The Handgun, 3-Weapon and 4-Weapon Combat Master training programs and the Combat Master certification were created by Chuck Taylor in 1982 and are thus the sole property of CTASAA. No other instructor/institution is authorized by CTASAA to conduct such training or certify candidates. There are several instructors/institutions claiming to offer CM certification; however, prospective enrollees in such programs are advised that their programs and certifications are not recognized.
Could you pass these demanding tests?
2. Submachine Gun Test
3. Shotgun Test
4. Rifle Test
word "Master" carries with it connotations of extreme
skill and ability. In the realm of combat shooting, a Master might
be described as a person who can shoot up to the capability of his
weapon-not just once, but consistently-on demand.
the handgun is the primary personal weapon these days, Mastery of
it alone is not enough. A true Combat MasterTM must be able to perform
expertly with every representative small arm in use throughout the
world. A Master must be good not only with the handgun, but with
the rifle, shotgun and submachine gun as well.
abilities of a Combat MasterTM must be based on the realistic use
of each weapon in combat under realistic time frames. The targets
used must accurately represent realistic incapacitation zones for
human adversaries. The overwhelming emphasis, when assessing a Master's
skills, is on realism... as a preparation for the ultimate of all
test of such skills is what Chuck Taylor has brought with the 4-Weapon
Combat Master Course™.
no mistake-this is a very difficult course, and anyone successfully
completing it can truly be said to be a top gun and has every right
to claim the title of "Master". The achievement of 4-Weapon
Combat MasterTM is intended to be the toughest shooting challenge
ever faced by the candidate. It is carefully designed to require
every skill that a true Master should possess, such as skill with
weaponry, mental and emotional control and flexibility. A candidate
can go right to the very end and blow it in the blink of an eye
because it is cleverly designed to get more difficult toward the
course of fire itself requires the shooting of 160 rounds and consists
of four separate stages for handgun, submachine gun, shotgun and
rifle. Each stage must be successfully completed in proper order,
with a score of 90 percent. A candidate may not attempt completion
of any stage out of order, or until he satisfactorily completes
the preceding stage. Thus, instant disqualification results upon
failure to successfully negotiate any stage, and the course must
then be attempted in its entirety at another time.
target used is Taylor's own creation designed to approximate the
incapacitation zones of a human adversary. These dimensions, incidentally
were obtained by Taylor from discussions with forensic experts and
by actually sitting in on autopsies!
target is 24 inches high by 15.5 inches wide with a six-by-six-inch
head on top. The center "X-ring" (chest area is 11 by
13 inches and the "Y-ring" (cranial area) is three by
four inches. Scoring is relatively uncomplicated. Each X or Y-ring
hit receives five points regardless of caliber. Non-center hits
receive three points if a "major" caliber and only two
points if a "minor" caliber, justly rewarding those shooting
larger-caliber weapons. No one has aced aced the course.
spirit of the exercise is realism, so only those using weapons and
gear suited for anti-personnel deployment need apply (no trick competition-oriented
equipment allowed.) All drills begin from a standing position, with
the handgun holstered or long guns held at port arms.
Stage One - Handgun
The first stage is shot with the handgun. Beginning with the Standard
Drills of two shots each, the candidate faces a single Taylor Advanced
Combat target. The first exercise is the Speed Rock close-quarters
emergency technique: two shots, one second. Next is the Step back,
involving a draw and fire two as the candidate steps back from the
target-also one second. Following this are standard two-shot drills
from three meters in one second, five meters in 1.2 seconds, seven
meters in 1.3 seconds, 10 meters in 1.8 seconds, 15 meters in 2.3
seconds, 25 meters in 2.8 seconds and 50 meters in six seconds.
Dextrous handling of his weapons is the hallmark of a Master, and
that is just what is required to successfully negotiate the Ambidextrous
Drill. The shooter engages three targets at seven meters (having
loaded only three rounds in the magazine) and, shooting to slide-lock,
executes an emergency reload. Transferring the handgun to the weak
hand, the shooter re-engages the three targets again-all under six
ability to hit small targets at close range is very necessary because
a small target may sometimes be all we have available to shoot.
With this in mind, the course requires head shots at seven meters
in 1.5 seconds, and at 10 meters in two seconds. The difficulty
of pulling this off really hits home when we remember that the Y-ring
(cranial cavity) is only three by four inches small! If the candidate
has managed to complete the foregoing with at least 180 points from
a possible 200, he may then proceed to stage two.
Stage Two- Submachine Gun
Two involves one of Chuck's favorite weapons- the submachine gun.
The starting position for the SMG (as for the shotgun and rifle)
is Rhodesian Ready, and the weapon must be loaded with the safety
The candidate begins with shoulder-fired pairs on a single target
at 50 meters in three seconds, 40 meters in 2.7 seconds, 30 meters
in 2.5 seconds, 25 meters in 1.8 seconds, 15 meters in 1.5 seconds
and 10 meters in one second.
Taylor originated the Underarm Assault position for close-range
reactive shooting. The candidate uses that position to fire two-round
bursts (weapons set on full-auto) at seven meters in one second,
five meters in 0.8 seconds and three meters in 0.5 seconds!
with the Handgun Stage, multiple targets are engaged, but in the
SMG stage, they are spread further apart and must be hit with a
burst of two shots. The distance is seven meters and the time is
2.5 seconds for three targets. Trigger control is paramount during
the testing with the submachine gun. Additional shots fired beyond
the two-shot burst requirement are penalized full value.
shots are next in 1.5 and two seconds, respectively. The final portion
of the SMG Stage is a demonstration of reloading skills. Unlike
shooting-range based IPSC speed-loading drills, Taylor's reloading
methods do not needlessly abandon magazines. When it comes time
to recharge the weapon on far-flung battlefields far away from supply
lines or neighborhood gun stores, you will need those magazines
or you will soon be out of the fight. Taylor teaches a version of
the Tactical Reload for long guns that is both quick and efficient.
At 10 meters the candidate must utilize that technique twice in
a "shoot two, reload, shoot two" exercise... time available
is only five seconds.
Three - Shotgun
Three deals with the shotgun. The starting positions and loading/safety
rules are the same as for the SMG. The candidate uses buckshot and
a single target at seven meters. Firing position is the Underarm
Assault position and the time available is one second (repeated
five times). Targets at 10 meters, 15 meters and 25 meters are shot
in 1.2 seconds, 1.5 seconds, and 1.8 seconds, respectively and from
the shoulder. Each one of these shotgun exercises is repeated 10
Multiple targets are engaged at seven meters, again from the Underarm
Assault position. The targets are spaced as they were for the SMG
Stage (two meters apart center to center) and the candidate gets
1.5 seconds for two targets and two seconds for three targets. The
time frames for the Shotgun Stage are not as tight as for the other
Stage Four - Rifle
starting position, loading, safety, etc., are the same as for the
SMG and Shotgun stages. The candidate begins with head shots at
25 meters in two seconds-repeated five times. Following this are
body shots at 50 meters, 100 meters and 150 meters in 1.5 seconds,
four seconds and five seconds, respectively. Each of these exercises
is repeated five times.
Multiple targets are next at a distance of 50 meters. Two targets
are engaged in three seconds. Three targets are engaged in 3.5 seconds.
Finally, four targets are engaged in four seconds. with an iron-sighted
rifle, shooting a full-powered cartridge, there is no room for error
as you can blow the entire course right at this stage!
you can see, completing this course is no "walk in the park".
Doing so requires the skills of a Master and the use of practical
fighting weapons. Only five men in the world have achieved this
"Holy Grail" of combat shooting. To maintain the integrity
of the 4-Weapon Combat Master..TM credential, applicants must complete
the course of fire under the direct observation and supervision
of Chuck Taylor (the original 4-Weapon Combat MasterTM) and at least
one other 4-Weapon Combat MasterTM as a witness.