By Brandon Wright

Dead Man’s Hand shooting deck of cards, not just for live fire…..

I’ve been using the Dead Man’s hand shooting deck of cards at the range for the past year. It gives me 52 different drills that are easy to set up and takes no brain power on my end. I just hang the target, lay out the cards, and start picking out cards (drills) to shoot. Occasionally, I will record my times and see if the next time I shoot it, I can go faster. With my limited time on the range, I quickly realized that live fire was not going to be enough. Here is how I use the DMH shooting deck at home and still make gains.

Pistol Drill: The Beikirch

My dry fire routine was getting stale and I needed some new challenges. I started using a SIRT pistol from Next Level Training. That gave me a laser hit but I needed a way to stay honest with the hits on the target. After all, I’m focusing on the shot I’m taking at the time, not the shot that I just took. I can call the shot but that’s about it. But then I found it, the app that was going to address my dryfire needs, iDryfire.

This app allows you to record the laser hits on a given target with your phone. Shut the front door and take my money now!!!! I can now use the DMH shooting deck with the IQ target and maximize my time during dry fire. All 52 drills can be done in my house where it’s always 72 degrees and sunny.

Rifle Drill – The Hammer Drill

It is important to note that using a laser pistol does not give a 100% accurate look into your shooting. Obviously, recoil is not an issue with a gun that doesn’t recoil. So your split times and follow up shots will not give you a true look at your ability. However, it will help with first shots, timed reloads, and transitions. First shots could mean any of the following: First shot out of the holster, first shot after a reload, first shot to set up behind cover, or first shot after a position change.


Once you’ve begun to get the hang of the DMH cards at home or on the range, the opportunities to up the challenge are virtually limitless. All the drills that are shot stationery can also be shot on the move. Try shooting the drills while advancing toward your target, moving laterally, or retreating. You can also move the targets further away if you’re up for a real challenge.

Pistol Drill: 9 of Diamonds

Check out the video below and see what is getting me so excited about dry fire again!!

About the author: Brandon Wright is a former State Trooper and DOD instructor.  He is currently a sponsored professional shooter, holding multiple national titles and 30+ state, regional and local wins.  Brandon is also an employee of Smith and Wesson and runs

Rifle Drill: The FML Run-Down