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Old December 2, 2012, 11:09 AM   #1
bfskinnerpunk
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The basic Windham Weaponry vs Colt

The Windham is $800 at walmart vs $1,100 for the base walmart colt.

Other than the roll mark, in what way(s) is the WW inferior to the Colt?

Thanks

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Old December 2, 2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about WW. Look at the differences in the barrel steel, barrel twist, HP testing and MPI testing of barrels and bolts (batch versus individual), Semi vs FA bolt carriers and commercial versus mil-spec buffer extensions. There may be more differences, and none of them may matter to you.

Last edited by RT; December 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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I think that many of us wanting to know where our hard earned money is going sometimes overthink our AR purchases. In the last 5 years I have purchased/built 4 AR-15's, some that I put together for less than $400 with used parts bought on the Internet to one that cost $1600 built from mostly new BCM parts. Under 300 yards my el cleapo AR shoots just as accurately as my most expensive and I'll never wear any of these out in my lifetime. In my case every AR I have is more accurate than the shooter.....me More expensive does not always translate to better quality though this topic is debated all the time.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
I don't know anything about WW. Look at the differences in the barrel steel, barrel twist, HP testing and MPI testing of barrels and bolts (batch versus individual), Semi vs FA bolt carriers and commercial versus mil-spec buffer extensions
This.

Colt does everything to mil-spec standard. WW does almost none of it.
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Old December 2, 2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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WW exceeds mil-spec in a couple areas.
They offer both "full-ring" and "cut-ring" (military & civilian) bolt carriers, depending on model.

MPI'd & shot-peened.
Well-staked keys.

They do not stake their castle nuts, their reason is they figure a number of buyers will swap stocks.

The one I worked with was the most accurate 16-inch AR I've ever fired.
No malfunctions.
I saw no QC issues with it.
If I wasn't already full up on ARs, I would have made them an offer on it.
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Old December 2, 2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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I had this question myself, as I purchased a WW SRC. There is a semi-famous youtube channel - Stermgewehre - that did a review on the MPC and the CDI. He had great things to say. He also did an AR-15 reliability demonstration using a Colt. I asked him on his Facebook page to do one with a Windham, and asked what is different between a Colt and a WW.

According to him, the only real differences are in the barrel twist and the buffer tube. (WW is a 1/9" and commercial buffer tube).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PVEitTfxm0
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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"Non milspec" does not mean "not as good".

And the civilian colt models are not 100% milspec.

Id just compare features of both vs price. WW is good stuff as is colt.
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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Colt has been making the AR for the military since 1963 or so. They are considered the standard by which all other ARs are judged.

Larry Vickers recommends three brands of ARs - Colt, BCM and Daniel Defense FWIW.

Good luck.
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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I would buy the Colt, they at least they meet the minimum standard - milspec.

Windham is nothing more than Bushmaster reincarnated; not exactly the Mecca of quality ARs...
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Larry Vickers recommends three brands of ARs - Colt, BCM and Daniel Defense FWIW.
Interesting but not terribly compelling. AFAIK, he has published no records of statistics, and while being a superior self-promoter, one often wonders if his recommendations are related to sponsorship.
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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I personally would spend the extra coin on the Colt, and I am not a Colt AR man. This is an email copied from another site. It was from Windham Weaponry themselves....


"Windham Weaponry responded:
Let me try to answer as best I can your 6 points.

1. Carpenter 158 bolts YES
2. HP and MP tested bolts YES
3. 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium steel YES
4. Mil Spec buffer tubes NO
Mil spec tubes use a smaller diameter tube than the actual diameter of the threads. This makes an extra process to turn the tube down to the mil-spec size rather than keeping it the same diameter all the way back. The walls of the commercial tube are therefore a little beefier. I've fired hundreds of thousands of rounds through AR15s and M16s with commercial spec tubes and have never had one fail. In the former company we all worked for (BFI), we had a test lower in the shooting room that we used for at least 10 years with the same commerical buffer tube on it. That lower probably had well over a million rounds through it without ever replacing the buffer tube. So in our experience there is no benefit to a mil spec buffer tube and is why we decided to go with the commercial spec tube. It's not as coslty to manufacture and is as strong or stronger than a mil spec tube.
5. F Marked front sight bases NO
We use standard front sight bases as this has become the "standard" really. The difference is only .040" and we have taller front sight posts in stock for those rifles that need more height on the front sight post. The majority of carry handles for flat tops are calibrated for standard front sight bases and that's the type of carry
handle we use. Any rear flip sight that needs a .040" taller sight can be easily accomodated with a taller post.
6. Staked locknuts on tele stocks NO
We would have more complaints if we did this than compliments. Some people want to be able to remove the stock if they want to install a different kind of endplate. Factory staking makes removal of the castle nut very difficult. Even without staking some people have a very hard time removing our tele stocks as we torque them on very tightly. Staking is a very easy process and takes 5 minutes to do. We leave this up to the customer to decide rather than making this decision for them. If someone buys one of our rifles and wants the lock nut staked we can do this for them if they so choose."



These are just a few reasons why the Colt is made better..
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:55 PM   #12
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I have a question, how many of you guys with the negative remarks about WW actually own one and are talking from personal experience ? I don't own either one so I wouldn't give a bad rap to either one. All I can say is if you bought a WW in the last few years you got a Remington built one. When WW started up it was with all ne machinery and the old experienced Bushmaster workers. If that is good or bad I don't know.
All I can say is a couple friend have WW varmint exterminators and they are excellent shooting and very accurate, another friend bought a Colt MT6400c and he loves it, no malfunctions and very accurate. I don't know as that one is any better than the other. They all shoot, they all seem to be accurate so buy which ever one you like better or the one that fits your budget better. I wouldn't worry all that much about mil-spec either.
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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How much is Mil-spec needed in some of these areas??I am in the market for my first AR..And frankly it is all making my head spin and I am about to give up the research..
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:14 PM   #14
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ww is the reorganization of bushmaster after the sale to cyberus. when cerberus layed off the personnel the former owner of bushmaster stepped in and started ww.

as far as
Quote:
Larry Vickers recommends three brands of ARs - Colt, BCM and Daniel Defense FWIW
whats funny is i would pick. pws,pof,larue,ruger,lwrc over most of them. most spokes people are paid to tell you what to buy not what they actually think of them. granted ar's are so time tested that unless they have ****ty machining or fitment getting a bad one is exceedingly rare these days.

alot of people will recommend the colt though because of the name.
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:39 PM   #15
bfskinnerpunk
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I'm not impressed with what is being stated as the differences between Colt and WW.

Buffer tube? ...along with it's unstaked castle nut? (..and that allows you to change the buffer tube to whatever you like)

Front sight post. Not sure what the differing sight posts imply (in what way does it affect the capacity/function of the rifle?)

I was expecting to hear things like:
WW uses lower quality metal/material in the barrel.... or BCG.
WW uses a finish that results in quicker rust / corrosion
WW machining results in poor fit between parts or sections
WW uses parts that will fail earlier than a Colt.

THAT, to my thinking, is what would distinguish a high quality rifle from a lower quality rifle (or rifles with a 30%+ difference in price)
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:16 PM   #16
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Without doing a lot of research into Windham, I'll offer this:

First, as I read it, unless you pay extra, on most WW rifles you DO NOT get a hard chrome lined bore and chamber.
On Colt you do.
Many makers are using the "Chrome Moly" steel term to allow unwary buyers to think they're getting a chrome LINED bore and chamber.
Chrome Moly is nothing more than a barrel steel that's been used since the 1930's, it does not mean chrome lined.

There's a $300 difference between the WW and the Colt.
Contrary to popular belief, Colt does NOT charge $300 dollars more just because it has a Pony and the name Colt on it.
What you get for the extra money is a first line firearm made of US military specification parts, carefully inspected, and with top of the line workmanship, not just on the parts, but also on the assembly.

Colt makes most of their own parts, and since the commercial rifles are the same rifles Colt sells to the police, they're built with the same military specification parts.
According to Brent Turchi, Colt's Custom Shop manager, Colt Defense, makers of military and police AR and M16 firearms, simply "pass the rifles over the wall to Colt Firearms, sellers of commercial firearms.
In other words, the Colt M4 you buy at Wal-mart is exactly the same rifle Colt Defense sells to the police.

WW gets it's parts from who knows who, and made to whatever specification or lack of specification they want.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:36 PM   #17
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The only advantage to a milspec tube is the parts and stocks availability in the aftermarket. There seems to be more parts and stocks out there for milspec tubes than comercial tubes in my experiance. This is why when I started building my current AR project I am going with a milspec tube.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:53 PM   #18
rebs
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Quote:
First, as I read it, unless you pay extra, on most WW rifles you DO NOT get a hard chrome lined bore and chamber.
On Colt you do.
Many makers are using the "Chrome Moly" steel term to allow unwary buyers to think they're getting a chrome LINED bore and chamber.
Chrome Moly is nothing more than a barrel steel that's been used since the 1930's, it does not mean chrome lined.

There's a $300 difference between the WW and the Colt.
Contrary to popular belief, Colt does NOT charge $300 dollars more just because it has a Pony and the name Colt on it.
What you get for the extra money is a first line firearm made of US military specification parts, carefully inspected, and with top of the line workmanship, not just on the parts, but also on the assembly.

Colt makes most of their own parts, and since the commercial rifles are the same rifles Colt sells to the police, they're built with the same military specification parts.
According to Brent Turchi, Colt's Custom Shop manager, Colt Defense, makers of military and police AR and M16 firearms, simply "pass the rifles over the wall to Colt Firearms, sellers of commercial firearms.
In other words, the Colt M4 you buy at Wal-mart is exactly the same rifle Colt Defense sells to the police.

WW gets it's parts from who knows who, and made to whatever specification or lack of specification they want.
Here is a few facts about Colt.
Colt has gone through some hard times, close to bankruptcy. They had a huge labor dispute. They had and may still have a problem with quality control as well.
Colt uses a chrome moly barrel on a lot of its Ar's and they are not chrome lined either. They also use chrome lined barrels on some models.
Colt did not invent the AR 15 or M16, Armalite did. Your chances of getting a lemon is just as good with a Colt as well as any other brand.

Look both brands over in the store before you decide, see which one has the better fit and finish, which one feels better in your hands and most important chose the one you like. Everyone has an opinion and their opinion generally is the best one is the one they bought.

I don't understand why Colt owners or Colt admirers feel they have to jump to defend their Colt. Its like they feel a compulsion to talk you into a Colt and will bash any other brand that they do not even own or know much about. Do a search for reviews on WW and see what actual owners have to say.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
These are just a few reasons why the Colt is made better..
Maybe I am misunderstanding something, but there was nothing in the copied email that indicates Colt is better. The only point I might think even comes close is the front sight height issue, and it is easily handled as is pointed out in the WW response.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:34 PM   #20
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Well my point is the non mil-spec buffer tube, the 1 in 8 twist barrel, non f-marked sights and other things that are not the usual in the upper tier AR's. by no means am I a fan of the Colt, but I would take Colt's crappy customer service over the Windham AR that cuts corners (buffer tube..etc)

I personally would get a PSA, Spikes or such if on a budget. If not a DD,BCM,LMT,LaRue,Noveske, or my unicorn the HK MR556. Not to say all of these are perfect, but the really are Tier 1 AR's. Colt has earned it's place along side these too. I just have had a couple bad personal experiences with Colt (customer service related).

I have put over 300 rounds through two WW AR's, they work great and did not have a single issue. They remind me exactly of the pre Cerberus Bushmasters. Nothing wrong with them, they just don't offer a lot of the features the better AR's do.

I own a S&W M&P15, DDV4, and a CMMG(hybrid/Self built). Previously owned a Colt, two Bushmasters and a BCM. I have shot and used AR rifles for many years, and it kills me to recommend a Colt, but out of the WW basic model and the Colt 6920 (which has a chrome lined barrel) I reluctantly pick the Colt.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:40 PM   #21
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Well, I was willing to pay over 200 dollars more for my Colt than the Bushmaster which was the competitor at the time. I've never been sorry. But then, I'm a Colt guy anyway.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:51 PM   #22
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If you're going to shoot thousands of rounds thru your AR, might as well go with Colt.

If you're ever going to have to sell your AR, might as well go with Colt.

If you're going to obsess over spending a couple hundred extra dollars, better go cheap. Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes not, but when you buy the top brand it comes with a name that's been in the business for over a century, and that has defined its niche in the market place. That actually does count for something; in this case, about $300.

No sense fighting it; go with your gut and do what makes you happy. Buy once, cry once.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:20 PM   #23
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WW is probably fine for 90% of AR buyers, but the internet xperts keep promoting that we all need a Colt to be considered good enough.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:29 PM   #24
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Buy the Windam and with the money you saved over the Colt you can get a case of ammo.
With that out of the way I own 7 AR's, well actually 8. One of them is an AR pistol. I have to say Colt don't offer anything special that my Stags, RRA, Adcore, or S&W's don't other then the name Colt on the lower.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:48 PM   #25
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The commercial diameter receiver extension is a dead giveaway that Windham cuts many other corners. That means barrel steel, coating, testing and twist rate. And bolt and carrier steel, testing and staking. Often improper sight height as well.

That's why so many who care about quality pay more to go with Colt, BCM and Daniel Defense. Is it necessary, maybe not if you just plink at the range here and there. If you need a solid rifle then yes it is.

But there's more, why would anyone go with Windham which cuts the same corners that the old (and new) Bushmaster did (does) when you can get a milspec PSA for under $800? It just makes no sense to pay the same or more for a commercial grade AR!
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