Author Topic: Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?  (Read 8901 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Cleft-Asunder

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« on: January 05, 2004, 12:16:50 AM »
I own a 97B, and I noticed some advantages that the witness has over it.

1. Witness has a greater number of finishes and also has the choice of wooden or rubber grips. The 97B has two types of finishes, and only wooden grips are available

2. Magazines fit flush into the Witness, while the 97B has a 2-1/2mm gap.

3. The dots on the sights of the Witness are carefully applied, forming 3 perfect circles. On every CZ pistol I've handled (including the P0-1 and 97B), the dots were smeared and injected poorly.

4. Straighter and more precise machining on the Witness.

5. 97B has an un-necessary barrel bushing which decreases accuracy if somewhat loose.

6. Full length metal guide rod on the Witness. Half length plastic on the 97B.

7. Two barrel brushes included for the Witness as apposed to one for the 97B.

8. Better price for the Witness.

9. CZ replacement parts are overpriced, and the customer support REALLY stinks. I don't know about EAA however, could be the same story.

So the question is, why buy a 97B over a Witness .45?

Offline Gary in Pennsylvania

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 250
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2004, 05:19:57 AM »
I'm gonna watch this thread! :lol

Gary in Pennsylvania
__________________
XD-45 Tactical & XD9SC
KGPF-330 3" short shroud GP-100
KGPF-340 4" short shroud GP-100
CZ-75D PCR Compact

Walt-Sherrill

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2004, 05:59:59 AM »
I'll reply to specifics, below:

Quote
Quote:
1. Witness has a greater number of finishes and also has the choice of wooden or rubber grips. The 97B has two types of finishes, and only wooden grips are available
Important only if you really want a finish or grip not available with the CZ.  Doesn't make the Witness "better," per se.

Quote
Quote:
2. Magazines fit flush into the Witness, while the 97B has a 2-1/2mm gap.
Nice characteristic. The new CZs come with a different base plate that fills the gap.  

Quote
Quote:
3. The dots on the sights of the Witness are carefully applied, forming 3 perfect circles. On every CZ pistol I've handled (including the P0-1 and 97B), the dots were smeared and injected poorly.
That has definitely NOT been my experience, and I've had eight different CZs.

Quote
Quote:
4. Straighter and more precise machining on the Witness.
Again, that has not been my experience.  In fact, my CZ-97B (traded away), was one of the most nicely finished guns I've bought in the last several years.

Quote
Quote:
5. 97B has an un-necessary barrel bushing which decreases accuracy if somewhat loose.
Perhaps, perhaps not.  Let your Witness get a little worn around the front of the slide and see what happens to accuracy.  With the CZ, you just order a new bushing.  (A loose bushing, incidentally, shouldn't greatly affect accuracy, unless its so loose as to allow wobble.)

Quote
Quote:
6. Full length metal guide rod on the Witness. Half length plastic on the 97B.
So?  Explain how a full length guide rod is BETTER?  (This is a long-running debate here on the forum.)

Quote
Quote:
7. Two barrel brushes included for the Witness as apposed to one for the 97B.
Do you actually use the factory-supplied brushes for anything?!

Quote
Quote:
8. Better price for the Witness.
Less expensive, but it could be argued that you don't get as much.

Quote
Quote:
9. CZ replacement parts are overpriced, and the customer support REALLY stinks. I don't know about EAA however, could be the same story.
Parts are expensive. But my experience with customer support (and that of most people I've talked with) puts CZ-USA right up there with Ruger and Kel-Tec as being one of the best in the business.   Witness (EAA) has long been one of the horror stories of the gun industry and one of the reasons given for NOT BUYING A WITNESS or CZ Clone.  They seem to be getting better.

Quote
Quote:
So the question is, why buy a 97B over a Witness .45?
Few of the reasons you cite are  meaningful.  Only "PRICE" of those cited above seems meaningful, to me.  And I'll agree with that one.

Some you didn't mention:

10.  EAA Witnesses have a full range of conversion kits for the large-frame model, allowing you to change calibre.

11.  EAA Witness large-frame guns have a smaller grip so that if the CZ-97B is too large for your hand, you have a CZ-style alternative that might be easier to shoot.

12.  Much better selection of after-market parts and supplies.

13.  Simpler design.  (Its not really a clone; just loosely based on the CZ design.

I have an EAA Witness .45.  Its one of the pricier of the Witness models -- a Sport Long Slide.  I prefer it to the CZ-97B, but only because it fits my hand better.  The CZ-97B trigger was much, much better than mine. (I spent MONTHS getting the Witness trigger right.)   After much effort, the Witness is not a superb weapon.  But it was not noticeably more accurate than the CZ-97B; wasn't less accurate either.  They were both very accurate (when I did what I was supposed to do.)

Witness/Tanfoglio makes a good gun.  If they get their customer service act together and improve their triggers -- which, in my experience, aren't that great (but improvable) -- they'd be hard to beat.

I have only limited experience with Baby Eagles, but they seem to be at least as good as CZs...

Offline ut83

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1756
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2004, 07:12:35 AM »
Interesting thread...........as the owner of a 97B I dont see how you can come up with a couple of your points....see below.

1. Witness has a greater number of finishes and also has the choice of wooden or rubber grips. The 97B has two types of finishes, and only wooden grips are available
*The wonderfinish is a great finish, but only looks different than the poly/blue offered by CZ.  All are tough and will do the job.  I wish CZ would offer a HC gun or stainless.

2. Magazines fit flush into the Witness, while the 97B has a 2-1/2mm gap.
*This is an issue many 97 owners have voiced. Personally when I had mine I bugged me to.  I think the new base plate
is fixing a symptom, not the problem.  Just my opinion.

3. The dots on the sights of the Witness are carefully applied, forming 3 perfect circles. On every CZ pistol I've handled (including the P0-1 and 97B), the dots were smeared and injected poorly.
* Walt nailed it, Ive had 14 CZ's and shot many Witness's.
The sight dots are NOT poorly done..in fact I find the CZ sights on newer production guns are better than ever.

4. Straighter and more precise machining on the Witness.
*NOT!  I have NO IDEA where you came up with this one.
On the steel framed CZ's they dont put a finish machine on the internal frame surfaces (at times) where there is no contact...its a moot point to do it.  As far as outside machining/rails goes.  If you stripped the finish off of a 97 and a Witness you would be very surprised.

5. 97B has an un-necessary barrel bushing which decreases accuracy if somewhat loose.
*Unecessary in what regard?  So it cant be changed out without heating/sweating a new one in like the witness/rest of the CZ line.  The odds of you wearing one out arent great.
For shooters who like to "tune" their guns...like the guys who shoot Witness Match/Limited guns WISH they had a bushing to work with.

6. Full length metal guide rod on the Witness. Half length plastic on the 97B.  
* What advantage does the FLGR offer over a 1/2 length rod?
I admit Im not a plastic fan, but Ive run both 1/2 and full length rods in my guns, SS, Chrome and plastic and have seen NO difference.  The FLGR makes some people all warm and fuzzy though.

7. Two barrel brushes included for the Witness as apposed to one for the 97B.
How much of an advatage is it to offer a 2$ barrel brush with a gun?  Most shooters have too many as it is.

8. Better price for the Witness.
Witness is a great gun.  But you get what you pay for.

9. CZ replacement parts are overpriced, and the customer support REALLY stinks. I don't know about EAA however, could be the same story.
*This one I love.  You havent compared CZ parts to Witness parts prices...have you?  CZ parts are ALOT less money than Witness parts!  CZ Customer Service is LIGHT YEARS ahead of MOST OTHER GUN COMPANIES.......ESPECIALLY EAA's.  I know first hand of many examples of this....they say "Sorry".

So the question is, why buy a 97B over a Witness .45?
*Lets see, Better quality, trigger, out of the box accuracy and personal choice.

The Witness guns are still great guns.  If you have smaller hands the witness may be better suited for you.  There is no right answer for everyone and there are MANY happy Witness owners out there.  Walt is one of them.

But it doesnt make your points correct.

Shoot well..................

Offline dleong

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 656
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2004, 08:23:04 AM »
Quote
Quote:
1. Witness has a greater number of finishes and also has the choice of wooden or rubber grips. The 97B has two types of finishes, and only wooden grips are available

Admittedly, I would like to see some aftermarket composite grips available for the 97B. I am currently on my second set of CZ wooden grips. The original ones were dinged by brass flying over from the next stall at the indoor range a few months back.
Quote
Quote:
2. Magazines fit flush into the Witness, while the 97B has a 2-1/2mm gap.

Hmm... that sounds a little excessive. I just measured the gap on my 97B (a '98 model) and it is only about 1 mm.
Quote
Quote:
3. The dots on the sights of the Witness are carefully applied, forming 3 perfect circles. On every CZ pistol I've handled (including the P0-1 and 97B), the dots were smeared and injected poorly.

Again, on my 97B and 75Bs, the sight dots are perfectly formed. I have always liked the "geometry" of CZ's iron sights, in that the dot on the front sight is slightly larger than the ones in the rear, so that when all three are lined up, they all appear similarly sized. I find this makes for very fast target acquisition, and wonder if it is a contributory factor to the CZs' accuracy.
Quote
Quote:
4. Straighter and more precise machining on the Witness.

I cannot comment on this as I have not detail-stripped a Witness.
Quote
Quote:
6. Full length metal guide rod on the Witness. Half length plastic on the 97B.

Even though I have installed a modified door hinge pin in my 97B to function as a FLGR, the pistol functioned perfectly with its original Delrin half-length rod.
Quote
Quote:
7. Two barrel brushes included for the Witness as apposed to one for the 97B.

Er, okay.
Quote
Quote:
9. CZ replacement parts are overpriced, and the customer support REALLY stinks. I don't know about EAA however, could be the same story.

I shall be the first to admit that CZ-USA's customer service is not all that it is cracked up to be--I had some problems with my original CZ 100 that I felt were not adequately resolved by them. However, they have been very responsive with regard to minor problems I have had with my other CZ pistols.

I have read horror stories on other boards about EAA's customer service.

DL

Offline CZ75BSA

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2004, 09:18:18 AM »
Many pistols have *alleged* advantages.
How many of those are *real* advantages or superiorities ?

Just make sure to actually hold and look at a Witness before making the decision.

Charles Daly and Taurus also offer pistols with a bewildering array of calibers, grips, barrel lengths, finishes, .... :)

Offline bullsi1911

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 309
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2004, 11:36:43 AM »
On the other side of the question-

1) A guy I know suffered a cracked frame on an all steel Witness.  Never heard about ANYTHING like that on a CZ. (Some CZ-75s break slide stops, though)

2) The Witness looks gaudy (to me), the CZ-97 is absolutely beautifull.

3) Why get a copy?  Get the original.


Offline Radom

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2767
  • HGWT
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2004, 01:28:27 PM »
...so I will keep this short.

My CZ 97B is definitely manufactured to a higher standard than the Tanfoglio service pistols.  This has also been true of the others that I have seen.  In fact, my 97B is manufactured to a higher standard than any other CZ model I have owned.  (I assume that it is comparable to the semi-custom models such as the CZ 75 Champion.)  

In my experience, a CZ 97B is more accurate than a MOR 1911A1.  This is significant, since the CZ does not have the advantage of a linear trigger.  We have some pretty nice 1911s in the family, and the CZ will outshoot all of them.

I'm not down on the Witness.  In fact, I would love to have one of the discontinued long slide .45 Witnesses.  I just think that the 97B is a better pistol, provided it fits your hand.
The artist formerly known as FEG...

Cleft-Asunder

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2004, 04:17:17 PM »
Alright good replies, but you guys are way too touchy about your CZ's. (or perhaps it's me who'se too touchy)

Regaring the rear sight in particular, Guns & Ammo in their august 2003 issue did a review of the P0-1 and in the review the right dot on the rear sight was nearly twice the size of the left rear dot. Now, G&A I believe frequently (if not always) touches up their firearm images with photoshop, smoothing out lines et cetera, but in the P0-1 review they kept it honest, and it only reinforces my opinion that many CZ's are inprecisely injected. You wont find this in Novak or Trijicon sights, which are insanely top notch.

As for the magazine, yes 1mm space is more like it. I was measuring from a mental picture, so I was way off. It's no big deal since I haven't had a jam in 400 rounds, but it's an asthetic/piece of mind issue. It wouldn't have taken more effort to design the mags to fit flush, and I agree that a bigger butt-plate doesn't address the issue. (the issue being that the magazine may sit too low thus increasing the chance of a jam)

The half length guide rod is not necessary. Making the 97B come standard with a  standard plastic FLGR would be ideal since many people are switching to the Wolff spring, so the HLGR is a poor decision. The FLGR would not bump the price of the pistol since they are sold for $1.50 for consumers, therefore it probably costs a fraction of a cent for the manufacturer.

Now the Tanfoglio comes with a metal FLGR, the purpose of it being asthetics and a piece of mind. The CZ plastic guide rods look cheap, and the Tanfoglio metal guide rods look very good. CZ doesn't offer this option, but should.

As for the two brushes included for the Tanfoglio --as opposed to one for the CZ--, it's all about the package and what's included. It's irrelevant whether I use the bushes or not, what's important is that they work and can get the job done. Let me point out that CZ included only ONE magazine for the 97B back in the day, another CZ fumble. Yeah, I'm going to be real confortable with one magazine. They fixed this, but it should never have happened.

The barrel bushing can be a pro or con, so I'll give you that. Although I have a feeling they charge about $12 for a new one.

I disagree with the machining. I don't need the finish off to tell you that the edges or lines are crooked. Basic flat cuts (like the entire left/right portion of the slide) leave undesired subtle concave "dents" --for lack of a better word-- on portions of the cut, as if the slide wasn't held in place tight when the cut was made. This is mostly an issue with the 97B. Out of the three I've seen, all had somewhat crooked lines. I haven't seen this with the 1911, and the P0-1 is a big improvement (which could be the result of the smaller size of the pistol). One could say it adds character, but I call it a compensational excuse.

The prices stink on both manufacturers. Let me point out that just because Tanfoglios prices are higher, that doesn't make it okay to charge high prices. I'm now reluctant to purchase a Tanfoglio knowing that their prices are even higher. CZ sells individual 97B grip screws for $1.50! Let me do the math for you:

2 screws:
$3.00 + ~$3.50 S&H = $6.50 = robbery

4 screws:
$6.00 + ~$3.50 S&H = $9.50 = robbery

Bunches of screws at home depot:
~68 cents

Manufacturer cost for individual grip screw: Fraction of a cent.
Manufacturer creates monopoly on grip screws by creating awkward thread size, forcing consumer to pay the outrageous costs.

Please don't tell me how much their other replacement parts cost, I will not be able to sleep tonight.

NOTE: After e-mailing CZ about their terrible grip screw prices, I contacted a woman over the phone who told me she would send 4 free grip screws, I didn't even have to pay shipping. Great customer service I thought, but the screws were never sent. After e-mailing them multiple times telling them what happened, I have yet to receive a reply one week later. I haven't been able to fire my pistol in more than a month due to the lack of grip screws. (The original screw threads were stripped due to over-tightening as a result of the screws being shot off. I fixed this with a simple o-ring, which was suggested here on the forum)
 
Now let me finish off by saying that in general, I REALLY like this pistol. I like how it's designed around 10 rounds, and there are no overpriced pre-ban hi-cap mags available. Accuracy is fantastic, and I love how it has 3 additional rounds compared to the overpriced 1911. But, I think there are some very simple options and solutions that CZ can implement --and should have implemented already-- that would make the 97B top notch.

Offline Gary in Pennsylvania

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 250
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2004, 04:32:08 PM »
I told ya I was gonna watch this thread!

Cleft Asunder - I believe you did a very fine job coming back into the fray, standing your ground, and fielding a very solid defense (although I personally feel the bore brush issue is rather moot.  Kinda like comparing how much foam each manufacturer uses as packing material in the carry case!:rolleyes  )

As for the quality issue, I cannot address the comparison because I do not own a Tanfoglio.  But the quality of my CZ brood is VERY good.  There are probably pistols out there with tighter build tolerances or sharper lines . . . . But they cost 2x as much or more.


Oh, by the way . . . . . . . . Welcome to the Board!!;)    Stick around. Roam around.  Conversate.  And I hope that some of the pull that some of our resident Cznuts have can rectify your grip screw issue!
Gary in Pennsylvania
__________________
XD-45 Tactical & XD9SC
KGPF-330 3" short shroud GP-100
KGPF-340 4" short shroud GP-100
CZ-75D PCR Compact

Cleft-Asunder

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2004, 04:44:45 PM »
Thanks Gary. And for the record, I've switched my argument more towards "what should CZ do to improve their 97B" as opposed to "Which one is better, 97B or Witness" since it is more beneficial I think.

Alright, enough about the additional cleaning brush. But then again, they always say that it's the thought that counts.

I should ask, anyone know a non-manufacturer alternative for replacement screws on the 97B? I've tried specialty screw stores and they will force you to buy 100 newly manufactured screws, not something I'm willing to do.

Offline CZ75BSA

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2004, 05:27:30 PM »
I really don't feel like I am "defending" or arguing about the 97B.  It just so happens that I actually looked at the Witness before making a decision.

As I implied in my previous post, a lot of "alleged" advantages seem to evaporate when one can actually look at and feel the two pieces of machinery.

Neither of my CZs has any machining flaws or mismatched sight dots...maybe I got lucky.
Mine doesn't even have a very big gap at the mag base either, so maybe I really did get lucky !

Walt-Sherrill

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2004, 08:51:27 PM »
I had a CZ-97B.  I have a Witness Sport Long Slide.

They were equally accurate.

The Witness had a better trigger, but only because I paid for it and worked on it for a long, long time.

The finish of both guns is very attractive.  (The Wonder Finish, on Witnesses, according to EAA is not a "finish"; it is a treatment, like heat treatment.)  The polycoat on my 97B was the best looking CZ finish I've seen, except for my Satin Nickel CZs.  The finish on the Sport Long Slide (mine is two tone) is very, very attractive.

My Witness fit me better than did the CZ-97B.  Slightly smaller in the grip.  

Both of these guns were obviously made and fit to a higher standard.  Both shot that way.

My personal experience with both CZ and EAA customer service has been pretty good.  Prices have been high for both, but service was prompt.  
 
(If you have never ordered parts from Beretta or SIG, you can't appreciate just how bad or costly service can be... I ordered followers for a SIG P-210.  $20 each, and had to wait six months; sold the gun and cancelled the order and still got them months later -- and I was charged for them, too.  It took a while to get my money back.   And it took Beretta four months to replace a gun for me once -- the frame had cracked.)

tikkaguy

  • Guest
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2004, 09:39:24 PM »
If you really don't like the 97b, feel free to send it to me:D

Offline jwc007

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7845
Why buy a CZ-97B over a EAA Tanfoglio witness .45?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2004, 12:44:56 AM »
As a long time owner of a few Tanfoglio products, I haven't had any major trouble with them.  I have done some minor repairs to my .45 Witness, but that came after 8 years of shooting it! I cinsider that more maintenance, than repair. Like Walt, my hands fit my .45 Steel Witness better than a CZ97B.

The one thing my .45 Witness has over the CZ97B is feed reliability.  Out of the box with no feedramp polishing whatsoever, it will feed any semiwadcutter, flatpoint, and JHP.  This is typical of all of the .45 Witnesses I have gotten around!

If CZ would fix the CZ97B's mag release/retention mechanism so that the magazine is held high in the gun as it was intended to, thereby enhancing it's feed reliability, I would definitely feel better about the design enough to wholeheartedly recommend it.  But they haven't and they should.  I feel CZ makes wonderful products and they need to do this!

The way I look at it, the .45 Witness is like a Chevy Blazer and the CZ97B is like a Cadillac Escalade.  Either will get you where you are going.

Fighting for Truth, Justice, and the last slice of Pizza!
"Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego." - Yoda


For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"