Wednesday, August 26, 2015

EAA Witness Pavona & Alien Gear Holster Review

I have been looking for a more suitable firearm to carry with me on a daily basis for approximately 6-months, and believe I found what I've been looking for. I had specific ideas about what I wanted in my personal carry weapon, and my husband had his ideas, so we had to find a compromise.

We have two children, so we wanted a firearm that would be safe for me to carry on my body, while chasing a toddler & nursing an infant. My husband wanted a lot of the same attributes as I did in my new gun, but said if I was going to spend money on another gun, I needed to spend it on something that he knew would allow me to protect our children.

We decided that we wanted my daily carry to have these attributes:
  • Quick to hand
  • Easy to conceal
  • Comfortable to handle with a good balance
  • Not too much kick
  • Look attractive
  • Smaller than sub-compact
  • A thumb safety
  • Manageable slide strength
  • Magazine: 8 - 13 rounds
  • Double/Single action
  • 9mm or .380, preferably 9mm
  • Reliability
  • An external hammer

Some of the guns I considered in my quest for the "perfect gun for me", were:

  • EAA Witness Pavona (9mm)
  • Sig Sauer P938-Ambi (9mm)
  • Kimber Solo Carry (9mm)
  • S&W M&P Shield (9mm)
  • Ruger LC9 (9mm)
  • Taurus 709 Slim (9mm)
  • S&W M&P Bodyguard (.380)
  • Sig Sauer P238 (.380)
  • Walther PK380 (.380)

After comparing all of the various aspects of each weapon, I landed on the EAA Witness Pavona in 9mm Sapphire, and am extremely satisfied thus far. The balance is very good, trigger & slide extremely manageable, beautiful appearance, very reliable.

Between my husband & I, we've put nearly 300 rounds through it in the last 2 weeks, and it eats them up no problem, no matter what type of casing or load. I had one instance of almost failing to feed with 115 FMJ on the first round out of the mag, but it pulled through it very smoothly after the slide was pulled back just a tad to allow it to feed better.

The only aspect I am less thrilled with, which has nothing to do with the gun handling itself, is the lack of holsters available for it. There are two holster options available, one is made by the manufacturer intended for purse carry called the "Pavona D'wedge" and you have the option of a purse with the holster as well. The other option, is an IWB available through Alien Gear Holsters. There is also the option of using a Thunderwear holster or something similar to it on this gun, but it's new enough that it isn't listed in most holster companies gun listings.

I've seen both positive & negative opinions floating around the internet about the Alien Gear Holsters, however my husband, brother & I are all real satisfied with their newest holster. It's extremely comfortable, although one should probably wear a breathable undershirt with it if you're more prone to sweating.

What I really like about Alien Gear, is their lifetime warranty, lifetime (free) shell exchange, and the overall price of their holsters in general, not to mention the speed with which they kick out their orders. 

They put neoprene on the back of their new 3.0 that was advertised as being helpful in wicking away sweat and helping make it more comfortable... they weren't lying! It truly is an extremely comfortable holster!

I've sent in shells for 3 different guns to trade out so far, the most recent being the one for my newly purchased Pavona, and all of them have been very well made, fit the gun well and are most certainly worth the money to purchase the holster itself, and the shipping back & forth ($3). I haven't received the shell to the Pavona yet, I just sent it out over the weekend, but it should arrive soon. The last exchange I did, the exchange was made in less than one week.

** Entire holsters take between 4 & 6 weeks depending on the order volume at the time you order, however if you are simply making a shell exchange, it has a very quick turn around.

Overall, if you are considering purchasing this firearm, or one of these holsters, it has been well worth the money for us!

4 comments:

  1. Which Alien Gear shell did you end up using with the Pavona? I am looking for a holster for my wife.

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    Replies
    1. I am using the EAA Witness non-railed poly 4.5-inch shell.

      After writing this I realized that I hadn't actually stated which shell I used, and that Alien Gear had mislabeled their Witness non-railed shell as a Pavona shell so, I had to help them fix that problem. It's now labeled correctly.

      Need to edit the post to indicate this information, but at this time, no company currently offers a kydex holster/shell specifically for the EAA Pavona. There are several (which I will link to in the bottom of this comment) which offer shells/holsters for the full size non-railed witness, which the Pavona will fit, but using shell's for the full size witness will give the barrel of the holster and extra inch of length because the barrel of a full size non-railed witness is 4.5" & the barrel on the Pavona is 3.6".

      I've worn my Alien Gear holster every day since this post was written. I do not regret the purchase, however the shell I'm using IS too large in the barrel length and pinches at times due to my holster base being for a sub-compact. If you intend to order an Alien Gear for your wife, you'll need to be aware that the shell is full sized and will hang over the edge of the holster base if you have anything smaller than a full sized holster base and could pinch in certain positions. If you order the full holster (base & shell) they will make sure you have the proper length on the holster base, or you can order them separately if you prefer too I think.

      What position does your wife prefer to carry in? (IWB, OWB, Belly band, Bra carry (two positions)
      Is she an experienced CCW or a "newbie"? If she is in need of tips in concealment of the Pavona, I'll share what I've learned in the last year.

      Some holster options that I have pinned to try for myself once I got enough money together and/or enough time to do it myself, and SHOULD for holster options for your wife are:

      Kydex options:
      http://eaacorp.com/gun_accessories/index.php/parts/tanfoglio/witness/witness-accessories/witness-match-belt-holster.html

      http://oldfaithfulholsters.com/shop/assembled-inside-the-waistband-hip-gun-holster/

      In the Old Faithful Holsters, it would be using the EAA Witness Poly 4.5-inch shell. More expensive, can get the same type through Alien Gear, but just for the sake of giving you options.

      Non-kydex options:
      http://www.undertechundercover.com/original-concealment-legging.html?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social+Media&utm_campaign=Facebook+Ad:+Concealment+Leggings

      http://fpholsters.com/
      Makes custom, non-kydex holsters for both bra & belly carry. Giving your wife another option outside of the Flashbang bra holster, the Marilyn bra holster or the other options for belly bands.

      This woman does excellent work, and I would love to have one of her holsters.
      http://www.deneadams.com/

      Also, your wife should view the options on this site: http://thewellarmedwoman.com/

      They don't have everything I personally prefer, but they also would be able to give your wife a good idea of her options.

      I have a "Big Shebang" from this company. It's an excellent company, but as I am a larger woman, I don't use this holster very often because I need an extension to mine.
      http://www.cancanconcealment.com/

      Oh, another thing, when looking at non-kydex holsters, you will need to know the EXACT dimensions of your wife's firearm for someone (or your wife herself) to make a custom holster.
      [* 7.06" (.380 ACP) 7.416" (9mm, .40 S&W) overall length; 3.56" barrel length. 5" Overall Height. 1.3" (.380 ACP) 1.4" (9mm & .40 S&W) overall width.]

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