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Best Shot Timers: IDPA, Dry Fire, and More preview image
Aug 14 2023
9 min read

Best Shot Timers: IDPA, Dry Fire, and More


Hey there, fellow shooters! Ready to take your shooting skills to the next level? Get ready to meet your new best friend on the range – the mighty shot timer! We’re diving into the world of shot timers today, and trust me; you won’t be disappointed.

Alright, picture this: you’re at the range, all geared up with your favorite firearm. But something’s missing. You need that extra edge, that secret sauce, to level up your shooting game.

That’s where shot-timers come in! They’re like the stopwatch of the shooting world, measuring your shot speed and accuracy, giving you invaluable feedback to improve your skills.

I myself use a shot timer all the time at the range and for all types of drills. My favorite is malfunction clearing drills, in which I load a live round, then a dummy round, then another round. My shot timer tells me exactly how quickly I can clear a malfunction and fire another shot.

Now let’s get to the recommendations!

Best Shot Timers & Recommendations

Best Overall – PACT Club Timer III

PACT Club Timer III


Dimensions5.5 × 4.75 × 2.5 inches
Weight0.58 pounds
Battery9-volt alkaline

Pros & Cons

  • Accurate shot timing
  • Customizable par time settings
  • Large, easy-to-read display
  • Reliable performance
  • Versatile for various shooting sports
  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
  • Non-rechargeable battery
  • No water resistance

The PACT Club Timer III stands out as the best overall shot timer in the market and is a favorite among shooters. Its user-friendly interface allows you to set precise par times and easily record shot data. The large display ensures clear visibility, and its durable build can withstand rigorous use on the range.

While it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, the Club Timer III makes up for it with its other outstanding features. Whether you’re into USPSA, IPSC, or any other shooting discipline, the PACT Club Timer III has got you covered.

Best Value – Special Pie Shot Timer

Special Pie Shot Timer


Dimensions4.25 x 3 x 1.25 inches
Weight0.37 pounds
BatteryMicro-USB rechargeable

Pros & Cons

  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Accurate shot detection
  • Compact and portable
  • User-friendly interface
  • Limited advanced features
  • Battery life is significantly reduced when using Bluetooth
  • Buttons may be overly sensitive, leading to accidental presses

For those seeking a reliable shot timer without breaking the bank, the Special Pie Shot Timer is a standout choice. Despite its affordability, it doesn’t compromise on essential features.

It has three main function modes: shot timer, stop-watch, and countdown. You can set it to instant, random, fixed start delay, or even a custom start delay. It also has enough memory for 20 strings of up to 99 shots each.

Echo filtering enhances performance at indoor ranges, and it has Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your phone.

While the Special Pie Shot Timer lacks some advanced features found in higher-end models, it more than makes up for them with its budget-friendly price and dependable performance.

Honorable Mention – Competition Electronics Pocket Pro

Competition Electronics Pocket Pro


Dimensions3.2 x 4.25 x 1.5 inches
Weight6.5 ounces
Battery9-volt alkaline

Pros & Cons

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Intuitive operation
  • Clear display
  • Ideal for various shooting disciplines
  • No Bluetooth compatibility
  • Non-rechargeable battery

The Competition Electronics Pocket Pro is worthy of an honorable mention due to its popularity and solid performance.

While it might not have all the bells and whistles of the top-tier models, the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro is a reliable shot timer for both seasoned shooters and beginners. Its straightforward design and accurate shot detection make it a go-to choice for many competitive shooters.

Best Shot Timer for IDPA – Competition Electronics Pro Timer

Competition Electronics Pro Timer


Dimensions‎5 x 3 x 1.5 inches
Weight8.78 ounces
Battery9-volt alkaline or lithium

Pros & Cons

  • Designed for competitive shooters
  • Clear and easy-to-read display
  • Portable and durable
  • Simple to use
  • Bluetooth not included
  • Non-rechargeable battery

The Competition Electronics Pro Timer is the perfect companion for IDPA enthusiasts. Its simplicity, ease of use, and precise shot timing make it a top choice for IDPA matches.

It features multiple modes, including a delayed start mode, plus custom par time settings. It can hold data for up to 100 shots and provides instant feedback after each shot string. Whether you’re a seasoned IDPA competitor or a newcomer to the sport, this timer will serve you well.

Best for Dry Fire – Mantis X3 Shooting Performance System

Mantis X3 Shooting Performance System


Dimensions1.3 x 1 x 0.75 inches
Weight6.4 ounces
BatteryMicro-USB rechargeable

Pros & Cons

  • Ideal for dry fire practice
  • Tracks shooting movement
  • Offers detailed performance analysis
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Used by the Army, Marines, and Special Forces
  • Not a traditional shot timer

The Mantis X3 Shooting Performance System is a game-changer for both dry and live fire. Having modes for both, you can use it at home or on the range. In addition to the timer function, the Mantis X3 is able to track your firearm’s movement, providing data on muzzle movement, recoil, and more.

Although it’s not a traditional shot timer, its invaluable features make it a must-have for serious shooters looking to enhance their skills during dry-fire sessions.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

To select our top picks, we poured over a ton of different shot timers, looking at our personal experiences (I’ve actually used every single one of these timers at least once or twice), talking to other shooters, looking at customer reviews, and more. During all of this, we mainly focused on a few different factors that can make a truly excellent shot timer stand out from the pack.

First, we focused on accuracy — a crucial aspect for any shot timer. We looked for models that delivered precise shot timing, ensuring reliable data for users. Next, we evaluated the ease of use, favoring shot timers with intuitive interfaces and hassle-free setup processes.

We also looked closely at battery life. After all, who wants their timer to die in the middle of a session at the range? Any specialized settings tailored to specific shooting disciplines were also considered.

Buyer’s Guide


Alright, we want a shot timer that’s on point, right? Look for those bad boys with superb shot detection. You want one that doesn’t miss a single shot and gives you precise data to track your shooting speed and skills.

Ease of Use

Who’s got time for complicated gadgets? You need a shot timer that’s user-friendly and easy to handle. The last thing you want is to spend valuable range time fumbling with complicated settings or menus. A timer that’s easy to operate ensures a smooth and seamless shooting experience, allowing you to focus on improving your shooting skills.


Do you know what’s annoying? Squinting at a tiny screen to check your shot times. Look for shot timers with big, bright displays that you can read at a glance. Your shot timer’s display should be your trusty sidekick, whether under the sun or in a dimly lit range.

Size and Weight

Portability matters; we want a shot timer that’s easy to carry around, not a clunky brick. Go for compact, lightweight timers that fit snugly in your range bag or pocket. A portable timer is convenient and won’t weigh you down during shooting drills or training sessions.

Battery Life

The last thing you want is for your timer to die during an intense practice session.

Avoid that frustration by choosing a shot timer with long-lasting battery life. Don’t be caught off guard; get one that keeps up with your shooting sessions.

Additionally, consider models with low battery indicators to give you a heads-up before the power runs out.

Shot Memory

Many shot timers can store your shot strings or drills, so you can look back and see how you’ve improved. It lets you keep your shooting history at your fingertips without having to keep a journal by hand. This can help identify areas of improvement and measure your growth as a shooter.

Just know that you can’t keep an unlimited number of data points, so if you want to keep very long-term records, you’ll need to export the data or go back and write it down before it gets automatically deleted to make room for new info.

Customizable Par Time Settings

If you’re serious about stepping up your game, customizable par time settings are an absolute must. If you’re unaware, par times are pre-set time limits used to challenge shooters during drills.

You set the time limits, and your timer pushes you to beat them. The ability to adjust par times based on your skill level and specific training goals is invaluable for refining your shooting techniques.

Wireless Connectivity & Data Transfer

On a similar note, some shot timers come with Bluetooth or wireless connectivity, letting you transfer your shooting data to your phone or other smart devices. Fancy, right?

This lets you easily track and analyze your shooting data, possibly even integrating with other training apps and software. And generally, these features don’t have much of a learning curve, so don’t be intimidated if you’re not on the tech-savvy side.


Last but not least, set your budget and stick to it. Shot timers come in all price ranges, from budget-friendly to high-end models. Find the one that fits your needs and shooting goals.

While high-end timers may have advanced features, you don’t need to break the bank to get a reliable shot timer. Consider the value you’ll gain from the timer and how it fits into your shooting routine before making your final decision.


What is the point of a shot timer?

The primary purpose of a shot timer is to provide valuable feedback to the shooter about their shooting speed and accuracy. It is an essential tool used in various shooting disciplines, including competitive shooting, tactical training, and recreational shooting.

How does a shot timer work?

Shot timers detect the sound of gunshots and record the time elapsed between shots, displaying the results for shooters to review.

Does a shot timer work for dry fire?

You can absolutely use a shot timer for dry fire. In fact, specialized systems like the Mantis X3 are designed to analyze shooting movements during dry fire practice, providing valuable feedback.


There you have it, the best shot timers for precision shooting! So, what are you waiting for? Choose the shot timer that suits your shooting needs, and let it be the ally that propels you toward shooting excellence.

Don’t forget to comment below about your experiences with shot timers and your thoughts on our recommendations. Happy shooting!

Written by Megan Kriss
Megan Kriss photo Megan has been an avid recreational shooter since she was a young child and she's thrilled to have the opportunity to combine this love with her passion for writing. Megan Kriss is a seasoned writer and firearms enthusiast with contributions to a variety of publications, including Pew Pew Tactical, American Firearms, A Well-Armed Woman, Recoil, and Faxon Firearms. In addition to firearms, Megan also enjoys writing about pets, outdoor recreation, and other lifestyle topics. When she's not busy writing, Megan enjoys tabletop games, reading, and being outdoors. She shares her Georgia home with her partner, dog, and two cats.


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