Your gas tube should be one of your least noticeable components. What I mean by that is you shouldn’t have to think about your gas tube at all, if it’s installed properly. And the Spikes Tactical Melonited Gas Tube will be the least exciting component on your rifle.
If you check around the internet, the first thing you might notice is that the Spikes Tactical gas tube isn’t the least expensive gas tube on the market. It’s definitely on the upper end of the price spectrum, though it’s not the most expensive option.
I noticed that, too. So I bought some to find out if this gas tube is worth the extra seven or eight bucks.
This is what I found. Gas tubes aren’t that exciting (and they shouldn’t be as far as I’m concerned). So this will be a quick review.
The thing that separates this gas tube from a mil-spec gas tube is the finish.
This gas tube is finished in black melonite. It’s not a magic finish. But, it does look cool and removes one source of reflection on your rifle.
However, the finish does add an additional layer of corrosion resistance. So this gas tube should last a bit longer than a bare stainless steel gas tube.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly how much longer. It takes a really long time to wear out a gas tube. And the flare on the bolt carrier end of the gas tube is typically what wears out first.
But I appreciate the aesthetic of the black melonite gas tube. And I also appreciate the additional layer of corrosion resistance, even if it’s not a complete game changer.
Under the melonite finish, this is a 304 stainless steel gas tube. Stainless steel is the mil-spec standard. And it’s good enough to hold up for tens of thousands of rounds. Even if the melonite finish does absolutely nothing, you still get a gas tube that will probably last through the life of more than one barrel.
However, when I inspected and installed this gas tube, I found the construction to be excellent.
All of the holes—the gas port and pin hole—were drilled prior to the finish being applied. That’s the sort of attention to detail I’d expect from a slightly pricier gas tube.
Also, the gas block end of this gas tube is closed. I prefer this design. I’ve seen some budget gas tubes that are open at both ends. The gas tube relies on the gas block to stop gas from escaping from the muzzle end.
The Spikes Tactical gas tube is closed at the muzzle end to completely eliminate that point of gas leakage.
At the other end, the gas key flare is actually machined into the gas tube. Some budget gas tubes are simply stretched at the gas key end.
This gas tube has a thick collar where it interfaces with the gas key. That way it lasts a super long time because the gas key flare will wear down very slowly. And it will take a very long time before wear on the gas key flare actually causes gas leakage.
The last things I noticed were the pinning notches. The pinning notches appear to be pressed into the gas tube, rather than machined. That’s just nice because it doesn’t create a thin spot where the pin secures the gas tube, which helps ensure there are no weak points in your gas tube.
All in all, the construction has all the features that you’d expect from a high-end gas tube. Spikes Tactical clearly didn’t cut any corners when they built this gas tube.
When I say this gas tube will be boring once you get it installed, I mean it. It just works.
There have been zero issues caused by the gas tube in rifles I’ve built or repaired with the Spikes Tactical gas tube. That’s exactly what I want from a gas tube: I shouldn’t have to think about it.
If you’re looking for something a bit better than bare mil-spec hardware, the Spikes Tactical gas tube is the way to go. It’s only a little bit more expensive than the cheapest gas tubes. And it’s built well enough to pretty much guarantee that you can forget about it once it’s on your gun.