Student of the Gun and Spike’s Tactical have partnered to create the “Lexington & Concord” rifle, an Instrument of Liberty. This AR-15 style firearm is available for purchase directly from Spike’s Tactical of Apopka, Florida makers of the highest quality, American made products.

The new Spike’s Tactical “Lexington & Concord” rifle, an Instrument of Liberty (EOTech sold separately)

An Instrument of Liberty

As the saying goes, “it all began with an idea”. About a decade ago, I started referring to firearms in the hands of American citizens as “instruments of liberty”. On Student of the Gun Radio, I explained in detail that, regardless of your particular passion as an American gun owner, we all should be looking at our firearms first and foremost as instruments of liberty. 

The reasoning for this thought process is not complex. If you look at a gun as a tool you use for hunting or competing in shooting sports, if a gun to you is the equivalent of a table saw or a set of golf clubs, that does not inspire the association of an Unalienable Right. 

Sports and hobbies can be fun, but they are not guaranteed Rights. Our Constitution does not enumerate the Unalienable Right to go hunting or to participate in 3-Gun matches.

Amendment 2 of the Bill of Rights affirms, not creates, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.  “Keep” means to maintain ownership and possess. “To Bear” means to exercise direct control over and to carry.

As a matter of clarification for those who went to public schools in the last 25 years. In 1791, “well-regulated” meant properly trained, skilled, and efficient. The “militia” were the people, the common man, the citizens, NOT employees of the state.

There was no “National Guard” in 1791 and it was the 13 State Militias who sent tens of thousands of citizens to the field in battle against British Regulars, murderous Indian tribes, as well as deadly Hessian mercenaries and Loyalist (Tory) traitors to the revolution. Thousands of citizen soldiers, members of militias, died to defend a newborn nation.  

If American gun owners cannot agree that our firearms must first be looked at as instruments of liberty and later as tools for sports or hobbies, is there any hope for liberty in the United States?

The tax slaves in Europe and other countries are “allowed” by the masters in government to “own” guns as an extremely restricted and expensive privilege. Do they have genuine liberty?

Check out the Lexington & Concord Rifle on

Spike’s Tactical and Student of the Gun

After waiting for far too long, I decided that we needed to have a rifle that we could hold in our hands and say, “This is an Instrument of Liberty”.  Naturally, having 30 plus years of both doing and teaching, I had some specific thoughts as to how a practical fighting rifle should be configured. The question I posed in my head was, “Who would be willing to work on such a project with me? Who would be willing to call a rifle an Instrument of Liberty?” 

Cole with Spike’s Tactical has been my friend for many years. I have used Spike’s products with great success for a long time and reported on and endorsed them. When I wrote to Cole to explain my thought process for a rifle that would be an Instrument of Liberty, he got it immediately, which was not a surprise to me at all given their history with the Crusader rifle. We decided that day to collaborate on this project.

The Mid-length Gas System puts a bayonet right where it needs to be

The Lexington & Concord: an Instrument of Liberty

I had all the ideas for parts and features, but we needed a name that people could embrace and one that they would relate to liberty. Instrument of Liberty would become the subtitle and the main title would be the Lexington & Concord or L&C rifle for short.

Unless you are a brain dead liberal or member of the purposefully ignorant of American History Gen Z, you understand that Lexington & Concord means liberty.

That was the location of “The shot heard ‘round the world’’. The American Revolution truly began on April 19, 1775 on Lexington green and then the north bridge in Concord. This rifle would truly be an Instrument of Liberty for the Modern Minuteman.

Now that we had a name, we needed to decide on the configuration. As this a stoner-based AR design, the choices for the gas system were short, mid-length, or long. My experience with 16 inch barreled ARs has been that the mid-length gas system is superior to the short.

There are innumerable articles supporting this assertion should have the time to peruse them. A 16 inch barrel with a short gas system does not allow for the proper mounting of a bayonet, a mid-length gas system fixes that issue. 

We would go with a standard A2 style front sight tower with a bayonet lug and sling attachment. These are robust and sturdy. At the dangerous end, we would keep with the A2 “flash-hider/compensator”. Again, tried and true, plus this style allows the use of the aforementioned bayonet.

Into the front sight housing we would install a Night Fision Tritium front sight blade with the super bright “yellow/green” translucent polymer ring surrounding the Tritium vial. The Night Fision AR front sights are superbly made and offer quarter-click adjustment just like the standard M4 iron sight.

I understand that many end users will install an optic. However, the Tritium / Yellow-Green front sight makes the gun ready for CQB right out of the box.

The addition of the Night Fision Tritium front sight makes the rifle a better fighting tool.

The upper and lower receivers would be Spike’s Tactical M4 flat top upper and their  lower. Both are forged 7075 aluminum As for a bolt-carrier group, we would use Spike’s standard weight, phosphate BCG. There would be absolutely no “game” or “competition” parts on this rifle.

The trigger group would be a Spike’s jeweled Mil-Spec version, (again, no fragile competition parts). This trigger needs to be stout enough to set off all 5.56mm ammunition, including military ammo with notoriously “hard primers”. 

As for furniture or accessories, Magpul was an easy choice. We went with a Magpul forend and pistol grip, both in black. An MOE cantilever rail section is included to allow the end user to mount a light/laser on either side of the forend. Atop the flat top receiver we include a Magpul BUIS to mate with the front sight. Each rifle comes with a standard capacity black 30 round PMAG. We deliberately decide against an aluminum rail forend to both keep the total weight down and keep the unit cost more attractive.

The M16A1 length fixed stock is robust and reliable and the perfect length for a fighting rifle.

Regarding the stock, I decided to stray from the norm and I specified an A1 length, fixed butt stock. Having used retractable M4 stocks for decades, I understand their benefit for storage. Nonetheless, a fixed stock in the A1 length is stout and rugged and of a proper length for most any adult shooter. 

BONUS Material

Every rifle needs a sling. One of the most simple, handy, and effective slings comes from Galco. My friend Mike at Galco designed the SLC strap some years ago. It is the perfect K.I.S.S. design.  Each L&C rifle comes with one in black.

Also, as we have always preached education, each rifle will come with a copy of “The Martial Application of the Rifle” book, an invaluable primer for those who desire to use their guns as instruments of liberty. To make the kit more “value added”, each rifle comes with an SOTG Skill Maintenance target and a sample of Froglube.

Every home defense rifle should have a light. The L&C comes with a rail attachment to allow a light, such as the SureFire Scout, to be easily mounted.

The K.I.S.S. Principle

The “Keep It Simple, Stupid” or K.I.S.S. principle is nothing new. I’m sure it has been forty years since I was introduced to the concept. Americans love to customize their stuff, I know that I do. However, when it comes to an instrument of liberty, a tool that you might be called upon to use in the defense of your home and family, Gucci parts and competition components have no place here.

When it came to planning out the Lexington & Concord rifle, we purposely went to simple, robust, and functional. No quality was sacrificed, but expensive aftermarket “match” or “competition” parts were shunned. When it comes to an Instrument of Liberty, the L&C rifle has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.    

Spike’s Lexington & Concord Rifle

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Action: Semi-Automatic
  • Barrel Length: 16 inches
  • Operating System: Direct Gas Impingement / Mid-length
  • Capacity: Standard / 30 rounds
  • Overall Length: 34.75 in.
  • Weight (empty): 6 lb, 14 oz.

Order your L&C Rifle from Spike’s Tactical Today!

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Zachary Markel, affectionately known as the Shipping Ogre, is an intricate member of the Student of the Gun team. Zachary co-hosts the radio show, publishes the material for public consumption and produces Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel. As the Shipping Ogre, Zach oversees the SOTG Gear store. He ensures that every package he touches is handled with care.