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The EAA Windicator (aka Pugzley)
by Brenden Walker (aka Braindead0)
The Purchase and Initial Inspection
The first problem I had was finding one, luckily my local shop (Ohio Outdoor Sports) had them available at their wholesaler. A few days after ordering, in it comes. $199 later and it's mine. Initial inspection (not easy considering the goop all over it ;-) revealed that it locks up very nicely, the finish is pretty good and the trigger isn't too bad (except as noted below). DA action is fairly linear and has a bit of a hump after the cylinder finishes revolving somewhere around 2/3 the full travel. SA trigger pull is light and pretty crispy.
As I don't have a proper trigger weight measuring device, I'd have to say that DA is up near 15lbs and maybe higher and SA is probably around 8-10lbs. Pretty heavy, but not so heavy that my wife can't handle it.
First Shooting Trip
My goal here was to see what this thing would eat and get a general idea for accuracy. After feeding 15 .38spcl with CCI SP primers without any problems, I'd say it's got a decent amount of firing pin strike. I moved up to .357LSWC's with 4.2gr Bullseye running about 870fps. After about 18 rounds of that, I moved on to some .357XTPFP in front of 10.5gr AA#7.
The most interesting thing I noticed was that the recoil wasn't bad at all. I could hardly tell the difference between the various ammunitions. Of course some of this may be due to that heavy 10.5gr load not burning completely before the bullet leaves the barrel.
Accuracy was not too shabby as can be seen from this picture. (18rds fired DA at 21ft). I have a feeling that much of the size of this group was due to the crummy lighting at that range (can hardly see the sights). The nice thing about is that it will force me to really work on my short range accuracy for IDPA (which will be the primary use of this gun).
The only real problem I found shooting this gun...is this:
The heinous grooved trigger of doom! The grooves are a bit sharp, after my trip to the range where I fired 70rds or so.. I can still feel some sore spots on my trigger finger a day later. A day later, and a dremelling it's fine now.
Not exactly a fine fancy triggerlock, but it works ;-). The sights are not adjustable, but in theory the barrel shroud could be moved a bit left and right.
Cleaning and Closer Inspection
Cylinder and grip removal were easy (not that I needed to). As far a detail stripping, I believe I'll have to punch out a couple of pins. So needless to say I'm going to fire several hundred rounds and probably simply strip to this point and flush in Ed's Red to get any metal shavings outta the action.
The fit of everything is pretty darned good. The cylinder latches in place positively and there are no unusual or excessive gaps, cylinder gap is .006 which should be fine. Unloaded weight is 29oz which is right in there with the advertised weight. Their are however tools marks in abundance, the fluting on the cylinder and pretty much all inside surfaces of the frame. The most obvious and ugly tool mark is this:
It's fairly obvious that they simply cut down a longer barrel to make the 2". Likely they make all barrels 4" and cut to length. The barrel shroud is made of a different metal (has a olive drab tint to it) and is held in place by a set screw (holding quite well for now). The grip frame and trigger guard are the same material.
I have yet to decide if I'm going to pay somebody to crown this..or not. It is after all a 2" snubby. I do know someone who used to be a gunsmith, so perhaps I can borrow a crowning tool (rather than spending $80-$100 buying one).
This gun is a piece of industrial machinery. Not very pretty, but functional and so far it seems very tough. From the above picture you can see that the grip is a bit small but not overly so and pretty comfortable in my meat hooks, and it sure can absorb recoil.
Would I buy another one? Yes, if I had a need for another 6-shot .357 snubby I certainly would. I think the best thing about a gun like this is if you ever had to use it in self defense, you wouldn't cry too much when the police confiscated it as evidence. In fact if my wife and I get heavily into IDPA, we may buy her a 4" model as her tracker isn't really allowed due to porting (although the local club matches are okay).
Now all I have to do is find out which HKS speedloaders fit and I'll be all set. (Update: A-10 HKS speedloaders are perfect, picked up a pair)
UPDATE (09/23/2002): Durability
After around 2000rds, still running good....BUT.. I found the weakness. The front cylinder catch is engaged via a slot in the ejecter, when the rear engagement 'button' is depressed (while sliding in or pressing the release) it lines up a slot in the ejecter rod with a catch built into the frame.
This works fine for .38 and .38+P probably a bit higher. This weekend I fired 12rds of 'American' (I think, made by federal) high velocity 158gr copper jacket flat point. These are pretty stiff, probably right in the end of .357 range..quite a kick. Well, 12rds of that beat up the ejecter rod enough that I couldn't release the cylinder without a bit of a whack.
A couple of seconds with a fine diamond file and everything was back to normal. No excessive cylinder 'slop' or anything. But it does mean that this gun is relagated to IDPA use only, handles those loads all day.
I think it's time to revise my 'would I buy another one'. At this point, maybe. In light of the power handling (or lack thereof), I have a feeling I'll wear this gun out after 10k rounds.
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