By Brendan Nadeau
There are some guns that gun lovers pine for; a Wilson Combat 1911, a Colt Python revolver, a highly tuned M1 Garand…maybe even a SIG Legion P229? There are also guns that are workhorses; an M&P15 Sport, a boring, yet reliable GLOCK 17, a Mossberg 500 shotgun.
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 Zamak frames by FIE in Florida after the Gun Control Act of 1968 limited the import of compact pistols. A classic “Saturday night special,” this gun is cheap and concealable, though it’s been out of production for some time now. My interest was sparked in this gun after watching a review done by Scootch00, and I put it on my “to pick up” list in case I ran across one sometime down the road.
I finally found one 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 actually 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 the little pistol more closely. This gun has apparently had an interesting life. 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 rounds failed to stop them (just kidding about the last part…maybe).
Overall though, the little gun was in pretty decent shape, and I headed 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. The .25 ACP round isn’t exactly the greatest self-defense round, and might only piss off an attacker even more after you’ve unloaded all seven rounds into him. They might bleed out later, but probably 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 adequate penetration. Oh, and .25 isn’t much easier to find in stock than any other handgun round these days.
The trigger on this little 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. Firing the Titan is OK, though it’s nothing like shooting a 1911, a Browning Hi-Power or even a GLOCK for that matter. I could see a person with larger hands getting slide bite, due to the fact that it’s so small, but I didn’t suffer that fate.
I shot the gun at one of my local ranges from about 10 feet away — personal defense distance. This is probably stretching the range of the Titan a little bit, as the small 2.5-inch barrel doesn’t provide much in terms of accuracy. Even then, the gun did pretty well; of the first twelve rounds sent toward the target I managed to get seven of them inside the ten ring.
Not exactly the best shooter out there, but then again, this is a very up-close-and-personal weapon. I had a problem loading the single stack magazine once as one of the rounds dipped down and refused to align properly. It took some fussing with the round and finally managed to get it seated. Being more careful prevented a repeat. Other than that, I surprisingly did not have any issues firing the gun.
The Titan has sights…and that’s about it. Consisting of a simple blade in the front and a U-notch in the back, this pistol isn’t meant for running in IDPA matches. I’m surprised it even has sights given the Titan’s intended use.
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, the Titan is at least 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 brings me to my favorite part of this gun; it’s concealable to a fault. The Titan 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 backup or “deep concealment” type of weapon if you’re going that route, though there are plenty of other options out there now that offer just as good concealment and in a much more effective caliber.
I’ve heard that carrying the Titan with a round chambered is 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. You can get different types of grips for the Titan as well, but considering that this is basically a Saturday night special, customizing options are 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 only aggravate an aggressor. However, despite me ribbing it a little bit, this is a fun little gun to shoot. I just wouldn’t (wholly) trust this gun in a defensive gun use situation, as the anemic cartridge and limited accuracy make it a backup weapon at most, and an expensive paperweight as 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: * * *
I suppose it 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 holster, or anywhere else a tiny gun will fit.
Ergonomics (shooting): * * *
It’s a small pistol that fires a weak, underpowered cartridge. You can shoot it for awhile, but its 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 (they’re scarce, but you can find then on Gunbroker). The Titan was offered in other finishes, but why bother?
Overall: * * *
I was surprised to find that this gun works and works pretty well. It’s even strangely kind of fun to shoot. It’s a perfectly serviceable, reliable pocket gun. Just don’t expect too much stopping power from .25 ACP.