MUNDEN PERFORMANCES — A HISTORY

THE SPIRIT OF THE OLD WEST & FAST DRAW HAVE ALWAYS APPEALED TO THE PUBLIC

MUNDEN STAGE SHOW

2002 – Powder Creek Gun Club, Lenexa, KS. Live ammo show.

Bob and Becky Munden performed their stage show all over the United States, including Alaska, and overseas. Their first performance was in 1968 in Bishop, California. They took their cowboy six-guns into New York City, to school assemblies, radio stations and television studios across the nation, as well as to gun-wary places like London, England, and Auckland, New Zealand.

Because they used only blank ammunition in the stage show, indoors or out Bob and Becky safely performed at many different venues including car dealerships, sport shows, conventions, fairs, amusement parks, shopping malls and at corporate and private events. For audiences of all types, the show, in which the Mundens always promoted gun safety, was fascinating and fun.

The great 19th century, American showman P.T. Barnum said, Without promotion something terrible happens: Nothing! Bob instinctively knew how to promote his skills and how to entertain and interact with audiences. The stage show was a great draw for car dealerships especially, because Bob and Becky’s appearances attracted lots of spectators to the lot, and those spectators became buyers. Top weekends for sales could exceed 50 cars when a dealership followed seasoned, and specific advertising advice Bob provided to ensure effective promotion of the shows.

1990 – Auto dealer in Mississippi.

“Our job is to get people there. We arrive early, in time to do radio and TV coverage. The spectators enjoy the show and afterward, can come up and look at our $100,000 gun display and ask questions. While they are on the property having a good time, sales associates introduce them to vehicles on the lot. Inevitably, in this relaxed environment, people buy cars.” — Bob Munden

All the Mundens required to set up a stage for outdoor performances was a flat-bed truck. For indoor shows the performance area could be even simpler, with just a back stop to block any unburnt powder.

Young fan with Bob Munden’s autograph, 2005.

The Mundens’ stage show was not a kids’ Howdy boys and girls type of show, although kids really enjoyed the show too and were some of Bob and Becky’s best fans. Bob and Becky talked about the history of Fast Draw, how Historically, the face-to-face fast-draw duels never happened, but were invented by dime novelists in the late 1800s, then made famous by Hollywood and television westerns.

Bob and Becky used a 1-second, Fast Draw timer to introduce the speed of professional Fast Draw, and amazed audiences by demonstrating something that has been called, The fastest thing a human does.

During the show, Bob, who held 18 world records in speed shooting, or Fast Draw, from 1960 until his death in December 10th, 2012, shot balloon targets during the stage show, in target stands about 8 feet away. The balloons broke when hit with unburnt powder from the blank ammunition. His dramatic, double-balloon shot was so fast, it sounded like he fired only one shot.

LIVE AMMUNITION EXHIBITION with HANDGUNS, RIFLES & SHOTGUNS

Bob using the facet of a diamond in a ring to hit a six inch round clay target at 21 feet using a Ron Power Custom .38 Revolver.

At appropriate and safe venues such as gun ranges or large, private areas with safe back-stops, Bob and Becky Munden would begin their live ammunition exhibitions by demonstrating their prowess with Fast Draw, as they did in their stage shows, using blank ammunition.

Then they moved on to real bullets and Bob,  well known for his incredible exhibition shooting on television, entertained the crowd by shooting Fast Draw with live ammunition. This is extremely dangerous and Bob always warned the spectators not to try Fast Draw with real bullets, EVER. He emphasized the importance of the precautions he took as a professional, including his use of a bullet-deflector plate attached to the holster, and explained that even that could not guarantee his safety should he make a mistake.

1999 – The set up to perform a live ammo show at a fair in North Dakota.

Bob did rapid-fire shooting with accuracy as well as incredible, seemingly impossible shots like hitting playing cards on edge first vertically and then horizontally with a Colt Single-Action revolver loaded with with full-charge, .45 caliber bullets traveling at 782 feet per second. The Mundens always enjoyed the challenge of shooting with full-charge ammunition rather than light loads.

Bob always included a long-distance shot using a Derringer.  When Bob picked up a rifle and “drew” a happy face on a target, Becky found some way to critique and make fun of his accuracy. Bob then challenged her to do better, which led to a display of her skills with a rifle or 1911. Often they picked up shotguns, and Bob showed that he was also more than proficient with the double barrel, pump or semi-auto by busting fun aerial targets like oranges, cookies, candy, eggs, etc. A crowd favorite was Becky ad-libbing jokes and issuing challenges to Bob. It was interesting because she never knew exactly which shot Bob was going to attempt. This flexible method of performing, sometimes affected by the weather, added to the challenges, and the fun, for Bob and Becky. Audiences loved the spontaneity of the entertainment.

Sometimes Bob would hand Becky a .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol and challenge her to shoot a target 50 yards away, or duplicate an over-the shoulder rifle shot made famous by Annie Oakley. The finale was Bob and Becky shooting together. Bob would set up empty shot shells on a target board for Becky to shoot (so they would fly into the air) with her rifle, while Bob shot them again with his shotgun wherever they flew. This was an exciting climax.

1985 – Live ammo show EOT Shooting Tournament (Coto de Caza, CA)

Bob and Becky Mundens’ stage and live-ammunition shows were good, family entertainment that hearkened back to exhibition shooters of the past like Annie Oakley and The Fabulous Topperweins exhibition team.

Bob also enjoyed achieving a shot that was completely unpracticed and outrageous. In 1986 at the SASS End of Trail World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting in Coto de Caza, California, Bob borrowed a .45 single-action (a Dakota, no longer made,) from EMF Company, Inc. owner Boyd Davis, and split a playing card in flight. Over time, for television Bob split other cards he thew into the air. Bob would say later that of all the shots he achieved during his career, this was the most difficult.

Of course the live ammunition show had to be held at a gun range where this type of shooting could be done safely, but it was perfect for shooting clubs, firearms training schools, corporate or private events on land reserved for the special attraction. Bob and Becky performed exhibitions at least 55 times at the Single Action Shooting Society’s (SASS) End of Trail World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting. One year, the temperature was so hot when EOT was still held in Southern  California, Bob and Becky’s hands blistered from holding and using their guns. But, the show had to go on. At least once during that performance, one of their single-action revolvers was so hot that Bob had to partially wrap the gun in a towel.

 

 

 

 

Website Design By Katopia Design