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What needs to be changed on a Witness Match to ensure longevity


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I am about to buy either a new or slightly used EAA Witness Match w/rail. It will be shot in USPSA Limited division. I’ve been going through both EAA/Tanfologio forums on BE (40 pages) and gathering up the juicy parts. My goal is to replace whatever known problem parts there are on the gun now before any damage is done. Along those lines, I plan on replacing the guide rod with the cone fit rod from Hennings. I have also seen the post that indicates that the sear should be checked often as it tends to come apart if the factory stones the part after surface hardening.

What is the deal with the magazine feed lips? I have seen where they need to be no more than (or less than?) 0.385 -0.395 inches. Which is it, no greater than 0.395 and no less than 0.385?

I have heard that there is an older slide stop design that holds the mags too low and causes jams, but since this is a railed match, and therefore newer, I think that I am ok there…

Load the ammo to 1.20 – 1.225 or so. Guess I’ll need a bulky powder. I now use bullseye, anyone else using that?

I plan on using the Hennings conversion kit for the mags, Grams spring, follower, Hennings base pad. What does the Hennings website say I need to change the slide stop pin? How does that pin attach to the rest of the slide stop lever?

I plan on passing this in to my junior shooters when they can/want to shoot a full size heavy gun. What else needs to be done to ensure the longevity of the gun?

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The henning guide rod will stop some frame peening. The slide stop pin is also known to be a weak point. I'd buy a Henning replacement but continue to run your stock one until it's worn or fails -- it should be about ready for an oversized hardened pin by then.

The .385 figure (assuming this is a .40?) for the mag lips is for full-length pass-thru sized (like with a Gizmo case sizer) brass done with an EGW-U die (props to ChaLee for his work figuring this out). I don't know the figure for other brass as I never could get mine 100% without it... I highly recommend one. 1.225 with Montana Gold CMJs works for me.

It's the mag release not the slide stop that holds it too low. I don't think that problem part ever came with a Witness Match, just the stock Witnesses <= 2005.

The hammer and sear aren't urgent to replace, the stock ones will last at least a few seasons. A trigger job is a better reason to replace them :)

You'll probably be replacing springs with weights more optimized for competition too, but this isn't really a longevity issue.

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I have a Match with 7000 or so down the pipe with no issues,YMMV.

I have only replaced the recoil spring in the beginning, and need another now. I am sure I am on the verge of needing a few replacements, but no failures yet.

mags -- I upgraded my "factory mags" the way you are planning, they run, but my Henning built mags are flawless.

OAL - I load to 1.18, works just fine. I use the UGW die and things work just fine.

I am at the point where I am shopping for my next limited gun while keeping my current as a back up. It is just too good of a good to let go.


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Thanks for the replies (and keep them coming). I won the auction and the paperwork/payment has been submitted, so in a few days it will be here. Good to hear that different people have different experiences with the magazines. It sounds like the part that needs the most attention is the magazines, and if the ones I have don't work, I'll sell them in the factory configuration and buy some from Henning.

Hopefully I won't need to spend the $100 on a gizmo die, but if I do, that isn't the end of the world. I just spend $100 at Henning's shop on a cone fit guide rod, a EGW die, and a slide stop pin. when I get more money to spend I'll get the magazine parts and so on (firing pin, lighter mainspring, magwell, CR speed belt, mag pouches, etc.)

Thanks, this forum and the Benosphere rock!

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I've been using the Lee u die for a long time now probably 5,000 rounds or more in two different witness 40's with no nose-diving issues what so ever. I also use hennings basepads, springs and followers with 10mm mags that I got from Henning. Loaded to 1.175 to 1.18 OAL I've had no nose dives with this combination so you might want to try the Lee u die route first.

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