Tom Knapp has died at 62. The Minnesota sharpshooter was a record-setting exhibition shooter who could shoot an aspirin out of the air and hosted Benelli’s American Birdhunter for eight seasons. A video compilation of some of his amazing shots went viral on YouTube, attracting over 3 million viewers.
“There’s no trickery in trick shooting,” said Chuck Delaney, a friend who first met Knapp in the early 1970s. “It’s a huge amount of practice and a lot of skill.”
However, people often gasped and wondered if their eyes were deceiving them as they watched the sharpshooter at work. In the video below, you’ll see him play golf by shooting at the ball to make it go in the direction of his choosing.
Because of Knapp’s fast-talking showmanship, it’s easy to believe that you’re watching a professional magician instead of one of the world’s top sharpshooters.
It’s said that he could even shoot through the hole in a washer.
One of his most famous tricks was the ability to shoot 10 clay targets with his shotgun. He set a record in 2004 when he hit 10 clay targets, each with a separate round, in only 2.2 seconds.
Knapp was inducted into the Shooters Hall of Fame at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Wyoming in 2005.
He traveled the world to demonstrate his techniques, but he had reluctantly retired in February as a result of pulmonary fibrosis. Tom Knapp died of the disease in a Rochester, Minnesota hospital on April 26.
His wife Colleen said that Tom didn’t want a funeral but that family and friends will gather to remember his life later in May. Any memorials should be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
Prepare to be amazed when you watch the video of Knapp in action:
The world lost a talented man when Tom Knapp died.
[shotgun photo by strannik72 via Shutterstock]