Gun Review: Windham Sight Ready Carbine

Manufacturer: Windham Weaponry

Specifications

  • Model: R16M4FTT
  • Caliber: .223 Rem. / 5.56mm NATO
  • Type: Rifle
  • Action: Semi-Automatic, Gas Impingement System
  • Capacity: 30 + 1- Ships with one 30 Round Magazine (accepts all std. sizes)
  • Safety: Manual Lever with Indicator Markings on Both Sides of Receiver
  • Receiver: M4A4 Type Flat Top Upper Receiver
  • Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum with Aluminum Trigger Guard
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Black Anodize Finish
  • Bolt Material: Carpenter 158 Steel
  • Barrel: 16” M4 Profile, Chrome Lined with A2 Flash Suppressor
  • Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium 11595E Steel w. M4 Feed Ramps
  • Rifling: 1 Turn in 9” – Right Hand Twist
  • Stock: 6 Position Telescoping Commercial-Spec Buttstock with Windham Weaponry Logo
  • Forend / Pistol Grip: M4 Double Heat Shield Handguards / A2 Black Plastic Grip
  • Rear Sight: None – Ready for optics or other type accessory sights
  • Front Sight: None – Picatinny Rail Gas Block – Ready for accessory sights
  • Packaging: Hard Plastic Gun Case with Black Web Sling & Operators Manual

Thoughts: In 2007 then 77-year old Richard Dyke, owner and supervisor of Bushmaster Firearms International, sold the rights of the firearms manufacturer to Freedom Group, a subsidiary under the Cerberus Capital firearms conglomerate. Dyke also signed a contract of non-competition whereby he promised not to build, manufacture, or promote competing rifles to the Bushmaster product line. Unfortunately, following this transition, the manufacturing for Bushmaster was moved from Windham, Maine to New York and many highly-experienced employees suddenly found themselves without employment. 

Fortunately, Dyke wasn’t about to let those whose hard-won efforts that had built the Bushmaster legacy go on and be forgotten. After the expiration of the contract, Dyke immedatly set about to bring back many of those workers and gunsmiths who had previously assembled his rifles. His challenge was to rebuild the former Bushmaster legacy in a product line no one had ever heard of. As Dyke still owned rights to the factory, he established Windham Weaponry named after the very township where the factory was located.

Sadly, in 2012 and following the tragedy of the Sandhook Elementary school shooting, Cerberus Capital announced it would sell-off Bushmaster Firearms International upon learning that one of its rifles was used in the incident. Whatever was left of the former Bushmaster legacy was lost and although its product line is still manufactured today, many of those who held the experience, designs, and assembly are now still working where they began – at Windham. 

Pros: For its price point, at about $1100, the Sight Ready Carbine (SRC) is by far a solid and reliable carbine. With an upper receiver, full-length Picatinny rail you can mount any number of optics or sights (as seen in the gallery with an EOtec 512 mounted). The functionality of the rifle is consistent with almost zero play between upper and lower receivers, and solid firing. Interestingly, Windham is so confident on its product it writes on their main website;

“We are so sure of the quality of our rifles that we back them up with the strongest Warranty in the industry – one that guarantees against all manufacturer’s defects in material and workmanship for the Lifetime of the Firearm to the Purchaser. Additionally, this warranty is Transferable from the original Purchaser to subsequent buyers”.

Cons: Some of the cuts to cost show up when you disassemble the SRC. The bolt and carrier group is of Carpenter 158 Steel and resembles the upper and lower receivers. Meaning it’s a lesser quality than a chrome or other heat-tempered bolt carrier group, so excessive shooting will really build up with carbon on the parts. Likewise, the trigger will stiffen up when you fire in fast sequence due to the heat transfer within the trigger group. This can be mitigated with after-market products, however its effects are common to other carbines of comparable price range.

Overall I was very impressed with the Windham SRC. Being right out of the box, it was very accurate, reliable and I didn’t have a single failure-to-fire in over 1,000 rounds with the PMC ammo I used. I think for its price point the SRC is very undervalued or just that well of a product. I would have preferred that the bolt be of higher quality, however that would have upped the price of the SRC so its understandable there would be some cuts. Eventually I will probably replace the bolt and hand guards, but for an entry-level carbine I couldn’t imagine a more consistent rifle.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Gun Review: Windham Sight Ready Carbine

  1. Pingback: Windham SRC DIY Build: Part I (MagPul CTR Stock Conversion) | Musings of a North American Sheepdog

  2. Pingback: Windham SRC DIY Build: Part II (Ergo Tactical Deluxe Grip Conversion) | Musings of a North American Sheepdog

  3. Pingback: Windham SRC DIY Build: Part III (MagPul Carbine Handguard Conversion) | Musings of a North American Sheepdog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s