Stuck at Home? MantisX Quarantine Competition: Robot Coach for the Apocalypse

MantisX is a powerful tool that coaches you to improve your shooting. (Photo: MantisX)

To learn more visit the MantisX website.

The MantisX connects to the accessory rail or magazine baseplate of any firearm. Its sensors report the movement of the firearm, describe your trigger pull and coach you for better performance. It works with rifles or pistols in live fire and dry fire as well as airsoft and CO2 powered airguns. MantisX allows you to evaluate shooting performance, identify areas of improvement and track progress over time.

If you have time on your hands, MantisX is the perfect training partner and coach. It may be your best friend if you find yourself in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Mantis X10 has features which train draw and reloads as well as accuracy. There is even a hostage-shot evaluation if you are watching old movies and feeling confident.

The Mantis Tech Quarantine Competition

Mantis Tech is running a series of 3-day contests. Each contest is different.

Contest #1 details:

  • Score a 95 average on the Mantis Benchmark Drill (10 shots).
  • Post a screenshot from your app history as proof. Do this on our Instagram/Facebook pages (where we have details of the contest). Get 1 entry. If you post on your own social media page and tag us, you get 2 entries.
  • We’ll draw 3 random winners from those that succeeded in the challenge. Winner will get their choice of a) a package of deluxe toilet paper, b) a bottle of hand sanitizer, or c) a new (kind of) secret Mantis product launching in June.

Follow Mantis on Instagram and/or Facebook for details about future contests!

My Experiences

Trainers tell you dry fire is critical. Shooters will tell you dry fire is boring. I am here to tell you that dry fire with the MantisX is fun, computer-game addictive and one of the best ways to improve your shooting.

The guys and hot chicks in the Mantis booth at trade shows do demonstrations. They let people use the system and put tens of thousands of repetitions on their systems and their guns. They use SIG airguns cycling with CO2 cartridges. No pellets. I just saw the latest updates at TriggerCon and they blew me away. The newest features track multiple shot strings with data on each shot. There is even a new sporting clays mode for shotguns. If you have the old MantisX, never fear, they have a generous trade-in program.

I have shot the MantisX ten thousand times or so. I have used CO2 airguns (you don’t need to shot the pellets, the CO2 cycles the gun and gives you some movement to handle) as well as airsoft, dry fire and live fire. Guns without resetting triggers take a little more effort. I cannot say enough good about the MantisX. The new X10 Elite is ready for any level up to pro shooters.

Warning: If you let your non-shooting significant other or children from any source shoot MantisX, you will soon find that you are struggling to keep up with their scores. They will quickly learn to pull the trigger without moving the gun. You can too, but you may have to overcome some previous training.

My favorite way to shoot the MantisX is to run the app on my iPad and prop it up six feet away using it as an aiming point. I shoot my SIG P226 airgun with CO2 to get the distraction of the slide reciprocating. My scores pop up right in front of me. I am much more careful with real guns, but it works with them too. All dry fire safety rules apply.

The Smart Firearms Training Device is an inert pistol replica with a resetting trigger that activates MantisX. This allows you to safely get maxim reps without building the habit of reaching for the slide to reset the trigger each time. https://smartfirearms.us/shop/

No matter what level you are shooting, trigger pull is the biggest challenge. As an instructor or a shooter, if you can tell how the gun is moving, you can identify and fix a problem. Live fire is a good source of data. When everything works, you see good hits. The trouble comes when recoil is anticipated and a flinch moves the gun. This happens fast and at the subconscious level. With the blast and noise of shooting, there is often no perception of the flinch, it comes and goes, leaving wild shots and mystery in its wake.

MantisX is a tiny computer surrounded by gyroscopes and accelerometers. It talks to the computer in your phone or tablet and tells you a story about your shooting. After it tells you what you shot, a coaching feature tells you how to shoot better. Rinse and repeat.

The MantisX app has a great tutorial to get you up and running fast. It also provides detailed images and descriptions for all the technique flaws MantisX identifies in your trigger pull.

If you know another shooter who needs help, throw MantisX on his or her gun and have him or her shoot five rounds. Then you have a place to start working. MantisX has a whole collection of adapters that attach to the magazine base pad. All you need to do is have them load the magazine with MantisX on the bottom. You could check a whole class in minutes.

There are training modes for marksmanship, compressed trigger break, speed shooting, reloads and one-handed shooting. Throwing the MantisX on your gun is like shooting with a flashlight. It even fits in most flashlight holsters.

The guys at Mantis are shooters. They regularly update the App and add features. They will even take requests for new capabilities. I got to talk to them for quite awhile at TriggerCon. There are new capabilities coming that will be amazing!

Getting Started

How to get started? Install the free MantisX smartphone application, turn it on and follow the prompts to pair the device with a phone via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE or Bluetooth 4.0).

Settings establish what and how you are shooting with menu choices. Then you pick a training mode and go to work. Each shot is scored depending on how much you moved away from your sighted position during the trigger pull. The perfect score is 100 (I shot several 99s but they say it is impossible to shoot 100 unless the gun locked in a rest).

Connect MantisX to the accessory rail of any firearm, just like you would any other firearm attachment. As mentioned, works with live fire, dry fire, airsoft, and CO2.

For each shot, MantisX detects the direction of the barrel movement during the trigger pull. If you tend to shoot left, the left sector will light up on the wheel. After a few shots, the training device shows the pattern of your movement.

Analyzing an individual shot or the group of shots, MantisX provides you with a suggestion that could improve your shooting mechanics. Read the coaching tips to know how to focus your efforts in the next round of shooting.

Make every shot count!

To learn more visit the MantisX website.

Discount code: “GREEN BERET” will get you $10 off Mantis X10!

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About the author: Mark Miller is a former Customs Agent and a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. A student of firearms and shooting, he is an FFL and a SOT. The guiding philosophy of his life is that terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.

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