Review of the Surefire Shot Timer App For iOS (iPhone/iPod/iPad)
During some of the training courses I’ve taken, as well as in some of the shooting competitions I’ve been involved in, I’ve had to shoot while being timed. I’ve always thought I should probably be incorporating some timed components to my own training drills, but assumed I’d need an expensive “pro” shot timer like this one which wouldn’t really pay for itself for what little I’d use it. As it turns out, back in 2010 Surefire (maker of flashlights and other premium products in the tactical industry) released an app for iOS which turns an iPhone, iPod, or even an iPad into a highly functional shot timer:
If you think about it, an iPhone has all the essentials needed for a shot timer – a speaker, a microphone, and a nice screen. Much nicer in fact than most “pro” shot timers.
I’ve used it twice now with great success. In my first outing, I had my son operate the timer while I shot – after adjusting the sensitivity a bit, it functioned perfectly. In my second outing I went by myself and used the delay start capability of the app:
If you’re using the app solo, you’ve got a few options. If you’ve got a case which clips to your belt, you can have the app operate while your phone is clipped to your belt. Or you can drop your phone into your shirt pocket. In my case, I decided I’d set up a tripod which a special mount for an iPhone and sit it next to me while I shot. My goal was to as closely duplicate the “time in” drill used at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) when I’ve taken several training courses:
Typically we shoot at about 20 feet on to three metal plate targets from a low-ready position. The metal targets at my own local outdoor range are a bit smaller than those used at TDI…”aim small, miss small.” TDI Instructor and Law Enforcement Officer David Bowie explained that to maintain qualification on his SWAT team, officers are expected to perform this drill in two seconds or less. After a few practice attempts I surprised myself with a time of 1.89 seconds!
The Surefire Shot Timer app has a fantastic feature which allows you to email the results it generates to yourself or anyone else.
I’ve not tried to use the Shot Timer app indoors – apparently the app has anti-echo technology which helps when using it indoors, but I’m guessing I’d have to further adjust the sensitivity for shooting indoors.
For my purposes, the Surefire Shot Timer app works GREAT and you certainly can’t beat the price – free from the iTunes app store.