Another cracked EAA Witness slide...


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boomer1911a1
January 1, 2008, 10:23 PM
Some of you may remember Wally's troubles. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=308189&highlight=EAA+Witness+10mm
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=307972&highlight=EAA+Witness+10mm
Now it's my turn. See the pix.

I'm planning to return the pistol to EAA this week. I plan to include a copy of my receipt and a cover letter describing round count: less than 500, all Blazer 200-gr. TMJ.

Check out the pictures:

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Blarelli
January 2, 2008, 12:53 AM
Dude, are you trying to keep me away from that New EAA Witness Match I've been wanting? Oh, and I can't see the pictures either.

wally
January 2, 2008, 08:30 PM
Mine has had a happy ending so far. The replacement slide is heavier and has a thicker profile that the original did. Got enough rounds through it about to pronounce it reliable enough for car/truck carry duty, needs one more range outing.

Can't see your pictures.

--wally.

boomer1911a1
January 2, 2008, 10:36 PM
I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Blarelli: I have an Elite Match myself and it seems to be holding up perfectly. But it does drop its magazine for no good reason about every five shots... Should probably send that one back for a standard magazine release that doesn't stick out so far.

boomer1911a1
January 7, 2008, 02:27 PM
Let's try again on the pictures...

sturmgewehr
January 7, 2008, 02:51 PM
When did they start to shave so much metal off of the slides like the one pictured? Mine is an older 10mm and the slide is much beefier than the one pictured. You're looks like it has lightening cuts running almost the full length of the slide.

jfh
January 7, 2008, 06:46 PM
As sturmgewehr says, "When did they start to shave so much metal off the slides?..."

I have an older full-frame .45ACP SS, and the profile is not relieved. Neither is it on the older small full frame .40S&W, on the 10mm top end I bought last summer, nor on the Elite Match 10 mm. I bought today.

FWIW, the 10mm Elite Matches are available again. Get 'em while they are--

Jim H.

wally
January 7, 2008, 07:55 PM
When did they start to shave so much metal off of the slides like the one pictured? Mine is an older 10mm and the slide is much beefier than the one pictured. You're looks like it has lightening cuts running almost the full length of the slide.


Mine that cracked was also the new rounded profile slide. They replaced it with the "old style" squared profile slide. Been fine so far, mine was a compact which takes more of a beating.

The Elite Match are great guns, just hope you get good magazines, if not search for my thread and you can generally make them work.

--wally.

shooter1
January 7, 2008, 08:10 PM
As sturmgewehr says, "When did they start to shave so much metal off the slides?..."

I was going to ask the same question. I have three of the full size Witness pistols. None of which have the slide cuts like the one pictured. Mine are not new, I've had them about four years.
str1

1911Tuner
January 7, 2008, 08:30 PM
That's the likely spot for a slide to crack, by the way...especially on a locked-breech pistol. I've busted about a half-dozen 1911 slides in that same spot, and have seen probabably a dozen with the same thing.

hksw
January 7, 2008, 09:23 PM
Judging by wally's results, I'll bet they go back to the old profile.

possum
January 8, 2008, 12:21 AM
sorry to hear that. man that really sucks.

roscoe
January 8, 2008, 03:17 AM
This is exactly whi I cannot bring myself to buy a 10mm Witness. Too bad, I do love my CZ75.

boomer1911a1
January 8, 2008, 09:53 AM
I can't remember Wally's turnaround time, but I just got my pistol back after six days gone. That was much better than I was expecting. Almost makes the irritation of having to pay my own shipping worth it.

I, too, was taken aback when I saw the pistol for the first time out of the box. I had been expecting the old-style square-edged slide as pictured in their literature and on the website. After a few days adjustment (and shooting) I decided I liked the slimmer profile. Whoops! Looks like there's a price to pay for it. Whatever the case, now I DO have the thicker, slab-side slide, just like Wally. If this one cracks, I'm going to have the next one cryogenically treated by "Angel Sword" http://www.metalscience.com/ , and see if that improves things.

I wouldn't expect them to make the thicker, blockier slide standard, however. I suspect they save money on the thinner, rounded one and if most people buy the thing, load it, and stick it in a drawer, no one is the wiser. It's only us actual shooters who encounter these problems.

Was EAA's Customer Service as bad as everyone says it is?
Not for me, but I had the benefit of Wally's experience to guide me, and I never talked to a gunsmith/repair technician. I just followed the instructions on the website FAQs and was rewarded with a repaired gun in less than a week. PRO: quick return. CON: I shelled out about $65, total shipping.

Would I buy another EAA Witness?
Sure, but I'll stick with the higher-end Elite series. Gorgeous, accurate, and -- thus far, knock-on-wood -- durable. Now if I can just keep the mags in place...

jfh
January 8, 2008, 10:55 AM
Well, that was a quick resolution. Some observations here--

1. I've never had to deal with EAA's repair services--my first two were bought in "the old days," before EAA committed itself to a low-price strategy, and have never needed service. The 'compact' full-frame Carry Comp package also got an aftermarket Storm Lake (?) non-comp match barrel and a trigger job, and springs, of course--not done by me, but by a 'smith. (I've changed recoil springs as needed for the loads / barrel mix.)

2. Given the source, remember that Italians are (industrial) design conscious--even in firearms. Since I don't see how the slide profile on boomer1911a1's is cheaper to make (except in the standard find-the-cheapest-subcontractor-dodge), you gotta wonder why they did this (aesthetic) redesign.

I've never seen a picture of this variant--is it a slide off the polymer package? Could you put up a picture of the complete pistol?

3. I really haven't followed the magazine issues--i.e., the original SS .45ACP package from twelve-fifteen years ago, with its OEM magazines (I bought extras) have always functioned perfectly.

When I bought the 10mm top end last summer I also bought three more magazines for the 10mm setup; all of them have functioned just fine.

4. The only disappointment I've had was in that 10mm top end--the new finish (which I foolishly ordered) really was tacky, I thought, and the cast-in front sight was poorly done. I hadn't expected match-quality accuracy from a drop-in package--and I didn't get it. It's combat accurate at 15 yards / 50 feet (3"+-), and I also have not sorted out a specific reload recipe for it. But, the function is 100%.

5. I do note that the bushingless-design on the new Elite Match also has a large tolerance, and I wonder how that will affect accuracy. I sorted out target-type loads years ago for 10mm--typically 231 at about 4.9-5.2 gr. under a 180 or 200 LSWC / LTC that proved accurate in nearly all my 10s; I found a new-but-similar load last summer using Speer 180-gr FMJs that I used for barrel-burnishing on my Kimber ST II 10mm that was scarily accurate in that gun--under 2.5" at 50 yards. I've ordered out another 500 of those bullets for burnishing up / breaking in the Elite Match 10.

6. Finally, the Elite Match 10 begs comparison with the Kimber ST II 10, so I'll write that up after some range time. I considered the Kimber package, at twice the price, to be a fair deal--but I come from 1911 days when you had to build up a receiver to get all the goodies. Given the price of the Elite Match--one-half that of the Kimber, it's an astoundingly good package, and high-capacity to boot. All with 1911 ergonomics, no less.

Jim H.

boomer1911a1
January 8, 2008, 12:44 PM
Jim:

I've attached some pictures of the original slide that cracked, shown for comparison with the Elite Match. The replacement slide falls midway between the two in terms of thickness and shoulder drop-off. I haven't photo'd the new slide. Maybe if he's listening, Wally will grace us with some pictures of his. If not, I'll try to snap some before the weekend.

Since I don't see how the slide profile on boomer1911a1's is cheaper to make (except in the standard find-the-cheapest-subcontractor-dodge), you gotta wonder why they did this (aesthetic) redesign.
Simple: Material cost. The original-spec slide pictured in EAA's catalogue (the replacement for our cracked units) is noticably thicker throughout, and especially in the middle. I didn't weigh mine, but I suspect a measurable difference.
Oh, and, yes, it is the slide off the poly model.

I really haven't followed the magazine issues--i.e., the original SS .45ACP package from twelve-fifteen years ago, with its OEM magazines (I bought extras) have always functioned perfectly.
Apparently, some were made with black followers, and were poorly executed. People always say look for the red followers. I have no personal experience with this issue. I will say that with the faster action (or at least "snappier" action) provided by the stronger recoil springs, the stock magazine springs tend to not push the next round up fast enough. The Wolff +10% units have fixed this I THINK. Testing will resume next week.


Thanks for the reply, and post target pix. Both of my 10s slightly edge out my .45s in accuracy, but it's an apples-to-oranges-to-hamburgers comparison...

jfh
January 8, 2008, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the pics, boomer1911A1. While my .45 ACP Witness looks almost identical to your top pistol, it doesn't have that slide. You're right, of course, about materials-cost savings; I hadn't considered that and was thinking only of machining operations and not about precision-cast benefits for cost.

I just re-organized my EAA pistol kit for the range, and I checked out the mags. The original ones (.45ACP) have black followers, and the ones bought last summer (10mm) have the red ones. These latter ones seem to fit just fine in the new Elite Match 10mm. FWIW, all of the mags have the "T" (Tanfolglio) logo stamped ont he RH side.

I didn't make it to the range today, but maybe tomorrow--

Jim H.

Seven For Sure
January 8, 2008, 08:11 PM
My 10mm Witness Compact in wonderfinish slide cracked with less than 100 rds. through it. EAA are the biggest scum in the industry. They won't look at it because I lost the receipt. I bought it from a seller on Guns America named Hank. He's a scumbag too.

hankdatank1362
January 8, 2008, 08:20 PM
named Hank. He's a scumbag too.


Why is everyone looking at me?

wally
January 9, 2008, 09:33 PM
Now if I can just keep the mags in place...

Check if the mag baseplates interfere with the mag fully seating. I've more than a few baseplates that were a tad too thick on top for the Elite guns to lock in fully, they were all fine in the standard steel frame as there is a gap between the bottom of the frame and the baseplate that is missing on the Elite guns.

A few strokes of a large file on top of the baseplate should solve the issue.

My compact was repaired 7 days, FedEx drop-off, back to my door.
--wally.

boomer1911a1
January 10, 2008, 10:21 AM
Wally:
That's exactly what a guy over at 10mmTalk just told me. I'm going to sand them down this afternoon.

Thanks!

jfh
January 11, 2008, 01:11 AM
I made it to the range today, and I did a quick comparison test fire of these two pistols I own, side-by-side.

See the preceding posts about this. I'll write up a new post for a mini-review and post a couple of pictures. As a teaser, I'll say this:

1. I paid $950.00 for the Kimber last July, and I considered that a fair deal. It was tight and required the manufacturer-recommended 500-round break-in. By round 350, it was really accurate with the 180TMJ / 231 barely-major load I used to burnish the barrel--it could hit bowling pin heads at 50 yards, reliably.

2. I paid $479.00 for the EAA Elite Match 10mm this last Monday. I've fired about 80 rounds so far, using the one magazine that came with it, and three of the mags I purchased last summer when I bought a 10mm slide assembly. Function with those same reloads, in all four magazines, was a solid 100%. Accuracy is yet to be determined, but it appears to be a bit less accurate than the Kimber (maybe 2" at 25 yards), but it's too early to tell.

The trigger has less creep in it than the Kimber does. Both could use a bit of work, but neither are near 'bad'--both are about 5 lbs, I think. The overall fit and finish is not as good as the Kimber, but there is nothing wrong with it--just done to a bit lower specification.

The short version: If the Kimber was worth $950.00, then the Elite Match is worth $700.00. It's a helluva good pistol, with functionally the same ergonomics as the 1911--and noticably less recoil as well.

Jim H.

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