The first time I was introduced to a shot timer was 2006 during a Viking Tactics Inc. carbine course. My Brigade CSM brought in the VTAC crew to teach all the junior NCOs how to effectively run ACOG’s and Aimpoint M68’s. it was a great illustration of how you can quantify your performance and build a plan to improve.

Over a decade later I’m still using shot timers to teach and track training progress. Despite what you may have heard on YouTube a shot timer is for more than just sub second pistol shots. It’s a great tool for precision rifle work when you’re working on skill development. During class I’ll teach the fundamentals, allow students to progress through a couple drill and then put them on a timer. When that beep goes off guys tend to forget what they should be focusing on and rush to make shots. The shooters who ignore the clock, focus on executing the fundamentals typically get better results with a comparable time. Rushing to take a shot at 100 yards and missing doesn’t prove anything. Shooters can also see how improving their technique allows them to get in and out of positions or manipulate the rifle more effectively and get a better time.

None of this is new and it’s the same reason we use a shot timer while training with a pistol or a carbine. The only difference is we are changing the platform and extending the range. Shot timers are also handy when you want to encourage some friendly competition for the purposes of bragging rights.


Categories: The Firing Line

Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson is a U.S. Army Sniper and senior NCO with multiple combat deployments, a background in reconnaissance and small unit operations. During his 18 years of military service he has held every MTOE slot in a Sniper section to include an assignment as the SEO/Sniper Section Leader for a forward deployed Infantry Battalion. He has utilized all currently issued U.S. Army Sniper weapons systems including the XM2010, M110 SASS, and M107. In addition to being a qualified Sniper he is a graduate of the Sniper Employment Leaders Course and the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Squad Designated Marksman and Rifle Instructor courses. Outside of the military he has obtained the NRA Pistol and Rifle Instructor certifications and served as a product consultant for several defense and firearms industry companies.

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