Putting practice rounds down range can be an expensive endeavor if you do it regularly, although it is important. To the contrary, dry firing can be useful to an extent but without any results behind it there isn’t much to gain. With the MantisX Firearms Training System, I’ve found the best of both worlds. This gives you real performance data with live fire and dry fire (airsoft and CO2 included). You also get the benefit of accurate suggestions to improve technique and results.
What does this all include? MantisX has a smart phone app that uses Bluetooth to connect to a weapon-mounted device. The MantisX device attaches to any accessory rail on your pistol or rifle of choice, and it can be mounted on top, bottom, left or right if you make the appropriate selection in your app settings. It is shipped in a nice little Pelican 1010 case for storage.
Mounting to a weapon, connecting and calibrating with your phone, and getting started with the app are all incredibly simple. It comes with two fastening lugs—one that is meant to be hand tightened for quick switching of weapons and another that is screwdriver tightened for long-term use. It weighs about 1-ounce and you don’t notice it at all when mounted.
The sensor uses a USB rechargeable battery and is powered on and off using a single button. A small LED indicator gives the power status when mounted or unmounted. If the device doesn’t detect any significant movements, it will self-power off to conserve the battery.
It is incredibly intelligent and when testing I did not encounter any false positives from movements such as racking the slide. It starts when you first begin to squeeze the trigger, and keeps track of data before, during and after you fire. I was very impressed with the accuracy. I intentionally used poor form in various ways to see if it would detect, and without fail it identified each “mistake” accurately.
Start with selecting the appropriate settings for your particular weapon. You can select from a wide variety of pistol and rifle makes and models. I went primarily with the Ruger American 9mm pistol for the majority of my review, but I also tested on several other pistols and noticed to variation in performance.
Next, choose from a variety of different training scenarios and drills. Note that there are more available than those displayed below. From the comfort of your own home, you can engage virtually any item as a target when dry firing. Please ensure proper clearing and safety in the process. Having these different training scenarios keeps it interesting.
As you fire, you will notice scores, direction patterns and suggestions from your MantisX “range coach.” As stated before, I intentionally used poor form such as jerking the trigger or breaking my wrist up to see if it detected it accurately, and it was spot on each time.
Once you have finished a session, you can collectively view your data with a variety of screens that show your average scores, times, movements and patterns.
Once you have completed 50 or more shots, you can view your cumulative data from each session.
Using this system is a very effective way to train if you want to save time and money at the range by dry firing instead. At the range, this gives you a shot by shot map so you can gauge your performance instead of keeping track of bullet holes on your paper target. For those who want to improve their form, this product gives accurate and simple advice to correct bad habits and make you a better shooter. I can’t say enough good things about this product, and I think this should be a mainstay in everyone’s range bag.