Mantis Training System

Mantis Training System

We seldom put out reviews on products, however, the Mantis Training System is truly a modern training tool that assists new shooters and instructors on learning the basics of firearm shooting. The system is used extensively during our Pistol II class “Shooting with Confidence” and also with just about every other pistol and rifle course we offer.

Without jumping into all the “technical” details of how it works, the system monitors the shooters gun movement during both live and dry fire exercises – that’s right – live and dry-fire exercises!┬áThis is extremely useful for the shooting student because there’s no need to go to the range to use the system. In the comfort of your own home, you can dry-fire and receive real-time feedback on how you’re performing the basics along with feedback on how to correct the problem(s) you are experiencing.

The device is easy to learn and operate. You should know it does require an accessory or picatinny rail or some sort of adapter that will allow the device to be attached to the end of the barrel. Be sure you mount the device so the USB charging port faces your trigger guard.

One this you won’t find is centralized information about this fabulous tool. There are dozens of u-tube videos available for you to view but the most important take away I found was once you turn the unit on, be sure to lay it on a flat surface for a few minutes – apparently the unit will self-calibrate some settings to give a better read on the results. Not sure if this is necessarily true, but hey, why not?

Before turning on the unit, it is suggested you download the software to your phone or tablet. During our initial discovery process we found that the Bluetooth used in cell phones and tablets is somewhat different than the Bluetooth used on your laptop – so using the software on a laptop is not an option.

Software is available for Android, IOS, and other OS’s. Log on to the Google Store with the phone or tablet you intend to download the software. Download is fast and the system sets up automatically. Once the software is installed, press the “on” button for 2-seconds on the Mantis device, which will discover your phone or tablet. After the usual information and agreement processes, you’re ready to get to work.

The software has several options to choose from…the first is called “Open Training” where you can fire your first shots and begin to understand how the system works. Now, you might be wondering what to aim at -right? That’s the beauty of the system – it doesn’t matter. Remember, the Mantis is reporting back to the software what the shooter is doing before, during, and after taking the shot – not shot placement. Pick a target, align your sites, shoot (be sure the firearm is free of all ammunition if dry-firing). After a few practice shots you can view your results on the device you’re using. The screenshot below shows how you are doing with sight alignment, sight picture, and where the shot would have landed as a result of the movement detected.

The red areas are created as a result of your manipulation of the gun. For example, the results are the shooter is breaking his wrist and is pushing forward as they are pulling the trigger – anticipating recoil. You can press on any of the red results to see where you can improve over time with practice.

The screenshot below shows what occurred during trigger pull and trigger release.

The screenshot below shows the movement of the barrel before, during, and after the trigger has been fired. A white dot (not visible in the screenshot) shows where you would have hit if you were shooting at a real target.

Once you get the hang of the system and how the software works, there are actual challenge drills where you can practice various scenarios – such as practicing basic marksmanship skills, establishing a baseline, times shots, tactical reloads and more. Most of the exercises are geared towards live-fire (the original intent of the unit) which is fine because the real reward is the results of your dry-fire practices.

How much does this cost? Surprisingly, very little in terms of what you receive. The unit sells retail for $149.95 which is a set price by Mantis, so there’s no need to run around the Internet looking for a cheaper price – the price is the price. Depending on where you shop, 9mm will run somewhere in the $15.00 range for 50 rounds. That means after 500 dry-fire rounds you have paid for the system. To some, that may sound like a lot of money – but that’s really the price of the average gun class, which means the system actually pays for itself after one use.

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