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Posted: 3/11/2005 6:35:39 PM EDT
I'm a first-time handgun buyer looking at all available models and keeping my options open. I'm looking to purchase a handgun as a CCW, ideally in .45 and at a cost below $900.

I saw an advertisement for EAA Corp handguns in American Handgunner magazine and asked my more knowledgeable friend about it. He didn't know anything about the company or the quality of their products.

Has anyone had experience with these? Do you recommend (or strongly dislike) their handguns?


www.eaacorp.com

Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 6:49:24 PM EDT
From reading various posts on this board and others, EAA handguns have gotten some pretty decent reviews.

I've handled a few at a recent gun show and they seemed like good, solid handguns. The price of their products is one of their most attractive feature. These are far above a Hi-Point, Jennings, Lorcin, etc in craftsmanship...but they are not Sigs.

If you are willing to spend $900 for a .45acp, you have a good range to choose from....Para-Ordnance, Springfield, Colts, Kimber. Of course, you could probably pick up an EAA Witness for around $450, and spend the other $450 on gun gear and ammo.

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 7:13:02 PM EDT
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I'm looking at the models you mentioned, as well as those made by HK. Everyone seems to be supporters of HK and Sig, but I wondered if there was any concensus about the EAA Corp handguns.

I've searched the past 30 days on this site for anything about EAA and haven't come up with much.

If I went to a local range or gun shop and asked to rent one to test it, is it the sort of thing they would have? Or is it not common enough to be available for rental?

Thanks again for your reply.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 8:20:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2005 8:21:12 PM EDT by ProfessorEvil]
I have the witness 45 in steel. Handy gun, works, looks ok, I like it, have the 22 coversion for it. I recommend it for a good low-cost semi 45.

They're based on the CZ 75 design.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:28:30 AM EDT
EAA Corp is just the importer. They don't actually make anything. So if something goes wrong, and you have to send it back to EAA, you aren't sending it back to anyone that really has much to do with the gun being made. It's just a guy in the back, who's also one of the VP's that fixes your gun. Most people that have had any experience with their warranty work or their customer service have found it poor.

I'd say they are a mid level quality gun. Not as high a quality as my Sig P220, or an HK. You get what you pay for, really.

I have a Witness .45 with a .22LR conversion unit. I haven't had any problems with it. It's pretty big for a carry piece though IMO. Still, it would do fine. I live in Virginia Beach, and if you're nearby you can shoot mine to see what you think. It's a very accurate and easy to shoot gun. Just kinda big and heavy for carrying around.

Ross
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:40:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:36:30 AM EDT
Something to ponder....

EAA got bought by Remington.... and so the future import of some firearms are in question.

If you can afford more, you would most likely be happier with another of the mentioned models. I had a witness for a long while.. and it was nice from what it was... but like previously said.. "you get what you pay for".

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:57:30 PM EDT
So it seems like the consensus is that for up to $900, my best bet is to go for a Sig, HK, Kimber, Springfield, or Para-Ordnance.

Not trying to start a huge debate here, but for a first handgun purchase and one that will serve as a CCW, is there a preference out there between those models? I'm a pretty big guy, and the only one of those that I have fired (Sig 220) fit comfortably in my hand.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 3:10:14 PM EDT
Hi Sambo..

If this is your first handgun purchase.. and its meant for CCW work... I would go for what feels best in your hand, what feels "natural".

If its the Sig 220.. go for it!

HK, Para, Kimber, Springfield, Dan Wesson, and a few others all make a quality product... and at this point in the game... I would suggest to you that the most important consideration is how it feels in your hand, ansd lots & lots of shooting.... becoming familiar with the layout.. function.. sights.. trigger.. ect..

I personally carry a Dan Wesson 1911, or Kimber.. or my SA depending on the situation.. all 1911's. That works for me, after many years of shooting.


Do you ave an indoor range near you that would allow you to rent guns?? give a few different models a spin before buying?

If not.. hit a local gunstore... and just hold as many models as you can. Dont worry about brand preference so much at first... feel in your hand will be more important right now than the name on the slide, and as long as you are looking at quality makes.. you will do well.

congrats.. and have fun!
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 3:32:22 PM EDT
BDA, thanks for the reply. Thinking back, I've actually fired the Sig 220 and a colt 1911 that was a service weapon of a marine buddy of mine. I really liked the Sig, didn't like the 1911 as much, though I only fired one clip out of the 1911. I also fired a .38 S&W revolver, but I'm only looking at semi-autos.

The local range doesn't offer handguns to rent. I'm in charlottesville, VA--anyone know of a place close to hear that rents them? Closest I found was 2 1/2 hours away (in Chantilly).


I'm going to be taking an introductory handgun safety/basics course in two weeks, so I'm hoping that I might be able to try a few varieties from other students, the instructor, etc. Problem is I won't have my own gun for that course; I'll be borrowing my friend's Sig 220 (this isn't a problem, is it?).

Otherwise I'm going to do what you suggest--going to the gun stores in the area and trying a few out for feel.

Some people have said that you can only tell if you'll like a particular handgun if you fire it a few times, so I was a little concerned that unless I fired a half dozen varieties before purchasing, I was making a hasty buy. Not sure about your thoughts on that, but I am definitely planning on trying out (with live fire or at least holding for "feel") as many as I can before I buy.

Thanks again.


Link Posted: 3/12/2005 3:53:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 4:27:48 PM EDT by gotm4]

Since your limit is $900, I suggest a SIG 220, if you look around you can even get a 220ST (stainless frame) for under $900
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:09:46 PM EDT
I have a Witness 10mm fullsize in Wonderfinish. Its fabulous for the money. Very accurate, powerful, and comfortable. Excellent pistol for $269 bucks.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:19:43 PM EDT
CFII, I assume you meant it's an excellent pistol for $469, not $269, right? Their website has the suggested retail price for the witness series starting at $429, but I haven't seen any price listing for under $400...did you buy a new one for lower than that? If so, please tell me where...


Incidentally, if I'm buying my first handgun, will I get a better price at a gun show as opposed to going to a dealer?
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:32:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sambo1999:
CFII, I assume you meant it's an excellent pistol for $469, not $269, right? Their website has the suggested retail price for the witness series starting at $429, but I haven't seen any price listing for under $400...did you buy a new one for lower than that? If so, please tell me where...


Incidentally, if I'm buying my first handgun, will I get a better price at a gun show as opposed to going to a dealer?



Dealer pricing is quite a bit less than MSRP, so shop around. I got my 45 for $289 on gunbroker a couple years ago.

Oh it's NOT a ccw piece unless you're andre the giant.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 7:16:18 PM EDT
Not, I got it for $269. CDNN has them for like 249 right now
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 7:34:44 PM EDT
I have the all steel Witness .45. I may have gotten very lucky, but mine came out of the box with an excellent trigger and is very, very accurate. I bought it as an inexpensive gun to carry in my soft top Jeep, but I really fell in love with it.

It's got thousands of rounds through it, and it's never had even one malfunction. I can't say the same about Kimber and Springfield .45s I've had, but, like I said, maybe I just got lucky and got a really good one.

Also, if you have big hands the ergnomics are excellent.

They are based on the CZ75, and the actual manufacturer is Tanfoglio in Italy.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:06:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 2:08:53 AM EDT by Zardoz]
I've had 2 fullsize 9mm's, 1 compact 9mm, and a friend of mine has 2 fullsize .45's (he bought one, and liked it so much, he bought another). All of them are the steel-framed versions. None of them has ever had a failure of any kind, using whatever kind of ammo we had with us at the time. For the money, you aren't going to beat it, but while the compact is small enough for concealed carry, they are also a little on the wide side. The grip frame of the CZ75/TA-90/Witness pistols though, was designed by a freakin' genius. I've never held a gun that was so comfortable in my hands.

As a matter of fact, one of the fullsize 9mm's that I used to own has turned back up in the store I traded it. I *almost* RE-bought it (trading it in the first place was a dumbass thing to do), but I'm holding out for a Springfield GI .45.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:08:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:08:43 AM EDT
I've never been a gun snob, and I've had my share of crappy "big-name" guns, some that wouldn't shoot out of the box. Not "didn't shoot great", but wouldn't even go bang. On the other hand, my EAA Witness 40SW has been dead-reliable since the day I got it, in late 1990. I have a shade over 24,000 rounds thru it as of last month, and I'll put it up against anyone's gun for reliability. Mine cost $350 way back then, and it was worth every penny. In fact, it still is. All those hot handloads later, it's a little smoother, tight as the day I got it, and as accurate as I am, only better. Why so many people turn their noses up at them is beyond me. Mine feeds short loads, too-long loads, hot, mild and everything in between. It's not lightweight, it's not meant to be anything but a full-sized service gun, and to me it's like all my 45's, only it feels better, holds more ammo, and lacks the quirks of most 1911's. I can carry it cocked-and-locked, DA first shot, or Condition Three, all with perfect safety. And it's totally adequate for what a service pistol is supposed to do. So all the Sig/HK/Colt gun snobs can brag about their $900+ guns, I spent a lot less, got a lot more, and can be smug about it. Like the infamous "they" say, "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!"Papajohn
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:38:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BDA:
Something to ponder....

EAA got bought by Remington.... and so the future import of some firearms are in question.

If you can afford more, you would most likely be happier with another of the mentioned models. I had a witness for a long while.. and it was nice from what it was... but like previously said.. "you get what you pay for".





EAA has NOT been bought by remington. Remington made a deal with the russian manufacture of the EAA shotgun line to sell those instead of EAA. the same russian manufacture makes the Saiga rifles and shotguns, and becuase of the disbute over distribution EAA no longer imports the saiga's as well. a Kentucky company is suppose to be importing saiga's and parts now. This should have no effect on EAA's line of pistols.

www.eaacorp.com/news.shtml
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:24:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 2:25:59 PM EDT by Ross]

I'm going to be taking an introductory handgun safety/basics course in two weeks, so I'm hoping that I might be able to try a few varieties from other students, the instructor, etc. Problem is I won't have my own gun for that course; I'll be borrowing my friend's Sig 220 (this isn't a problem, is it?).


Not only is this NOT a problem, it's probably the BEST thing you can do, period. Way too many people worry about buying this or that brand, and get no training. You can NEVER get enough training.

Borrowing your friend's P220 is another good idea. It will give you a good gun to get through the class with, and you'll know by the end of the class if the P220 is what you want. Another good move.


Some people have said that you can only tell if you'll like a particular handgun if you fire it a few times, so I was a little concerned that unless I fired a half dozen varieties before purchasing, I was making a hasty buy. Not sure about your thoughts on that, but I am definitely planning on trying out (with live fire or at least holding for "feel") as many as I can before I buy.


Figure it's kinda like buying a car. You can eliminate ALOT of choices just be sitting in the seat, or in your case just picking up the gun. Usually there will be something that you can just say, "Nah, not that one." even if you can't explain exactly what that is. Like "curb appeal" when buying a house.

When you get down to a couple that feel good, you can probably wander over to the VA board here on the hometown forum and find someone who has one you can try out, or at least ask detailed questions about. Most gun owners actually like to have other people shoot their guns. On the VA bord you'll find someone close enough to you that you can probably try whatever choices you have at a local range, or shoot.

No matter what, buy a high quality gun that YOU like. Not because some agency carries it, or you saw it in a movie, or Joe Blow said it was the best thing. You're the only one that needs to be pleased.

Ross
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:30:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sambo1999:
BDA, thanks for the reply. Thinking back, I've actually fired the Sig 220 and a colt 1911 that was a service weapon of a marine buddy of mine. I really liked the Sig, didn't like the 1911 as much, though I only fired one clip out of the 1911. I also fired a .38 S&W revolver, but I'm only looking at semi-autos.



It's a magazine, young Jedi, not a clip.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:32:15 PM EDT
Thanks for the clarification. I apologize for the improper terminology...as I said I'm still a beginner at this. Thank you guys for your feedback as well.
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