One of the most interesting trends in the sporting industry is the surge of digital technology. We are seeing digitally enabled rangefinders, binoculars, rifle scopes, dog trackers, and now digital coaching trainers. The MantisX is one extremely high tech smart phone-powered trainer…yep, for better or worse, every problem and inadvertent movement you make through each shot cycle beautifully displays on your Android or iPhone.
What is the MantisX?
First, it is important to note that the MantisX is not a shot timer nor does it provide that function. This is a digital trainer that captures every movement you make before, during, and after taking a shot. It analyzes your shot, then tells you what you might have done wrong and how to correct it.
Imagine having your own personal range instructor during any live fire, dry-fire, CO2, Simunition, with any pistol or rifle you own regardless if bullets or CO2 feeds it. The MantisX is a training partner who is with you at every range session helping you become a better shooter with every shot. Imagine that same range partner delivering brutal honest relevant feedback without an ego, sigh, snarky comment, or glaring look, all for a one-time cost of only $149 and is USB rechargeable. That is what this little .75-ounce trainer is, and frankly I love it.
Nested into the MantisX is a lot of technology. It includes a highly sensitive digital accelerometer and a digital gyroscope that tracks every cant, wiggle, flinch, and movement throughout each shot. Even if it takes you a few seconds to stabilize before the shot, MantisX sees that too.
Tracking the Shots
Direction & Magnitude
MantisX tracks your handgun’s barrel movement during trigger pull. It groups shots according to movement pattern similarity. If you are heeling 22% of your shots, pushing 18% of your shots, and slapping the trigger the remaining 60% of the rounds shot, it will tell you. Usually we all have many other problems we do not know about that this trainer will capture and show as well. The interface is graphic heavy making it easy to quickly summarize everything happening.
This trainer tracks and scores each shot individually and analyzes trends. Especially for new shooters, there can be a lot of variance from shot to shot. For experienced shooters, we tend to mask a lot of our issues or overcome them in other bad ways… yep MantisX will show you that in a shot-by-shot analysis. Frankly it is a little violating at first and then you heed the feedback and start improving.
Detailed Trace of Entire Shot Cycle
MantisX delivers a movement trace image of how you are moving the gun.
- Green: Hold/sighting pre-shot
- Yellow: Trigger pull
- Red: Shot breaking and recoil pattern
This is what I thought was most interesting. I seem to be all over the place just before the pull. Then I settle the gun milliseconds before the trigger pull. I have never really seen this before, but MantisX’s super sensitive digital gadgetry picks it up.
How MantisX Offers Feedback
MantisX scores each shot depending on how much you move away from your sighted position during trigger pull. The perfect score is 100—impossible unless locked in a vice. I placed the MantisX alone on a solid granite counter, tapped on the counter four feet away, and it still picked that up in the trace pattern as movement. It is very sensitive. I was excited that I started getting into the high 95%-plus range after a month of working with it. My highest was a 98.7%.
For each shot, MantisX detects the direction of barrel movement during trigger pull. If you tend to shoot left, left sector will light up on the wheel. After a few shots, the training device shows the pattern of your movement.
Analyzing an individual shot or the group of shots, MantisX provides suggestions that could improve your shooting mechanics based on the very common, and heavily agreed on, U.S. Army “Shooters Wheel of Misfortune.” Simply tap the problem areas to read coaching tips you can apply in your next round of shooting. After working through what seems like very remedial shooting 101 suggestions and setting your ego aside, this trainer provides some great reminders and information. —and all without a snarky comment like “Dude, I have told you this like 50 times so far today!”
Quality, Setup & Attaching the MantisX
The MantisX weighs less than an ounce. It seems very well-made and has held up well over the last three months of testing. This trainer comes nicely packaged in a small Pelican case that can take the brunt of the abuse when thrown into a range bag. There is enough room for the small micro-USB charging cord and instructions. Run time is good with only recharging it three or four times over four months. However, I did let it sit unused for about three weeks and found it needed recharging. The MantisX charges up in just a few hours and that was fast enough for me.
Setup was super easy on my Android, iPhone, and iPad devices. Download the app, hold down the Bluetooth sync button, and tap Connect on the MantisX App. I had zero issues connecting any of my devices. Just turning the unit off and back on, I could immediately sync to a difference Android or Apple device.
The MantisX has an integrated standard picatinny rail adapter secured to a rail with a simple standard head bolt that fit well on anything from Glock, HK, Walther, AR15s, Sig MPX, to airsoft Umarex trainers.
There are a lot of gadgets on the market and in the firearms industry these days. I have seen some hit and miss tech enabled products – the MantisX is one device that significantly improved my shooting. The MantisX works with live fire as well as all the other training tools and methods including dry-fire, laser inserts, CO-2 inserts, and airsoft.
If you are serious about stopping bad shooting habits, open to having your ego being a little digitally violated during training, and becoming a better shooter fast, then the MantisX is an amazing tool to consider. For the new and seasoned shooter, the MantisX is an incredible tool to help decipher what you need to work on. Since the smartphone apps are constantly getting updated, we can expect new updates in the future.
MantisX Training Bundle includes:
- One MantisX smart sensor (attaches to accessory rail)
- Smartphone application (iOS and Android)
- Micro-USB charging cable
- 1-year limited warranty
- Every MantisX comes with a 45-day money back guarantee.
Have you used the MantisX traininer? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.