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EAA Witness 9mm/.45

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Lucky Strike, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Member

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    Was at the indoor range this weekend with a buddy putting some rounds through my 9mm XD subcompact (he was shooting a rented G17) and the guy in the lane next to me asked if I would mind swapping guns for a couple magazines.

    Always liking to try out new guns I said sure and went over to his lane where he had a two EAA witness' (9mm and .45). I've never shot any CZ75 type gun and I gotta say i really liked it. The weight was different but kinda nice (i only own the XD so the extra heft was very noticable) and the trigger on both was VERY sweet. Not being used to an external safety I had a noob moment on the .45 of engaging the safety on the recoil and thinking I broke the dudes gun when the next round wouldn't fire. He claimed he'd put about 10k rnds through them....just a very nice gun IMO. I'll be looking to get a .45 sometime in the next year or so and i'll definitely look at these.

    Also rented a Colt Python and that was super sweet...able to get the tightest 10yd groupings i've ever shot. Sucks that i'll likely never own one. Too much $
     
  2. wally

    wally Member

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    Two very nice features of the standard EAA Witness steel framed pistols are the fact you can rack the slide with the safety on for loading and unloading and you can buy spare uppers in different calibers (.22lr .45ACP, 9mm, .40S&W, 10mm, & .38Super) for about $200 each. Since they are not a firearm, its easy to buy them when you find what you want.

    I recommend starting with the .45 and then adding other uppers as the mood strikes.

    Only downside is EAA customer service is not very helpful. I had a slide crack on my compact 10mm (use the search, long thread giving all the gory details) and they insisted I return the whole gun instead of just returning the upper. They were very fast fixing it and returning it to me, but still much more hassle and expensive to return a fiream instead of a broken part due to shipping regulations and Federal Gun Laws.

    If you don't want the caliber conversion possibility, try to find a Witness Elite Match. Much better trigger, fit & finish, and hand fitted slide and frames (which is why you usually lose the caliber conversion ability) for only about $100 more.

    The standards are great shooters, but the Elite series are just fantastic!

    --wally.
     
  3. brian923

    brian923 Member

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    i was told by an EAA Witness worker that the EAA witness elite could be convertes to the other calibers.
     
  4. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Member

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    Hmmmm...didn't know about the ability to swap uppers.


    Having a gun that can shoot .45 and .22 when i want some cheap practice would be very very handy.

    How much do these conversion uppers usually run?
     
  5. briang2ad

    briang2ad Member

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    NEw Witnesses are

    all made with the large frame - with uppers you can shoot 9mm, 38 Super, 40, 10mm, and 45. Is that enough? The grip is a tad thicker than the CZ 75 series and a tad smaller than the 97 (45) series. If the trigger sweet - get it. You may want to ask questions here:
    http://czechpistols82792.yuku.com/forums/27
     
  6. Japle

    Japle Member

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    The conversions usually run about $300. Better to buy the whole gun, if you ask me.

    I have 2 Witness pistols, a .38 Super and a .45, both full size steel "Wonder" finish guns. The .45 is very picky about ammo and is strictly a range gun. The Super shoots anything, is very accurate and reliable.

    EAA customer service is the worst in the industry. No getting around it. Their "gunsmith" is a highly unpleasant jerk. He's infamous on the EAA forum.

    I wanted to send the .45 in for service, to see if they could fix the feeding problems. Even though they're right up the road, they insisted I send the gun FedEx Overnight - $$$$ I didn't want to spend. No way I could drop it off. They won't answer the door.


    John
    Cape Canaveral
     
  7. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Member

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    Hmmm...yeah i'd only be interested in a conversion if it could do .22

    Also not liking the sounds of their customer service.

    Maybe I should rent a CZ75 next time i'm at the range and see if it was just this dude's Witness that was so nice or just the CZ75 platform in general.
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    I'm sure you can if you have a different upper fit. I've an Elite Match 10mm and an Elite Stock .45ACP, I decided I liked the match SAO trigger better than the Stock DA/SA trigger so I swapped uppers. The Stock upper fit the Match frame perfectly and shoots great. The 10mm slide bound on the Stock frame and didn't move freely.

    I decided I liked the Stock upper on the Match lower enough that I used lapping compound and lots of hand cycling without springs to remove the binding between the Stock lower and 10mm upper. So I know you can convert calibers, but it may not be drop in like you can expect with the standard steel framed guns.

    I didn't buy the Match in .45 because EAA catalog says the Match has polygonal rifling, the Stock has standard rifling (and better sights) and since I shoot mostly lead in .45 I didn't want polygonal rifling.

    The standard frames and uppers are loose enough to generally drop in. My standard .45 upper functioned fine on the Stock frame, but its sights aren't as good for my old eyes as what is on the Match or even better the stock.

    In 9mm and .40S&W I think the CZ guns are better buys overall, but you lose the caliber conversion optons (other than the Kadet .22lr) and the frames are a tad smaller which might be better or not.

    Also the CZ won't let you rack the slide with the safety on -- a feature I really like on the Witness guns.


    Not if you buy them from Reed's (shop.readsammo.com) where they are $195+S&H. The ones with the "super sights" are about $300 when you find them.

    I've only .45 conversions for my 10mm guns and generally prefer to buy guns instead of parts too, but when I finally decide to try .38Super, it'll likely be with a Witness conversion first. In places that make it a hassle to buy a firearm, the conversion kits could be a big help.

    --wally.
     
  9. LanEvo`

    LanEvo` Member

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    If you like the CZ-75 platform but want a .45 ACP, you should definitely check out the CZ-97B...

    [​IMG]

    It's a bit bigger than the EAA offering, but it's smooth as silk, dead reliable, and the accuracy is really hard to believe.
     
  10. wally

    wally Member

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    I wouldn't call the CZ97 dead reliable.

    A fair number of them have trouble feeding JHP. Mine won't reliably feed my lead SWC reloads where all my Witness .45s (polymer, standard, Stock, & Limited) do. The .45 Witness and CZ97 use the same magazines.

    I find my CZ97 to be about as blocky in my hand as is my Glock 21. But they are good guns if they fit you. The EAA Witness is much closer to the CZ75 in hand feel than is the CZ97.

    Since the OP seems to only want a 9mm or .40S&W and a .22 conversion, then I'd suggest getting the CZ 75, where the Witness guns really shine is in the calibers you can't get the CZ75 in. I'd never suggest a Witness .40S&W or 9mm over the CZ75B unless you are talking about the Elite series guns which are more expensive than the CZ75.

    I don't generally recommend the Witness Polymer guns as there have been several variations in the frames that can make getting the right magazines problematic if you need spares. Also premature slide lock back seems to be a fairly common problem with them -- I assume the frame flexes under recoil and sometimes throws the lever up enough to lock the slide back. I never see this with the steel framed guns.

    --wally.
     
  11. dwmilton

    dwmilton Member

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    Wally,

    Please forgive the thread hi-jack, but I could use your experienced opinion.

    I'll be buying/ordering my next pistol at the end of the week, and am trying to decide between two pistols.

    1) ArmaLite AR-24
    2) Witness Elite Match

    The AR feels slightly smaller in my hand, but the shorter-reach SA trigger on the Match seems to make up for that. I've also heard that I could install EAA's wood grips if I wanted to slim the Witness down more (I guess the rubber grips are thicker). For reference: my Sig 229 feels about perfect to me.

    I'm a leftie, and plan to add an ambi safety, which Armalite doesn't offer yet.
    I prefer having a decocker on a DA pistol, so would probably operate any CZ-type in cocked & locked mode.

    How would you compare the Match to the ArmaLite? I know the ArmaLite has a forged frame, and possibly better customer service than EAA, but the Match seems like it offers a lot of custom features.

    Thank you!!
     
  12. LanEvo`

    LanEvo` Member

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    My experience with the 97B has been just the opposite. I've gone through several thousand rounds of 185gr. LSWC (much of that crappy commercial reloads) literally without a hiccough...without even changing the recoil spring. No problems feeding 230gr. JHP either. I honestly can't remember the last time I've had a stoppage of any kind with my 97B.
     
  13. wally

    wally Member

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    I've no experience with the Armalite AR-24, but it seems based on the CZ frame which would be about the same as the now discontinued EAA Witness "small frame" 9mm & .40S&W guns were.

    Use the search, I'm not the only one that has had issues with the CZ97 and JHP ammo. http://p201.ezboard.com/CZFORUMCOM/bczechpistols82792 is a good place to visit to get an idea of how common or not the issue is.

    The Witness Elite Match is a great buy IMHO, but remember its SAO so cocked and locked is your only option. My Stock has the wood grips, can't say there is much difference overall in size, but I prefer the rubber, YMMV.

    If you are going with 9mm or .40S&W and don't really want the caliber conversions (other than perhaps .22lr) you should also be looking at the CZ guns, although in .40S&W the slightly larger frame of the EAA gives a true double stack with 15+1 capacity where 12+1 is the best you can get in the .40 CZ75. I fail to see any advantage to the AR-24, maybe this would change if I'd handled and shot one, but on paper where is the benefit??

    You can get the CZ85 with ambi safety factory installed. The EAA ambi safety is IMHO overpriced, ~$65 last I looked, I'm not a lefty but I shoot 10-25% of my rounds lefty and add ambi safeties whenever practical, $65 for me is impractical.

    --wally.
     
  14. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    If you want the CZ platform with decock capability, check out either the CZ-75BD (frame mounted) or the Baby Eagle (slide mounted, like S&W/Beretta). The Baby Eagles also use full length dust covers and polygonal rifling, but cost $50-$100 more than the CZ. The Baby can be had in 9mm, .40 and .45.
     
  15. coffinhandler

    coffinhandler Member

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    I bought a Witness cobo, 45 and 22. It came with the 45 upper on the frame and a spare 22 upper. It cost 409.00 3 years ago. I don't know if they still sell the combos. I have shot the 45, and it was quite accurate. I installed the 22 upper, but never fired it.
     
  16. coffinhandler

    coffinhandler Member

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    I bought a Witness combo, 45 and 22. It came with the 45 upper on the frame and a spare 22 upper. It cost 409.00 3 years ago. I don't know if they still sell the combos. I have shot the 45, and it was quite accurate. I installed the 22 upper, but never fired it.
     
  17. backwoodsmann

    backwoodsmann Member

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    eaa witness 45

    to the gentleman who said he only used his witness 45 as a range gun due to loading problems, just shoot about 300 rounds thru it, dont clean it after, take it to a good gunsmith and have him ramp it and even a little trigger work, it wont ever jam again, i've shot thousands of rounds thru mine since having it ramped, and never ever a problem, it's a great gun, sincerly:)
     
  18. hemiram

    hemiram Member

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    My Witness .45 hasn't had any issues at all, no matter what ammo I've tried, it just saws through it without a hitch for over 1000 rounds. None of my EAA guns (I have 3 Astras :what:, too) has ever had a problem, period.
     
  19. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I have a Witness Elite Match in 38 Super, it is the most amazing gun for the money one could buy, accurate and just a pleasure to shoot. I would take the witness over my CZ's anytime, CZ 75B and CZ 75PCR.
    I plan on getting the Elite Match in .45 cal.
    Floydster
     
  20. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Gentlemen, this thread is way way old.
     
  21. floydster

    floydster Member

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    What has OLD got to do with anything, I'm OLD.:D
     
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