Firearms

Attention to Detail and Meticulous Craftsmanship: Windham Weaponry MPC M4

Pictures shows a black AR-15 rifle made by Windham Weaponry

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. Externally, there are no surprises on the MPC (Military Preferred Carbine) M4 rifle—it looks like it should and all controls are traditionally placed. Underneath the MPC’s hood—if you will—is where the rifle’s quality really shines. For example, you will not find other companies producing rifles under $1,000 that use stronger parts, such as the pressure-tested bolt and 4150 chrome-lined, chrome moly vanadium steel barrel on the Windham Weaponry MPC M4.

Pictures shows a black AR-15 rifle made by Windham Weaponry
Externally, there are no surprises underneath the MPC’s hood—if you will—is where the rifle’s quality really shines.

In case you have not already heard, Richard Dyke, the previous owner of Bushmaster started Windham Weaponry after Bushmaster sold out to Freedom Group. Though Dyke uses Bushmaster’s equipment, these are not Bushmaster clones. Dyke and all the Windham Weaponry employees are meticulous about building a rifle as close to MIL-SPEC as they can. Their attention to detail from the internal to the external parts of the MPC M4 prove they care about producing a top-quality, dependable gun. With over 20 years of experience building AR-15s—these guys clearly know what they are doing. Run a few rounds through one at the range and you’ll know too!

Traditional M4 Styling

Right away you will notice the detachable carry handle, the M203 barrel mount cut out, A2 flash suppressor and six-position collapsible stock. Upon closer inspection, you will find quite a few upgrades that other black rifle makers do not bother to add. For example, the MPC’s trigger guard is aluminum, not plastic. The black, hard-coat anodized finish is flawless without machine marks or scuffs. The MPC M4 comes standard with a dust cover and forward assist. Other companies forego these parts to keep the price down. However, Windham Weaponry claims it will never sacrifice parts for price.

The Windham MPC comes standard with an A4 dual aperture adjustable rear sight and adjustable square post A2 standard front sight. The carry handle is removable to reveal a Picatinny rail, so you may add any optic of your choice. As an added feature without the high price tag—like high-end rifle manufacturers such as Colt or Spike’s Tactical—Windham Weaponry adds dual, M4 oval heat shield handguards for more comfortable shooting.

Also standard is the carbine-length gas tube and direct gas impingement system—common in many AR-15 rifles.

Picture shows the inside of an AR-15's dual heatshield handguard.
Windham Weaponry adds dual, M4 oval heat shield handguards for more comfortable shooting.

Bolt and 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, Chrome-Lined Barrel

There are not many companies that MPI and HP pressure test their bolt, but Windham Weaponry does. Windham Weaponry tests each 158 carpenter steel bolt. For a stronger and heavier bolt, Windham Weaponry chrome-lines the bolt carrier and adds a MIL-SPEC M16 contour. Though the M4 feed ramps are not a necessity on a semi-automatic rifle, Windham Weaponry adds this MIL-SPEC feature so that ammo will feed more reliably during rapid fire-scenarios. Always a topic of hot debate and the Achilles heel for many ARs, knowing the MPC has a properly staked gas key should put your mind at ease.

The 4150 chrome moly vanadium steel, chrome-lined barrel is an upgrade from many other AR-15 barrels. Though not every piece on the Windham MPC is MIL-SPEC, there are not many, if any, other AR-15s that can boast a comparable price with as many features as the Windham.

Commercial vs. MIL-SPEC Buffer

Two components do not meet MIL-SPEC on the Windham MPC M4. Those are the commercial buffer tube and the 1:9 barrel twist. The 1:9 twist rate is the most common for commercial AR-15s. The 1:9 will stabilize a moderately-sized 45- to 69-grain bullet. Most manufacturers go with the 1:9 twist due to the popularity, affordability and availability of 55-grain bullets—which are just about perfect for this platform. For target shooting and home defense, a 1:9 twist rate is a top choice.

There are two differences in the commercial and MIL-SPEC buffer tubes—the shape of the end plate and the diameter. However, when testing, Windham Weaponry found no difference in strength of the commercial tube versus the MIL-SPEC tube. It fired millions of rounds from a commercial tube without problems and it is cheaper to produce. The only reason this will make a difference for you, is if you ever want to change out the stock. Stocks fit differently on each tube. When purchasing an aftermarket AR-15 stock, make sure to buy the one that fits your corresponding tube.

Picture shows a close up of a Windham Weaponary AR-15 rifle.
Windham Weaponry rifles include a lifetime transferrable warranty.

Lifetime Transferable Warranty

Windham Weaponry is so sure of its rifles, the lifetime warranty is good for the entire life of the rifle and transfers from the original owner to any subsequent owners.

When you pick up a Windham Weaponry MPC AR-15 rifle, you will notice right away the tight fit and finish. The trigger is crisp and smooth. With open sights, just a little over 1-inch groups at 100 yards proves its accuracy. Windham Weaponry’s M4 shot any standard ammunition we fed it without problems—including cheap steel-cased to expensive defensive ammo.

Specifications and Features

  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Traditional direct gas impingement system
  • Barrel: 16” M4 with A2 flash suppressor, 4150 chrome moly vanadium steel
  • Barrel Twist: 1:9”
  • Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Stock: 6-position collapsible with A2 plastic grip
  • Receivers: 7075 T6 aircraft aluminum with flat top upper and detachable carry handle
  • Safety: Manual with indicators on left and right side
  • Trigger Guard: Aluminum
  • Handguards: M4 dual heatshield handguards
  • Finish: Black, hard coat anodized finish
  • Length: 36.125” extended, 32.375” collapsed
  • Weight: 6.85 pounds unloaded
  • Warranty: Lifetime transferable warranty
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Like it? Want it? Buy it!

Do you own a Windham Weaponry AR-15? Tell us how much you love it in the comment section.

 

[suzanne]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (12)

  1. I just purchased my windham m4 and love it – you get your money’s worth when you get it. 2 things needed to happen first, replacement of grip and buffer tube. I did not opt to stake my cmmg. And then installed a Hogue grip and stock. Definitely increased my comfort level and made shooting a dream. I was able to dump 4 30rd mags in about 3 minutes and maintain 6moa with just iron sights in a standing position. Resting in a prone, I was getting 2moa at the same distance with 5rd, again, no glass. This gun is awesome, and as soon as I can decide what optic I’m gonna buy for it, I’m sure it will exceed my expectations again. Trigger is a clean crisp pull, and it never got hot, just warmed up. No issues what so ever, and after roughly 700rds in just under 3 hours, I had no failures.

  2. I purchased a Windham SRC after reading the Windham Story. Made by Americans for Americans. A man that will come out of retirement and put laid of craftsman back to work is my kind Man. I’m new to the AR15 world but I really like this weapon. Shoots well enough for my needs, and it appears to be a well made tight fitting rifle. shoots any ammo that I feed it without any problems. I’ve told many of my friends thinking about an AR15 to take a look at this rifle, I think it’s the best bang for you buck in an overcrowded market. Buy one of the many offerings from Windham, with a lifetime warranty you won’t be disappointed.

  3. I purchased a Windham 223 aprox a year and a half ago and love the weapon, I used a m15 piece of crap in 1965 while in the USMC in Vietnam. This Windham weapon is like driving a Porsche vs a Yugo, doesn’t deserve a capital letter. Windham weapons are the best weapon I could find, and it was the most affordable which is secondary to being a very good weapon by people who have been building them for many years.Semper Fi.

  4. True enough, Bill. But, one can easily replace the front sight/gas block assembly and the rear sight/handle assembly.
    I suspect that the manufacturers are doing what they’re doing because of the number of folks using reflex sights these days, making iron sights either in the way or unused.

    Of course, the term MIL-SPEC gets abused by sales folks way too much as well. MIL-SPEC involves everything from environmental conditions the device should be able to operate under and survive to what types of components are used (hardening, surface protective coatings, etc) to reliability of the design.
    Regardless, if I were to find one that was 100% MIL-SPEC M4, save barrel length, I’d still end up customizing it a bit for my own comfortable use, accuracy, etc. It’s only easier when one starts off of the standard, rather than start off non-standard and have to figure out what is different to get to where you want to be.

  5. How this came about was that I was wanting a mil spec front and rear sight so I could perform “The Sandose Revised Improved Battlesight Zero.” To do that you need the same type of “F”stamped front sight and the same mil spec carry handle rear sight. I am having problems finding a gun that has this. I think if the gun manufactures are trying to make a gun that looks just like the guys in uniform use then it should at least use the same sighting system. I like a custom AR just like anyone else but I also would like to have an AR that can be used just like the enlisted use (minus the full auto)

  6. I was going to ask about differences between the MIL-SPEC and this model, but the author and Bill answered quite well.
    My only gripe would be the 1:9 over 1:7 barrel and that is simply a quibble. If I wanted the 1:7 barrel, it’d be also match grade barrel.
    Which would then place the entire system into a different class.

    This one looks to be a contender for my next carbine. 🙂

  7. I was interested in this gun so I asked them a couple of questions which was answered. “We use standard front sight bases and lower carry handles than mil spec. When using a different kind of back up rear sight you will need a .040” taller front sight post.”

  8. I’ve examined the MPC closely and find that it is exact in every detail to the Bushmaster XM15 E2S that I purchased 6 months ago. The build quality is easily comparable, as are the components used. The Bushmaster parts fit very tight, trigger pull is sharp and very smooth for a standard, and accuracy shows smaller than 1″ groups @ 100 yds (maybe my eyes are better). I’m sure Mr. Dyke is using his previous Bushmaster “ideals” at Windham, and that is a good thing, but I don’t see the MPC as an improvement over my Bushmaster. Mine has a lifetime warranty also.

    I’ve read where someone has complained about the recent quality of Bushmasters, but I fail to see that issue at all. Honestly, it looks as good quality to me as any of the “high end” AR15’s with standard features. Happily, I purchased my new Bushmaster for $950 at WallyWorld when you couldn’t buy one anywhere for double that amount.

  9. I’ve owned an MPC for over a year now, and I can tell you when I first field striped her down after getting her home I was VERY impressed by the fit and finish of my MPC. And when I took “her to the range I couldn’t believe the accuracy with no changes to the sights what so ever. I have since added my own personal touches to my MPC such as a rail system, Hogue pistol grip and a Magpul stock all in OD Green. as well as a fore arm grip and a UTG mountable flashlight. so she pretty much set up like my M-4 in Iraq. as a matter of fact my weapon was featured in one of Windham Weaponary’s news letter. These are awesome rifles with even better people standing up behind then.
    Buy one and you’ll see why I love mine.

  10. I bought one of these when they first came out. It’s an awesome weapon for the price! I ran it through a 2 day tactical rifle class and while other rifles that were 2-3x the price tag had frequent malfunctions, this weapon was flawless with zero issues! Highly recommend!!!!!

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