December 2, 2016

Legendary Exhibition Shooter Tom Knapp Dies

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( — Tom Knapp, one of the world’s greatest exhibition shooters, has died. Knapp, 62, of Elk River, Minnesota, died Friday of pulmonary fibrosis at St. Marys Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Among his trick-shooting exploits: He threw and individually shot 10 clay targets with his shotgun. He appeared on numerous TV shows and hosted “Benelli’s American Birdhunter’’ TV show for eight years.

Knapp holds several distinctive world records, including two world records for hand-thrown clay targets – 9 clays with a Benelli M1 Super 90 in 1993 and 8 clays with a Benelli Nova Pump in 2000. On October 20, 2004, he shoting 10 clay targets out of the air in 2.2 seconds with a Benelli M2 Field.

In 2007, Knapp donated his Benelli M1 Super 90 to the Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody, Wyoming.

“He touched so many people,’’ said his wife, Colleen. “I have been fielding texts, e-mails and phone calls from all over the United States, and from good friends overseas.” Per his wishes, there will be no funeral services, she said.

Steve Otway, Benelli USA’s former general manager, said, “We consider ourselves really fortunate for having had Tom’s shooting abilities, experience and extraordinary talent representing Benelli.”

Family and friends will gather 1 p.m. May 11 at the Del Tone/Luth Gun Club in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to celebrate his life. The family prefers memorials to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (

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