Shot timers are excellent tools to enhance a dry fire, when utilized well.
The shot timer never lies. Such a common statement in the competitive shooting world, and such a true statement. Anyone can claim to be fast, but a shot timer definitely shows the exact speed of a shooter.
This training tool is a fantastic tool to put your skills to the test and measure them in an extremely quantifiable way.
Random start times
Random start times help shooters practice their reaction time. For a particularly interesting training session, crank up the shot timer random start time to 10 seconds and walk around like normal waiting for the beep.
Par times for speed
During dry fire, we don’t have the thunderous gunshot to measure actual shot times. But par times can be a great way to measure the time for our action, be it drawing from a holster, reloads, or whatever the drill may entail.
The key is to be honest with ourselves.
Par times for fundamentals
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. The only way to get smooth is to build good foundational muscle memory. Rushing a draw stroke to get the fastest possible time is how bad habits and sloppy technique are formed.
Try setting a shot timer’s par time to a slow par time, say 3 seconds. Then try to use up all three seconds of that par time to complete the action, with the shot breaking right as the timer’s par time goes off. While completing the action during that three seconds, focus intently on each individual step and make sure you’re doing it right.
Pocket Pro II Shot Timer
There are a few shot timers out there, but the Pocket Pro II from Competition Electronics is the shot timer I use. Durable, reliable, and has long lasting battery life. It includes random and instant start times, configurable par time, and shot string recall. It is a fantastic shot timer to use for your dry fire and live fire training sessions.