September 3, 2015

Legendary Exhibition Shooter Tom Knapp Dies

tom knappResized

( — 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 (

16 Responses to “Legendary Exhibition Shooter Tom Knapp Dies”
  1. 293427 914250Keep up the fantastic work , I read few blog posts on this website and I believe that your web site is real fascinating and has bands of great info . 981171

  2. Scott says:

    My condolences to his wife Colleen, his family, his friends and relatives. Tom was a great storyteller, for sure. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. We crossed paths 29 years ago and just recently shared some precious conversation in Minneapolis at the National Pheasant Fest, where my son had the pleasure to speak with him also. At our first meeting, when he was with H&K, he spoke to me, a stranger out of the blue, as if we were high school pals. He had that way about him. I was extremely pleased that my son had a chance to chat with him at the Pheasant Fest. A great guy who passed too soon.

  3. mark cooper says:

    We were fortunate to have Tom as a guest at our kids shoot a couple of years ago ,wow what a great Man! friendly courteous easy spoken and a true gentleman in every sense of the word .The world was a better place because of Tom Knapp and his passing is truely sad. I feel honored that I was able to spend a little time with him and get to know his persona .The world need alot more Tom Knapps He will be missed!

  4. Jim Hoel says:

    Gone but not forgotten. He was a mentor to me.
    I’ll always remember him in each future trap shoot.

  5. Gary Kirk says:

    Tom , the Hawk is up there waiting for a partner in a round of trap . You two were the best and are sadly missed

  6. Manuel says:

    I am sorry to hear about Tom – I have enjoyed watching him for most of my life. I will miss the action shots and the stories that go along with them

  7. With Tom’s passing one of the great showmen of our time has passed away. Now he is in heaven with Bob Munden, who we lost recently. I bet they will be putting on some really good shows up there. RIP Tom

  8. Dan says:

    Tom will be greatly missed. I never got to see him in person. But I am familiar with his exhibitions. Just watching him has made me a better shooter and I have passed on his advice to my son. He seemed to be a good down to earth man with extraordinary skills. His shoes will never be filled, as a shooter nor as a firearm safety advocate. Rest in peace. God has taken another gem from our presence.

  9. Brad says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. Regardless of his unworldly abilities with a shotgun, he was truly a sincerely wonderful gentleman. I had the opportunity to spend some time with him at one of the SHOT Shows several years ago and it has always been a very fond memory of mine. Rest in peace Tom. You will be missed by many.

  10. Stephen says:

    God be with you Tom and with Colleen. We lost a great one.

  11. Larry says:

    Rest in Peace Tom Knapp you are an awesome shotgunner and entertained me more than once. Just incredible shooting.

  12. Jan Beveridge says:

    Tom will be missed in life but not in legacy. His ideals and principles about freedom will be forwarded by those who knew him and shared his passion for FREEDOM. Having known Tom for many years and having shared some really great times I can say with all due respect, he was a great man while he was here and we are better stewards of freedom for listening to and championing his message.
    I know one thing to be certain… he can hand toss clay birds all day long now… and his arm will never tire. He’ll probably still be making excuses though… about the sun in his eyes, the winds in his face, the low flying aircraft… and probably rattling off thousands more excuses… just because they never bothered him.
    RIP my friend!
    JEB – Cleburne, Texas

  13. Jim Slack says:

    A great loss, I was always impressed by his skill, but also by his courtesy. A real gentleman.

  14. John says:

    Very sad day indeed. My kids and I all loved watching his trick shots. Out of all the exhibition shooters I’ve see throughout my life, Tom was certainly one of those genuine guys that loved shooting and loved people. I can only hope he gets to spend the rest of eternity with a shotgun in his hands and more clays and shells than he can use. Rest in peace, my friend.

  15. David Sheppert says:

    Tom has been a great inspiration and will truly be missed by everyone who ever knew or saw him shoot.

  16. John Kotch says:

    So sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. I always enjoyed watching him on the outdoor channel. He always seemed like such a nice man with a zest for life. Of course his abilities were nothing short of amazing.

Leave A Comment

!!! Comments that do not adhere to our guidelines will not be published. !!!

 characters available