By: Friedrich Seiltgen

Copyright © 2023


Taran Butler was born in Hollywood and grew up on a horse ranch in Southern California. He spent his days watching western cowboy films and shooting single-action revolvers and lever-action rifles at cans with his brother.

His first taste of competitive shooting took place at a local indoor event with a Glock-24 borrowed by legendary stuntman Bruce Barber (The truck driver from First Blood with the M-60 in the back of the truck). He shot his first Southwest Pistol League match in January 1995, placing 7th out of 118 shooters. He went from unclassified to Grandmaster in just over a year and was the first person in USPSA history to do so using a Glock.

Over the years, Taran has won 23 consecutive Southwest Pistol League Championships in the open and limited divisions. For his excellence, he was honored with the covetous title of Combat Master, A title only held by 18 other legendary shooters such as Jeff Cooper (First Ever Combat Master), Ray Chapman, Mickey Fowler, and Mike Dalton. He has won major pistol championships in USPSA Open, Limited, Limited 10, Production, and Single Stack divisions. He has won IDPA National titles, Steel Challenge World Championships, and IPSC World Shoot Gold Medals in countries worldwide.

Taran is the first-ever USPSA Multi-gun National Tactical Champion. He is considered one of the most versatile shooters in the world. He is the first and only USPSA Multi-gun Triple Crown National Champion, winning the Limited, Tactical, and Open Divisions. He has won the SSM 3-Gun Championship for eleven years in a row, the longest winning streak in 3-gun competition history.

Taran is the only person to win the Arizona Triple Crown by winning the Western States Single Stack Championship, SSM 3-G Championship, and Area 2 in Limited and Open divisions in the same year. He has won all three of these matches three years in a row. Taran won the Ft Benning Open Championship against the best Open Division shooters in the world.

Via Taran Tactical Innovations.


This commitment to competitive excellence inspired Taran to found Taran Tactical Innovations, A company created with the single goal of providing superior products guaranteed to give you a competitive edge. Whether you shoot competitively, for tactical defense, or recreationally, Taran Tactical offers industry-leading products used and trusted by professional shooters.


Taran Tactical Firearms are a fixture of the John Wick Franchise, whether a scattergun or one of his Glock-based models. For John Wick IV, once again, Taran Tactical was called upon to create a one-of-a-kind pistol to help the Boogeyman, quite simply put, kill them all.

The Pit Viper was explicitly created for John Wick 4 to be the ultimate fighting pistol, and it’s poised to take the crown for the baddest handgun in Hollywood history,


Truth be told, Taran sent the Pit Viper undercover in a slightly different configuration to take the overall title at the first-ever USPSA 2-Gun Nationals in 2021.

The Sand Viper was created before the Pit Viper. Based on the 2011 design introduced by STI (now Staccato), with a different finish and an optics cut.


The frame features a Taran Tactical Innovations grip job with TTI carry magwell, traditional full wrap stipple, and ultimate ergonomic beavertail and seamlessly blended grip safety that delivers reliability, accuracy, and ergonomics like no other.

Internals and controls include an extreme engineering fire control group featuring a lite speed hammer, ultra-low mass sear, and match disconnector that gives you a 1.75-2.25 pound trigger pull.

Other features include an extended firing pin, extended checkered mag release, titanium hammer strut, and extended slide release, all finished with a black DLC coating.


The Pit Viper features a 5-Inch match-grade barrel with DLC Coating, a large single-port compensator, and a Stainless Steel guide rod.

The high polished slide features a built-in static fiber optic front sight, ghost profile adjustable rear sight, and a built-in bladed stand-off (Fangs).


Type: Semi-Automatic, Hammer Fired

Caliber: 9 x 19 mm

Magazine capacity: 17, 22, or 28 Rounds

Sights: Optics ready

Barrel Length: 5 Inches

Overall Length: 8.5 Inches

MSRP: $ 6,999.99



At around $7,000, the Pit Viper isn’t cheap, but then again, given the amount of money you would spend to build this pistol and the knowledge needed to produce it, it makes it a bargain.

By the way, the Continental Hotel Wooden Box is NOT included.

That’s all for now, folks!   Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There.”

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism Counterstrategies, Firearms, and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, Soldier of Fortune, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Off Grid, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International.

Contact him at