When faced with the threat of a home invasion, no man ever wants to defend himself with the smallest-caliber, lowest-capacity firearm available. However, there are always compromises to be made when finding the right balance of gun characteristics for personal protection. The AR pistol makes a lot of sense to many people. It offers full-capacity magazines to address multiple attackers, long barrel lengths for increased accuracy and bullet performance and maneuverability greater than a standard long gun. Additionally, many of these pistols still offer the increased performance from cartridges often associated with rifles.
Windham Weaponry offers an AR-style pistol chambered for the 300 BLK cartridge that will fit the needs of many people. Properly identified as the Model RP9FS-7-300 pistol, the handgun offers the easy handling characteristics of the AR-15 in a very compact package. While .223 Rem/5.56mm NATO rounds can be effective, a significant number of shooters are looking for a larger-caliber defensive round, which is what this Windham Weaponry pistol offers.
Bet On Blackout
Developed by the Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), the 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK) cartridge uses a .30-caliber bullet in a trimmed and necked .223 Remington case. The result was a round with supersonic characteristics similar to the 7.62x39mm cartridge and suppressed, subsonic characteristics superior to the 9mm.
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For AR owners, the 300 BLK cartridge runs perfectly in standard magazines and with the stock bolt. In fact, the cartridge does not take any more space than a 5.56mm NATO round, meaning that a 30-round 5.56mm magazine will hold 30 rounds of 300 BLK.
Supersonic rounds typically will use a 110- or 125-grain bullet and offer velocities of about 1,800 to 2,100 fps from a pistol-length barrel. Subsonic loads tend to be over 200 grains and are generally less than 1,000 fps. When matched with a sound suppressor, the subsonic rounds are very quiet to shoot. A suppressed 300 BLK pistol can offer very good performance while protecting your hearing in the enclosed areas of a house.
Windham Weaponry builds these guns to perform, starting with the forged 7075-T6 aluminum receivers with hardcoat black anodizing. A Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard allows for the use of gloves while shooting the pistol. A 9-inch, medium-profile barrel with a 1-in-7-inch twist rate is standard on the pistol, while the barrel is capped with an A2-style muzzle device. Windham Weaponry utilizes the proven gas impingement system to run the gun.
Sights do not ship with this pistol. The gun is best run with a red-dot-type optic, and you can easily mount one to the Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver. For this article, I opted for the economical Bushnell TRS-25 electronic sight. This is a non-magnifying sight designed for AR rifles and shotguns, and I’ve found it durable enough for all of the 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifles on which I have mounted it. With a street price of around $100, this sight is also affordable to the majority of AR owners and represents a good value.
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The company opted to use a Hogue OverMolded pistol grip on this pistol. I find these grips to fill the hand better than an A2-type grip, and they are certainly more comfor-t-able. The soft, -textured rubber, which also fea-tures finger grooves, allows you to get a good grip on the gun.
Up front, Windham uses a 7.25-inch, free-floated handguard. The aluminum handguard is round with knurling to provide for a sure support grip. I found the size of the handguard to be just right for me: Large enough to fill the hand, but not so big as to feel that I would not be able to precisely control it. Windham Weaponry finishes out the handguard with vents for airflow around the barrel and a swivel stud.
At the rear of the receiver, just under the buffer tube, is a QD-style attachment point for a sling. Having a sling attached to the pistol makes sense even if you never plan to take it into the field. In a self-defense scenario, you can push the pistol out to full extension and use the dynamic tension from the sling to improve stability while rapidly shooting.
Another thing to consider about adding a sling is you may need the use of both hands during or in the aftermath of a self-defense shooting. For example, you may need to move small children into a safer location or even pro-vide first aid to a loved one. If you have a sling attached to the pistol, you can let go of the weapon to perform another action, but still keep the gun close and under control.
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Possibly one of the saddest stories I’ve ever encountered was at my former police department. During a strong-arm robbery at his home, an elderly man retrieved his handgun and shot an attacker who was threatening him and his wife. The elderly victim shot the felon in the tor-so and head, causing the robber to fall to the ground. When the victim set the gun down to call the police, the robber was able to grab the gun and shoot and kill the elderly man before passing out from blood loss. Having a sling on this pistol allows you to free up both hands, but still keep the gun ready for immediate use and away from others that want to harm you.
The pistol’s buffer tube is pistol length and has a short foam sleeve around it. While far too short to shoulder, the tube allows the shooter to get a cheekweld for improved accuracy when shooting. While not as precise as an AR rifle, I have found this style of shooting to be very accurate—especially at distances of 25 yards.
When taking a gun to the range for testing, two of the things I am looking for are indications of reliability and accuracy. This pistol showed me both. Unlike some of the other 300 BLK pistols on the market, the Windham Weaponry pistol ran reliably with both super- and subsonic loads. There is an obvious difference in recoil and flash across the spectrum of load velocities, but all ran 100-percent reliably in the Windham Weaponry pistol.
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Loads from Gorilla Ammunition have worked very well for me in other 300 BLK guns, and they again proved their worth in this pistol. I had two of the company’s loadings on hand: a 125-grain supersonic load and a 220-grain subsonic load. Both cartridges use Sierra MatchKing bullets that are highly regarded for their accuracy. Shooting off-hand at 25 yards may not be the best gauge of a load’s accuracy, yet both of the Gorilla Ammunition loads provided tight, sub-1-inch, five-shot groups when paired with the 3-MOA red dot of the Bushnell optic.
The Barnes VOR-TX was no slouch in the accuracy department either. These rounds use polymer-tipped hollow-point (HP) bullets that offer an improved ballistic coefficient and reliable expansion in tissue. With nearly 1,050 foot-pounds of energy, this quality load would certainly be one of my top picks in a self-defense context.
Magazines can be a point of failure in any semi-automatic gun, so a quality ammunition feeder is extremely important. The company includes a 30-round aluminum magazine with the pistol, and it ran fine on the range. I also tried an assortment of magazines from Magpul and Troy Industries that worked equally well in the gun.
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Windham’s 300 BLK pistol balances very well in the hands, with the balancing point being in the midline area of the magazine well. The gun points fast, especially with the Bushnell optic.
Recoil with the subsonic loads was mild with little muzzle flash. With supersonic loads, the recoil was stronger but still not heavy. Muzzle flash was noticeably increased with the supersonic ammo.
Ready For Duty
Windham Weaponry builds quality guns. Accuracy was excellent with the reliability to match. If you have need of a compact platform from which to shoot the 300 BLK, this Maine-built handgun is worthy of consideration.
For more information, visit http://www.windhamweaponry.com or call 855-808-1888.