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Bushmaster AR Windham era - what upgrade? Login/Join 
Frequent Denizen
of the Twilight Zone
Picture of SIGWolf
posted
Other than buying something different. Confused

I do have a Daniel Defense DD4 V5, because I wanted to up the ante a little. First, pistols are more my thing and I'm nearly a complete noob when it comes to ARs or any rifle for that matter. I have them, shoot them, but only the basics.

It's a Bushmaster A3, 16" patrol model I believe, also what I believe would be called a heavy barrel, not the m4 profile. It's been fine, shoots fine, totally reliable, not many rounds through it though, mostly .223 even though it has a 5.56 chamber. Didn't realize there was a difference originally, now I do.

Bought it from a friend, an older fellow at work who bought it for some reason but never warmed to it. Sold it to me for $450 as I recall. Bone stock, no additions.

If you were going to do some upgrading, what would you suggest?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SIGWolf,
 
Posts: 17236 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
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If it were just sitting since 2000, I'd just shoot it. That was a good era for Bushmaster, IIRC. The Wyndham era. My first AR was a Bushmaster complete lower that I bought in 1999. I still have it and it's still in great condition. Never had a problem with it and thousands of rounds through it.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4018 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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Upgrades will depend entirely on what you like and what you intend to use it for. There's really nothing wrong with a basic Bushmaster A3 carbine that would necessitate definitely changing anything. But if you had something specific you wanted to do with it, or add to it, or any complaints about it, that would help drive suggestions.


One easy suggestion to make would be to unscrew the carry handle and add a quality red dot optic, such as an Aimpoint PRO. A quality red dot is better than a carry handle in pretty much every situation, and you can have a flip-up rear iron sight as a backup.

And an AR intended for defensive use should have a sling and a light too. But you may be another preference for a defensive rifle, like your DD4, so that may not be necessary on this A3.


So other than that, the sky's the limit, depending on what you're wanting the end result to be. Generally speaking, on 16" ARs, I prefer lighter weight barrels and longer (13"/15") free float handguards. But those are personal preferences for what I usually do with my ARs, and your preferences or needs may be very different.
 
Posts: 25956 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Husband, Father, Aggie,
all around good guy!
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Maine built Bushmasters are gaining in relative value vs Remington owned Bushies.
I would add a Geisele trigger and change front site post to the narrow NM post and nothing else.
 
Posts: 2747 | Location: Tomball, Texas | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is a Wyndham, ME made AR.

Thanks for the recommendations regarding the trigger. I do have a Vortex red dot on it right now, but have not shot it yet.

The rifle hasn't been simply sitting around, I've shot it a fair amount, but not a significant number of rounds.
 
Posts: 17236 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear SIGWolf I used their money to buy the departments rifles for patrol. We are still using those same rifles that are the model you have. I an still using a 1997 Bushmaster and it is still going down the road. The only thing I replaced during this time is I changed the bolt carrier to a full auto type so the firing pin does not get wacked by the hammer during recoil. I did add a flashlight and mount that is all.
 
Posts: 600 | Registered: July 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by villageidiot:
Dear SIGWolf I used their money to buy the departments rifles for patrol. We are still using those same rifles that are the model you have. I an still using a 1997 Bushmaster and it is still going down the road. The only thing I replaced during this time is I changed the bolt carrier to a full auto type so the firing pin does not get wacked by the hammer during recoil. I did add a flashlight and mount that is all.


That's good to know.
 
Posts: 17236 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have several of the bushmasters of that era. I lived in Maine so I loved getting stuff made near me. And they were competently made as opposed to the later Rem ones. You don't say what you might use the gun for? I assume its a ban gun so me personally I would get it threaded. Those without a muzzle device simply seem wrong to me. Adco has done them for me and is very reliable. Second given you have an optic that is OK for you (me I'd save and get an aimpoint at some point) I would go with a modern forend so you can attach stuff. Third as suggested a trigger upgrade is always a great idea. After that shoot it.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 8979 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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Here’s what I did to my two ARs:
-drop in cmc trigger (wait till they are on sale at Midwayusa) I prefer curved vs flat triggers- once you shoot a good trigger all standard triggers suck
-tritium front sight post
-hogue grip (I hate the finger bumps on the A2 series)/magpul makes a good one
-two point sling

One of them has a short rail for a pistol light as we were required to have a light on the rifle when I was a cop.

And both of mine have a SigSauer QD flashhider for a 762QD suppressor



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7554 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My AR carbine is build on a Bushmaster lower that I purchased new from a LGS in 2006, so presumably it was manufactured before Wyndham sold it. It's been absolutely reliable. I don't believe I've ever had a malfunction with it that wasn't magazine related. The upper that I put on it (not a Bushmaster one) has been substantially rebuilt, but the only changes to the lower have been a different trigger (an ALG ACT) and a different pistol grip than the A2 grip that it came with.
 
Posts: 6065 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
When you fall, I will be there to catch you -With love, the floor
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quote:
it was manufactured before Wyndham sold it.


Bushmaster was sold in 2006 but the operation in Maine remained until 2011.

If you want to upgrade the trigger at a reasonable price look into the ALG line. they line their other operation Geissele runs sales during ever6y major holiday.


Richard Scalzo
Epping, NH

http://www.bigeastakitarescue.net
 
Posts: 5399 | Location: Epping, NH | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E tan e epi tas
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There was a time that if you wanted an AR it was all about the ABCR’s. Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt or Rock River.

Bushmasters from that era/Wyndham are very good guns.

Chris.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 5305 | Location: On the water | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
I have several of the bushmasters of that era. I lived in Maine so I loved getting stuff made near me. And they were competently made as opposed to the later Rem ones. You don't say what you might use the gun for? I assume its a ban gun so me personally I would get it threaded. Those without a muzzle device simply seem wrong to me. Adco has done them for me and is very reliable. Second given you have an optic that is OK for you (me I'd save and get an aimpoint at some point) I would go with a modern forend so you can attach stuff. Third as suggested a trigger upgrade is always a great idea. After that shoot it.


Actually, I don't know when it was purchased. I know I didn't buy it until after 2004 because that is when I started "collecting" and shooting. The guy I bought it from obviously purchased it before that or around that time. It is stamped Wyndham, ME. I should post a picture. Serial number begins with L224XXX.

It is not a ban gun. It had a muzzle device which I replaced with one I liked better. The optic is okay, but I would like something better.

What trigger would you recommend. One respondent has already mentioned Geisele.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SIGWolf,
 
Posts: 17236 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by rscalzo:
Bushmaster was sold in 2006 but the operation in Maine remained until 2011.


And many of the original Bushmaster employees split off to make their own ARs as Windham Weaponry. https://www.windhamweaponry.com/

quote:
The Windham Weaponry Story…

A team of the finest firearms manufacturers in the U.S.A. has been re-assembled to bring to market the highest quality AR type rifle possible. These good Maine folks – most of whom are former employees of Bushmaster Firearms – offer many years of experience in the industry, and all look forward to working with you, to serving your needs, and to building you a great rifle.

When the people who bought Bushmaster in 2006 decided to move it “lock, stock and barrel” out of Maine to New York in 2011, the original Bushmaster owner, Mr. Richard Dyke was left with both a dilemma and an opportunity. Almost to the day of the 2011 move, Mr. Dyke’s non-compete clause expired. He still owned the property where Bushmaster had been built, and knew all the workers – now laid off – who had helped him build it. He made a decision to “get back in the game” and promptly put an email out to many of his former employees and friends asking if there was interest in joining him for a new project.

With a resounding “yes” of support, he gathered the financing in two days, and started bringing people back into their long-time Windham manufacturing home. Phoenix-like, Windham Weaponry was on the rise. Within three months, the first productions models of the new Windham Weaponry line had been perfected and delivered. Quality, fit, finish, durability, accuracy and value were all superb – giving credence to Windham Weaponry’s motto “The Quality Goes In, Before The Rifle Goes Out”.

The firearms industry and consumers welcomed this new effort warmly, old friends and contacts were re-established, and sales grew. In less than a year and a half, Windham Weaponry had brought back almost 70 employees, benchmarked impressive sales numbers, and established their name as one of the pre-eminent firearms manufacturers in the country.

The press heralded it as “truly an American success story”, and all due to the vision of its founder.
 
Posts: 25956 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
What trigger would you recommend. One respondent has already mentioned Geisele.


My recommendation would be an ALG ACT trigger.

ALG is the sister company (actually "wife company") to Geissele, and they offer more "value priced" triggers of the same quality.

https://algdefense.com/alg-combat-trigger-act.html
 
Posts: 25956 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
What trigger would you recommend.

I like Wilson Combat. All my AR15s and AR10s have their TTU single stage trigger. Not cheap at $190, however they are very good triggers, and they're made in a few models.

Wilson triggers

Like many gun parts, right now they are hard to find.
 
Posts: 6655 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Geissele SSA. No contest on a potential fighting rifle IMO.

Personally I would install a Geissele mk8 15”, mk14 15”, or Mk16 13.5” handguard, Magpul SL stock, and Magpul miad grip, Arisaka Defense mlok indexer, Arisaka Defense m600 light with potato masher head in Arisaka offset mount.

https://geissele.com/super-mod...rail-mk8-m-lokr.html
https://geissele.com/super-mod...ail-mk14-m-lokr.html
https://geissele.com/super-mod...ail-mk16-m-lokr.html
https://arisakadefense.com/col...oducts/indexer-m-lok
https://arisakadefense.com/col...00-series-e2xt-light
https://arisakadefense.com/col...et-scout-mount-m-lok


Re: optics, do you want a red dot or something with magnification? If a red dot, an Aimpoint Comp m5 in a Geissele mount is outstanding. If something with magnification, the Nightforce nx8 in a Geissele mount would be my choice.


---------------------------------------------
"AND YEA THOUGH THE HINDUS SPEAK OF KARMA, I IMPLORE YOU...GIVE HER A BREAK, LORD". - Clark W. Griswald
 
Posts: 2087 | Location: The South | Registered: September 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
It is not a ban gun.

Ok so its not really circa 2000. But in any case the rest of my list is what I'd do. Like fritz I like single stage triggers on an AR. The TTU is a very good one. The geissle SSP is also good but more annoying in installation. The ALG recommended above is very good as an inexpensive trigger and sometimes I use it on low cost builds, but if you are going to change an existing trigger its not better enough to make that worthwhile. Good luck.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 8979 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
quote:
It is not a ban gun.

Ok so its not really circa 2000. But in any case the rest of my list is what I'd do. Like fritz I like single stage triggers on an AR. The TTU is a very good one. The geissle SSP is also good but more annoying in installation. The ALG recommended above is very good as an inexpensive trigger and sometimes I use it on low cost builds, but if you are going to change an existing trigger its not better enough to make that worthwhile. Good luck.


Thanks
 
Posts: 17236 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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and I stand for my flag
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I have an older Rock River LAR-15 that I've been slowly upgrading. Not because it's really necessary as the rifle has been reliable, but because I like things to be similar across the board of the rifles I own. I changed the semi BCG to a Sons of Liberty Gun Works BCG, added a Radian Raptor ambi charging handle, Radian ambi safety, Larue MBT2s trigger, Magpul MOE handguard, and a BCM Gunfighter grip. I'm going to replace the stock and buffer tube eventually because they're Commercial sized. Will go with B5 replacements.
 
Posts: 1150 | Location: Oregon | Registered: September 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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