If you’re like me, you probably have thought, what does anyone need a shot timer for? I realized that they were used in shooting matches, etc., but I don’t think I ever appreciated what a useful adjunct they are to training. Like the Go Pro camera, mentioned here, the Shot Timer is an excellent addition to your range day, if for no other reason than to see what your response times, draw times, and second target response times are in a crisis situation. This is a shot timer:
A shot timer, for those of you who do not know, works by measuring the overpressure wave from a gun’s discharge. They can be used in two ways. In IDPA and other competitive shooting events, after a shooter announces ready, the buzzer on the unit is triggered and the response time and split times between targets is measured as part of the score-keeping that goes on.
When used for training, you can set a random delay up to 4 seconds where the shot timer, after being pushed, will wait a random interval before giving you the beep. You then fire whatever drill you want, and the result is whatever the result is.
This Friday I set up my range at the gun club with two targets at 7 yards. I wanted to see whether “boarding house rules” was an effective strategy for me to use. For those of you who do not know, boarding house rules say everyone gets a first helping before anyone gets seconds. So, one shot to both, and then follow up shots. After playing around a little, I determined that these rules are probably not going to work for me. At 62 I am much slower on execution than I was at 19, and as a result, I am not going to shoot each target once, then shoot each target a second time. Not and live to tell the tale.
So after experimenting, I applied the drill I recorded in an earlier post, and repost here:
Average First Shot: 1.60
Here is what some of that data look like:
It took me an average of 1.6 seconds to draw my weapon and get off the second shot, and an additional .3 seconds to get off the second shot. The third shot came in around .85 seconds, and the fourth about .37 seconds.
I would stand closer to one target than the other, and, applying what I learned in the Army that the guy closest to you can kill you quickest, I shot the closest, and then the next closest with two rounds each. I then set the range up with targets at 5 and 7 yards, offset somewhat.
I did the same thing, with roughly repeatable results. The information derived from the shot timer has been very helpful.
And, while we’re on it, a word about targets. This is one of the targets I use. You can see the other in this video:
As you will notice, the targets are not flapping in the wind. They stay put. I bought these in bulk from Omaha Targets. They are all-weather, durable targets, and they are a dream to staple to the range beams for practice. It is rare when a product exceeds my expectations. Usually, I am disappointed. I can’t tell you how many targets have torn while being stapled to the target posts. Not these! These stay put, don’t tear, and are easy to both put up and take down. The selection on line is truly amazing, with lots of different photo targets similar to those shown above. Pretty much any kind of target you can think of, they have. They truly get the job done. I will be buying more of these from this company!