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Review of the MantisX Firearms Training System

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Over the past couple of years I’ve seen quite an uptick in the release of products designed to aid improving shooting skills.  SIRT pistols, Airsoft guns, electronic reative targets…all competing for your training dollars.  One of the more economical and effective training tools to have been recently introduced is the MantisX Firearms Training System – priced at just $149.99 and available from the manufacturer.

The system is comprised of essentially two different components – a sensor unit that attaches to the gun, and a free app that is downloaded to your phone or table which collects data from the sensor unit.  Here’s a photo of the sensor that attaches to the firearm via the picatinny rail – it can work with both handguns and long guns:

Once the sensor device is attached to your firearm, you need to start the app on whatever device you have it running, and go through a brief synching process – it was very simple and straightforward.  Once done you’re ready to start to use the system.  Again, the system can be used in either live or dry fire, but for testing I used the system exclusively in dry fire.

At the time I first received the MantisX, there was only one “drill” available on the app.  The “training” drill is designed to diagnose problems which contribute to poor marksmanship by taking measuresments before, during, and immediately after the shot, then analysing the data and pointing out behaviors you have while shooting which impact accuracy that you might not otherwise be aware.  Letting the muzzle dip, rise, pullling shots left or right, etc.  To test this trainng excercise, I first stood about 10 ft. from my target and fired three shots:

The app will provide data on each shot you take:

I then backed up to about 21 ft, and shot another string with very similar results:

The app can plot the trigger pull data into some useful charts and graphs which can help analyze any possible errors/issues in your technique:

The training coach app was neat to use, and as an NRA Certified Instructor, I could see the potential of using the MantisX in the classroom with beginner students.  But I was a bit hard pressed to say that the system was worth the asking price.  Then MantisX released an update of their app, adding several new drills:

As you can see based on the progress/score bar beneath each drill, I tried them all – some worked better than others.  Again, the app is a work in progress.  The one overriding criticism I have of all the drills is the innability to define acceptable accuracy parameters.  The MantisX app has one accuracy parameter, which I call “bullseye accurate.”  The system wants your shot exactly placed in the center of the target each and every time.  Why is this bad?  Let’s look at the drill “Reload In Battery.”  This drill is, in my mind, most useful to the defensive shooter (looking to practice and hone their defensive shooting skills) and the competitive shooter (looking to improve their skills for the next USPSA, IDPA, or similar competitve shooting venue).  In both applications, after performing a reload in battery (a reload is performed with the slide forward, round in chamber)  the shot taken immediately after the reload is performed is NOT done with bullseye accuracy.  In a defensive scenario, you’re looking for “combat accuracy” – a shot anywhere in the chest area for example.  Similarly, competitive shooters aren’t trying to place shots one on top of the other, but rather are trying to place shots in a prefered target zone.  So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the results of the “Reload In Battery” drill:

The Total Time is measured from the time the application “beeps” to start the reload, until the time the reload is performed and the shot is taken immediately afterward.  Normally, I can perform a “reload in battery” in about 1 second.  So 1.68s is quite slow, but I had to slow down considerably to make the system register my shots – extremely fast movement seemed to cause shots to be not registered by the app.  So I couldn’t go “full speed.”  The second issue was the previously mentioned accuracy issue.  I really had to take my time and aim with “bullseye accuracy” and even with that you can see my “Average Score” was quite low (44.5).  I just wasn’t shooting with the level of accuracy required by the system.  Again, being able to ajust the acceptable accuracy parameters would greatly increase the utility of the MantisX system.  I had similar issues with regard to the speed at which the system could register shots, and the accuracy the system required with nearly all of the drills I performed.

As a product reviewer, I find myself in an unusual situation.  The MantisX Firearm Training System is difficult to recommend in its current state, but it’s obvious that the system is moving in the right direction and the current issues will be resolved in future updates of the free to download MantisX app.

In addition to this written photo review, I’ve also recorded a supplemental video review on the ThruMyLens YouTube Channel:

About John B. Holbrook, II

John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com.

*All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. I purchased this system based partly on reviews I had seen and read online, but I am a scientist and that was probably what sealed the deal.

    I am a new shooter in Canada so the investment required to actually shoot is greater here than in the US. My rationale was that any sort of coaching I could get out of this device would pay for itself as a reduction in ammo and travel costs.

    I am quite pleased with the device and use it on a 9mm and an AR15 to help me with trigger and aim control and I am shooting better because of it (well the device tells me I am at least). This is November 2017 and the app has been updated and I am happy with the settings and feedback. I am doing shooting drills for a variety of improvements and the ability to get feedback when I am doing drills at home is great.

    Maybe for someone at your level this isn’t such a great device yet, but for a self teaching neophyte I am very pleased. I figure the ammo savings alone are worth the investment.

    Kind regards,

    Michael

  2. Michael – the system is getting better with every update!

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