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European American Armory.

At about the same time that this was happening, there was a real changing of the guard in Europe as the main suppliers of the former FIE Corporation had also passed into the hands of the younger, fourth generation in Germany and second generation in Italy. The suppliers and the importers have come together with new goals and two of them are:

1) The customer is number one. Really number one.

2) Offer quality products at reasonable prices and stay away from the bottom end of the market.

In order that the readers of Shooting Industry could be informed about European American Armory and its products, this writer was recently flown to Europe and hosted by Keith Burns of EAA, I was able to receive first-hand knowledge of EAA by touring the Weihrauch (revolvers) factory in the Bavarian area of Germany, and the Tanfoglio (pistols) factory and Atis Arms (shotguns) in the gunmaking area of Brescia, Italy.

I was quite surprised at what I found in both Germany and Italy. Namely, well-run, thoroughly modern firearms factories with dedicated workers and management. A case in point is found in the Weihrauch plant. The chief engineer was ready to retire. Upon seeing the new dedication to quality products that will be imported by EAA, he postponed his retirement as he wants to be part of the new era.

How is EAA going to meet its goals of customer satisfaction and quality products? Will these just be lofty statements or will they really be attained? EAA has instituted an aggressive campaign to see that they are carried out. All products will carry a limited lifetime warranty. Products will be distributed directly to the dealer.

At the same time, EAA has required a commitment from their suppliers that quality will be the number one priority. I saw the latter in effect in both Germany and Italy as both factories constantly maintain quality control checks.

Sporting firearms will receive a high priority with products being offered that can complete with more expensively priced firearms. A custom shop has been set up to offer all the traditional, and not-so-traditional, goodies that action shooters crave. Along with the custom shop is the commitment of easy customer access to EAA employees if problems should arise, fast delivery of new products and speedy turn around time for repairs.

Keith Burns shared with me that they desire to be a company that will become one of the major forces in the firearms industry and at the same time remain a company that the customer can feel comfortable with at all times. Employees are dedicated enough to the future of EAA that they have taken a lower salary in return for stock in the company. Employees will own EAA right from the start.

What then will EAA be offering to the American shooter? All of the following will be available and I will be testing and evaluating each item in future issues of GUNS and American Handgunner magazines.

From Germany will be coming a newly designed double-action revolver in .22 LR, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum. All of these were personally test-fired in Germany and are now on their way for further testing here in Idaho.

Preliminary test were quite impressive with one-inch groups at 25 yards being easily attainable. American shooters should like the look of this new revolver with its slab-sided heavy barrel and unfluted cylinder and above average blue finish.

Also coming from Weihrauch will be an upgraded single-action revolver previously imported as the Hombre. These have always been good sixguns but will now be even better. An agreement has been reached with Ruger to install a transfer bar in the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt sixguns. I made suggestions, which will be taken, to make the Weihrauch single action more aesthetically pleasing to eyes used to Colt and Rugger single actions.

Along with the .357 Magnum single action tested in Europe, I will also be receiving a .45 Colt five-and-one-half-inch barreled single action, all blue with one piece wood stocks.

From Italy will be coming the Witness semi-automatics. These are built on the TZ-75 platform and I already have the first prototype .45 ACP and have been running numerous factory loads and handloads successfully through it and just today received a beautiful compact two-tone .40 S&W Witness. Others on the way will be a .41 AE and a .40 S&W comp gun from EAA's custom shop.

All of these guns were personally test-fired in the basement of the Tanfoglio plant in Italy and like the Weihrauch guns are on their way to Idaho for in-depth testing. EAA is also offering a 9mm Witness in addition to the big bores. Witness finishes available are matte blue, matte chrome, or a combination thereof consisting of a matte chrome frame and blue slide. All of these guns can be carried cocked-and-locked or in the 'modern' hammer down, safety on, and double action for the first shot.

In addition to a full line-up of Witness semi-automatics, we will be seeing a new double-action .380 that should be priced to capture that market. I shot one of these in the dark dim light of the Tanfoglio basement and firing the double-action-only little .380 at 25 yards was able to keep all my shots within a five-inch circle and to point of aim. This gun is definitely going to be a big seller.

In addition to the Witness line and the .380, there will be a target .22 semi-automatic, and one of the best ideas to come along in a long time, a 12 gauge shotgun that feeds from a removable magazine. This will appeal to the home defense and law enforcement segment of the market as the PM2 will be instantly reloadable simply by inserting a six shot magazine. Another big seller on the horizon.

The PM2 should really appeal to the homeowner with small children as the magazine can be kept loaded and stored separately from the PM2 shotgun. The shotgun can be at ready with the slide locked open and it would then be a simple matter for the trained adults in the home to insert the magazine, release the slide and have instant access to a loaded shotgun. The magazine insertion is just tricky enough that it would be quite difficult if not impossible for a child to insert but it can bedone quickly by an adult.

For more information on how to become an EAA dealer, contact European American Armory Corporation, P.O. Box 3498 Bright Station, Dept. SI, Hialeah, Florida 33013. Phone 305-688-4442. Circle Number 401 for more information.
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Title Annotation:European American Armory Corp.
Author:Taffin, John
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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