Windham Weaponry in Windham in December 2012. Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Windham Weaponry, a manufacturer of AR-15-style rifles, has reopened after a nearly one-year shutdown, and a co-owner says business is strong, helped in an election year when guns are again an issue.

Douglas Price, a production manager and one of three owners, said Tuesday that the revived gun manufacturer opened in January following an auction and purchase from a bank. Terms of the sealed bid were not disclosed.

The company name, logo, website and domain name, social media accounts and a database of emails for more than 54,000 retail customers were sold at auction, according to the auction notice.

Windham Weaponry’s financial backer is undisclosed, co-owner Todd Coons said.

It was an “unfortunate situation that it got that far,” he said, referring to the auction.

“It should not have gotten into the financial situation it did,” Coons said. “The downfall had nothing to do with a failure to deliver or product quality.”


He said he’s not familiar with the company’s problems.

Windham Weaponry, which employs five workers and is the state’s only major gunmaker, was established in 2011 by Richard Dyke after he sold Bushmaster to owners who moved manufacturing from Maine. The new company was much like the old one, using most of the same employees and producing a similar product line. Dyke died in March 2023 at age 89 and the business shut and its assets were auctioned.

Price said he’s worked at the company since 1991, starting as an assembler and moving into management eight years later. He and Coons and a third part-owner, Hamed Kibria, reopened the business, he said. They plan to hire more workers, reaching out first to previous employees, Price said.

Customers include law enforcement, buyers interested in self-defense and hunters, he said. The Maine Department of Public Safety, the FBI and National Park Service have contracted with the company in recent years, the Maine Monitor reported.

Windham Weaponry has a “few good contracts” and the owners hope to sell more than 80 rifles in the coming week or so, with “250 behind that,” Price said. The company is doing well “for a start-up,” he said.

The owners hope to expand with shotguns and bolt guns, Price said.


“Our goal is to expand a little more,” he said. “It’s an election year and there’s talk that often spikes sales.”

Windham Weaponry manufactured 5,494 firearms in 2011, the year it opened and increased production to more than 74,000 firearms in 2013, its peak, the Maine Monitor reported. The number dwindled to 22,930 in 2021, federal reports show, or nearly 99% of firearms manufactured in Maine. It fell to about 6,200 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Gov. Janet Mills has signed a bill into law that expands background check requirements for gun purchases to include private, advertised sales and updates the state’s “yellow flag” law to make it easier for police to take someone into protective custody. She signed the legislation one day after the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting in Lewiston that killed 18 people and injured 13 others.

She vetoed a bill that would have banned bump stocks and other devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire like a machine gun and allowed a measure establishing a three-day waiting period to become law without her signature.

Dyke, born in Wilton, bought what was a failing gun maker for $241,000 and built it over more than a quarter-century into a $76 million business producing 9,000 guns a month, according to a ProPublica profile of the businessman. More than 24 million AR-15s are in circulation, according to ProPublica.

“Because of their accuracy, light weight and low recoil, they are the most popular rifle in the U.S.,” it reported.

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