Legendary sharp shooter dies

Legendary sharp shooter dies

This is a discussion on Legendary sharp shooter dies within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; From the LA Times: _______________________________________________ Joe Bowman, a nationally known Texas sharpshooter who could blast an aspirin to powder at 30 paces and split a ...

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  1. #1
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    Legendary sharp shooter dies

    From the LA Times:
    _______________________________________________
    Joe Bowman, a nationally known Texas sharpshooter who could blast an aspirin to powder at 30 paces and split a playing card edgewise at 20, has died. He was 84.

    He had been in Albuquerque, where he had staged a fast-draw and sharpshooting exhibition for the Single Action Society's annual convention, and was driving back to his home in Houston when he stopped for the night in the small West Texas town of Junction. He had a heart attack and died June 29.

    Bowman, who called himself the Straight Shooter and the Master of Triggernometry, performed at gun shows, rodeos and conventions across the country. He taught gun handling to Robert Duvall ("Lonesome Dove"), James Arness ("Gunsmoke") and Jock Mahoney ("Yancy Derringer"), among many other Hollywood stars. In addition, he taught FBI agents and police officers the finer points of handling a gun, including what he called "instinct shooting" -- relying on the eye and aligning the body correctly rather than taking the extra few seconds to aim down the gun sight.

    Always movie-cowboy resplendent in a ten-gallon hat, embroidered shirt and western-style pants stuffed into ornate, hand-sewn boots -- attire he made himself -- Bowman performed thousands of shows, including performances for King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Bowman also created portraits by shooting holes in thin sheets of metal.

    "I've seen fast, I've seen faster, I've seen fastest, and then I've seen Joe Bowman," said actor James Drury, who starred in the television series "The Virginian" and got to know Bowman in Hollywood in the 1970s. "He was incredible."

    Drury described how the sharpshooter could fire three shots at 30 paces through the middle of a 50-cent piece in a fraction of a second. "It was all in such a blur you couldn't even catch it on film," he said in an interview.

    Joseph Lee Bowman was born April 12, 1925, in Johnson City, Tenn., where he started shooting at age 6, and spent many of his formative years in Asheville, N.C., and Houston. He and his older brother Mark loved westerns, and with their cap guns and cowboy boots the youngsters became Johnny Mack Brown, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and the other cowboy idols they watched in gape-mouthed wonder during Saturday-morning matinees at the local theater.

    He never forgot that experience. "So much of what I do is for the adults, reminding them of their childhood," he told the Houston Chronicle in 1992. "What I remember is the morality of the westerns and of the cowboys. That's all what westerns were: morality plays, where there was good and evil."

    He honed his shooting eye by sitting on the back porch of his house and picking flies off garbage cans with a BB gun. During World War II, he served in the Army with a communications squadron in France and was injured when a land mine exploded while he was stringing wire. He received three Bronze stars and a Purple Heart for his service.

    After the war, he attended the University of Houston for two years but decided he would rather be a denizen of the Old West. He opened the Bowman and DeGeorge Boot Shop in Houston, and his skill with finely detailed boots, belts, saddles and fast-draw holsters attracted clients including Roy Rogers.

    Bowman sold the boot shop in the early '60s and became a salesman for a drafting supply company. In his spare time, he performed at conventions and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The hobby soon became a way of life, and the Straight Shooter began touring the country as a one-man shooting exhibition. He also became a gifted magician and trick roper and frequently spoke to youth groups about gun safety.

    In 1954, Bowman married Betty Fruge, who knew nothing about guns but learned so well under her husband's tutelage that she became the North American female fast-draw champion. The marriage ended in divorce.

    Survivors include his wife of 17 years, Betty Reid-Bowman of Houston; two children from his first marriage, Jan Bowman of Dallas and Mark Bowman II of Austin; and a brother.
    __________________________________________________ _______
    I've had his video tape on shooting in my collection for a couple of years now. He could shoot those six guns without any conscious thought.

    Wish I'd been able to see him perform his magic with the pistols,

    May he rest in peace.
    Brownie
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  2. #2
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    Interesting guy...

    The 'shooting world' will certainly miss this talented man.
    May he R.I.P.
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    Another great pistolero gone, may he rest in peace.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    How sad. He will be missed :(
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    The fact that he had a positive image relating to firearms and teaching firearm safety to kids will be the most missed.RIP
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    He will be missed by many. RIP Mr. Bowman.

    Many of the old timers and or folks that have been good for the education or promotion of firearms and shooting sports are passing along or have passed along.

    Hopefully they will have inspired some just as good to follow in their footsteps. Unfortunately there are not as many venues today where people are able to see this type of exhibition shooter or gun handling. If it isn't seen on TV today, there is a good chance people will not be exposed to it.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    RIP, we'll see each other again on the flipside....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Here's an interesting link for Mr. Bowman. Great video that is approx 30 minutes long. He was obviously an incredible man as well as an incredible shooter. May he RIP..

    The Straight Shooter:Joe Bowman Shoots
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Amazing shooting... that video above is definitely worth watching...
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing,,,,,,,
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    The video was too dark for me to see much.
    However I don't believe these.

    Quote
    Drury described how the sharpshooter could fire three shots at 30 paces through the middle of a 50-cent piece in a fraction of a second. "It was all in such a blur you couldn't even catch it on film," he said in an interview.

    _______________________________________________
    Joe Bowman, a nationally known Texas sharpshooter who could blast an aspirin to powder at 30 paces and split a playing card edgewise at 20, has died. He was 84. End Quote

    Anyone here that can see an aspirin at 30 paces with the naked eye?

    Regrds,
    Jerry

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    Ever watched Bob Munden shoot two targets and have it sound like one shot or have to have the vid cameras slow the action and you still couldn't hear the second shot?

    The FBI gun fighter legend Jelly Bryce was heard to state on several occasions he could see his bullets going downrange. Incredible eye sight isn't magic.

    Men of incredible feats exist in the world who use a firearm, some are still living.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    The video was too dark for me to see much.
    However I don't believe these.

    Quote
    Drury described how the sharpshooter could fire three shots at 30 paces through the middle of a 50-cent piece in a fraction of a second. "It was all in such a blur you couldn't even catch it on film," he said in an interview.

    _______________________________________________
    Joe Bowman, a nationally known Texas sharpshooter who could blast an aspirin to powder at 30 paces and split a playing card edgewise at 20, has died. He was 84. End Quote

    Anyone here that can see an aspirin at 30 paces with the naked eye?

    Regrds,
    Jerry
    Hi Jerry.

    Just because you don't believe something doesn't mean it can't be done.

    At one time we didn't believe a man could walk on the moon. I have no doubt that it can be done. Not because I can do that, I can't. I believe it because I have seen things that defy my imagination.

    We are only limited by ourselves. If we believe it, it can happen. The only reason I don't make $1,000,000 / Year is because I don't believe I can. Once I believe I can, I can. No, I'll never make that much money in a year, because I don't want to. Therefore I do not believe I can.

    Biker

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Hi Jerry.

    Just because you don't believe something doesn't mean it can't be done.

    At one time we didn't believe a man could walk on the moon. I have no doubt that it can be done. Not because I can do that, I can't. I believe it because I have seen things that defy my imagination.

    We are only limited by ourselves. If we believe it, it can happen. The only reason I don't make $1,000,000 / Year is because I don't believe I can. Once I believe I can, I can. No, I'll never make that much money in a year, because I don't want to. Therefore I do not believe I can.

    Biker
    Hi Biker,
    Can you or anyone you know see an aspirin at 30 paces?
    That, and shooting the center of a 50 cent piece three times at 30 paces in less than a second I will have to see or have some better proof than that presented to believe it.

    Bob Munden is amazing, but not in that class.

    Best,
    Jerry

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    Member Array D Strokes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    Hi Biker,
    Can you or anyone you know see an aspirin at 30 paces?
    That, and shooting the center of a 50 cent piece three times at 30 paces in less than a second I will have to see or have some better proof than that presented to believe it.

    Bob Munden is amazing, but not in that class.

    Best,
    Jerry
    Check out "Extreme Sharpshooters" on the History Channel (I think, it may be discovery though) and you will see some pretty amazing stuff, similar to what is discussed here. There are 2 episodes about an hour long each.

    One guy shot an aspirin at 50 yards or something with open rifle sights, he also split a playing card on the edge at 100 yards.

    What that same man can do with a shotgun is beyond belief.
    "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both." Benjamin Franklin

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