MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System Review

MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System review

The MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System is a tool which senses movement of a firearm during the trigger release, and transmits this data to a smartphone or tablet.
MantisX provided the Gear-Report crew with their High-Tech Firearms training system for evaluation.

This review focuses on my results using the MantisX firearms training system personally, and as a firearms instructor. For a general overview and to see the MantisX system in action, check out out booth video from SHOT Show.

 

Teaching tool

As a shooting instructors, I was excited to learn how it works, because trigger control is the most important of the fundamentals of shooting, and is critical to effective and accurate shooting. The goal is to grip the firearm properly and hold it perfectly still on target, isolating the trigger finger. So, only the finger moves through the trigger squeeze, and then to hold the gun steady through discharge and follow-through. This is impossible to do perfectly, of course, so the least movement, the better. It’s a critical skill for beginners to learn and experienced shooters to maintain.
MantisX firearms trainer review - shot analysis screen

I found the MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System to be a highly-effective tool for learning and perfecting this most important skill.

How does the Mantis-X work?

The MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System features a small sensor module which attaches to the accessory rail on the firearm. MantisX makes magazine baseplate adapters which allow it to be used on firearms which lack accessory rails. The sensor module is charged through a Micro-USB connection. The Mantis-x software is downloaded to the user’s smartphone or tablet and is paired to the sensor via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE or Bluetooth 4.0).
The sensor module detects movement.  During dry fire or live firing, it transmits information about the direction and amount of the gun’s movement, before and after the impulse of the discharge, to the connected device. The smartphone or tablet displays results, allowing the user to evaluate shooting performance, identify areas for improvement, and track  progress over time. The system diagnoses common errors and provides advice to correct them. It displays information for individual shots as well as trends for groups of shots.

MantisX firearms trainer review - sensorWhat’s in the box

The MantisX was cushioned in foam in a small pelican case, and included a charging cable. There were no written instructions, which put off this reviewer, an old guy who is used to having to read instructions for everything. In use this turned out not to be a problem, as the system is intuitive and easy to use. Likely younger users, more accustomed to doing everything on their smartphones, wouldn’t even notice.

No love for Windows

The software is not available for my Windows Phone. Fortunately I have an old Android Tablet and the system worked perfectly using that.

First experience

I attached the sensor device to a Springfield Arms XD-S .45 pistol, plugged in the charging cable, then downloaded the MantisX software to my Android tablet. Within minutes, I had started the software, paired the tablet with the sensor, configured it for the gun and for dry-firing, and was recording data while dry-firing. The device displayed useful data for each shot, and tracked trends. After only a few shots, I saw that some of myold habits were cropping up (pushing to the left, and dropping the barrel.)  The feedback made it very easy to concentrate on these issues and after just a few minutes I was minimizing them.

I am a long-time instructor and pistol shooter. So, the shooting errors revealed by the MantisX were not big.
I also tried the Mantis-X on some other test subjects (wife, a frequent shooter, and 16-year-old daughter, an infrequent shooter.)  Both saw evidence of common errors and found the feedback the MantisX provided helped them minimize them.  Both did much better after only a few minutes of training with the MantisX.

We were having so much fun dry-firing that it took us a while to get around to taking the MantisX to the shooting range.

Home, Home on the Range

During Live fire, we found the MantisX worked exactly the same as it did during dry fire, and the issues noted on the screen of the tablet matched the results we saw on our paper targets. It was easy to shoot a string, view the results on the tablet screen, note the errors it revealed, and concentrate on correcting them in the next string.

Updated

During several months of testing, MantisX released new versions of their software several times.  They seem to do so every few weeks. So, the product kept getting better and better, with no extra charges.

Other features of the system

The MantisX application has a useful screen showing movement of the barrel through each entire shot:

  • Before the shot
  • During hold and sighting (in Green)
  • During the trigger pull (yellow)
  • As the shot broke
  • Through follow-through (in red)
    MantisX firearms trainer review - barrel movement screen

The MantisX records and displays history over multiple training sessions, showing progress and results for several users.

MantisX firearms trainer history screenshot
The MantisX software has a Learning screen, especially useful for beginners, which shows common causes for shots off-target in any direction.

MantisX firearms trainer review - history screen

Software settings allow the MantisX to be configured for:

  • pistols or rifles
  • right-handed shooters or lefties
  • live fire or dry fire
  • air guns or firearms
  • nearly any mounting position (facing forward or backward, and mounted below, on top, or on the side of the gun)

I ding it only for not providing an app for my Windows Phone.

Gears rating

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
As a teacher, I like the way it shows the student exactly what happened in each shot. I was able to see it improve the student’s understanding. And by providing feedback, it made it easy for every user to improve. The MantisX High-Tech Firearms Training System is an excellent product, and at $150, a good value.

Help us share more reviews!

If you’d like to support Gear Report for free, please use the links below when starting your online shopping. This is huge and really helps. Thank You!
Amazon Prime Trial
eBay
REI
Amazon.com
Brownell’s
Cabela’s
AeroPercision
Faxon Firearms
1800GunsAndAmmo
EuroOptic

 Suggestions?

Please leave a comment if you have suggestions on other products we should consider reviewing, please let us know in the comments.

Ammo for testing provided by

Without the support of our ammo suppliers we would not be able to do nearly the amount of gun reviews that we do today.

Defender Ammunition CompanyDefender Ammunition Company

Big thanks go to our primary Ammo Sponsor Defender Ammunition Company for supplying ammo for our tests and reviews on an ongoing basis. Gear-Report.com is a proud member of Team Defender

 If you like this, you might like our Slide Fire stock review

Where to buy Silencers?

You can legally purchase silencers online and have them shipped to your local SOT FFL, who will help you with the ATF Form 4 transfer process. Here are some links to trusted retailers who sell suppressors.

Quarter Horse Arms - machine gun from HMMWV

Jeff shooting the Quarter Horse Arms AR15 Full Auto from the Project Humvee Battlewagon

The Project Humvee Battlewagon

Gear Report acquired a real HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) from the US Army for use as our official field and shooting range vehicle. We have already posted about some of our upgrade projects (Project Humvee Battlewagon article links) and have a lot of really cool projects on the way. Consider subscribing so you don’t miss any of the cool reviews as we post them.

Here is our Project Intro (link) and our list of HMMWV upgrade projects.

The Deuce Utility Vehicle (D.U.V.) Project M35A2

The D.U.V. project started with a fairly standard 1968 M35a2 two and a half ton 6×6 cargo truck. Commonly known as the “Deuce-and-a-half” or “The Deuce.” We aren’t yet sure where it will stop.

 Gear Report YouTube channel

Subscribe for Great Reviews (link)

About Bob Barr

The Gear Report team is proud that Bob is on the team as a writer, instructor, range officer, and … dare I say it… A role model.
Bob brings a wealth of firearms instruction experience as well as the heart of a true volunteer. Bob works with Chris to help those involved in shooting via the Boy Scouts shooting and archery programs to become safe and skilled. Bob also teaches a variety of NRA shooting classes, NC Concealed Carry course, 4H shooting, etc.
Here is Bob’s info from the gun range where he is part of the Education Cadre:
Bob is certified to instruct in several disciplines.
Bob regularly instructs and coaches Boy Scouts and 4-H students.
He especially enjoys working with new shooters and youngsters.
He tailors his teaching to the desires, goals and skill levels of his audience.
Bob began shooting as a child more than 45 years ago.
He received his first formal firearms training during Military Service, qualifying as Expert Pistol Shot.
Bob is a professional Project Manager, and became a firearms instructor in 2008.
Bob continually seeks additional training to improve his shooting and teaching skills, and looks for learning and teaching opportunities in daily experience.

Current qualifications:
NC CCH Instructor
NRA Basic Rifle
NRA Basic Pistol
NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home
4-H Shotgun Instructor
4-H Pistol Instructor
Range Safety Officer
Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor
USA Archery-Certified Archery Instructor
Cherokee Scout Reservation Rangemaster