I was excited to test the new Windham Weaponry WW-308 (MSRP $1,708, but K-Var’s price is under $1,250). I have shot 223/5.56 AR-15s ever since I was 13 years old, but had never really had a chance to try out the AR-15s big brother (often referred to as the AR-10). The real treat was trying this rifle platform out with Windham Weaponry, a company rich in AR-15 history.
Many newer shooters may not know, or fully respect, Windham Weaponry. To some, it is just one of the many AR makers/assemblers who came on the scene in the mid 2000s. However, in the 1970s Richard Dyke started a little company in Maine that became known as Bushmaster. For years Richard and his team at Bushmaster helped young gun builders, such as myself, build their very own AR-15 rifles when there were few companies providing this service. My friends and I still have our 1990s Bushmasters.
In 2006, Dyke sold Bushmaster to the Freedom Group (a firm who owns: DPMS, Remington, Marlin, PARA, and others). In 2011, and after Richard’s non-compete was up, it also coincided with Freedom Group moving operations from Maine to the South. Richard decided he’d reassemble his old Bushmaster team and began making firearms once again, but now under the name of Windham Weaponry. In my opinion, Richard Dyke really is the grandfather of the Civilian AR.
The History of the .308
A quick history on the .308, the 7.62×51 is the military version, loaded at higher pressures. The .308 was the military’s answer, to scale down the beastly .30-06, in the middle of the 20th century. It wanted to save a little brass/powder and reduce the overall weight a GI would carry into combat, but still have the knockdown power of a .30 caliber bullet.
The .308 saw action by the military in the Korean War in the form of the M-14 and other platforms. The .308 lived on in Vietnam being used in the M-60 (the Rambo movies for you 80s kids) as well as many other platforms, including use by our snipers. The .308 round remains in use today, both in the military and hunting rifles around the world.
So, what did I think about the Windham Weaponry’s .308? Being able to push 25 rounds of .308, as fast as you can pull the trigger, is quite a rush. When it’s in your hands, it feels like a heavy AR-15. However, when it goes off, you’re reminded it’s not a 223. If you’ve read my reviews, you know I really don’t get into wasting my time to see what type of bullet gets the best grouping at 100 yards with 10mph wind on a Tuesday at 1:38 p.m.
It’s a 308. Unless you suck, even an ok shooter should be able to hit a human-size target at 200 yards with iron sights. Overall, I really enjoyed shooting Windham’s .308. This gun has some amazing power. Wyndam’s proprietary trigger is also very smooth vs. a MIL-SPEC (.223) trigger. However, there are some much-needed upgrades I would do as soon as I pulled this gun out of the case.
First, lose the cheap M-4 stock and upgrade to a Magpul (or similar) stock. It provides a little recoil reduction and feels more comfortable on the cheek. I understand Windham’s stance on shooters have their preference on stocks, but if I’m paying $1,708 on a gun, give me the accessories I’d expect on a $1,708+ gun.
Second, lose the A2 flash suppressor. I’m not in combat, I don’t care if you see my muzzle flash. I want to reduce muzzle flip to keep my follow up shots on target with a .308. The best way to do this is to utilize a compensator that has two/three ports on the left and right side of the brake. This will greatly reduce muzzle-rise. My last recommendation would be for Windham to nitride the barrel at the factory versus utilizing the old technology of phosphate coating. Nitride holds up better to harsh weather and increases barrel longevity (inside and outside).
This is a great firearm made by an iconic master of the AR. With a few quick upgrades this will be one of your favorite guns to shoot at the range or in the field. It’s a gun you will pass down to your kids—assuming ARs, and their like, remain legal to own.
Are you a fan of the harder hitting .308 on an AR-platform? What advantages or disadvantages do you see in the Windham Weaponry .308 SRC over a .223? Share your answers in the comment section.
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