U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- In a time where ammunition is scarce and often expensive, it is important that shooters find ways to continue training. Shooting is a perishable skill set. Unfortunately, we cannot live our lives on a shooting range perfecting our trigger pull. Ammo is still expensive so the best way to maintain and improve on what you learned at the range is dry fire training. The benefits of dry fire training are easy enough to see, it is cheap and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Always make sure your firearms are unloaded before you begin dry fire training!
Enter the Mantis Blackbeard, in my opinion, one of the best and safest ways to dry fire with the AR-15.
The Mantis Blackbeard is a drop-in bolt carrier and magazine that works with any existing trigger and will automatically reset the trigger after each pull. Installation is simple but first, make sure your rifle is unloaded, then open the rifle and remove the bolt carrier and charging handle. Insert the Blackbeard bolt carrier into the rifle and close it back up; pop in the Blackbeard’s magazine and you should hear an electromechanical noise when the contacts on both pieces touch in the receiver. Once assembled you are ready to start dry fire training!
The Blackbeard will emit a LED laser every time you pull the trigger and will also reset the trigger after each pull. This allows you to maintain and train with the same trigger that you would normally use with your rifle. What really sets the Blackbeard apart from your normal dryfire training is the electromechanical trigger reset. This is a huge benefit not only for the fact that you do not need to rack the charging handle with each trigger pull but it also creates a safety barrier to any possibility of a negligent/accidental discharge while training at home.
Where I found the Blackbeard most useful was for practicing target transitions. After making sure the rifle is safely cleared of ammunition and properly assembled with the Blackbeard I will stand at the center of a room so that I am between two light switches/pieces of tape located on adjacent walls. With this drill, the purpose is to use your eyes to transition your rifle rather than your arms. The end result will see you more accurately place the rifle when transitioning to the next target. It is a subtle difference but one that has a very important impact on your ability to quickly and accurately hit targets while transitioning between them.
There are a lot of applications to dry fire training, especially if you are a competitive shooter or working with a tight budget for ammunition/training. The Blackbeard is a great way to stay fresh on your favorite AR-15 wherever you might be. The included case that the Blackbeard comes with makes it ideal to bring along with you to any competitions or training sessions you might be attending.
One aspect that I have not discussed yet is how the Blackbeard can be used as a training tool for those unfamiliar with the AR-15. Once a rifle has been assembled with the Mantis Blackbeard it will be safe for new users to handle them without fear. The Blackbeard will give the new user the opportunity to safely practice shouldering the rifle, manipulating the safety, pulling the trigger, and will allow them to see where their shot would have gone with a live round. Once a new user has become comfortable dry firing a rifle they will feel infinitely more comfortable with the rifle when it is loaded and ready for use.
There are many more benefits that the Mantis Blackbeard will bring you but any training tool is only as good as the amount of time you put into it. As someone who enjoys 3 gun and spends a lot of time traveling to competitions or training events, the Blackbeard is something I will absolutely be bringing with me. If you own an AR-15 the Mantis Blackbeard will easily become one of your favorite training tools!
About Duncan Johnson:
Duncan is a firm believer in the Second Amendment and that “shall not be infringed”, means exactly that. A life-long firearms enthusiast and a graduate of George Mason University, now competing regularly in 3 gun competitions, Duncan is always looking to improve his shooting skills. Duncan is a regular contributor to AmmoLand and assists in the everyday gun-news publishing as an assistant editor.