If you’re interested in competing in IDPA or other shooting competitions, you’ll need to invest in a shot timer to collect data on your shooting skills. But don’t get too worried about picking the best shooting timers. Unlike many other accessories we review, there aren’t many shooting timers to choose from. There is only a handful to compare, but picking the best one for yourself will still save you money.
Luckily, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite shooting timers. We’ll also let you know which we think is the best option for most gun owners. We’ve included a shot timer app in this review for those who are more interested in honing their skills instead of competing against others. Now, let’s begin.
The Best Shot Timers
|Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer|| ||$140 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|PACT Club Shot Timer 3|| ||$139 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II|| ||$125 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Free Shot Timer App|| ||$0 Shop NowClick to read my review|
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Shot timers are still not used nearly as much as they could be. But a timer helps anyone improve how quickly they can draw their weapon, how accurately they can shoot, and how fast they can shoot. They are simple tools, but unfortunately, many bad ones are out there.
Any shooter who wants to compete seriously will also need one of the best shot timers. Maybe none of the above models are quite what you’re looking for. If that’s the case, we’ll leave with a buyer’s guide to help you with your purchasing decision.
No matter which timer you choose, it should clearly show the information you need in a way that is easy to understand. Think about whether you need the screen to be backlit to see it. If you want to use your timer when there isn’t much light or at night, consider getting an illuminated shot timer.
A screen that shows your information in big, clear numbers is very helpful. If the screen is hard to read, the timer will be more of a bother than a help.
You will not be alone whether you shoot at an indoor or outdoor range. The timer you set should have audible beeps via your ear protection. Signals such as start, split time, and stop are some examples. A timer equipped with echo rejection comes in handy in this situation. This is because your shot timer needs to recognize the sound coming from your gun and not from another.
Models can come with either replaceable or rechargeable batteries. If you choose those with rechargeable batteries, check how long they last and always bring spares with you. Nothing is more annoying than a timer that doesn’t work when you need it to.
Some replaceable-battery timers offer auto-idle shutoff. This saves battery life when you aren’t using it or forget to turn it off. However, rechargeable batteries may be plugged in any place to charge.
The price is one thing that keeps many people from buying a shot timer. In general, they cost around $150. So, you should think about it carefully if you will really use one, whether for self-improvement or competition use.
It’s also important to remember that practicing with a timer may be useful in real-world situations–especially in dangerous scenarios. It could save your life or the lives of others if you can draw your gun quickly and shoot accurately. With this in mind, the cost of a shot timer becomes insignificant.
4 Best Shot Timers to Improve Your Shooting Skills
Materials — The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer is a classic with clips you can attach to the pockets. This old-school shot counter is under 6 inches long, and weighs over 8 ounces. It also has a small screen to keep an eye on your shot count with a quick glance down.
There are five buttons conveniently placed just above the screen. So you can push them without taking too much time from your shooting practice. The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer gives a second par beep. It also has a ninety-nine shot counter and long battery life.
Performance — The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer is one of our favorites. It’s also quite possibly the most popular shooting timer amongst competitors and gun enthusiasts. This model has been around for a while, and nothing has really changed about the classic design and no-frills function.
This tells us one very important thing: nothing has needed to be changed about it because it never fails. However, a lack of advancement can pose a problem for someone who needs detailed data of their shooting for the sake of competition or personal growth. Don’t expect this device to compile and compare information for you because you’ll have to do that work yourself.
What we say — The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer costs around $140 online, making it the cheapest shot timer on our list. If you plan to compete, but are only in need of basic counting and timing monitoring, then this is a great option for you.
- Classic and no-fail
- Offers a 99-shot counter
- No-frills, only performs basic functions
Materials — The PACT Club Shot Timer 3 is made with basic plastic housing. It’s only 4 3/4 inches long and weighs about 8 ounces. It is ergonomically designed to fit in the palm of your hand. It also has a simple clip for attaching to your shirt. A screen faces the user to display shooting information, and there are four buttons for various modes.
It features a large, green GO button is hard to miss. You can delay the GO button from 0.1 seconds to 99.99 seconds before a loud buzzer sounds from the gun shot timer. There are also three modes that display on the screen:
- Timer mode displays the number of shots and time between them
- Review mode displays increments of time from first to the last shot
- Set mode switches between instant and delayed GO or enters a PAR time
The PACT Club Shot Timer 3 has a battery included, and the device automatically shuts off after fifteen minutes without use.
Performance — The PACT Club Shot Timer 3 is a little more advanced than the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro Timer and has a more modern look and feel to it. While the functions this device offers are still fairly standard, you can play around a little more with how the shot timer works for you. With the ability to adjust the GO feature, you can give yourself however much time you need before you’re ready to shoot.
The shape and style of this gunshot timer are also a little better because of the ergonomic shape, and the buttons are different sizes and colors to make it easier for navigation. To be honest, our one complaint is that the screen isn’t backlit, so make sure you’re using it in good daylight or in a well-lit shooting range.
What we say — The PACT Club Shot Timer 3 starts at around $130, but it can be more expensive depending on where you purchase it from. This is great for shooters more experienced with shot timing and needs the ability to modify how their device works.
- Ergonomic shape
- Very compact and lightweight
- Ability to delay the GO buzzer
- Screen is not backlit
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Materials — Wait a minute, didn’t we already review this one? Nope! This one is the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II, and it has the same quality of the brand and original Pocket Pro. However, it comes with more features and abilities to modify it to your liking.
For one, the screen is backlit. Second, this device allows the owner to format the display screen to show only the information they want to see. You can view up to four shots and compare them at once through shot counts, times, and splits.
You can also adjust the shot sensitivity, so the timer isn’t picking up other shots or missing your shot completely. The internal memory can store up to 100 shots at a time. The shape of the Pocket Pro II is even modified by the manufacturers. They rounded the edges to avoid snags on your shirt.
Performance — Everyone loves a classic, but the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II is one of the most advanced and accurate shot timers in the industry. Although it’s not ergonomically designed, it is lighter and more conveniently shaped than its predecessor.
Also, the mode buttons are moved around slightly to make it even easier to adjust your display screen without having to lose all of your focus. The display screen on the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II is, by far, our favorite for showcasing shot times and numbers. Instead of writing down individual counts for comparison, you can do it right there on your screen, saving you priceless time at the range.
Despite being newer, we feel that the manufacturers could design this shot timer could a little better — it could still be lighter and smaller. This isn’t a huge deal, but we want Pocket Pro to stick with the times. Smaller is better, in this case.
What we say — The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II also costs about $130 online. For just around $10 more than the original, you’re getting a better display, better memory, and a better design. For the experienced or the newcomer, this is a great shot timer.
- Compares up to four shots at once
- Remembers 100 shots
- Redesigned body and housing
- Still a bit large and heavy
- Not ergonomically designed
Free Shot Timer App
Materials — Yes, we are reviewing a shot timing app. The Free Shot Timer is (we think, at least) the best shot timer app for multiple reasons. It’s a free and easy-to-install on your iPhone, making it one less gadget you have to remember to bring to the shooting range. The display is very easy to read and utilize, and it uses different colors and sizes of numbers to quickly portray data and comparisons for the user.
You can delay the start from zero to four seconds, and there’s even a random start that buzzes two to five seconds after you press the start button. You can also save all of your shooting data and you can even email results to yourself or others. If you have AirPrint, then you can also print your data right from your phone!
Performance — The Free Shot Timer is a fantastic app for anybody who is new to collecting data on their shooting. If you’re simply someone who wants to enhance their skills and know more about their abilities, then a free app is a practical choice than shelling out over $100 for a manual shot timer.
But if you’re a serious competitor, then a shooting app probably is not the best buy you could make. However, we think the Free Shooting Timer app is the timer with the easiest display to read and the most memory storage.
What we say — The Free Shot Timer App is free. If you’re new to competing, or you just want to review your growth, then this is the best choice for you.
- Free to install
- Clear and readable display
- Random start
- Not suitable for serious competitors
Our Favorite Shot Timer
Our top pick for the best shot timer available is the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II. It may be a little bulkier or heavier than other shot timers we reviewed, but it’s one of the most advanced timers available.
It works for all shooters, whether you’re a professional competitor or a newbie. We love the ability to adjust the display, and the memory storage is just the right amount needed. Plus, the price isn’t particularly more expensive than any of the other options.