Mantis X10 Elite Firearm Training System
TLDR: The bottom line is that the MantisX Training System is extremely effective for improving your marksmanship across several firearm categories, including dry fire, C02, live fire, and even archery! The MantisX is basically like having immediate access to the smartest, most observant shooting instructor ever.
It doesn’t care who you are or what your resume is, it just plots the data and issues a numerical score, based on what you did right and/or wrong for each shot. In addition to scoring your shot, it also provides feedback on the things you may be doing wrong and things you can do to address those issues. The system and app are great for really honing your skills and dramatically improving your shooting ability.
What Is This Thing, and Who Is It For?
I’ve spent a lot of time around guns, professionally and recreationally. During my time in the military, I was a member of a sniper team, the Virginia National Guard Shooting Team, and the All Guard International Shooting Team. During my service, I earned the Distinguished Rifle Badge, as well as the Distinguished Pistol Badge, which made me the second soldier in the history of the Virginia National Guard to achieve that honor. I am currently a firearms and tactical driving instructor. I say all this to say that the MantisX is the most effective marksmanship training tool I have ever used, period. It’s an easy recommendation, especially if you are an instructor yourself.
This is one of those training tools that I can genuinely say will improve your shooting, no matter what your current skill level is. MantisX is essentially like having a full-time, highly effective and observant shooting instructor in your pocket and available 24/7. The MantisX is compatible with any standard rail, and the app is available on both Apple and Android devices.
MantisX Tracks, Measures, and Plots Motion in Easy to Understand Graphs and Shot Scores
When you break the fundamentals of marksmanship down to the most basic form, essentially, your goal is to pull the trigger of your firearm without any deviation from your point of aim and without inducing ANY motion into the equation other than the straight and smooth pull of the trigger. With MantisX running, it is recording a 200-millisecond slice of time prior to, during, and after the trigger is pulled. The data is then very clearly plotted in several charts and graphs, which you can replay and reference in the MantisX App.
Each shot is given a numerical score, based on how much deviation from your aiming point occurred during the trigger take-up, hammer/striker falling, and your follow-through after the shot. You can reference the app and replay each shot, including an animated trace of exactly how much movement there was during the entire process.
MantisX Does More Than Just Give You a Score
In addition to all the motion data and score feedback, MantisX also provides suggestions to you for areas of improvement. Everything you do with a firearm induces some kind of movement to it, and with MantisX, the algorithm knows what the most likely cause of each instance of movement was.
In other words, MantisX can tell if you’re tightening your grip prior to the shot, jerking the trigger, pushing or pulling, dumping the barrel forward, and a whole lot more. Those are things that happen so fast, a human shooting instructor literally can’t see it happen. We have to give feedback based on where your bullet struck the target in relation to where you were (or thought you were) aiming.
You’ve probably seen these reference cards being pulled out on ranges to try and diagnose what you or your students might be doing wrong. “Well, based on this chart, you’re shooting low and left because you’re jerking the trigger.” In reality, it’s most likely a combination of issues in addition to the catch-all “jerking the trigger.”
The MantisX app is able to isolate each instance of excessive movement while you are shooting and provides GIF examples of proper versus improper technique, as well as detailed written instructions on how to address those problems. It literally is like having the world’s smartest shooting instructor in your pocket.
Shooting Courses With Real Rewards
Inside the MantisX app, you’ll find several options for training activities – everything from open training to hostage-taker reaction drills. There is plenty to keep you busy and improving in every area of marksmanship. As if that wasn’t enough, Mantis also includes several challenges and courses for you to complete within the app.
As an incentive to push yourself and complete the courses, Mantis will send a real-life, high-quality PVC patch for each level of difficulty you complete. At the time of this writing, the other course that rewards you with a real-life patch is the Advanced Marksmanship Course. I’ve been told that Mantis is working on creating more complex and difficult courses that will include live fire requirements. I’m definitely looking forward to checking that out whenever they become available.
Which Version Is Right for You?
Mantis currently makes four versions of the device at four different price points to give shooters of various degrees of proficiency plenty of options to find exactly what they need. If you are looking for a dry fire only training tool, the Mantis X2 will be exactly what you need at $99. If you want to incorporate live fire into your training but don’t necessarily need capabilities for shotguns, archery, or advanced feedback, the Mantis X3 is perfect at $169. For competitive shotgun shooters, the X7 was made specifically for tracking moving targets and providing feedback for shotguns.
If you want the top of the line X10 Elite, you can expect every bell and whistle Mantis has available, including features like holster draw analysis, recoil analysis, shooting on the move, rapid-fire, archery, shotguns, and tax preparation services (not really, but it’s probably smart enough to handle that too). The Mantis X10 Elite costs $249, which may or may not seem like a lot. As a professional firearms instructor, I can easily say that you will get more long term value out of the MantisX system over attending a class for a day.
If you are in any kind of position where you rely on your marksmanship abilities to stay alive, keep others alive, or earn a living, you should absolutely pick up one of the MantisX training tools, and make it a habit to use it regularly.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
I’ve really enjoyed the Mantis X10 Elite and putting it through its paces for this review. I currently have more than 2,000 shots fired with the system, including both the basic and advanced courses completed. This is an easy recommendation for anyone and everyone who has anything to do with firearms, especially professional instructors.
The MantisX takes all the guesswork out of training and provides real feedback and coaching to help you and your students improve. It is 100% worth the money, and I absolutely stand behind it.
Disclaimer: Mantis sent their X10 Elite model to me to test and review for you. There was no monetary exchange and no coaching or directions on what I could or could not say or do with the device. The video and written review are 100% my own thoughts and impressions on the system.