EAA Witness .45AP


April 30, 2012, 10:59 PM
Does anyone know anything about this gun? It is being spotlighted right now on Gallery of Guns and we are interested in it. Any info would be appreciated! :D


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April 30, 2012, 11:23 PM
What would you like to know? It looks like the black version of their Steel Witness line. Nothing wrong with them but a Match is a nice step up. I clicked on the link and they are $504... a little more you can get a Match.

May 1, 2012, 12:44 AM

Thanks for posting! I hope you enjoy being a member of The High Road!

May 1, 2012, 02:01 AM
The Witness is a very modern design based on the CZ75, but updated to include adaptability to a wide range of cartridges on the same frame. If you get the .45 ACP version, you can get conversion kits of a complete barrel, slide and magazine in .22LR, 9x19, .38 Super, .40 S&W, and 10mm Auto that will fit your frame for around $250. The ergonomics and accuracy of the Witness line are very good, the fit and finish of the Witness I own, and several that I've handled, are excellent.

May 1, 2012, 08:10 AM

Google "EAA" and "Customer service" before you buy.

Witness pistols are well designed and made (for the most part), but their US distributor has the worst reputation in the industry for CS.

The high-end guns seem to do much better that the standard pistols.

Walt Sherrill
May 1, 2012, 08:20 AM
I've had several of the .45 Witnesses. CS is a real concern, but most of them are absolutely trouble-free.

I would buy used. You can often find a good Witness .45 for way under $400. If you must have new, look at the Witness "Match" line, or at the CZ-97B.

May 1, 2012, 07:13 PM
renee, 5/2/12

As with any new purchase, guns or otherwise, it is good to handle and shoot a number of different pistols to see which fits you best. The best way is to find a range that rents different guns or find a friend who will let you try different pistols (most shooters are happy to help out nonshooters).

Regarding the EAA pistols- some of the higher end pistols seem to work well. I bought two of their stock Wonder finished pistols in .45 and both suffered frame and slide metal cracking at low round counts. EAA refused to honor their "lifetime" warranty and repair or replace them. For that reason I have never bought any other EAA products and do not recommend them to others. There is another thread about EAA pistols on THR's sister website, www.thefiringline.com, which is worth reading. So do some research and good luck in your decision.

best wishes- oldandslow

May 1, 2012, 07:27 PM
Go with the CZ97.

May 2, 2012, 02:53 PM
My full size, steel, wonder finished, old style, square slide version has about 10,000 rounds through it. Still accurate, no cracks, and fun to fire. Bought it slightly used in 2003 for $300. Never could figure out why the guy bought it, shot less than a 100 rounds and sold it. Guess he was scared of cracking the slide? His loss, my gain.

Owen Sparks
May 2, 2012, 03:07 PM
I borrowed one to try that I was thinking about buying. I really liked the way it fit my hand but after it jamed a couple of times I changed my mind and gave it back to the owner. Shortly afterward I bought an XD .45 and never looked back.

May 2, 2012, 04:49 PM
I owned a Cz-97 and can tell you, it is physically bigger than the Witness and really only fits big hands - I mean really big hands. The Tanfoglio product is a great pistol, fits the hand better, and is less expensive. Used ones are not expensive and mine have all held up great.

Walt Sherrill
May 2, 2012, 05:01 PM
I owned a Cz-97 and can tell you, it is physically bigger than the Witness and really only fits big hands - I mean really big hands.

The grip area of the CZ-97 is noticeably larger than the Witness line, and it was too big for my hand, back then, when I had one. Since then, however, there are thinner grips available, and Schmeky (cajungunworks.com) has a tweaked trigger that can shorten the pull a bit. So the 97 is an option for some, still.

The Tanfoglio guns ARE a good option, if you have no concern about EAA's terrible customer service reputation. I've had several and never a problem. But, when there are problems, they tend to turn people COMPLETELY OFF the Witness line of guns (or EAA).

I can't tell you how many different stories I've heard of EAA denying warranty coverage for guns that failed, and not even looking at the guns. At least one real jerk is in a key management position at EAA...and as I understand it, it's a family-run business, so the jerk is among those who own the business.

May 3, 2012, 06:27 AM
I had to send one in, and while the customer-service guy was gruff, they fixed it. Now, that was 15 years ago, and in the following decade-and-a-half, I have had no reason to return one.

My 97 was not just thick, but it was long in the grip. The steel fore-and-aft was long. That annoyed me, because I have never been a big EAA fan, but like Tanfoglio pistols. I have one product with EAA's stamp on it, but the rest of mine don't. My Springfield Armory P9 in 45acp as well as my own Tanfoglio P45 and Jericho, are all Tanfoglio pistols sans the EAA stamp. I picked up the 97 with the idea that I could get my CZ-based 45 and not have an EAA name on anything. But I just couldn't grip it well at all. Why that is, I cannot rightfully say. They use the same magazine after all - but Tanfoglio dispensed with the magazine brake, which could be where the needless bulk comes in. I disappointedly sold that 97 and stuck with Tanfoglio, despite EAA (not because of troubles with them, I just don't like their sleezy advertising that makes me think I have to rent their whiskey sodden, stale-cigarette filled rooms by the hour.

I realized with that experience that I really do prefer the Tanfoglios and stick with them despite EAA. In 9mm, it is nicer because you can get a small-frame 9mm Tanfoglio through Rock Island Arsenal as the MAPP series pistols. The Sarsilmaz guns out of Turkey are based on Turkey's Tanfoglio contract (but imported by EAA) and the failure of the AR-24 (if only Armalite had introduced a 45 version...).

May 4, 2012, 10:35 PM
That price is not the sale price, I got a quote of 359.99. They did not last long there was around 50 this morning and they sold out by 5:00pm.

May 5, 2012, 10:26 PM
Hello Guys,

This question is particularly for Ash or Walt Sherril, but really anyone with the info is appreciated by me with an answer.

Ash...In your previous post you mentioned the small frame MAPP. I have one of the Italian .40 cal. Tanfoglios. I believe it is either a "Force Carry" or "Force Police. It is a poly gun.

It looks just like the pictures posted on "Centerfire" of the MAPP pistols, except mine says "Made in Italy" on the frame. Is my pistol one of the small frames that you (Ash) refer to? What is the difference in the large frame and the small frame? With the small frame .40, can I purchase conversion uppers?

I own a few different handguns. Most certainly some feed all types of ammo a little more reliably, but absolutely nothing points better, or feels better in my hand than the Tanfoglio.

Thanks much,


Walt Sherrill
May 5, 2012, 10:43 PM
All of the guns mentioned, including the CZ, use the same basic ergonomic/user-friendly design; they point very naturally for MOST shooters. Some claim that the Baby Eagles (also the same basic design) are better than the Tanfoglio or CZ when it comes to ergonomics. The Tanfoglio .45s (which includes the Witness lines) are slightly smaller than the CZ .45 in the grip area. Another exceptionally nice .45 is the ASAI ONE PRO, imported by Magnum Research some years back. (Had one of those, too.) If you like how the Tanfoglios feel in your hands, you'll like the CZ, too.

The difference between the guns with a Tanfoglio rollmark and an EAA marking is mostly customer service -- the guns come from the same factories. The EAA guns have a couple of minor differences, but those could have been initiated by Tanfoglio -- to lower production costs.

If your gun is several years old, it's most likely a small-frame gun, as nearly all of the .40s, until relatively recently, were based on the 9mm/.40 frame. The easiest way to tell is compare the magazines to a standard 9mm or .40 mag; for the larger-framed guns, the mags are BIGGER (width), and won't come close to fitting in the standard 9mm/.40 frame. The smaller mags will just fall out of the .45-sized frames.

May 5, 2012, 10:47 PM
the failure of the AR-24 (if only Armalite had introduced a 45 version...).

They were going to, as the AR-26. Don't know why that never happened.

Wish Armalite was selling the K2's instead of EAA.

May 5, 2012, 11:09 PM
Walt, thanks for the reply.

You and Ash seem to be some of the most knowledgable about the Tanfoglio line, and I appreciate your feedback.

Mine was purchased brand new a few months ago. Having said this...Would my pistol be a large frame? NIB with Tanfoglio markings and Tanfoglio lime green hardshell case? Can I buy a 9mm (or other) conversion for it?

Walt Sherrill
May 6, 2012, 08:20 AM
There's no way I could even GUESS. You can probably call EAA with a serial number, and they can probably give you an answer. (They do some service on Tanfoglio guns, too.)

As I mentioned in my last response, if you have another 9mm or .40 handgun, compare those magazines to the mag from your poly gun. If the two mags are similar in size, you've probably got a small-frame gun. If the poly gun's mag is much larger, you've arguably got a large-frame model. If you had a .45, there'd be no question.

I am not very familiar with the polymer-framed Tanfoglio guns -- I've only handled them, and not shot them. I don't even know if the slides are interchangeable with the steel models -- and, can add nothing about whether a conversion kit is available. I'm pretty sure, however, that the conversion kits now available, new, from EAA for Witness guns are for the large-frame guns.

May 6, 2012, 08:40 AM
I had a Witness Compact P .45acp. Darn nice gun. Bought it slightly used, but still did a polish job on all mating surfaces(not really necessary, just me being bored), and never had a miss fire, stovepipe, or any other hiccup.The only reason I traded it was to get a full size pistol.
According to Tanfoglio's website, all of the polymer guns have thelarge frame deminsions and will accept all caliber interchange kits, while the all metal frames come in both large and small sizes depending on caliber, and depending on frame size will only accept certain swaps.

Walt Sherrill
May 6, 2012, 09:11 AM
Okiegunner: There's your answer, thanks to Don357... at least with regard to the Witness guns. I suspect the other Tanfoglio polymers are similar.

If you're still unsure, a quick call to EAA customer service should resolve this for you.

(It might even be mentioned in a user's manual, if you have one. If you don't, you may find one on one of the sites that offers FREE downloads of user manuals.)

May 6, 2012, 09:40 AM
Don is right. The trouble with identifying large vs small frame would be the simple fact a large-frame pistol ten years ago could have been converted to 9mm, which meant it was a large-frame 9mm - available at the same time as the small-frame 9's. While many (including me) like the smaller frame for the 9mm, it really cut down confusion with new pistols when EAA started importing large-frame only pistols. The legacy pistols, on the other hand, hold up so well that we will have large frame, small frame, confusion until all who post on this forum are gone from old age.

As an aside, Tanfoglio introduced the large frame in order to build a 45acp version (and then followed on with 10mm). Tanfoglio was so successful with a CZ-based 45, that CZ was forced to introduce their own competition in the CZ-97. It is telling that CZ (as well as the Swiss company ASAI) chose to build their pistols around Tanfoglio's magazine. I personally consider the 45acp Tanfoglio magazine to be among the best double-stack 45acp magazine designs out there (though consider MecGar to be the best manufacturer of said magazines).

Walt Sherrill
May 6, 2012, 10:01 AM
I think the larger-framed CZ-75 IPSC (which is an earlier version of the current Tactical Sport) predates the CZ-97 by a number of years.

I suspect the growing interest in IPSC in Europe pushed CZ into developing a larger framed gun (with it's much greater mag capacity). The CZ-97 might also be seen as a child of the IPSC model, rather than solely a response to the Tanfoglio .45. (I don't think .45s are all that popular anywhere but the U.S.)

May 6, 2012, 10:52 AM
Actually, Tanfoglio's and others interchangable caliber feature came about as an answer to most European (read socialist) countries that do allow gun ownership, restricting ownership to only 1 handgun. Interchangable barrel/slide kits allow multiple caliber usage from the same registered serial numbered frame, which was/is extremely favored by competition shooters in those countries.
I miss my Witness, and would re-trade what I took in trade to get one again. Which was a FEG GKK .45 5" barrel, by the way.

May 6, 2012, 01:21 PM
Don, coincidentally, I sold my GKK 45 to get my first Witness way back when! As to the 45, the CZ-97, as far as I know, is only offered in that caliber and is built around the Tanfoglio magazine. The reasons? Well, I'll not pretend to work at CZ so I'll let wiser folks explain better.

May 6, 2012, 06:07 PM
I bought a "collection" of Witness compact slides and barrels from a former salesman at EAA who went to work for another company that told him to "get that stuff out of your car"... The .45 barrel and slide set makes a nice gun, as does the 10MM sets I got. The "wonder finish" looks good, and the "long slide" makes a 10MM that really rocks. They are some of my favorite outfits to shoot.


May 6, 2012, 08:51 PM
To all,

Thanks for your answers and replies.

May 7, 2012, 09:39 PM
Hey Ash, intrested in a GKK 45???

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