The MantisX is a bluetooth attachment for your firearms that analyzes your trigger press both in dry fire mode and in live fire. It’s like being able to have a personal shooting instructor for every shooting session!
The MantisX simply attaches to the rail of your firearm and then analyzes every drop trigger pull. And don’t worry, if your favorite firearm doesn’t have a rail they have adapters available. The MantisX connects to your phone via bluetooth to their own free phone app.
After paring the MantisX and allowing it to calibrate by setting it down for 2-3 seconds you can customize it to your “arsenal”. I was impressed by how many firearms and options the app had available. Every firearm I tried was listed. From Walther P99AS, Glock 34, H&K VP9, to the S&W Shield. It even listed an AR15 in 7.62×39 so I could practice with my CMMG Mutant.
The most unique option is that you are able to configure the MantisX to recognize dry fire training, live fire, or even CO2 (such as an air gun setup). I loved using the dry fire configuration with the included drills. But then I also enjoyed taking the MantisX to the range as a sort of accountability instructor while I was training or testing firearms and ammunition. I could check the app after an errant shot and see if it was my fault with a poor trigger press.
While the app is active you have a variety of drills available like Open Training, MantisX Benchmark, Timed Benchmark, Compressed Surprise Break, Reloads (in of battery, out of battery, and tactical), and Primary and Support Hand. Each one of these drills includes instructions and a demonstration video.
Feedback is recorded and displayed in a variety of helpful screens. My favorite was the detailed trace. The blue line shows the aiming motion before the shot was fired. The yellow line is the most important to focus on because it shows movement immediately before the shot was fired. Red shows the path of recoil.
Since the MantisX only records motion it doesn’t really know where you are aiming. I believe it superimposes the bullseye of your target where the majority of your aiming time was spent in order to estimate where the bullseye actually was. So if you mistimed your shot in a speed drill you would need to ignore the bullseye portion of your trace grade. However the trigger press movement would still be accurate. The app also grades your trigger press by percentage points and suggests corrective action.
The MantisX also records every session you fire so you have a comprehensive history of your training and improvement. It also can upload it to a cloud account so you can log in through your browser at any time.
I was very impressed by the accuracy of the readings the MantisX always gave. The highest score I ever received was 99.5% perfect, so I’ll take it! I was also impressed how well it recognized shots. I could never fool it by dropping a bolt or changing a mag. It knows a hammer drop in dry fire more or live mode from any other movement. It was helpful in both grading my precision shooting and speed shooting. The device always connected quicker than any other bluetooth devices I’ve ever paired with my phone, and after 300 shots I have yet to had to charge it.
The only limitation I found is that you can’t use the MantisX for holster drills while it’s attached to your rail, unless you attach it to a magazine adapter which they offer. But then, you won’t be able to use it for a reload drill. And if you are wondering if you could use it in conjunction with a NLT SIRT dry fire training pistol you will be disappointed because the answer is “no” since the SIRT doesn’t use a real hammer or striker.
In addition to an extra rail tightening screw and USB charging cable the MantisX ships in a bombproof Pelican micro case so you can throw it in your range bag and take it anywhere you need. And the makers are also very active in upgrading the app every 3-4 weeks with new drills and improvements. The MantisX lists for $149 from http://mantisx.com or from BigDaddyUnlimited (requires a monthly membership starting @ $0.99) for just $105. and if you are serious about your training, I believe it’s a great tool to keep around.