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Tell me all you know about the EAA Witness polymer.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The_woodsman, Jan 30, 2008.

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  1. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    I am considering purchasing one of the new models (probably .45) with the 1913 rails built in. I would like to also purchase a .38 super conversion slide/mag for it to shoot 9x23 rounds from and later purchase the other caliber conversions for it.

    I want a pistol that has a good single action trigger, is accurate and has a light rail built in. For a number of reasons, the ballistics of the 9x23 winchester look more appealing to me than any other round, including the 10mm.

    Currently, my only centerfire pistol is a Kimber .45, but I've really been sold on the conversion kit application that EAA offers for this gun.

    I want to know more about this pistol, problems or positive comments or anything you might have to say about the firearms. I would especially like to hear about direct experiences with these pistols and whether or not you've shot 9x23 through the polymer models.

    Thank you.
     
  2. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Welcome to THR. I personally have no experience, so take what i say with a grain of salt. The usual complaints seem to be with EAA's customer service. Supposedly it is just completely awful. I've heard good things about the steel pistols, not so good things about the polymer's.
     
  3. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    Thanks Mike.

    I too am from Michigan (Cadillac area). What bad things have you heard about Witness polymers? I am sold on the conversion ability, seen two of the non-lite rail models in stores here locally and the .45 version had a good single action trigger on it (9mm compact version did not feel so good - neither did the frame size in general)...

    I have had a tough time finding any information about this model other than limited info on EAA's site. IF they are just junk, I'm not going to spend the bucks on them, but if not, the conversion thing is good.

    I'm not purchasing a steel witness because I feel strongly that I WANT a light rail (picatinny/1913) on my next pistol, and their steel models don't have rails (at least not yet). If that wasn't the case, I'd pick one up in a heartbeat - as I would prefer the SAO operation with a good trigger.
     
  4. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

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    You had better call EAA in Florida and ask some questions before you buy.
    In the first place, the p guns (polymer) are definitely not the same as the all steel models. I do not believe Tanfoglio (the manufacturer) supports conversion units for polymer pistols. I have three of their all steel guns, a full size, a compact and an Elite Match all in 10mm with conversions to other calibers. If you buy a polymer I believe you are pretty much hosed for reliability, convertability and customer service is very spotty at EAA.
     
  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I had the steel 45 Compact. Decent gun.

    I liked the gun so well I bought the polymer Compact.

    It was a dangerous piece of crap.
    When fired the frame would flex and cause the slide retaining pin to back out.

    It took a while to figure out what was happening and in the mean time I sent the gun back to EAA twice.

    In the last conversation with them they admitted that the frame will flex with +P loads and they said I must be using hot loads.
    I told them I was using only standard loads and they said that was a lie because the gun is OK with standard loads.

    Since couldn't punch that butt-head in the mouth I did the next best thing and I got rid of both guns and will never buy anything from that outfit again.

    BTW before I sold the gun for a third of it's value, I made a pin that corrected the problem and I explained to the buyer, in great detail, the problem and fix.
     
  6. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    mp marty - From EAA's website:


    I think it would be the witness P that I am interested in. It's a little on the large side, but no larger than my Kimber, and far more convertible.

    Maybe it's just the compact units that are junk? Does anyone know if the new frames (with integral light rail) are made any different?

    MPMARTY: What makes you think Tanfoglio does not support the conversion units for the polymer pistols - did you somehow talk to the Italian mfgr., or ???

    Does anyone know of another manufacturer that offers a good shooter that is able to be converted to different calibers?
     
  7. sefus

    sefus Member

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  8. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    My full size polymer in .40 has been completely reliable with any ammo I've fed it. It shoots just as well as the all steel Witness I have with the exception of a bit more recoil. Not sure about the compact polys as I've never fired one...
     
  9. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    NGIB - does yours have the light rail on it?
     
  10. wally

    wally Member

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    I've a full sized Witness-P in .45ACP and its a good gun but I like the steel frames, especially the Elite Match series much better.

    My compact Witness-P .40S&W is the worst jam-o-matic I've ever had. The only way I could make it work was to epoxy in a spacer to the rear of the mag well and use Baby Eagle .40S&W mags. It now feeds 100% since the rounds no longer slop around in the magazine, but it still suffers the frame flexing problem mentioned above with hot loads. Before the magazine conversion I put my .45 upper on it and it functioned 100% because the .45ACP rounds are the right length for the magazine.

    The Quote from the EAA website is not completely correct, as I understand it, the "small frame" 9mm and .40S&W guns are no longer imported. I've read reports that the "new" polymer frames don't take the "old" full sized magazines. The steel frame uppers fit on my Polymer frame and work fine, but the slide profile doesn't match up with the back of the frame. Its only cosmetic, but may bother you. The new frames with the rail could be different, don't know since I don't have one.

    IMHO if you want conversion uppers, get the steel frame version. I've a full sized steel frame and uppers in .9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP and 10mm. The .40S&W and 9mm are ammo sensitive because of the short rounds in a long magazine issue. EAA is now supplying 9mm & .40 magazines with an internal spacer, but it does not completely solve the problem in my guns

    My Witness-P are the "old" full sized (mag well sized for .45, 10mm, .38Super) without the rail.

    --wally.
     
  11. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    Woodsman, no I don't have the rail as mine is an older gun. My daughter liked shooting this one so much that she "borrowed" over the holidays. Highly doubtful I'll see it very often except when she comes up for a visit...
     
  12. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    does anyone of you have the rail on your guns?

    Looking for owners with the light rail to chime in...If there are any, that is.
     
  13. loop

    loop Member

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    woodsman,

    I don't have a tactical/practical rail on any of my handguns and go to great lengths to avoid them. I do have Tanfoglios in steel and poly frames.

    The steel frame is not only reliable as a tactical weapon, but is superior as a competitive weapon. My poly frames have taken "tuning" to make them reach the same levels. For someone who has dealt with minor "tuning" problems for years, they aren't problems - just challenges.

    As for light rails, there is no conceivable reason to have them on a handgun. Put a laser or a flashlight on your handgun and I know exactly where to aim for a head shot.

    There are several good techniques for handling a flashlight and handgun. I prefer the Harries. But, being able to whip the flashlight out three feet to your left to provide a worthless point of aim is a definite asset.

    Then there is finding quality holsters... Ain't none for a flashlight, laser, bayonet combo.

    Oh, and laser will only give you graphic proof of how much you shake. Best saved for bench-rested rifles.

    My Witness pistols function flawlessly. The polys did not the day I took them out of the box, but a little work made major improvements.

    There are numerous sources for info regarding the Tanfoglio line of pistols.

    Try:
    http://www.czgrips.us/index.htm
    http://www.eaacorp.com/
    http://www.tanfo11.com/
    http://www.tanfoglioparts.com/
    http://www.ericgrauffel.com/
    for quality info. Henning and Grauffel hold many competition titles.

    Tanfoglio is probably the No. 1 brand name outside the U.S.

    BTW, my Kimbers have been relegated to dust-collection duty. SIG's, Tanfoglios and Kahrs get carried.
     
  14. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

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    While I appreciate your response regarding the Tanfoglio made pistols, you are wrong about gun lights and lasers. This isn't the first time I've heard someone make this sort of claim, yet both lights and lasers have proven their worth on sidearms in battle in both wars via U.S. armed forces and on the street with law enforcement.

    FACTS:

    1. You are very likely not going to be shooting anyone in the head at night when you are blinded, much less any other time (e.g. day) either. You likely won't have the time to aim for the head in a gun battle.

    2. You will have less control of the gun having only one hand available to fire the pistol (since your flashlight is in your hand).

    Yes, and those techniques are still good to know in case a rail light goes bad.

    Unless your opponent has a rail light, in which case he no longer cares about where you have your flashlight. He shoots. He scores.

    Yes, well the very mentioning of the bayonet speaks volumes about your ideals. You may not have been aware that there are kydex paddle holsters for guns with rail mounted lights attached. Hmmm...Wonder who those are marketed to...Law enforcement perhaps?

    Funny, I don't see many folks using lasers at F class events. I'm willing to bet that you've never attempted using a laser on a handgun at night. I am also willing to be that you don't practice night drills. If you had, you might catch on to a few errors in your judgment and advice...

    Again, thanks for chiming in about the Witness, but it's probably best if you stick to your area of expertise.
     
  15. jwxspoon

    jwxspoon Member

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    I have a Witness P Carry with light rail. Love the weapon. It's too big to carry concealed, but fun to shoot. Snappy recoil, if you're sensitive to that stay away from it, but an all around good weapon.

    Be careful of aftermarket mags, make sure you get recently manufactured mags from eaa.

    jw
     
  16. DENALI

    DENALI member

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    Not to be to rough, but the EAA's would not be my first, second, third, or even fourth choices. They're just to scattered in quality and quality control....
     
  17. Malodorousroadkill

    Malodorousroadkill Member

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    I had a witness poly in .40, and it was still jamming up after 200rds. I wasn't terribly in love with it, so I traded it in.
     
  18. wally

    wally Member

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    In my experience, the only EAA/Tanfoglio guns actually reliable enough for carry or defensive purposes are the .45ACP. Everything else I've had to mess with the magazines to make them reliable enough for range use -- however they are among my range favorites, second to my various 1911s.

    My EAA .45ACP guns (I've five variations, like the price!) have all been trouble free and feed my lead SWC reloads and all the various JHP I've tried, my CZ97 has not been 100% with these loads (and is like the Glock 21, just a bit too big for me to really like).

    --wally.
     
  19. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

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    Woodsman, good luck to you in whatever you chose.
    Having said that I have to agree to disagree with your opinion of lights, lasers and yes, bayonets on pistols. They are nothing but added weight and money with very limited use in CCW as their bulk makes carrying them very unpleasant. I am a firm believer in night sights and have attended classes in night gunfighting and in none of them was a laser or weapon light advised. Keep your night vision by not using a flashlight, use the night sights to align the weapon and after your first shot you will be blind anyway, so will your assailants. Take lots of vitamins so your vision returns before theirs does:neener:
     
  20. firemensf26601

    firemensf26601 Member

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    i have an older witness p (.45) i have never had a problem with it and it has always been reliable. it is also ported from factory. i also have friends who have them too and have never had problems either.
     
  21. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    The recommendations from the "fellas" about finding a holster for a light compatable pistol are valid. If you have a Glock 17/19/22/23 you should be able to find just about any holster you want, even one for use with a light attached.

    However, you are going to have to do some work to find a holster for an EAA Witness pistol. It will be still harder to find one for the P-Series (polymer), and even harder to find one that will allow carry with a light attached.

    For instance, I took a quick tour of what I consider the top four kydex holster makers and looked at their base line belt holsters.

    Blade-Tech
    http://www.blade-tech.com/home.php

    Comp-Tac
    http://www.comp-tac.com/

    Raven Concealment
    http://www.themalabarfront.com/

    Tucker Gunleather/Garrett Industries
    http://rlcompanyusa.stores.yahoo.net/index.html
    http://www.gimagclip.com/

    I will admit that they all offer several models of holster, especially Blade-tech and Comp-tac, but in the standard OWB belt holster models, only Blade-tech offers a holster for the Witness series though only for the steel framed models and not with light rails.
     
  22. millertyme

    millertyme Member

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    Like M2, I picked up a Witness P in 45ACP ( compact frame with full-length slide and magazine with filler piece) based on my experience with the steel framed versions. It was a steal, or so I thought. My slide retaining pin doesn't back out, but the rolled pin keeping the fire controls in place does. I contacted EAA about the issue and was informed that since I am not the original owner of the pistol, I would have to pay for the repairs if any were necessary. It takes several magazines for the pin to start backing out, and it's not difficult to keep an eye on it between reloads, but I'm very reluctant to let others shoot the pistol, and will not under any circumstance let someone shoot it when I'm not with them. It's too bad because I really like the pistol and it's the first .45ACP I've ever owned. Turned into another "Should have saved a little bit longer and bought what I really wanted (CZ97)". But, like I said, I hardly paid anything for it so I'm not all that hurt. At least it goes boom every time I pull the trigger.

    However, the .22LR conversion kit for the pistol is great. It's only $235 MSRP vs the CZ Kadet kit which will set you back another $100.
     
  23. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Spotty qualty control make these pistols a hit or miss.

    If you can get one of the steel ones to work properly they can be great handguns and very accurate.

    You better not have any issue because EAA customer service it's non-existent.

    As I always say, EAA is a joke of a company and I would not trust them running a lemonade stand...

    I would take a pass, there are simply many other better choices out there backed by very good companies.

    An additional note: If you decide to get one, stay away from their 10mm with the newer rounded top slide or the polymer ones as they cannot take the beating of a full house 10mm loads....EAA keep denying the problem and doing nothing about it.
     
  24. sthomper

    sthomper Member

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    EAA is a joke of a company.....meaning you are lying or joking about their existence??
     
  25. atblis

    atblis Member

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    I wish he was.
     
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