EAA Sucky CS


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Dakotared
January 3, 2013, 10:04 PM
So I just sent in my 10mm in for warranty repair because when the safety is on you can pull the trigger and the gun goes into half cock. The Wonder finish is flaking off the bottom of the slide by the lockup lugs and they sent it back and fixed nothing!! I had to pay shipping down there and send $20 to get it back! So yup the CS there SUCKS!!!. I love the gun but really the safety is broke and they ship it back not fixed!! Yes I am the original owner of the gun, they never 1 time called, emailed, sent a smoke signal anything. I will call down there tomarrow morning but right now I am pissed off.

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Snowdog
January 4, 2013, 05:17 AM
LOL!

Not meaning to offend, but historically European American Arms has among the absolute worst customer service in the industry.

I had quite a frustrating dealing with them years ago (chronicled at TFL) and ultimately gave up on them as it was apparent they didn't give a poop about their defective product (Witness Compact .40S&W, wonder finish).

All three times (yes, 3 times!) I received the pistol back with the same defective safety that still wouldn't feed more than 2 consecutive rounds. This was accompanied by a note saying "test fired, ok". Yeah, right.

I hope you have better luck than I did.

itchy1
January 4, 2013, 08:49 AM
You are not alone. Their CS makes even the DMV seem like Disneyworld. There are just too many other options out there to waste time and money with EAA.

Pilot
January 4, 2013, 09:36 AM
I really would like a 9MM Witmess Elite Match, but these stories are a but daunting. Guess I'll just go with the CZ SP-01 Shadow, as I have had great experiences with CZ products and CZ USA Customer Service.

Robert101
January 4, 2013, 01:23 PM
Did you know how bad the CS was before your purchase?

snooperman
January 4, 2013, 01:29 PM
Their customer service has improved but not good enough.

Fryerpower
January 4, 2013, 01:31 PM
So we are not talking about the Experimental Aircraft Association?

I got all excited when I saw EAA listed on a gun site!

Jim

ATLDave
January 4, 2013, 04:04 PM
Bummer. I've had two decent experiences in the last year with their CS, hate to hear that it's spotty. Did you talk to them before sending in the gun? Did you include a note? Not trying to cast any blame, just trying to see whether there's something to avoid in any of my future interactions with them.

Japle
January 4, 2013, 05:39 PM
Stories like yours have been cropping up for at least a decade. I've had such bad experiences that I sold two of my Witness pistols and don't shoot the other one, because EAA refuses to fix it.

Stringfellow
January 4, 2013, 07:29 PM
I really would like a 9MM Witmess Elite Match, but these stories are a but daunting. Guess I'll just go with the CZ SP-01 Shadow, as I have had great experiences with CZ products and CZ USA Customer Service.

My exact predicament as well.

cuba
January 4, 2013, 10:25 PM
Yeah customer service @ EAA isn't very good cause its a one man band, and depending on which side the bed he gets off determines what kind of service you'll get that day, I had a SS 45 acp Witness sports from 1992 till 2009 good gun, slide cracked (terrible customer service) they replaced it with the cheapest 45 acp slide barrel combo they had at hand, didn't even try to provide the wonder finish or anything bright as a replacement for a solid stainless original, finally gave up and sold it to relatives, (I like) they're happy.

shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun

Dakotared
January 5, 2013, 11:48 AM
Well I called in yesterday and on about the 6th call I finally got a hold of some one. I got put on hold and talked with a guy (assume it was the gun smith). I asked why nothing was fixed and he said it did not leave his place with a broke safety, and if I try to pull the trigger hard enough with the safety on I can brake it and I must have done that. Many times back and forth he finally said to send it back in. I asked if they would pay for the shipping due to the fact that I just got the gun back the day before. He said it depends on what they find, they may reimburse me. (not holding breath on that one.)

And to answer some other questions Yes I included a letter on what was wrong. I have been nice and kind with every interaction with them. I am trying to not piss them off and give them a personal reason to not fix the gun.

And no I did not know about the CS problems others have had when I bought the gun. I truly love the gun and think the witness line up is some of the best guns made. I still want to buy more witness guns I just hope this experience does not kill it for me.

Walt Sherrill
January 5, 2013, 01:10 PM
If you have non-catastrophic problems in the future, it may be cheaper to have a local gunsmith fix the problem (no shipping costs.) Forget the warranty -- unless it's parts they can send you.

Jaymo
January 5, 2013, 11:33 PM
Safeties are cheap enough, that I'd replace them myself.

Okiegunner
January 6, 2013, 12:57 AM
Sorry to hear about the CS. I had heard that it had improved. Guess not.

saturno_v
January 6, 2013, 06:26 AM
EAA claim another victim!!

Unbelievable people still buy their products....I will never ever get tired to repeat all the time that I would not let EAA manage a lemonade stand, forget about selling firearms.....

Patrice
January 6, 2013, 09:30 AM
Hhmmm....I always love these EAA-CS threads, especially when we're talking 10mm pistols. EAA 10mm...cute, cute, cute w/ good magazine capacity, but the word on EAA has always been questionable quality control (material & assembly) and bad customer service. I used to see some EAA magazines sold in factory-packaging...that indicated the product was sold "as is." {Understandable....I had a friend who was delighted when he heard that the yet to be produces New Bren-Ten would use EAA magazines--he said he had lots of experience fixing them :rolleyes:.]

I have heard that their CS had improved somewhat (i.e., gone from horrible to better). I'm hearing that their CS is now mostly bad.

While I've looked wistfully at EAA 10mm pistols, I've never had the nerve to buy one.--Patrice

pendennis
January 6, 2013, 10:36 AM
I've owned a full-size Witness in .38 Super for about six months, now, and I haven't had so much as a hiccup. Not a single FTF, jam, stove pipe, nothing. I bought it used, so I have no idea of the previous round count, but the 1000 I've put through mine have been nothing but pleasurable, and tack-driving accurate.

Like any "CZ" style semi-auto, it's bulky, but not overly so.

Dakotared
January 6, 2013, 10:07 PM
The witness line up of guns are top notch guns. I love everything about them. As many has said too bad the importer is not a easy guy to deal with.

hAkron
January 6, 2013, 11:16 PM
Hhmmm....I always love these EAA-CS threads, especially when we're talking 10mm pistols. EAA 10mm...cute, cute, cute w/ good magazine capacity, but the word on EAA has always been questionable quality control (material & assembly) and bad customer service. I used to see some EAA magazines sold in factory-packaging...that indicated the product was sold "as is." {Understandable....I had a friend who was delighted when he heard that the yet to be produces New Bren-Ten would use EAA magazines--he said he had lots of experience fixing them :rolleyes:.]

I have heard that their CS had improved somewhat (i.e., gone from horrible to better). I'm hearing that their CS is now mostly bad.

While I've looked wistfully at EAA 10mm pistols, I've never had the nerve to buy one.--Patrice

There are no EAA magazines. There are Tanfoglio magazines that work in the Tanfoglio Witness pistols which are imported by EAA. As far as I know, Tanfoglio magazines are made by Mec-Gar, which OEM magazines for a number of European manufactured guns and are generally accepted as being top notch. Tanfoglio does do a much better job on their upper tier guns, but the base guns do sometimes leave the nest with issues. The problem is that if you are an American buyer, you are at the mercy of EAA, the importer to do the repairs. Unless its something you can fix locally.

Walt Sherrill
January 7, 2013, 10:19 AM
Some of the Witness mags I've seen and used were made by Mec-Gar, and carried Mec-Gar markings on several different .45s I owned (including a Sport Long Slide that I really liked.) I don't remember how the mags for the smaller-framed guns were marked, but I don't remember any of them being made by Mec-Gar. (Hard to say with used guns, as you don't always know WHERE the mags came from.)

I've had a bunch of Witnesses over the years, and never really had grounds for complaint. My few interactions with CS was for parts which weren't covered by warranty, and those went smoothly.

All that said, I am hesitant to buy a NEW Witness because of the continuing (although now less frequent) horror stories about customer service when there is some sort of major problem with an EAA gun.

EAA doesn't seem to realize that they could suck it up, and pay for a couple of big problems, and increase their sales substantially. Particularly when most of the those "big" problems seem to be design-related issues.

Hi-Point, a low-end gun maker has an infinitely better customer service reputation, and continues to stay in business and (by implication) remains profitable despite their stellar performance in dealing with customers.

I think Tanfoglio makes fine guns, but the Tanfoglio-made Witnesses guns seem to have some tweaks and mods that EAA specifies for those guns they import that may make EAA the source of the problems and the likely source of the solutions.

Buck13
January 7, 2013, 12:39 PM
I think Tanfoglio makes fine guns, but the Tanfoglio-made Witnesses guns seem to have some tweaks and mods that EAA specifies for those guns they import that may make EAA the source of the problems and the likely source of the solutions.

Can you give more details on this, or links to other discussions?

Walt Sherrill
January 7, 2013, 01:11 PM
Can you give more details on this, or links to other discussions?

I read all of this some years back, so don't know of any links or sources that I can cite.

It was my understanding that some some of the the EAA/Witness guns, especially the 10mm versions, were built primarily for the U.S. market -- with features unique to these guns. The .45/10mm models are much less in demand in Europe. The guns cited as being problematic are almost always 10mm guns, with a few .45s thrown in...

When problems arose, it seemed to be these guns, only -- and primarily the 10mm versions. A couple of changes have since been made over the years to the 10mm and .45 slide design to address problems with slide breakage/cracking in a number of these larger-caliber variants.

At one time I had a .45 Long Slide with a second 10mm (non-Long Slide) top end. Mine was trouble-free, but decided I didn't need the 10mm unit, and sold them. Much later, I traded the .45. The .45s I now have are a SIG P220 Super Match and a Glock 38.

Japle
January 7, 2013, 03:12 PM
Posted by Pendennis:I've owned a full-size Witness in .38 Super for about six months, now, and I haven't had so much as a hiccup. Not a single FTF, jam, stove pipe, nothing. I bought it used, so I have no idea of the previous round count, but the 1000 I've put through mine have been nothing but pleasurable, and tack-driving accurate.

Hmmm, I sold a full-size Witness Super last year. If it's the same gun, it's a good one. Accurate and dependable. I only sold it because I couldn't bear the thought of ever having to deal with EAA again.

I have another Witness, a .45 that "has issues". It often locks the slide back with rounds still in the mag. EAA's "gunsmith" told me (without asking a single question) that the warranty was void because I'd been shooting +P+ handloads in it. That was a lie, but I didn't get a chance to say so. He hung up on me.

Walt Sherrill
January 7, 2013, 03:26 PM
If you still own the .45 Witness:

1) check the slide stop spring -- which may be weak, alloiwng it to be too easily moved by rounds or the gun's inertia.

2) examine the slide stop in the place where the follower pushes it up, when the mag is empty.

If you see marks on that nub, it may be that the stop is out of spec and needs to be filed down a bit. I had this problem, way back, with a CZ -- there was lead/copper on that extension showing that it was being hit by rounds during the cycle.

If you hand load and your rounds are a little to long (OAL), or if the slide stop is out of spec, the slide may be pushed up when rounds are still in the mag.

ryno31
January 8, 2013, 12:43 AM
I bought my 2003 import date EAA full size .45 witness heavily used and so far it's been an amazingly accurate and reliable gun. I remember having alot of apprehension about EAA customer service after I bought it but the few emails I've sent asking questions were always immediately answered however I have no plans to contact EAA if anything goes wrong. I'll either sell it at a loss or pay out of pocket. It really is a shame that EAA remains the importer of the gun, I think if a company like Kahr, or even Ruger would import it that the Witness line of pistols would sky rocket in popularity and profitability.

Japle
January 8, 2013, 04:10 PM
Walt,

Thanks, but I've tried everything you mentioned and much more. I know my way around the pistol.

I've talked to Henning Wallgren about the problem and he says it's "a known bug without a solution". No one knows what causes it. It's not common, but it happens. Sometimes just shooting the gun a lot makes it go away, but I have too many working guns I like to shoot for that to be a viable option.

It remains a safe queen.

Walt Sherrill
January 8, 2013, 04:22 PM
Thanks, but I've tried everything you mentioned and much more. I know my way around the pistol.

Sorry to hear that -- as most folks haven't taken it as far as you have. This is the first time I've heard of a "known bug" like that with the EAA .45s. Really strange.

A single-shot semi-auto is not of much use. And you can't in good conscience sell the gun, even with a warning -- hence it becomes a safe queen.

IF you are ever around another Witness .45, you might try swapping slides to see if the problem continues -- on your frame or the other person's frame... That might isolate the problem a little.

Japle
January 8, 2013, 07:24 PM
Walt,

I tried swapping barrels, slide stops, springs, mags, mag followers, you name it. I'm sure I tried swapping slides with my .38 Super, but can't remember the details. I know it didn't work.

It's a rare problem. The gun used to be 100% reliable, so much so that I carried it for a while. Then one day it was crap. It's a mystery.

I have 8 other .45 autos. No point messing with this one.

Walt Sherrill
January 8, 2013, 08:59 PM
I'm sure I tried swapping slides with my .38 Super

My following comments will probably sound know-it-all or pompous, and I apologize for that. I really don't want to convey that idea. My comments are NOT an effort to disparage your efforts, or deny the expertise of the man you cited. To make matters worse, the input I offered clearly wasn't helpful. The fact that EAA's Customer Service didn't deal with the problem is another story, and that part clearly needed to be told.

As for the problem: it's clearly something subtle. That said, I don't believe in something like "a known bug without a solution" -- not when there are so darned many .45 Witnesses running without that bug. I've had three -- and all were fully functional. Saying it's a bug without a solution turns the problem into something that needs a magical cure, and we're not talking magic, here. It's a machine, and the machine isn't working right --there's got to be a reason for it!

You're probably thinking -- "Easy for HIM to say..." -- and I wouldn't blame you. I agree; I'd probably be thinking the same thing, if we switched places. <grin>

If it were my gun, my next step would be to talk with/email Tanfoglio's customer service -- explaining the issue, and see what they have to say. Another person on this forum did that recently, and got a quick reply to a question. They apparently have folks who speak English, and they do respond.

I suspect it's something like a crticial dimension or component is out of spec -- putting unexpected stress on other components, or changing how key components interact. With enough wear or cycles, that "hair" of "out-of-spec" could have become more than a "hair" and pushed the gun from functional to dysfunctional.

I saw this ONCE with a CZ that started breaking slide stops with some regularity, and it got worse... They finally determined that the openings where you install the slide stop in the frame was just a hair out of position... on one side of the frame. CZ finally replaced the frame -- it couldn't really be fixed.

If you don't want to push it farther, I would understand. But, it might be nice to know if the .45 slide works on the .38 special frame, if only to know that you have a working .45 if you need/want it.

hAkron
January 8, 2013, 10:54 PM
Is the issue that when the hammer is completely forward, and the safety is applied (which you can do on a witness, but not a CZ), and you give a generous squeeze, the hammer with cock back to the half cock notch? Or is the hammer cocked and the safety on and the hammer falls to the half cock notch? If its the 2nd one, I agree you have a real problem. If its the first one, thrn there are a couple of things. My Springfield P9 (Tanfoglio, imported by SA before EAA started importing them) with the hammer forward and safety on will move somewhat. If the half cock notch were cut differently, it might be able to climb to the half cock notch. If it did, it's probably a safer carry position than hammer on the firing pin (my P9 has no FP block, not sure about your witness). Decocker CZ's normally decock to the half cock notch. Omega trigger CZ's can have the safety engaged at half cock, or full cock, but not full hammer forward. It's generally an accepted practice if not carting a CZ cocked and locked that you lower the hammer to the half cock notch.

My point is that although it may not function as expected, the issue may not be the safety it may be the half cock location on the seer, but it may not matter as there is generally no real reason to lower the hammer passed half cock.

Japle
January 9, 2013, 09:41 AM
Posted by Walt:If it were my gun, my next step would be to talk with/email Tanfoglio's customer service -- explaining the issue, and see what they have to say. Another person on this forum did that recently, and got a quick reply to a question. They apparently have folks who speak English, and they do respond.
That hadnít occurred to me and hereís why: At the S.H.O.T. Show a few years ago, I spoke to Mr. Tanfoglio about EAAís cs. As soon as he understood what I was talking about, he turned his back on me. I wonít go into my reaction to that, other than to say I barely managed to avoid getting my butt thrown out. Suffice to say, Tanfoglio knows all about EAA and they donít care.

I might take your advice.

Henning mentioned the ďout-of-specĒ possibility, too.

I didnít say so before, but the gun was part of a limited run for Lew Horton, with a full-size frame and compact, ported slide and barrel. Jacketed bullets worked just fine, but I found that cast bullets would plate the sides of the front sight with lead. That was easy to remove with a brass brush. When I used plated bullets, the ports would strip off tiny, sharp slivers of plating and spit them into my face. That sort of thing gets distracting after a while. I installed a full-length, non-ported barrel (it looks COOL!) and that solved the problem. Other than the length, the barrels are identical. Anyhow, the gun worked for years with either barrel.

Loads with 255 gr jacked bullets at low velocity work the best. Removing metal from the bottom of the slide stop where the top round was hitting it helped. Replacing the slide stop spring and reshaping the shank of the stop to increase the springís leverage helped.

The gunís much more reliable now than it was, but not enough to trust it as anything except a range gun. Itís hopeless for IDPA and I certainly wouldnít carry it.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Witness.jpg

Walt Sherrill
January 9, 2013, 11:01 AM
I spoke to Mr. Tanfoglio about EAA’s cs. As soon as he understood what I was talking about, he turned his back on me.

Boy, that would have frosted me, too.

You've gone the extra mile and then some. Something is out of spec, but since it's a special run, getting it resolved -- as you seemingly feel -- is probably out of the question.

You have my respect for having done as much as you've done. All of this is an interesting insight into dealing with EAA and, indirectly, Tanfoglio. While I've had good experiences with EAA, I think your experience has changed my viewpoint a bit, and I'll not risk changing my batting average with EAA -- i.e., no more EAA products for me. (I'm happy with CZ.) Seems as though Tanfoglio needs a better importer. (And, maybe, a senior executive who REALLY gives a damn or is willing to explain why he won't/can't address a problem that ultimately stems from his assembly line.)

It is JUST a machine, but that simple truth doesn't offset the realities of the problem.

I have a couple of favorite guns, and one of them is an AT-84s (Tanfoglio components assembled in Switzerland) that was supposedly later customized by Jim Boland, a big name gunsmith in the late '80s thru the early 2000's. He died before I had a chance to check with him about the gun's provenance. It is a very refined pistol, and shares traits visible on guns I KNOW that Boland built. It is superb in every respect. I've had a couple of Sphinx 2000-series pistols, supposedly the best of the CZ-like guns, and I'd rate this one higher.

I had the slide plated after the original dark (not blued) finish lost some of it's good looks -- it didn't come like this. There are some extras on this gun -- mag well, Bomar sights, extended controls, checkered front and back straps, bobbed hammer and extended beavertail -- coupled to superb accuracy, and a trigger that is as good in either DA or SA mode as any pistol I've shot. The way the Bomar adjustable rear is mounted is unique, and I'm in trouble if I ever have to replace that sight. (Bomar fixed a problem with it, but said it was a model they no longer support, so I was on my own in the future. Big cuts on the rear of the slide to accept the sight.

The photo doesn't do it justice.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87/WalterRSherrill/AT-84sCustoma.jpg

Japle
January 9, 2013, 12:49 PM
I totally agree about the quality of CZ pistols. I have a somewhat tricked out CZ75 SA thatís just fantastic. I got the trigger down to 2 lbs, super clean, installed a target rear and FO front and customized the grips. The skateboard tape is a bit amateurish, but it sure works. Most accurate 9mm I own.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Guns/CZ75Aredbackground.jpg

Japle
January 9, 2013, 12:58 PM
Double post.

SwampWolf
January 9, 2013, 03:21 PM
installed a target rear

The term "target" rear sight on a pistol, to me, always implied that it was adjustable (with windage/elevation screws; not just driftable in a dovetail) as well as being easier to see. I can't see any adjustment screws on the sight in your photo but I'm wondering if it still has them but just not visible in the photograph?

Japle
January 9, 2013, 04:36 PM
Posted by SW:
The term "target" rear sight on a pistol, to me, always implied that it was adjustable (with windage/elevation screws; not just driftable in a dovetail) as well as being easier to see. I can't see any adjustment screws on the sight in your photo but I'm wondering if it still has them but just not visible in the photograph?
Nope, no adjustment. It's just a larger, easier to see rear sight with a serrated, slanted blade. My CZ shoots everything to the same POI (so do my Glocks, XDm and STI) so I didn't want to play with an adjustable sight.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Guns/CZ75.jpg

hemiram
January 10, 2013, 08:17 AM
I can't say a single bad thing about any of the EAA guns I've owned, that includes several Astras, two Witnesses, a .45 fullsized in wonder finish, and a 9mm fullsized in WF. I still have the .45, but I sold the 9mm when I needed cash. I also have two 9mm "Mossad" Tanfoglio guns that are basically identical to the early Witnesses. One is full sized and the other is a compact, both are satin nickel. The full sized one has the best slide to frame fit I've ever seen on a gun and it shoots great. The compact seemed to be touchy about mags, but a friend found two old Witness mags at a gun show, and those two work 100%. The one that came with it was super tight and very hard to get in to the point it locked into place, the one I bought online is different and the round sits too low to reliably feed.

The only experience I've had with EAA customer service was buying a couple of spare parts and it was fine, no problems and no bad attitude.

Japle
January 10, 2013, 08:58 AM
I think most would agree that Tanfoglio Witness guns are a great buy for the money. That is, right up until one breaks and you have to get EAA to work with you. Generally, the Elite and Match guns give very few problems and tend to be better supported (from what I hear) than the standard Witnesses.

There are plenty of cases where people have had good cs from EAA, but all you have to do is Google “EAA” and “customer service” to find all too many horror stories.

Dakotared
January 25, 2013, 10:25 PM
Well I just got my 10mm back again and I am happy to say it looks like they fixed it with a couple upgrades! I now have a ambi safety and the more square top slide with adjustable sights. So all in all I am happy with the outcome just wish I did not have to send it back the 2nd time.

Patrice
January 26, 2013, 01:11 PM
Hhmmm....Nothing new. EAA excels in poor customer service, far & above even Taurus' notorious customer service.--Patrice

MachIVshooter
January 26, 2013, 03:58 PM
It was my understanding that some some of the the EAA/Witness guns, especially the 10mm versions, were built primarily for the U.S. market -- with features unique to these guns. The .45/10mm models are much less in demand in Europe. The guns cited as being problematic are almost always 10mm guns, with a few .45s thrown in...

10mm is hard on guns. The problems with the pistols were a result of the redesigned slide profile with less metal. The squared slide models before and after didn't have this issue. I own two, and there are several more in our circle between friends and family. All of our 10mm models have squared slides, none have had problems.

My personal dealings with EAA have been fine, but it's just been parts ordering and general questions. Never needed warranty service, so I can't speak from that angle.

schmeky
January 26, 2013, 06:49 PM
The entire attitude of any business is a direct reflection of the upper management and/or owner.

I called EAA last summer to try and order a few springs and a sear and was talked down to. The person on the phone tried to make me look like a fool.

I would not own nor buy a Tanfoglio, NIB for $10.00, knowing the entire EAA organization is barrel full of buffoons and rude clowns :barf:

Please keep in mind this is only my opinion and one persons experience.

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