WINDHAM WEAPONRY CDI 5.56mm

The Windham Weaponry Carbine Diamondhead Integrated (CDI), an M4-style carbine…

The Windham Weaponry Carbine Diamondhead Integrated (CDI), an M4-style carbine chambered for 5.56mm NATO, comes equipped with Diamondhead
accessories. Shown here with 4×32 BROWE Combat Optic.

One thing gun-owners enjoy most is tinkering, and the more accessories and aftermarket parts that are available, the better. In terms of modern tactical rifles, none is more popular than the AR, and naturally it has more manufacturers making more accessories and improvements to tack on it. Still, creating a custom look for your AR, while not difficult, can stretch the mechanical abilities of some and the wallets of most. That said, there has been a growing market for factory rifles that go direct to the consumer with the more popular bells and whistles already installed.

Enter the Windham Weaponry Carbine Diamondhead Integrated (CDI), a semi-automatic, direct gas impingement AR delivered complete with the most popular and highest quality upgrades on the market today. Anyone who follows gun news and is a fan of ARs will undoubtedly have heard of Windham Weaponry by now. For those who haven’t, this is a new name but certainly not a new manufacturer.

Like a phoenix, Windham Weaponry rose from the ashes of a famous factory that lay dormant after a corporate relocation. With a new name and the return of an experienced and dedicated workforce, it began once again, producing high-quality rifles. Windham Weaponry first focused on producing just the most popular models of M4-style AR carbines and has only recently expanded its product line into other categories.

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A better than average mil-spec single-stage trigger helped to improve accuracy. It released just at 7 pounds, almost no creep.

Gun Details

Like most of Windham Weaponry’s existing product line, the CDI is also an M4-style semi-automatic carbine chambered for 5.56mm NATO. The biggest extra that comes standard on the CDI is the Diamondhead V-RS “X” free-floating handguard, which is 10.25 inches long and quad-rail ready. Not only does this system free-float the barrel, relieving stress on the barrel and improving the rifle’s accuracy potential, but it also provides over 16 inches of uninterrupted Picatinny-rail space on top when combined with the flattop receiver. This much rail space makes for the easy installation of more advanced optics, including night vision and thermal imagers as well as top-mounted laser units. The modular handguard also makes it a simple matter to add rail extensions where the operator needs them, while leaving the rest of the handguard bare. This helps to keep weight down, decreases the dimensions and girth of the unit and improves user comfort.

The handguard comes standard with a sling attachment point at the bottom front and a substantial length of Picatinny rail pre-installed underneath. Atop this handguard and flattop upper receiver, Windham Weaponry has added Diamondhead flip-up front and rear sights with their distinctive diamond-shaped patterns. These black anodized stainless steel and aluminum sights firmly lock into place when needed and fold conveniently out of the way when using optics. The sights are fully adjustable for windage and elevation, and the diamond-shaped aperture makes for very fast and intuitive target acquisition.

The 16-inch, chrome-lined barrel has an M4 profile and is made from mil-spec 4150 chrome-moly-vanadium steel. (Chrome-moly results in increased carbon content in the steel and adds significant strength and durability, both very desirable features in a duty rifle.) The barrel has a fairly standard 1-in-9-inch twist rate, which does a good job of stabilizing a wide range of bullet weights, including very low-weight, special-use loads.

Another upgrade to the CDI carbine is the addition of the aggressive-looking and effective Smith Enterprises Vortex Slash suppressor. This four-pronged, open-ended device features a right-hand, 15-degree helix twist, which increases the structural rigidity and ensures the suppressor stays on the rifle. This device also almost completely eliminates muzzle flash and is compatible with blank-firing adapters for training purposes. It also accepts Smith Enterprises’ quick-detach sound suppressors.

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The Diamondhead flip-up front and rear sights have a distinctive diamond-shaped pattern that facilitates fast, intuitive target acquisition.

The tough CDI has been built to mil-spec, including the use of M4 feed ramps at the back of the chamber, which are cut wider and lower and are designed to improve reliable feeding of rounds from the magazine into the chamber. This can be especially important in carbines and under less-than-ideal conditions where dirt, grime or moisture are introduced. The bolt and bolt carrier are made from Carpenter 158 steel and high-pressure (HP) tested and magnetic-particle inspected. The bolt and bolt carrier are phosphate-coated and chrome-lined, and the bolt carrier has a mil-spec M16 contour, as opposed to a cheaper commercial bolt, which is stronger and heavier to ensure longer and more reliable operation. The bolt carrier is paired off with a standard carbine buffer.

Load Comments
  • Devin Harper

    Looks sweet.

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  • Sumner Thompson

    It certainly is great to have this Maine factory back in production. The owner most certainly is highly qualified to produce quality firearms as in the past. There should be no doubt that they will be successful and we wish them very best of luck.