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Discussion Starter #1
Regardless, I forked over my shekels and purchased a Windham Weaponry AR. Everyone probably already knows this is the "old" Bushmaster factory and crew. Ya gotta love the classic American story; Big Business (AKA Remington) buys out the "little guy" (not sure if Bushmaster could really be considered the "little guy", but oh well), now owner shuts down the factory and relocates, former owner hires back the local workers and starts a new company from the ashes.

So - I don't have a real basis for comparison except for what I can remember from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away in Uncle Sam's Big Green Machine. Frankly, I'm damn well impressed. Is it better than the current Bushmaster? No clue. Is it equal to the top-tier AR's out there? No clue. All I can say is that it is a rock solid AR and I like it so far. I am very pleased with the quality for the money. Anyone out there who can provide an objective comparison?
 

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:ditto: I'm actually curious about the company as well. I recently looked at a windham AR not to long ago. so if anyone has any light to shed on this would be excellent.
 

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No, they're not top tier. They're the same hobby grade guns they always were in terms of materials used and inconsistency of QC and batch vs. each and every rifle proof/mp testing. You may get a new one or you may get a bad one. At least the warranty is allegedly good. Shoot about 2,000-3,000 rounds through it and get it good and hot a few times and you'll have a good idea if it's a good one. Remember to wet the BCG with lube and keep it wet.

Where they fall in comparison to the Cerebrus owned Bushmaster is unknown but they're probably about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've only put 70 rds through it so far, but it is very accurate and (at least to me) is a fine shooter. I was able to zero quickly and was getting some nice tight groups at 25 yds with iron sights. I'll let you know how it's shooting after a few thousand more rounds (if I can still afford ammo by then).

BTW - The lifetime warranty is fully transferable, but the fine print says, "Damage or malfunction resulting from accident, negligence, misuse or unauthorized repair or alteration;... use of any hand loaded, reloaded, imported or factory re-manufactured ammunition;..." will void the warranty. I have heard that their customer service is really good. Hopefully I'll never have a need to find out.

It seems like they are trying hard to make a really good gun. Maybe I'm just rationalizing now that I've spent the money. Like I said, it's hard to be objective since all I can compare it with is an old well-used M16A2 out of the arms room. I'm very happy with it, so I guess that is what really counts.
 

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CoolHand said:
No, they're not top tier. They're the same hobby grade guns they always were in terms of materials used and inconsistency of QC and batch vs. each and every rifle proof/mp testing.
THis in spades.

Why some folks settle for "good enough" is beyond me. Oh, well, it's thier money.
 
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Nice, guys. :/

OP, It's a fine rifle for plinking and general purpose use. It's probably not mil-spec, but that doesn't mean it's garbage. Shoot it and enjoy it!
 

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What markings are on the upper/lower? A small keyhole?

Post a pic of the upper,right side near the charging handle. Does the barrel have the letters "MP" stamped, near the flashhider?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've now had a chance to examine two of the heavy barrel versions more closely. I"ll get some pics up shortly. Also revisited Coolhand's excellent AR chart. I need more range time!

$850 (before tax) at Academy Sports. The gov profile model is the same price and the flat-top optics ready is $800. They also make a "Varminter" model.

Here's what you get:
  • Chrome-lined 4150 CMV barrel, 1:9 twist (they are going to make 1:7 soon)
    M16 length chrome-lined bolt carrier (not AR15) w/shrouded firing pin, decently staked gas key screws
    M4 feed ramps; A2 flash hider
    Trigger seems nice to me, but I have no real basis for comparison.
    Both lowers from Cerro forge (keyhole); One upper from Cerro and one from BA forge (square)
    Double heat shield M4 handguards
    Removable A2 "carry handle"/rear sight (BA forge)
    Regular CAR buffer (not "H" marked)
    Commercial receiver extension
    Standard 6-position collapsible stock
    Non-F marked fixed front sight (crown forge mark?) The OR model has a railed gas block
    Standard metal 30-rd mag with plastic follower
    Sling (like the standard GI issue sling)
    Hard case (OK, it's a standard cheap plastic case, but at least it's a case)

I have heard they do batch test the bolts rather than each and every. Every rifle gets a 10-rd test fire. Fit is nice and tight, no wobble at all.

Definitely a keeper for me.
 

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Is the chamber a real chrome lined 5.56 NATO or 5.56? When I say Real I mean it's been checked by you or a smith in your presence. They've been caught in the past claiming it's a 5.56 NATO and the gauges telling another tale.

Is the castle nut on the receiver extension, aka. buffer tube, properly staked? Proper staking means they moved enough metal into the recesses in the castle nut to prevent it rotating.

Sic Semper, who wrote the article for G&WFLE? How many rounds did they fire for the eval? Most product reviews in gun porn rags are nothing but really long paid advertisements.
 

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CoolHand said:
They've been caught in the past claiming it's a 5.56 NATO and the gauges telling another tale.
Really? :shock: Is there something we can read?
 

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OK...OK...So here's my gas to the fire. Unless someone actually has owned or does own one of these weapons and can personally vouch for them being "hobby grade" I don't see how your opine holds water.

I own Colt, multiple DD's, personally built platforms, and a DPMS (OM MY GAWWWD :shock: ) Oracle. And guess what. I have a little over 3K rounds thru the DPMS "HOBBY GUN" without a hitch where as one of my DD's had to go back to it's maker for some poor tolerances and jamming issues within the 1st 200 rounds. Bottom line is every manufacturer makes an occasional lemon, problem is when someone gets one and the post goes viral to the point of "they only sell crap" becomes the companies reputation. This is the very reason I left AR15 dot com because if it wasn't Colt, Noveske, DD, Spike's it wasn't worth selling for scrap iron.

My advice, buy the gun you can afford from a reputable manufacturer that stands behind their product and enjoy it. Very very very few of the people that have an opinion on AR manufacturers are actually ever going to use their weapon platform in a true combat situation. I mean if your are going to base a guns quality off of military use I guess Colt's are crap now that the new contract is with FN......whose barrels are made by.......Daniel Defense.
 

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clmreg said:
OK...OK...So here's my gas to the fire. Unless someone actually has owned or does own one of these weapons and can personally vouch for them being "hobby grade" I don't see how your opine holds water.

I own Colt, multiple DD's, personally built platforms, and a DPMS (OM MY GAWWWD :shock: ) Oracle. And guess what. I have a little over 3K rounds thru the DPMS "HOBBY GUN" without a hitch where as one of my DD's had to go back to it's maker for some poor tolerances and jamming issues within the 1st 200 rounds. Bottom line is every manufacturer makes an occasional lemon, problem is when someone gets one and the post goes viral to the point of "they only sell crap" becomes the companies reputation. This is the very reason I left AR15 dot com because if it wasn't Colt, Noveske, DD, Spike's it wasn't worth selling for scrap iron.

My advice, buy the gun you can afford from a reputable manufacturer that stands behind their product and enjoy it. Very very very few of the people that have an opinion on AR manufacturers are actually ever going to use their weapon platform in a true combat situation. I mean if your are going to base a guns quality off of military use I guess Colt's are crap now that the new contract is with FN......whose barrels are made by.......Daniel Defense.
Dude, you have no idea how many AR's and what brands I own and have owned, have built, etc.... I'll just say that you should stop showing your ignorance and making assumptions. BTW it's Remington that just got a small contract to build 24,000 M-4's for the first time not FN. FN only built the M16 A3/A4 guns under US government contract that expired a year or two ago. Colt manufactured the M4 family of weapons under government contract. I seriously question your info about DD building CHF barrels for FN. FN has many of their own CHF machines at their Columbia, SC plant. I've seen them, in person. Both companies are building CHF barrels for other commercial companies under the customers trademarks. They may have contracts for foreign militaries as well.

There's a HUGE difference between "letting a few dud's slip out the door" every now and again which has happened to every single manufacturer of anything and the production of deliberately short cutted mediocre products that companies like WW, Bushmaster, DPMS, Del Ton, Spike's, do every day. If you are happy and satisfied spending your money on one of these products I really don't care. It's a free country.

What I do get wound up about is when someone comes in telling everyone they have the best thing ever. It has over 400 trouble free rounds through it and it's just as good as a tier 1 gun. It ain't. It's a sample size of one which is not even good anecdotal evidence. There are lots of professional trainers out there and more professionally oriented and moderated forums that are open to the average Joe if you look for them. You can alternatively go and take classes in shooting and armorering from them but you have to pay. You will learn that the difference between the top tier guns and the hobby guns is the consistency in the guns ability to perform it's purpose on demand over and over under all conditions. The hobby guns fail at achieving that over and over and over again.

I learned that the hard way just like most others. I wasted a lot of money at first relying on raving product reviews in gun porn magazines like Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement. It really sucks when you drive 500 miles or so and spend about $1000 or so for a class, travel, & ammo and then have your latest greatest whiz bang tactical elite death slayer Rock River Arms goes tango uniform hard on the second string of fire. That was embarrassing. But hey, they have great customer service and had it going in about two weeks. At least it didn't happen at night in the rain in front of a couple of armed poachers on my farm. That would have been much more serious and the bestest warranty support in the world wouldn't matter. That and some other stuff really put things in perspective for me. I started learning everything I could. I'm still learning. I don't buy second rate stuff. Even if you have no intentions of using something in a "for real" situation fate often makes other plans. Be prepared.

Malum, yes there's plenty of AAR's on places like 10-8, M-4 carbine.net, and others that you can read about it from some nationally known trainers and their students. Lightfighter.net is a good resource as well but they have made it more difficult to join lately due to an influx of :censored: clowns.
 

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Not gonna quote ur whole thread Coolhand, you got ur opinion and obviously you get very excited easily. You are actually the type guy that drove me and others away from the AR website since only your opinion is right and if it's not a $1500+ AR it's crap. Whatever dude.

1st I didn't say anything about how many guns you have owned, thought about owning, held in the store, etc but YOU EXACTLY VALIDATED MY POINT. You have not stated you own a Windham Weaponry AR but you certainly have an opinion about them from what you have READ. NOT OWNED READ.

BTW #1 I said 3K round as in 3,000 thru the DPMS not 400. My first DD didn't make it to 400 rounds.
BTW#2 The 411 about DD making barrels for FN came straight from one of the owners of DD, I really have no reason to doubt the guy.

and finally BTW#3
What I do get wound up about is when someone comes in telling everyone they have the best thing ever.
I didn't say any one of my weapons platforms was the best thing since slice toast. I just simply relayed my experience with systems I ACTUALLY OWN not read about somewhere. You sir seem to think you have the best and badassiest
tier 1 guns
. Ya really orta take a chill pill.

With the purchase of any AR the purchaser needs to identify what they intend to use the weapon for, once they have done that they can't determine a budget based on that need, then they should speak to actual owners of the guns they are considering not some faceless words in a blog or thread that doesn't actually own the gun they are considering or have any experience with that exact brand. I own a double digit # of AR platforms both self built from the ground up and mfg built. If you ask me about say a Noveske, S&W, LMT, or Larue, I will tell you, I do not own one and have no experience with them but I can speak to a Colt, DD, Spike's, Plametto, DPMS, and Stag as well as my guns I personally built. I can talk to you about 9mm/5.56/6.8/.300 blackout/.22 conversions as I own them. 7.62x39, can't really help you haven't owned one and I can tell you the issues I had with an Oly.
 

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I wouldn't try to hard educating the "as good as" crowd; did you see some responses posted in the "High Standard" thread? (that should be a clue)
Those who are serious about their rifle and training will find the right forum(s) to share their thoughts and advance their skill set.
Those who think of an AR15 as a range toy / plinker keep these companies in business, and continue the circle...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I should have known this would light some folks' fire. Sorry.

Everyone has their own reasons for buying a particular weapon. I personally have a bias towards S&W revolvers and Volkswagens because they have worked for me and met my needs over the years.

My whole point of this post was to assess a relative market value for a given make. For the features offered, is this a good value compared to other AR's with similar features/price range? There is always something better out there, but my budget, personal needs, and risk assessment don't support spending a couple of grand on something that in all likelihood will just be a plinker. If SHTF, I feel pretty comfortable it will be up to the task, but it's a lick on me, not anyone else, if it's not. FWIW, I personally hope that it is never more than a "hobby gun". BTW, I've seen GI issue "mil-spec" weapons fail too.

To answer a couple of points:
They've been caught in the past claiming it's a 5.56 NATO and the gauges telling another tale.
This may be true for BFI, but these guys have only been in production for less than a year. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Yes it is the old BFI plant and a lot of the old BFI people, but back in the day didn't Bushmaster used to be considered pretty damn good?

Robfromga: I could not find any "mp" marking on the barrel. What would that indicate?

The castle nut is intentionally not staked. I personally think that is fine. Easy to DIY if I decide I need it staked.

Back to the original intent:
Here are some pics for anyone actually interested in what Windham is selling. FWIW the serial numbers are 147xx and 183xx. The first 1000 numbers were apparently reserved so they are still fairly early in production.

Pretty standard 16" AR. The sling is mine - old school M16A1 vintage.


BA forge marks on my upper


Cerro forge markings on my buddy's upper and lower (hard to see)


M16 length bolt carriers


Gas Key staking


M4 feed ramps. Man, that looks really dirty in the picture.


Front sight/gas block. Not familiar with this marking. I'll be sticking with iron sights for the foreseeable future and am comfortable with the fixed sight. YMMV.

Cheers.
 

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Looks like they did improve their product over BFI.
The barrel profile, carrier, and gas key staking are up to par; the RE and lack of a standard F height FSP is not.
I'm curious if they moved to USGI fire control group along with the carrier. (any pics inside the lower?) If you plan on shooting 5.56, please have the chamber checked to verify 5.56 dims.
I would probably swap the RE over to a relaible and proven forged 7075, rolled threads, heat treated, milspec tube from a known quality manufacturer for piece of mind over the cheap extruded 6061, cut thread, commecial tube on their now then stake the cattle nut. (you will then also need a matching diameter stock)

Otherwise thanks for posting the pics I hope the rifle gives you tens of thousands of rounds of trouble free service.
 

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Windham Weaponry is the same as the old Bushmaster. I've held, shot, and even owned one with the old snake logo on it. It's the same people in the same plant, with the same suppliers, with the same tooling, with the same QC department. They changed the name on the building and the rollmark on the lower. They are a known quantity and quality, not "New! and Improved!" :lol: It's called marketing B.S. Don't believe it.

Where did I say you have to spend $1500 to get a good gun? That may have been the case when you got all butt hurt and ran away from ARFCOM years ago. Times have changed, competition is fierce, and prices have dropped a lot my thin skinned friend. Seriously dude, you got so bent out of shape about what someone said about your choice of XYZ on the INTERNET that you quit going to the site? And you call me excitable? :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :panic: :rotfl: :rotfl: In psychology they call your problem "projection". You may want to look it up. :screwy: :lol:

S&W's can be had for $800-$900. They're very decent rifles as long as you avoid the ones with a Mossberg barrel. Colt's can be had for right at $1000 if you are a diligent and careful shopper otherwise they're easily found starting about $1200. Daniel Defense's and LMT's are $1150-1250 ish. PSA has a 16" M4 for $1100-1200 with an Aimpoint PRO RDS. If you have a little patience you can pick up some incredible deals on lightly used high end stuff.

Take a Xanax and stop conflating hobby grade with crap. I haven't said WW was crap. It's hobby grade. There's a difference. Crap grade is a distinction reserved for the likes of Olympic Arms, Vulcan, Hesse, Century, Plum Crazy, The Bushmaster carbon 15 series and a few other stinkers. BTW Clmreg, feel free to criticize me on calling these crap. I haven't owned any of these brands but then again I don't have to pick up a cow turd to know it's a cow turd either. I've seen, and read enough about the crap brands both in person and the InterWebz to recognize their inherent turdiness. :lol:

Hobby grade guns are guns that the manufacturers have consciously decided to use substandard parts and manufacturing methods to produce the gun at a lower retail price. Substandard does not automatically mean bad. It means that whatever it is may not be checked as thoroughly to make sure the steel is really 4150 chrome moly that meets the mil standard specs. The chrome lining may not be as thick or even present, the aluminum may not be as strong. The machine work may not be as fine or as close to specified tolerances.

What the consumer does when they buy a hobby grade or crap grade gun is take more risk. The further the gun is made from spec, the more risk there is that it will not function as well or last as long as a gun made to the military standard Technical Data Package specifications. The mil std TDP is the MINIMUM specifications set forth by the military for a rifle with adequate reliability and accuracy for people to go into combat with and have sufficient service life so it doesn't need constant maintenance and servicing. The military didn't set the bar super incredibly high with the TDP. They pay about $750-$850 per rifle or carbine before they hang all the optics, lasers, lights, etc... on them.

It's just like buying a Snap On wrench and a Harbor Freight Chinese no name wrench. They look pretty much the same. They both claim to be a 3/4" wrench. Do they work the same? Maybe maybe not. Do they both give the same service life? Maybe, maybe not. If I take a sample of 100 wrenches of each make and test them will they hold up the same? I can tell you with near biblical certainty that the China made wrenches will have more functional problems and wear out faster. It is the exact same thing with a hobby gun versus a tier 1, mil spec, high quality, or whatever you want to call it gun. Do I need to buy 200 wrenches and hire testing engineers? Do I need to buy samples of every high quality American made wrench and every Chinese made wrench to know that? :roll: Cmlreg and others seem to think so. :screwy: :hardhead:

Cmlreg, why are you and several others here so defensive? You acknowledge that you bought a substandard brand gun. It works great according to you. I merely pointed out it's substandard. Why care what anyone else says either way if it works so great? It's a piece of machinery not a observation or judgement of you as a person.

Oh and the 400 round thing was not specifically directed at you. There have been lots of posts I've seen here and on every other gun board in the universe where someone just getting into ARs gets their 1st shiny new toy and shoots it a bit before pronouncing it the bestest thing evar!!!!!! They're new, excited, and happy. They usually have very little idea what they're talking about. It gets old. Other folks that don't know anything see it and think oh it must be a great gun then. That's wrong. I'm not a "give every kid a trophy just for showing up" kinda guy. I have no issues with telling you or them they're wrong and there is no Santa Claus. I'm sorry. I know Christmas will never be the same for you again. :cantsay:



Regordon, thanks for posting the pictures. What you posted looks good like Eman said. Can you inspect the small parts in the lower and post some pics? Look for pinholes, pitting, rough casting lines and rough looking machining marks in particular. You may want to take a Q-tip and some decent quality automotive grease and lightly lubricate the contact points on the hammer, trigger and disconnector. It'll improve the trigger pull some and lessen wear on the parts.

MP stands for magnetic particle testing. In car circles it's called Magnafluxing. A metallic powder is sprinkled on the part and a magnetic field is applied. If there is an internal flaw like a crack or void in the metal part the technician will be able to tell by the disrupted pattern of the powder as it forms lines and whorls that coincide with the magnetic field lines. With ARs this is supposed to be done to the bolt and the barrel AFTER a very high pressure "proof round" is fired through the gun. It's a standard step in the TDP. It costs time and money to do so some manufacturers don't do it to meet a lower price point. It doesn't mean you have a good barrel or a bad one. It just means WW didn't check it to find out so you could save some money when you bought it.

Oh and if you do swap the buffer tube out for a mil spec unit and want a plain jane mil spec diameter M-4 stock, shoot me your mailing address via PM. I have a box full of them. It'll save you about $25.

Everyone else, that is not an invitation for you to pm your addy as well. :shattered:




E-man, I ain't doing it for folks like Cmlreg or others here that I talk about this stuff all the time. It's for the new folks that don't know anything but are willing to learn the whole truth and not a line of BS about "just as good as". I've already written off folks like SeaJay and Cmlreg and their like. Folks like them will be the death of this country. :lol: (I'm kidding.......maybe :sly: ) Besides it's fun to poke at people's sacred cows.
 

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Good lord man, you got wayyyyyy more time than me to write doctorate dissertation which is obvious because you went from AR's to cow turd's, Chinese wrenches and sacred cows :screwy: . I'm not wasting my time with your whole thread Just a couple of points.

1. I'm the one getting excited and feelings hurt because someone criticized my gun? Um ok, never said that, but u obviously have ESP(N) and can read minds. Your the one getting all wound up and tried to turn this into a personal vendetta/attack on me, a guy you don't know claiming to know my thoughts and sniff sniff feeliings..... :shakehead: just because you don't agree with me.

2. Didn't leave AR15 because I got "butt hurt" or because I'm "thin skinned" and I'm not your friend. I left because it's a brand of the month love fest now and that had become kinda lame. Every few months it changes. Heck for a LOOOOONNNGGGG time Bushy was the shinizzle. You name a mfg and at some point it's been "a quality low end gun" or a "quality high end gun" There is still some good content there but I don't hang out there anymore.

3. Bottom line is exactly what I said and what the OP did. He decided what his use would be, what he could afford and bought it. People like you do guys like the OP a dis-service by insisting if it's not on your list of approved vendors it's probably crap. You yourself said the competition has increased and prices decreased. There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. Quality can be had for he latter.


So coolio, have your opinion, that's fine. Opinion are like bungholes, everyone's got one and to most everyone else, yours stinks. You wanna write me off that is probably best because I tend to treat people like they treat me which means right about now, if I saw you on the side of the road on fire, well, let's just say I wouldn't stop to help ya.
 

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Clmreg and Coolhand,
Interesting read here guys.

Not to pull it off topic, but in all the arms listed here I've not seen Armalite.

Could I get an opinion? You don't have to post it here, you can PM me, so as not to pull the thread off course.

You two seem to have strong and apparently well read opinions so I'm honestly curious as to what you think of that brand in general.

Thanks,
Ken
 
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