June 14, 2013
Goodbye and Thank You to Tom Knapp and Bob Munden
By Phil Bourjaily
It has been a sad stretch for fans of exhibition shooting. In a short time we have lost both Tom Knapp and Bob Munden. Knapp, who died at only 62 in April, was best known for his exhibitions with Benelli shotguns, and for throwing up to 10 clay targets in the air at once and breaking them all before they hit the ground.
A few years ago I got to interview Knapp. He told me he started practicing as a young boy after he discovered Winchester shooter Herb Parsons. He and a neighbor threw dirt clods and shot BBs at them. Later he practiced by throwing and shooting bits of gravel with a .22. This video shows Knapp could do some fancy shooting with rifles as well as shotguns and could hit not only gravel but aspirin tablets in the air.
Bob Munden of Butte, Montana, died at age 70. Once listed in the Guinness World Records as the “fastest man with a gun who ever lived,” Munden was best known for his speed on the draw. He will be missed by the many people he entertained in person and on TV.
If you missed out on seeing Munden when he was alive, his exhibition shooting lives on in video. As this clip shows, Munden wasn’t only a quick-draw artist. He could also just plain shoot. The target is 200 yards away, the gun is a S&W Model 60 in .38 special with a stubby barrel and, therefore, a miniscule sight radius. Yet Munden rings a gong 200 yards away with it.