So, before you read any further, do you know the difference and what they both mean? Most people don't, so don't feel bad. I had no idea until I got into the professional side of instructing back in 2010. When I teach presentation time and set time in a class, it seems to help students understand how important a consistant and efficient draw stroke is.
Presentation time is the time it takes you to fully complete your draw stroke from the holster out to the target. Meaning, its simply your full draw. Think of giving someone a gift. You are "presenting" them with an item, like handing it to them. The same goes for the pistol to the target. Time for a question...does your Presentation Time change when you shoot from 70 yards (yes I shoot beyond 70 yards with my pistol) and as close as 3 yards? The answer is NO. Your Presentation Time should not change, even at various distances. So what should change...if anything? This is where, "Set Time" comes in.
Set Time is the action after the presentation of your pistol. The easiest way to remember what Set Time is, is to think of it as, "Settling". The time it takes your pistol to settle and for you to accept your sight package on the target. The entire sequence of set time goes as follows. You visually process where your sights are in relation to the target. Your pistol and sights settle and rest. You start seeing the front and rear sight relation. You make small corrections to your sight package until its acceptable. You make the decision to start taking the slack out of your trigger and press it to the rear. Easy right!
Example: From 8 yards on a 10x10 plate, my par-time is set for .090 seconds for 1 round. My fastest is .075 seconds...after 1000's of rounds and lots of work. Now move out to 75 yards on a 12x16 plate. Yes, 75 yards! I shoot as far out as 100 yards whenever I can. Is my set time going to change at this distance? Yeah for sure. At this distance there is no room for error. Your sights and trigger press have to be almost perfect. Funny Story! I was teaching a Sniper Course in Moyock when I got a little bored and pulled out my Glock 34 (9mm). After 6 rounds I hit the 400 yard 12x18 plate. Needless to say, this didn't make some of the students happy as they were have trouble hitting it with $5000 precision rifles. One student stopped me during lunch break and asked, "seriously, how in the heck did you do that?" My response was simple. "Know, the capabilities and limitations of your pistol/rifle, push beyond your comfort zone, sights and trigger." If you dont try new things and get uncomfortable, you will not grow or develope. Stay hungry and always be a student!