Montana News

Dec 12, 2012 11:59 AM

Butte sharpshooter and Guinness World Record holder Bob Munden dies

BUTTE - Butte resident Bob Munden, who was known in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived," has died.

Munden, 70, is described on his website 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." He died Monday of heart failure, according to his website.

"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 website states. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at St. James Healthcare in Butte.

The following is a history of Bob's life published on his website:

Munden was born February 8, 1942 in Kansas City, Mo. He 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 in-arguably 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

(Photo from Facebook fan page)

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