Rotating through 30 different shotguns, trapshooter Dave Miller shot 3,653 clay targets over the course of a single hour on May 16, setting a new Guinness World Record. Miller, the 41-year-old pro shooter and shotgun product manager for CZ-USA, only needed to shoot 3,000 targets to qualify for the record, yet he said that he aimed for 3,600. It was far from easy, though, and the challenge required more than just accuracy and speed. It also demanded sheer endurance. When the hour ended and Miller officially landed in the record books, the exahusted shooter took off his gloves and showed his bloody hands to the crowd.
“At about the 40-minute mark, I was tired. I was hurting. But I got a shot of adrenaline and I kept going,” he told The Kansas City Star. “I waited too long for this to let it get away.”
More than 500 people had gathered at the Heartland Trap and Wobble Skeet range to watch Miller complete the challenge, including representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records. Since the record has never been attempted before, Guinness representatives set the benchmark at 3,000 targets, but Miller knew he could do better. In a practice session beforehand, he had already swept through 3,157. Shooting so many targets over the length of an hour required a different skill set, however, and a different stance. Miller told WDAF that he developed a way of shooting from the hip instead of from the shoulder to save energy.
“I had 30 shotguns that I was using. And they would line them up right here all the way back – there was a row of tables with 60 feet of tables with 5,000 shotgun shells on top of them. They would load them, and just pass them up here, I’d empty them and they’d go back in the assembly line and come right back to me,” he explained.
The firearms used for the record attempt were modified shotguns from CZ and held up to 16 shells each. Miller was shooting so fast that it took an assembly line of 24 volunteers to load his guns.
“I couldn’t have done it without my help,” Miller told The Cass County Democrat Missourian. “All you guys cheering me on and believing in me that we could do this.”
Miller has been a competitive shooter for 17 years and has been in love with guns for most of his life. He did not get the idea to set his own record until his girlfriend’s son brought it up.
“Will, my girlfriend’s nine-year-old son, turned to me and said, ‘Why don’t you try to set a world record for breaking targets with your shotgun?’ We kicked that idea around and decided to approach Guinness with it,” he said.
The event also served as a fundraiser and raised more than $80,000 for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s youth shooting programs. Miller told the organizations that he is proud to have been part of a good cause.
“I firmly believe in the No Child Left Indoors Initiative and I challenge everyone to take a youth outdoors and teach them the concept of safe gun handling. These skills will allow future generations to enjoy the sport of recreational shooting as individuals and as a family activity,” he said in a press release.
You can see part of Miller’s record shoot below: