Monday, October 15, 2012

SureFire Timer For Dry Fire

A shot timer is an essential piece of equipment if you are serious about your training to shoot better. I don't use a timer every time I practice, but do use one occasionally to check on my progress. Beyond gathering speed statistics, using the starting beep to begin your drill helps condition you to respond quickly on demand. I frequently use the random start setting on my timer to add the element of surprise.

But what about when you're doing dry fire practice? Standard shot timers won't pick up the click of the hammer falling on an empty chamber. The usual recommendation for timing your shots for dry fire is to set a par time on your timer, then try to beat the second beep when you complete the draw or "shot." I find that method cumbersome for determining your time exactly. That's where the SureFire Shot Timer for the iPhone comes in. The sensitivity setting on this app can be easily adjusted to pick up the clicks when doing dry fire.

After turning up the sensitivity, and selecting random start in the settings, the iPhone can be placed on a nearby chair, or used in a belt or arm case if you have one. I use this app frequently to test my time to draw from the holster and get the first shot when I'm doing my dry fire practice. If you so desire you can even email your times to yourself directly from the app. A word of warning, a high sensitivity setting can also cause the app the pick up the sound of the gun going back into a Kydex holster.

What about live fire you ask? I have had mixed results using the SureFire Timer at the range. The noise canceling microphone on the iPhone sometimes interferes. The latest update to the app is said have fixed previous issues, but frankly I've never tested it, preferring to use my standard timer in the range.

Update: Unfortunately, as I looked for a link to the app, I learned that the SureFire Shot Timer is currently not available in the iTunes store. That's too bad as I find the app very useful for dryfire. I have found references to it online as recently as August of this year, so it's removal must have been recent. Perhaps it's something to do with the release of the iPhone 5. That's disappointing as this is a useful tool. Let's hope the folks at SureFire will bring it back soon. There is an undated press release describing the app on their website.

Update, October 29, 2012: As of this update, the app is back in the iTunes store here.

8 comments:

  1. What model phone are you using and have you done anything to it?

    I’ve just run a 10 minute test on varying sensitivity settings using the shot timer from Surefire and innovative applications and not a single ‘shot’ got picked up. Even with the phone less than 2 feet away from the gun. If I have the phone right next to the gun (an S/A XDm 45), sometimes a shot gets picked up.

    FWIW, the surefire shot timer went dark at IOS5 or 5.1 ??? and just stopped. There were a truckload of comments on the app page in iTunes. It seems to work now on IOS6, but there is at least one more shot timer out there. I found out the surefire one went out when I went to the range. Now, it should work with airsoft…


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    1. I ave an iPhone 4, running iOS6 now. Works to pick up the dry fire from my Sig P226.

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  2. that’s the same as my setup. Even on 100% sensitivity I am not picking up the click of the dry fire.

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  3. So I've tried the 4 or 5 shot timers available for the iPhone. Nothing works for a shared in-door range. And a dedicated shot timer might be more useful for clipping to your belt and simply looking down at it.

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    1. Shot timers are problematic at indoor ranges. Of course, most indoor ranges don't allow rapid fire or draw from holster anyway. :-)

      I use the iPhone timer for dry fire only.

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  4. The SureFire Timer is again available in the iTunes store. See here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id295005845?mt=8

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  5. I've tried this on my iPhone5 with IOS7 and it works very well at picking up the double action shots from my CZ-75B with the sensitivity turned all the way up. Great tool for practice.

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    1. Glad to hear it's working in IOS7. I've been doing dry fire with a par time recently and haven't tried to time dry fire shots directly.

      Cheers.

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