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Thread: Tanfoglio Witness CO2 powered replica 1911A1

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Tanfoglio Witness CO2 powered replica 1911A1

    Splurged on one of these as a birthday present to myself.

    I thought about it for a long time because the factory specs give velocity as 320 FPS which I feel is a bit low for reasonable accuracy, but I found mine gives a bit higher velocity than I expected and it actually pretty accurate at 30 feet, which is about the limit for good accuracy from a BB pistol.

    I got mine on the Labor Day sale at pyramid air. I also had a 10% off coupon which almost covered shipping costs. They threw in an extra magazine and some BBs and a five pack of Swiss Air CO2 cylinders. Total cost was $101 USD, about half the MSRP.

    This is an amazingly detailed replica of the 1911A1 and the frame is so close to the real thing in construction that some have done minor alterations to the frame and used a subcaliber conversion kit to convert these to fire the .22 LR cartridge. Not legally of course.

    Recoil on firing is very realistic, more perceived recoil than my Model 59 9mm. I suspect that's due to the recoil of the slide being slower than with the real thing so the feeling is exaggerated.

    The extra magazine was the deciding factor for me since the only bad reviews I've ever read on these involved a defective magazine. With the spare as a backup I don't have to worry about the gun becoming non functional for any length of time.
    The valve is actually part of the magazine so its easily accessible if it required repair or servicing.

    I'm considering upgrading the power enough to drive the heavier lead BBs at a respectable velocity and making a rifled barrel liner for it from a spare Crosman 357 revolver barrel.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Had to go look that one up on pyramyd's web site.
    Sounds real nice, blow back operated, slide locks back on last round, realistic heft.
    Enjoy that one!
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub D-RIG's Avatar
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    Yep that's a good one , been looking at that one myself .

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I was looking this gun over with a critical eye and if you leave the magazine out and don't look straight down the bore its impossible to tell that its not a real 1911A1.
    The floor plate of the magazine has the end of the piercing screw showing and that's all that reveals its not a real mag.
    The 4.5 BB barrel liner is recessed deeply from the muzzle. at most angles other than dead on the faux rifling at the muzzle gives it the look of the real deal.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    I doubt they can be converted to 22lr, the striker actually hits the valve on the magazine, much below any firearm cartridge. Look at the back of your magazine, you can see the valve.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The .22 rimfire conversions do not use the airgun slide.
    The conversion kits are made for converting a real .45 1911 to .22 LR rimfire and have a dedicated slide included along with a magazine.

    The CO2 guns require some modifications of the frame to allow the new slide to fit.
    There are a few youtube videos showing these conversions with instructions. Some worked well and others did not. One guy claims his held up to over 100K rounds.

    I'm not suggesting anyone do this I'm pointing out that the Tanfoglio frame is so close to the real thing that the conversions have been done successfully.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Multigunner View Post
    The .22 rimfire conversions do not use the airgun slide.
    The conversion kits are made for converting a real .45 1911 to .22 LR rimfire and have a dedicated slide included along with a magazine.

    The CO2 guns require some modifications of the frame to allow the new slide to fit.
    There are a few youtube videos showing these conversions with instructions. Some worked well and others did not. One guy claims his held up to over 100K rounds.

    I'm not suggesting anyone do this I'm pointing out that the Tanfoglio frame is so close to the real thing that the conversions have been done successfully.
    The striker on a CO2 air gun is in magazine well, not on the hammer. I have had them apart to replace hammers, the hammer is only there for cosmetics, and is most likely pot metal, that is why they wear out where the sear mates with them. Usually also to meet fed regs the parts must be slightly off so that parts don't interchange.

    I only tell you this to try, and save you some money on a slide. The youtube conversions are spoofs, unfortunately the spoofs fool some people, even have fooled the ATF.

    You can buy a 22lr 1911 for not much more than a conversion slide, $200 to $300. We have two airsoft 1911 they are good for training, but for 22 lr we have a Ruger Mark III, it cost $300. Go to Galary of Guns, and do a search for 1911 caliber 22lr you will see that the price delivered to your dealer is competitive with buying a conversion slide.

    This ATI is $300 delivered to my dealer including taxes, and transfer.



    Advantage Arms target conversion is $349, not including shipping. Standard is $275 not including shipping.
    Last edited by Walkingwolf; 09-17-2017 at 12:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    "I only tell you this to try, and save you some money on a slide. "

    Not saving me money since I had no intention of trying one of these conversions to begin with.

    In the video tutorials they say first off that the slide rails must be filed down a bit for the conversion slide to fit.
    The internals of the frame are modified with the original striker assembly removed.
    The conversion kit used is of German manufacture.

    .22 rimfire pistols with pot metal frames (most often ZAMAC) have always been commonplace.

    I've owned a Remington Rand wartime 1911A1 so i'm familiar with the gun. Theres a Balestor Molina copy in my junk drawer right now.

    The frame of a .22 rimfire blowback autoloader takes almost none of the stress of firing. That's why so many pot metal Saturday night specials were sold for so many years.

    If some or even all reports of such conversions were faked the possibility of a successful conversion is still there.

    I agree that it would be foolish to spend the time and effort to build a .22 rimfire from one of these guns while perfectly good off the shelf rimfire replica guns are available.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check