Man­tisx hand­gun train­ing kit



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.

De­tailed Feed­back

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; man­

The Man­tisx at­taches to the rail on your pis­tol and dis­plays in­for­ma­tion on your phone.

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