Mantis X training system


Designed by the American brand Mantis , the Mantis X electronic system made its debut two months ago in France.
Present at the IWA 2019 show with ATS ASCENSIO , we had already been able, on the brand's stand, to get a handle on the product, which had turned out to be quite promising .

After using the Mantis X for more than two months, it's time for us to take stock.

Once the box is opened, we find:
1° The system designed to be fixed on rails (Picatinny type);
2° A smooth head screw (for use with a holster);
3° A screw with a prominent head for installation and removal without tools;
4° A charging cable (USB type);
5° A notice inviting you to download the Mantis X application on iOS or Android.

In terms of ergonomics, the Mantis X looks like a laser or a mini-lamp mounted on a rail, except that the device has a three-axis gyroscope which is capable (once the application is installed on your smartphone) of analyzing exactly your way to pull the trigger.
Take these insights and tips to heart, and Mantis X will make you a better shooter.

For the installation, we can not do more fluid !
1° Install the free application on your phone;
2° Attach the sensor to your weapon;
3° Connect the sensor to your phone via Bluetooth, leaving your weapon motionless for calibration.

In fact, the Mantis X can be mounted either on a rifle (on the handguard, top, bottom, left, right) or pistol, it works in dry drill (Dry fire), in real fire and on Simunition or airsoft replica gas.
The advanced settings allow you to adjust the sensitivity, the color of the application… and other more or less useful things according to your desires.

We all know that one of the keys to shooting accuracy is pulling your trigger so that you don't exert any other parasitic forces once you've gotten your consistent aim.
Any force (increase grip tension, anticipate recoil, tremors, put too much or too little of the finger on the trigger, etc.) can then interfere with the alignment of the sight a few milliseconds before triggering the action of the striker.

Since it can be extremely difficult to recognize these things without the help of an experienced instructor, it is then particularly advantageous to have recourse to the help of external self-diagnostics.

This target above for example is still popular and available at any shooting range or club.
Although it is a bit of a generalist and not necessarily capable of correcting or improving grip and other technical aspects, or ensuring correct sight alignment, it does help the vast majority of shooters improve.
And here, it is precisely this format that Mantis X uses for the analytical returns of the shots.

So why choose a product over 150€ instead of a 50 cent target which could give me the same indications?

Because this system is not exclusively reserved for the pistol, some exercises allow you to have a correction on prone rifle shooting positions , something much less common when talking about action on the trigger tail!

Here we go for our first shooting session with this system.
Once the system is connected (switching on the module and Bluetooth connection with your smartphone), the application prompts us to adjust your configuration:

1° Type of weapon: we are invited to choose the precise model, caliber;
( ideal for detailed monitoring of results depending on the platforms )

2° The dominant hand;

3° Live fire / Dry Drill / gas replica or Simunition;

4° The direction of the module (Front or Rear);

5° The position of the module (for rifle handguards).

Then comes the choice of training, and there are many (open, cadence drill 2 seconds, 1 second, 0.5 seconds…).

In open for example, the module's minimalist format allows you to use your classic holster-type equipment for pistol + lamp, which means you don't necessarily have to focus on each shot, but rather on an overall session, whether it's dynamic Or other.

The corrections are displayed on this crown, with a score from 0 to 100 (100 being the absolute immobility of the weapon 200ms before the firing pin releases, on percussion, and 200ms after), and a red mark on the side of the default.
With each shot, the app suggests the most likely cause for the movement disturbance.

The fourth screen in “train” mode provides even finer details of variations in a spatial sense.
While on the main screen, the disc groups errors by "bucket", it indicates the degree of error rather than a movement.
Reading these analyzes is therefore a little more subtle: if you only have small concentric fragments all around the center of the disc, your technique is probably very solid. The errors you make result in very small angular deviations and approach the irreducible levels reflected in biological imponderables (pulse, breathing, etc.), not technical errors.

What do these mysterious lines represent? These are the three stages of your shot.
Presentation, alignment, and trigger pull are very important, but this colorful card focuses on that last element.

-> Blue shows you the movement of your gun as you line up your aim.
-> Yellow represents the movement of your gun when you pull the trigger.
-> The white cross represents the theoretical impact, ie the position of your weapon in relation to its initial position at the start of the sequence (in the center of the disc).

As a shooter, you immediately understand the value of such a tool!
The Mantis has several Benchmark-oriented modes, for precision, and more "pushy" modes, with integrated timer for cadence, reaction time, reloading...
We can then see the dramatic drop in the results for the trigger pressure!

Interesting to contextualize the interest of mastering one's "brain accelerator", the balance between speed and mastery.
Although its sale price represents an investment, Mantis X provides the same feedback as a correction target at €0.50, with the near exception of obvious added value .

It not only provides more detailed descriptions and personalized corrective tips, but also records performance over time and summarizes the shooter's most common sources of error, displaying this information in various visual and data forms, including a score from 0 to 100 points.

It also works for dry drill practice, where correction targets are irrelevant. This allows during daily routine , to really concentrate on the "pure mechanical" part which allows to isolate and work on his fine dexterity without being disturbed or polluted by the distraction of a real shot.

The only point that we think could be improved on this product is the attachment system, which can seem tedious if you change platforms several times per session.
However, just before the summer, Mantis presented a version with autonomous fixing (in the style of the surefire X300-A), which will allow the system to be set up in 2 seconds!

Can the MantisX make you a better shooter? Yes !

Our average score has improved over sessions of using the tool, it is believed that feedback from the MantisX makes us more attentive to our manipulations, pointing out common errors and allowing adjustment accordingly.
That being said, there are some limitations, a novice shooter cannot buy this device and hope to become a good shooter.
There are too many things an instructor has to teach you before you can start.

Critical steps such as stance, grip, draw, sight alignment, trigger pull, and breathing are not things an app is going to teach you to master.
Once a shooter has a solid grasp of these fundamental steps, app feedback will make a lot more sense! Both the app and the device can take a shooter to new levels of accuracy.

Also, autonomous self-diagnosis is relevant.
If you're in a booth and you're doing your session alone, a simple tripod allows you to visualize your screen, and thus get immediate feedback.

It is optimum for a solid and lasting correction of its errors, combined with the video advice of the application, which will therefore allow you to check the correct application of the recommended postures.

In conclusion , the Mantis X is a shooting aid of real interest , capable of bringing you great improvements in shooting . It's easy to set up and use, and from my testing it seems extremely durable.
You should consider this system as a shooting " mini-coach ", which can provide you with feedback and correction on demand, whether in live fire or dry drill.

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