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Old 10-20-2011, 09:00 PM
Bret Bret is offline
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9x23 EAA Witness Match




Being a fan of CZ-75 pistols & clones and wanting to reload a cartridge that's kind of off the beaten path, I purchased a EAA Witness Match in 9mm for a 9x23 conversion. This particular 9mm is built on a large frame. The same frame is used for 10mm, 38Super, and 45ACP. Make no mistake about it. This is a big pistol. I had Jim at Innovative Custom Guns ream it to 9x23, bought a couple of Mec-Gar 38Super Witness magazines, a Henning guide rod, and several Wolff extra power recoil springs. Bringing everything together has taken a while, but I was finally able to take it to the range today. It started with a 20lb Wolff recoil spring installed. Here's a picture before I started blasting.

I brought 100rds total. 50rds were of Magtech 124gr FMJ's over 6.8gr (10rds), 7.0gr (10rds), and (30rds) of VV 3N37. The other 50rds were of Hornady 124gr XTP JHP's over 7.0gr (10rds) and 7.2gr (40rds) of VV 3N37.

I started with 10rds of the 6.8gr VV 3N37 pushing the Magtech 124gr FMJ. Here's a picture of the result at about 15'.

The cases seemed to eject pretty rapidly and there were no failures of any kind.

Pleased with my initial results and knowing that increased powder charge would increase the slide velocity (all else being equal), I decided to install the 22lb recoil spring. I then fired 10rds more of the same load with 7.0gr VV 3N37. Again, the cases ejected with plenty of velocity and there were no failures of any kind. I'd say that recoil was on par with a typical 40S&W pistol. The slide is obviously harder to pull back with the 22lb recoil spring, but it's not too difficult in my opinion. I went on to fire the remaining 80rds with no problems as all. Grouping was excellent. The Mec-Gar 38Super fed flawlessly.


In the picture below, the lower left group is 20rds.


The only thing that I didn't like was that the trigger reset seems kind of weak. This doesn't have anything to do with the 9x23 conversion. We'll see what happens when I adjust the trigger because I have not attempted to do so yet.



The bottom line here is that this is an awesome conversion! If you're interested in a 9x23 conversion on a pistol other than a 1911 that is significantly less expensive, then you might want to give it a try. Without a doubt I'd recommend Jim at Innovative Custom Guns. I'd also recommend the Henning guide rod and 22lb Wolff recoil spring. I can't think of a reason to go with a lighter recoil spring because the 22lb one still allows the cases to eject with plenty of velocity and distance. Heck, if Wolff made a 24lb recoil spring, I'd try it too.

BTW, thanks to everyone who helped me out reloading 9x23. I don't think I could have done it without your help.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:31 PM
WolfCreek WolfCreek is offline
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That sounds really cool. I have wanted a 10mm Witness for a long time, but never could get past the information that I was seeing that they broke all the time and were generally un-reliable. Is my view skewed in the wrong direction??

-Mark
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:10 AM
Bret Bret is offline
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I don't know specifically about the 10mm, but if I was to get one, I'd get the Witness Match because it has a heavier slide than the base pistol. EAA's website lists the total pistol weights as the same, but that can't be right. I weighed this slide compared to the one that came with my 22LR/9mm conversion pistol and it definitely weighs more. In fact, it's longer too. So, get the Match or another one that has the heavier slide. In addition, get the Henning guide rod. It's kind of hard to explain, but it solves a design problem that the factory guide rod has. The Henning rod spreads the recoil force over a much larger area where it mates up to the frame. Finally, run the strongest recoil spring that will still keep the pistol functioning reliably. I think this is probably the main thing that causes problems. People logically use the factory recoil spring thinking that it should suffice. Wolff lists the 10mm factory recoil spring at 14lbs which is the same as 9mm. Sorry, but there is no way that the 9mm and 10mm should be using the same recoil spring. I suspect that Tanfoglio (the manufacturer) uses a weaker recoil spring to make it easier for people to rack the slide. There are plenty of people who won't buy a gun if they have difficulty racking the slide. I'm running a 22lb recoil spring in this 9x23. I can't imagine that the 10mm would be far off.
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