The Tanfoglio Witness is an inexpensive Italian handgun that is a clone of the CZ 75. It is imported into the United States by European American Armory (EAA) Corporation. It is often referred to as the “EAA Witness” for that reason.
When introduced in the mid-1970s, the CZ 75 was made in Czechoslovakia, which was a country under communist rule. Czeska Zbrojovka, the maker of the CZ 75, did not secure a patent for the design. Consequently, many companies began to make their own version of the CZ 75. Some were very good; some were not.
The Witness is one of the most available CZ clones available in the United States. EAA handles all of the warranty service work for Tanfoglio, so you will not find unusual delays in getting a gun fixed.
Ergonomics and Recoil
Shooters will find the ergonomics of the Witness are very good, and many shooters people are pleased with the grip size and angle. The way the gun is designed, your hand is able to grip very high on the gun, which helps minimize muzzle flip and recoil you will feel. Recoil is average for this size pistol. That is to say 9mm ammo is light recoiling, while larger calibers tend to recoil more. In addition to 9mm, the Witness is available in .38 Super, .40 S&W, 10mm and .45 ACP.
Reloading and Disassembly
You will find disassembly of the Witness is relatively easy. The slide is retracted slightly and the slide stop is pulled out of the frame. The slide assembly can then be eased forward and off of the frame.
Reloading is standard fare, press a button-type magazine release and the magazine drops free. A loaded mag can then be inserted into the magazine well.
Reliability and Durability
Unfortunately, the Witness is not rated for +P ammunition, which some may see as a suggestion of a weak design. For compact handguns where size constraints might prevent a pistol from safely shooting SAAMI-specification +P ammo, there is no reason why a full size handgun could not be built to handle these slightly higher chamber pressures. In addition to limiting ammunition selection for your self-defense, the inability to handle higher pressure loads also may suggest the gun could wear out more quickly than other brands.
The Tanfoglio Witness is a solid gun that offers a lot of value to a customer needing a reliable gun at a reasonable price point. The Witness can be purchased with a .22 LR conversion kit, which further extends the value of the handgun.