When it come to AR manufacturers, Windham Weaponry may not be a name that you recognize. In a crowded AR market, new companies have to struggle for recognition and to stand out above all others. Windham Weaponry won’t have this problem. While the company is less than a year old, it represents literally centuries of AR building experience and the sample SRC (Sight-Ready Carbine) they sent me for evaluation is representative of this aggregate knowledge.
When Richard Dyke started Windham Weaponry last year, he gave his assembled employees one order: Build the best AR rifle in this country. That seemingly tall order proved to be no challenge. Most young companies go through a learning curve, a period of trial and error until they find the right suppliers, the right blend of assemblies and components. Windham Weaponry didn’t have this problem.
Dyke was the original owner of Bushmaster Firearms and sold the company over five years ago to the Freedom Group, a conglomerate that owns a number of other firearms manufacturing companies. Manufacturing for Bushmaster was moved from Maine to New York, and that left a lot of experienced Bushmaster employees unemployed. Dyke still owned the manufacturing facility, and when his non-compete agreement ended last year he decided to “get the band back together.”
At age 77, Dyke could have easily stayed in retirement but he felt a loyalty to his old employees. Currently more than 50 previous Bushmaster employees are now working at Windham Weaponry. With an intimate knowledge of building AR-style rifles and proven suppliers, Dyke saw no need to reinvent the wheel—just build a better wheel. The SRC is their base model and first gun to ship from the newly rehabbed manufacturing facility in Windham, Maine.
The SRC (Sight-Ready Carbine) is a 16-inch flattop AR chambered in 5.56mm NATO that uses a standard gas impingement system, an M4-style collapsible stock, and a low-profile, railed gas block. It has a standard trigger, standard M4 handguards and standard A2 pistol grip. But the gun is anything but standard.
The Windham Weaponry SRC uses receivers machined from 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum forgings and then hardcoat anodized per military specifications. Their finish is a glass-beaded matte black without any cosmetic imperfections. The fit between the two receivers is perfect, yet pushing out the rear takedown pin allows the two halves to separate effortlessly. The SRC’s flattop upper receiver is railed for the addition of optics, red dots, holographic sights or even iron sights. For my evaluation, I attached a folding Magpul MBUS rear sight.