With costs of ammunition not going down anytime soon and shelves slow to replenish, the Mantis X10 Elite offers a unique way to train and practice without live ammunition. Dozens of drills are available for both live fire and dry fire practice with handguns, long guns and even bows, though you may need a special mount. The device itself is small, roughly an inch and a half long by an inch wide, and rechargeable with an included micro-USB. It secures to any Picatinny rail, a feature most modern firearms have. Mantis also offers stick on rails, replacement baseplates for pistol magazines, and a barrel mount for long guns. No matter what firearm you have, Mantis likely has thought of a way to mount it.
The X10 elite system doesn’t use lasers. You don’t aim at a target and have a hit show. Instead, everything is contained inside Mantis’s mobile app. As a competitive rifle shooter used to aiming at something specific each time I venture onto the range, this concept was a bit hard for me to grasp at first. Rather than focusing on where you are hitting, the MantisX system focuses on movement, diagnosing problems based on the movement of your shot. I’ve spent the most time in the “Open Training” feature with pistols. There is no time limit and you choose the aiming point.
As long as you make good shots, the aiming point can vary. For each shot, the app kicks back a number. The easiest way to think of it is as a grade. Your “hit” doesn’t have a target value of “98.9 or 72.5,” but rather a score of such. In case you’re confused, along with each trigger pull and grade, small text appears on the bottom of the screen with messages like: “Great shot!” “Good shot” or “jerking the trigger.” This provides immediate response. Open training also returns a sort of circular graph with red bars indicating the direction of the shot. Selecting each of the red bars opens a page with what you are likely doing wrong and how to correct it. Examples of this are jerking the trigger, too much trigger finger, etc. The width of each bar indicates the frequency of the error.
This is only one area of analysis the Mantis provides. Swipe the screen to “replay” each shot. This is shown visually on a target center but the end point isn’t representative of where each shot did or would land on a target (whether you are using live or dry-fire.) Rather than focus on shot location, it is to show you how much movement there is leading up to the trigger break.
Other drills measure speed and skills like drawing from a holster, making this an excellent training tool for competitive shooters and self-defense. It’s also a great opportunity for the frugal and performance-minded person. Practice makes perfect. One Mantis system will work on all the guns you have and want to train with. In time, dry-fire practice with the X10 should improve your shots with live ammunition. To be clear, the X10 isn’t just for dry-fire, though it is a good way to save money on ammo. Used in conjunction with live fire, it can help quantify things you can’t see with dry-fire. For example. The Recoilmeter function allows you to test how different changes in grip and hand position, even ammunition and gun type, affect your ability to handle recoil.
Today there are many different ways to train and become a better shooter. In my opinion, the Mantis X10 Elite is one of the most versatile and affordable. It may not be perfect for some applications, like simulating a match, but it can help you diagnose common errors and practice on your own. You can also participate in courses and daily drills designed to make shooting practice a part of your everyday, just like a workout plan.