Out of the box, the MKIV-XP is ready to go as a full blown range timer. After turning on the MKIV-XP, it is ready to starting storing your string of shots by your just pushing the GO button. By default, 2 ~ 3.5 seconds later, you'll hear a beep. At that time, draw and shoot at your target. The timer will record the exact time of each shot in relation to the starting beep.
After you are done shooting your string of shots, you can review the entire round of shots by pushing the REVIEW button. In doing so, you can see how long it took for the first shot (drawing from the holster and shooting) and the time (displayed to the hundredth of a second) between that shot and the next. Continue pushing the REVIEW button to see the time between each shot. When you are finished the review of your shots, just press the GO button again. In 2~3.5 seconds, the timer will BEEP again and you start on your next string of shots. There is nothing to save in memory as the MKIV-XP saves all of your shot strings as you pull the trigger. It doesn't get much easier than that.
The starting delay is variable and quite easy to change using the DLY button. The delay can also be turned off. Doing so will cause the timer to start immediately when the GO button is pushed.
The timer function also supports what is known as a PAR time.
The PAR button allows you to enter a time limit (known as PAR time in IPSC
shooting) for a given string. When you push the PAR button, the timer will
prompt you to enter the PAR time. Let's say you entered 1.5 as the PAR
time. When you push the GO button, the timer will randomly BEEP as it has
previously done. 1.5 seconds after the starting BEEP, it will BEEP again
to let you know that your time has elapsed. Why use this? Let's say
you wanted to draw and fire two shots at your target with the last shot being
done within 1.5 seconds from the starting BEEP. If you hear the 2nd beep
and your 2nd shot hasn't been fired, you need a bit more practice <grin>.
The timer data can also be retrieved from the MKIV-XP, just like the chronograph data. If you take a look in the above photo, you'll see some shot times that are below the 1 second mark, such as .97, .98, and .96. These were gathered during the last trip to the range. I was trying out a new Blade-Tech holster for my XD9. In fact, the XD9 was trying out some new 115 grain hand loads I had put together the previous evening. I was completely satisfied with sub 1 second draws with the shot hitting the "A" zone at 7 yards. With a little more practice, I hope I can shave another 1/10th off of that first shot time.
The range timer works equally well at home when you are conducting dry practice. Using the PAR function along with the random START, you can practice malfunction drills (type 1, 2, or 3) and reload drills. Be sure the firearm is empty or that snap caps or dummy ammo is used during dry practice. The PAR timer function also works when dry practice drawing. The random start BEEP signals the start of the draw while the PAR beep indicates you should have pulled the trigger (on target). (Remember, always practice with an empty weapon!)
That's about it. There are more functions that are built into the timer mode but you'll have to get yourself a MKIV-XP to see just what else is available. It works well at the range and also at home, chronograph mode or helping improve my draw time using the timer mode. If you are looking for a unit that handles both, give the PACT MKIV-XP a try.
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