Why People Don’t Buy A Shot Timer – Top Reasons Exposed

When we released our new-to-market shot timer called the RangeTech Bluetooth Shot Timer, we did a fair amount of market research to understand what you thought about shot timers.

I have to say that some of the results of this survey surprised me.
rangetech bt shot timer

Reasons People Don't Buy a Shot Timer:

First, I want to tackle the reasons why many of you don't own, or won't buy, a shot timer.

A total of 2,000 people from our audience chose to respond to the survey. Of course, by no means is this all of our audience, or even a massive number of concealed carriers. Still, we feel as though 2,000 people is a good chunk of folks representing our audience.

Also, please understand that while 2,000 people participated, the numbers for each question were different based on how that person answered the previous question. So, if 2,000 people answered the first couple of questions, depending on their answers, the next question may not be applicable, so they don't see it. So questions later in the survey may only have 500 or 1,000 answers.

That's how we designed the survey so we could get a better idea of where people stand. So let's get to the numbers.

80% of you said that you don't use a shot timer at all during any of your live-fire gun training. I didn't think it'd be that high. I thought that many folks would see the clear benefit of using a shot timer to increase a skillset instead of buying something that wouldn't help you get better as a shooter.

bluetooth shot timer

This makes me wish we'd have added another section to our survey discussing what people buy, instead. Are they buying a stippling job for their grip? A new trigger? Something else that's not directly related to helping you become a better all-around shooter?

The truth of the matter is, while a stippled grip may help you hold onto your gun better, it'll only help you out on that gun. The same rings true for trigger upgrades and any other accessory you can buy your gun.

None of those things really increase your skills.

If you want to be more proficient as a shooter, you need to increase your skills. The only real way to do that is to properly train, setting benchmarks along the way that help you get better.

The truth of the matter, and something you may not want to hear, is that accessories won't help increase your skillset. Sure, a new trigger may help you with that gun, but what happens if that gun breaks down and you need to carry one that's totally different?

Will you be proficient to defend yourself?

Let's move on to the next survey question: Why don't you use a shot timer?

shot timer reasons

We'll cover the “too expensive” answer under the next question. But as far as the “don't see any benefit” I've got you covered.

In the fight for your life every second counts. You may think you're getting better at your self-defense shooting by going to the range, but if you're not comparing your shots against industry standards, you'll have no idea if you are actually improving.

shot timer for gear bag

Your goal with any defensive shooting is to not only shoot accurately but also quickly.

If you're just shooting accurately that's only half the battle because you could be fired upon by the bad guy, get hit, and get dead simply because you had no idea how fast you were supposed to draw your gun and get on target.

If you don't know how to use a shot timer, there are plenty of videos on YouTube showing you the ins and outs of it, in addition to a video course we're offering, here.

This brings us to our last question, which of the following would best persuade you to buy/use a new shot timer:

More than half of the respondents stated that they'd consider buying one if it was cheaper in price with 43% stating that they'd buy if it was less than $75. The good news is that price is no longer a barrier to play because the RangeTech BT Shot Timer costs $74.99 and is cheaper than any of the others on the market.

And, the RangeTech BT also tackles the other points on the above question because it does sync to a mobile device, record the data, etc.

This article is really starting to get long and sounds more like a commercial than how I intended. So, in closing, just know that all of the barriers have been removed, and our goal with this thing is to help people who are serious about self-defense train better by giving them something affordable that they can actually use to increase their skill set.

Leave your thoughts on this, and if you use/see the benefit of a shot timer, in the comments below.

Using a shot timer to record your draw and time to first shot is an important metric for someone carrying a gun for self-defense. Here is a course that help you get a faster, more consistent draw stroke. The course is called Draw Like a Pro.

learn to draw better

This post is revised and was published initially in 2019.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. j.g. on December 12, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    The problem that I envision with a shot timer is that, at least at an indoor range, how does the timer differentiate your shots from the shots of the folks on either side of you in the neighboring lanes? Unless there is a means to not false alarm on your neighbors’ trigger pulls while simultaneously providing a very high probability of detection of your trigger pulls, a shot timer’s utility at the range would seem to be grossly deficient. And when dry-firing at home, I would be suspicious as to whether the device’s sensitivity was there to reliably detect the “click”. I would be surprised if any manufacturer has been able to reliably address the issues of low probability of false alarms from other shooters, high probability of detection of your shots, and reliable aural sensitivity in non-range dry-fire environments. Has Range Tech or anyone else cracked this nut?

    • Jacob Paulsen on December 13, 2019 at 6:51 am

      JG, all the top-selling timers have sensitivity adjustment and anti-echo features that allow you to be able to use them at an indoor range with other shooters. Some do this better than others but in my experience you can almost always find that sweet spot where it picks up your shots and not anyone else’s. As to using it in dry fire; I’ve never seen a shot timer (including the RangeTech that we make and sell) that can be adjusted low enough to pick up the quiet click of the trigger in dry fire and even if we made them that sensitive it would pick up on so many other sounds that you would have a ton of false alarms. The timer does come in handy in dry fire when you use it by setting a par time in which you hope to accomplish a given task or exercise.

      • J.G. on December 16, 2019 at 11:00 pm

        Intriguing. I’ll have to look into your shot timer more deeply. Right now, I have just tapped my smartphone’s stopwatch “start” button, verified that it started (many times it doesn’t sense my touch so won’t start) — this was to simulate awareness reaction time, more or less, then draw and perform drill at hand. Upon last shot, a quick look at elapsed time (first action in my “assess my surroundings” at my indoor range. That might cost me a half- second or so in accuracy. But I profess that it would be nice to have a random start delay and a more accurate total time plus time between shots, if I could find that “sweet spot” with audio sensitivity adjustment to tune out the guy with the .45 in the indoor lane to my right, and the guy with the AR to my left, while still accurately picking up my 9mm compact. Thanks for enlightening me.

        • Riley Bowman on December 27, 2019 at 10:37 pm

          J.G., I can tell you that there is no problem with adjusting the sensitivity to only pick up your shots as long as there is some separation or those walls that many indoor ranges have. Here is a video of me using it with other shooters on neighboring lanes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUVH2_KkDzw

  2. Doug G on December 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    I’m surprised that so many shooters don’t use a shot timer. They are NOT for competition only. Even just shooting with friends, they’re a great way to challenge each other and make shooting more fun with the benefit of having a purpose while at it. The simplest challenge can be draw and shoot one round. Who in your group can do it the fastest with the best accuracy at different distances.
    Anybody can stand and shoot at a static target. For that, the only variety is the target types. When I’ve taken people shooting, the fun didn’t start until we broke out the shot timer, even if you’re just challenging yourself. We didn’t write anything down, just called out the time. It gives you something to talk about if you aren’t actively giving instruction to a shooter.
    I’ve only used my Range Tech once, to try and figure out how it works and what I get from it in data. A couple times it completely missed shots, which then throws your data off. I’ll have to have more experience with it to learn why that happened and to run the interface better, more constructively..

  3. Alan on December 27, 2019 at 9:38 am

    The good ones cost 2 or 3 times what I am willing to pay.

  4. Robert bell on March 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Save yourself the money they don’t ever ship it I’ve been waiting over 2 months

    • Jacob Paulsen on March 20, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Robert, when you placed your order we were communicating a 3+ week lead time. Now its been 65 days and 22 hours since you placed your order and that is much more than 3 weeks so I understand your frustration. During that time we’ve worked hard to get caught up and to communicate our current status. You’ve received several emails offering to provide you with a refund instead of having to wait for your order and that offer still stands. Just contact our service team and we’ll cancel and refund your order.

  5. Joe Reyes on August 11, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Only use a phone app shot timer when I’m shooting my Beretta APX replica BB gun. For me the shot timer helps me understand how quickly I can draw AND fire accurately – but draw from the holster. This is handy information to know for a real self defense situation.
    My nearby ranges, however, don’t allow for holster draw. Otherwise I’d use it then too.

    • Randy Jones on September 9, 2021 at 1:18 am

      Right there with you, Joe. The smartphone app I use was free and has the volume adjustment, so it works with my Beretta P99 replica (and Glock 17 replica). Great way to keep in practice while away from the live fire range. A lot less expensive that live fire as too, paid off well during the $1 a round pandemic.

  6. Don Clark on October 7, 2021 at 7:07 am

    Joe Reyes, I have the same issue as you do. The ranges I frequent do not allow drawing from the holster. (I was able to convince one range to allow me to practice with a draw but only if there were no other shooters in the bay. This was due to their liability nsurance and had nothing to do with my ability). I’ve purchased a shot timer but for now it’s gathering dust in my range bag.

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