Honing your skills with the Mantisx, an app-based training program
It’s easy to understand why shooting a pistol can be one of the most difficult skills to master. It may seem simple, but as most shooters can attest, getting it right takes plenty of training, technique and practice—not to mention ammo. Also, if you’ve ever taken a long break from shooting your pistol, it isn’t uncommon for your skills to be rusty when you come back to it.
For most of us, pistol shooting is not like riding a bike. You can’t step away from it and expect to be as good at it as when you left off. The skills required for accurate pistol shooting are easily perishable and require constant practice to keep sharp.
While we generally recommend shooters take as many training courses as their budget and time permit, we understand that classes can be expensive, especially when taking into account ammunition costs. Classes can also be difficult to fit into the busy schedules of our lives too. So how can one hone his or her pistol shooting skills, receive solid advice on what to improve, and save money while doing it?
The Mantisx Firearms Training System promises to do just that. It is an interactive training system that links your gun with a smart phone app via a rail-mounted sensor to help diagnose and correct shooting mistakes. Mantisx is the name of the app and its Bluetooth sensor unit is called the Mantis.
The Mantis is a USB rechargeable unit that attaches to your firearm’s Picatinny rail in the same manner as many flashlights or lasers. Although it can be used on a rifle, our time with it taught us that it really excels when employed on a handgun. If rail space is at a premium, Mantis can also be attached in reverse and still function properly.
The Mantisx system comes in a sleek, gloss black, pocket-sized Pelican hardcase that also houses a USB charging cable and informative instruction sheet. The Mantis sensor unit attaches to your firearm’s rail with the use of a flathead cross-bolt screw, much like many other rail-mounted accessories. The Mantisx app is available as a free download for both Apple IOS and Google Android powered smart phones.
The Mantisx app is really the star of the system. It not only provides simple feedback such as how much and in what direction you moved away from your sighted position after breaking your shot, it also gives you tips on how to improve your shot, much like a live instructor would. Analyzing a group of shots or even multiple groups of shots provide you with hard data on how you can improve your shooting skills.
Mantis does this through some sleek, yet simple graphical interfaces. The menus are easy to navigate and its simplicity of use scores high with our staff. It has everything you need, nothing you don’t.
The system can be used for both live fire as well as dry fire, which makes it a great training tool to use most anywhere and anytime, including at the shooting range or in the comfort of your home. It even has a mode that is sensitive enough for Co2-powered airsoft guns in case that’s your preferred method of training.
“The skills required for accurate pistol shooting are easily perishable and require constant practice to keep sharp.”
“Because this is an appbased product, updates by the manufacturer are easily implemented to benefit the end user. Consistent app updates will keep Mantisx fresh and up to date, which we like very much.”
We used the Mantisx system at a live-fire range and at home with dry-fire practice, as well as mounted to a Co2-powered airsoft pistol, and can report that the system worked for us as intended. Its honest reporting of how we were shooting was refreshing to see, especially with the dryfire and CO2 modes.
Dry fire is great practice, but unlike live fire, dry fire practice does not leave marks on your targets, which can make it hard to see what you may be doing wrong. With Mantisx, you can “see” where your shots would have landed, which is immensely helpful. Based on the recommendations the app gave us, we did see a marked improvement in our shot groups even after the first few groups.
We’ve seen early feedback on the system that mentions that its software wasn’t ready yet for reliable dry-fire use, but in our case the dry-fire function worked flawlessly. Because this is an app-based product, updates by the manufacturer are easily implemented to benefit the end user. Consistent app updates will keep Mantisx fresh and up to date, which we like very much.
We’re a bit old fashioned in that we don’t tend to be early adopters of the latest whizbang electronic devices. But we surprised ourselves when we took a liking to the Mantisx system very quickly. Quickly as in after our first string of fire.
That said, we’d say it’s not a complete replacement for good old-fashioned training, as one-on-one training with live instructor can teach you much more than the Mantisx can cover. But it does definitely give you an edge in getting extra training in on some key shooting fundamentals.
The Mantisx Firearms Training System promises to coach you to improved shooting while saving you money on ammunition. When used properly, the Mantisx system can give you more meaningful trigger time, especially when factoring in its dry-fire function. At a reasonable $150 retail price, we’d say that it certainly does accomplish its stated goals. In between live training sessions, we’ll be training with Mantisx.
The Mantisx system comes in a sleek, gloss black, pocket-sized Pelican hardcase that also houses a USB charging cable and informative instruction sheet.
The Mantis is a USB rechargeable unit that attaches to your firearm’s Picatinny rail in the same manner as many flashlights or lasers.
One great advantage to this system is that while undertaking dry-fire shooting exercises, the Mantisx system allows you to “see” where your shots would have landed.