With the cost and availability of ammunition these days, it can be difficult to get to the range as much as we’d like. This makes dry fire practice even more important. Though you can gain a lot by simply practicing your draw, sight alignment, and trigger pull at home, you will benefit more if you receive feedback. Mantis has made this possible with their Laser Training Kit and Blackbeard system.
What Is Mantis X?
The Mantis X is a laser training system designed to improve your dry fire experience and results. By using a laser attached to your firearm and special targets, the Mantis X is able to track your shots via an app on your phone or tablet. This app is chock-full of different drills that are designed to improve your accuracy and speed in defensive situations. Additionally, the app tracks your progress in the “history” section so you can see how you’ve improved over time.
Importance of Dry Fire
Dry fire is a great way to improve your firearm handling and marksmanship skills all from the comfort of your home. We don’t always have the time to make it to the range and the price of ammo today makes it even harder. A good dry fire practice regimen can help you improve and maintain your skills without having to fire a single round.
Dry firing allows you to practice manipulating your firearm so that using the mag release, any safeties, racking the slide, etc. becomes second nature. Additionally, it helps with learning proper trigger control and sight alignment. If you get used to a consistent trigger pull that doesn’t wobble your sight alignment, this will become habit. You can even practice drawing from your holster and firing to prepare yourself for a defensive situation.
Laser Training Kit
The Laser Training Kit is the basis for the Mantis X dry fire system. It includes everything you need to get started. The system can be purchased as either the standard or portable kit. The portable kit includes the Pink Rhino Laser Training Cartridge, mini Smart Targets, mini tripod phone stand, putty to hang targets, and a wooden dowel to remove the laser cartridge from your barrel. The standard kit includes everything from the portable kit, with the addition of full-size Smart Targets, a full-size tripod phone stand, and a full access code for the complete app training library with tons of drills and courses.
Setup was simple and straightforward after I did it a few times. The first few times I had issues getting my camera to recognize the Smart Targets, but after I got the distance and angle down things went smoothly. Mantis has a good video to help you through it. Simply place your phone or tablet in the provided tripod and tack up some of the Smart Targets. Now, after ensuring you have no ammunition in your firearm, insert the laser cartridge in the chamber.
The Laser Training Kit includes a variety of different Smart Targets, such as IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, Hostage, Bullseye, and more. This provides you with plenty of training options and keeps the experience fresh. If you get used to or bored with one target, simply switch it out for a new one and start blasting away.
If you’re having trouble getting your shots to line up to where you’re aiming, try adjusting your point of impact (POI) in the app. This is good for regulating your sights and is especially useful if you’re using an optic. Additionally, the app allows you to also adjust your distance from the target from 1 to 50 yards. Theoretically, you could also adjust your POI to mimic further distances if you so desired.
One huge advantage to the laser training system, as opposed to other systems from Mantis, is that the laser sits in your barrel, not attached to a rail. This allows you to practice your draw from a holster and use firearms without a rail. This is good practice for real-world defensive scenarios.
For those that want to train at home with their AR-15, Mantis makes its Blackbeard system. Simply swap in the Mantis bolt carrier group/charging handle combo and insert the battery pack magazine, and you’re ready to go. The Blackbeard acts as an auto-resetting trigger system for your AR rifle or pistol. This lets you repeatedly fire without having to manually rack the bolt and break form. This works well with the laser academy app and other Mantis products, showing you your split times and points of impact as you dry fire. The battery pack is USB rechargeable and according to Mantis, provides roughly 100,000 trigger pulls between chargings. The Blackbeard is available in red laser, green laser, no laser, and IR laser versions.
Laser Academy App
The heart of the Mantis X training system lies in the Laser Academy app. Packed full of different drills and courses, the app is a comprehensive training solution. There are plenty of training drills at different skill levels to allow you to progress as you advance and practice more. The Laser Academy app also tracks your progress so you can see how you’re improving or where you may need more work. Though the laser devices can be useful on their own because you can still put up a standard target and see where you hit, the real benefit comes from the app and its various features. The feedback provided allows you to grow more as a shooter than traditional dry fire practice.
Conclusion: Mantis X
For those looking to gain an extra edge or who simply do not have the time or resources to make it to the range as much as they would like, the Mantis X is an invaluable asset. It’s also an incredibly fun way to pass the time either alone or with friends. With options for both handguns and long guns, there’s a laser training system perfect for everyone. Mantis is making it easier than ever to train with your firearm and improve your skills.