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5 Aug 2023
AWR Hawkins

NextImg:Exclusive -- Taran Tactical: Precision Guns, Hollywood Stars, and the American Dream

When Taran Butler took part in a 1995 Southwest Pistol League match with a borrowed Glock 24 and finished seventh out of 118 shooters, the die was cast and the shooting world–and Hollywood, California–would never be the same.

Butler realized that if he had the skills to place seventh with a Glock that was not set for speed, he could dominate if he could get the necessary practice under his belt and a faster gun in his hands.

He went on to become a champion shooter, with:

…23 consecutive South West Pistol League Championships in the open and limited division. For his excellence, he was honored with the covet[ed] 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 also “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 around the world.”

He is now a Grand Master Champion, which means he is a champion in pistol, rifle, and shotgun.

Along the way, as Butler was winning championships, he began building some of the greatest guns the shooting world has ever seen.

When Breitbart News visited Butler at manufacturing headquarters we talked about the championships, the guns he has designed and built, and the fact that Hollywood came calling on behalf of action stars, directors, producers, and others who wanted to hone shooting skills both on and off the screen.

As we walked through Taran Tactical Innovations (TTI) with Butler, he got a phone call from Keanu Reeves, the actor whom Butler has worked closely with during the making of the John Wick films. We talked about other actors and actresses he has trained, including  Michael B. Jordan, Jennifer Garner, Shemar Moore, Collin Farrell, Josh Duhamel, and Chris Hemsworth.

Standing in front of a safe with a rotating firearm display in which his various TTI guns and gun upgrades could be seen, we talked about the TTI Combat Master pistol, the Sand Viper, the Pit Viper, the Copperhead, and numerous others.

Butler walked us through the way his mind works when it comes to thinking of his next pistol design or upgrade:

We traveled from TTI headquarters to Butler’s range and spent early to mid-afternoon watching him shoot. Seeing his movements through the target course, his focus on perfection, and his speed–incredible speed–was literally awe-inspiring. Watching him shoot left no doubt why actors, actresses, and others in Hollywood have sought him out for training.

Butler, quiet and mild in conversation, transforms into a ball of energy and wit at the shooting range, handing out nicknames, tossing out one-liners, and shooting a pistol flawlessly on a 100-yard target that many people could miss with a rifle.

Ironically, Butler’s range is located on a piece of land his mother bought. He told us how she lamented that she did not leave her children more and we could not help but wonder what she would think if she had seen that Butler has parlayed his skills, determination, and landholding into what constitutes Taran Tactical today.

Butler is a championship shooter, a builder of refined firearms, a trainer for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and a true American. The latter came out loud and clear during our time together: He loves this country.

Taran Butler is living the American dream.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at