Q: What’s up with the patch on the side of your shirt?
Bob Munden: That patch I have sometimes on my right side is to protect me from the side flash from the cylinder when I fire my single action revolver close to my side. It has nothing to do with my gut. I have scars from burns I got when I was shooting competition a lot and before I wised up and bought some fire resistant material to put there. An important way you achieve real speed when you shoot fast draw is to eliminate motion, and fire the gun right over the top of the holster, which I do. Unfortunately that means you have to fire the gun close at your side. If you could see a revolver fired in slow motion, you would see some explosion escaping out the front of the cylinder. Also, wearing the fire-retardant patch is cheaper than buying new shirts all the time.
Q: Why is it when you perform on TV you usually refer to yourself as “we” like, “We did it!” or “We pulled that one off?”
Bob Munden: Well, when you see me on “Impossible Shots” or on “YouTube” I am obviously being taped by a TV crew. There is at least one cameraman and one producer or director. Sometimes two cameramen are involved plus the producer and a grip who sets up reflectors and other gear. Then there is a photographer and my wife Becky who is always there to help set targets, hand me more ammunition if I need it (Who, me?) keep records, etc. And sometimes my daughters, grand children and friends are there as well to watch and assist in various ways as needed. Everyone has to work together to get on film what we are trying to do for you. So it is not just “I” involved — it is definitely “We.”
Q: Would you say that Jerry Miculek is now the Fastest Gun?
Bob Munden: Jerry is the very best I’ve ever seen at triggering a double-action revolver. He has won countless combat shooting titles with a revolver, also called a wheel gun. In terms of speed, we’re talking apples and oranges if you try to compare his expertise with mine. First of all, the term fastest gun comes from western novels, movies and television. The fastest gun was always the guy who could draw a single-action six gun from leather, faster than anyone else. In modern competition, the sport of Fast Draw is always shot with a single-action revolver, which must be cocked first before it can fire. To fire a double-action revolver, pulling the trigger cocks the hammer so it can fire. Jerry Miculek is most known for his skill at super fast triggering with accuracy, using a .38 double-action revolver and a combat holster. I set my 18 world records in Fast Draw by drawing a .45 caliber single-action revolver from a cowboy-style holster, cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger for every shot. These are completely different skills with different equipment.
Q: Are you doing new exhibition shots for Shooting USA?
Bob Munden: The production crew was here in September and we spent a few days taping for the NEW HALF-HOUR SHOW called Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots. It features myself, Jerry Miculek, Byron Ferguson, Tom Knapp and Tim Bradley. It airs every Wednesday on The Outdoor Channel. With Shooting USA, Sighting in with Shooting USA and now Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots, that’s an hour and a half of shooting sports programming, or Wednesday Night at the Range. Still don’t have The Outdoor Channel? You can call your local provider and request to add just that one channel. It usually costs just a few bucks to add it. See you on Wednesdays and watch for some really wild stuff this season!
Q: What do you mean when you say you offer to ‘hone the forcing cone’ when you do gun work?
Bob Munden: The forcing cone is an extremely important part of the accuracy of the gun. The forcing cone is a funnel opening at the back of the barrel that allows the bullet to enter the barrel. If the forcing cone has tooling grooves from the factory left behind from machining, as the bullet squeezes through that opening, lead will be left behind on those tool markings and will build up on one side of the barrel or the other, even completely around sometimes, affecting your accuracy. Also, it is important to make sure the cone is perfectly round. If the cone is distorted at all, which is very common in stock guns, that will also affect your accuracy. When I talk about honing the forcing cone, I am talking about both eliminating machining grooves where lead builds up, and making sure the cone is perfectly round for optimum performance.
Q: I have an Italian copy of a Colt. Do you work on those?
Bob Munden: I do action and trigger work on Rugers, Colts, Italian Colt copies and other single-action models in center-fire calibers and some .22s. I also work on Smith & Wesson DA revolvers, Marlin rifles, Stoeger shotguns and Bond derringers.
Q: Why would I need custom action work on my new revolver?
Bob Munden: All new (stock) guns need custom action and trigger work. The manufacturer makes guns that work. That’s it. Custom work up-grades the stock gun for extended use and enables the user to shoot better and more consistently, with a gun that has a smooth, finely-tuned action and a crisp trigger pull. Your valued guns will last much longer with my custom work.
Q: What is the coolest thing you do on the new DVD?
Bob Munden: I do all kinds of creative and difficult shooting on the Bob Munden — The Collector’s Edition DVD, but if you are talking about all-out cool or crazy, I think it is when I entered the 1995 Bianchi Cup using a .45-caliber Colt, single-action revolver with fixed iron sights. Anyone who knows anything about high-tech combat shooting will appreciate the absurdity of taking on that match with a cowboy gun — but I did it for the challenge! The 18-minute, special bonus feature on the DVD includes footage of me competing in the Bianchi Cup, with me doing audio commentary as I go along.
Q: My gun does not shoot center. Can you fix it?
Bob Munden: Yes. I have a barrel vise which enables me to turn the frame to adjust your gun if it is shooting left or right. If it is shooting low, I use a diamond wheel to cut the front sight down to bring the gun up to point of impact.
Q: How do you think up your exhibition shots that you do on television?
Bob Munden: I have always enjoyed adding spice to my shooting by thinking up different challenges. Just punching paper gets boring. People seem to like seemingly impossible accuracy, fast, long-distance and aerial shooting. Inventing variations on these challenges is constantly on my mind. Sometimes I receive suggestions from friends, family and fans. Sometimes I literally “dream it up.”
Q: Which is faster, thumbing or fanning?
Bob Munden: First of all, don’t EVER Fast Draw from a holster using live ammunition. It is extremely dangerous. Don’t try it even once. Which is faster? Fanning is definitely faster because it can be done in one burst of speed. When the gun is gripped, the trigger is depressed and held and the gun is drawn at the same time the fanning hand brushes the hammer back to the firing position. True thumbing, like in the western movies, involves two motions — cocking the hammer with the thumb while the gun is still in the holster, then leveling and firing at waist level.
Q: How often do you practice?
Bob Munden: Well, at one time, I practiced in my mind and with my gun just about every waking hour. But now I work on many, many guns for customers, and perform shooting exhibitions around the country, so I really don’t have much time to practice. Also I live in Montana where the winters sometimes get kinda cold. But if I develop a hitch in my shooting, I will load up and work out that hitch, cold or no cold.
Q: What kind of single action revolver should I buy to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting?
Bob Munden: If you can afford it, buy a Colt Army. It was the original. It more than holds its value and it is the best. If you can’t get a Colt, buy the new Ruger Vaquero, which is the most reliable of any of the single actions because it comes with an all-coil spring system that will never break. Another option is to buy a Colt copy. I can install my all-coil spring system in a Colt or in copies (clones) including Uberti, AWA, Great Western II, EMF, Cimarron, Cabela’s, Beretta Stampede, Navy Arms and others. Whatever you buy, I can make it sing.
Have more questions? Contact Munden Enterprises online or by phone at 406-494-2833 (8am- 8pm MST.)
WARNING: DO NOT EVER FAST DRAW WITH LIVE AMMUNITION. NOT EVEN ONCE. IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.