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Thread: Mystery 380

  1. #1
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    Question Mystery 380

    I have a 380 semi-auto pistol I've been trying to ID for years and maybe some of you guys (or gals) can help out.

    It belonged to my wifes grandfather. When he died about 15 years ago, several pistols were found in his bedroom. One was easy to identify since it was an old Colt (early 30's-40's) revolver. The other was a 380 auto pistol with no ID other than "Titan model .380 caliber, FIE Miami, FL" on the slide. No one in the family wanted the pistol, so it sat in a closet for several ears until his wife died and the house was sold. My wife decided to bring it home and gave it to me (about 10 years ago) rather than dispose of it. My wife thinks he got the gun in the 60's or early 70's, but can't remember exactly. I checked it over and it was in good shape other than some surface wear from sitting on a shelf for years.

    It seems to be a Beretta based design or something similar, is a SA, 7shot single stack, all steel with a European style mag release. I've checked dozens of sites, but there is nothing about this specific gun. I've also taken it to a few gun shops, but nobody seems to know anything other than FIE went out of business a number of years ago and usually imported inexpensive guns from Europe. There is no paperwork or owners manual. I've taken the gun apart, cleaned it and fired it a few times. It's a simple blow back design, shoots well and is pretty accurate at 20-30 ft.

    If anyone can help with an ID, it would be appreciated. If I ever needed spare parts or it needs repair, knowing what make and model would be an obvious help. It also came with a single magazine and I'd like to get another as it is a pretty decent little gun.

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  3. #2
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    It is a Beretta, I believe. I have seen pics of them before...

    Here, I think this is it:

    http://www.berettaweb.com/mod_70/mod_70_P1.htm

  4. #3
    nukehayes's Avatar
    nukehayes is offline Member
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    It definately looks like a beretta but SW, I don't think that is the same gun he has, the mag release is wrong and the slide release is also a little off. I've never heard of titan as a name or manufacturer. Have you written to Guns'n'ammo about it? They always seem to do a good job in identification.

  5. #4
    L8models's Avatar
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    It could be a knock off to the Beretta..?

  6. #5
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Well, that's the best I can do. They may have made different versions of the gun.

    I used to have a Beretta Mod 90. It should say what model it is on the gun.

  7. #6
    jwkimber45's Avatar
    jwkimber45 is offline Senior Member
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    Not a beretta Ship. Look at the first pic. The slide says Titan Model 380 *something* miami FL.......

  8. #7
    jwkimber45's Avatar
    jwkimber45 is offline Senior Member
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    I believe FIE (Firearms Import & Export) is the manuf. Out of business now I think.

    Heres a link to a .22 version of their guns.

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976490728.htm

    Google 'FIE Handguns' you'll get a little bit of info....
    Last edited by jwkimber45; 11-05-2006 at 06:12 PM.

  9. #8
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    It is one of the many unlicensed knock offs produced worldwide,and imported thru legal(at the time) importers. This might help for parts and such , one is the titan and one for the titan II
    http://www.e-gunparts.com/productsch...680zTITAN%20II
    http://www.e-gunparts.com/productsch...0zTITAN%20E-27

  10. #9
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwkimber45 View Post
    Not a beretta Ship. Look at the first pic. The slide says Titan Model 380 *something* miami FL.......
    U are right - I just looked at the shape and recognized it in general from previous Berettas I have seen. Plus, the barrel design lends itself to the Beretta style gun.

    Sorry...

  11. #10
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    In my research, the closest gun I've found to the one I have is the Titan II. I just wish I could find out more about the model itself. I do know that FIE was an importer and did not manufacture guns itself, like EAA. In fact, I own another gun imported by FIE back in the mid 80's, a .22 SA revolver from EXCAM that's a knockoff of a Colt. Got it NIB for $69 about 20 years ago and it's still a great plinker.

  12. #11
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    rachilders, here's what I've been able to find:

    The Blue Book of Gun Values (an older one I have) lists no models before the Titan II series guns, but has a footnote stating "Older series Titans are worth about $50 less that the values shown above."

    I have a non-complete collection of Gun Digest and Guns Illustrated (G.I.) books, and in the 1979 Gun Illustrated catalog section, it shows a model very similar to yours, except it's engraved. It is described as a model E38 (.380) or E32 (.32 ACP), 6-shot magazine, with a 3-7/8ths inch barrel, magazine disconnect (gun cannot be fired/dry fired without the magazine in place), and a firing pin block (I assume they are referring to the hammer-block-type rotating slide-mounted safety). Plastic grips were standard, but walnut grips were an extra-cost option ($12.95). Says it was introduced in 1978, and it sold for $88.95 in 1979 (THOSE were the good 'ole days).

    Starting in about 1980, however, the G.I. catalog only listed the newer Titan II models. Interestingly, those models are shown in the Blue Book as being manufactured in the USA. However, later Gun Illustrated catalog section entires (late '70/early '80) list the Titan II as being imported from Italy, which could explain the whole "Beretta look", if the earlier models were also imported from that country. SO, if the catalogs can be believed, this particular model was only imported for about 2 years or so before the Titan II took over its place; that could account for the general lack of info out there.

    If the magazine actually holds 7 rounds, then the description doesn't match perfectly, but I've also seen mistakes in these catalog descriptions before. Assuming the gun functions properly, you could check and see if it does have a magazine disconnect -- make sure there is NO AMMO ANYWHERE NEARBY, then cock the hammer, remove the magazine, and try to dry-fire the gun. If the hammer falls, it probably doesn't have a mag disconnect (or the mag disconnect isn't working; another possibility with an old gun).

    In any case, I hope this info is helpful.

  13. #12
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    I'd like to thank everyone for the help and information you've provided. Most of it confirms what I already suspected (it's a Beretta based knockoff of some sort) and is PROBABLY a Titan II or an earlier design. I'll keep looking for more information and try a few more gun shows for that extra magazine.

    PS... Don't forget to vote tomorrow for the candidates that reflect YOUR views and ideas. Vote issues, not personality!

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    jewelsskye45 is offline Junior Member
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    Smile I have the exact gun you have.

    Hi, I wanted to let you know I had purchased the same gun you have many years ago, the gun you have is a Italian gun made by Fratelli Tanfogiio I also had to get my rejector replaced in my gun it was done by the gunsmith & they were available still that was 2 yrs ago. Im not sure if in this time you have found this information for yourself, I sure hope you have, If not Im glad I could finally give you the answers youve been searching for since I saw the photo & knew when I read your article I could help identify your gun. Ours are the same but mine has the mans name right on it & I have the paperwork to. Anyway Im glad If this helped in anyway, Sincerely Jewels
    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    I have a 380 semi-auto pistol I've been trying to ID for years and maybe some of you guys (or gals) can help out.

    It belonged to my wifes grandfather. When he died about 15 years ago, several pistols were found in his bedroom. One was easy to identify since it was an old Colt (early 30's-40's) revolver. The other was a 380 auto pistol with no ID other than "Titan model .380 caliber, FIE Miami, FL" on the slide. No one in the family wanted the pistol, so it sat in a closet for several ears until his wife died and the house was sold. My wife decided to bring it home and gave it to me (about 10 years ago) rather than dispose of it. My wife thinks he got the gun in the 60's or early 70's, but can't remember exactly. I checked it over and it was in good shape other than some surface wear from sitting on a shelf for years.

    It seems to be a Beretta based design or something similar, is a SA, 7shot single stack, all steel with a European style mag release. I've checked dozens of sites, but there is nothing about this specific gun. I've also taken it to a few gun shops, but nobody seems to know anything other than FIE went out of business a number of years ago and usually imported inexpensive guns from Europe. There is no paperwork or owners manual. I've taken the gun apart, cleaned it and fired it a few times. It's a simple blow back design, shoots well and is pretty accurate at 20-30 ft.

    If anyone can help with an ID, it would be appreciated. If I ever needed spare parts or it needs repair, knowing what make and model would be an obvious help. It also came with a single magazine and I'd like to get another as it is a pretty decent little gun.

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