Bob Munden, known perhaps equally as a fierce Fast-Draw competitor who was recognized by Guinness World Records as The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived, as an exhibition shooter of the highest order with all kinds of firearms; an entertainer as well as a master gun smith who developed groundbreaking methods of customizing to perfection the beloved .45 caliber single action revolver and other guns, died Monday of heart failure.
Munden’s wife and performance partner Becky said Tuesday she was driving home with Bob after treatment at a Missoula hospital for what doctors described as a mild heart attack. At some point between Missoula and their home of Butte, Bob mentioned he was experiencing chest pains, told Becky to keep on driving, and died.
The 70-year-old shooting sports superstar was pronounced dead upon arrival at St. James Heathcare in Butte.
Born February 8, 1942 in Kansas City, Mo, Bob began his professional shooting career at age 11 in Big Bear Lake, Calif. While still in high school, Bob placed 2nd in a competition known as the Leatherslap. After years of competing in Fast Draw, Bob and Becky performed together beginning in 1968, emphasizing the importance of gun safety when they went on tour in 1969 for the National School Assembly Program. Depending on the venue, Bob and Becky continued to perform together shooting blanks or with live ammunition across the United States, in New Zealand and London, England. As recently as 2011 the Mundens put on their live-ammunition exhibition at locations in California and Kansas.
Over the years Bob, often with Becky who is also a champion shooter, appeared on many television shows, most famously American Shooter, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Shooting USA, and Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots. Munden can be found all over YouTube and appears in entertaining and instructional DVDs including Bob Munden: Outrageous Shooting and Bob Munden: The Collector’s Edition.
At age 68 Munden appeared on Stan Lee's Superhumans on the History Channel. The episode shows a scientist reporting that Munden’s hand withstands 10 Gs of force when he draws and fires his gun from the holster. Viewers learn that as a comparison, jet pilots are trained to withstand 9 Gs, and that Bob is “faster than a rattlesnake.” In a demo during the same show, Munden draws and shoots two balloons six feet apart with two shots that sound virtually like one. Just eight weeks ago today, at the Butte Gun Club range for Midland Radio Corporation, Munden did exhibition shooting with a .45 caliber single action and Colt 1911 semi-automatic pistol. Bob Munden & Midland XTC High Definition Action Camera – YouTube
Registered as members #118 and #119 respectively, Bob and Becky entertained at the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) End of Trail World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting 30 times with what Becky proudly said was the most complex presentation ever offered at an exhibition shooting show. She added that Bob was Cowboy Action Shooting’s first gunsmith.
Becky said, “We had an incredible, memorable life together.”
She also said that of all the inarguably amazing shots Bob achieved during his lifetime of speed shooting, precision shooting and showmanship with handguns, rifles and shotguns; his opening a safety pin, hitting a target 600 yards away, throwing a knife with a bullet and others all accomplished with handguns and practiced mostly in his imagination rather than at the range, Bob was definite that splitting a playing card in he threw into the air was most difficult.
Bob is survived by his wife Becky, his daughters Natalie and Mitzi; grandson Levi, granddaughter Kaycee, his mother; three brothers and a sister; nieces, nephews, friends and millions of fans.
According to Bob’s wishes his remains will be cremated. A memorial and celebration of life is to be scheduled during warmer weather in 2013. A small event for local neighbors and friends will take place in Butte in the near future. Information about both events will be posted at bobmunden.com and the official fan page. www.Facebook.com/BobMundenFanPage
Thanks to all you wonderful fans. Bob loved you and worked for you. -- The Munden Family
Bob Munden (February 8, 1942 - December 10, 2012) Kansas City, Missouri, United States, is a world-renowned exhibition shooter with all types of firearms, but is most well known for holding 18 world-records in Fast Draw and holding the title, "Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived."
Bob Munden started his shooting career at age 11. Beginning in high school, Bob competed in Jeff Cooper's Big Bear "Leatherslaps" shooting competitions at Big Bear Lake, California in the 1950s. The Leatherslaps eventually became the South Western Combat Pistol League (SWCPL). When Bob Munden was 17, he placed second in the 1958 Leatherslap using a Colt .45 Single Action borrowed from Cooper. He claims to have won over 3,500 fast draw trophies.
Since taking up exhibition shooting, Bob Munden has given many demonstrations to audiences, once with John Satterwhite. Bob Munden has also given shooting demonstrations on television shows the world over, most notably featured in "Super Humans" on the History Channel, American Shooter, Shooting USA, Shooting USA's Impossible Shots and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Munden has also become a custom gunsmith.