Video: #WindhamProject Part 1 | The RMCS 4 Review

#WP Part 1

The #WindhamProject is a Windham Weaponry RMCS-4 AR which is chambered in 5.56, .300BLK, 7.62x39mm, 9mm and .22lr. We have grabbed some of the most awesome parts of the gun industry to help us better customize this rifle and show you how you can turn this rifle from something awesome to something EPIC and drool worthy at the range.

Table of Contents:

00:04 Intro to the #WindhamProject
01:34 History of the RMCS-4
02:20 Sponsors of the #WindhamProject
03:27 5.56x45mm and the CMMG .22LR kit
10:37 .300BLK
15:10 7.62x39mm Using the AK Mags
22:59 9MM using the Colt SMG Mags
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Editorial: Standardizing vs. Proprietary

A few weeks back I reviewed a Windham Weaponry .308 AR style rifle. When I finished the review I contacted my local gunsmith as well as Windham and asked if they knew of any standardization in the .308 AR market.  I wanted to know if anyone had made a pattern for the upper and lower as well as the Bolt Carrier Group (BCG).

standard vs proprietary

The question seemed straight forward, however the answer isn’t. Long story short, no. No one has made a standard to which everyone is following.

(Note: I am using the 5.56×45 and the .223 Remington interchangeably in the article even though they are not the same cartridge.  AR stands for Armalite Rifle not Assault Rifle).

History

In 1955 and 1956 Armalite designed the first prototypes of the original AR-10 chambered in the 7.62×51 (.308 Winchester.)  By 1957, the first AR-15 using the intermediate cartridge 5.56×45 NATO was designed and then sold to Colt due to financial problems that Armalite was having.

Is Anything New Anymore?

Since the AR-10 was designed before the AR-15 it would seem we haven’t taken a step forward but a step back in time. Thanks to Government bans, such as the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban that ended in 2004 and other set backs, the modern sporting rifle world has been trying to play catch up for the past 11 years.

Intermediate vs. Rifle Cartridges

I have never really been a fan of the .223 Remington (5.56x45NATO) and I know I am not alone in this distaste. I have always liked the 7.62x39mm or the newer .300 AAC Blackout when it comes to intermediate cartridges. The .308 win is a rifle cartridge that fits more than just the distance shooting bill. The fact of the matter is that the .308 and the 5.56 have been on the battle field for almost the same amount of time and yet we chose the less ballistically versatile round for civilian and military applications.

DPMS/SR-25 Magazines vs. Proprietary

When building a new firearm platform you have to consider the way your firearm is going to hold rounds. In the the bolt action world we typically use an in-stock style magazine, for the lever actions and shotguns we use a tube and elevator (shell carrier) system, for the semi and full autos we have a choice. Belt fed (seen mainly in past in full auto only but is making it way back in semi auto versions of full auto machine guns) or magazine fed.

The .308 ARs are all based on the smaller AR-15, so you would think after seeing the success of the AR-15 magazine market it would be smarter to stick with what works. But we are still in a relearning stage in the firearm world about supply and demand. The FN SCAR 17 uses a proprietary .308 mag but the SCAR 16 uses STANAG (AR-15 style magazines). When FN released the SCAR 17 to the general population they had problems keeping magazines in stock because they were trying to keep the military contracts filled and just they couldn’t keep up with demand. That’s a problem with proprietary.

The DPMS/SR-25 style magazines are now being made by a number of different magazine manufacturers which means I can order as many as I want.

Standardizing

The AR-15 is known as the Legos for adults. Everything is changeable. If I want a nickel boron BCG I can find a company I like and replace mine in my AR-15.  If I want a new charging handle I get one. If I want to put a .50BMG bolt action upper on my lower I can. This seems to me like a great idea. However in the .308 AR world we have yet to reach an agreement as to what the specs should be.

Final thoughts

Until they all come to an agreement about standardizing, the consumer market for the .308 AR is left with fewer options.  To me, more options means more money back in the pockets of the firearm manufacturers.  More money to the manufacturers means more money can be spent on R&D, which means more advanced guns in the future.

Editorial: Modernizing the Wheel vs. Newly Invented

I was talking with someone the other night about guns (Yes, I do talk about other things than guns… sometimes) when they asked what I thought was the 5 top new innovations were in the industry. This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a while, I just have never had the words.

M1 vs SCAR

When it comes to the gun industry we have cycles we go through. The inventing and learning cycle and what I call the modernizing of the wheel. In the inventing and learning cycle we have invented things like the tube sights for long distance shooting and learned things like rifling. With the modernizing the wheel cycle, which we are currently in, we are just finding ways to make these older designs fit the 21 century.

In the 1950s and 1960s the .308 Winchester and the .223 Remington made their debut in the in the shooting world and we are still using them as a our standard calibers. The FN-H SCAR is a modernized version of the FAL. The target cameras are the updated version of a spotting scope.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the advancements we have made. However, I want to see something new. I want to live in a time like my grandfathers era when a lot of new things were introduced.  He saw the explosion of “modern guns with the invention of the  “plastic gun” or “black gun”, He also saw the invention of the standardized 30 round magazines as well as being able to control the muzzle climb with an intermediate cartridge.

I am not saying we don’t live in a time without people like Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov.  I am just saying we haven’t really seen something that has made a small arms like the M16 or M14 go almost obsolete. We saw the M16 quickly replace the M14 as the US service rifle in the 1960s.

As strange as it might seem, history shows us that the government is the main reason for innovation and invention in this industry. Until a government demands a new product to suit their new need, we do not see new creations. A government contract can be in the price range of billions which goes towards R&D and eventual release to the general public.

While some might think with the increased use of drones, it may be a long time before we see anything new.  I am a believer that we will always need boots on the ground, if for no other reason than for intelligence gathering, for aid and for maintaining goodwill.  I am excited and hopeful for the future of our industry.

TDSA: The new GEARS Range

For the past year I have been looking for a new range to move my company to.

Since before I was blogging I always shot at a public range and after almost 3 years trying to write the best reviews I could with the amenities that range had I was frustrated. I would be working on a review and want to make a video to show the different parts of the gun or how the gun works and when I would get back to the office I would watch the video and it would sound like *BANG* Hi, my name is Attic- *BANG BANG BANG* *ONE SHOT A SECOND!* -sofguns.com *BANG*. that just doesn’t make for quality videos.

This article is by no means a diss on that range or even public ranges in general. I know that they have their place and for most gun owners are the best place in the world.

I will give my pros and cons to public ranges

PROS:

· Range officers everywhere to keep everyone safe.
· Safety rules like one shot a second to keep people from thinking they are Rambo the first time they ever pick up a MSR.
· Public ranges are relatively common in populated areas in the USA.
· Some have pro shops that can help you with basic questions about shooting and there is a good chance they have shooting clubs that meet out there if you are looking to get into that.
· For the gun owner who doesn’t get to the range but just a few times a year this is an inexpensive way to shoot.
· Typically there are experienced shooters who might be able to lend a hand if you are having problems.
· Safe for all types of shooters
(If you have a pro or con I might have missed please comment and share your thoughts)

Cons:

· Gun owners who shoot a lot can get bored.
· Public ranges typically have restrictions on types of guns and ammo that can be shot there (This is for safety reasons).
· Public ranges can get crowded at anytime.
· The noise level can get intimidating for new shooters.
· If you have more than one gun, space for cases and gear can be limited.
· Some ranges have a max amount of time you can shoot.
· If you are a frequent shooter cost for the range fees get overly expensive.
· The length of the ranges may not give you the distance you are looking for.

With all of that being said I have my own cons as a gun blogger that make working from a public range rather difficult.

Cons:
Space for guns, gear and crew.
Cost
Noise
Safety rules that stop us from testing triggers,holsters,over 10 rounds in a magazines, etc.

Since this has been making reviews and shooting more difficult I started looking to friends of the GEARS crew for help to see if they had a ranch we could shoot at and every time the answers were the same. No, we don’t know of a place or sure but it is a 5 hour drive out there.  I googled ranges in my area before and most were unable to help me any better than my current public range and that was when I spotted TDSA.net.

For any of you who follow Colion Noir on YouTube or watch Video Tuesday here on our site you might have seen Colion shooting targets from a golf cart and thought hey that is really cool… Well the cat is out of the bag. He was at TDSA in Ferris, TX.

I had seen when he released his video what range it was and never really thought about it again until I came back across the site when I was searching for a new range again and read the amenities they offer there.

7 Pistol Ranges:

  • Roughly 25 yards by 25 yards in size.
  • Rapid Fire is allowed.
  • Moving while shooting is allowed.
  • Drawing from holster is allowed.
  • Transitioning from rifles to pistols is allowed.
  • We also allow you to set up scenarios using barrels or barricades.
  • ***Upon request you may park your vehicle in the bays and shoot from inside your vehicle. (Remember this is based on request and approval ONLY).
  • ***We allow FULL AUTO FIRE in our pistol bays after a short Shooting Proficiency Test.

Rifle Ranges:

  • Shooting Proficiency Test required at 100 yards.
  • Full Metal Jacket is allowed
  • Steel Core is allowed
  • .50 and .338 caliber is allowed
  • All shooting done from a bench or prone position ONLY.
  • No Tracer or Incendiary rounds allowed.
  • Distances: 25 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards, 200 yards, and 300 yards.

Other Ranges (used for training and shooting matches):

  • 200 yard STREET with multiple cars lining each side.
  • 40 foot shooting TOWER with 4 floors and multiple ports on each floor.
    • TOWER can be used to train sniper initiated entries into STREET and CITY.
  • 200+ yard CITY with multiple rooms all around to shoot into and out of.
    • One large area is designed to resemble and Afghan village commonly seen by soldiers.
    • The CITY can be used for live fire, force on force training, and can take up to and including .50 caliber rifle fire.
  • Both CITY and STREET may be used to shoot from moving vehicles.
  • Rifle range can also be used as 270 degree 300 yard assault course.

Classroom:

  • There is a 1,300 sq. ft. classroom available upon scheduling. A white board and 60 inch TV monitor is included.

Other Information:

  • We allow Binary Exploding targets to be shot UPON REQUEST AND APPROVAL.
  • Night Fire is allowed on a “special needs basis” and UPON REQUEST AND APPROVAL.
  • Law Enforcement Discounts for Individual officers.
  • Corporate Membership Discounts.
  • Law Enforcement Agency Memberships.

[Taken from the TDSA website]

 

After reading all of that I was amazed and had to set up a meet with the Owner of TDSA, Len Baxley.

A few Mondays ago Panzer and I drove down to meet with Len and see this range.  The drive is about 45 minutes from where I live and the whole time I was thinking about the new and different reviews I could post on the website.

We pulled up and met Len in the classroom/his office and we sat down and started talking and getting to know each other. After 30 or so minutes of talking with Len and reading about his range I knew this is where the GEARS Crew would be shooting from. I told him that I didn’t need to see the range that I was ready to just sign up as a member. We talked for another 30 minutes when he said we should go and at least look at the range. He gave us the introduction/safety tour.  About halfway through the tour, I looked around and saw no other members were at the range. It was the most quiet and peaceful gun range I had ever been at!

Len is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He has built a range that is designed with a different kind of shooter in mind. This range is not for the gun owner who doesn’t shoot all that much or for the shooters who aren’t looking to take their shooting abilities to new levels. Len stresses that you are not going to have that range officer to keep you in check, this is the kind of place were you have to be in the mind-set that safety is your job.

I like this range because it opens new opportunities to the GEARS Crew and to the reviews we can offer.

If you live in North Texas and this sounds like the kind of range you are looking for, than CONTACT Len Baxley and tell him Atticus sent you.

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First impressions of the ATI Strikeforce Stock

I first want to thank Jon Shaffer With ATI (Advanced Technology International) for shipping us the SKS Ultimate Professional Strikeforce Stock with Scorpion Recoil System.

SKS before the change with the new ATI stock

SKS in New ATI Stock

I haven’t be out to the range to shoot this rifle yet (my primary job has been keeping me away from the range since January).

SPECS

  • Six Position Adjustable/Side Folding Stock
  • Can be Fired from Folded Position
  • New & Improved Pivot Housing Assembly
  • Scorpion Recoil System
    • Scorpion Razorback Recoil Pad – Non-Slip, Removable
    • Scorpion Recoil Pistol Grip – Ergonomic, Sure-Grip Texture
    • Recoil Impact is Absorbed – Shooting any Load Size can now be Done with No Pain being Transferred to the Shooter
    • Not Affected by Chemicals
    • Remains Flexible in Extreme Temperatures
    • Eliminates the Felt Punch of the Recoil
    • Removes Limitations from Spring and Piston Type Recoil Suppression Systems
  • Military Type III Anodizes, 6061 T6 Aluminum
    • One 4” Picatinny Top Rail
    • Two 2” Picatinny Rails
    • Six Position Commercial Buffer Tube
    • Buffer Tube Adapter
  • Blank Covers for When Rails are Not in Use
  • 3M Industrial Grade Self-Adhesive Soft Touch Cheekrest Pad
  • Removable/Adjustable Tactical Cheekrest (3/8”)
  • Slot for Tactical Sling Attachment
  • Five Sling Swivel Studs
  • DuPont® Extreme Temperature Glass Reinforced Polymer
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Installation

The SKS is (at times) a pain to disassemble and frustrates the best of us.
I had plans to make a video of us changing the stocks but in my trial runs before I filmed I got beyond aggravated trying to talk out the process to prepare for filming that I just scraped the video and just put the gun together.

If you have ever removed for cleaning the stock on an SKS and reassembled the rifle the process is relatively the same with some minor changes; [Note the following is NOT by manufacturers suggestion. Use at your own risk.] We had to use a blade screw driver to help sit the rifle in the new stock and used a clamp with rubber grips to hold the gun together while we put the trigger assembly on the rifle locking it all together.

Impressions

While I have gotten mixed reviews from staff and friends on the looks, I do like the new modernized look of this SKS.

When shooting this rifle the length of pull was always too short for me. if I wanted to change firing positions I would have to have recoil pads to keep the scope from hitting my glasses.  With this new stock it comes with a Six Position Adjustable/Side Folding Stock which gives me the right length of pull for my size.  The shortest  LOP (length of pull)   is 13” (33 cm)  and at longest LOP is 17″  (43cm). For my body size I use the second position on the stock (14”)

The rifle with the new stock (with the scope and unloaded) weighs in at 10.4lbs (4.7 kg) which is a pound heavier than the original wooden stocked rifle (We weighed the rifle in at 9lbs before the change)

When putting the rifle together I debated on changing the top piston tube furniture over to the black polymer cover but I liked the way the cherry (I guess that’s the color I don’t really know) colored wood looks with the black stock.

When the stock is folded it doesn’t impede the function of  the rifle so it can be fire from the folded position. I have shot our SIG556 from the folded position and didn’t care much for the lack of control I personally had with it. I do like that it folds for storage in the gun safe because it now has a wider base to sit on and less chance to fall over and damage anything.

The grips have a nice tacky feeling which lets you keep your grip even when wet or sweating.

The stock came with 3 rails, One for each side and on on the bottom for a foregrip or bipod.  they do not come pre-attached  so if you don’t want them you don’t have to mount them.

AWS AR-15 and the ATI Stock for the SKS