Ft Shooter sets new Guinness World Record

Discussion in 'News and Results' started by RobF, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    ‘The most number of 40mm targets hit from 30m in 8 straight hours

    That was the challenge that Chris Large set himself. Sounds easy doesn't it? Except that the record had already been set by Chris Suttey at 3,363 a couple of years earlier, so it wouldn't exactly be a breeze. I'll save you doing the maths in your head, 4000 targets in 8 hours is one shot every 8.3 seconds, non stop, for 8 hours continuously. Then take out breaks, and refills, and eating, now you could be looking less. Time yourself, how fast can you get an aimed shot off, reload and fire another, and try and hit something?

    Well, Chris was determined, and had a good reason to be, as he'd also set the target of raising a £1000 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust. Well on the 25th October 2008 Chris went for it, and we're pleased to say that not only did he smash the record, he also smashed his fund raising target and is on his way to £ 2000 with the money still rolling in.

    We managed to catch up with Chris for a quick chat below.


    Firstly, congratulations on your new world record which was for the most amount of shots in a 40mm target at 35 yds in 8 hours. Where did you get the inspiration for the attempt, was it a mispent youth watching Roy Castle?

    Thanks very much Rob, it was something I had been planning for the past six months or so, putting in hours and hours of practice and a massive amount of combinations of target styles to see which was the best over a long period of time. I guess there are a number of inspirations, firstly the sad loss of a good friend, Tim Williams, made me realise that if you have a passion and talent for something then you can put it to good use. I know the previous record holder well and we talked about it and I decided to channel my energies into that particular attempt to raise the money for the charity. I probably did have a mispent youth, but not due to Roy!


    What requirements did Guinness place on the recording of the event?

    Guinness, for obvious reasons, are pretty strict on what you have to supply them with. There was a lot of paperwork to fill in, but once that was all done they were actually very helpful. The main requests were video and still footage, log books, time sheets, media coverage and witness statements.


    What were the conditions like on the day, did you have any contingency, or did they have any effect on the attempt during the day?

    I suppose the end of October is not the ideal time to try this record attempt, however I didn t really want to leave it until the spring of 2009, so I decided to bite the bullet (no pun intended) and give it a go. I had a back up rifle should anything go wrong with the primary kit but thankfully all was OK. We had scheduled an 08:00am start through till 4:00pm and it was to be held at my FT club, Dowry Hill. We set up the bulk of the event on the Friday, and arrived at the ground at 7:00am – it was still pitch black and very very cold. However, the last few jobs were done and we started at just after 8:00.

    The weather was bitterly cold until around 11:00, and to be honest there were times when I just couldn t feel my fingers at all. Saying that, I don t think it slowed me down much, by then I was in the swing of it. It did get a little warmer for a couple of hours but then the sun left us and for the last four hours it was pretty windy and a smattering of rain wasn t the most welcome of sights! The wind did have an efect, and I guess it cost me 30 or so targets – for most of the latter half of the event I was having to aim half a kill off the right and left edge to keep the shots in the disc, which at 30m you can image how bad it got!


    4,059 hits in 8 hours, thats one loaded and aimed shot just over every 7 seconds... did break time eat into that?

    Not really, we had scheduled in some stoppages (the clock must continue to run throughout any breaks) but I decided to keep going as long as I could. I think my one and only toilet stop was arounf the 7.5hr mark!


    Can you tell us about the setup you used?

    This was a difficult one to be honest. There are so many good, accurate rifles out there that the choice is huge. However, ater some careful thought and a bit of testing I opted for the new Air Arms EVII Mk2. The main reasons for this choice was the fact that overall it s a pretty light FT rig and the fact that the pellet is loaded direct into the barrel from the breech means it was quick and easy. It is also a very easy gun to cock, and when consistency and speed are key it made the obvious choice.

    The EV shot like a dream, it never let me down at any point and the accuracy was fantastic. I can certainly say that the misses were not down to the kit! I must say thanks to Bill at Air Arms for the loan of the gun (and spare), they have been very generous in their support of the event.

    I dressed the EV with my Leupold Competition Series scope, the fixed 40 mag worked well in giving me a super sharp picture all day long and just the right amount of discs in my field of view. I was a ittle concerned I might loose the crosshair after a while but they were fine, even after the 8 hours the view was spot on.

    The other vital piece of kit in the equation was of course the pellets. I used my tried and trusted JSB Exacts, and they were faultless. I didn t have one bad pellet throughout the whole day, which is some testament to the production of those little bits of lead. Thanks again must go to Paul Ekins at Air Ammo, who has supplied me with all my thousands of pellets for the months of practice, without his continued support I simply would not have been able to afford to do the attempt.


    How did you prepare ammunition and air supply? What did you do for food or breaks? Was there any practice or special preparation?

    Easy. I opened a tin of JSB, stuck them in another tin and shot them!
    I didn t use any lube, weight checks or sizing, and I think its fair to say that the results showed that these days, the pellets out of the tin are as good as you need. We had several air bottles on tap, and the rifle was filled after every 80 shots which co-incided with a change of target board.

    I have been practicing the speed and technique for months, and once you get a good rhythm and method of loading then it s just down to the concentration on the day. That s probably one of the hardest bits to get right – 8 hours is a long time to look at the same view and not loose track of where you are. Food wasn t really an issue either, I m lucky enough that I can go without food for a decent length of time, so the odd banana and a lovely tray of pie and peas during the board changes was enough to keep me going.


    We have to ask, how many did you miss? Did you load any backwards?

    I think I missed 67 in total, half of which I am putting down to the wind – it was a real struggle at times. Some of the other misses were when I went through a bad patch and couldn't get comfy, the remaining ones were when I either let the shot off a little too quick or I just shot a little too soon. Actually, target number 1728 took 5 shots to hit, the wind just kept pushing me out – it was quite unpredictable at that point of the day. There were about a dozen that I pushed in backwards, and after I realised they dropped about 4†low they went in the bull every time after that!


    Did you have any problems along the way? Marathon runners often speak of a "wall", is this something you encountered?

    Yes. About 6 hours in I really did feel like I had reached my limit. I didn t say anything to the rest of the team, and I looked up at them and saw the determination and eagerness on there faces to do it – so I carried on. I dug deep and found that extra lift, I couldn t let them, the charity and all the people that have donated so far down that easily.


    I expect the motivation of raising £ 2000 for The Bone Cancer Research Trust was quite some motivation.

    It was, I originally put a target of £1000 as I didn t know how much support I would get. However, the help from my friends and family has been quite simply overwhelming, and I cannot thank them enough for the kindness and support – it s amazing. The charity is relatively small compared to some of the big names, so I am even more thrilled that I can give them much much more than I expected.


    How did you feel the next day?

    Not too bad. My triger finer was aching right down to the wrist until the Wednesday, and the top of my arms was painful for the majority of the week, however, a hot bath and a bottle of champagne on the Saturday night seemed to help a little.


    I'm sure this involved the help and support of others, can you tell us a little about the team and their involvement?

    It did. As I have mentioned the sponsors who donated target boards, pellets and loaned rifles have been excellent. I also had a great team behind me, which I do believe is part of the reason I managed to do what I did. The team consisted of Marc Cram, Val Szulc, Nick Murphy and James Osborne. Marc is my business partner and helped me a lot during my practice sessions, keeping me on track and improving my speed technique all the time – he got very familiar with the old stopwatch!

    Val is a good friend and fellow FT shooter, he was the hands on man, making the target holder to perfection and was also responsible for getting an Excel spreadsheet up and running which recorded the board times, overall times and schedules on the day. He was also one of the spotters, along with Marc on the day, assisting me with which target wwas next or confirming if I missed any in order for me to take the shot again.

    Nick is synonymous with field target and his role was vital. He was in charge of filling the gun, quickly and safely, but his main role was to keep my supply of pellets at just the right amount in the tin. Too many and they are clumsy and too few and they are difficult to catch and pick up – he did a sterling job.

    James Osborne is a name that is recognised worldwide in FT. James had a very busy day, he was in charge of running down range every 8 minutes or so to change a board, then return it to the adjudicators who had to confirm, witness and sign each completed board. James was also the man who took over 400 photographs of the day, and recorded hours of video footage to be submitted to Guinness. We are in the throws of making a video at the minute, which to be honest has been great fun – it gives me chance to see what actually went on!

    It did. As I have mentioned the sponsors who donated target boards, pellets and loaned rifles have been excellent. I also had a great team behind me, which I do believe is part of the reason I managed to do what I did. The team consisted of Marc Cram, Val Szulc, Nick Murphy and James Osborne. Marc is my business partner and helped me a lot during my practice sessions, keeping me on track and improving my speed technique all the time – he got very familiar with the old stopwatch!

    Val is a good friend and fellow FT shooter, he was the hands on man, making the target holder to perfection and was also responsible for getting an Excel spreadsheet up and running which recorded the board times, overall times and schedules on the day. He was also one of the spotters, along with Marc on the day, assisting me with which target wwas next or confirming if I missed any in order for me to take the shot again.

    Nick is synonymous with field target and his role was vital. He was in charge of filling the gun, quickly and safely, but his main role was to keep my supply of pellets at just the right amount in the tin. Too many and they are clumsy and too few and they are difficult to catch and pick up – he did a sterling job.

    James Osborne is a name that is recognised worldwide in FT. James had a very busy day, he was in charge of running down range every 8 minutes or so to change a board, then return it to the adjudicators who had to confirm, witness and sign each completed board. James was also the man who took over 400 photographs of the day, and recorded hours of video footage to be submitted to Guinness. We are in the throws of making a video at the minute, which to be honest has been great fun – it gives me chance to see what actually went on!

    Finally, the support of the FT community so far has been fundamental in raising the funds for, and the awareness of the Bone Cancer Research Trust. I am quite humbled at just how kind they have been in their support and donations. I know the BCRT will be very grateful for their involvement.

    I must also thank the two official adjudicators. Dick Smart is a school teacher and Tony Cook is the BFTA Competition Secretary, they played a key role in the day and were a stipulation from Guinness. They gave up a long, cold day to help out, for which I am very grateful...


    Lastly, if the record was successfully challenged in the future, would you consider another attempt for charity?

    Erm – would I have a choice?

    If it was challenged and broken then, like Chris Suttey had for me, I would have the utmost respect for their efforts. It realy isnt as easy as some people might think, its far more than a set of targets at 30m. There are so many other points to take into account. As to whether I would do the same challenge is debateable, but I m sure we can think of another one to have a go at!! Lets plan it for the summer though.


    Cheers, and thanks also to my sponsors, Air Arms, Air Ammo, FSG Design, Kibworth Gun Shop and Phoenix Printers, their help was fantastic and very much appreciated.


    Chris

    Www.air-arms.co.uk
    Www.airammo.co.uk
    Www.kibworth-gun-shop-co.uk

    Thanks again for time Chris, and if you havent already made a donation and are reading this, and can find a few spare £ then every penny helps. Just go to http://www.justgiving.com/chrislarge1 its simple and safe to donate.


    Here's some pics of the day :



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