Equipment: Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Shot Timer
In shooting there are three main metrics in which you can track or measure your shooting skill. These are time, distance, and accuracy. A great way to track time is to add a shot timer to your range bag. The one I have used and am familiar with is the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Shot Timer. The pocket pro runs on one 9 volt battery. When the battery is about to die the timer will flash batt on the screen. This indicates to the user it is time to change the battery or it will stop working soon. The battery is easy to change. The shot timer is very intuitive and easy to learn. Setting par times and scrolling through individually recorded shots is pretty simple. After your string of fire, you can scroll through and review the time of each individual shot. This is a nice feature because you can get an idea of how long it takes yourself to draw the gun and fire the first shot or how long it takes you to complete a reload and fire the next shot. The timer will tell you your cadence of fire and how evenly spaced your shots are. There is a switch on the side of the timer for random delay that will delay the starting beep any where from one to three seconds so the start signal is still a surprise to the shooter even if they don't have a buddy to run the timer for them.
One big negative of the shot timer is that it doesn't have the capability to record shots if you are using a suppressor on your weapon. This means you will not be able to figure your split times. Although, you can set a par time to beat and use the shot timer's par time as a benchmark. The timer will beep loudly when you have reached your par time. This is how I use it to train when I am completing dry-fire exercises because it will not register the click of the gun without live ammo. The timer can be calibrated, although I haven't taken the time to try out this feature. The timer has been registering my shots right out of the box without having to do any calibration at all so I did not look any further into it.
Another big negative is the price. Most anywhere they are running around $120. They do seem to be built very well though. We have been using one for the last five years of teaching classes including in the rain and snow and it has not given us any trouble. I think it is worth the investment. It records your shots much more accurately than the phone apps and there is much less calibrating required than with the phone apps. Where the shot timer really shines, it allows you to try new techniques and see if they are more efficient and quicker than how you might have been completing a task before. For example, you can time yourself completing an emergency reload pulling the slide to the rear and then time yourself completing an emergency reload while using the slide stop. I have always worked the slide for a reload in the past, but recently have practiced using the slide stop when completing an emergency reload and have found myself to be a lot quicker while still being able to access the slide stop consistently. Without the shot timer I really wouldn't have had a good way to measure which way was quicker.