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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

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I'm new here, but have lurked a while.

I've wanted a Tanfoglio for years and finally got one a few months ago. It is the basic full-size, all-steel version in .45 acp. I just shoot IDPA so I'm not really into all the tricked out stuff, but I've been shooting IDPA for about 10 years.

I took my Tanfoglio to the last match and wasn't going to shoot it, but they set up some really long courses of fire and I realized the only gun I had that would hold enough ammo with the mags I had was the Tanfoglio. I decided that even though I wasn't comfortable shooting it in a match for the first time to go ahead and give it a try.

It is the first time I've ever won a match shooting a gun in competition for the first time.

I was stunned, absolutely amazed at how well I shot the gun. On two of the three courses of fire I not only had the fastest times I had perfect scores. Not bad for a gun I picked up for $300 at a show.

That brings me to the subject of my post. I've been following posts on this group and it is not oriented to the type of shooting I do. I've reviewed Henning's site (enough that I've pretty much memorized it) and there is little mention of the bottom-of-the-line gun or .45s.

What I'd like to know is what I can do to improve the gun I have for competition. Will the metal base plates give me increased capacity? Will a change in follower help? What about springs? I shoot 230-grain .45 bullets at typical factory velocities. Can I make an improvement by changing out springs? I'm curious about replacing the sear and hammer. I want reliable above all. I see the firing pin on the Henning site and wonder if it is realistic to change the pin and spring for what I do. Sometimes I shoot real crap ammo and have no idea how hard the primers are. Would a new firing pin with a weaker spring be capable of reliably detonating odd primers?

This last about primers comes from the last match. It was a night shoot and it was so cold I decided to shoot some Wolf ammo. I had a couple boxes left in the ammo can. I didn't want to spend time picking up brass in that cold weather. That makes it even more remarkable. I won the match with a new gun shooting the crappiest ammo in my box.

In general, what can an IDPA shooter do with the lowliest Tanfoglio in the lineup do to make improvements to his gun?

I still can't believe it. When I shot the string of seven steel targets it sounded like and IPSC shooter. I have electronic muffs and while I was transitioning to the paper way to my left I heard "Wow! Did you see that?"

To say I really, really like this gun would be an understatement.

Thank you all for your patience.

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Congratulations! You know they say it is not the arrow but the archer. It sounds like the gun works just fine for IDPA competition. Is that the form of competition you are referring to? I imagine Henning will get into this thread and give you some guidance. From my understanding (which is not always correct) most factory guns are "oversprung" and reducing the spring weights just makes them easier for the shooter. I have no idea how light the springs can go with the ammo you choose. I would think you would try a few different weights for reliability beforre heading off to a match (or carrying the gun for self defense). The recoil spring and hammer spring are the most important ones in the Tanfos I own. I bought various weights to test in the gun with the ammunition I load. I don't know anything about Tanfo 45ACP pistols so I will stop at that. Good luck although it sounds like you don't really need it.

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You've come to the right place. Welcome and congrats on your shooting achievements! I believe your Witness Steel 45 is built in the large Tanfoglio frame so some of the accesories Henning carries and produces for the Elite line will most likely fit your gun. Your best bet is to contact Henning and/or Rich Dettelhouser at Cnayon Creek both are excellent gentlemen and extremely knowledgeable of the platform.


Good luck!

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So Cool ! I'm glad you're loving your Tanfoglio and blasting the crap out of it.

I haven't focused much on the 45 on my site since it's typically only Steel model (and some Limited 45's) I get emails or calls from. However, I love shooting 45's and in fact just bought a TommyGun 45... he he

You can definitely make some improvements on your gun.

H-400 fits the IDPA box and will make it nicer to reload, won't break etc. No idea if you'll get any more rounds, but it would be the only pad you can extend to (I believe). It's super-nicely made, looks good on the gun and magazines and are reasonably priced at $25.

X-Long Firing Pin & Wolff 15lb hammer spring is what I would recommend for you. Also have a deal on that package. It'll lighten up the trigger without breaking the bank and you'll have more reliable firing than you have today with the factory stuff. You do need to remove the firing pin safety (plunger & spring) which also lightens the trigger pull just a hair. $27.95

Wolff 12lb recoil spring is what I use for normal 45 loads or heavy (180 + power factor loads). This will feel good and the gun will cycle a little easier. $7.95

H-152 Contour Grip panels feel good, look good and they are thinner than the grips you have on right now. You can put skate board tape on it and you'll have a better and stronger grip which will improve your shot-to-shot. $95

That's what I would do for now. Later on you could consider doing a full trigger job with the EGW parts which will be a huge improvement. I do recommend you sending the gun in to me or to Canyon Creek or EGW. To start, get the long firing pin and the lighter hammer spring and it may just lighten it up enough for you.

If you need any more help, always feel free to call me at (720) 352 1080.



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Loop's post makes me want to get one of the less expensive Witness Steel guns and send it to Henning and see how creative he can get with it... :)

One of those was my first ever pistol and I remember the front sight was an integral part of the slide. Do the new ones have interchangeable front sights?

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Welcome to the forum. I've done some of my best shooting with a Witness. Great pistols for the money. You might want to think of getting an EGW Slide Stop Pin too.

With the EGW slide stop, the gun won't lock back on the last round, which is "needed" for IDPA because you're required to shoot to slide lock or do a reload with retention. If the SO sees you speedloading with the slide forward, you're probably getting a procedural and then gonna have to explain why your gun doesn't slide lock. Just my humble opinion anyway.

Welcome to Hennings House here on the 'net!


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I wish to thank everyone for their gracious responses to the low-rent guy with the cheap pistol.

The first think I'd like to say is that I am a pretty good shot, but I am not that great a competitor. I'm usually middle of the pack which is why I was so impressed with what I was able to do with this gun. Give me something that I really need to hit like a deer or a rattler and I'm a darn good shot ... LOL (I'm real good with rattlers.) I really have trouble focusing on paper so reactive targets like poppers are good for me. I just get bored poking paper.

I also should mention that the first time I shot this pistol I knew it was a good fit for me. It was just a stop in the desert and all I had to shoot at was clumps of dirt, but I didn't miss a one. I've already bought another Tanfoglio (sorry, I just can't call them EAA Witness). I got a compact poly .45, the eight-rounder. I had to buy an older one because I don't like sight rails. Thus far results are similar to my big gun except there is a lot more felt recoil. It is not a competition gun. Too much recovery time. Good carry gun though.

I would like to say that I've followed this forum for a while now and have come to develop a great deal of respect for Henning (and yes, I did my research).

I also would like to thank you, Henning, for your advice and support. I will take you up on the mag pads, firing pin and recoil spring in fairly short order (but we have a gun show in town this weekend and, well, you know). I am uncertain about the grips. I've got to shoot this puppy a little more before I make that change. I've found that a great deal of how well I shoot depends on how I hold the gun. So far I haven't missed much with this thing. It has already leapfrogged Kimbers and SIGs that have been my standbys for years. But, the looks of your H-152 grips will undoubtedly have me test driving them sooner or later. I think the silver ones would make my pistol look striking. (Wondering if skateboarders have clear grip tape... Then wondering why I want a $300 gun to look striking.)

The mag pads brings me to another question. My spares are silver (probably stainless), unmarked with black followers. They do not lock the slide back, which is not good for IDPA. Do I have some oddball after-market mags that should be replaced to guarantee the H-400 pads will work for me? They function flawlessly except for locking the slide back. Do I need to buy factory followers to cure that or do I just need to buy some new mags? If that's the case I have no objection to buying a couple of your mags with the aluminum base and factory follower. I just don't know which way to go.

Got another thing to say: "You got a Thompson?" Um, I'm a certified sub-gun instructor. You're only about 400 miles upriver from me and I've got a friend near Durango with about 400 acres... Seriously, we have one of the biggest Thompson-only shoots in the country here in NW Arizona. I will check the calendar and make sure you are invited. It's one day of teaching and introducing the public and another day of just Thompson folks blazing away. You can camp out at my place about five miles from the range or we'll put you up in Laughlin, Nev., 30 miles away but much more entertaining. Personally I like my place better. Guess I'll just never get over enjoying the aroma of fresh horse manure compared to stale cigarette smoke.

I will at some time be in touch about the EGW work. When you get a good gun you need to be smart enough to know it and take advantage of it.

For Gary and UW, I have a question. I've been shooting IDPA for years. I'm also an NRA certified instructor in several handgun disciplines and am certified in defensive shotgun and sub-gun. I've looked at the EGW slide stop pin, but can't figure out why I would not want my slide to lock when my gun is empty. I am the king of procedurals in IDPA so I have definite reasons I want it to lock back. And, if I were to ever use it for self defense I want it to lock back. I've only shot one IPSC match, unfortunately it was a state championship, about 10 years ago. I was smoked. But, is there a reason it works better in IPSC?

Again, I have to apologize for the length of my post. I'll offer up that I write for a living so once I sit down at the keyboard the words just kind of overwhelm my brain.

I also want to thank all of you, ks-shooter, Nemo, sinnsyk, Gary1911A1 and UW Mitch for making me feel welcome here. I was really afraid the guy with the cheap gun who colors outside the lines may not be accepted. Thank you for making me feel at home.

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I guess in USPSA Limited you don't ever shoot the gun dry, so EGW made a slide stop pin that's much more tough than the factory, and eliminated the the extra work of making it lock the slide back. When you think about a whole slide stop, versus the EGW pin, you can see why it'd be easier make the pin. Some guys set their guns up to never lock back in order to avoid premature lockback (that's what I understand anyways). For IDPA I don't think it's a good idea.


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