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Witness 45. Any info?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Nightwing, May 30, 2008.

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  1. Nightwing

    Nightwing Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Brighton, Colorado
    Anybody have one of these, and what do you think? Considering trading a gun of mine for this gun (the 45 witness) to someone else, but don't know much about them.
    Would like more info if you guys could help me.
  2. sqlbullet

    sqlbullet Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I can't speak directly to the .45, but I have two Witness' in 10mm. I have been very happy with both given the price. Unless you are dedicated to a gun with the double action option, I would suggest you look at the Witness Match. Much more gun for just a $100 more money. (ed: I am a moron and see that you are going to trade....Please disregard further comments about the Match)

    I have about 1000 rounds through each of my guns (2000 total). The Match has been exceptionally reliable with only 1 FTF to date. The standard Witness had some issues with FTF early, but were resolved with stronger recoil and mag springs from Wolff. I suspect the issues were related to the faster recoil speed from the 10mm cartridge.

    Both are acceptably accurate. I have shot 3" groups without a rest with the Match at 25 yards on good days. Groups of 4" with the standard Witness. I am not a superb shooter, practicing more combat accuracy type drills than trying to drive tacks. Out to about 15 yards I can always be inside a 1" circle if I exercise care.

    Both are holding up well. I would say about 20% of the rounds through the guns have been full house 10mm loads. 180gr bullets in the 1300 fps range. No signs of frame or slide peening. Once again, with the milder recoil impulse of the 45, I would have few concerns about the gun.
  3. atblis

    atblis Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Neither here nor there

    One of my favorite pistols. They are pleasant guns to shoot.

    They are generally decent guns. Most shoot better than they should.

    Not worth much really. A used regular Witness is generally worth <=$300 (will vary by location). New they are ~$360ish

    EAA is a horrible company to deal with. So basically expect no support from them if you have any issues with the pistol.

    They've had some frame/slide cracking issues in the past. Not really widespread, but more so than other reputable manufacturers.

    In general good pistols, just keep in mind when trading that they really don't have that much value.
  4. FEG

    FEG Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    To give you an idea of how bad it really is, no reputable retailer in SW Indiana or NW Kentucky will handle EAA products anymore. They just got THAT fed up with EAA. EAA is an importer only, so their product lines vary greatly in quality. Fortunately, Tanfoglios (Witness) are generally good pistols OOB. The Elite Match .45 is more $, but well worth it according to the owners, most of whom also have a CZ 97B.

    Tanfoglios are one of those inexpensive guns that are worth virtually nothing used (like Charter Arms or Uberti revolvers). Unfortunately, this means you don't see too many people selling off a decent one used. I have ALMOST purchased a used Tanfoglio Witness twice. In both instances, I could tell someone was trying to ditch a "problem gun." (One had abnormal wear to the frame, the other was just a steretypical rattle gun.)

    For these reasons, I have always stuck with CZ. I eventually may get an Elite Match in either 10mm or .45 ACP, though. CZ really doesn't have a comparable offering.
  5. SAS Mayhem

    SAS Mayhem Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Rocky Mount NC
  6. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    Witness in .45ACP are generally very good guns, but in other calibers the guns are good but the mags are iffy.

  7. Out West

    Out West Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fort Worth, TX
    The all steel Witness in Wonder Finish is a terrific value. I have both 45acp and 40 S&W calibers. I won't say that they out shoot my 1911's, but they are half the price or less, offer hi cap magazines, plus the option of adding additional barrels or complete top ends just about every popular semi cartridge. One other unique feature is the option of either using the Witness as a TDA, or carry cocked and locked - just like your favorite 1911.

    Out West
  8. Craig M. Arnold

    Craig M. Arnold Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Southern Arizona
    As mentioned above, EAA Witness Elite Match. One of the best pistols going.

    Best regards.

  9. loop

    loop Member

    Nov 27, 2007
    NW Arizona
    I have three EAA Witness 45s. They are made by Tanfoglio in the same town as Beretta in Italy.

    The first one was a full-size in Wonderfinish. I got it used at a gun show for $300. I always wanted a Tanfoglio and the price was right.

    I shot it a little to practice and decided it might be worth switching from the Kimber and SIG I shot IDPA with for the past 12 years. I took it to a match, not intending to shoot it, but the first string of fire was 23 rounds. My Kimber and SIG only had two spare mags and hence a capacity of 22 rounds. The Tanfoglio could carry 31.

    I won that match and won the next four I shot with it.

    Shortly after winning that first match I found a poly compact in .45 for $300. I snatched that up too. It is reliable and incredibly accurate. Perhaps the most accurate of all my .45s. No glitches and I did nothing to it except replace the mag springs with Wolff (my general practice with all used guns).

    Most recently I bought an Elite Match in .45. I won the only match I've shot it in.

    I did, however, do quite a bit of work to it. I replaced the grips with machined, smooth aluminum grips and covered them with skateboard tape; replaced the recoil spring with a 12-pound reduced power Wolff; mag springs; mag baseplates with machined aluminum baseplates; reduced power firing pin spring; extended firing pin and fiber optic front sight. I also polished the feed ramp, chamber and barrel.

    Two days ago at 10 yards I was able to keep a 10-shot group from a sandbag rest in one inch. At 25 yards I was able to stay under two inches. We were having 20 to 40 mph winds that day, so I'd say it was darn respectable.

    My only failure with any of the three came in the last match. I had a failure to return to battery. Tap seated the round. The COF was four targets, three triple taps each with a mandatory reload. With the reload and the failure I had a perfect score in 9.4 seconds. I was second on that COF. The failure also is what prompted the polishing of the ramp, chamber and barrel. Something I should have done already.

    My Colts, Kimbers, SIGs, et al, have all taken a back seat to my Tanfoglios.

    As an aside, EAA is the importer and it is no more than an importer, but Springfield Armory is no more than an importer,as is Browning, Rossi, Daly, etc. EAA may be noted for poor customer service, but Tanfoglio is known for great customer service. I was at a local gun shop today and the owner told me he had a customer wanted a new slide with custom sights for his 10mm. He tried EAA to no avail so he sent an e-mail to Tanfoglio in Italy. His signature line in the e-mail included his phone number and he woke up to a call from the Tanfoglio custom shop. They wanted to know exactly what he wanted so they could send it out to EAA as quickly as possible.

    Tanfoglio is the leading maker of USPSA guns in the world-outside-of-the-USA. Tanfoglios have won five straight European USPSA titles. They've won national titles in Australia, New Zealand and almost every European country. A Tanfoglio shooter won the world USPSA title in (if I recall correctly) 2005. An acquaintance of mine is among the top 10 ISPC shooters in the US and is EAA factory sponsored. Usually when I have an issue I find the fix in my mail box within two days. He sells a full line of upgrades on his Web site (http://www.tanfoglioparts.com/). I think he's shooting in the Czech nationals as a write this.

    Numerous options and accessories are available, including ambidextrous safeties, oversize mag releases, a host of sights, firing pins, springs, barrels, grips, compensators, triggers, hammers, slide stops, mags and bases and followers, sears, etc.

    The base model 45 is DA/SA. You can carry it with the safety off and hammer down or cocked and locked. It is one of the few guns on the market that you can rack the slide with the safety engaged and the hammer down or cocked and locked. A very nice option.

    Further, if you buy a .45 in a Tanfoglio you can get a conversion kit, consisting of a slide, guide rod, recoil spring, barrel and magazine to convert the gun to: .22RF, 9mm, 9X21, 9X23, .40, 10mm, .357 SIG and 41 A&E. Each kit runs around $300. There are also aftermarket barrels available in .400 Corbon and a few other oddballs.

    In many European countries shooters are only allowed one handgun. The same holds true in Australia and to an extent New Zealand. Since the gun is the frame and carries the serial number, those shooters can have upward of 10 calibers in one gun. In the past decade it has been the most popular competition gun in the world (outside of the US).

    EAA has a poor reputation as an importer. There are tales of frames and/or slides cracking. I've heard them. Haven't seen them, but if I do I know I can buy a whole 'nother gun and scavenge it for $300 to $400. I have about $1,400 tied up in three .45s. Two of them total $600. If you have a frame or slide issue you can replace them for a very reasonable sum. Custom parts are accessible and reasonable.

    I would not hesitate a heartbeat to buy a Tanfoglio in .45. Leather can be hard to find until you figure out that anything that fits a SIG P220 fits a full-size Tanfoglio (Kydex excepted). Any mag case that fits a Glock 45 or 10mm fits the Tanfoglio.

    My only gripe about Tanfoglios is they only come with one mag. A single replacement mag from EAA runs $40, two run $50 and three run $75. They usually have them in stock and ship quickly. I routinely replace the springs with Wolff (always in stock).

    I am going to sell that original full-size that got me started. Not because there is any problem, but because the Match model has all the upgrades I wanted and more. The money will fund another upgrade. I want, um, need, a Tanfoglio Limited and it will set me back about $1,000. Pre-drilled and tapped for scope mount, compensated, the $100 aluminum grips, all the match-grade upgrades, etc.

    Last word, with the falling value of the dollar the price on the EAA Witness will rise drastically in the near future. If you want one, try and get it ASAP. I've noticed a rise in prices in the past two weeks. The same holds true for all imported firearms. Right now is a real good time to invest in imports. The dollar is plummeting, but the goods aren't falling in value. They're just costing more dollars.

    A year from now even Glocks will go up in value.
  10. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I don't have a .45 but have a 9mm and a .40. The 9 is an old Witness PS, polymer frame/wonder finish slide/double action. I bought it new around 1996, with several thousand rounds through it the gun still works fine and shoots accurately.

    My latest Witness is a Match in .40, the most accurate pistol I own, even more accurate than my High Power Competition model. It's been used in many IDPA matches and three gun with absolutely never a failure of any kind. Although they have gone up a bit since I got mine about 18 months ago, I still believe they are a crazy value and the most accurate pistol available for a production gun. And I have a CZ75 and many BHP's and Springfields to compare it too. The only thing I have done to mine is add the factory fiber optic front sight, the trigger is an absolute delight right out of the box.

  11. Don357

    Don357 Member

    May 30, 2007
    Semmes Alabama
    I have a Poly Compact .45acp. Really a nice gun. Paid $330 for it used, with no regrets. I did have to add thin Mahogany panels to the grip though, for some reason even the double stack .45 grip left a void in my hand. The panels filled it and look pretty good too. when I get my camera working I'll post pics.
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