First, let me start by noting that I am not a professional gun reviewer. I like guns and I like to shoot them. I have a Springfield XD40 pistol that I like to shoot. However, 40 cal ammo is very expensive, and I wanted a 22LR pistol that had the feel and weight of the XD40 that I could use for practice. I did a lot of research online and there were very few solutions for what I wanted. My choices came down between the ISSC M22 ($199), The Chiappa 1911-22 ($267), the Sig Mosquito ($299), the ATI GSG 1911-22 ($335), and finally the Sig P229 22LR ($499).
The M22 was perfect mostly because of the price, the only issue is that the retailers that sell the M22 for $199 are always out of stock, and CDNN Sports, who sell it for $229, are located in Texas, so taxes, shipping, and transfer fee were an added cost that brought the cost close to the Sig Mosquito’s range. The Mosquito became my second option after the M22. However, bad reviews everywhere online and smaller frame made me keep searching.
I finally decided to save a little money and buy the Sig P229 22LR, which has the option to be upgraded to a bigger caliber by buying a conversion kit. However, I searched all over the internet, and even called Sig Sauer a couple of times, because I wanted to make sure that the caliber conversion kit for the P229 would come with a 4” barrel instead of the 4.5” barrel that are advertised by Sig (Conversion Kits work on p220, p226, and p229. However, only the p229 comes stock with a 4” barrel). Since I could not find an answer and I was still searching, and I came across the EAA Witness Steel Combo.
I searched online for information on the EAA Witness and there is not a lot of information on this Pistol compared to the major names in the industry. What little information I did find made me realized that this combo package was a very good deal. This pistol is based, or a clone of, the CZ-75, which is a very popular pistol throughout the world for its price point and reputation. Furthermore, Tanfoglio, which manufactures this pistol in Italy, has made improvements over the CZ-75 to make it an even better deal.
First time at the range
Since I had time left, I went and bought 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition, and exchanged the slides on the EAA Witness to the 9mm. I check the barrel of the EAA Witness 22LR conversion kit and it was not too dirty for the 200 rounds. The 22LR magazine was a little dirtier. I shot 50 9mm rounds with no issues at all. I did notice that the shots where hitting right of the targets. Keep in mind that the sights for the 9mm are not adjustable. Recoil, compared to the XD40, was much softer and it was very enjoyable to shoot as well. I need to do more shooting with the EAA Witness 9mm to figure why the shots were hitting right of my targets.
Feel of the EAA Witness
The EAA Witness feels great in my hand. It feel much nicer than my XD40 on the palm of the right hand. I feel like there is not an empty space, and there is no movement when shooting. With the XD40, I sometimes feel that the pistol shifts in my hand a little while shooting, and that causes inaccuracy. If I put 100 rounds with the XD, it could actually cause irritation around the hand. I know the XD has a bigger caliber, but the EAA Witness just felt so good.
The sights on the the 9mm slide are fixed and have the 3 dot system. They are just white in color and there is no air on the sights, which makes it great. The sights on the 22LR kit are adjustable but there is no 3 dot system. You only see black and again, there is not air in between the front and rear sights.
With regards to the trigger. I was a little disappointed with the EAA Witness. Double action felt really heavy. even shooting with the 22LR kit. Shots were not even close to the targets. Single action, however, was great. It felt quick and snappy. I have no complains with the single action of the EAA Witness and I am actually pretty happy that it is close to what the XD40 has.
The magazine release is well positioned and is easily accessible from the thumb. So is the pistol safe, which is just position over the thumb area. The slide release is reachable with the thumb, however, it is not very comfortable to use. I would imagine that a person with smaller hands would not even reach the slide release. I have to make an adjustment to my hand in order to release the slide.
Disassembly if fairly simple. Remove the magazine. On the left side of the EAA Witness, towards the back, you have two dots (one of the slide and one of the frame). You just move the slide back so that the two dots are aligned. Once aligned, take your magazine and push the pin on the right side of the frame. Once it pushes out, pull the ping and move the slide forward.
The slide has the barrel and the recoil spring. You can now exchange to the EAA Witness 22LR conversion kit. Or just remove the recoil spring and pull out the barrel, and you have disassembled the EAA Witness for cleaning.
The EAA Witness Steel full size 9/22 combo pistol is a great buy. This pistol can be found online for just under $400. I purchased mine locally for $399 plus taxes in order to help support my local dealer who opened their store recently. For that price you are basically receiving a 9mm pistol, and 22LR pistol, lifetime warranty, and lots of fun time at the range without going broke. The pistol feels great, is reliable, well built, affordable, accurate, and it is easy to clean.
On the negative side, my pistol came from the factory with a couple of scratches. The 22LR kit actually had two big scratches that removed the paint and you are able to see the aluminum below the paint. The overall finish of the pistol is not great. The finish is nowhere close to the finishes of the XD40 or a Glock. Also on the 22LR kit, the loaded camber indicator is always indicating that there is a round in the chamber, even thought there is nothing. For what I can tell, the barrel is pushing too far back and pushes out the indicator. This does not have any negative effect when there is a round in the chamber, it is just useless when there is not a round. Lastly, the slide on the 22LR kit does not lock back after the last round.
I would definitely recommend the EAA Witness 9/22 Combo to anyone looking for a 22LR for range practice. I would also recommend the EAA Witness 9/22 combo to someone buying their first handgun, or someone adding a full steel gun to their collection.
I will be going to the range to shoot this pistol for the next couple of week and report back with an update. For those searching online, the sku number for the EAA Witness Steel 9/22 Combo is 999175.
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