Mantisx handgun training kit
A TOOL THAT FIXES FLAWS IN YOUR HANDGUNNING TECHNIQUE
Dry-fire practice is as boring as peeling potatoes and about as fun as plucking nose hairs. As tedious as it is, it’s one of the best ways to keep your shooting form in shape. This is partly because the secret to hitting what you shoot at has nothing to do with ammunition and everything to do with keeping the sights properly aligned while the trigger is pressed. It’s also partly because dry-fire practice is free.
Finding the time to dry-fire practice is one thing; extracting meaningful feedback from a dry-fire session is another. It can be difficult to identify and correct mistakes. But there is a tool to help with that, and it’s called the Mantisx.
The Mantisx is a module that very much resembles a laser sight or weapon light that attaches to the accessory rail of your handgun. It's actually a motion-sensing device that interfaces with your smartphone to help you diagnose what you’re doing wrong when you pull the trigger. It’s kind of like a virtual shooting coach.
Train With Any Handgun
One appealing feature of the device is that it will work during dry fire and live fire, with CO2 and airsoft platforms, and on handguns and long guns.
This cool tool, which costs $149, actually tracks and plots the direction and magnitude of firearm movement during trigger press. With each individual shot, it can tell you the movement of the firearm during the sighting process, during trigger pull, at the time the shot broke, and through recoil. Your feedback comes in the form of a score, chart, and graph, which are easy to decipher.
I worked with the Mantisx device dry-firing and live-firing a SIG P320 on several occasions. What I learned was fascinating. First, I found the unit to be foolproof; it recorded every trigger pull during a dry-fire or live-fire session. Just as important, the feedback it provided coincided with my interpretation of my shot, and, more important, with what the target showed.
For example, the first time I worked with the unit, it indicated I was using too much trigger finger—hooking my finger around the trigger and pulling my shots to the right— which is something I tend to do.
For the next 10-shot string, I made a conscious effort to correct that mistake, and my score improved. However, for that string, the feedback indicated I was breaking my wrist upward. This causes bullets to strike high, and guess what? That’s where the majority of the holes in the target were. Granted, we’re talking only slightly high—my group was good—but that shows the precision of the instrument. As an experienced shooter, in most instances I realized the error of my ways just as the Mantisx did. But for a novice, I can see it being a beneficial training tool, particularly because when the device indicates a problem with your form, you can tap that feedback and receive in-
struction on how to correct it.
If there’s a downside to the device, it’s that it’s not holsterfriendly; it’s primarily a sight-alignment and trigger-press evaluation coach. And, obviously, it will only attach to a firearm that’s equipped with an accessory rail. That said, I could envision enhancements with the Mantisx down the road. It might even become something like a firearm-mounted shot timer that interfaces with your phone.
Regardless how you feel about technology, I think this device is well worth the price of admission, especially for a new shooter or one who is struggling to hit their target. We use our smartphones for everything else nowadays, so we might as well use them to help us shoot better too. ($149; mantis.com)
The Mantisx attaches to the rail on your pistol and displays information on your phone.