Tanfoglia 38 Super - EAA Whitness 38 Super


amazon shooter
December 24, 2010, 05:32 PM
I need some words of wisdom from those who have owned the Tanfoglia 38 Super (EAA Whitness in .38 super in the USA).

I live in South America and the Tanfoglia 38 Super is available to civilians.

Unfortunately, having problems with your pistol down here is your worst nightmare - who's going to fix it?.

Question 1: Is the Tanfoglia 38 Super known to be trouble free?

Question 2: If purchased, is there anything that should be changed to improve its reliability?

Question 3: Am I just buying myself a nightmare?

Question 4: What is the most reliable 38 Super out of the box - A Colt?

Ammo - I'll roll my own.

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December 24, 2010, 05:44 PM
I really like my Taurus PT-1911 in .38Super, but I've not shot it enough to really recommend it to someone who'd have hassles if something goes wrong.

I've had mag issues with all EAA pistols except .45ACP, although I don't have one in .38Super, I only feel comfortable recommending the EAA pistols in .45ACP. The Elite Match series are the best bang/buck.

December 24, 2010, 09:42 PM
Not sure about the Tanfoglio 38 super but they do make good 45s.

I have a Rock Island Armory 38 super that is not broken in yet. Very accurate though.

Edit: it would be hard to find a Colt 38 super and expensive as well.

December 25, 2010, 08:04 AM
I dont have the Tanfoglio in .38 Super......yet. I do however have a Elite Match in 10mm and LOVE it!! I do plan on getting one in Super 38, but just cant swing it yet. No reliability issues with my 10mm. Kevin.

December 25, 2010, 08:42 AM
I have Tanfoglios in 9mm, 10mm, and .45. I have had no issues other than replacing springs on the 10mm. I actually shoot them better than my beloved Hi Powers and 1911s.

December 25, 2010, 08:51 AM
I have a EAA Witness .40 S&W Match, I've never had any problems with it. Tanfoglio's service has gotten better, but if you are worried I'd get the American Gunsmithing Institute's armorer's video. There are a lot of parts suppliers online. Short of damaging your frame you should be able to repair most problems easily.

DT Guy
December 25, 2010, 09:17 AM
I've had a small-frame 9mm Witness and a large frame .45 Witness, both of which were trouble-free and great.

I had a .38 Super Witness that never fed more than 10 rounds without feeding problems (I suspect it's the mags, although I used both OEM and Mec-Gar magazines) that I could never resolve. In fact, the 10 rounds was with 9x23; the .38 super never went more than 6-7.

I eventually gave up and sold at a loss, and also completely gave up on Witness pistols. YMMV.


December 25, 2010, 10:26 AM
Only problem you might have would be with mag. feed issues and that is very fixable with just some tuneing and detailing of them if needed. Is yours a newer full size pistol? if so do you might be able to buy other uppers for it to change calibers also. The witness 28super being fully supported chambers do shoot 9-23 also in avalible down your way. Not many pistol under several thousand dollars can shoot with the witness pistols for accuracy. Check out henningshootsguns for accesories and info and brian enoss eaa forum .

December 25, 2010, 12:42 PM
I have a Witness .38 Super that I've had for about 8-9 years. I have a couple of thousand rounds through it. No problems so far.

Make sure you have someone who can work on it if something breaks.

My standard load:
125 gr plated FP bullet
8.6 gr of Blue Dot
CCI 550 primer
1180 fps

Not a hot load by any means, but it runs 100% in my gun and is very accurate.

DT Guy
December 25, 2010, 12:50 PM
Japle, is that a large or small frame?

I was really hoping to like my 38S Witness, and very disappointed when I couldn't tune, tweak or swap enough to make it work.


December 26, 2010, 09:46 AM

It's the large frame. As far as I know, They never made a small frame Super.

What problems are you having with yours?

December 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
Here is the "typical" EAA Witness issue:


This one happens to be .40S&W in the "large frame" Witness-P but the mags do not hold the rounds firmly enough and they often slip out under recoil leading to ejection of a live round (but no jam) or this failure were the nose pops up above the chamber. The short rounds (9mm & .40S&W) exacerbate the problem but I've seen this with some mags in all calibers except .45ACP (and .38Super which I don't have).

Its also fairly common to have mags where the rounds nose-dive into the feed ramp. This is generally easily fixed by bending the feed lips in a bit, but then you usually have to file the sides of the follower so it comes up high enough to lock back on the last shot.

It may seem counter productive to squeeze the lips in if the rounds hit low (and it is backwards from what you need to do with a 1911 mag) but the tapper of the 9mm & .40S&W case needs a slight opposite taper in the mag feed lips to cam the bullet nose up as the round moves forward in feeding.

December 26, 2010, 05:22 PM
Wally Not all have problems,some never had any. People need to spend as much or more time when they buy a pistol on the cleaning and debureing the mags and checking measurements on the followers as they would on learning to disassemble and clean the pistols. I learned 30 years ago with a old argentina 1911 how to make mags work by a old army guy and still do the same thing today with ever mag i get. Even my 22's. I don't have may measurements any more,they went with the witness i had but all were set to the same width front and rear. Checked with one round and full to see if the angles were the same and that they would feed slowly by hand with 1 round and full. File the edges all around the follower and clean and very lighly coat with a synthetic oil. But i do the same thing with glocks ruger and colt 22's and the KT i have. Just don't have mag problems. There were some measurements at Brian enoss eaa forum that has some widths for different calibers. about a year ago. Maybe henningshootsguns can help there too. Might search there if needed. My witness was a 40sw and a 9mm upper kit.

December 26, 2010, 05:48 PM
Yes even Jennings let a few slip out that worked out of the box, but the original poster is in a location where service and support will be a hassle and wants out of the box usability.

I don't mind tinkering, and have got my Witness pistols mostly working but only the .45ACP would I recommend to one in the OP's position.

People need to spend as much or more time when they buy a pistol on the cleaning and debureing the mags and checking measurements on the followers as they would on learning to disassemble and clean the pistols Major disagreement here, if material has to be removed, or metal bent or reshaped to make it work, the manufacture has failed in their QA/QC duty and it should not be buyer's job to learn how to fix it!

Your happiness with EAA pistols will depend on your luck of the draw on their magazines. The more spares you buy, the less your chances of being totally happy.

Here is the package insert that comes with every spare mag you get from them:

Not a confidence builder!

December 26, 2010, 06:19 PM
I had 4 mags in each caliber and had to do nothing that anyone can do with tools you have at home if needed. May 8 mags all ran fine with just a debureing and cleaning. Did not need to move the feed lips like i have had to do on 1911's in years gone buy. I don't run many different hp loads but do use the same 2 mags just for them but all four for match night and both calibers ran 200 rounds with both the 40 cal georgia arms 165gr gold dot loads and 9mm 124gr hornady cd. hard ball is what ever is on sale. Mags were made mec-gar for tanfogleo. The tread starter will not be dealing with EAA in South America. That where most problems start and stop not with tanfogleo. All guetions i had before buying were deal with by the tech/smith guy and took his time helping me out. Some people get all worked up and he will treat you like ,a, poop. Don't like them,go buy something else but don't knock them more than you would S&W today. I am one that did not have any problem. This gets like listening to KT whinners. Today S&W, ruger and taurus have built some junk, that should not happen at those prices.

January 1, 2011, 07:23 PM
Well Amazon Shooter you have a pretty wide range of responses here - - don't know how you will decide.

I have two Tanfoglias in .38 Super; one is a Witness Match, and the other is a Witness Polymer that I bought as a 9mm with a convertible top side in .38 Super - - I shoot it almost exclusively in .38 SA.

I've had the guns for just over a year, and have put in a lot of range time without any problems with either one - - except a couple of FTF with the Polymer, using 9mm Double Tap HP ammo. Everything else I've tried has fed reliably and fired reliably. Both guns were dead on, right out of the box. Cannot tell you about repairs - - haven't needed any. Very simple guns though - - any gunsmith should be able to fix just about any problem. Customer service gets a lot of negative press - - hasn't been my experience though. I'm told that they stock common parts, and they responded quickly to my request for the .38 Super conversion. and ... this is a great caliber!

amazon shooter
January 1, 2011, 08:24 PM
Hi Guys,

I thank all of you for sharing your experiences with me. I will used this forum and a video for any repair work required and wing it from there.

Thanks again.

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