Witness Reliability - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-19-2004, 11:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 80
Witness Reliability

I find it very weird how I keep reading threads about the problems people have with the CZ and its clones, yet none of the people I talk to seem to have any of those problems. Are there a bunch of trolls trying to put down a good pistol, or are the problems being exaggerated?

I have had an EAA Witness 40 caliber pistol since 1991. I bought the first one I saw, and have never regretted it. As of today, mine has over 19,000 rounds thru it. It doesn't jam, fail to feed, fail to eject, nothing. It goes bang every time I ask it to. I've let it go as long as 700 rounds without cleaning, and only then did it start getting balky. I have loaded rounds too long, or way short, using SWC's and hollow points. Today after work I stopped by the pin range and ran 300 rounds thru it as fast as I could load mags and empty them. It was too hot to touch by the time I finished, but it fed and fired every round as fast as I could. I replaced the recoil spring last month, because a friend suggested it. I'm still not convinced it needed one, it hasn't made a whit of difference.

Like I said, none of the people I talk to have any problems with their clones like we keep reading about. All we do is keep our guns lubricated, and shoot the snot out of them. I find it hard to believe that we just got lucky, and that most of the millions of CZ's that have been sold are marginal guns. Bad designs don't last long, folks! I'm not allowed to carry my Witness on duty, but if I could, you bet I would! It's my butt, and this is the gun I'd want to use to save it, if necessary.

So go ahead and tell me what a crummy gun I have. Beauty is as beauty does, and my tired old blaster is a gem in my eyes!

PJ the Eminently Satisfied
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:05 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
I ran a thread on a bunch of different boards to see what kind of problems people were having with Witness pistols and to see if there was a common thread. A few have reported cracked frames or slides (very few!) Most problems were poorly regulated sights and failures to feed. The feed failures were fixed with new magazines and/or polishing of the feed ramp. The poorly regulated sights, and this seems to be a very common problem, is harder to fix since the front sight is machined as part of the slide and there are not a whole lot of rear sight options available.

All in all, the Witness presents a good value and a lot of bang for the buck. I have the precursor to the Witness, a TZ-75 Series 88. The sights on mine were poorly regulated, shooting about five inches high at 25 yards with just about every load tested. Mine also had a failure to eject problem. My pistol was 100% reliable with +P ammo, but standard ammo would sometimes stovepipe an empty or the brass from the last round fired would just sit on top of the magazine and the slide would not lock back. Again, no problems with +P, just standard ammo. Problem solved with a 12 pound recoil spring instead of the factory 14 pounder.
Old 08-20-2004, 06:48 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 229
Those crappy (insert gun of your choice)

With CZs, the only problems I've encountered have been 1) broken slide stops -- rare, and 2) premature slide lock back, less rare. (I'm a moderator on the CZ Forum, and we have 3500+ members, most of whom seem to be CZ or Clone owners.)

With Witnesses, I've seen essentially the same problems discussed -- but the guns there, because many are used in IPSC, get some heavier wear, so don't know if its a similar problem or not.

The only other problems I've heard about with Witnesses are finish issues, a cracked slide or frame, now and then, and CUSTOMER SERVICE!

EAA's customer service is apparently the 8th circle of Hell -- the one that Dante forgot to write about. But there seems to be improvement there, recently, as well.

All in all, CZ and Witnesses (and the other Tanfoglio clones) seem to offer good value. Just like Rugers. And Kel-Tecs. But because you don't have to mortgage your home or sell your first born to buy one, some folks figure they're not good. Go figure (again.)


You have to remember, however, that many gun owners -- the men, at least -- seem to associate their choices in guns to their "manhood. "

That means if you say bad things about their guns, they think you're making fun of their nether parts, and get uppity.

Like religion and politics, gun ownership is an increasingly EMOTIONAL topic, nowadays. And as with religion and politics, I can't think of many subjects were rationality and a lack of emotion are more important
Old 12-23-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
judge sam's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 85
I had a witness 45acp. It ate everything I fed it. It functioned reliably with light loads, hollow points, hardball, cast bullets. I even loaded it with shot cartridges that a friend made. They cycled and ejected, although the slide wouldn't lock back with them. I've been unemployed for a while now, so it had to go, along with all my other guns. The witness is the only one I miss.
Old 12-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Mid TN
Posts: 346
I gave an EAA TZ 75 to my son in law just over ten years ago. I picked that particular gun because that boy is hell on everything. He spend almost five years on a large military post in NC, where he had access to truckloads of free ammo supplied by us taxpayers. He reckons he put almost 40,000 rounds through it. It looks rough on the outside but still shoots without hicckup.

He wore out a couple of mags but the gun is still going strong. I am safekeeping it for him while he and my daughter are on a European assignment. I give the gun a good diet of reloads and plenty of fresh air and exercise.

It's still going strong.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Batchelor Louisiana
Posts: 10
I had a Witness about 10 years ago, it fired anything I put in it without any problems, very dependable gun, my son in law stayed after me for it so much that I gave it to him. He still has it and he has fired several thousand rounds through it without any problems. I carry a 1911 but if I couldn't get a 1911, I would not be afraid to trust my life to a EAA witness in 45 cal
Old 01-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Muncie, Indiana
Posts: 6
I have a CZ 75 made in 1991. Same gun as the witness, according to the repair manuals I have.
The gun looks like it's been beaten with a club, but will drive tacks at 10 -15 yards. The sights at 25 yards are a little high and right but what's a little P.O.A. adjustment when you know where they are going. Only repair this gun has had is I had to replace the extractor in Dec. 2012. With the new part nothing but X's.

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