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An introduction to FITASC and its loads.

An Introduction To FITASC And Its Loads

The term "Sporting Clays" has barely seeped into the American shooting vocabulary, and now another term tangent to it has begun to appear -- F.I.T.A.S.C. These initials stand for the name of the organization which governs the game: Federation Internationale de Tri Aux Armes Sportives de Chasse.

Essentially, FITASC is European sporting clays, only don't assume that it is physically the same as your Yankee concept of sporting clays. As our population begins to become involved with sporting clays, they see it as a rather sprawling affair spread out over the countryside to emulate actual hunting conditions. The trap machines can be set in woodlots, along fences, besides ponds, and in the open fields. Whatever resembles a relative authentic hunting shot is just fine.

What many Americans have come to enjoy about sporting clays is the entertainment value. It's fun to walk about, touring a course from stand to stand, taking some rabbit shots here, teal shots there, and also having cracks at overhead dove shot, passing pheasants, duck tower birds, etc., etc. Right now, I would guess that his movement from one stand to anoter and still others is what makes Sporting popular stateside.

But when you think of Europe and certain areas of England, you immediately begin to realize that there simply isn't all that much land available for lengthy sporting clays courses. And yet, the challenges of Sporting-type target angles appeals to shooters. So what to do?

The answer was to make multiple uses of each trap machine setup. Rather than using the machine for just one stand, after which the shooters move on to another test, FITASC shooting utilizes a number of different stands around a given trap setup. In fact, there can be several trap machines set in the area, and the shooter stands in a station and gets targets from all of them. Then they may walk just a few steps one way or another and take targets from the same traps, albeit now from a different angle and distance depending upon the actual placement of the stand relative to the traps. In this way, an entie tournament can be run on just one layout in a restricted area, yet it'll give the shooters all sorts of problem due to the changes in stands around the traps.

Another approach is to change the trap machines after everyone has shot a stipulated number of loads, thus creating an entire new course for the second round. The actual kind of course is up to the shoot's manager. It is entirely legal to throw only ground-hugging rabbit clays; some European FITASC courses, I am told, do indeed use several rabbit traps to run targets uphill and down and in criss-cross routes rather than to have a flying target involved. Other FITASC setups can be devoid of rabbit traps and involve high-speed targets flying radical angles.

This, FITASC is a form of sporting clays that is shot when there is less land available. Too, it's a very tough challenge, as FITASC throws target that are hard at high velocities. But thaths the overseases version, and it could be toned down somewhat to march the typical shooter's ability whenever land restrictions necessitate a change to the FITASC format over the sprawling sporting clays course.

Besides using less land, one nice thing about FITASC is that it gets shooters through the course quicker.

The rules of FITASC differ in allowable loads. Whereas sporting clays limited the charged to a 12-gauge cartridge with 3-1/4 drams equivalent of powder and a 1-1/8 once shot charge of 7-1/2s, 8s, 8-1/2s, or 9s, the game of FITASC permit a full 1-1/4 ounce 12-gauge loading of pellets sized 7-1/2 through 9. There seems to be no velocity limit, but common sense dictates something less than the high speeds of duck loads! The range of 1,200-1,250 f.p.s. is about right, with the 3-1/4 drams equivalent charge being all the recoil one wants to absorb. (This, of course, is the American loading known as the "live pigeon" load.)

Another difference between sporting clays and FITASC is that the latter allows two shots at each single target, and it is scored a hit whether it is broken on the first or second shot. Standard sporting clays permits only one shot atsingles.

If you happen to live in an area where land is at a premium and there isn't room for a meandering sporting clays course over hill and dale, bring FITASC to the attention of your customers. The official representative of FITASC in these United States is the United States Sporting Clays Association, 50 Briar Hollow, Suite 490 East, Houston, TX 77027. They can provide rules, etc., for anyone sincerely interested in developing such a field. It's the answer to a demand for Sporting when land isn't available.

While on the subject of sporting clays, I must add that I have been able to use the new Outers "American Sporter" trap designed for these new games, and they're looking good. The Outers units are priced noticeably below the foreign imports but lack nothing in performance. They can throw the entire range of Sporting targets and angles, including the rabbit simply by side-mounting the unit.

The Outers American Sporter can be had with or without a stand, but I believe the stand is a great accessory for the loader. It is assembled with bolts, and my suggestion would be use Lock-Tite[TM] to hold the outfit together under the vibrations and forces involved. Outers, of course, is a division of Blount, Inc. John A. Wiggert, Outers Product Mgr., can handle further information at (608)781-5800 or Blount, Inc., W5549 County Trunk Z. P.O. Box 39, Route 2, Onalaska, WI 54650.

One step toward wads that'll decompose is back to the old nitro card overpowder disc and the fiber fillers of yesteryear. Where do you get 'em? The main places seemd to be from Ballistic Products, Inc., 2105 Daniels St., P.O. Box 408-SI, Long Lake, MN 55356-0408 and Ljutic Industries, P.O. Box 2117-SI, Yakima, WA 98907 7509)248-0476 or (509)248-5995.
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Title Annotation:Federation Internationale de Tri Aux Armes Sportives de Chasse; sporting clays
Author:Zutz, Don
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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