It has become fashionable in some circles within defensive shooting and hunting communities to downplay any use of a timer or timed exercises. Yes, there are useful drills that don’t need or even benefit from use of a timer. And there are certainly a number of important things that aren’t improved by any range exercise.

Training/practice for defensive or hunting use that implements no timed drills is incomplete. All real-world shooting will almost always need to be done in an efficient manner. It will always be to your benefit to be able to perform correctly at speed. Given that real-world shooting has a stress component, performing under a ticking clock on the range is a valuable way to learn how to perform under pressure. Stupid cliches like “there aren’t any timers in a gunfight” or “deer don’t carry stopwatches” are novice excuses to avoid being held accountable for low skill levels.

Poor hit rates in law enforcement shootings are largely due to officers never being forced to shoot at speed and under a bit of stress during qualification or in-service training. Many dash cam videos of shootings show personnel forced to shoot at speed and under stress for the first time in their lives. It certainly didn’t occur during routine qualification and in-service training.

Law enforcement veteran and champion shooter Robert Vogel explains further:

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