Question: In FITASC, is the first move to the target a bayonet move, or is the first move a lift with both hands to the cheek and break point as you match gun speed to target speed?
I don’t like the term “bayonet move” because it implies that we should thrust our shotgun at the target and shift our balance to the front foot — which is ill-advised. Allow me to rephrase your question to the following: As we mount the shotgun in FITASC, should we mount and move simultaneously using both hands to move to the cheek and break point, or should we use a more aggressive, one-handed move? The answer is, it depends.
In FITASC, a shooter can use one of several techniques to break any given target. Each move must be initiated from a “legal” low-gun ready position. As a FITASC shooter, we may have to use a technique that differs from the move we would use in sporting clays in order to adapt to this limitation. For example, if we are presented with a crossing target with a long window, we would not need to adjust much from our default technique for engaging crossing targets, whether we use pull-away or sustained lead. In this case, we would assume a good ready position, call for the target, then mount and move to the cheek and target (or insert point) with both hands moving equally and together.
What if, on the other hand, we are presented with a fast trap-like target thrown from a trap machine 20 yards in front of us? In sporting clays, we might choose a pre-mounted ready position, but in FITASC we might opt to hold our muzzle at the same level as the break point and primarily use the back hand to get the gun to the cheek and shoulder, using the muzzle bead as a hinge, so to speak. While we can’t vary our draw length in FITASC (distance between the comb and the cheek), we can adapt our move to the character of the target.
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.