Home Latest News New ‘John Wick 4’ Gun Up for Grabs: Taran Tactical Pit Viper Review By:

New ‘John Wick 4’ Gun Up for Grabs: Taran Tactical Pit Viper Review By:

New ‘John Wick 4’ Gun Up for Grabs: Taran Tactical Pit Viper Review   By:

Intro: Meet the Pit Viper

TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The Pit Viper is a rare breed of 2011 that just takes everything to a new level. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

Basically, this is a fully custom-built, hand-fitted wide-body 1911 – also known as a 2011 – designed from the ground up by one of the best shooting champions in history to be the ultimate 2-gun/3-gun pistol. It has proven itself, winning the overall title at the USPSA 2-Gun Nationals this year. This thing is built for speed.

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When I first heard that Taran was doing custom guns, I was a little bit skeptical. A lot of “celebrity” guns are not anything special. They just slap their name on an already-designed firearm. But I recently got the opportunity to visit the TTI facility and see the amazing work they do. I also got to talk to Taran about what his team does to these guns and actually shoot them.

TTI Pit Viper
This is a gun that has the chops to dominate in competition. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

Taran believes in these firearms and wants to give shooters all the benefits of his years of experience winning basically every action-shooting competition that exists.

Shooting & Handling

TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The Pit Viper offers speed with an uncanny ability to shoot flat and keep the sights in view. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

The Pit Viper is light and nimble. It’s much lighter than it looks. It shoots so flat it feels like shooting .22 LR pistol with high-velocity ammo. This is clearly the combination of the sight block, compensator, slide weight, and spring balance.

2011s are already amazing guns made to push the levels of performance. The Pit Viper takes that up a few notches. Below are the major ways this pistol improves on the standard 2011.

  • Sight-block compensator
  • Fire control system
  • Slide stop
  • Grip safety
  • Fangs
TTI Pit Viper Handgun
That compensator is key, but so is the fact the front sight is separate from the recoiling slide. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

The most dramatic feature of this gun is the sight-block compensator that has been attached to the barrel. I love compensators on guns. They redirect the gases to reduce recoil and muzzle rise – basically allowing you to shoot faster with more accuracy. This one works extremely well.

In addition, this compensator has the front sight attached to it, as opposed to being mounted on the slide like on traditional guns. Slide-mounted sights reciprocate with the slide during recoil. There is less movement because the front sight is locked to the barrel so it is easier to track the fiber-optic dot, which is also a uniquely Taran design.

TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The sight, with special attention to keeping the fiber-optic dot close to the tip of the post, is a Taran feature that focuses on accuracy. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)
TTI Pit Viper Handgun
Everything screams quality and custom, from the hammer and slide serrations to the ambi safety and rear sight. This gun is decked out. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)
TTI Pit Viper Handgun
Even the magazine release is a trim but well-textured feature. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

The combination of a sight-block compensator is fantastic. I’ve never been able to track a front sight so easily, and I’ve never been able to run a gun so fast. Actually, I wasn’t used to it. During my first run with Taran, I shot my normal cadence. On the next run, Taran’s only critique was to go faster with this gun, so I did. I probably doubled my speed. Normally, when I go that fast, I am just point shooting, but I could still see the sights with the Pit Viper! It was truly amazing.

Other Features

The other major improvements in this gun are the internal parts. It uses an Extreme Engineering LiteSpeed fire-control system, which is comprised of a LiteSpeed hammer, ultra-low-mass sear, match disconnector, and titanium hammer strut. Taran chose these because they are the parts he used in all his personal competition guns when he was winning every action-shooting completion out there. He wanted to spare no expense on the Pit Viper.

TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The trigger is not just light. It’s part of a package of parts that make this gun shoot fast and flat. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)
TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The grip texture is also very positive. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

Yes, the trigger is light when shooting it, but it’s not only about having just a light trigger. It’s the combination of trigger feel, trigger reset, and reliability that is important. It has been perfect in my opinion.

Something else that impressed me is that while running very reliably the springs were still light enough that I was able to “air rack” the slide. This means that on an empty gun, I can rack the slide and chamber a round from the magazine with just the momentum of my hand.

Air racking makes no practical or tactical sense. It’s just cool.

Function & Reliability

The test guns on the range ran perfectly despite having been abused. The only malfunctions I experienced were magazine related. That’s not a gun issue. Magazines are like car tires. They are a consumable. They wear out after use and must be replaced. With fresh mags, the guns ran flawlessly.

TTI Pit Viper Handgun
The grip safety is intentionally ground down. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

Another unique feature on this double-stack 2011 is the grip safety. I’ve never seen a smaller one. Taran intentionally ground down the “memory groove” hump because he never liked how it felt in his hand.

When in my hand, it is more comfortable. However, it leaves very little movement to deactivate the grip safety. I think it really says something about the engineering of the safety that the slightest touch deactivates the safety for firing. It is executed very well.

Now, my favorite unique feature has got to be the Bladed Stand-Off “Fangs” on this gun. When the gun runs dry and locks back on an empty magazine, the front of the frame reveals fang-like features that can be used as an impact weapon. Believe me, they really are sharp. They are so cool looking. I can’t wait to see how John Wick uses them…


TTI Pit Viper Handgun
Frankly, the gun is as much a piece of art as a high-performance speed demon. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

How can I review this gun without mentioning its aesthetic appeal? It is probably the most beautiful tool I’ve ever held. The lines are practical though. I love the slide serrations. They give a perfect grip. The extended slide and magazine release also add pleasing lines. This gun is just a work of art.

I love this gun. I want this gun. End of story. So, what do you think? Is this the gun for you? Tell us in the comments below and, while you are at it, get entered to win your own Pit Viper.