Video: Improving Your Draw With A Shot Timer

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Giving you concrete goals to reach, a shot timer is an indispensable tool for training your handgun draw.

Famed Old West lawman Wyatt Earp was fond of saying, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.” This age-old gunfighting wisdom has trickled down through the years and is still with us today. Any defensive firearms trainer worth his or her range belt will emphasis accuracy over all other factors. If he or she doesn’t it’s time to turn a cocked eye. That said, focusing on well-placed hits isn’t license to toss an expedient draw out the window. Far from it.

A speedy draw that doesn’t affect your accuracy is a valuable skill, one that might prove a life-or-death margin. And there’s no more apt tool to pick up the pace than a shot timer. Though some might think otherwise, the device isn’t pigeonholed strictly to recording split times between shots. Given shot timers are programmable—particularly the delay function and par time—they’re absolutely a dynamite implement for training any handgun skill of which time is of the essence. The draw is one such example, reloads are another.


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While you don’t necessarily need a shot timer to hone either, it does provide a big advantage compared by going just by feel. In particular, you get quantifiable feedback. Essentially, you develop a concreate baseline from which you can improve, otherwise you’re fumbling around with guesswork. Not a good habit to get into.

Equally important, a shot timer is as useful in dry-fire training as it is in live. More than anything, this takes away any excuses for not improving your draw, including legitimate ones, such as a firing range not allowing it. Your living room, den or gun room typically will suffice, you just have to make the time.

Speed is obviously the goal if you start working on your draw or reloads under the clock, but not at the expense at anything else. Presentation, sight alignment, trigger control and follow through all should remain fundamentally sound. Because no matter what, Earp had it right—accuracy is what will get you out of a gunfight alive.

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