In today’s market, we may have to grab what we can and our first choices seem to be made of “unobtainium.”
On the other hand, there are choices previously overlooked that have stood steady giving good service for decades with little fanfare. Among these is the EAA Windicator revolver.
A sturdy double-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder, the Windicator is offered in a .38 Special version and also a .357 Magnum model.
Since the .357 Magnum accepts both .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads, without any difficulty it was my first choice. The Windicator is a K-Frame more or less.
Picture a Smith and Wesson Model 10 Military and Police and the size is about right, although in overall dimension, the Windicator may be a little smaller.
The barrel, however, is a bit heavier than the Military and Police revolver. The frame is well-designed and the grips offer a good mix of purchase and comfort.
Features and Specs
The revolver is manufactured by German manufacturer Weihrauch. For those preferring the revolver over a self-loader, and there are many, the EAA Windicator is a solid choice.
A revolver is simpler to operate than a self-loader. If you do not hit the range monthly for practice, the revolver is probably the better choice.
The revolver is loaded by pressing the cylinder latch forward and swinging the cylinder out. Then you load a chamber at a time. Close the revolver cylinder and press the trigger to fire.
The spent cases are ejected by opening the cylinder, pointing the muzzle upward, and striking the ejector rod to eject the spent cases.
It is important the muzzle is pointed upward during the ejection process and pointed downward while loading. The double-action trigger press is smooth.
It is different from the Smith and Wesson, closer to the Ruger GP100 in feel. There is a single-action option as well. The double-action trigger is fired by smoothly pressing the trigger to the rear.
This both cocks and drops the hammer. The effort required is around 12 pounds. For single-action fire, the hammer may be cocked. A light press of three pounds or so then drops the hammer.
The single-action option is useful for deliberate shots, such as hunting small game or long-distance shooting. In personal defense, the double-action option should always be used.
Look and Feel
The revolver is available with both blue steel and nickel finish. My example sports a nice blue finish. Barrel lengths of two and four inches are available.
You need to think about the likely scenario. If you will be carrying the revolver concealed, the two-inch version has appeal. The four-inch barrel revolver weighs only 30 ounces, the two-inch barrel a bit less.
A gun grabber won’t have much to hold if he grabs a two-inch barrel, all of the leverage is in the handle.
If you will be using the revolver as a field gun or for defense while hiking and protection against dangerous animals — and the .357 Magnum is up to this duty — then a four-inch barrel offers superior accuracy and velocity as well.
The Windicator weighs a little more than most 9mm Luger pistols, but with .38 Special loads, it also kicks less.
If you are willing to master the .357 Magnum — and it kicks a lot, more than twice as much as a 9mm Luger — you will have a formidable man stopper, more proven than any other pistol cartridge.
The Windicator is appropriate for use as a house gun. For a modest price, you have a good home-defense gun that is simple enough for the family to operate.
Simply grab the revolver and press the trigger, no racking a slide or fiddling with a safety. It will fire even if not held in a perfect grip and it isn’t dependent on full-power ammunition for function.
Load a .38 Special 148-grain wadcutter at 700 fps or a full-power 125-grain .357 Magnum at 1400 fps and the revolver will function just fine.
No matter how long the revolver is stored, the springs are at rest and do not take a set. There are no magazine springs under tension. If it gets dusty, it comes up shooting.
The Windicator features rugged fixed sights. Unlike the simple groove cut into the top strap on many revolvers, the EAA Windicator features high-visibility sights that offer excellent combat ability.
Function and Performance
When firing a double-action revolver, you press the trigger smoothly to the rear while holding the sights steady on target. As you press the trigger to the rear, the revolver will fire and recoil.
As you recover the sight picture, let the trigger action smoothly reset and you are prepared for another shot.
The cadence of fire isn’t set by how quickly you are able to fire, but by how quickly you are able to recover the sights during recoil and fire accurately.
The EAA Windicator features grooves in the trigger face that add to good control. The shorter-barrel revolver isn’t much more difficult to use well than the four-inch barrel revolver if you use .38 Special loads.
It actually comes on target more quickly at close range. If you plan on using the .357 Magnum cartridge, I strongly recommend the four-inch barrel.
There is a lot of muzzle blast and unburned powder with the two-inch barrel. A good alternative for home defense in the two-inch barrel is the Hornady .38 Special Critical Defense 110-grain loading.
I have fired my Windicator extensively. The revolver is smooth enough and handles well. The grips are a good match for most hands and keep the hand separated from the frame during recoil.
Among the loads I have used, are handloads using the Hornady 125-grain XTP. Using Titegroup powder, I have pushed this bullet to over 1000 fps in the .38 Special case.
Control is good and the loading is accurate. Double-action pairs are not difficult to control.
The factory Hornady .38 Special Critical Defense 110-grain FTX loading is a fine all-around home-defense loading for most shooters.
At over 900 fps even in a two-inch barrel, the Critical Defense is an excellent all-around loading. Moving to the Magnum load, I used the 125-grain XTP over a heavier charge of Titegroup.
This load clocks 1250 fps in the four-inch gun. This isn’t as hot as most Magnum loads, but offers plenty of power for most uses.
A full-power load I have enjoyed excellent results with is the Hornady 125-grain XTP. This load breaks over 1400 fps in the four-inch barrel revolver, about 1280 fps in the shorter-barrel revolver.
This is a formidable loading. While recoil is there, this is an accurate combination. Firing from a solid benchreset firing position, the revolver will group five shots into less than three inches at 20 yards.
Conclusion: EAA Windicator
The EAA Windicator is an overlooked gem and a great all-around revolver.
Have you fired the EAA Windicator? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!