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
HANDGUN COMBAT MASTER CERTIFICATION COURSE
TARGET: Taylor Combat, mounted so that top of head is between 5 Ft. 10 inches & 6 feet above ground level.
ELIGIBLE WEAPONS: Any SERVICE handgun that is safe. No match-prepared weapons, compensators, counterweights, or extended barrels unless sound suppressor threads are evident. Weapon may have sight improvements, but optical sights are prohibited.
HOLSTERS & ANCILLERY EQUIPMENT: Holster must be worn in concealable manner, as must all spare ammunitions carriers. Exception: police duty rig IF WORN IN STANDARD DUTY CONFIGURATION. Holster and magazine carrier(s) must retain weapon against a minimum of 1G. A backward roll may be specified or the holster/mag carrier otherwise tested for security at the discretion of the certifying CTASAA official.
IF CONCEALED CARRY UTILIZED: An additional 2/10th of a second in addition to the stipulated time per drill is allowed.
NOTE: All weapon presentations are from a secured holster.
AMMUNITION: Any full-powered service load. Lightly-loaded IPSC, USPSA, PPC, Target or Squib loads, Tracers, Armor-Piercing or Incendiary ammunition is proscribed.
SCORING: Hit in X-zone: 5 points. Hit anywhere else on target: 2 points for Major caliber, 1-point for Minor caliber.
In the case of a hostage situation or simulated cover, if at least half of the bullet diameter is on the target, credit for a peripheral hit will be given.
Major caliber is defined as full-powered .357 magnum load from a minimum of 4-inch barrel, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto, .41 magnum, .44 Special, .44 magnum, .45 ACP & .45 Colt.
Minor caliber is defined as 9mm, .38 Special, .38 Super, or full-powered .357 magnum from less than a 4-inch barrel.
Any bullet that fails to break through the bold outline of the target shall be considered a miss.
When Head Shots are specified, a hit inside the Y-zone will earn 5 points. A hit anywhere else on the head will be scored on a Major/Minor basis. A hit on the head of the silhouette below shoulder level shall be scored a miss.
POSSIBLE SCORE: 400 points.
PASS/FAIL CUTOFF: 360 points (90%).
PENALTIES: All penalties are -5 points per offense, as listed below:
1. Premature Start; “Creeping”.
2. Overtime shot. SPECIAL NOTE: If overtime shot was caused by a malfunction and it was CORRECTLY cleared, no penalty will be assessed.
3. Hit on object designated as cover or hostage. In the case of an “edger”, if more than half of the bullet diameter is on the target, no penalty is to be assessed and credit for a peripheral hit will be given.
4. Overtime Speed or Tactical Reload, Malfunction Clearance.
5. Procedural error.
AUTHORITY: The certifying CTASAA Official has final jurisdiction on all decisions.
CANDIDATE CONFIRMATION OF RULE OF ENGAGEMENT: Once candidate has read and acknowledged his understanding of the above, he will be briefed on the CTASAA Handgun Combat Master Qualification Course and his equipment inspected and placed in whatever condition, as defined above, is deemed appropriate by the certifying CTASAA official.
SPECIAL NOTE: ANY QUESTIONS OR CLARIFICATION REQUIRED BY THE CANDIDATE MUST BE ASKED NOW AND ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CANDIDATE, NOT THE CERTIFYING CTASAA OFFICIAL.
STAGE ONE - STANDARD EXERCISES. Single Target - 2 shots per required. Perform each drill once. Shots fired: 16; Possible score: 80 points.
1. 1 meter - Speed Rock: 1.0 second.
2. 1 meter - Stepback: 1.0 second.
3. 3 meters: 1.0 second.
4. 7 meters: 1.3 seconds.
5. 10 meters: 1.8 seconds.
6. 15 meters: 2.2 seconds.
7. 25 meters: 2.7 seconds.
8. 50 meters: 6.0 seconds.
STAGE TWO - PRESENTATION EVALUATION. 7 meters. Single Target - 1 shot per repetition required. One shot x 5 total repetitions. Time limit: 1.0 second each. Total shots fired: 5. Possible score: 25 points.
STAGE THREE - RESPONSES TO LEFT, RIGHT & REAR. 7 meters. Single target - 1 shot per repetition. Perform 5 times. Shots fired: 15. Possible score: 75 points.
1. Response Left: 1.0 second.
2. Response Right: 1.0 second.
3. Response Rear: 1.2 seconds.
STAGE FOUR - SMALL TARGETS. 1 Head shot only; no follow-up shots allowed. Shots fired: 9. Possible score: 45 points.
1. 5 meters: 1.0 second. Perform 4 times.
2. 7 meters: 1.2 seconds. Perform 5 times.
STAGE FIVE - HOSTAGE SITUATIONS. 7 meters. Hostage taker’s heads canted 40 degrees left and right of hostage’s head, with only 60% of hostages taker’s head showing. One shot to head only x 5 repetitions to right side hostage taker; then x 5 repetitions to left side hostage taker; no follow-up shots allowed. Total shots fired: 10. Possible score: 50 points. Time limit: 1.2 seconds each.
STAGE SIX - MULTIPLE TARGETS. 5 meters. Targets placed 1 meter apart, center-to-center. One shot on each, as specified below. Shots fired: 9. Possible score: 45 points.
1. Two targets: 1.2 seconds.
2. Three targets: 1.5 seconds.
3. Four targets: 1.8 seconds.
STAGE SEVEN - AMBIDEXTROUS SHOOTING. 7 meters. 3 targets placed 1 meter apart, center-to-center. Candidate begins with 1 cartridge chambered & 2 cartridges in magazine. Candidate engages each of the 3 targets, one shot each. He then performs a Speed Load, switches to weak hand only unsupported, then re-engages each of the three targets, one shot each. Time limit with self-loader: 6.0 seconds ; with revolver: 8.0 seconds. Shots fired: 6. Possible score: 30 points.
STAGE EIGHT - TARGETS AT ODD ANGLES. 7 meters. Simulates target peeking out from behind cover. Targets angled to right & left side, canted approximately 30 degrees, with only 60% of each of the two targets showing. Prior to beginning this stage, shooter must select as his target either the cranio-ocular or thoracic cavity and continue using that choice throughout the stage. One shot per repetition x 5 repetitions each side. Time limit: 1.2 seconds. Shots fired: 10. Possible score: 50 points.
STAGE NINE - SPEED RELOADS. No shooting; weapon handling drill only. Perform 5 times. Time limit - self-loader: 1.5 seconds each; revolver: 4.0 seconds each. Possible penalty deduction: 25 points.
STAGE TEN - TACTICAL RELOADS. No shooting; weapon handling drill only. Perform 5 times. Time limit: 4.0 seconds, regardless of whether self-loader or revolver. Possible penalty deduction: 25 points.
STAGE ELEVEN - MALFUNCTION CLEARING. Self-loaders only. No shooting; weapon handling drill only. Perform 5 times. Possible penalty deduction: 75 points.
1. Type One Stoppage (Failure To Fire): 1.0 second.
2. Type Two Stoppage (Failure To Eject): 1.0 second.
3. Type Three Stoppage (Feedway Stoppage): 4.0 seconds.
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.