EAA is now selling a line of pistols designed for women shooters. Unlike some companies that simply paint a gun pink and deem it a “woman’s model,” the new Tanfoglio Witness Pavona guns are seemingly more than just flash. Tanfoglio enhanced aspects of the gun’s operation to make it easier to operate, especially for people who may lack upper body strength.
One of the common complaints that I have gotten from women shooters is that a pistol slide can be difficult to operate. Many times, this problem can be overcome through technique and training. However, for some people – especially those who are elderly, ill or handicapped – no amount of technique can make up for the basic lack of strength. This is one reason that tip-up barrel handguns like the Beretta Model 21 and the Taurus 25 PLY tend to sell well.
The Witness Pavona helps shooters with slide operation in three ways:
- improved slide gripping areas
- fine-tuned hammer and recoil springs
- ability to keep hammer cocked with the safety on to reduce hammer spring pressure
I am not an expert on Tanfoglio pistols, so I do not know if the third item is a normal ability in the Witness line. Comparing the Witness Polymer Compact to the Witness Pavona, I do not see any obvious differences between the two slides that would cover the first item. It is possible that EAA is comparing the guns to another product.
The guns sport a variety of unique color combinations. The polymer frames have a base color of black, charcoal, imperial (dark purple), sapphire (blue), or fandango (light purple). Then the frames are infused with some kind of metal flake that give the frame a sparkle. The flakes can be gold or silver. As a final finish option, the slide assembly can be either blue or chrome.
The new guns will be available in three calibers: .380 ACP, 9mm and .40 S&W. Note that the Witness Pavona instruction manual states that +P ammunition should not be used in these handguns. So, that will preclude the use of many popular self-defense loads in 9mm.
Compared to the Witness Polymer Compact…
The Pavona pistols look very similar to the Polymer Witness Compact line of guns. In fact, the external dimensions listed on the EAA website are identical:
Dimensions: Pavona vs Polymer Compact
However, there are four differences (other than color) that I see: weight, the elimination of an accessory rail, magazine capacity and MSRP.
The Pavona pistols have a listed weight of “1.9 pounds,” while the Polymer Compact is listed as 28 ounces. Assuming my math is right, that puts the Polymer Compact at only 1.75 pounds – lighter than the Pavona guns. The Pavona pistols do not have accessory rails, and I do not know how that factors into the weight difference.
Magazine capacity is reduced in the Pavona as compared to the Polymer Compact. This is a bit perplexing to me, as the external dimensions are the same. However, here are the differences:
Magazine Capacity: Pavona vs Polymer Compact
|.380 ACP||13 rounds||n/a|
|9mm||13 rounds||14 rounds|
|.40 S&W||9 rounds||12 rounds|
Lastly, the Pavona pistols have less expensive price tags. Pavona models with blued slides carry a MSRP of $476, while the chrome versions retail for $528. The Polymer Compact retail for $571 across the board.
I originally wrote about the Pavona line of guns in November after EAA showed them at the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers exposition. We will get by the EAA booth and get photos of these new guns at the SHOT Show next month.