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EAA Sucky CS

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dakotared, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. ryno31

    ryno31 Member

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    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.
     
  2. Japle

    Japle Member

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    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.
     
  3. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    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.
     
  4. Japle

    Japle Member

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    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.
     
  5. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    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.
     
  6. hAkron

    hAkron Member

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    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.
     
  7. Japle

    Japle Member

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    That hadn’t occurred to me and here’s why: At the S.H.O.T. Show a few years ago, 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. I won’t 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 don’t care.

    I might take your advice.

    Henning mentioned the “out-of-spec” possibility, too.

    I didn’t 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 spring’s leverage helped.

    The gun’s much more reliable now than it was, but not enough to trust it as anything except a range gun. It’s hopeless for IDPA and I certainly wouldn’t carry it.

    Witness.jpg
     
  8. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    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.

    AT-84sCustoma.gif
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  9. Japle

    Japle Member

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    I totally agree about the quality of CZ pistols. I have a somewhat tricked out CZ75 SA that’s 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.

    CZ75Aredbackground.jpg
     
  10. Japle

    Japle Member

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    Double post.
     
  11. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    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?
     
  12. Japle

    Japle Member

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    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.

    CZ75.jpg
     
  13. hemiram

    hemiram Member

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    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.
     
  14. Japle

    Japle Member

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    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.
     
  15. Dakotared

    Dakotared Member

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    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.
     
  16. Patrice

    Patrice member

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    Hhmmm....Nothing new. EAA excels in poor customer service, far & above even Taurus' notorious customer service.--Patrice
     
  17. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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.
     
  18. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    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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