Mike Searson reviews the Mantisx Firearms Training System.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A very successful athlete that operates at a high level does so with the use of a coach.
It is not enough to perform exercises and drills unless someone knowledgeable is pointing out flaws or where improvement is needed.
We regard shooting as an athletic endeavor and recommend everyone who is serious about putting rounds downrange work with a knowledgeable instructor. This is not just true for those who hunt or compete in organized shooting sports, but for those who only train for self-defense as well.
Some of us are lucky enough to have close friends who are accomplished shooters to help us out, but many of us do not have that luxury or even that level of access all of the time.
This is where the Mantisx Firearms Training System comes in.
A virtual shooting coach, MantisX is both a smartphone app and a sensor that attaches to your firearm of choice via Picatinny rail.
The MantisX's wireless rail-mounted sensor runs on a USB rechargeable battery that relies on a single button that turns the unit on and off. It gathers movement data 1,000 times per second using a miniature three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer, streaming the raw data to an app on the shooter's smart phone or tablet by means of Bluetooth.
There are three modes in the Mantisx Firearms Training System app:
- Train gives the shooter real-time results.
- Track provides an overview of the shooter's progress.
- Learn offers methods to overcome any detected problems.
The system can be used in both dry fire and live fire and can give you an accurate insight as to how you are performing either way.
In order to get started, you need to download the correct App for your device (Android or IOS). Once it is installed you can attach the sensor to your firearm and turn it on by pressing a button mounted on the underside. We mounted ours on a Steyr M9-A1 and a Glock 19 and tried a few dry firing exercises before taking it out to the range.
Mantisx Firearms Training System – The Good
MantisX tracks every movement the handgun makes before, during and after the trigger is pressed. It can determine if you are anticipating recoil, jerking the trigger, pushing left, pushing right or heeling.
The software has a built in version of the old NRA handgun training target that resembles a pie chart that tells you what errors you are making based on shot placement. Only with the MantisX, you get real time feedback without having to check a target and you can duplicate this while dry-firing your pistol.
Another good aspect of the software is that you can log and track your progress across multiple firearms. If you get tired of trying it on a Glock, you can switch to a 1911. When you burn out on the 1911 you can move it to a rifle.
Mantisx Firearms Training System – The Bad
Sometimes it is a bit too sensitive.
It detects magazine changes, holstering, etc. as incorrect movements and if you forget to turn it off, it flags you.
A problem we had while dry-firing with the Steyr M9-A1 was our having to rack the slide every time we fired in order to reset the striker. You might have better luck with a double-action type pistol in this regard, but after a while we either got better at resetting the striker or the MantisX somehow stopped picking it up in dry-fire mode.
The only other issue we ran into was trying to turn the sensor on or off. We needed the assistance of a ball point pen tip. It is a button two small for our fingers.
Lastly, for right-handed shooters, the USB charging port is in the front. Southpaw shooters need to mount it in reverse and if your pistol has a short rail you may find it a bit ungainly.
Mantisx Firearms Training System – The Reality
We have seen electronic training apps, safety solutions and other devices come and go over the years. The MantisX is easily one of the best of the bunch and we hope to see the company grow and become successful with this device.
This device coupled with the smartphone app makes for a winning combination. It may not be the be all and end all of training aids, but we think it will make for a formidable tool in the toolbox for any shooter at any skill level.
Conveniently, you can order the Mantisx Firearms Training System and Sensor online from Amazon.
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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