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Whether a law enforcement officer or a military professional, you’ll want to step out of your comfort zone, challenge your weaknesses, and master rifle fundamentals. 

In this blog post:

This blog post will tackle the “Man Card Drill” performance-based standard that utilizes both a pistol and a rifle. It’s a highly demanding but humbling and fulfilling experience. 

This performance-on-demand drill involves a different level of stress and pressure. It may be nothing compared to the emphasis added during a real-life situation, but it’s the kind of training that will let you explore your weak points and become a better shooter. 

What Is the Man Card Drill?

The Man Card Drill is a performance-on-demand drill that challenges the fundamentals. Done cold with both a rifle and a pistol, the Man Card Drill requires shooters to perform iterations with solid carbine fundamentals. However, anyone can take the drill and achieve such demanding standards. 

The short card drill and long card drill comprise the Man Card Drill. If you successfully finish the quick card drill with full accountability, you get a metal Man Card. It’s a great source of pride; earning this also means you can attempt the extended card. 

Rifle fundamentals

Completing the Short Card Drill

The short card drill is a five-iteration performance-based standard on a C zone target with a distance of 25 yards. Through these five iterations, you can test your performance on demand skill set and abilities in both rifle and pistol. In every iteration, you’re allowed to have two attempts.

Compress Ready Finger Performance 

The first one uses a pistol with a compressed ready finger, straightened off the trigger compress performance. Drive straight out on the auditory signal, and break one round in just one second. Shots out of the C zone and those that exceed the time limit are not counted. However, if you fail the first time, you still have another attempt. 

From Holster 

The second interaction involves drawing the pistol from its holster or a point of concealment. The target time of completion is 1.5 seconds. Establish a reference point for the gun with your forearm for swift access. 

To proceed, your hand must not be in contact with the firearm, and upon hearing the signal, draw the gun, establish sight, and fire one round on the steel target. 

Rifle Low Ready

For the rifle, from a low ready position of a downward angle of 45 degrees, raise the gun and secure the stock from the shoulder for stability. Then, quickly aim for the target, and fire a single round. Upon hearing the shot signal, you have one second to complete the drill. 

Rifle High Ready

From a high angle position set at 45 degrees, set the rifle at an aiming position with the stock secured against your shoulder—fire one round at the designated target. Execute the drill upon hearing the signal in one second.

One Transition 2.5 Seconds

Execute either a low or high-ready rifle drill in one second. Then, quickly transition to the holster drill using your pistol and execute within the standard time of 1.5 seconds. This transition should be accomplished in 2.5 seconds.

Executing the Tougher Long Card Drill

The long card drill involves a total of 14 iterations. These include six with a pistol, another six with a rifle, and the remaining two involve transition drills from pistol to rifle. With such a demanding course of fire, expect speedy time requirements for these weapons. Like the short card drill, you must shoot 25 yards on a C zone target. 

You also have two attempts for each iteration. If you fail in both attempts, you will lose the long card. However, once you’ve earned your short card, it’s already yours, and you can keep trying for the extended card. 

Compressed Ready

The same five iterations are applied to the long card drill, starting with the compressed ready finger performance. With your rifle either slung to you or set on the ground, draw your pistol. Ensure your sights, cross-checks, and thumb compress are ready. Next, straighten your finger off the trigger—fire one round at the steel target within one second from a compressed ready position.  

Rifle fundamentals

From Holster 

Next is that you draw a pistol from the holster. You have 1.5 seconds to complete this iteration.  

From Holster Facing Right 

Clock positions all have a target completion time of 1.5 seconds. For these positions, only your belt line and hips should be facing the direction you’re going. Your head can face the target. First, look to the right and aim for 1.5 seconds or less for the target.  

From Holster Facing Up Range 

You still draw from the holster but face up range in this iteration. First, look over your non-dominant side shoulder, and make sure your hips are oriented up range. Then, complete the drill in 1.5 seconds. 

From Holster Facing Left 

This time, look left with your hips oriented left. Then, complete the target in 1.5 seconds or less. 


Take an empty magazine and tac reload it into the gun. Reloading and completing the target should only take three seconds. This is performed in the target’s frame of reference. 

Rifle Low Ready 

You have one second to finish the target for this low-ready position with 45 degrees downward cover. 

Rifle High Ready 

For the rifle high ready position at 45 degrees angle, you also have one second to complete the target. 

Rifle From Any Ready Position (Facing Right) 

With the clock positions, you can choose any ready position. For instance, face right with your hips oriented right. Then, finish the drill in one second.  

Rifle From Any Ready Position (Facing Up Range) 

For the next iteration, face up range with your hips oriented up. Again, accomplish the drill in one second. 

Rifle From Any Ready Position (Facing Left) 

In this iteration, turn left and keep your hips oriented left. Complete the target in just one second.  

Reload Rifle From Any Ready Position 

For this one, take that empty magazine. Then, reload from any ready position and hit the target within three seconds. 

One Transition 2.5 Seconds 

Here, you take the empty magazine back. Then, tac reload it into the gun while preparing yourself for one transition. You can choose any ready position and perform a weapon transition from rifle to pistol. The completion time should be 2.5 seconds.  

All-Inclusive Check Drill 

For the 14th and last iteration, tac reload an empty mag into the gun. Then, prepare for one transition one. Afterward, tac reload the pistol and put the pistol back in the holster. Finally, recover the rifle, reload, and shoot one round. The drill should be completed in eight seconds. 


The Man Card Drill is a challenging yet true test of rifle fundamentals. You need to do it cold using both a rifle and a pistol and in front of your peers, adding the stress variable of having everyone see you perform on demand. 

Rifle fundamentals

You should finish the five iterations on the set time limit to earn the short card with 100% accountability. After acquiring the short card, you can attempt to get the most coveted long card. However, you should accomplish 14 iterations, which include the five iterations from the short card drill. The same standards at 25 yards on a C zone target are followed. Test your skill sets now, and earn that man card.  

Rick Crawley

About the author:

Rick Crawley

Rick Crawley is the founder and CEO of Achilles Heel Tactical. He possesses over a decade of experience with military & LE units on multiple deployments in OIF and OEF operations. Rick is a former SWAT team member, a Marine Corps veteran and a certified firearms instructor.

Published: 27-10-2022