A shot timer, as we commonly think of it, records the elapsed times from the start beep to the fired shots. Therefore, most don’t consider its use outside of the range in which we are firing live ammunition. However, a shot timer is also exceedingly useful for dry fire as well. By means of a built in function that most timers have, they can be set for par times. Par times will not record the exact time of when your shot breaks as it does with live fire. However, par times let you know if you are working within a set time frame for a certain skill.
The par time function works by using two beeps: a first start beep, and a second end-time beep. If your task is completed within the par beeps, you know you are within that time goal. You can set par times to do short tasks, such as your draw, or longer ones, such as simulating an entire El Presidente drill, in dry fire.
A Very Important Note on Dry Fire Par Times: you do yourself no favors by just going for maximum speed and getting the click out of the trigger in a run that would be a miss if doing it with live fire. In my example below each of these trigger presses are done on a sight picture that would be an A-Zone hit at 7 yards in the IDPA target I am looking at. Anyone can go a lot faster if they just press the trigger without a sight picture. To get the benefit from this exercise, make sure it would be an A hit with real ammo.
Forgive the crap video quality, but it gives you the idea: