Handgun Review: EAA Witness 10mm - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-17-2002, 07:50 AM   #1
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Location: Richardson, TX
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Handgun Review: EAA Witness 10mm

Overall: 3.5/5
Reliability: 5/5
Accuracy: 3/5
Durability: 5/5
Rust Resistance: 3/5
Ergonomics: 4/5
Trigger Pull: 3/5

This is a review of the EAA Witness 10mm. It is an all-steel, double action pistol with a basic blue finish (with a flat silver "wonder" finish available). Don't let the cheesy website and excess of bikini babes in the ads fool you; the pistols are actually made by the reputable ISO 9001-certified Italian company Tanfoglio. EAA is merely the bonehead American distributor of their products. I owned one for about a year, and in most respects it was an excellent handgun. It was definitely a good value, only costing about $300.

A word of warning to potential EAA Witness purchasers: make sure your pistol doesn't have the old magazines! The old magazines (recognizable by their black plastic follower) could not be loaded to the full 10-round capacity without a hammer and made the pistol a jam-o-matic. The re-designed magazines have a bright red plastic follower and function perfectly. With the wrong magazines, this pistol's reliability goes from 5 stars to about 1. New magazines can be ordered directly from EAA if you need them for a reasonable price. Don't expect the drone answering the phone at EAA to know anything about this; just trust me on this one.

This pistol's main virtues are durability and reliability. Put simply, the Witness is built like a tank. It is an enlarged and reinforced variation of the already very strong CZ-75B design that can easily take the punishment of full-power 10mm loads. Mine would feed and fire any ammo I could stuff into the magazine without a hitch. The standard blue finish is not particularly rust-resistant, but their "wonder" finish version is supposed to be quite tough. Its ergonomics and pointability are also very good, to be expected from a pistol based on the outstanding CZ-75B.

However, the Witness does have some weaker points that need to be considered. Its accuracy was fairly mediocre, and this was the main reason it was eventually replaced by a Glock 20C. Its trigger has a long reach and is quite heavy, especially in double-action. Unlike most double-action pistols, however, it can be carried with the hammer cocked and the safety on ("cocked and locked") which somewhat makes up for this shortcoming. Also, the pistol was rather crudely finished, with visible tool marks and imperfections in the bluing that marred its appearance.

If you are looking for a functional workhorse in a potent caliber, the EAA Witness 10mm is a good choice.
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Old 10-17-2002, 08:26 AM   #2
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Location: Richardson, TX
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Comments: Another minor defect of this gun is that it is delivered with an under-powered recoil spring; about 14 lbs when 20 lbs would be more in order. A heavier spring from Wolff would be a wise addition to one of these guns.
Old 01-08-2003, 11:43 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Alaska
Posts: 23
I've never had a problem with the black follower magazines that came with my Witness 10mm, but now I know why the new ones for sale have a red follower. Fit and finish is pretty good for a $300 gun, I did add a 22lb Wolff recoil spring though. Its shoots good and has been 100% reliable, even though it gets mostly reloads. I shot a ground squirrel with it at about 20yds, the 175 gr silvertip did a good job of seperating the upper and lower halves of its body.
Old 07-31-2003, 12:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Slide/Frame Cracking???

I have considered purchasing a Witness 10mm for a couple years, but have always talked myself out of it. A local gun dealer sold one to a customer and has had it replaced twice now for cracks in the slide/frame. Anyone heard or experienced this type of durability failure? They seem to have a market for the 10mm since they have the "new" Hunter model out. I'm not a Glock fan and cannot afford the $900 for the Dan Wesson Razorback (and by the time I saved my nickels and dimes, the limited run will be long gone). I've heard the rumors of the Springfield XD in 10mm and regular production model of the Razorback, but the Witness does have two advantages: its available now and it is reasonably priced. Any further feedback from owners out there?
Old 08-06-2003, 08:54 AM   #5
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Location: U.S. of A.
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I have a Witness in 10mm and have had little difficulty with the piece. I have replaced the recoil spring with one from Wolff rated at 18 pounds. The pistol is not the most accurate handgun in the world, but the accuracy IS combat acceptable.

I have a Razorback coming. I also have an IAI Javalina, and a S&W Model 610 with a 6 1/2" barrel. Both the revolver and the Javalina are quite accurate, and the Razorback's accuracy remains to be demonstrated.

Stay tuned,

Old 08-26-2003, 12:47 PM   #6
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Location: North Alabama
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The slide cracking problem could be related to these guns being undersprung like some others had mentioned here. THis was the same condition that caused a lot of Delta Elites to have frame cracks. Most owners that buy EAA's dont take the time to learn enough about them to replace the factory spring with a stiffer one.

Old 08-27-2003, 02:27 AM   #7
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Location: Virginia
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Actually the Delta's were not under sprung, the factory dual spring set up is around 23 pounds. The early Delta's cracked the frame rail through the arch shaped cut for the slide stop. Colt solved this problem by cutting out the frame rail in this area.
Old 09-21-2004, 07:56 PM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Witness Compact 10mm

I recently purchased one and love it. Have put about 300 rounds through it without a single problem. There are sites online that provide instruction on how to lighten the trigger safely. I did this and it now has a 3lb SA pull.

From 50 feet (17 yds) seated, shooting five shots slow-fire, with reloads I got the following size group:

1 3/16 inches

No complaints here. Well, it could be a little lighter, but then full power loads in it would be a pain, which they are not now.
Old 03-02-2005, 08:11 AM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 231
A local gun shop owner stated that he sent a Witness 10mm back to the factory 2 times for a cracked slide. He said the individual was setting it up for competition shooting and firing a lot of rounds. My problem is why would someone fire "full" 10mm rounds for competition? Even in a compensated gun, you have to balance the bullet weight, velocity, and recoil to get the best compromise for felt reciol and compensator efficiency.

Anyhow, that's the only "somewhat" authenticated cracking incident.
Old 03-03-2005, 02:30 AM   #10
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Location: Virginia
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Bowling pin matches where it takes a lot of energy to send the pins flying off the table. It is my understanding that a pin that just falls onto its side is not counted, the pin must be off the table, so competitors look for high energy loads and the 10mm would certainly fill that bill.

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