How We Shoot: Sporting Clays vs FITASC vs 5 Stand

We all know how much fun it is to go out with some buddies and shoot some clays. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out and just blasting clays for the heck of it, but there are a few different ways one can enjoy clay shooting in Colorado. Here at Longmeadow we offer three main types of clay shooting. There’s classic sporting clays, Super Sport, and 5 stand, as well as practice trap, but those are a topic for another time. This post will examine the different types of clays shooting and how you can enjoy all of them in a safe, productive, and educational manner while out on the course.

Sporting Clays

Sporting clays is the closest you can get to field shooting, and will help you hone your skills for your next bird hunt. Unlike trap and skeet shooting every clays course is different. It is made to simulate upland bird hunting and even rabbit hunting. The clays are thrown from various angles and at different distances and speeds for each station. It is normal to shoot in squads of 2 to 6 and on courses with 10 to 15 stations. There is typically a scorer at each station, and they have final say on whether a clay is considered a dead bird or a miss. Shooters are scored for every dead bird or hit that they make on the clays. This form of scoring is consistent across most clay pigeon sports. Essentially this version of clay target shooting is commonly referred to as “golf with a shotgun”.


FITASC or Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse ( International Shooting Federation of Hunting Sport Weapons) is an international association of shooting sports mainly focused on sporting clays, skeet, and trap. The rules for this variant are similar to sporting clays and skeet shooting, but the courses tend to be much smaller, and are good for location with a lack of open space such as much of Europe where it originates. A shooter stands in a peg or a station and shoots at different clays thrown in pairs or singles. The traps are set up at varying angles and in different locations so that each set or pair of clays is thrown in a seemingly random pattern when standing at each peg. There are normally five different pegs but in old style FITASC there were normally three with much more clay launching combinations. In Modern shooting arrangements there are 25 different combinations of shots for a single round. If you’re looking to improve your reflexes and adaptability on the course then FITASC is for you. We offer FITASC at the Rocky Mountain Classic and Colorado State Championships.

5 Stand

5 stand is a form of sport shooting similar to sporting clays, skeet shooting, and trap, but it allows for multiple shooters per round. There are five different stations in a line with six to 18 different clay throwers. Shooters take turns firing at various combinations of clays thrown from the traps. At each station a shooter will shoot at five clays, one single and two pairs. The pairs can either be true pairs or report pairs. If it’s a true pair then the clays are fired at the same time from two different traps. If it’s a report pair then the second clay is fired after the shooter takes their first shot. Shooters then move to the next stand and find a new set of five clays; this is repeated until they are done with all the stations. 5 Stand tends to be more competitive as there are other shooters that you are directly trying to outshoot. It is also great for improving your shooting skills and adaptability on the course.

Bonus: Super Sporting

Some people say that super sport is the most fun you can have with a shotgun. And those people might be right! Unlike the other clay sports this variant of sporting clays is as random as it gets. There are no repeat pairs so every shot is a different challenge. Shooters move from station to station shooting at 50 to 100 targets. Each station has three different traps, and targets are thrown from varying positions and angles, so reflexes are key. There will be true pairs, report pairs, and singles at each station and the shooter will only get to look at the singles. There will be a total of nine pairs: three singles, true pairs, and report pairs. It really does keep you on your toes when shooting, and is therefore the ultimate off season training activity. This game takes the best part of sporting clays and merges it with the best part of FITASC, and we can’t recommend it enough. It doesn’t matter if you have been shooting for years or if you are just getting into it, super sport is a great way to improve your skills and have a blast while doing it!

Those are the major differences between sporting clays, FITASC, Super Sporting and 5 Stand. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Colorado sporting clays with friends and family, and we are happy to help you do just that. If you need a place to shoot or are looking for a good course, Longmeadow Clays Club is one of Colorado’s premier sporting clays facilities, and we can accommodate all four of the aforementioned variants. For more info or to check out our courses visit the link below.

A special thanks to the folks over a the NSCA!


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