How to Catch a Bullet

The most dangerous stunt "The Great Throwdini" has ever attempted involved catching bullets, knives, and arrows—and it did not go according to plan.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: What is the most dangerous stunt you’ve ever done?

David Adamovich: I guess it would have to be when I did the Triple Crown, and that was when I caught a bullet, an arrow, and a knife.  I’m the only person to have ever done all three.  Others have seen how to catch a knife and they’ve copied it from me.  I’ve seen others catch the arrow, I copied that from them.  And then I had seen David Blaine do the bullet catch with the cup in his mouth and I decided I would do the same thing, but instead use the steel cup in my hand.  So all three items, the knife, the bullet and the arrow were caught with the same hand.  And that’s really crazy.  And I don’t think I would want to do it again.  

Question:
How dangerous are these stunts actually?

David Adamovich: Specifically, each of the three have their own issues.  Catching the knife, I have to watch that knife coming toward me as it’s being thrown for a full spin and if I didn’t catch it, it would stick in the board right next to me.  So I watch the release very carefully as it leaves the thrower’s hand and I’m reaching up and snatching the knife when it’s... as it comes in this position, and then I continue with it, but I don’t lit it hit the board.  I just take it out of the air.  

I have set the world record for catching 25 knives in one minute.  I tried to repeat that and break it down to... I wanted to get it to 30 knives in a minute, and after about five knives into the stunt, I was yelling to the thrower to speed up a little bit, I wanted to get the stunt moving a little faster.  Things went wrong.  His throw was off, my grab was off, and instead of the knife being here the knife was actually there when I put my hand up.  And I took the knife right through to the back of my hand, and it hurt.  I really hurt.  I looked up to the... you know, setting a World Record, there was an audience full of people—I’m sorry, I was breaking my World Record and I just grabbed the knife, pulled it out of my hand, saw the blood coming out... put my hand over it and looked up to the audience and said, “Show is over.”  And walked off stage and took a look at that hand and I thought everything was all over for me.  But I didn’t catch any tendons or ligaments, nothing broke, it just went right through to the back.  I pulled it out and I was fine.  

The arrow catch... the arrow’s coming in at about 55, 60 miles per hour from the archer being at about 30-35 feet away.  So, again, I’m watching it, I let some of them go by and then I kind of imagine where I would have to reach up and grab it, and then has it was coming, I just reached up and went like that, and snatched the arrow right out of the air.  

The bullet catch is using a small cup about that long and about that round and instead of doing it in the mouth the way David Blain did, I just decided, of course, I would do it in my  hand so all three items were caught the same way.  And I just held it at my side and the same guy, Chris McDaniel, who threw the knife and who fired... pulled the bow, also fired the rifle.  And we had a red laser dot that was on the front of the barrel of the rifle, and I used a mirror next to the gun at about, it was about 14 feet away.  And I looked in the mirror and moved my hand to where I saw the laser dot in the cup.  And then I gave him the okay to pull the trigger, and he fired and, bang, there it was.  I caught it.  Stopped it really, but it’s referred to as catching it.

Recorded on July 15, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller