Getting all dressed up in Grey
To say that I am a fan of WMD guns and their finishes is an understatement. After purchasing a BPM - Barnes Precision Machine WMD coated AR15, WMB NiB-X coating my Browning A5, and even testing a prototype WMD Beast rifle, I have been impressed… very impressed. The NiB-X coating is super slick and durable. In the case of my Browning it was a transformative upgrade from durability, looks and cycling. In the case of my BPM AR15 and this recently introduced WMD Ultimate AR15 Chassis, they are the slickest cycling AR15 rifles I own.
At Shot Show 2014, they introduced the rather brilliant concept of the WMD Ultimate Chassis which I am thrilled to be one of the first to build a rifle based on their completely NiB-X coated chassis.
WMD is one of the preeminent coating companies across many industries, however more recently their finishes have really been sought after in the firearms industry due to their corrosion resistant and performance finishes including Nitromet barrel treatments and NiB-X coatings.
The WMD Guns NiB-X finish is roughly similar to NP3 or Nickel-Boron (Ni-Bo) finishes, however WMD’s proprietary Nickel-Boron finish adds a huge amount of lubricity and ups the durability as well. Their Nitromet finish is similar to meloniting but offers a higher tolerance finish, more durability, up to 30% more barrel life, and potentially increased accuracy because it does not change tolerances like chrome lining.
ABOUT THE WMD ULTIMATE CHASSIS
After their success in the firearms industry, WMD decided to offer complete 5.56 Nato and 300 Blackout AR15 chassis which only require the user to bolt on furniture for completion - a full complete AR15 minus the owner supplied buttstock, forend, grip, flash hider/brake. The company is offering them in both"raw" grey NiB-X and NiB-X + Black Ceramic top coated versions. WMD is offering these chassis for sale to both dealers, distributors, and direct to consumers. WMD named the chassis “The Ultimate” indicating that they can continue performing even in the most adverse environments due to nearly every part being coated with their proprietary coatings including the trigger.
Buyers will end up with a premium grade totally weather and corrosion resistant AR15 with a choice of either the natural silver/grey NiB-X finish or the Blackout version which adds a Black Ceramic topcoat on top of the NiB-X grey finish. When I spoke with WMD, they indicated that they identified that most distributors and buyers were wanting a simple option to build a customized AR15 on a factory assembled chassis - “The Ultimate" chassis was born. For the home builder, the chassis delivers a platform which requires very little skill to customize. All the hard work of assuring the AR15 build itself is complete. WMD now has an updated billet receiver-ed "The Beast" version as well which is available as a complete rifle with all the furniture, handguard and brake installed.
The chassis is packed with all premium components complete with their own NiB-X, Ceramic, and Nitromet coatings. I wanted to work up a unique build using one of their WMD Ultimate Chassis to show just how easy it is to make your own custom gun. I picked one up direct from WMD, transferred it my FFL dealer and began planning out something unique all dressed in grey.
I have been a fan of Mission First Tactical so it made sense to use their newly released grey Minimalist buttstock and Engage grip which looked outstanding with the raw grey color of the NiB-x treated Ultimate Chassis. This delivered comfort and the MFT Minimalist stock cuts weight compared to tradition buttstocks.
Next up was to find a cool handguard and ALG Defense had the perfect option with their new 8.06oz 13" Ergonomic Modular Rail in gray. Look for a review just on this handguard, because it is an awesome super stable handguard for only $115-$155 depending on color selected and it includes bolt on rails, an extended high strength barrel nut and barrel nut wrench. I tipped the barrel with a PWS Brake which I love the looks and performance of. Sadly it was not available in brushed stainless, but it still looks great. The final touch of the build was to mount up the new Vortex Optics Strikefire II and matching VMX-3T magnifier. This combo delivers the popular red dot plus magnifier features for around $400 total, performs well with high quality optics Vortex has become known for.
Assembly was easy and really pretty fast. Because chassis is already built, screwing on the MFT grip, slipping on a Milspec sized MFT buttstock took under a five minutes. I did use a Geissele Action Rod to secure the upper while attaching the barrel nut with the included ALG barrel nut wrench. The gas block was reinstalled along with the ALG handguard and PWS brake. Literally the entire process took well under 30 minutes and I wa scampering off to the photo shoot and then the range.
FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
The fit of the chassis is excellent, and the finish is flawless across the entire chassis. Once assembled, the Ultimate Chassis feels, handles, and looks just like any Mil-Spec standard AR15, however the coatings really slick things up, add a corrosion/weather proof finish, and in the case of the Nitromet barrel, the finish can even extend life and increase heat dissipation.
The chassis is not just a low budget AR15 with a fancy coating, the WMD Ultimate Chassis is loaded with impressive features:
- Fully coated (Nickel Boron) NiB-X 7075 receivers and AR15 chassis inside and out
- Premium high polish NiB-X (Nickel Boron) coated bolt carrier group
- NiB-x coated Charging Handle
Spec gas rings
- NiB-x coated trigger/fire-control group, for smooth operation
- Match-grade 1:7 barrel, with Nitromet coating and NiB-X coated exterior for durability and effective heat dissipation
- NiB-X coated Low-Profile .750” gas block with Nitromet SS gas tube
- Carbine-length gas system
- Black version are topcoated with black ceramic for the “black rifle look”,
16" 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium barrel w/Nitromet coated bore last 30% longer and all rifles are available in 300 Blackout or 5.56 Nato.
The rifle hand cycles smoother, the stock trigger with NiB-X is also smoother, and even the buffer feels like it is sliding up and down the tube on bearings. If I have to classify this gun in one word it would be smooth.
WMD is definitely paying attention to the details and is building these chassis right. All the little usual details were looked after to deliver a tight solid build. Just as the prototype I tested previously, this build delivered excellent accuracy with many 100-yard groups well under the 1" mark with a Burris 4.5-14 scope installed when the AR15 was powered by Hornady and Winchester match rounds.
Sure the look is cool, however it is the performance that really makes this chassis stand out for potential customizing builders. You end up with a well made AR15 which delivers both on reliability and accuracy. Last year, I tested real life corrosion of a naked upper and lower receiver set with an AR15 build shooting nasty corrosive 5.45x39 surplus ammo allegedly known for pitting and in some cases removing chrome and anodizing from rifles. After well over 4000 rounds, I had zero issues so I feel confident in saying that if you have surface corrosion problems with this rifle, then you were probably dissolved in the process.
The NiB-X treatment is awesome especially when it comes to cleaning this rifle. If most cases i can just wipe the bolt carrier group clean with a cloth and just wipe out the inside of the receivers. I have had zero issues with the BCG carboning up even after over 2000 rounds. Really tough gunk was cleaned up with just Dawn dishwashing soap and a water. If you want an extremely low maintenance rifle, then this is as good as it gets.
I am sold on the coatings WMD is delivering. They are more consistent than cerakote and other glorified paints, do not dimensionally change the part, and deliver superior finish, lubricity, and durability to many other finishes I have tested. Expect more builds and firearms featuring their coatings.
I am always looking out for new and creative ideas in the firearms market and WMD seems to have a stunningly brilliant idea by offering the Ultimate chassis. After all, why not let the customers add their own furniture instead of selling nit quite what the customer wants to to have them toss all the furniture, handguard, and flash hider as soon as they get home just to replace it with something else. This Ultimate Chassis also delivers a great option for those who do not want to venture too far into the build from scratch waters - all they really need is a hex wrench set and something to install the barrel nut.
The MFT furniture look and works great and I am sold on the new ALG Defense Handguards considering they are crazy reasonably priced. The Vortex Strikefire II and Magnifier was an awesome setup for the price tag. From a build perspective, I could not be happier with how the build turned out and I am loving the greyed out look - perhaps Grey is the new black.
Fully coated (Nickel Boron) NiB-X AR15 chassis inside and out
Premium high polish NiB-X (Nickel Boron) coated bolt carrier group & Charging Handle
Case hardened, shot peened & magnetic particle inspected Carpenter 158 bolt w/Mil-
Spec gas rings
NiB-x caoted trigger/fire-control group, for smooth operation
Match-grade 1:7 barrel, with Nitromet coating and NiB-X coated exterior for durability and effective heat dissipation
NiB-X coated Low-Profile .750” gas block with Nitromet SS gas tube
Rock-Solid 7075 alloy upper & lower receivers completely coated inside and out with NiB-X
Black “Beast” rifles are topcoated with black ceramic for the “black rifle look”
Carbine-length gas system
16" 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium barrel w/Nitromet coated bore last 30% longer
Available in 300 Blackout or 5.56 Nato
WMD Guns - http://www.wmdguns.com
Other featured products -
ALG Defense - http://algdefense.com/
MFT Mission First Tactical - http://www.missionfirsttactical.com/
Vortex Optics - http://www.vortexoptics.com/PWS - http://primaryweapons.com/