Monday, January 04, 2010

Shot timer--there's an app for that

I finally went to the range today after a fairly long absence--I haven't done much winter shooting, wanted to try my carry gun with the gloves I usually wear (knit wool with a few gripper dots) and finally try the Ipod shot timer app from Surefire.  I installed the timer app quite a while ago, but hadn't had the mic needed to use with the Ipod touch until recently. 

The app works as advertised, with one significant issue on the Ipod Touch ]-The app requires a mic, which requires the accessory headset with mic to be plugged in. The app then routes the start buzzer sound through the headphones rather than the external speaker--a slight issue if you shoot with earplugs rather than muffs.  I was using earplugs for sound, and cold-weather earmuffs for insulation, so I tucked the earbud into the muff and it worked well enough. 

A minor issue I had was was specific to the shooting I was trying to do--I wanted gloved practice, but the Touch can't be controlled with gloves on.  I had to set the start delay long enough to push the button and get my glove back on. 

The instructions have you fire to set the sensitivity--I only read the instructions after I was done...  I did have a little trouble the first time I tried to draw from the holster under my coat--squirming around dragged the mic across the zipper, and this was detected as a shot string.  I manually turned the sensitivity down and it worked fine.   There was nobody else at the range, so I don't know how it does with distinguishing your shots from someone else's.

The app has the capability to email your results to you.

I've had a Pact club timer for a couple years.  The Pact has a much louder buzzer and slightly easier controls--you can run it without looking, better for club or match use.  The Surefire app is easier to review and more flexible, probably better than the Pact for individual use, and certainly a better value.

Other things I discovered today;
My XD40 works fine even with knit gloves.  (Unlike my J-frame)
It takes me almost exactly 3 seconds to get my XD out from under a heavy coat and hit a target.
Shoot-n-see targets don't stick very well in the cold.
Shoot-n-see pasters barely stick in the cold, and fall off when you shoot.


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