Skip to comments.Famed Quick-Draw Gunsmith Munden Dies
Posted on 12/12/2012 3:46:34 PM PST by nickcarraway
Print Email 3 hours ago Montana Standard(0) Comments
Quick-draw gunsmith Bob Munden of Butte is seen in 1977. Munden died Monday of heart failure.
Enlarge Photo BUTTE Bob Munden, known as a fierce fast draw competitor who was recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived, died Monday in a Butte hospital.
Munden, 70, a longtime Butte resident, entertainer and master gunsmith who developed groundbreaking methods of customizing to perfection the beloved .45 caliber single-action revolver and other guns, died Monday of heart failure.
Mundens wife and performance partner, Becky, said Tuesday that 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 in Butte, Munden said he was experiencing chest pains. He later died.
The 70-year-old shooting sports superstar was pronounced dead at St. James Healthcare in Butte.
Born Feb. 8, 1942, in Kansas City, Mo., Munden began his professional shooting career at age 11 in Big Bear Lake, Calif. While still in high school, he placed second in a competition known as the Leatherslap.
After years of competing in fast draw, Bob and Becky performed together, beginning in 1968. They emphasized 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 appeared on many television shows, most famously "American Shooter," "Ripleys Believe it or Not," "Shooting USA" and "Shooting USAs 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 Collectors Edition."
At age 68, Munden appeared on Stan Lees "Superhumans" on the History Channel. The episode shows a scientist reporting that Mundens hand withstands 10 G's 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 G's 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 almost like one.
Just eight weeks ago, at the Butte Gun Club range for Midland Radio Corp., Munden did exhibition shooting with a .45 caliber single action and Colt 1911 semi-automatic pistol.
He is survived by his wife, Becky, and two daughters, Natalie of Butte and Mitzi Holt of Kalispell.
Damn. Just Damn.
RIP, sir. I always enjoyed your work.
There will never be another.
You must watch this to believe it!
Rest in peace Bob. I know there will be a lot of bullseyes in heaven for you. See ya around, bud.
RIP Bob, say hello to Arvo Oljala, Bill Jordan, Col. Cooper, Jack Weaver and Ed McGivern for us.
Only Thell Reed left of those great early pistoleros.
I forgot Elmer Keith and Fitz... I must be getting old too.
Bob put on a show at my friend’s school in MT in the 60s. He said in the days after the show, several boys turned up with 22 bullets in toes and boots and legs. Fun times.
I should kick myself, especially since I live in NM and had a gun once owned by a friend of Skeeter’s, Charlie Pirtle.
He and his wife used to come to our high school every year in the 60s. He was good. Damn good. RIP
Great Pic! i am old. I remember Munden, Elmer Keith (my favorite with the 44 mag) and Skeeter.
read gun books when i was young, and fishing books also. My favorite writer was Patrick McManus. He was hilarious.
"...that double shot stuff is unreal,...ell the last time I threw a dart, I shorted out a neon clock. I'm not welcome there anymore"
Didn’t know he was from Big Bear. Lived there for a few years in the early seventies.
I've been to many fast-draw competitions - they're fun to watch, and fun to participate in.
My 'hog-leg' is a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 magnum with a 7.5 inch barrel. Just the sound of it firing is enough to scare 95% of folks half to death. But, it's kick is 'worse than than a 1900 lb Missouri mule' - so I use it rarely these days.
Loved watching it again.
Even better was the link to Erika Anear videos on the side.
I lived in San Bernardino/Loma Linda/Redlands in the 80s. I used to sleep under the stars in Big Bear, and prospected for gold in Holcomb Creek. Never found much, but it was a lot of fun!What a beautiful place.
(Sigh) Aw, man! And you were still having fun, and doing what you do!
Reminds me of that line from “Enter The Dragon”, (not able to recal actor’s name), “Man, when that time comes, I won’t be worryin’ about nothin’, because I’ll be too busy lookin’ good!”
My respects to the Munden family, and a thank you, for sharing Mr. Bob with all of us out here in the world. He has placed that spark of inspiration into those of us who saw his works.
He was twice as fast as a rattlesnake and more accurate. I’m going to miss him. RIP Mr Lunden.
Saw such a show in 1969 at Bassett HS in La Puente CA. He may have been the performer.