When fighting with firearms ‘only hits count’, but ‘as soon as possible’. So that’s what you have to train for in the square range: to get properly placed hits (accuracy) on the target as fast (speed) as you can. Your shooting performance is defined by hits and time, accuracy and speed. Therefore you should record that data in order to set goals and assess your improvements.
Measuring accuracy doesn’t take much, just checking the holes on your target when you finish a drill. However, to precisely measure your times (shooting speed, fast reload, draw, transition, etc.) you will for sure need a shot timer. Nowadays there are a few shot timers available on the market but no doubt one of the best choices is the new SHOTMAXX from Double-Alpha.
Developed by Double Alpha Academy, the SHOTMAXX is a tiny (only 2.1 oz) shot timer encased in a watch housing. As with any watch, you can wear it in your wrist at any time in any place. You won’t have to worry again about where you put your shot timer down. No more shot timers falling to the ground from your belt when you run or take a knee. No more shot timers forgotten on the table behind when you need it for your drills way down range at the 7 yards line. The SHOTMAXX stays on your wrist and with you throughout your entire practice sessions, and it is lightweight and convenient enough to shoot with, without it interfering in anyway.
The SHOTMAXX adds new useful features to those found in other shot timers. It functions as a digital clock with a stopwatch, alarm and a 3 or 5 min countdown (useful for range office walk-through timing and to time breaks for hydration, reset the drill, load mags, etc.). It uses a complex shot detection algorithm that analyzes the sound to check if it fits a real shot sound pattern; that helps to avoid any false shot detection from any noise. Detection sensitivity can be adjusted over 10 levels that include a special one for Airsoft. In our testing we found that both gas or electric operated airsoft guns shots were detected perfectly. We have never seen a shot timer perform nearly as well as the SHOTMAXX for airsoft, that is for sure!
All other shot timers use only a microphone to record the sound level and detect shots. But the SHOTMAXX does more! In addition to its internal microphone, it also has a built-in accelerometer to detect recoil and link that with the sound so only when recoil and sound are detected a shot will be recorded (when in Accelerometer mode). That function means it will record only your shots and not those from other shooters on the line. This option is really useful in the range when other shooters are present, and it has huge potential for group session practice and training. In addition there is a mode (called SPY in the menu) that uses the accelerometer to start the timer; in this mode the timer is started when hand motion is detected. SPY mode is useful, for example, when the shooter reacts to the command of an instructor, or when you want several shooters to react together on the line – each wearing a SHOTMAXX, and each will record only their own individual shots!
SHOTMAXX manipulation, by means of 4 buttons, is pretty intuitive thanks to its simple menus. The display is easily readable even under sunlight; golden figures are presented in a black background. For low light conditions there is a backlight button that illuminates the characters, making them easier to read in low light.
Don’t worry about batteries. SHOTMAXX uses an internal lithium rechargeable battery that provides a lot of hours of training (3 months as a watch, 24-30 hours as a shot timer). Plug in the Micro USB wire and in just a couple of hours the battery will be fully charged again.
But options don’t end there. The SHOTMAXX includes Bluetooth connectivity so when the Android and iPhone apps become available (under development) they can link to the SHOTMAXX and receive data from the shot timer. That will help to keep data and track your training. There is already a steel Challenge app available online, and several other under development.
Since a few days ago you can find directly in Google Play the application ShotMaxx Trainer for Android, developed by On-Core Software. For a few bucks this application is the right complement for your SHOTMAXX.
It will allow you to fully take the advantage of SHOTMAXX Bluetooth connectivity feature so times recorded will be automatically registered in your smartphone, no need to note them manually.
This app can save the data from multiple sessions, shooters and drills, then becoming a really useful tool for any instructor. Besides data can be exported and shared by email.
I have been testing and evaluating a sample unit Saul, from Double Alpha Academy, sent me and its performance is great, better than expected. I am very impressed by this tiny device and it will be always with me on the range.
For sure the SHOTMAXX is a good choice and its price is fair, competitively positioned among the other timers available. No doubt the SHOTMAXX leads the way in innovation and hi-tech features when compared to any other timer on the market. Well done, Double-Alpha!