The EAA Windicator 357 review is definitely good for anything but your belt! Of all the countless double action revolvers available today, EAA has added a solid offering with the .357 Windicator. The European American Armory Windicator is a medium-sized, K-frame revolver. Produced by German manufacturer Weihrauch, this .357 mag/ .38 special 6 shot revolver has the versatility and reliability expected of a German-engineered handgun. While revolvers may seem out of date for semi-automatic enthusiasts, they will always serve a unique purpose for gun owners.
EAA Windicator .357 Magnum: The Ideal Conceal Carry Gun
There is an everyday carry gun out there for everyone, and this is probably the ideal carry gun for a lot of people– just not me and most other small- to medium-framed people. At 1.5 inches wide, this does not immediately strike you as a conceal carry handgun. Without the added cover of a winter coat, even inside the waistband, carry is uncomfortable and at times imprinting. That’s not to say there isn’t a use for this gun. With its reliability unaffected by long-term storage (unlike the springs in magazine-fed guns), this is more likely to be better purposed as a home or business defense handgun. At home, the Windicator makes a good ‘nightstand gun,’ one that is easily accessible and easy to use.
For many gun owners, the cost can understandably be a deciding factor in choosing a handgun. While not exactly a collector’s item, EAA priced the Windicator to be attractive to first-time gun buyers. The suggested retail price of $373 is well below the average cost of a .357 magnum revolver. This particular Windicator was purchased new at Gander Mountain for $319. Used Windicators have sold for as low as $250 in gun shops and online retailers. With this accessible price tag, the Windicator is an excellent value.
Revolvers are notoriously simple to operate and the Windicator is no exception. As with most double-single action revolvers, the heavy double action EAA Windicator trigger job mitigates the chance of an accidental trigger activation while in storage or being carried. Once you cock the hammer into a single action, the trigger pressure drops from 12 pounds to about 5. Activating the trigger in single action mode requires just 5 pounds of pressure and virtually no trigger slack (or “mechanical void”). The trigger itself has grooves carved into it to give shooters’ trigger fingers better grip and even acts as a reference point for trigger finger placement.
This actually a feature that some gun owners pay extra for, and on the Windicator, this is a standard feature. The cylinder release also has an ergonomical position for right-handed shooters to easily start a reload. With these simple features, the Windicator’s operability is exactly on par with the ease of use that revolvers are famous for.
Shooting and Marksmanship
Chambered in .357 magnum and .38 special, the Windicator capitalizes on the unique versatility that only revolvers like this can offer. Loaded with .357 magnum self-defense cartridges, this gun does deliver strong recoil and muzzle flash. However, with the ability to chamber and shoot .38 special, practice and training are much more manageable and cost-effective. The smaller load is both more affordable than .357 but more importantly, it generates a slightly less intense recoil and muzzle flash. Despite the short 2-inch barrel, a competent shooter can deliver accurate shots at most self-defense ranges up to 25 yards.
Notwithstanding the heavy double action trigger pull, the Windicator also delivers accurate multiple-shot self-defense drills. I’ve had experienced and novice clients on the range with this .357 and all have been able to accurately deliver multiple shot drills at varying distances with the right coaching. This is likely where the initially unwieldy 26 oz. weight is a factor, balancing out the explosive recoil of these larger caliber cartridges.
The low profile sights were designed to mitigate the issue of sights catching on a holster. With black on black low profile front and rear sights, shooters may have difficulty finding proper sight alignment and sight picture. This and many other Windicators commonly get modifications with an easy do-it-yourself solution. A small drop of white nail polish on the front sight provides all the contrast you need to achieve sight alignment. Another way to do this is with high visibility or glow-in-the-dark colors as well.
After shooting 2500 rounds through it in one year with a variety of ammunition, there has not been a noticeable impact on operability. If anything, some cheaper ammunition did burn dirty, causing a larger than normal gas cloud. This simply highlights the importance of maintaining a clean firearm, as shooting cheaper ammunition can cause a significant carbon build-up if left unchecked.
Shot capacity is something that has always seemed to be a weakness in the perception of revolvers. With a 6 shot cylinder, the Windicator actually has a larger capacity than some 5 shot .357 revolvers. Even several single stack semi-automatics of all calibers have capacities ranging from 5 to 8 rounds depending on caliber. While the carrying capacity can keep the Windicator on the same level as these semi-automatics, the primary shortcoming is in reloading. Magazines will always be easier to reload than even speed loaders, and one major factor to consider when deciding if this is a good carry gun for you.
The EAA Windicator grips give a solid and controllable feel but does have a few drawbacks. After some amount of rounds that have been shot through it, the grip on this particular Windicator came loose after about 9 months of use. An issue like this is likely due to the high round count. It’s something to credit for in the design and manufacturing.
EEA Windicator can also be a mountain and trail gun! Watch this video and see how it works!
Gun enthusiasts should not write off the Windicator because of a 6 shot capacity or any other preconceptions. A handgun this reliable and easy to use is a good option for first-time gun owners. It’s a dependable home defense handgun or even a concealed carry handgun. As with most new handguns, it takes dedicated training and responsibility to become truly competent and confident with it. If you’re considering adding a Windicator to your collection, it is always a best practice to shoot it before any purchase. For a .357 revolver in the sub $300 price range, however, this is also a great opportunistic buy if you should come across one online or in person.
What has been your experience with an EAA Windicator? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Featured image via 12GaugeTommy