Tom Knapp, R.I.P.

I wish Tom Knapp had incorporated bicycle riding into his trick shooting routines before he shuffled off this mortal coil. I guess there’s a limit to what Benelli would want their reps to demonstrate to potential buyers (I love that bit about learning those upside down behind the back shots “under professional guidance”). Still, Knapp and Benelli were a match made in Heaven. Let’s hope it continues.


  1. avatar JMS says:

    Oh no! How did he die? Love that guy. What an amazing showman. Great voice, fun to listen to, fun to watch, and seemed like a genuinely friendly and smart dude.

    …Knapp was shooting for CZ for the past few years P.S…

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    This is really a sad thing. Tom Knapp was not only a great shooter, but he was a great entertainer too. With that voice of his, he could have been a radio announcer. And he was younger than I am, which kinda creeps me out.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Sad. He was a hell of a showman and a hell of a shot.

  4. avatar Mark N. says:

    I only wish ‘d seen more of his terrific shooting. Loved the voice, the style, everything. RIP

  5. avatar Greg says:

    I loved the way Tom put on a shooting school, you can’t say it was just a show.
    May you R.I.P. Tom

  6. avatar Peter says:

    The guy was a class act. ‘Nuff said.

  7. avatar Nazgul says:

    Sad news indeed. My condolences to his friends and family.

  8. avatar Ken says:

    A real gentleman in addition to being a great shot and showman. I had the privilege of seeing him live 3 years in a row at the local DU Greenwing Day festivities. Shooting has lost a great ambassador.

  9. avatar Matt in SD says:

    The only thing better than his shooting is his mustache.

  10. avatar Bob says:

    Holy frick. Mr. Knapp was THE reason I first started shooting. Damn it.

    Rest in Peace

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Likewise! Too bad always wanted to shake his hand for it RIP…

  11. avatar Duzt says:

    great role model, will be sorely missed.

  12. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    that man has done thing with a shotgun that to this day still boggles my mind…rest in peace you will be missed

  13. avatar RKBA says:

    A great disturbance in the force, I feel.

  14. avatar Hello World says:

    Sad day as he got me into shooting clays, that’s for sure. Made it look like fun. Still, would have been nice to know why he left Benelli for CZ…

    1. avatar JT says:

      He has had health issues for several years (probably cancer. Edit: someone who knew him below posted below and said he had Pulmonary Fibrosis). He had to cancel his exhibition tour one year do to “medical complications” so Benelli fired him. Once he got better, CZ threw money at him and he went with them.

  15. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Tom was pure class.
    Dang it. I will surely miss this gentleman.
    I’ve got some great video of him.
    My prayers go to him and family.

  16. avatar Joseph says:

    Well the good news is, this will be carried in the national media for sure. RIP brother

  17. avatar ron says:

    Tom was a friend of ours who performed in 4 shows on our farm. Tom had been battling Pulmonary Fibrosis the past few years. He passed away from complications of the disease at 2:46 p.m. at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Mn. Tom was a very talented man that carried his fame well. He could set on a tailgate and relate to people he had just met as if they were old friends. He was a larger than life personality, and will be missed by all.

  18. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    He will be much missed.

    He was one of the best in the uniquely American history of exhibition shootists, and a very gracious gentleman as well.

    I’d like to add, for readers who haven’t shot much clay sports, that when you see Tom hit the clay and it turns into a black “poof” of dust, that means he nailed the target with the center of the shot column – ie, he was “dead on” with his hit. When you’re around clay sports for awhile, you get to see lots of fairly successful shooting competitors who only split/chip/nick the clay, and that is counted as a hit. What Tom is doing there is doing there means he probably could have hit those clays if he were using a .22 rifle as well.

  19. avatar SGC says:

    A true man of the gun, his passing is saddening.

  20. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Sad news for me, I’ll miss seeing him on the various TV shows he did. With him and Bob Munden gone, I hope that there are some “young guns” that can continue the great tradition of shooting expositions.

  21. avatar Fast Talker says:

    I had the pleasure of working with him last year in Colorado bout this time.I got to announce for him at all three show, as well as two auctions and he signed everything from caps to golfballs for anyone who wanted. I considered him a friend even though we had just met. I was honored to have shaken his hand and work with a true professional. Thanks Tom it was a pleasure.

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