This is the last of five articles about how to pick the right handgun to carry for defensive purposes. Deciding what to carry is a personal decision, but one thing you should consider is the type of situation you’ll be in. Frank Jardim chooses from one of four guns when he arms himself, explaining the advantages of each in given circumstances. You can read the other parts here.
Tanfoglio .25-Caliber GT27 Titan Semi-Automatic
Primary Use: Deep concealment hideout gun for circumstances where a larger gun can’t be carried. Small enough to slip in the front pocket of my blue jeans or a button flapped shirt pocket in hot weather.
Holster: No holster. Jacket, jeans or shirt pocket carry cocked and locked with a piece of scotch tape over the muzzle to keep any detritus from entering the barrel.
Ammunition: .25-caliber, 35 gr. Hornady XTP JHP.
Pros/Cons: This inexpensive little gun can hide virtually in my palm which means I can draw it, flip the safety off, and have it ready if I sense trouble while still keeping it out of sight. The American assembled models with zinc alloy frames were marketed by FIE. My imported gun predates the Gun Control Act of 1968 and is all steel. The extra weight makes it more controllable in rapid fire. It is a very fast shooter. As a single action with a short trigger pull, it can easily deliver a belly full of lead at point-blank range (seven from the magazine and one in the chamber) in less than 2 seconds. The sights are actually fair and the nickel plate makes them easier to see in poor light. The gun is quite accurate and much easier to shoot well than a modern double action Kel-Tec. The Titans are often criticized (I suspect by people who haven’t owned one) for their reliability, but I have never had any issues with any of the several (zinc alloy or steel framed) that I have owned. Now out of production, but still commonly found on the used market. Triple K Manufacturing makes replacements magazines and grips.
The old-fashioned, European-style butt magazine release might turn some people off, but since fast reloading doesn’t figure big in my plans, I don’t consider this a drawback. More significant to me is the Titan’s small caliber. Fortunately, there are now some decent JHP loads that improve its performance but obviously accurate shot placement is more important with diminutive rounds like this. Since nobody wants to get shot with anything, this little .25 auto probably has just as much deterrent value in a confrontation as any handgun. I carry it cocked and locked with a round in the chamber. It might take just as much time to rack the slide as it does to rotate the old fashioned safety, but I can do the latter with one hand and it gives me an extra round so that is my preference.
Self-defense is, by its very nature, personal and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. A lot of experimenting over the years with guns, holsters, speedloaders and cartridges went into my decisions, and I re-evaluate my practical compromises often. I know I can’t be prepared for every threat. It would drive me crazy if I tried to be. My practical approach is to prepare for the most likely threats that I can realistically deal with.