I am now at the stage with my shooting where I want to try other disciplines and venture into different styles of shooting. I have so far only ever shot English Sporting but there are many other disciplines that can be just as much fun. It’s always a little daunting going to a clay ground on your own and trying out something new without any guidance so luckily the wonderful Femmes Fatales organised a ladies only introduction to FITASC event at Purbeck Shooting School.
Not only have I never shot FITASC before but it was also my first time shooting at Purbeck. It is a wonderful ground, and with the sun shining it was just beautiful. Set in the Dorset countryside it really was spectacular, and it is most definitely a ground I would love to shoot again.
So what is FITASC?
Well FITASC (Federation Internationale de Tir Aux Sportives de Chasse) is a French discipline of shooting that is designed to simulate a hunt. It has been argued by many that it is the ultimate challenge in clay shooting but I will let you decide that for yourself! I certainly found it difficult to begin with but by the end of our session I was smashing clays and feeling rather more confident than when I started.
Competitions consist usually of 100 targets shot over 4 layouts of 25 targets. Squads of 6 will shoot the layout with one shooter in a hoop at the time who will shoot their sequence before letting the rest of the team shoot. Each shooter will shoot a round of singles, followed by a round of doubles and then a final round. As you finish each sequence the first shooter drops to the back of the team so another shooter kicks off first.
On the singles full use of the gun can be used and a ‘kill’ is recorded whether it is hit with the first or second shot. With the doubles there is also no requirement to fire one shot at each target so a shooter can use both barrels on one target if they are concerned they may walk away with nothing. The double targets can be SIM, on report or following (raffael in FITASC terminology). Coming from a sporting background I had never heard of raffael before but essentially this is just the same target following.
Gun position is incredibly important in this discipline as the gun must be at least 25cm from the top of the shoulder and cannot be mounted until the shooter sees the clay. A 25cm line must clearly be marked on the shooters clothing so the referee can see the gun is held in the correct position for all targets in the sequence. This was quite a challenge for me as I normally shoot with my gun already part mounted; except of course on SIM or Game days. It did take me a while to get the hang of this, but once I did everything else just seemed to slot into place!
I had an amazing day and I am already planning my next lesson. Graham from Purbeck was a fantastic instructor and made us all feel at ease. He helped us to question what we were doing and why we were doing it which really helped! Let’s face it we can all get a little carried away with firing off cartridges at times that we forget to think through how we are going to hit the target.
If you haven’t tried shooing FITASC I would most definitely recommend it. It feels amazing to throw yourself in at the deep end and succeed at something and it has really helped to boost my confidence with my shooting. Plus I have now found another discipline I love!