View Full Version : How do the EAA Tangfoglio Witness pistols compare to the CZ 75s?

June 8, 2011, 07:33 AM
I am not sure what to make of the MSRP figures on EAA's website and I don't know what CZ 75s go for , and I don't know if there are any substantial differences between quality between the guns.

June 8, 2011, 08:01 AM
> The Witness Elite Match in 40 S&W is selling at a local shop of mine for $550. I think MSRP is $709? When I asked, he didn't know the price of the 45 ACP version, but knew it was between $550 and $600.

June 8, 2011, 08:14 AM
They compare very favorably in my opinion. I bought my Witness Elite Match in 9mm about two years ago. No problems so far, although it has to compete with my other nines for range time.

I think the best feature is the SA only trigger. Very close to a good 1911 trigger. I shoot more accurately with mine than I do my other semi-auto pistols. I believe it's a popular competition pistol in Europe.

For comparison sake, since that's what you asked, I have had two CZs. Loved them but couldn't shoot well with either. Quality wise, I think the Witness is as good as the CZs that I had. EAA customer service has had some problems, I've heard. I haven't needed them. I bought mine used so I would send it elsewhere for repair if necessary.


June 8, 2011, 08:20 AM
Not a comment on quality, but the only thing I don't like about them is that EAA is just the importer, not the maker. If something goes wrong, you have to go through a middleman who's CS is not known to be very good. With CZ, there is no middleman.

However, EAA's line has something CZ doesn't, a reasonably sized .45 option. The CZ97 is just too big for alot of people, myself included. For some reason EAA/Tangfolio & the Jericho/Baby Eagle clones have managed to make .45's in the classic CZ75 layout without being huge.

I wish CZ would produce a smaller .45!

June 8, 2011, 08:38 AM
It sounds like the Witness Elite Match is similar to the CZ 75 B SA.

June 8, 2011, 08:44 AM
Can't beat the price difference. Tanfoglio is a bargain.

June 8, 2011, 09:42 AM
"It sounds like the Witness Elite Match is similar to the CZ 75 B SA. "

Yes it is, although I've never fired the CZ 75B SA.

I don't believe the Witness Classic mentioned above is the same as the Witness Elite Match. Not sure which Witness model the OP is referring to.

June 8, 2011, 03:34 PM
I have owned both of these pistols in 9mm. In my opinion the EEA Witness Match is a much better value. The single action trigger is excellent and accuracy is superb. Also, do not believe any of the nonsense that has been floating around about reliability issues. I have had my EAA for 2 years and have shot endless thousands of my handloads through it without any problems.
It is also a very attractive piece and I always get favorable comments about it at the range, especially since it isn't common.

June 8, 2011, 03:54 PM
I was just going to ask the same question as I was very close to getting a CZ, but in the lgs today, there was only one CZ - compact and a bunch of EAA Witness's.

I really liked the wonder finish on the 9mm and almost got it. I might go back.

So, in reference to quality, this gun looked and felt very high quality to me. Don't have a CZ to compare to though. The black matt finish seemed a little fragile as the one there almost looked used just from people taking it out of the gun case I assume - the wonder finish looked perfect. BTW, the trigger felt awesome just trying in the store.

I have heard nothing but good about the witness, but as I asked the salesman, I have an older PPK clone made my Tangfolio and it is crap, so I was a little leary. But they said this one is really a quality piece.

So my question is the same, should I try to find a CZ or go with the Witness?

June 8, 2011, 04:08 PM
I agree that, for the price, there's nothing better on the market.

I also agree that the importer, EAA, has a well-deserved reputation for horrible customer service.

If you buy one and it needs service, use Henning Wallgren - henningshootsguns.com - and you'll be happy.

June 8, 2011, 05:40 PM
Reliability issues popped up when they went with a single sized large frame. They work best in longer OAL calibers like, .45, .38Super, and 10mm. The CZ is a better option in 9mm and .40S&W. I have Elite Stocks in .38 Super and 10mm. Great shooters.

June 8, 2011, 06:28 PM
Are the witness triggers any better than the CZ's? <---(which I found to be horrible, even their SA.)

June 8, 2011, 06:30 PM
Imitations are seldom superior to the originals... Get the CZ and don't look back.

June 8, 2011, 10:38 PM
C-0, 6/9/11

I have owned a number of CZ's (two 75 compacts in 9mm and one 2075 in 9mm) and two Witness .45's (compact and full sized in the Wonder finish). I also own a number of other quality pistols- Beretta, Sig, SW 3rd gen, Glock, HK, Springers, etc. So here's the good and bad from my perspective.

The good- CZ- fits and points extremely well in the hand, reliable through thousands of rounds, accurate, safe. Overall a great pistol.

EAA Witness- also fits the hands well but bigger framed, accurate, cheap price.

The bad- CZ- long reach for the DA trigger pull. Moderate creep in the SA trigger pull in all three of mine and in two other new full size 75's I tried. This can be fixed with a little gunsmithing leaving an excellent trigger.

EAA- both cracked frames and slides in the 2800-3200 round count with standard pressure ammo. EAA refused to repair or replace them. The safety on the compact was defective- when taken off the hammer would drop. Since I always shot the first shot from DA I just left it alone. If you google EAA customer service you will find that many feel it is the worst in the business. There are a number of posts both here and at the CZ forum (czforumsite.info) regarding cracking frames and slides mostly on the .45 and 10mm pistols.

So do a little research and pick what works best for you. I would buy another CZ any day but never another EAA Witness.

good luck- oldandslow

June 8, 2011, 10:55 PM
I've heard about the cracking issues with the EAA 45's and 10mm's. That's why I stayed away. I really would like a CZ 75 size 45acp. I think that would be the cat's meow.:D

June 8, 2011, 10:57 PM
I haven't handled a witness match but I have a basic smal frame witness. I also have a couple of cz's. Now if you compare a basic 75b and a basic witness the cz wins. The finish is better on the cz. The sights aren't great on the cz but they are better than on my witness. On the witness the front sight is part of the slide so if you want different sights it is a pain in the rear. The trigger is actually a little better on witness but my cz's are more accurate. I'm giving my witness to my step son and I'm buying another cz.

June 9, 2011, 07:06 AM
"Are the witness triggers any better than the CZ's? <---(which I found to be horrible, even their SA.) "

The trigger on my Witness Elite Match, which is single action only, is excellent. It's easily the best trigger out of the six 9mms that I own. It rivals my 1911s trigger.

June 9, 2011, 07:23 AM
The Tanfoglios were designed with the 9para in mind. If you get one with that ammo, it will never fail.

But if you like the CZs and want some good quality look for a Jericho. It is basically a clone of the CZ with main parts made in Italy and refinished and assembled in Israel. The best of all three specimen.


June 9, 2011, 07:28 AM
I have a Witness Stock in 10mm. It has the DA/SA trigger which I really like. I find it easy to shoot and accurate. It's been very reliable so far. The Wonder finish looks nice and seems to be quite durable - maybe a little more scratch-resistant than stainless. Here's a picture of it:


The manufacturer is an Italian company, Tanfoglio. Tanfoglio has been around for quite some time, but in the 70's it had a reputation for making cheap "Saturday-night" specials. I have one of their older EXCAM .25's - actually, not a bad little gun.

June 9, 2011, 07:43 AM
I had a Witness 9mm sometime in the 90's that didn't impress me. Quality wise it was no comparison to the CZ's. I'm not sure about the current production guns.

June 9, 2011, 11:06 AM
But if you like the CZs and want some good quality look for a Jericho. It is basically a clone of the CZ with main parts made in Italy and refinished and assembled in Israel. The best of all three specimen.

My Jericho was a good gun, well made. Just got finicky with certain ammo and after market support is non existent.

chris in va
June 9, 2011, 11:09 AM
I've had a CZ 75 for years and wanted a similar gun in 45ACP, so I picked up a Witness.

Bad mistake. For some reason the barrel is tilted such that it requires an absurdly high rear sight, and isn't a natural pointer like my CZ. It's overly heavy for the caliber as well. The muzzle area has very sharp edges and kept shaving off bits of leather every time I would holster it.

Sold it and got a Glock 21SF.

June 9, 2011, 12:05 PM
I purchased a EAA Elite Match in .45 ACP for under $600. I later bought a 10mm auto conversion for it. I have only fired about 150 rounds of 10mm through it so far. My biggest problem is trying to load more than 12 cartridges in the magazines that are designed to hold 14 cartridges.

I don't know anything about CZ products.

June 9, 2011, 03:53 PM
I've owned two CZ-75b's, a CZ-75b SA and a Witness Elite Match in 9mm. I still own the Witness Elite Match. I put a set of Hogue finger groove grips on my witness (had to stretch them a bit) to make the grip perfect for my hand.
The witness has a much better single action pull with no trigger creap at all, plus you can set the pre and overtravel on the trigger.

The witness elite match sights are adjustable and the slide to frame fit is amazing. The CZ-75's tend to have tool marks, average fit, below average finish and trigger creap/gritty out-of-the-box trigger pull. Don't get me wrong....the CZ is very accurate but the witness elite match is equally as accurate (or better) and is a higher quality pistol in my opinion.

After shooting the Witness Elite Match for a few months my custom Browning Hi Power doesn't even get to the range anymore.....the Elite Match is just that good. The only addition I'd like to see on the Elite match is a standard fiber optic front sight...but you can easily add one.

Best Regards,

June 9, 2011, 06:06 PM
so an EAA witness in 9mm with the .22 conversion included for $379 would be a good deal?

June 9, 2011, 06:41 PM
The TZ 75 (pot metal) is in no comparison to the CZ 75(Quality). Just looks thats all.

June 9, 2011, 06:55 PM
That's strange, every Tanfoglio CZ clone pistol I've ever seen or owned was made of steel, not "pot metal".

June 10, 2011, 04:39 AM
I would go for it....
Have fun!


June 10, 2011, 07:00 AM
I bought a Witness compact 9mm with the "wonder finish" (looks like stainless steel but isn't) for carry about 12 years ago. I shot it a lot in the 8 years I owned it, somewhere around the 5,000 round mark, not a single hiccup with any ammo I ever used. Light enough to be comfortable for long days carrying but heavy enough that even the hottest loads thorugh the short barrel were easily managed. I loved it and deeply regret trading it in for the Springfield EMP because that little gun was nothing but trouble for 2 years I owned it.

I have heard that EAA weapons can be hit or miss on quality and that their customer service is absolutely horrid but I can't say first hand as my little Witness was awesome. I don't know how true this statement is but I was comparing notes with another satisfied Witness owner about a year ago and he told me the Witness line has 8 fewer moving parts in the action and trigger groups than the CZ's do. To me fewer moving parts equals fewer opportunities for breakage but again I don't know how accurate that statement is.

FWIW I would not hesitate to buy another Witness. My only complaint when I owned it was the scarcity and price of mags but from what I hear they are common place and cheap at all gun shows these days. Good luck.

June 10, 2011, 07:54 AM
I ordered two factory 10mm magazines directly from EAA. Paid by credit card and they were delivered in 2 days. The guy over there who was knowledgable about the 10mm's took the time to explain a few things about the magazines and about the gun. I've heard others complain, but my experience is that customer service was excellent. BTW, I paid less than $25/ factory magazine - they are polished blue and fantastic quality - yes, they have the orange followers. I know that Mecgar also makes magazines for the gun, but I see no reason to go with an aftermarket magazine when the factory mags are good, cheap and available.

I'll post some pictures of the internal frame, barrel and slide - those might be helpful for anyone considering one of these guns....This is the Witness Stock, 10mm.




June 10, 2011, 10:38 PM
My first 9x19 Witness arrived in 1994.
Customer servicve was no help with my issues with accuracy, but a hardfit Nowlin barrel by Mr. Bob Cogan solved that.
I have well over 70K through that gun, much of it 'experimental' :rolleyes: in nature.
I bought a used version similar to the first in 1995, and returned it to EAA for unreliable operation last year (untold 'experimental' :rolleyes: rds through this one, too, including 9x21, 40 S&W, and 41 AE).
It was serviced in spectacular fashion, its restored condition much like a custom gun.

I prefer them to the CZ 'donor'.

I also have the CZ97 clone, and returned it along with the 9mm version for servicing its unreliable function from new (too accurate to sell, and utterly flawless with a 38 Super top end).
It, too, returned a star.

So I'm satisfied with my three EAA Witnesses, shot in 9x19, 9x21, 38 Super, 40 S&W, 41 AE, and 45 ACP.
I sold off the 38 Super top end; regretted.

June 12, 2011, 02:36 PM
"That's strange, every Tanfoglio CZ clone pistol I've ever seen or owned was made of steel, not "pot metal".

I wonder why mine Rusted like an Old Chevy truck? And Almost as reliable as an old chevy truck as well. Not very....:barf:

June 12, 2011, 04:19 PM
I bought a Witness Elite Match .45 several months ago. Having seen how mixed the opinions were, it felt like a bit of a dice roll. Thankfully it worked out, & I'm quite happy with it. It's extremely reliable and accurate. It's close enough in accuracy to my SA Trophy match that it's apparent that the biggest variable is me.
As far as shooting goes, my only real gripe is the sights. In comparison to my 1911, they are tiny. The trigger is excellent.

IMHO it is undersprung. IIRC stock is a 14lb recoil spring. I would not be the least bit surprised if the slide cracking issue was due to the anemic springs they come with stock (especially the 10mm). I'm running an 18lb spring now with no issues, and can probably go more.
It's a great gun for the money and I'm glad I bought it.

June 13, 2011, 05:47 AM
George Smith literally laughed in my face after I'd asked if he could machine sight dovetails into the slide of one my Witnesses.
Something about "so hard you couldn't afford to buy all the tooling that would get worn out and broken".....

June 13, 2011, 09:21 AM
I had pined over the idea of a Witness Elite Match for quite some time...

What I wanted was a pistol chambered in 9mm that was accurate and with a good trigger and decent sights. What I wanted was a handgun that could eat a lot of 125 grain lead round nose handloads, punch small groups in paper, and run for a long time. I've got two 9's already and both are absolutely functional but neither of them can hang with any of my revolvers or my 1911 for target accuracy.

What I did not need nor care about was size or weight. It didn't need to be thin or thick, I didn't need to be able to hide it or conceal it, I also didn't need high capacity. I didn't want double action because I wanted a good trigger. I didn't need or want a tactical rail, but you can't avoid them these days. I also didn't need or want to accessorize it.

What I had obviously read & heard was that EAA has a horrific, scary reputation for customer service. I mean BAD and unfriendly, obnoxious even.

What I liked was the price of the gun and the hands-on experience from the folks who owned them. Tanfoglio has a decent reputation for building nicely fitted handguns with the Elite Match and the models beyond. These aren't full custom guns, but are fitted precisely as I understand it. The design is obviously quite solid.

So I bought one... finally! Never saw used ones anywhere for sale. Only seen a few new ones in gun stores. Always see full page ads for them in gun magazine. I bought mine from a gun dealer on Gun Broker. He lists them one at a time in "buy it now" auctions. So the price is set and you just snag one every time he lists one when you want it. I paid $519 plus $20 to ship it.

What I found with it is that the trigger is really nice... not quite a 1911 trigger, but it's got an over-travel stop and that makes a very big difference, IMO, on trigger feel. The sights are adjustable and decent, but I'd like if they were larger target type sights. I hate the god-awful ugly huge tac rail and if I had the tools and skill, I'd mill it off the pistol.

But it's beautifully accurate with my handloads and it's eaten 1,085 rounds of lead and plated bullet handloads and it's only mis-fed twice in those 1,085 rounds. Much of that has been one hand and weak hand shooting and a good bit of it has been IDPA-style shooting and moving.

I've also run 400 rounds through it without cleaning to see if it'll run when a bit dirty and it doesn't even hiccup.

It's early in our relationship, but so far-- it feels like money very well spent. I added three magazines, all gotten directly from EAA. $80 for all three and they are as good & a bit better than the single OEM mag that came with it.

For the best discussion forum I've yet found specifically for Tanfoglio pistols, visit Brian Enos' forums under the EAA/Tanfoglio area.

June 13, 2011, 03:52 PM
There has been some discussion about "cracked slides" with regard to some EAA guns. I believe that for a time EAA was using "rounded" slides that were causing a problem, especially in the 10mm guns. They have since gone back to the squared slides which apparently have never had any problems. I found this thread in another forum which shows the difference between a rounded slide and a squared slide. http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=122900