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Old 03-25-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Witness in .38 Super conversion to 9X23

A few months ago, I inherited a EAA Witness in .38 Super. Until then I had not known about .38 Super, but I liked the feel of the pistol.

I travel about 150 miles per day for work and with things being the way they are nowdays I am concerned about being stranded on the roadside and being fair game for someone just passing. I have been carrying, in my car, a Glock 17 for protection.

I bought a box of .38 Super Win. Silertips and took my Witness to the range about a month ago. I was very much impressed with how it shot and I liked the idea of being able to carry it with one in the chamber, hammer down and safety on. (I'm "old school" and never felt comfortable with the Glock since you can't see the "hammer" and it has that trigger safety)

I was impressed by the material on the ballistics of the .38 Super that I could find and decided that it was a better defense round than the 9mm.

Last week I looked up the EAA Witness on the internet and one of the articles I found was written by Dick Metcalf in the June 1999 "Shooting Times". In that article he stated that he had fired 9X23 mm in several .38 Super pistols several times without a problem.

This raised a red flag for me, even though I had never heard of 9X23 mm before. Other than using .38 Special in a .357 I had never heard of using ammo for one caliber in another. I don't shoot competitive and don't hang around with gun guys alot. Mostly I bird hunt with shotguns and have a handgun for defense.

That article made me research the 9X23 round and it seems that it is even better suited for defense than the .38 Super. I asked about shooting 9X23 in a .38 Super on the Oklahoma Sootoers forum and I was directed here.

I've read most of the posts on the first page of this forum and it seems that it is NOT recommended practice to fire 9X23 from a .38 Super firearm.

My question is whether it is possible to change the barrel and the spring in my Witness to be able to safely use the 9X23 round for defense, and if it is possible can I just buy a new barrel and spring or do I need to have one made?

Edited to add: Would I need to replace the extractor also?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Lone Star State
Posts: 29
Re: Witness in .38 Super conversion to 9X23

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorpsVet
A few months ago, I inherited a EAA Witness in .38 Super. Until then I had not known about .38 Super, but I liked the feel of the pistol.

I travel about 150 miles per day for work and with things being the way they are nowdays I am concerned about being stranded on the roadside and being fair game for someone just passing. I have been carrying, in my car, a Glock 17 for protection.

I bought a box of .38 Super Win. Silertips and took my Witness to the range about a month ago. I was very much impressed with how it shot and I liked the idea of being able to carry it with one in the chamber, hammer down and safety on. (I'm "old school" and never felt comfortable with the Glock since you can't see the "hammer" and it has that trigger safety)

I was impressed by the material on the ballistics of the .38 Super that I could find and decided that it was a better defense round than the 9mm.

Last week I looked up the EAA Witness on the internet and one of the articles I found was written by Dick Metcalf in the June 1999 "Shooting Times". In that article he stated that he had fired 9X23 mm in several .38 Super pistols several times without a problem.

This raised a red flag for me, even though I had never heard of 9X23 mm before. Other than using .38 Special in a .357 I had never heard of using ammo for one caliber in another. I don't shoot competitive and don't hang around with gun guys alot. Mostly I bird hunt with shotguns and have a handgun for defense.

That article made me research the 9X23 round and it seems that it is even better suited for defense than the .38 Super. I asked about shooting 9X23 in a .38 Super on the Oklahoma Sootoers forum and I was directed here.

I've read most of the posts on the first page of this forum and it seems that it is NOT recommended practice to fire 9X23 from a .38 Super firearm.

My question is whether it is possible to change the barrel and the spring in my Witness to be able to safely use the 9X23 round for defense, and if it is possible can I just buy a new barrel and spring or do I need to have one made?

Edited to add: Would I need to replace the extractor also?

Thanks
I traded Emails with a shooter that regularly shot 9x23 from his EAA 38 Super Witness. Personally, I'm not sure how this would ever function reliably. We're talking about a straight walled semi-rimmed cartidge vs. a rimless tapered one. I even spoke to a representative at EAA about shooting 9x23 in their 38 Super. He was horrified. I'd imagine one of their lawyers would have run screaming into the night. I considered buying an EAA 38 Super Witness along with their 9x19 conversion kit. I would have gone to a good gunsmith, had the barrel bored out and purchased a stronger recoil spring. I never did it. Something about a "roll your own" self defense weapon bothered me. Hopefully some of the veteran 9x23 guys will jump into this thread and give you some sage advice. I'm not seeing much activity in the 9x23 forum lately.
 
Old 09-13-2008, 08:20 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 91
Re: Witness in .38 Super conversion to 9X23

I had a 38 Super barrel reamed to 9x23 dimensions for my 38 Super Witness and swapped out the springs. Now I have an 18 shot uber pistol! Okay the extractor could use a little tuning but gone are the mag jams that the little rim of the 38 Super caused when the mags were fully loaded.

Some folks will say that the Witness won't hold up to the 9x23, but I can think of a few Witness 10mms that have eaten the most powerful of loadings, even stupidly loaded handloads, with nary a complaint.

I'd venture to guess the worse thing about a 9x23 through a 38 Super would be really sticky extractions from the tighter 38 Super chamber? I'd sooner put 9x23 through a properly sprung 38 Super than 38 Super through a 9x23, I'd fear a greater chance for a kB from the 38 Super through 9x23 barrel than 9x23 through 38 Super barrel.

Derek
 
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