@Shamrock I bought the Mantis X3, but in the course of working out some hardware issues ended up being comped a swap into an X10. I’m only using it with handguns. I have just under 10,000 shots in over the past 20 months.
It has absolutely helped my shooting, but it’s a funny creature. It doesn’t care where you aim or where your shots will go. It only really cares whether your hand(s) remain perfectly still for a short period before and after trigger release. I refer to that as “teaching a quiet hand” — as in perfect trigger press and no milking, flinching, bouncing, or anticipating, etc. Learning a “quiet hand” has improved my shooting, even at speed. But…
If you tend to make adjustments of grip or trigger in the last quarter to half second before release — or if you squeeze off shots while the gun is actually still in motion — those will be called out as errors. Even if your repeatable point of impact is exactly your point of aim, and your elapsed time makes you smile — MantisX is unhappy with you for lack of stillness.
I don’t find the “coaching” tips provided by the Mantis app to be useful at all — maybe they are random, maybe they are about something, but they are of no help to me. The feedback I get is more like:
- You’re doon’ it wrong.
- Doon’ it wrong
- Good. Do that.
- Doon’ it wrong.
- You’re doon’ it wrong.
- AVG = 87
Eventually it has been effective, but more trial and error than guided. A bit annoying as a coaching style.
It is not effective as a complete dry-fire practice solution because it doesn’t care about your sight picture. Before or after a MantisX session, I use a laser cartridge with a recording app to see if I can actually hit targets of various types at various ranges. Combined, they are complementary and very useful. If I could only afford one, I think the laser cartridge is the better investment by far.
MantisX is a more versatile and engaging dry fire tool than Wall Drills — my mind goes numb at the thought of 10K rounds of Wall Drill. But there is more to dry fire than that.
Recently, Mantis has released “Laser Academy” which I gather may combine the two approaches. My old iPad will not run the required software, so I don’t know whether it is good or not — nor whether combined is more productive than separate.
In live fire practice I use a target — which I intend to hit — and a timer, and a planned course of fire for whatever I’m working on. Almost always out solo. Using the MantisX along with all of that is a logistic nightmare for me — too much to juggle, different methods of timing, failure to detect shots is just wasting ammo, and so on. There is satisfaction in confirming that I can indeed reproduce a dry fire “quiet hand” with real ammo — and I suppose it would be a message if I could not. Out of my 10,000 shots, just over 300 rounds have been fired live (plus maybe 10% fail to detect or otherwise botched). Maybe there are some ways it could be helpful for an instructor or group setting, but if my money were in short supply I’d put it to a laser cartridge, or holster, or fiber sights, or groceries.
Oh, another tip — if you want to do holster work, get a magazine adapter to mount the MantisX unit on unless you have a rig which would accept a random squarish lump on the rail. I keep a dedicated “Mantis magazine” in my training pile — weighted down with brass and plastic dummy rounds to the same weight as a loaded mag. Similar setup for other guns without rails.