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
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 seconds!

The 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
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

2003 Chuck Taylor's American Small Arms Academy, All rights reserved.