Using shot timers for training

Using shot timers for training

This is a discussion on Using shot timers for training within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Due to a previous thread about different types of carry (on body vs off body) I asked some question regarding time of draw using their ...

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Thread: Using shot timers for training

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    Member Array MillennialNorth's Avatar
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    Using shot timers for training

    Due to a previous thread about different types of carry (on body vs off body) I asked some question regarding time of draw using their current method of carry.
    Also its been raised that the Fed Air Marshall course is especially hard to pass due to being from concealment and the tight time tolerances.
    So I thought I'd start a separate thread to ask this:
    Do you have a general time range that you have recorded for your draw stroke using your current or past method of carry with your most used EDC handgun?
    We've all probably talked about or heard of Dennis Tueller and his test of time of draw. Knowing this, have you seen where you'd fall in those time ranges? Look forward to hearing your stories.

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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    I don't train with a timer per se but, I have timed all my carry guns and locations to get an idea where the best overall place and type of gun I should probably be looking at if speed of presentation is an important aspect of my equipment, which it is. I have those times written down somewhere but, basically what it told me is why I carry a 642 appendix. Nothing I have tried besides gun in hand or hand on gun in jacket pocket can beat that particular arrangement for me. I can beat the 1 second mark from concealment and still make hits at least under 5 yards.
    The compromise with that is long distance ability and capacity suffers if that is my only option. I find myself with the 642 when my cover is buttoned up always but, with an open vest or jacket I like the 1911 OWB at 3:00. I do wear both at times but, obviously I cannot wear on open cover with that 642 at appendix. When I have on a heavy winter coat or jacket the 642 goes in the left pocket without a holster and the 1911 stays where it always lives at 3:00.

    That is what is working for me presently but, as always, subject to change. I don't really see any more need to use a timer now unless I change guns or carry methods. I don't think faster and faster is happening anyway unless I stop ageing.

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    Array 1942bull's Avatar
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    I have never used a timer of the type most of us envision for the word "timer." Personally I do not see the value in a timed training exercise because a real life situation will have timing that is dependent upon multiple factors as @foreter58 has pointed out. For example will you draw faster with warm hands in summer than with cold hands in winter? Or with a tee shirt on vs. a bomber jacket? The differences will be tenths of seconds, and a tenth of a second can mea life or death in some situations. The key for me is to be able to draw and present the pistol accurately on target as quickly as you can repeatedly.

    That said, I dis have a way to assess timing when I was practicing my draw from my new holster the has a combat cut and fast draw cutout. I set my iPhone on a wall tripod and positioned it so it recorded me from the side. I turned o the video capture and began drawing over and over. The I loaded the video into iMovie and reviewed the video. Video clips can be analyzed to determine the time of the draws. For example if I mark the start point with the cursor and drag it to the end point I see the second out to hundredths. So I could see a draw take 01.15 or 01,17. I also could analyze the fluidity of the draw by watch it on video. I determined that the fast draw cut of the holster and the combat cut actually saved me about .7 second over the IWB tholster that I had replcaced.

    However, all that is academic. Tests are academic. Gunfights are not.
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    Member Array MillennialNorth's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. This was what I had in mind. Using time measurements as a ruler of sorts to help analyze your gear, a particular firearm, pistol vs revolver, mode of carry, location of carry etc. Like Bull said it may be only academic, but if a different holster can save a .5 second, I'd rather learn that in the comfort of my own home instead of real time. It all boils down to T&E of your equipment and skills. My plan is train hard, practice, underestimate yourself and overestimate your opponent.

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    A good part of my training involves a timer, primarily because a good part of my shooting is competitive.

    In dry fire practice at home, I set the timer to beep at par times of my choosing, and when I work on drills I incrementally decrease the time. Draw to hammer fall; draw, side step and sights aligned on target; draw, sight picture and hammer drop on target 1, transition to a different target (usually higher or lower than target 1, and almost always requiring 20 degrees or more rotation away from target 1); and of course, reloads.

    In live fire, all of the above, and more. There's a great drill I got from Nick Saiti that forces you to keep your focus on the front sight (too long to describe briefly here), working up to 5 or more A-zone (COM) hits in 3 seconds. That's one of my warm-up drills if I'm shooting in the desert.

    Clearly, these are focused on competition, but none of the skills honed with them (e.g., front sight focus, fast reloading) detract from anything needed for defensive handgun uses.

    FWIW, I drilled a long time without a timer and that was not time wasted, but using a timer has allowed me an obective measure of skill development.
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    No timer. I draw and shoot (dry or live) as quickly as I can, correctly. Not concerned about the number (time).

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    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillennialNorth View Post
    Thanks guys. This was what I had in mind. Using time measurements as a ruler of sorts to help analyze your gear, a particular firearm, pistol vs revolver, mode of carry, location of carry etc. Like Bull said it may be only academic, but if a different holster can save a .5 second, I'd rather learn that in the comfort of my own home instead of real time. It all boils down to T&E of your equipment and skills. My plan is train hard, practice, underestimate yourself and overestimate your opponent.

    Sent from my LGL164VL using Tapatalk
    What is your time from concealment to shot on target, and at what distance? Does it vary with the clothing you wear?
    Bad Bob likes this.
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    Member Array MillennialNorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-man* View Post
    What is your time from concealment to shot on target, and at what distance? Does it vary with the clothing you wear?
    Yes it varies. At 10yds heavy clothing (winter coat and gloves on) g22 at 3:00 thumbsnap owb 1.7 - 1.9
    Light clothing in summer (t shirt or button down) same rig, same gun 1.4 - 1.7
    All with hits on silhouette target.
    At <1 yd those times decrease to .9 - 1.2 (summer vs winter)

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    I think its a mistake to use a timer for such things. Speed ( your speed) can easily be a byproduct of whatever economy of motion you can construct. If you make sure your draw stroke is as unencumbered as possible, properly controlled and does not utilize wasted movements, then it is what it is. It will naturally get better with practice but I don't think it much matters that you have timed it, know the time or use the time as some sort of performance measurement. Speed of draw is not often going to be the deciding factor in most gunfights. Could it?... sure, but historically its not. Assuming you are reasonably competent to begin with, what will likely matter is the first 3 decisions you make along with mental fortitude.

    Nobody wants to be slower but I do not believe in arbitrary attempts to be faster. Your speed is what it is and it will vary with practice and experience or it wont. If you play games.. sure, time is going to matter and you are often slave to a timer. In real life, the only time I can imagine a person being on some sort of timer.. would be a hostage rescue operation.

    I aspire to be competent.. not fast. As long as I am not bumbling.. I am fine with it.
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    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I think its a mistake to use a timer for such things. Speed ( your speed) can easily be a byproduct of whatever economy of motion you can construct. If you make sure your draw stroke is as unencumbered as possible, properly controlled and does not utilize wasted movements, then it is what it is. It will naturally get better with practice but I don't think it much matters that you have timed it, know the time or use the time as some sort of performance measurement. Speed of draw is not often going to be the deciding factor in most gunfights. Could it?... sure, but historically its not. Assuming you are reasonably competent to begin with, what will likely matter is the first 3 decisions you make along with mental fortitude.

    Nobody wants to be slower but I do not believe in arbitrary attempts to be faster. Your speed is what it is and it will vary with practice and experience or it wont. If you play games.. sure, time is going to matter and you are often slave to a timer. In real life, the only time I can imagine a person being on some sort of timer.. would be a hostage rescue operation.

    I aspire to be competent.. not fast. As long as I am not bumbling.. I am fine with it.
    I bought a timer just for defensive shooting practice from concealed.

    Heres what it taught me; sometimes you are faster than other times, sometimes you are slower.

    What is important is learning to fight thru the botched draws and continue with the mission, which is getting the gun in the fight while you are doing what you can to be a hard target by adding and continuing movement.
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    A good part of my training involves a timer, primarily because a good part of my shooting is competitive.

    In dry fire practice at home, I set the timer to beep at par times of my choosing, and when I work on drills I incrementally decrease the time. Draw to hammer fall; draw, side step and sights aligned on target; draw, sight picture and hammer drop on target 1, transition to a different target (usually higher or lower than target 1, and almost always requiring 20 degrees or more rotation away from target 1); and of course, reloads.

    In live fire, all of the above, and more. There's a great drill I got from Nick Saiti that forces you to keep your focus on the front sight (too long to describe briefly here), working up to 5 or more A-zone (COM) hits in 3 seconds. That's one of my warm-up drills if I'm shooting in the desert.

    Clearly, these are focused on competition, but none of the skills honed with them (e.g., front sight focus, fast reloading) detract from anything needed for defensive handgun uses.

    FWIW, I drilled a long time without a timer and that was not time wasted, but using a timer has allowed me an obective measure of skill development.
    Me too, mostly due this quote:

    “That which is measured, improves”
    Doesn't matter if it's accuracy, speed or a combination. I really like timed drills with accuracy standards as they provide an assessment along with metrics for improvement.
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    gasmitty and OD* like this.
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    Member Array Nosler Guy's Avatar
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    All I can say is dang! That guy is really good. You can tell he has put in hours of repetition and practice. I like shot timers for the simple fact that they introduce a little bit of artificial stress and they give you a benchmark to try and beat. They aren't real life practice but its something you can use as an additional tool. I didn't think much of shot timers until I spent some time at the range with one.
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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    A timer gives you valuable feedback. It allows you to see where you are according to standards.
    A man has got to know his limitations.

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    Member Array kfgrant's Avatar
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    I did have a couple of par timers on my computer but they have gone the way of the Dodo bird .
    I used them to practice with my Airsoft copies of my real guns at home .
    Anyone know where I might find some more on the web ?

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