Windham Weaponry: “We’re Putting The Band Back Together!”

By CTD Mike published on in AR-15

Windham Weaponry MPC

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!”

Windham Weaponry SRC

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Comments (26)

  • Robert Lee

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    Is everyone aware the George Soros is behind “FREEDOM GROUP”? Thats right the socialist puppet master that needs to get control of the guns and the ammo manufacturing, control those two and gun control and our second amendment rights are much easier to control. Leave it to old soros to figure out that the AMERICAN PEOPLE will never willingly surrender our second amendment rights so what to do….Form a company with unlimited cash and hey let’s call it FREEDOM GROUP so we can sneak up on all those unsuspecting gun totein bible thumpin bible belt people, yea that’s it , they will never see us coming. BULL SH-T IT IS SOROS, OBAMA, CLINTON AND THE UN COMING FOR OUR GUNS AND THANK YOU RICHARD DYKE FOR FILLING THE GAP CREATED B Y THE SOCIALIST PIG AND MANUFACTURING A BETTER RIFLE FOR US TO SHOOT AND PROTECT OUR RIGHTS AND OUR COUNTRY.

    Reply

  • Bert

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    “Now is that the only deviation from “milspec”? Let’s look. Are the barrels and bolts high pressure (HP) and magnetic particle inspected (MPI)? Are they using the proper steel for the bolts and shot peening them? Are they still using the silly commercial buffer tube (lower receiver extension) instead of the military dimension tubes?”

    Yes… the barrel is the only deviation. go to the Windham Weaponry website… all of your wuestions would be answered.

    the barrel and bolt carrier are MPI tested (not batch). they use higher quality 4150 steel chrome lined barrels. The carrier is shot peened (very well deformed)… the reciever is forged… ect… look it up before you draw uneducated conclusions. It’s like assuming VW and Porsche are the same because they have similar roots.

    I own the WW HBC 5.56 rifle and it’s an amazing gun.

    Reply

  • Oldschool

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    I am the proud new owner of a Windham MPC. Having only put a couple hundred rounds down range, I can only give initial reaction and thoughts. 1st, I’m getting on in years, (early 60′s), 2nd, I grew up with and around guns, I don’t and won’t claim to know everything. As a PROUD American, I think it great what Mr. Dyke has done for America, the economy, and us 2nd Amendment people. Getting back to basics and buiding a SOLID tried and true platform with minimal options, (Just like Henry Ford did in the begining). heck there are thousands of “accessories” if someone wants to “trick out” or “personalize” their weapon. Now down to the weapon itself…. Fit and finish is flawless, (up there with some of the finer weapon mfgr’s in the business) It runs like a fine swiss watch !.. I cleaned and lubed the rifle 1st, before firing. Then after 1 30 rnd mag of 55grn fmj, I cleaned the rifle again. I really cannot say I have any real reason for this but I was taught as a youngster to “season” or “break in” a new barrel, and to err on the side of safety surely won’t hurt any new or old weapon. Next accuracy. Since I’m not rich, I haven’t added optics yet, just using plain old standard issue iron sights. Firing off sand bags @ 50yds. I was doing 1″ – 1.75″ grps. @ 100 yds, 2-3.5″ grps. For me, that’s not too bad considering my visual abilities and iron sights. Next, controls, mags slid in like butter, locked solid, and ejected readily. Charging handle is smooth and positive. Fire control selector/safety is easy to use but with good detent. Had no need to use forward assist, but operated it during cleaning of weapon and function tests on reassembly. So far, on my limited use of approx 500 rnds, of various brands, (mostly off the shelf lesser priced) I’ve had no failures to feed, fire or eject. The overall finish on the reciever seems to be a “darker” black, and the barrel finish is a very fine type of “parkerizing” So to anyone considering or asking if these are good weapons, I say NO, THESE ARE FINE WEAPONS !. My hat is off to you Mr. Dyke and company. Keep up the fine work you are doing for all of us in America. Thanks.

    Reply

  • Richard f. Young jr.

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    I bought a windom src 16″ light barrel carbine.First ar-15 that impressed me to no end

    Reply

  • Richard f. Young jr.

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    Usmc combat veitnam vet. Born and raised in Maine. Best firearm I,ve ever put my handds on

    Reply

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