In regard to the third “F” in Fit, Function, and Finances… does a quality gun necessarily have to be expensive? We’ll take a look at that question in this review of the EAA Windicator .38 Special/.357 Magnum Revolver.
Aside from the firearms I’ve used in conjunction with my military career, I’ve spent my “other” shooting career focused on firearms for competition, sporting, and personal defense. As such, I’ve spent only a fraction of that time shooting revolvers. I have noted, however, that a growing number of clients are interested in learning about revolvers for per395087sonal defense. I must admit that I have also become increasingly interested in carrying a revolver for camping or while out at the cabin due to their durability, reliability, and wide variety of ammunition, which includes snake-shot, which cannot be fired through semi-automatic pistols.
I discussed this topic with one of my friends who works at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA and mentioned that I was in the market for a rugged snub-nosed .38 special/.357 magnum revolver that could fit my large hand. He showed me a wide variety of revolvers from Ruger, Smith and Wesson, and Taurus that ranged from $450.00 to $900.00. Since I was only going to incorporate this revolver into basic firearms instruction and the occasional camping trip or weekend at the cabin, I challenged my friend to find one that met my specifications at or below $300.00. After a few minutes, he presented me with the EAA (European American Arms) Windicator, which is a 2 inch snub-nose blued revolver in .38/.357… for under $300.00!
Although it was a small 2 inch snub-nose, this revolver felt solid and the generous grip filled my large hand quite well. A cursory inspection verified that the lock-up and timing were acceptable. Dry-firing verified that the double action trigger pull was long and heavy compared to the short and light single action pull. Everything checked-out at the counter, but I wanted to do a little more research before committing to the purchase.
Over lunch, I looked-up everything I could find on the EAA Windicator. European American Arms (EAA), based in Florida, has been importing this revolver from a German company named Weihrauch for quite some time. The reviews spanned the gamut from “phenomenal” to “worthless.” A few reviewers cited their revolver losing its timing after firing thousands of high pressure .357 rounds or claiming that it was insufficient for IDPA shooting. Many reviewers cited that it was a great bargain for the price.
Since my expectations and intended usage were more in line with the price point than those who expressed disappointment in their reviews, I purchased the revolver, a few boxes of American Eagle .38 Special ammo, and set out to test it and form my own opinions. With the help of my friend, Al Rice, we put the Windicator through its paces at Sharpshooters in Lorton, VA.
By the Numbers
The EAA Windicator is a 2 inch snub-nosed six-shot single action / double action revolver chambered in .38 special and .357 magnum. Its fixed sights are comprised of a plain black ramp blade in the front and a plain “U” shaped fixed channel in the back. The overall length is 7 inches. This revolver has a substantial black rubber grip and weighs 30 ounces (nearly 2 pounds) empty! This is significant when you compare it to some of the popular snub-nosed .38/.357s like the Ruger LCR weighing-in at 17 ounces and the comparable Taurus and Smith and Wesson models weighing in at roughly 20 ounces (and with MSRPs from $500 to $700). The double action trigger pull exceeded the 10 pound limit on my spring-scale, but the single action pull registered a consistent 4 pounds across six tests.
As mentioned above, the Windicator’s grip was substantial enough to fill my hand, but was not so prohibitively large that a shooter with a smaller hand couldn’t establish a sufficient and comfortable grip. This revolver pointed naturally and the “length of pull” (distance from the back-strap to the trigger face) was appropriate for me to place the pad of my index finger where it belonged for a smooth trigger pull. From a double action start, the length of pull measured 2.525 inches and the sear broke at 2.105 inches, which means that 10+ pounds of steady pressure had to be applied throughout the trigger’s 0.420 inch travel. Conversely, cocking the hammer for a single action shot reduced the length of pull to 2.170, which leaves the shooter to apply 4 pounds of pressure over a very short 0.065 inch to break the shot.
Again, I chose this revolver as a training aid for basic firearms instruction and as a utility firearm while camping or at the cabin. As such, the 2 inch snub nose makes it ideal for the classroom and the field. Also, while many new revolver designs for concealed carry are double-action-only “hammerless” (where the internal hammer has no exposed spur), I needed a DA/SA revolver with exposed hammer and spur for instruction and to provide the option of a heavy and deliberate double action or planned and light single action shot. Read More »
About Author: Howard Hall (Range Master)
Howard has served for nearly 20 years in the Marine Corps. He has served as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Regimental Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander. He has multiple combat tours to include serving as a military transition team member in Fallujah. He is an NRA Certified handgun instructor and holds numerous Marine Corps training credentials.
An active competitor in action pistol (United States Practical Shooting Association), long range rifle (NRA F-Class), and shotgun (Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association), howard has earned numerous accolades and medaled during DoD competitions with the 1911 platform in bulls-eye shooting.