Competitive Shooting

Improving Dry Fire and Live Fire Training with MantisX

MantisX firearm training

For most shooters in most circumstances, the objective is to hit the target’s center as quickly as possible. Perfect shot precision might not always be required, and neither may be blinding speed, but increasing each makes shooting easier and more efficient.

How well you progress has a lot to do with the motivations and specific skills you choose to elevate, and both those can have a lot more to do with the training means available to you.

Many hours of rigorous training are put into achieving, and then increasing, the strength of this balance. Usually, the first goal is accuracy: hitting the target with every shot.

Hitting the target more quickly and sustaining accuracy for more successive shots at a higher rate of speed is the next goal. Various training techniques and tools are available and have been used to help shooters better master their precision.

As many competitive shooters know, dry firing (firing using an empty gun) is one of the best ways to beef up your skills, along with plain old range time. But what if there was a way to improve both dry fire and live fire training?

Mantis X10 Elite
The Mantis X10 Elite is a great range tool, allowing you to take a shot and easily observe suggested improvements from the MantisX application in both dry fire and live fire.

MantisX: A Dry Fire and Live Fire Training System

New developments in training tools have yielded very handy and useable devices: The MantisX family of firearm training systems. These devices are quickly mounted on a firearm, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth.

They provide instant feedback. Specific models have been made for shotguns and bows, as well as versions for firearms.

MantisX training systems are a new way to effectively practice pretty much anywhere. They also bridge the gap between live firing and dry firing.

MantisX devices are essentially highly accurate motion and position sensors. They continually compare the device’s location point, allowing for extremely precise gun movement tracking.

Mantis X10 on AR-15 Pistol
The X10 can be your best friend and greatest ally out on the range. All of these devices can be mounted in any cardinal direction on the rifle, as well as frontwards or backward, depending on what you need. Always remember to change the configuration of your device in the MantisX application so it works properly.

Here is a breakdown of the different MantisX models, directly from the company:

  • The X2 supports Dry Practice only for Pistol and Rifle (no CO2 or Live Fire support).
  • The X3 and X10 models support Pistol and Rifle in Dry Practice, Live fire, and CO2 modes.
  • The X10 provides all features available to the X3, but also includes all X7 (Shotgun) and X8 (Archery) features along with exclusive Pistol drills made possible by the improved hardware over the X2 and X3. These exclusive pistol drills include the Holster Draw Analysis and Recoilmeter drills.

Benefits of the MantisX System

If we want to break down firing a good shot at a reasonable target (say a six-inch bullseye at 15 yards with a handgun), to make that shot, hold the sights within that target area and pull the trigger without moving the sights away from the target area.

MantisX brings those two aspects together into one, allowing you to greatly enhance and streamline your target practice for every shot.

When a shooter takes a shot at a target with the MantisX (in a dry-fire situation), a shot report will instantly pop up on their phone, showing where, if a round had actually been fired, that shot would have been placed on the target.

This greatly enhances the effectiveness of dry-fire practice, as well as further advancing live-fire practice with several different shot-report readings, such as causes of error and timing drills.

The Mantis X2 is the firearms dry-fire only, budget-friendly version of these devices.

This device comes with all the usual features of the more complex and versatile MantisX devices, such as open training, shot timer, the MantisX Benchmark, timed benchmark, as well as practices for slow fire and rapid-fire at a variety of distances.

This device is perfect for shooters who want to advance skills on a low budget, or if they only want to use the MantisX device indoors and in dry-fire situations.

MantisX in Case
Each MantisX Device comes packed in a high-quality zippered case with a foam insert and elastic webbing.

Is the Elite Version Worth It?

The Mantis X10 Elite is the newest device in the family, and comes with some impressive new features. This unit functions either dry fire or live fire, which opens up a myriad of new inputs to put in the MantisX analysis mix.

The recoil-meter allows the shooter to observe their response to a firearm’s recoil, and better work to handle it. This device works in both live-fire and dry-fire scenarios, and is a serious package.

Shotguns are not left out of this deal! The Mantis X7 is specifically meant for shotguns, and features training scenarios tailored to those that love to shoot them.

Open training can be done both in the pre-mounted and low-gun position. There are also training programs for American and International Trap, as well as International Skeet.

The device works in both live and dry fire modes. Displays appear on the connected phone and show the shooter the path of their movement as they place shots on their target, a very helpful feature for many folks.

These devices give a whole new input to shooters when training. They can compare their own shot call to what the Mantis system says, and both to the actual result.

This is my favorite thing about all of these devices, especially when using them in dry-fire.

MantisX Application
The MantisX application offers a wide variety of ways to observe a shot.


Personally, if I am bored and sitting around the house, I’ll fire up my X10 in dry-fire mode and keep my skills polished by putting up a target on the wall and drilling at it.

When I go out to the range, I’ll usually take one of these devices along with me as a secondary aid to my practice. Especially with recent events, there has been a major strain on people getting out and getting much-needed trigger time.

This device can essentially turn your home into a virtual shooting range! Stay safe and stay indoors with help from MantisX training systems.

The Mantis X2 has an MSRP of $99, the Mantis X7 has an MSRP of $199 and the Mantis X10 Elite has an MSRP of $249.

How do you practice when you’re not at the range? Have you tried the MantisX training system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. I’ve used assorted laser devices for dry-fire, but I keep coming back to using a pellet gun shaped like my real one, shooting at small hanging objects that move and clank when hit. This is for “close-range quickdraw” type shooting, given the trajectory of the pellet.
    For precise long-range type shots, I stick with the old-fashioned “watch the sights while pulling the trigger” method, as I have no trouble putting the sights on target – my weakness has always been holding steady during the pull.

  2. I’ve been looking at the Mantis system. So the articles appreciated. I can’t seem to get to the range as often as I’d like (funny, when you consider I’m retired). So Dry Fire practice is something I do. Having something besides a dot on the wall would be a plus, especially one that does what the Mantis purports to do.

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