(This is a reader-submitted review as part of our gun review contest. See details here.)
By Brendan Nadeau
There are some guns that gun lovers pine after; a Wilson 1911, a coveted Colt Python, a highly tuned M1 Garand…maybe even a SIG SAUER Legion P229? Then there are guns that are our workhorses; a DPMS AR-15, a boring, yet reliable GLOCK 17, a Mossberg 500 shotgun.
Then there are the guns that are for the people with little money; the oft mocked, yet hefty Hi-Point pistols and carbines, a cosmoline filled Mosin-Nagant, a Bersa Thunder.
Then there’s this gun.
This is a Firearms Import Export (FIE) Titan, an import from Italy made from Tanfoglio GT27 parts and slapped onto cheap Zamak frames, due to the Gun Control Act limiting the import of compact pistols. A classic “Saturday Night Special”, this gun is cheap and concealable, though out of production for some time now. My interest was sparked in this gun after watching a review done by Scootch00 (you know, the guy who shot his own truck), and I put it on my “to pick up” list in case I ran across it sometime down the road.
I finally picked one up at a gun show for about $100 and didn’t even have to pay sales tax as the vendor was relieved to see that I had a concealed carry license. After handing over some twenties, I slipped it into my pocket and was good to go.
After taking it home, I had a better opportunity to examine it more closely. This gun has had an interesting life, that’s for sure. There’s a bit of wear on the gun, probably from being taken in and out of holsters and/or being thrown at attackers after the .25 ACP round failed to stop them (just kidding about the last part…maybe). Overall though, the gun was in pretty decent shape, and I headed out to the range to test it out.
Over the course of owning this particular firearm, I’ve run about 200 plus rounds through it, mostly Remington UMC, since I can really only find that or Aguila brand in my local Academy store. .25 ACP is not exactly the greatest self-defense round, and might piss off an attacker even more after you’ve unloaded all seven rounds into them. They might bleed out later, but not before they’ve killed you first.
However, people also knock the .22 LR for being useless for killing things, yet there are strangely empty lines for people willing to be shot by these “weak” calibers. .25 ACP rounds are also made in JHPs as well, but from my research, it’s probably better to have full FMJs for penetration. .25 ACP is pretty expensive in comparison to other calibers, running at about $20 per box.
The trigger on this gun isn’t as bad as you would think. The blocky, single action trigger takes up pretty well, with kind of a mushy break at the end when you fire the gun. Shooting the gun was pretty decent, though it’s nothing like shooting a GLOCK or a Browning Hi-Power, and I could see a person with larger hands getting slide bite, due to the fact that it’s a small pocket gun.
I shot the gun at one of my local ranges, at about 10 feet away. This is probably stretching the range of the Titan a little bit, as the small 2.5 inch barrel doesn’t give too much in terms of accuracy. Even then, the gun did pretty well accuracy wise; I fired twelve rounds at the target and managed to get seven of them inside the ten ring.
Not exactly the best shooting out there, but then again, this is a very up close and personal weapon. I did have a problem loading the single stack magazine as one of the rounds that I loaded in did dip down and refuse to align properly; it took some fussing around with the round and finally managed to get it seated. Other than that, I surprisingly did not have any issues firing the gun.
Sights on the Titan exist, and nothing else. Consisting of a simple blade in the front and notch in the back, this isn’t meant to run in IDPA matches. I’m surprised that it even has sights for the ranges it’s supposed to be used.
Disassembly and cleaning is simple: remove magazine, flip the safety to safe, pull back on slide, lift up, remove slide and recoil spring, and that’s it. Hit it with some Ballistol and you’re good to go again. For being a cheap gun, it’s at least got the decency of being simple and easy to maintain. That’s probably my second favorite thing about this gun, as there are few things that can possibly get lost in the process of cleaning it.
Which arrives at my favorite part of this gun; it’s concealable to a fault. This gun is smaller than most mobile phones on the market today, and pocket carry is so easy with this particular firearm that you can forget at times that you have it on your person. It would make for a good “deep concealment” type of weapon if you’re going that route, though there’s plenty of other options out there now that offer just as good concealment and in a much more effective caliber.
I’ve also heard that carrying the gun with a round chambered is also a bad idea, even if the safety is on. There are small holsters out for it, though from a quick Google search, options are sparse-ish. You can get different types of grips for the Titan as well, but considering that this a Saturday Night Special, customizing options are quite limited.
Overall, this gun might be good for concealed carry, if you’re willing to put your life on the line with a really small .25 ACP pistol that might make an attacker even angrier at you. However, despite me ribbing on it a little bit, this was a very fun little gun to shoot, and even my friends have enjoyed shooting it as well. I just wouldn’t (wholly) trust this gun in a defensive gun use situation, as the weak cartridge and limited accuracy make it backup weapon at most, and an expensive paperweight as the worst.
Specifications: FIE Titan
Caliber: .25 ACP (6.35 Browning)
Barrel Length: 2.48in
Overall Length: 4.72 in
Weight: 0.77 lbs
Price: Blue Book puts it about $77 dollars
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style: * * *
Looks cool enough. Better aesthetics than a Hi-Point, that’s for sure.
Ergonomics (carry) * * * * *
You can definitely hide this thing away in a pocket, small holster, or anywhere else that can fit a tiny little gun.
Ergonomics (shooting): * * *
It’s a small, snubby little pistol that fires a weak, underpowered cartridge. You can fire it for awhile, but the compact nature does kind of grind after some time.
Reliability: * * * *
Surprisingly, despite one malfunction in loading the firearm, this gun has gone bang every single time I’ve shot the pistol.
You can change out the grips, and that’s about it. Maybe a spare magazine as well. It does come in other finishes, but why bother?
Overall: * * *
I’m surprised myself, but this gun just works. I know that this rating might be a bit controversial, but this firearm is kind of fun. Just don’t expect too much out of it.