3GN Spotlight: Taran Butler
Raging, shredding, mindless hosing—if not coined by him, these words nevertheless aptly describe one of the fastest practical shooters in the world, Taran Butler. To watch Butler rip through close range targets is quite simply a thing of beauty in our sport.
In an already storied career, Butler has numerous national titles to his credit. And in 3-Gun Nation’s history, Butler has made several 3GN Shoot-Off appearances; including winning a 32-man 3GN Shoot-Off last year in Kentucky. Of the remaining competitors in the Final 8, Butler is the only one with a 3GN Shoot-Off title to his credit, giving this perennial favorite yet another advantage heading into Vegas.
To many, Butler will be the favorite to win it all next week. Regardless, he’ll no doubt be raging across the 3GN Shoot-Off stage, potentially on his way to claiming one of very few 3-gun titles that still elude him—3-Gun Nation Champion.
3GN: What first got you into competitive shooting?
TB: My brother took me to the Steel Challenge when I was 16 in the ‘80s, and I watched Mickey Fowler shooting Smoke ‘N’ Hope and Brian Enos shooting ZigZag. They were really nice guys and I knew this was something I was gonna have to get into. It wasn't until many years later my friend Bruce Wright took me to the Northridge Tuesday Night Steel match in the San Fernando Valley and I won my first ever match I entered, knocking down bowling pins as fast as I could with my Glock 21. And then I met legendary stuntman Bruce Barber and asked if I could try out his 6-inch barreled Glock 24 .40 cal. with a 30-round mag in it; he said "You got talent and you gotta get yourself to the Southwest Pistol League." I went that weekend with him and I placed 7th overall out of over 100 shooters and I was hooked.
3GN: You've won a lot of titles over the years, in several disciplines. What accomplishments do you hold in the highest regard?
TB: Probably the 2007 Ft. Benning title where I used Tactical equipment in the Open division and was able to take the title and overall match winner against 4 other national champions who were shooting Open gear. It was televised on “Shooting USA” and changed my career.
3GN: You have an interesting day job when you aren’t competing—training celebrities. What’s it like working with Hollywood types?
TB: It's always fun working with Hollywood personalities. For instance, I just had Randall Wallace, the producer of “Braveheart” and “Pearl Harbor” at my range Saturday, and his friends all want me to outfit them with all the custom 3-Gun gear identical to what I shoot, including his friend McCoy Moretz, father of actress Chloe Moretz who played “Hit Girl” from “Kickass.” They will bring her out soon because she loves guns. Coolest thing about celebrities is they want the best of the best and don't want to compromise and get very competitive among each other—a lot of fun. Josh Duhamel was one of the most naturally gifted I have trained next to Colby Donaldson.
3GN: A lot of folks have you pegged as the favorite, but your next opponent is no easy out in Mike Voigt. What do you expect out of Voigt?
TB: I expect Mike Voigt to shoot like Mike Voigt because he’s Mike Voigt.
3GN: You have had arguably the toughest draw of any shooter in this tournament—a first-round match-up with the legend, Jerry Miculek. Next, Mike Voigt. Then who knows after that. What would winning this title, against that field, mean to you?
TB: It would mean a lot for me to win.
3GN: Removing yourself from contention, who do you think will be the toughest to beat in Vegas?
They’re all great shooters, and you never know who can do what on any shoot-off.
3GN: Winning the title of 3GN Champion, where would that rank on your list of accomplishments?
TB: It would rank as the highest payoff I have ever had in a competition.
3GN: What have you been doing to get ready for Vegas?
TB: Watching a “Lethal Weapon” marathon!
3GN: Will you win it all?
TB: I’m trying to get a hold of Marty McFly to see if I can borrow their Delorean so I can time-travel answer this question before Wednesday night, or hook up with John Connor to do the same thing!
Posted on 1/12/2012
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