Sticky: Hist. of Titan Firearms/Titan / Excam / EIG / FIE /

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Sticky: Hist. of Titan Firearms/Titan / Excam / EIG / FIE /

Postby Admin » Thu May 10, 2012 10:13 pm

Sticky: Hist. of Titan Firearms/Titan / Excam / EIG / FIE / Heritage
Posted 10-24-2011 by jackj

Ok, guys, I found this concise History of Titan Firearms (Titan / Excam / EIG / FIE / Heritage firearms

I'd really appreciate it if a moderator would copy and make this a sticky.

It would seem there is almost enough interest for the Tanfoglio line of forearms to have their own section on this Forum.

http://randomguns.blogspot.com/2011/04/eig-titan.html

But even though we have this general history, it still leaves a lot of questions as there are dozens of different variations of this firearm that were produced....making identification still difficult when each was manufactured.
If they don't trust us with guns, how can we trust them with the government?

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Re: Sticky: Hist. of Titan Firearms/Titan / Excam / EIG / FI

Postby adam01364 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:52 pm

When I discovered the Random Guns blog on the Titans was no longer there, I recalled I had copied some of it. Below follows the info I copied:

EIG Titan
Saul Eig was a firearms importer in Miami, Florida in the days before the Gun Control Act of 1968 greatly limited which handguns could be imported into the USA. In the wild and crazy days before litigation hugely increased the cost of handguns he even operated as a sole proprietorship. Such a decision would be unthinkable today. In 1966 he and his wife transferred the business location to a corporation, Eig Cutlery. In 1971 Eig Cutlery transferred the business location to a new company Firearms Import and Export Corp., commonly called FIE.

Eig imported a number of small handguns, as well as gas guns, starter pistols, air guns and of course knives, from various parts of the world. One was the Titan, a small automatic pistol, made in Italy. It was offered in .22 short and .25ACP. It was made by Tanfoglio Giuseppe, a small Italian gunmaking business. It is sometimes confused with Fratelli Tanfoglio. The tangle of these entities is explored in a products liability lawsuit over an injury suffered by someone who accidentally shot himself with a Titan pistol, Jackson v. Tanfoglio.

The two page instruction sheet accompanying a .25ACP Eig Titan:

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Here are pictures of an EIG imported Titan, in .25 caliber with a chrome finish. Note the EIG logo on the frame to the left of the safety:
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The other side of the pistol. Note the Italian proof marks on the barrel, slide and frame:
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Here is the box the gun came in, with the paper label on the end showing the information on the pistol:
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Here is the gun after field stripping:
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The TG logo on the left side of the gun, below the hammer, is for the manufacturer of the gun. In the days before the Gun Control Act of 1968 there was no requirement that the gun be marked with the name of the manufacturer or the importer. The Made in Italy marking was all that was required, as it was required for all imported goods, not just guns. The pre-68 Titan guns have only logos or symbols for the manufacturer and importer.
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Here is a closeup picture of the right side of the frame. Although poorly struck, you can see the final proof marking, the marking for the Gardone VT proofhouse (same one Beretta uses) and the date code of XXIV, which shows this one was proof tested in 1968, the last year of importation for these guns.
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After the 1968 GCA prohibited import of the Titan, and Eig Cutlery closed up, FIE began making the frames for the guns here in the USA, and assembling them with parts imported from Italy. The frames were made for FIE by the Southern Die Cast Company according to the Jackson lawsuit. On these guns although the slide may still say Made in Italy, the frame will have a prominent FIE marking on the right side. Further the Eig with the crosshairs logo will be absent from the frame, as will the Italian proof codes. Eventually, by 1991, FIE was forced into bankruptcy by lawsuits and assault weapon import bans. Below are pictures of a chromed FIE made model E27:
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Titan guns have also been observed with frames marked "Titan Mfg Co., Miami FL".

Another entity, Excam, Inc., in Hialeah FL also sold the Titan guns assembled onto US made frames, under the model name GT27. The Excam marking will be present on the right side of the frame.
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Later still QFI, Quality Firearms, Inc. emerged and sold the Titan as the model SA25. QFI later went out of business and emerged as Heritage Manufacturing Inc. Heritage sold the Titan as the model H25S. Heritage is still in business as of this writing, but has dropped the Titan model.

Below is the deed by which Saul and Lois Eig sold the business location to Eig Cutlery, Inc., in 1966.
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The following is information I have gathered in my research into the Tanfoglio Titans: Feel free to correct any incorrect information you read!

The Tanfoglio Titan .25 ACP pistols were inexpensive, ultra reliable little single action pocket pistols manufactured in Italy up until 1968, when the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) banned their importation to the United States. These pre-GCA Titans were made and assembled in Italy and were imported by EIG Cutlery, (which ultimately became EAA or European American Armory.) Pre CGA Titan pistols were all manufactured by solely by Tanfoglio and rumor has it they were all steel with no "pot metal" components.

Beginning sometime in the early 1970s, the frames of these pistols were manufactured in Miami and Hialeah Florida using Zamak castings. The remainder of the pistol was made up from steel Italian parts supplied by Tanfoglio. This was done in order to get around the restrictions imposed by the GCA.
These Florida Titans (for lack of a better descriptor) have a variety of names and finishes on them.

EIG was an import company in Miami, Florida that imported knives and guns in the mid-1950s. It was founded by an importer named Saul Eig. In 1966, Eig and with his wife incorporated the business as Eig Cutlery. In 1971 Eig Cutlery transferred the business to a new company named Firearms Import and Export Corp. (commonly known as F.I.E. or simply FIE) which was also based in Miami, Florida.

Saul Eig's business was originally specialized in the importing and reselling of knives. Since EIG was in the import business during an era when firearms were subject to minimal regulation, they branched out into the importing firearms. EIG would purchase cheap firearms from Germany, Italy, Japan, as well as other countries, stamp them with the EIG marking, and then resell them in the USA. However, after the Gun Control Act of 1968 passed, importing and reselling of firearms became far more difficult, and in 1971 Eig Cutlery got out of the import business and transferred the business to a new company named Firearms Import and Export Corp. (commonly known as F.I.E. or simply FIE) also based in Miami, Florida.

At the height of business, EIG Cutlery imported small handguns, gas guns, starter pistols, air guns and of course knives, from various parts of the world. The handguns were derringers or subcompact, semi-automatic pistols that were easy to find and inexpensive to buy. Many of EIG’s guns were made by Rohm in Germany; but one of the imports was the Titan, a small automatic pistol made in Italy by a small Italian gunmaker named Fabrica d'Armi Tanfoglio Giuseppe (not to be confused with Fratelli Tanfoglio). EIG also imported an Italian copy of the Mossberg Brownie, an interesting four-shot .22 derringer. Because EIG’s firearms typically were of lower quality and produced by a myriad of manufacturers, the EIG name is not one that many gun enthusiasts are familiar with. As in their heyday, these days EIG’s firearms have a low monetary value. As a result they can be found in shops selling in the $100 price range. However, these are inexpensive to add to a collection, good conversation pieces, and fun to break out at the range now and then.

FIE (Firearms Import & Export) was located in Hialeah, Florida and assembled (or contracted the manufacture of) the E27/GT25/Titan from 1977 to 1989 after the 1968 Gun Control Act banned importation of certain kinds of handguns. Titan frames were cast of Zamak in the US, while the remaining components (slide, etc.) were imported from Armi Tanfoglio in Italy, effectively working around the import ban all the while producing basically the very same firearm. Early receiver/frames are stamped “Italy” as opposed to “Miami FL”. In November 1990 FIE filed for bankruptcy and all models were discontinued.

EXCAM was an importer and distributor located in Hialeah, FL, who also assembled and distributed the Titan .25. Excam distributed Dart, Erma, Tanarmi, Targa, and Warrior exclusively in the United States. Excam imported all the “Targa” and “Tanarmi” pistols which were manufactured in Gardone V.T., Italy; and all the “Erma” and “Warrior” pistols and rifles which were manufactured in W. Germany; the “Senator” over and under shotguns which were manufactured by A. Zoli located in Brescia, Italy. Excam distributed the Tanfoglio GT-27 pistol in .22 Short and .25 ACP which was a hybrid import (frames produced by or for Excam, the rest of the gun imported as parts from Italy). It was marketed as the GT-27, same as the original all-steel Tanfoglio, but also called the Excam GT-27. Excam also went out of business late 1990.

After Excam stopped importing the Titan, FIE followed suit. However, after FIE stopped operations another entity, EMF (Early And Modern Firearms Co., founded in 1956 to distribute and later manufacture Great Western revolvers) picked up some of the import lines but dropped the Tanfoglio Titan. As of 2011 EMF continues to import and distribute firearms.

The QFI (Quality Firearms Inc.) Model S.A. 25 is a variant of the Titan E28 and Excam GT28. All of these model pistols are constructed of Zamak. Unlike the FIE and Excam Titans which have a separate steel barrel pinned into the frame, the barrels on E28, GT28, and SA25 are sleeved barrels which are pressed into a barrel shroud that is incorporated into the pistol frame –somewhat similar to Sundance A-25 pistols, but in a smaller firearm. Besides the barrel sleeve, the only steel parts are a few internal parts, the safety lever, hammer, and magazine.

Finishes: Titans came in a variety of finishes. The majority of them came supplied with a blued finish, but there were some steel versions that were nickeled and some Zamak versions were chrome plated. Rarely seen are some that were supplied with a gold finish. The most prevalent grip was made in black plastic (both smooth and textured) but some were white “faux ivory” and some later versions have thicker wood grips.

It’s been said that the earlier Italian pistols were all steel; the middle pistols had frames cast in Zamak, and the last ones (E28, GT28, SA25) were 100% pot metal –and there slides were prone to break as the Titan slide is really too slim to be made of Zamak (pot metal.).

Magazines: The magazines hold 6 or 7 rounds depending on the exact model.

Excam, FIE (Firearms Import and Export) and QFI (Quality Firearms International) Titan pistols were assembled in the USA from USA made frames and Italian components.
The guns were all Zamak & steel, but there MAY have been an aluminum framed version.

Models include:
Q.F.I. Model: S.A. .25 Notes: 100% Zamak frame and slide prone to break
Excam Model: GT-27 Notes: Zamak frame, steel parts. Stamped Hialeah, FL.
F.I.E. Model: Titan Notes: Zamak frame, steel parts. Stamped Miami, FL.
Excam Model: GT-28 Notes: 100% Zamak frame and slide prone to break
F.I.E. Model: E-28 Titan Notes: 100% Zamak frame and slide prone to break
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