Reviewed: MantisX10 Elite Training System

This data-driven training tool is just begging for a demo in your store — and it just might help you sell more guns while it sells itself, too.

Reviewed: MantisX10 Elite Training System

It’s not often a product hits the market that can truly be called innovative, but MantisX might be an exception. I first heard about this training tool at a writer’s conference about a year ago, and I had to try it for myself. I had the company send me a MantisX10 Elite, and I started playing with it. 

The MantisX is a small device that mounts to the rail of any firearm and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. It tracks the movement of the gun barrel before, during and after the trigger pull, and it can be used with live fire, dry fire, airsoft, CO2, rifles, handguns, shotguns and even bows. The app outlines a host of drills and training exercises, and it gives you feedback on your performance. 

I was especially interested in improving my draw speed and my accuracy with my concealed carry handgun, so I eagerly opened the MantisX box, charged the device (via the included micro USB cord) and got ready to practice. My EDC gun is a Mossberg MC2C with a Sig Romeo Zero red-dot optic. The gun doesn’t have a rail — this is no big deal, because the MantisX comes with a tiny section of rail with a strong adhesive that you can add to just about any firearm with a flat surface. But because I knew that adding the rail to my gun would keep it from fitting into my holster, I opted to mount it on a different gun — a Mossberg MC1sc, which the company no longer makes, but which is similar enough to my EDC (albeit smaller) that I thought it would work well for training. 

I mounted the adhesive rail on the underside of the frame, forward of the trigger guard. The MantisX clicks onto a rail easily, so I added the device, downloaded the app, set up a mock range against a safe wall in my basement, triple-checked that the gun was unloaded, and got ready to get to work. 

Fortunately for me, the app is nearly idiot-proof. I double-checked the settings to make sure the app knew I was using a handgun and where the device was mounted on the gun, which hand I shoot with, and that I was dry-firing. There’s an introductory course on the app that I probably should have started with, but I decided to just dive right into picking drills to see what I could learn. 

“Open Training” sounded simple, so I clicked on that and, after confirming to the app that my gun was unloaded, I was instructed to “Shoot any number of shots, at any pace.” Easy enough. I quickly found out why a subcompact gun was not an ideal choice for this, because the quickest way to run the slide and reset after each shot is to leave the magazine out, and I really missed the extra real estate my magazine provides for my grip. But I forged ahead, pinky finger finding the best grip it could, and I dry-fired five shots. 

Five icons at the top of the screen allow you to view your shot data as a list, a bull’s-eye, a line graph, a target with your exact movements recorded, or a video. The list view showed me my average score and the time for each shot. The line graph and the target view both showed me how much movement was in my hold, my trigger press and my follow-through (after the trigger break). It also told me the degree to which I was canting the gun. This screen is particularly helpful and humbling, as it revealed that my hold movement, though small, was in all directions, but my trigger press movement tended to be downward. Hmm — something to work on. 

I moved on to other drills:

  • Shot Timer is designed to help you work on timing (more effective with live fire than dry fire).
  • Par Timer gives you a start and stop beep to work on your shot time.
  • Shoot/No Shoot helps you learn to press the trigger quickly by using different colors to represent shoot/no shoot targets. This drill requires you to look at your phone until the color is presented, and it’s timed. 
  • Holster Draw Analysis starts with the gun holstered, then uses a buzzer to signal you to draw, present and fire the gun as quickly as you can safely do so, then reholster and wait for the next beep. I ran into trouble with this drill because the presence of the MantisX doesn’t allow my gun to fit into its holster. A holster built to accommodate a weapon-mounted light would solve this problem, but as I don’t use weapon-mounted lights on any of my handguns, I haven’t yet invested in a holster to be able to practice this drill. 

There are a number of “Benchmark” drills as well, which are designed to help you measure your progress over time. Each has its own set of instructions and objectives. Then there are drills for Primary Hand Only, Support Hand Only, a several reloading drills (tactical, in battery, out of battery), cadence drills, and hostage rescue drills at different difficulty levels. 

Moving past the drills, I found several marksmanship courses, which combine drills in a specific order to work on various goals. 

The data is the huge value in this training system. On the Open Training screen, the line graph data not only shows trigger press movement and hold movement, but it also suggests a possible cause for any imperfect shots: In my case, at first, it told me I was using too much trigger finger. I can use the History tool to view my past training sessions and see how my skills are (hopefully) progressing.

It was time for live fire. I hit the backyard range and loaded up, and I started with the Open Training drill again. 

It was interesting to see how live fire changed my results. Of course, my scores went down on the Open Training drill, and interestingly, I was no longer using too much trigger finger. Instead, the MantisX app told me I was tightening my grip at times and breaking my wrist down at other times. I have long known that as a rifle and shotgun girl, handguns are my weakest discipline, but now I know specifically what I need to work on. The RecoilMeter drill was revealing as well, telling me exactly how much muzzle rise and side-to-side (width) movement I was allowing. Unfortunately, the MantisX came off the rail during my third or fourth shot on the RecoilMeter drill and I found it on the ground after my five-shot string. I don’t know if I didn’t have it clicked firmly onto the rail or not, so I can’t put this down to a device problem. I reattached it and experienced no further trouble.

Reviewing the data from a live-fire session is a humbling but informative exercise. When viewing my history, a rather embarrassing pie chart broke down every problem I was experiencing. Though it’s humbling, it’s terrific data that I’ve been using to work on specific problem areas and improve my shooting.

In the short time I’ve been using it, the MantisX has already demonstrably improved my handgun shooting, and I haven’t even tried it on a long gun yet. To me, this is well worth the $249 MSRP, and I expect your customers will feel the same. 

This is a serious tool that represents a huge leap forward in firearms training. If you have a range, consider having a few MantisX systems on hand to demonstrate to shooters — anyone who tries it is bound to want to keep playing with it at home. Even if you don’t have a range, you could set up a demo station with a safe gun and a tablet, giving buyers a chance to dry-fire a handgun or rifle they might be interested in buying. Think how effective this could be as a gun sales tool, and while the customer is trying out the gun, they’re also trying out an effective training system that you can offer them as a simple upsell. You might even consider a gun/ammo/MantisX bundle deal. 

MantisX products are made in the USA and most come with a two-year warranty. With millions of relatively new gun owners in this country that have joined our ranks since COVID, training is more important than ever, and this is an excellent way for users to train at home with dry-fire doing more than just practicing trigger pull — now they can actually analyze their pulls and movement and use that feedback to improve. There’s a tremendous market for simple and effective training tools like the MantisX10 Elite, and it could end up selling itself — and more — with the right setup in your retail store.  


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