If you want to know more about buying, shooting, maintaining, and accessorizing the AR-15 and its variants, check
Posts Tagged ‘Windham Weaponry’
If you want to know more about buying, shooting, maintaining, and accessorizing the AR-15 and its variants, check out this top-10 most-read list of articles from the last year:
Here is a compilation of the most-read Shooter’s Log articles by all-time rank. Ranging from No. 11 to No. 20, the articles cover a range of topics, from exercising good manners at the gun store to the provocative question, “Will you turn over your guns” if the government demands them? Click the headlines to check them out for yourself.
Windham Weaponry’s attention to detail and the care that goes into each rifle pays off at the range in accuracy and dependability. It also pays off in the pocketbook because it does not come with a hefty price tag like other manufacturer’s offerings.
Editor’s Note: Prices noted in this article are as of July 26, 2013, and subject to change without notice.
Aftermarket options for the AR-15 and its variants are legion. I don’t think it’s possible for a single human being to scratch the surface of all the available handguards, optics, mounts, suppressors, and other geegaws out there, some of which can be quite spendy. However, I’ve recently bought a handful of inexpensive items for my AR that have delivered a lot of bang for the buck. Some have been mentioned in previous posts, but they’re worth a few more words to explain why you might consider them for your own rifle.
We often field questions about which AR-15 is the best. In my experience, if you ask ten different firearms enthusiasts about the best AR-15, you are likely to get ten different answers. Aside from some fundamental specifications, which at this point most manufacturers meet or exceed, most AR-15s you buy off the shelf work perfectly well for range time. Rather than searching in terms of the best AR, you might consider what the most popular AR is. We ran a report of the top selling AR-15s of 2012 to see which black rifle could be crowned king. Some of the answers might surprise you.
Whether or not you could be considered an AR aficionado, Windham Weaponry would not likely be the first manufacturer that comes to mind. In fact, I would suspect most are searching their memory banks trying to recall if they have ever even heard of Windham Weaponry. Rest at ease, the name is not as important as who is behind it and the quality of workers building the guns.
When I wrote “We’re Putting the Band Back Together” in October 2011, Windham Weaponry was just getting started. Here’s a quick recap: former Bushmaster owner Richard Dyke came out of retirement and put together a team of talented gun builders who had been left jobless after Freedom Group’s surprise consolidation nearly a year ago. After purchasing Bushmaster, Freedom Group shut down the factory in Windham, Maine, and moved all the equipment away, lock stock, and gun barrels too. The Remington plant in Ilion, New York now builds the rifles engraved with the name Bushmaster. Instead of just giving up and going home, the original Bushmaster crew decided to go back to the basics, building high quality, old school configuration AR-15s at a great price point.
Freedom Group continues to acquire major firearms manufacturers at an astonishing pace. Earlier today they announced the acquisition of Para USA.
Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle
Richard Dyke who used to own Bushmaster has started Windham Weaponry, building AR-15 rifles as close to MIL-SPEC as possible. These no-nonsense AR-15 rifles allow the buyer to customize them any way they feel fit. This sight-ready rifle is affordable, because there is not any jacked-up pricing on expensive sights. Add your own! The Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle chambered for .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, has a 16-inch chrome-lined barrel, and holds 30 rounds. Windham Weaponry is staffed by old Bushmaster employees; they know what they are doing. It is a name you can trust.
Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 77545
CTD Mike interviewed Richard Dyke from Windham Weaponry, read it here.
Just in Case or for All the Time
For this price, it is totally acceptable to purchase a second or third, or tenth, shotgun. Mossberg has been kind enough to pack up your ultimate zombie apocalypse survival kit that includes the ever-popular Mossberg 500 pump-action, pistol-grip shotgun. The shotgun is sealed up in a re-sealable clear bag and packed in a waterproof tube, so you can bury it for cache storage if need be. The Mossberg Model 500 JIC also includes a survival kit. The Model 500 12-gauge shotgun features an 18.5-inch close-quarters barrel, a black synthetic stock and pistol grip, and holds six rounds of 2.75-inch shells.
Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 41019
Streamlight PT 1L Professional Tactical Light
It occurred to me this morning that I need a very bright and compact tactical light. As my routine is, alarm goes off and the dog and I go outside. Barely awake, I shuffled to the back door with dog in-tow and to my surprise, it was opened. Not just unlocked, but open… not wide or anything, but open. So I went back to the bedroom, got my Bodyguard, and searched the house, with no flashlight. I keep a bad guy whacker next to the bed, but in this situation, I would not have been able to handle the flashlight, the gun, and open doors all at the same time. I told the guys this morning about what happened and CTD Ben highly recommended this Streamlight PT 1L professional tactical light. It has a bright 110 lumens and an excellent run time of one hour and 45 minutes on high. It is super compact, too, so I can throw it in my pocket, purse, or keep it with my gun, which is what I plan to do.
Oh. And the door issue. Not to worry. I chalked it up to user-error. I’m pretty sure I failed to lock it properly with my last trip out last night. No Bogeymen inside the morning. Thank God. Lesson learned.
Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-STL88030
New Zombie Targets
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any zombie-related products and the Mossberg 500 JIC reminded me of that fact, so I found these new zombie targets from Champion. These are fun because you actually have to have your shot placement right. Because there are good guys in the targets. This is a multi-pack of three different designs so you won’t get bored. (Like you’d get bored shooting zombies.) You get a total of six targets. The Champion zombie targets feature VisiColor technology that reveals a bright green color when you shoot the zombie in the head, yellow when you hit the zombie’s body, and white when you hit the good guy. They measure 18-inch by 12-inch.
Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-OUT46050
Suzanne joined the content team with over eight years experience at Cheaperthandirt.com. Starting out as a product description writer, Suzanne has extensive knowledge of the Cheaper Than Dirt! product base and is a good resource for suggestions on which products you need. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Though she prefers plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, Suzanne also loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!
In the spring of 2010, the Bushmaster plant in Windham, Maine closed, and Bushmaster’s tooling moved lock, stock, and barrel to New York, where the “Freedom Group” would assemble new Bushmasters alongside Remington rifles. The move was a surprise to the Windham employees, many of whom had been building rifles together there for over a decade. Although they knew how to build high quality guns and had great connections in the firearms industry, they now faced unemployment and an uncertain future. Then some employees started getting phone calls from their old boss. Richard Dyke, the former owner of Bushmaster Firearms Inc. until 2006, was unhappy with how things had turned out for the Windham crew, and had decided to come out of retirement at age 77 and start a new AR-15 manufacturing company right there at the old Bushmaster plant. As he put together investors and former employees, the word began to spread around; “We’re putting the band back together!”
Freedom Group now owns the rights to all the Bushmaster rifle’s specifications, so Windham started with a clean slate and drew up their own specifications for three new rifles. They decided to go old school, as close to military specifications as possible on metal choice, fit, and finish, because they knew if they did their rifles would work. Windham has released three AR-15 carbine models so far, featuring little mil-spec details like an aluminum trigger guard instead of plastic, hard-coat anodizing on aluminum and manganese phosphate coating on steel, and chrome lined barrels. They designed the three initial rifles to appeal to a wide variety of civilian and law enforcement shooters. Instead of trendy “flavor of the month” guns, they are basic carbines with features that are tried and true, despite being drawn up on new specifications and having a new name attached to the guns.
The Windham “new old-school” approach shows up in the details of the guns. The Windham “SRC,” or Sight Ready Carbine, is the least expensive version and comes with no sights, just a plain A3 flattop style upper receiver and Picatinny railed gas block. The buyer saves the money that would usually go into the standard detachable carry handle, and then can spend it on whatever custom sights he prefers instead. Picatinny gas blocks are common now and several other manufacturers offer similar configurations, but look closely! The gas block is a critical part, it must line up exactly with the barrel’s gas port or the AR-15 will fail to cycle. Nearly all the Picatinny gas blocks on the market use two set screws to hold them in place, and if these set screws back out (barrel temperatures can melt Loctite by the way) the block may move around, losing its alignment and turning your semi-automatic carbine into a single shot. Even though the Sight Ready Carbine is a new design, they went old school with their gas block, using two taper pins going through the block and barrel the military way.
Windham’s two other carbines are the “HBC” Heavy Barrel Carbine, featuring a heavy barrel underneath the handguard, and the “MPC” Military Preferred Carbine, a classic M4-style featuring a “government profile” barrel with the famous M203 barrel mount cut out. One departure from military specs, in a concession to the civilian market, is that all three rifles use a 1/9 twist rate instead of the military issue 1/7 twist rate. Windham explains that despite a push by some law enforcement and commercial customers to standardize on the 1/7 twist rate, the 1/9 twist is still the most requested and the most common twist rate, so that’s what they went with for their initial offerings.
Windham doesn’t plan on standing pat with these three rifles. They have an aggressive plan to offer more variants in the near future including different barrel twist rates, ban-state compliant models including a California “bullet button” model and a dedicated varmint hunter configuration, and add more calibers next year. They will also start making runs of accessories and spare parts. One thing that Windham hopes will set them apart from the competition is their transferable Limited Lifetime Warranty, which follows the gun and not the owner. A Windham Weaponry gun bought on the used market at a gun show will still enjoy the same excellent warranty and customer service access as a new-in-box gun delivered from the factory straight to your dealer. A buyer who gifts his rifle to his brother knows that Windham still backs up their product. The fine print shows the Windham Warranty to be one of the best in the industry.
It seems like everybody is making an AR-15 these days, and with only three products and a brand new company name, the crew at Windham Weaponry have their work cut out for them. However, they are working together, doing what they do best, and they have faith that their products will speak for themselves. As Mark Eliason, Windham’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing told me, “the name is not recognized, but the experience behind the name is tremendous!”