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'Fast draw' entertainer Bob Munden dies in Montana

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BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Bob Munden was a fast talker, a quick shot and an entertainer who dreamed up ways to do seemingly impossible gun tricks.

He could shoot an aspirin off the head of a nail without hitting the nail, split a playing card in half while it was in the air and hit two balloons placed 6 feet apart with two shots that appear to break the balloons at the same time.

Munden, who was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived," has died in Butte. He was 70.

Becky Munden says her husband died of heart failure Tuesday as they drove home from Missoula, where he had been hospitalized for treatment of 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," according to an obituary posted on Munden's website. He was pronounced dead at St. James Healthcare in Butte.

Munden, also a master gunsmith, developed groundbreaking ways of customizing a .45 caliber single-action revolver and other guns, The Montana Standard (http://bit.ly/UBOwP3) reported.

Munden was born in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from high school in Big Bear Lake, Calif. He got a BB gun for Christmas when he was 6 and began competing in fast-draw competitions in the early 1960s.

He and his wife began performing in 1968, emphasizing gun safety while demonstrating trick shots around the world, including at school assemblies across the West. He had his family moved to Montana in 1978.

"We had an incredible, memorable life together," Becky said in a statement.

He appeared on many television shows, including American Shooter, Ripley's Believe it or Not and Shooting USA's Impossible Shots.Two years ago, he appeared on Stan Lee's Superhumans on the History channel. Guinness recognized Munden up until its 1980 edition.

Munden is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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Online: http://www.bobmunden.com/

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

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