OF ILLEGITIMATE
                   COMBAT MASTER

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.

Combat Master™

Could you pass these demanding tests?
1. Handgun Test
2. Submachine Gun Test
3. Shotgun Test
4. Rifle Test

The 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.

Although 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.

The 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 reality-a gunfight!

A test of such skills is what Chuck Taylor has brought with the 4-Weapon Combat Master Course™.

Make 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 end.

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.

The 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!

Taylor's 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.

The 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

Administrative Data

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.



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 metersSingle 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
Stage 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 on.
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!

As 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.

Head 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.

Stage Three - Shotgun
Stage 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 times!

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 weapons.

Stage Four - Rifle
The 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!

As 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.




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Additional information about ASAA is available. Please email me directly at:

American Small Arms Academy
PO Box 871
Mayer, AZ 86333

(928) 710-7099

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