EAA Witness


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Krinkov
December 25, 2004, 04:21 PM
I have a friend of mine who said that years ago he bought a EAA Witness and the slide stop broke on it. So now when I told him I was planning on buying a CZ-75 he tried to pursuade me not to buy it.

I tried telling him that the Witness was a clone but he insists that EAA was importing the CZ under the name Witness and that it was the same pistol.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

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1911 TERRY
December 25, 2004, 05:07 PM
EAA is the abbreviation for European American Arms. The Witness pistols are actually manufactured by Tanfoglio Arms of Italy and are a direct clone of the CZ75 pistol. EAA is the importer and based out of Florida.They are generally a very good quality pistol and are available in both full size and compact sizes. Calibers are 9mm, 40, 38, 10mm, and 45acp, they may also have a 357 sig caliber, but I'm not absolutely sure. A broken slide stop is not a major problem. CZ's are built to better tolerances than the witness pistols, but both are very good pistols, and very economically priced compared to many other manufacture such as Sig and HK. You can find a great deal of info on both the CZ and the EAA Witness over on the CZ Forum board.

armoredman
December 25, 2004, 06:06 PM
In addition to 1911Terry's good info, Tanfolgio pistols were also imported as the TZ75, the TA90, the Springfield P9, and now the Witness, by FIE, Excam, and EAA, which is the survivors of those previous companies.
The Witness pistol come in two frame sizes, the "small" frame being convertable 22lr/9mm/40SW, and the "large" frame those plus 45/38 Super/10mm. I am pretty sure there is a 357SiG drop in barrel available somewhere. Hi cap mags are available in all calibers both new and used.
The Tanfolgio has sometimes been called the "CZ Improved", as it has several fewer parts than the classic origunal CZ it was cloned from. I had 6 Witness pistols, and every time one left, it was a financial decision - I would never have sold any if I didn't have to.
I am a die hard CZ man,(CZ75 PO1 favorite), and so is my wife, (CZ2075 RAMI 9mm for her), but we liked our Witness pistols very much. The CZ75B is an excellent pistol, and in any of its many incarnations will serve you well for a looooong time. Try a PO1 - you won't be dissapointed! Also, very soon, the new 40 SW Compacts will be coming out, in both alloy and steel frame, decocker plus standard C&L safety version. Enjoy!

Pumpkinheaver
December 25, 2004, 06:22 PM
I liked my witness better than my CZ. The beavertail on the witness is swept back and up more than the little stubbie cz tang. Plus the witness was just as reliable and accurate.

Krinkov
December 25, 2004, 06:35 PM
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. :)

kennedy
December 25, 2004, 06:40 PM
I have a witness silver team, (compensator, single action trigger, drilled and tapped) I mounted a aim point red dot on it. most accurate pistol I have ever owned. It was used as a race gun, but I use it just for plinking, it is in .40 cal.

Walt Sherrill
December 25, 2004, 10:53 PM
The guys got the details about importation, etc., right, but some some of the details about similarities are a little askew. As Armoredman notes, the Tan guns (EAA, really) are "improved" CZs.

The EAA guns are clones ONLY in the most general sense of the word. Very few parts are interchangeable -- and even some magazines don't work well when swapped. (But some do.)

When Tanfoglio first started building the guns they were very similar to the original CZs, but have become simpler, over the years. Fewer and fewer parts have become interchangable and now, virtually NO PARTS can be swapped. (Things like barrel lug design, pin size, slide stop design, etc., have subtly changed on the Tan guns. On the 9/40 models, the Tans have the same barrel diameter allowing a single slide and interchaneability; can't do that with the similar CZs. Different beavertails on some models, as noted, but the 75B SA models have a larger beavertail, too. And then there are the .45 models -- which are quite different. EAA builds a 10mm version, too, and CZ doesn't at present.)

They are no longer clones -- they are a similar gun based on the same basic design.

CZ NEVER imported EAA guns; other companies like Action Arms imported the CZs. CZ and EAA were competitors. Slide stops do break on both gun, but rarely. Your friend got the facts wrong.

Both are good guns.

1911 TERRY
December 26, 2004, 12:31 PM
Walt,when I stated that the Tanfoglio pistols were a clone of the CZ75 I should have clarified that only when they were introduced were they a clone. The Tan's have seen many modifications over the years. I'm looking forward to getting one in a full size 10mm. I've heard they are a very stoutly built pistol. Perhaps clone was not the correct wording. Of course your correct, they are only very similar.

wally
December 26, 2004, 12:59 PM
Two problems I see with EAA.

1) Few reports about good customer service.

2) On their "Wonder Finish" guns the front sight is plated!

Someday I'll find a black Witness .45 without holes in the barrel/slide and I'll buy it.
I keep debating 10mm but don't really want another caliber to deal with now, although I've come very close to buying a Witness 10mm -- except the shiney front sight has stopped me.

--wally.

gbundersea
December 27, 2004, 12:50 PM
Wally,

I have the full-size steel 9mm Witness in Wonderfinish, with factory sights on it. After reading your post, I actually had to go check my pistol! To my surprise, the front sight is indeed the same finish as the slide, with an orange dot on it. Until checking just now, I honestly had never noticed that it's not black like the rear sight blade! I've found the sights to be very easy to align, and very visible.

The Wonderfinish is not shiny like nickel. It is dull in appearance, and not reflective. It works well, and I like the looks a lot too.

BTW, my Witness has been flawless through about 1500 rounds of all types of ammo, mainly Winchester White Box. I love it more each time I shoot it.

My next gun will be the full-size steel Witness in .45 ACP.

mainmech48
December 27, 2004, 03:28 PM
Another rec for the CZ design, either the original or Italian. I have had a Witness full-sized 9x19 for several years now. I originally bought it because the price was too low to pass up (LNIB w/ 2 full cap mags, Wonder finish, $225) and I didn't have a FS 9mm. It's become one of my most-used handguns. Great ergos, low recoil, and cheap ammo. Extreme functional reliability with a wide assortment of ammo, and shows only minor wear after nearly 8K rounds of use.

Dittoes on the CZ PO1. Great value in a more compact 9x19. I doubt that ANY 'service' auto has had to meet more rigorous testing standards than this one did.

Krinkov
December 27, 2004, 07:09 PM
The P0-1 looks great but unfortunately CZ has not produced a .40 S&W version and that is the calibre I want to purchase.

So it will be either a CZ-75 or a CZ-100 for my purchase.

Black Snowman
December 27, 2004, 07:16 PM
I have a CZ 85 Compact which is in .40 and I really love. Only down side is it's heavy, but that's also one of it's advantages.

http://home.kc.rr.com/bsmith1952/img/Guns/CZ85Compact300x199.jpg

It has the P-01 style frame but in steel and uses the conventional safety so it can be carried C&L. Last time out at the range I put 34 rounds into a paper plate sized target at 25 yards off hand without trouble. I did it quickly enough to get yelled at by the RO too. Darn gvmt run ranges ;)

River Wraith
December 27, 2004, 07:26 PM
I had a Witness 10mm, but I traded it because I just didn't like it. It didn't feel very smooth when I fired it. It jammed a little too, but it just felt cheaply made. The CZ is a better gun, just my opinion.

McCall911
December 27, 2004, 08:42 PM
I had terrible luck with the two Tanfoglio (Witness) pistols I've owned. One was the FIE TZ-88 (I believe) in .41 Action Express. Constantly jammed and that oddball ammo was getting hard to find by the early 90's. I had wrongly predicted that the .41 AE was the coming thing, since Taurus and (possibly) Beretta might have been on the verge of producing their own models in this caliber. However, along came the .40 S&W, which spelled doom for this round.
I bought one of the early EAA Witness pistols in .45ACP. Having owned an impressive but scarce-as-hen's-teeth Bren Ten Marksman in .45, I thought the Witness would be a decent, lower-priced alternative. However, it jammed equally as badly as the FIE version, plus the magazine did a cute self-disassembling trick right before my eyes! At least the pair of spare magazines that I promptly bought did not disassemble themselves, but they did nothing to alleviate the constant jamming.
So Witness wouldn't get an approval rating from me, and it'd be a cold day in you-know-where before I'd pay good money for another. But I do recognize that other people are reporting different, and positive experiences with this pistol.

armoredman
December 27, 2004, 09:03 PM
Krinkov, hang on - the PO1 is coming in a 40 flavor in one month! The new Compact 40 will be available in both an alloy and steel frame in January, according to the press. I intend on getting on ASAP! I love my PO1, and would love one in 40 just as much!

Krinkov
December 27, 2004, 09:41 PM
Aren't the P0-1 considerably higher in price than a CZ75? The only one I saw on Gunbroker was $650.

If I am going to spend that much then I would consider other weapons.

I thought CZ was a bargain with the price but that seems high.

armoredman
December 27, 2004, 10:25 PM
J&G has PO1s for about $420 or so - $650 is WAY high!

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