 1:7 twist. The barrel assembly holds the gas block and piston assembly that operates the rifle. The gas block has a two-position adjustment to regulate the operation of the rifle, typically when using a suppressor. The rifle’s lightweight handguard is easily removed for maintenance and is also M-LOK compliant for all your favorite accessories.
The rifle also features an ambidextrous bolt catch, an incredibly welcome feature for those familiar with using them. It allows the user to lock back the bolt using the trigger finger, and it also doubles as a reloading aid. After inserting a fresh magazine, you can release the bolt with your trigger finger while your support hand goes back to the forearm. The safety is also ambidextrous, for those who like to use the wrong hand when shooting.
The Spear LT uses SIG’s Match Flat Blade trigger, which feels fantastic. I was immediately impressed with how good the trigger felt, crisp and clean on both the break and reset. If it weren’t for the $2,500-plus price tag, I would say that it is a better trigger than I would expect, but at that price – I would hope for such.
Like all MCX models, the Spear LT uses SIG’s internal buffer system, which doesn’t require the traditional AR buffer tube. This allows the MCX family to operate with or without a buttstock, or with the stock folded completely out of the way.
The rear of the lower receiver has a vertical Pic rail for installing the buttstock of your choice, but the folding stock that came with the rifle is outstanding, featuring a QD cup for sling attachment as well as a synthetic cheek rest to keep your face off the metal in cold weather. The lower receiver also has a QD sling mount positioned perfectly for single-point sling connection.
OUT OF THE BOX…
Unboxing the rifle was like unwrapping a Christmas present. Everything about this rifle as I lifted it from the box looked like quality. Every little radius seemed smooth, and the fit and finish of the rifle looked well above average. The internal parts like the bolt carrier had a slick nickel-boron or DLC-looking finish, and every moving part felt like it was on bearings.
The 7-pound ensemble is finished in a beautiful coyote tan coating that looks incredible.
Without hesitation I knew we had to get this rifle on the range as soon as possible. So, I grabbed some Hornady ammunition, mounted an Eotech XPS2, and headed out to the range.
AND ON TO THE RANGE
Short-barreled rifles like this one are ideal for close-quarters shooting, so I wasn’t worried about shooting very far. A 100-yard range would be more than adequate for testing its performance, as weapons like this are designed for engaging targets at distances not likely to exceed 300 yards. That’s not to say it can’t shoot farther – I’ve used similar weapons to engage man-sized targets as far as 500 yards away with great success.
After adjusting the sight a few times to ensure proper alignment, I used the rifle to shoot several targets at 50 and 100 yards. The short, easy-to-point rifle was quick to bring on target and pleasant to handle.
The Match trigger made breaking the shots very precise, and the way the rifle felt in my hands enhanced the experience. I like the grip angle; it seems a little more vertical than traditional AR grips. The slightly larger forearm also felt good, without adding a bunch of weight. The sticky rubber of the buttstock made the rifle easy to keep in position, while the flash hider kept the muzzle flash and concussion down.
After some work, I was able to get the muzzle brake off the rifle. This allowed some minimal shooting to be done using the Q Honey Badger suppressor, which worked great.
The accuracy of the Spear was exactly what I expected from an 11-inch barrel. Rifles of this configuration aren’t exactly designed to be precision shooting rifles, but the accuracy of the Spear LT was more than adequate for what it is. When shooting 62- and 77-grain ammunition, it was easy to keep the impacts within a 50-percent IPSC target in rapid shooting transitions on the move. Shooting supported, it would not be hard to keep the shots on target to well beyond 300 yards.
The multi-caliber potential of the MCX Spear is a mechanically fascinating design. Upon disassembly of the rifle, I looked closely into the mechanism that allows the barrel to be clamped and seated into the receiver.
The barrel block is a split block that uses two screws to both seat and clamp the barrel extension into the receiver. There are two claws that use a tapered edge to pull the barrel extension against its seat as you tighten them down. Once the extension is seated, with the same two screws that pulled the jaws back seating the barrel, then clamp the two halves of the barrel block. Once torqued to their setting, the barrel is solidly mounted in the receiver and ready to use.
It’s an ingenious yet simple design that deserves attention, and other than swapping out a bolt for a different cartridge size like the 7.62x39, there is little else to do for swapping calibers. I am a big fan of multi-caliber rifles, and this design is a great way to accomplish this modern and useful feature.
In my opinion, the features of this rifle make it a rifleman’s rifle. Everything about it felt well thought out, by someone who spends a lot of time shooting rifles. Everything from the gripping areas to controls to the balance and feel just felt natural and beneficial to my shooting form.
The only thing I would change about it given the opportunity: don’t glue on the muzzle device. Maybe it’s just SIG’s way of gently encouraging me to purchase one of their cans (point taken, SIG), but I could certainly do without the extra work to remove it.
Otherwise, I think SIG has knocked it out of the park with the MCX Spear LT. It is a high-quality service-grade carbine with everything you could want in a compact fighting-sized rifle. It is a little expensive for many, but I think the quality and features justify the price.
Now, I want to get my hands on the bigger version of the Spear.