EAA Weihrauch Windicator 741566103612 357 Magnum

The Windicator is simple to operate, features a swing-out cylinder, has an ejector rod long enough to easily eject spent cartridge cases, and the action is smooth enough. If you need a house gun or truck gun to be fired occasionally but which must always come up shooting this handgun fits the bill.

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Revolvers remain popular for personal defense for many reasons. The revolver is simple to load, fire, and handle. A revolver will function with light loads and heavy loads without changing the springs. A revolver will come up firing, even after long periods of storage because the springs are at rest when the revolver is loaded. A revolver can feature a smooth double-action trigger that helps fight flinch. We wanted to test revolvers in 38 Special for home defense and economy. We elected to test two large-frame and two small-frame revolvers that would fire easy-on-the-hands 38 Specials. As a bonus, some would also chamber 357 Magnums and, surprisingly, one accepted 9mm Luger rounds. Our test guns were as follows:

European American Armory’s (EAA) Windicator 770133 357 Magnum, $394, is a European idea of a revolver that comes off well. The cylinder features six chambers bored for the 357 Magnum. The barrel is marked 38 Special and just below, 357 Magnum. The revolver is a conventional double action with single-action capability. The cylinder is opened for loading and unloading by pressing a cylinder latch forward. Three of the four revolvers in the test operate in this manner.

Rock Island Armory’s Model 206 51283 38 Special, $240, is a small-frame revolver that comes in a couple of variations. The blued M206 Spurless 51280 and matte-nickel-finished Spurless M206 lack the exterior hammer of our test gun, but all three have channel frame-cut rear sights. Similar to our test gun, the M200 51261 is likewise chambered in 38 Special but has a 4-inch semi-shrouded barrel. When you put together the price of the EAA Windicator and the Rock Island M206, you have about the price of a new Glock. That isn’t bad economy having two 38 Special handguns at the ready for less than $600.

The Taurus Defender 856 2-85639NS 38 Special +P, $306, is a small-frame 38 Special +P revolver with a six-shot cylinder and a 3-inch barrel. Our test handgun was made of matte stainless steel with Hogue grips, but the line is available in several versions. The Ultra-Lite models come in stainless-steel (2-85639ULNS) and black-anodized (2-85631ULNS) finishes. Three other steel-frame revolvers are the matte black with Hogue grips (2-85631NS), matte-stainless with VZ Grips’ panels (2-85635NSVZ), and tungsten Cerakote with Altamont wood grips (2-8563CNS).

The Taurus Tracker 692 Multi-Caliber Revolver 2692031, $487, chambers and fires 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 9mm Luger rounds. We should note that stainless-steel versions of our test gun were available for $543. The matte-finish-blued revolver is more in keeping with our economy theme. Like in the other revolvers, the Tracker 692 is a double-action mechanism with a swing-out cylinder, exposed hammer, and single-action capability. The 692 features a seven-shot cylinder. This is a nice upgrade in a relatively compact revolver. The grips, barrel, and frame are slightly smaller than the popular Taurus 66, another seven-shot 357 Magnum.

The Windicator isn’t exactly a K-frame. We compared it to two K-frame revolvers, and the fit and feel are much different.

During the test, we fired four 38 Special loads in all four revolvers. These included a handload with the MattsBullets.com 178-grain SWC loaded to 850 fps average. This is a +P load that is well suited to outdoors use and practice for those using +P personal defense loads. We fired 50 rounds in offhand combat firing, including firing at multiple targets as quickly as possible. While economical, this load also tested recoil control and comfort better than a light target load. In accuracy testing off the benchrest, we used three loads. These included the Remington 158-grain SWCHP +P, the Black Hills Ammunition 158-grain RNL Cowboy Load, and the Black Hills Ammunition 125-grain +P.

For bench accuracy testing and velocity compilations, we also tested a full-power 357 Magnum loading in the Tracker and Windicator revolvers, the Black Hills Ammunition 125-grain JHP. For combat shooting, we added the Remington HTP 357 Magnum 125-grain SJHP, a milder 1200 fps Magnum load, to give breadth to the test in the two Magnums. Also in the Tracker, we fired a 9mm load, the Remington HTP 124-grain JHP, off the bench. We fired 20 of each of the magnum loads in each revolver and 20 9mm loads in the Taurus 692.

The revolvers tested were all reliable with no obvious defects. For home defense, all were accurate enough. Here’s what we thought about these handguns in more detail.

Gun Tests Grade: A-

$394

The European American Arms Windicator is manufactured by Weihrauch of Germany. The Windicator doesn’t have a side plate and differs considerably in design from the other handguns. The barrel is a bit shorter than the advertised 4 inches. This makes for good balance and heft in combat firing. In common with the other revolvers, the synthetic grips do a good job in separating the hand from the frame. The Windicator features a barrel with a top rib and a kind of fake vent outline. The barrel is heavy enough to dampen recoil. The cylinder release is an S&W type that presses forward.

ActionDouble- or single-action revolver
Overall Length8.5 in.
Overall Height5.38 in.
Maximum Width (Cylinder)1.4 in.
Weight Unloaded30.5 oz.
Weight Loaded33.5 oz.
Barrel3.75 in. long; blued steel
Capacity6
FrameBlued steel and alloy
CylinderBlued steel
Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Rear Strap Height3.8 in.
GripsRubber with finger grooves
Grip Thickness (Max)1.8 in.
Grip Circumference (Max)5.1 in.
Front SightPost, blued steel
Rear SightSteel, post type
Sight Radius5.8 in.
Trigger Pull Weight Single Action3.0 lbs.
Trigger Pull Weight Double Action11.25 lbs.
Trigger Span Single Action3.16 in.
Trigger Span Double Action3.56 in.
SafetyNone
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(321) 639-4842
WebsiteEAAcorp.com
Made InGermany
The Windicator is a fixed-sight service-grade revolver. Once you get over its different appearance compared to domestic revolvers, the Windicator is a nice-looking handgun.

The Windicator features a nice blued finish. We find no fault with the finish; it was evenly applied and attractive. The revolver’s trigger action was smooth, and the single-action press was among the lightest of the test at an even 3 pounds. Possibly the most unusual feature is the fixed sights. The rear sights are a post type that set above the frame rather than a groove cut into the frame. They are similar to the British Enfield service revolver. We like the concept of rugged fixed sights for a defensive revolver. While you may not be able to set the sights for a myriad of bullet weights, the sights will not be knocked out of zero either.

These are rugged combat-type sights, not target sights. EAA’s Windicator looks like a non-traditional revolver to most Americans.

On the firing line, the Windicator gave good results in combat firing. The 178-grain lead bullet at 867 fps from the Windicator isn’t the lightest-kicking of 38 Special loads. Control was good to excellent. While the axis of the bore seems to set high above the hand, inviting muzzle flip, a smooth trigger and well-shaped grips alleviated this concern. The Windicator ran neck and neck with the Taurus 692 on the combat range. Moving to the 125-grain 357 Magnum load, the difference was more pronounced. The muzzle flipped more, and our combat grouping was not as good. We were able to get the same groups as the Taurus Defender, but it took more time to recover from recoil. For the size and weight, the EAA Windicator recoiled as expected with magnum loads, the Taurus Defender simply handled recoil better. The EAA revolver accepted six-shot HKS and Lyman speedloaders well. We ordered speedloaders for the K-frame Smith & Wesson (HKS 10A, $7.79 from TopGunSupply.com).

Overall fit and finish of this German-made revolver are excellent. The heavy barrel is a good feature.

Moving to accuracy shooting from the bench, the EAA Windicator gave credible, but not outstanding, results. Groups ranged from 2 to more than 3 inches at 25 yards. There were no failures to fire or cycle in double-action fire. The EAA revolver was not as pleasant as the Taurus when firing from the benchrest.

Our Team Said: We found the EAA Windicator to be worth the money. It was reliable, fired to the point of aim with most loads, and never failed to cycle. While we liked the Taurus Defender more, the Taurus has features the average homeowner looking for an economy handgun may not need. A sturdy fixed-sight revolver may not be fired often, but it will get the job done if the owner has practiced. We rated the Windicator down a half grade on accuracy. We did not rate it down for its greater recoil than the Taurus because the EAA is also lighter, which is a compromise for easy carrying.

357 Magnum Range Data

Black Hills 125-grain JHPTaurus Tracker 692EAA Windicator
Average Velocity1409 fps1433 fps
Muzzle Energy551 ft.-lbs.570 ft.-lbs.
Small Group1.75 in.2.4 in.
Average Group2.0 in.3.0 in.

9mm Luger Range Data

Remington HTP 124-grain JHPTaurus Tracker 692
Average Velocity1121 fps
Muzzle Energy346 ft.-lbs.
Small Group1.9 in.
Average Group2.6 in.
All groups were fired from a Bullshooters gun rest from a benchrest firing position at 25 yards. Velocities were measured by firing over an RCBS Ammomaster Chronograph at 10 yards.

38 Special Range Data

Remington 158-grain SWCHP +PTaurus Tracker 692EAA WindicatorRock Island Armory 206Taurus Defender 856
Average Velocity870 fps855 fps804 fps846 fps
Muzzle Energy266 ft.-lbs.256 ft.-lbs.227 ft.-lbs.251 ft.-lbs.
Small Group2.1 in.2.25 in.3.7 in.3.0 in.
Average Group2.6 in.2.7 in.4.5 in.3.2 in.
Black Hills Cowboy 158-grain RNLTaurus Tracker 692EAA WindicatorRock Island Armory 206Taurus Defender 856
Average Velocity799 fps812 fps690 fps760 fps
Muzzle Energy224 ft.-lbs.231 ft.-lbs.167 ft.-lbs.203 ft.-lbs.
Small Group1.75 in.2.45 in.3.25 in.3.3 in.
Average Group2.2 in.3.1 in.4.0 in.3.8 in.
Black Hills Cowboy 158-grain RNLTaurus Tracker 692EAA WindicatorRock Island Armory 206Taurus Defender 856
Average Velocity960 fps975 fps860 fps901 fps
Muzzle Energy256 ft.-lbs.264 ft.-lbs.205 ft.-lbs.225 ft.-lbs.
Small Group1.8 in.2.0 in.3.6 in.2.6 in.
Average Group2.4 in.2.65 in.4.4 in.3.2 in.
All groups were fired from a Bullshooters gun rest from a benchrest firing position at 25 yards. Velocities were measured by firing over an RCBS Ammomaster Chronograph at 10 yards.

Value Guide: 39 Special/375 Magnum Revolver Rankings

Gun NameIssueGradeComments
Colt Python (2020) PYTHON-SP4WTS 357 Magnum, $1300Jan. 2021APricey, but the new Python is a winner, even if it isn’t an exact clone of the original Python.
Colt Python (2020) PYTHON-SP6WTS 357 Magnum, $1800Jan. 2021AWe really liked the trigger and found the revolver to be quite accurate.
Colt Python (1980) 357 Magnum, ~$2500Jan. 2021AThe trigger is superb and the royal-blue finish is brilliant. The aftermarket Hogue grip helps reduce felt recoil.
Colt Python (1964) 357 Magnum, $1800Jan. 2021A-It provided good performance and accuracy. This is a shooter and perhaps is a candidate for restoration.
Colt King Cobra KCOBRA-SB3BB 357 Magnum, $838May. 2020AThe revolver offers good performance with the 3-inch barrel and is well made. Carrying it takes a bit of effort.
Rock Island Armory AL3.0 357 Magnum, $504May. 2020A-There was a lot to like, price, accuracy, shooting comfort. Not a beautiful revolver for sure.
Rossi Model 971 VRC 357 Magnum, $295May. 2020BA great trigger, and the porting helped keep us on target. But the accuracy was less than stellar.
Taurus Model 66 2-660041 357 Magnum, $371Oct. 2019AWell suited to personal defense and home defense. Good field gun for protection against animals.
Taurus 608 Matte Stainless 2-608049 357 Magnum, $548Oct. 2019A-It is a big gun. Just the same, the size and eight-shot capacity made it ideal for home defense.
Smith & Wesson M27 Classic 150339 357 Magnum, $909Oct. 2019B-The grips are not the best design for handling magnum loads. Trigger action was the big problem, very heavy.
Ruger GP100 KGP-141 357 Magnum, $500Sept. 2018AThe stainless-steel GP100 performs in all categories: accuracy, smoothness, control, and velocity.
S&W M66 Combat Magnum 357 Magnum, $420Sept. 2018B+Stainless steel, smooth action, and a round-butt configuration seldom seen on the Combat Magnum.
Ruger GP100 GP-141 357 Magnum, $480Sept. 2018B+The blued GP100 doesn’t perform on par with the stainless, and the stainless is easier to maintain.
S&W M19 Combat Magnum 357 Magnum, $800Sept. 2018BCame with a display case and a knife with matching serial number — pretty neat, but also pricey.
Taurus Model 66 357 Magnum, $325Sept. 2018B-The barrel length of 6 inches did not generate greater velocity. Current-production version is 2-660069.
Ruger LCRx Model 5460 357 Magnum, $669Apr. 2018A-Decent accuracy and made concealed carry uncomplicated. It transmitted a lot of recoil to the shooter’s hand.
Kimber K6s Model CDP 357 Magnum, $1155Apr. 2018B+The K6s has a smooth, consistent trigger pull, a small grip for easy conceal carry, and offers six shots. Pricey.
Colt Cobra COBRA-SM2FO 38 Special, $699Apr. 2018BGood trigger pull in double action and good sights, which made it easy and accurate to shoot.
Ruger Security Six 357 Mag., $430-$450Jul. 2017B+Had good accuracy with user-friendly sights; recoil was mild due to its bulk.
Colt Lawman Mk III 357 Mag., $450-$525Jul. 2017BA full-size revolver, so it is less concealable. Offered pleasant recoil. Double-action pull was too heavy.
Smith & Wesson M649 357 Magnum, $500-$530Jun. 2017AThe 649 was lightweight, thin, and concealable. Even with 357 Magnum loads, recoil was tolerable.

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