Ternary MAX phase Ti2SnC was synthesized by Sn-melt infiltration into a porous preform of sub-stoichiometric titanium carbide TiC0.5. Compared to synthesis starting from elemental Ti + C + Sn mixtures which require temperatures exceeding 1100 °C a significantly lower reaction temperature as low as 700 °C was observed in the TiC0.5 + Sn system. This reduction in reaction temperature is rationalized in terms of accumulation of microstrain and decrease of crystallite size upon ball milling of the Ti + C powder mixture. Dense compacts of Ti2SnC with only minor fractions of unreacted TiC0.5 were obtained at 1025 °C. Thus reactive solid–liquid processing at lower temperatures might be of relevance for MAX phase systems containing low melting A-elements such as Sn, In, Ga, Pb, etc. which tend to become unstable at elevated temperatures.