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Old September 9, 2009, 06:01 PM   #1
wbw
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Can't decide between 1911 or Witness Elite Match

I keep going back and forth between an EAA Witness Elite Match and a full size 1911 for my next purchase. Either one would be in 9mm. It would not be used for defense, just target and Steel Challenge. I just started in SC so possibly other organized shooting sports later on.

On the 1911 side I'm favoring a Springfield Loaded which would run about $900 plus 6% tax. Their Customer Service and support seems to be first rate.

On the Witness side it would cost me about $610 out the door. I've read very favorable posts about the Elite Match on various forums. It is built in their custom shop. EAA's Customer Service appears to be a problem area. But I've read several reviews of this pistol that say the Single action trigger rivals that of some 1911s. A nice trigger is what I'm after. And if I can get it without having to pay for an after market trigger job, so much the better.

Which one would you take? I'm guessing a lack of popularity and ownership of the Witness will tip the scales in favor of 1911 responses. But I would still like your responses.

Thanks for any input. I literally pick one, and then two days later I'm back on to the other one. (Don't tell me to get both. It just can't happen right now.)

Last edited by wbw; September 9, 2009 at 06:08 PM.
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Old September 9, 2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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If it were my decision, I'd get the 1911 now as there is so much you can do to it to tune it just the way you want it for your shooting events. Parts are VERY available just about anywhere. I'd buy it now and then maybe save for the witness for a later purchase.
Good luck with your decision!
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Old September 9, 2009, 07:05 PM   #3
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The Witness is significantly bigger in the grip

So if you don't have large hands and long fingers, the 1911 will probably be a better fit.

Then again, you may have handled both already. If you haven't, you really should, as they don't feel at all alike, and that may make your mind up for you on the spot.

It would be even better if you could test-fire at least one of each, but I don't think I've ever seen a Witness rental gun. CZ's, yes, but not in .45 (they make them, but I've only seen 9mm's as rentals so far). Do you know anybody who has a Witness that you could test-fire?

Not having owned an EAA product, I can't speak from personal experience on their customer support. I can say that what I've read about customer support in the past has biased me toward S&W, SIG, CZ, DW, and Kahr and away from EAA and Taurus, but again that's based on reading other people's reports.

On the price argument, saving $300 or $400 is only a good deal if you get a gun that fits you and that works. (Of course, paying $300 or $400 more for something that didn't fit and / or didn't work would really suck...) Just saying, I'd research your likeliest 1911 candidates for reliability and customer support reputations, and then compare the feel of the Witness with the 1911(s) of your choice.

Good luck,

M
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Old September 9, 2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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I have not handled a Witness and likely won't be able to prior to buying. Wish I could.
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Old September 9, 2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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The witness can be worked in any way the 1911 can be, they have been used in competition for a long time. The Match will most likely be a higher performer and more polished operation wise then most any 1911 minus a more costly or custome gun . The grip on the Witness will be comfortable and unless you have silly small hands will fit you fine. The CZ platform has always been thought of as one of the if not THE most comfortable frame. 1911 frames are OK but no slab sided flat grip is going to be as comfortable in your hand as the contoured grip on the Witness. I have a Limited and the trigger is amazing. I have compared it to a few others including an X-five and a worked STI. Out of the box the Limited's trigger was better. Mind you a lot of this is my opinion and stands on how the guns fit my hands etc but for the cost I would say you are going to get more gun and a nicer package from the Witness.
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Old September 9, 2009, 08:12 PM   #6
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Personally, the witness series are incredibly reliable out of the box. If you go the other route, you'll likely need some smithing before it functions properly.

Personally, I find the witness to have superb ergonomics for a larger hand. If you have smaller hands, you may prefer the 1911.
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Old September 9, 2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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I think my hands are probably average in size.
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Old September 9, 2009, 08:43 PM   #8
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This is just my opinion....

1911 = .45 acp or 10mm (.45 acp )

9mm = What ever floats your boat....



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Old September 9, 2009, 08:49 PM   #9
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Look up Witness .45 reviews online

One article I had found a couple months ago compared either a Witness or a CZ97 (another one you might consider, as CZ has a better customer service reputation, and the Witness is a direct knockoff of the CZ line) vs a Glock 21 vs a Taurus .45.

The Witness or CZ had a significantly bigger grip, as demonstrated by where the reviewer's trigger finger met the trigger. The article had pictures.
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Old September 9, 2009, 09:05 PM   #10
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I personally find it laughable to think that EAA has a better reputation of reliability compared to a 1911. In my observations of being into guns since I can remember, people pile improperly manufactured 1911s in the same pot as ones that are actually made to specifications of original intent. I don't see EAA exactly taking the world by storm and 1911s steadily being shoved further in the back of their safes.

If you're on a budget and investing in a true, quality 1911 isn't in the cards, get an EAA so you can get in the game. That way, you're not being a spectator instead of a competitor. However, if the Loaded model is in your budget, GET IT. I love mine to death and I can tell you Springfield will take care of you like no other should the need arise for repair or custom work. I've personally been to their business numerous times for upgrades to my firearms. They roll out the red carpet for me. They'll do the same for you.
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Old September 9, 2009, 09:25 PM   #11
USCS
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I had a standard Witness in .45. I loved the gun and shot thousands of rounds through it in IPSC and IDPA matches. Never a problem. It was for me a very comfortable gun and had a higher mag cap than the 1911. I would get another. If you have an eye on shooting IPSC i'd get a 45 so you can make power factor for major.
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Old September 9, 2009, 09:29 PM   #12
Mello2u
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Quote:
wbw

Can't decide between 1911 or Witness Elite Match

I keep going back and forth between an EAA Witness Elite Match and a full size 1911 for my next purchase.
But I've read several reviews of this pistol that say the Single action trigger rivals that of some 1911s. A nice trigger is what I'm after. And if I can get it without having to pay for an after market trigger job, so much the better.
I own three 1911s and one EAA Witness Elite Match that came in 45ACP, and I also have the conversion to 10mm auto.

The trigger on the EAA has much more travel than the 1911 trigger. There is no way to change that. If that does not bother you then the trigger of the EAA is pretty good. Personally I prefer the 1911 trigger.


The grip of the EAA is larger than the 1911 too. I find that I am only able to put 12 rounds of 10mm into a magazine that EAA says can hold 15.
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Old September 10, 2009, 08:41 AM   #13
hardluk1
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I payed under 500 for a new witness match in 40s&w and have also bought a 9mm converstion kit for it. No smithing needed and 100% reliable in both calibers. I have had two STI shooters try it and both said they would have to get use to the trigger but shoot it better than there much more costly pistols. There is a good following for them at henningshootsguns and brain enos forums.
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Old September 10, 2009, 08:56 AM   #14
wbw
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I just wish I could shoot or at last hold the Witness. No one near me sells them or rents them. Is it similar in grip to a CZ P-01? I know the P-01 is shorter, but is the girth the same?
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Old September 10, 2009, 09:27 AM   #15
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P-01 is built for .40 and 9mm

not .45 or 10mm, so no, the girth is not the same. 10mm and .45 are longer cartridges, requiring longer grip frames. Double column .45 magazines are fatter than double column .40 or 9mm mags, requiring a slightly wider grip frame.

For relative size ratio, compare grips on a Glock 21 with a Glock 17 or 19; that should give you an idea of how much to scale up the grip from a P-01.
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:14 AM   #16
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I'm the OP. As I said in the original post, I'm looking at 9mm whether it's the Springer or the Witness.
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:27 AM   #17
MLeake
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So you did...

... sorry, I'm used to comparisons between 1911 and other .45 platforms. That changes things considerably.

The Witness derived from EAA's Tanfoglio line, which are carbon copies of CZ75's. If you are looking for a competition gun in 9mm, have you considered http://cz-usa.com/products/view/CZ_75_SP01_Shadow/ ?

$800 MSRP, you can find them for less in gun shops, and they are excellent quality; grip size and shape are similar to P-01, but the grip is taller (19 shot magazine, .8" taller) and the slide and barrel are longer.
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:34 AM   #18
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Up to you

Hi, you need try and find a range that has both and try them and see witch one works for you.
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
people pile improperly manufactured 1911s in the same pot as ones that are actually made to specifications of original intent.
No such thing when you get into 9mm 1911's.

Quote:
This is just my opinion....

1911 = .45 acp or 10mm (.45 acp )

9mm = What ever floats your boat....
My opinion, too.

I don't have an EAA, but I do have a CZ-75. A single stack 1911 9mm is a waste of steel compared to a good CZ/EAA design 9mm. Same weight, lower capacity, and frankly the feel of the grip is inferior.

If CZ made an alloy framed single stack .45acp based on the CZ-75 design... and designed around daily concealed carry... it might be the best gun in the world, IMO.

I'm a 1911 fanboi and carry a Commander .45 just about every day... the only exception to that is days that I carry a .357 or .44 out hiking.

If you want a 9mm, then get a gun designed for 9mm. Glock, Sig, CZ, EAA, BHP, M9, et cetera.

If you're afraid of the EAA warranty system, then just get a CZ-75. CZ has a custom shop in the US that always seems to be well stocked. I got my 75 satin stainless for about $540, IIRC, and it just doesn't "need" anything done to it. One ragged hole. I took it to my CCW class and qualification after only 1 range session to break it in and test it (with that particular gun... 10's of K's of rounds in other guns), and shot little ragged holes in my qualifier targets.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:02 PM   #20
wbw
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Well, I just got off the phone with the closest CZ dealer. I had called about an SP01 Shadow which he didn't have. But..... he does have a hot rodded 75B single action that has been suped up by Angus. Now I'm all excited. I'm going to look at it on Friday. If it feels right and the trigger is good (which I would expect it to be), then I'll probably go with that.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:07 PM   #21
MLeake
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Good luck

CZ75B's are nice shooters; great grip shape, nice weight and balance. Best rapid fire 9mm pistols I've shot.

If you decide to dress it up some, Hakan Pek makes some nice grips. I have some of his American Walnut on order.

http://www.imageseek.com/hakan/
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:09 PM   #22
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A, "the grip on the EAA is larger" and....? so what? Since when is any grip not as tiny as the 1911 TOO BIG? Personally I hate the 1911 grip unless it is a double stack like and STI. It is flat and too small.
B, "the Witness is a CZ clone" (usually said in a this means it is somehow inferior to something else way) The Sphinx is a CZ clone and I will tell you right now that gun makes all but the most high end 1911s look like someone welded them together from old tractor parts.
C, Reliability is a non issue. Making the argument that a 1911 is a better choice because it may work for a hundred billion rounds instead of a CZ/EAA etc because it will only last one billion is silly and probably not even true.

You need to shoot both or at least a CZ if you can't get an EAA to try. They are very diff and one may suit you perfectly and the other be totally wrong for you. I by FAR perfer the CZ style yet a buddy acts like a girl with a pony whenever he shoots his custom Kimber which I have to admit is an amazingly smooth and polished gun. The two perform so well and are so reliable that the only big factor is personal fit.

All the new Witnesses are built on the larger frame so you can buy one and switch to diff calibers with a new barrel and mag.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:10 PM   #23
wbw
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The gun shop said it already comes with aluminum grips with some grip tape panels. I can't wait to see this thing. It sounds competition ready.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:14 PM   #24
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1911

I would say go for the 1911. My son used to carry a witness and he couldn't stand it. Just to weird feeling but I guess me bring him up around 1911 made him more particular to those. Just in my opinion.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:16 PM   #25
wbw
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This suped up CZ that I'm seeing on Friday is by no means a 'done deal', so this thread is not over yet, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread so far. I appreciate all of your input. It's you folks that got me thinking CZ since the Witness is no where to be found locally.
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