Rifles > Semi-Auto

Windham Weaponry SRC AR-15 Carbine

This new company brings old school expertise, commitment and quality to the modern sporting rifle market.

3/22/2012

Ever heard of Windham Weaponry? You have, but you just don't know it yet. Although this is technically a new company, it brings years of AR rifle manufacturing experience to the table. Back in 1973, Richard Dyke founded Bushmaster Firearms International, a company that would grow to become one of the top providers of quality, AR-style firearms. In 2006, Cerberus Capital Management purchased Bushmaster, adding it to its portfolio of other well-known gun companies, like Marlin and Remington, as part of the Freedom Group. The production of Bushmaster rifles continued in the original Windham, Maine, location until March of 2011 when the operation was relocated to Ilion, N.Y.

The move resulted in the facility's closure and the seasoned work crew losing their jobs. This would have been the end of the story if Richard Dyke hadn’t stepped up to the plate to change the situation. With his five-year non-compete clause expiring and new financial backers on board, Mr. Dyke organized the reopening of the Maine facility and brought back as many of the original employees as he could. Under the banner of Windham Weaponry, this re-energized company is providing a selection of ARs to rival the biggest names in the industry.

First Impressions
Windham Weaponry is starting out with four primary rifle configurations. This review covers the R16M4FTT "SRC" model, featuring an M4A4-type flat top upper receiver and Picatinny rail gas block to allow for the use of a variety of optics and removable sights. The SRC is a semi-automatic rifle that uses a gas-impingement system to cycle the action. The receiver is constructed of forged 7075 T6 aircraft aluminum with a black anodized finish. Although some companies are using polymer trigger guards these days, Windham's are aluminum.

The chrome-lined steel 16-inch barrel has an M4 profile and a removable A4 flash hider. The factory hand guard is of the M4 double heat shield variety and the pistol grip is an A2 black plastic model. The shoulder stock is one of the popular six-position telescoping types with the Windham Weaponry Logo molded into it. The rifle controls, including the charging handle, bolt release and magazine release are located where and operate exactly how you would expect them to on an AR platform. Other operations related to field stripping, lubricating and maintenance hold no surprises for those who are familiar with this type of firearm.

The standard model SRC rifle was dressed up a bit for this review. The polymer hand guard was traded out for a DiamondHead Versa-Rail V-RS system handguard with the optional short base rails attachment for lights and other accessories. An ARMS 71L front and rear polymer folding sight set was mounted to the upper rails and a Doublestar Ambi-Tactical single-point sling adaptor was installed. This set of extras costs about $250 to add to the rifle.

Now to the important question: Is the Windham rifle just a Bushmaster clone? The answer is: Not exactly. The rifle's Bushmaster heritage is plainly represented. But with a chance to start over again, and knowing the market is currently overflowing with a variety of AR platforms, Windham is working to make its guns stand out by using its own specifications at key points while keeping the guns affordable.

The SRC's fit and finish is excellent. The aluminum and steel treatments provide a dark, rich, even finish that stands out from other guns. The entire rifle was closely examined and found to be free of the dings, tool marks and corner-cutting that tend to show up on cheap imports and less-carefully manufactured rifles. All of the controls are smooth and tightly fitted. Windham uses an additional manufacturing process to ensure the trigger is as crisp and smooth as possible.

Trigger Time
If you're familiar with AR-style rifles, then you already know how fun shooting one chambered in 5.56/.223 can be. The SRC exemplifies all of the AR goodness currently driving this kind of rifle's popularity. The rifle is lightweight, with mild recoil and, in the case of the SRC, accuracy is excellent. The trigger proved to be crisp with a clean break that feels like it should be attached to a more expensive rifle.

Since the SRC is intended to be a flexible rifle for competition, hunting and home-defense it seemed like a good idea to run it with an optic designed to fill a variety of shooting roles.  Leupold's new VX-R Patrol 1.25-4x20mm with a Fire Dot SPR reticule, mounted with a new Mark 2 IMS 30mm integral ring and base mounting system, was a terrific match. With the magnification cranked down to 1.25, and the red laser dot activated at the center of the fixed black-line reticule, it was easy to quickly engage close-range targets in defensive drills. With the magnification turned up to 4, and the laser dot turned off, the scope’s crystal-clear magnification made it easy to produce tight groups on paper targets at moderate distances.

Formal accuracy testing for the SRC was conducted using targets posted at 100 yards with the rifle placed in a Caldwell Lead Sled Solo shooting rest. The Solo is a good fit for bench resting ARs because it leaves enough room between the rests and the base for 30-round magazines. Five consecutive five-shot groups were used to judge the results.

The two best individual groups of 1.25 inches were produced using Federal Premium American Eagle Brand 55-grain full-metal jacket boat tail rounds and Winchester Super X 64-grain Power Point soft points. The best five-group average of 1.45 inches was produced by the Winchester load. HPR 60-grain V-Max ballistic tips produced an average of 1.6 inches, followed by the Federal load at 1.75 inches.

Informal accuracy work and off-hand shooting showed the rifle to be reliable with a variety of loads. High-performance hunting loads, imported steel-case rounds and brass-cased ball ammo, in a variety of bullet weights, all fired and ejected without any jams or failures to fire. Switching out the magazine for a few different brands in standard sizes did not cause any feeding issues either.

Final Thoughts
With the country’s recession continuing to drag on, the story of Windham Weaponry's launch is inspiring. It's refreshing to see Americans putting Americans back to work building quality products at a fair price. Having met with Richard Dyke and the Windham staff at a trade show last year, I was impressed by their obvious dedication to their products, their customers and to each other. So it's a real pleasure to report that the company’s rifles show all the promise needed for it to become a top contender in the AR market place.

Manufacturer: Windham Weaponry; www.windhamweaponry.com
Model: SRC (R16M4FTT)
Action: Semi-Automatic, Gas Impingement System
Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/.223 Rem
Safety: Manual Lever
Receiver: M4A4 Type Flat Top Upper Receiver
Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum
Trigger Guard: Aluminum
Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Black Anodized Finish
Barrel: 16” M4 Profile, Chrome Lined with A2 Flash Suppressor
Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel
Shoulder Stock: 6 Position Telescoping Buttstock
Pistol Grip: A2 Black Polymer
Hand Guard: M4 Double Heat Shield
Sights: None
Overall Length: 34.5” (30” with the stock collapsed)
Weight: 6.3 lbs.
Capacity: 30+1 Rounds, One 30-round Magazine Provided
Twist: 1:9" RH
Accessories: Hard Case, Web Sling, Operators Manual
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Suggested Retail Price: $1040

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67 Responses to Windham Weaponry SRC AR-15 Carbine

SteveD wrote:
November 27, 2013

This my first AR style gun. The only thing I have changed on the gun were the front grips with Piccatiny rails. This thing is accurate and dependable. i have had the gun for over 1 year and sent thousands of rounds down range. Did a complete tear down after a year and everything looked great, no worn part. I also have the Nikon BDC scope and it works perfectly. I am now waitng for the .308 version to hit the street, should be next month! I can hand this rifle of to somebody that has never shot a gun and hit bullseyes at 100yrds. Glad ammo prices are coming back down, I can't go the range and shot a few magazines. Next to my Skeet rifle this is the funnest gun to shoot. My 74 year old mom was hitting bullseyes at 100yrds. Next to nothing for re-coil. If you don't have a WW AR, buy one!

Tom wrote:
October 23, 2013

If ARs are 'junk' then I promise you don't want to be within 400 yards of me and my peice of 'junk'. I bought one of these windhams for $800 and absolutely love it. I've owned a S&W MP-15 which I sold and it gave me some feed issues out of the box with steel case ammo. The windham has a better finish, feels lighter, and has eaten hundreds of rounds of various ammo including steel case and 5.56 without a hiccup and I paid less money for it. I have a nikon 3x32 scope on it and its a tack driver at 200 yards but hitting a silhouette target center mass at 400 yards is a breeze. Ill be taking it out to 600 yards as soon as possible. Over all I couldn't be happier with this rifle. It will be a permant fixture in my collection

JTapia wrote:
May 08, 2013

Purchased my first AR15 yesterday a Windham R16M4A4T. Nice gun and lite weight have not shot it yet but reviews say it is a sweet gun to shot. Can't wait for the weekend to get here.

Joseph Gerocs wrote:
April 07, 2013

I sold my bushy last year, and just this week, bought the src. Nice fit , tight and love the finish also. Great job ww. !!!!!!!

John W Herring wrote:
March 26, 2013

First, I have not fired this at at this time. I have handled a few of them and impressed with the fit and finish. With that said, I carried the M16 in Viet Nam for two years. I for one never had a problem with jamming, ftf or anything else. Fired more rounds than I care to guess. Have they changed over the years? Yes. Enough? Probably not. But to knock all ar's. Come on. If you don't like them, don't buy one. Buy what suits ya. As for me, I'm going to buy one.

christopher lutz wrote:
March 04, 2013

I love my windham AR15 bought it brand new and its never givin me anything but hella good times at th range and in th desert .

Eggsterguy wrote:
February 24, 2013

After shooting .22s all my life this piece is a real joy. I 'get' the Ken doll analogy...I've customized mine and am very proud of it.

Arnie Tobias wrote:
January 24, 2013

He has the one with the flip up site

Jose wrote:
January 19, 2013

Have to say I was impressed with the src, was a bit skeptical as I had not heard much about this fairly new player in the ar arena. Accuracy and reliability are superb...as for those old salts reminiscing on their draft times, ar's have come a long way since then, for that reason they're still in service. I spent 8 yrs in Marine Corps infantry '97-'05 and have seen first hand what the 5.56 is capable of and would not change the ar platform.

Kevin wrote:
January 08, 2013

I want another mag. Does dpms or the bushmaster mags fit?

John G wrote:
January 05, 2013

Got my windham ar around 10 days ago for 799.00 amazing price put a red dot on it for 99.99 love the gun I want another

Nick wrote:
December 18, 2012

The Windham websight offers several accessories for the SRC. Or Amazon works as well if you know what you want. I just called WW customer service regarding A.R.M.S 71L sights. Descriptions for the front sight elsewhere specifically state that they should not be used on gas block mounts (such as the SRC), yet Windam sells them and this story lists them as accessories used for this review. WW Customer service says they have tested these sights and they work just fine when operating the SRC in semi-auto mode (NOT slide fire, in which case the gas block gets too hot for the plastic 71L front sight). I intend to purchase a set and test this for myself. I have no concerns, though. After over 1000 rounds, my SRC has performed flawlessly. WW makes a great product.

Gary wrote:
December 17, 2012

where is the best place to buy sights for the SRC

james sievers wrote:
December 14, 2012

I bought mine a few days ago, did'nt really know which ar to buy and the sellsman at cabellas talked me into this one. i am very happy with it what a awesome weapon

Thudflyer wrote:
December 09, 2012

My buddy and I just each bought one for $799.00 at our local Wal-Mart. We'll see...

D wrote:
November 30, 2012

Just picked up the NY Compliant version. This is my second AR, as my first one was a DPMS A 15. I am very impressed.

Frank wrote:
November 23, 2012

I bought mine today and was extremely happy with it and best part is its made in the USA and has a limited lifetime warranty by far one of the best out there!!

mmkkpro wrote:
November 22, 2012

I recently bought an src,its my first ar and i gotta say its sweet,its quality is apparent when you first see it,fit and finish is very good,and it shoots great,ive always been an ak fan and they do have their strengths,but the src is like driving a bmw when the ak is like a yugo,its much tighter than the ak,very accurate,fun to shoot,windam has done a fine job and its great to see americans providing jobs for americans.

Bluesub wrote:
November 21, 2012

Sorry Steve but your comments are without merit. Agree your weapon was not the best when you were issued it over 40 years ago but the latest ARs are worth trying for target or hunting. I have had great success with multiple ARs and they are great for teaching younger shooters the art of shooting with reduced recoil. I love bolt, lever, autos and ARs. They all have a place and are we are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can choose. Go Army!!!

Duff Morrow wrote:
November 21, 2012

Peter, those are made specially for windham you can buy them off there website.

Peter wrote:
November 15, 2012

I an trying to duplicate the above test version. I'll be danged if I can identify the DiamonHead Versa-Rail system that hey added. Blew up the picture but there is nothing on the DiamondBack site that mayches. Can anybody help? Thanks in advance!

motoxrcr wrote:
October 30, 2012

I bought mine from Cabelas for $820 plus tax on sale. It is my first AR and looks to be quite the weapon.

Peege wrote:
October 17, 2012

I Love my Windham AR!!! I'm a female newbie ( only about 3 yrs ). The AR was was the only rifle I've bought. My gun shop owner Highly recommended I get this rifle!! Bought her about 6 months ago & is dead on! I've only shot at 50 yrds, but can get bulls on every shot! Gonna try 100 yrds, just too lazy to walk that far! I highly recommend getting one!!

keith wrote:
October 17, 2012

Got my first ar15 three weeks ago, my wife and I love it. Light and tight and easy to group them. I want a second so we can put more down range. WW makes a great rifle.

Tony wrote:
October 16, 2012

Will the SRC AR-15 fire both the 223 and 5.56 rounds? With out any problems or modifications?

Brian wrote:
October 11, 2012

Purchased my first SCR one week ago and out of the box with a NJ compliant version and iron sites dead nuts on. Blew through 40 rounds in no time without any problems and tight groups out to 100 yds. Exceptional manufacturing quality is evident throughout. Stripped it down on the bench easily to clean. I'm an old bolt shooter and was concerned about the 'new' internals but it is very simple to disassemble and clean. Just have a box of Q tips handy! Great gun, great story. Thank you WW.

Mike wrote:
October 05, 2012

I own three AR's. A S&W, Colt and a Bushmaster. Of the three I prefer the Bushmaster. I don't know why but I feel I get a better performance from the Bushy. I have lots of friends and acquaintances that are trying their best to get rid of DPMS as well as others and buying the new Windhams. Ths will also be my next AR purchase. Tried and proven quality at its best. Thanks Windham for bringing back the true bushmaster quality even if it's under another name.

Chuck wrote:
September 16, 2012

Just got my first AR have looked at a lot of other AR for months and shot several others but this is the best one for the money keep up the good work Windham you Rock!!

Ty wrote:
August 26, 2012

I have the SRC and the varmint model with the stainless fluted barrel and love them both. Have had several other AR-15s and the WW is hands down the best. Sweet guns at a sweet price! And if the recession has been over since 2009 I'd sure like to know where because it sure isn't where I'm at!

Gerard w arose wrote:
August 23, 2012

The SRC is perfect for me. Shoots and functions flawlessly. Will buy more. I have some Bushmasters and live them too.

Kevin wrote:
August 21, 2012

Last week I purchased a stainless Mini 14 with synthetic stock at Big 5 and saw the new SRC-CA on display. waiting 3 more days for background check to clear and keep thinking what the salesperson had said: that I can apply the money paid to the Windham SRC instead and for $150 more take that instead of the Ruger mini -14 ranch rifle. I like the simple look and feel of the ranch rifle but for accuracy and latest/greatest I'm considering the switch. Thoughts?

Hedley Lamarr wrote:
August 03, 2012

Sorry to see the haters still ignoring the quality and accuracy that comes with the AR and 5.56mm. My M-16 never failed me and consistently hit torso targets at 350 yds with iron sights even though it had been in the army much longer than I. My Windham's fit and finish are remarkable and 3rounds fit in a quarter, again with iron sights at 100m. WW beat my colt Hbar in all respects. When you inspect a Windham, you will appreciate the quality and the price speaks for itself. As for the haters: if you keep a closed mind, please keep your mouth closed too.

Errol wrote:
August 02, 2012

This ar15 is the best out there. Totally great made best ar 15. As a former NYC Correction Dept officer i have trained with many weapons for high risk tasks. I have a bump fire on this gun and after going thru 1000 rounds non stop on full auto mode gun was very hot and no problems at all. Everything is heavy duty, great great ar 15.

darrell wrote:
August 01, 2012

bought mine about 2 1/2 months ago...have made about every mod possible to it with the exception of barrel and trigger.....since day one it has operated flawlessly accurate up to 300 yards and never have i had jamming or misfire issues its a fantastic firearm.....bought mine for about 825 out the door 200 under msrp.....next mods 16 in heavy barrel cant wait to reach a nickel for yardage....if your on the fence about purchasing one for the money and the quality you wont find a better rifle in this caliber.

Roger wrote:
July 27, 2012

Purchased the Cabelas specific model (flat top receiver and no recessed barrel in front of the location where the front site would be). 3/4" barrel the full length. Don't need a "grenade launcher" type of rifle! Mounted a Nikon 4x12x50mm scope on a Leupold mount. Broke the rifle in the way I do with my other rifles. Loaded some hand loads and found one that shoots .75" groups with a Nolser 55 Grain Ballistic Tip Boat Tail Bullet with H223 powder. Have been hunting Coyotes with it, and and making kills out to 300+ yards with it! Great rifle, and have had no problems with it.

Andy wrote:
May 30, 2012

I am in MA and planning a trip up to the factory for a tour and my chance to purchase one.

superbike steve wrote:
May 23, 2012

I have had mine for about three months put a eotech 512 on it an my wife was cloverleafing at 25 yards now she want one thanks a lot Windham! All kidding aside they are good weapons and I couldn't ask for more out of a ar platform rifle.

kingeightball wrote:
May 20, 2012

Just picked up the 799 academy sports no sight model. Last one they had. Saleswoman said they cant keep em in stock and I know why. This thing is badass. Not a single scratch or flaw . I got my ak47 for when the zombies come but for target practice,this thing is the deal. Oh yea....mr.recession is over....

Captain Cop wrote:
May 18, 2012

I am a retired peace officer and own many, many weapons, including several AR's, and the Windham SRC is among the best. $ for $ I'd put it up against any of them. You can buy a better AR, though just slightly, but not for anywhere near the inexpensive cost of a windham. Academy has the SRC for $799...can't be beat. Lookout Bushmaster, there's a new sheriff in town.

Tim wrote:
May 18, 2012

Held one today, they seem pretty well made I just dont understand why they use the old cheaper barrels and are all 1-9? Also the Varmint is chambered in 223 not 5.56 which is pretty annoying. In my opinion the best deal going right now is from Palmetto. FNH milspec hammer forged barrels 1-7 twist and all "milspec" parts

Dan C wrote:
May 12, 2012

Just bought the Winsham AR , like it except it dents brass about 1 inch or so from the mouth of the brass. I can see on the side of the receiver where brass is hitting it. Any fixes?

Tom S wrote:
May 09, 2012

Recently purchased the Cabela's version (supports our injured vets) and can't be happier. Great AR!

Peirce wrote:
April 29, 2012

Bought mine yesterday. Put an EOTech on it, started setting site at 25 yards, first two shots out of the box were in the same hole. Needless to say I am happy with it.

Jerry Davis wrote:
April 24, 2012

Thank God that Mr. Richard Dyke got back into the factory to give us this gun. I bought one from Cabelas for under $900, added a Nikon scope and it's a gun dreams are made of. For those that say ARs are useless, I don't think many people bought them for hunting. More for plinking or maybe small game. Thank you Windham!!

India Shotts wrote:
April 13, 2012

I have one of these. I love it.

Sean McClendon wrote:
April 09, 2012

Rem semi-auto 30-odd 6 with nice scope drop about anything with in 150ydz! I like to own an AR15 thou!

Mick wrote:
April 05, 2012

I just purchased the SRC AR15 a few days ago, and I have got to say it is well made. Not to bash bushy, but Windham does not have near as much play between the upper & lower receiver. I researched & shopped around with intentions on purchasing an AR between $1000-1200 & after weeks of looking I went with W W 15 AR that has a highend look and feel. Tax & all out the door was well under $900, the only issue I have is it comes w/o sights, but it's optics ready. I added a set of polermer sights, just so I could go shoot it. Got to the range & all my hopes came true.... tight groups, smooth action, no recoil, no jams and had a good time.

woodman's sporting goods wrote:
March 28, 2012

every bit as good or better than the original bushmasters! and, incredibly competively priced. don't go looking any further for a good ar. as maine goes... so goes the nation... who said that?

Ethan wrote:
March 28, 2012

John, the recession ended? Who told you that? Barack Obama? Ha, ha, ha! Look around you! This recession hasn't gone anywhere.

james P wrote:
March 28, 2012

Is there any chance that this gun will be available in other calibers as well, if it was in .308 i would not hesitate to go to the shop and purchase one.

Uncle Tonoose wrote:
March 27, 2012

I still own an original Bushmaster and the quality of those are above par. Congrats on the new company!

J w Hayes wrote:
March 26, 2012

Does it come in 308 or 7mm/08or maybe 25-06.

Doctor D wrote:
March 26, 2012

In 1970 I found myself wearing cammies, helmut, and flack vest carrying a GAU-A submachine gun (AR), along with a dog named Duke at my side. Today I own a Bushmaster AR-15 that is so close to my GAU that I feel i should be on patrol. It was a fine weapon in 1970 and a fine weapon today. I will be looking for the Windham SFC AR-15 Carbine to add to my collection!

True believer wrote:
March 26, 2012

Have to agree with Uncle David. Was among the first to get issued a Colt M16 in Viet Nam in late '68...was just OK at 20 yards, but I didn't want to get that close to "Charlie". Would have preferred the M14 I qualified company high with in basic. Still can't get excited about any AR and don't own one...it's a tool, but not the best for any one purpose.

John wrote:
March 26, 2012

The recession ended in June 2009.

PD wrote:
March 26, 2012

They have NY, CA and MA compliant rifles.

Rick wrote:
March 25, 2012

Is it CA compliant?

tim wrote:
March 24, 2012

i got one on layaway right now , can't wait to get it, for those who say AR's are junk, most of us are shootin' paper not charlie in the jungle, 223 works good on coyote's too.

Sacorbi wrote:
March 24, 2012

Uncle David needs to join the rest of us in the 21st century. Google LaRue and siper competition. There are many excellent AR Platforms, .223 and .308.

Brian wrote:
March 24, 2012

I work at a gun shop that sells them. Can't keep them in stock!!!! I will be buying one for myself in the near future.

Eddie wrote:
March 24, 2012

I got this same gun at Wal-Mart for $800. It's my 1st AR and I love it. I don't think another brand will come close to this gun at that price and as well made as it is. I just hope thay can stick around for a long time and keep the prouducts up to the same standards

tom wrote:
March 24, 2012

Will this be MA comlpliant?

fubar4fun wrote:
March 24, 2012

What is the big deal with upgraded AR style weapons? 5.56 is such an overrated round. A good low grain .308 round is much better at cutting crosswind and packing a punch it makes the tiny .223 round just a novelty. If you hunt large game, .223 is worthless.

Steve wrote:
March 24, 2012

I've had my Windham for a couple (mpc ) months - its a great gun for a great price. A little over 800 with a Magpul 6 position stock!

Uncle David wrote:
March 24, 2012

Comments... interesting piece except for this, the idea of applyig the word 'quality' to any AR wepon is still trying to make a silk purse from a pig's ear. Bright Junk is still Junk... all AR platforms. Everywhere.. are junk. I received my first M16A1 in '68. Junk. They were trying to 'fix' it. They still are. Nothing should be 'fixing it' for 44 years.

daniel rozek wrote:
March 22, 2012

Beautiful weapon!

walter wrote:
March 22, 2012

I bought mine and love it. I would buy many more if my wife let me but I will say a lot of thought went into this gun and the quality is remarkable well worth the money. Hell I think I under paid for it.