Competition shooter Rob Leatham finds testing very useful. It measures the shooter’s skill tested by accuracy versus time. A timer is necessary to prove if the shooter is getting the best possible score.
Defensive shooting instructor Rob Pincus questions if this timed test proves that the shooter can produce the same results during competition. Rob L replies that without testing, he certainly has no idea, and that the shooter must have the drive to perform in matches as he or she does during these handgun training and practice tests.
Then Rob P questions how much of this comes from being able to control the match via strategy — for example, where to place each foot during each shot. How much does success in matches come from the shooter’s personal skill application as opposed to ability to control the match stages?
Rob L affirms he has to build his personal skill level to the point that he never thinks about it. How does he do that?
Rob L takes one timed shot and then tries to do a better one — more accurate and faster. When he accomplishes that, he determines it is not worth it to continue trying to go faster, as he can only improve by fractions of a second. The timer helps the shooter understand his or her potential.
Rob P fears that this builds false confidence on the defensive side. The timer tests performance in isolation. It’s needed in order for the shooter to be able to grade his or her performance.
But the timer will not tell you what the outcome of a gunfight will be.