MantisX Daily Challenge for Community Members

I am looking at getting the their Laser Academy system, as well as the Blackbeard for AR’s. They look like they will be excellent dry fire training tools! Does anyone have experience with the Academy or Blackbeard yet?

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I don’t have an AR, and my old iPad won’t run the Academy software. :sob:

I understand that you can download the Academy app for free, and it works with any laser cartridge and U-print-em targets. To at least get a feel for what they’re up to — I think in-app purchase for full function of the app.

Maybe somebody with product experience will pipe up. :+1:

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Hey @Brandon_USCCA, I have the Laser Academy app, and a Pink Rhino laser cartridge — the only purchase I needed to make. The system is fun to use, and MantisX has free targets for download.

There were some issues with cartridge alignment in the barrel. MantisX created a calibration feature, but I haven’t used the system since that was released so I can’t say how well it works.

I will say the folks at MantisX are always innovative, and provide great support.

I think it’d be great to run each app (LA and MantisX) on separate phones at once to compare how shots are recorded and where they hit. Maybe a third phone to record video also.

(You can’t have too much technology. :wink: )


I took the Mantis to the range today. I have to be honest, the system is all “neato” and everything. But honestly, I’m thinking that it goes against my personal thought process of “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough”.

I shot very well today at the range. All of my hits were in the cardiovascular triangle. Many were closely grouped. I worked on my trigger reset, drawing and shooting on the move. All from what I consider DGU distances. I took a few peeks at the Mantis app on my phone after each string and found myself getting a little too focused on the minutia. Too little trigger finger, tightening fingers, et al. And all the while, my scores on Mantis were anywhere from high 80’s to a 97 in a few instances. And then once again, going back to the target … all were well grouped in the cardio-vascular triangle.

And I was looking at my target and absorbing all of this I asked myself to get back to what I want to teach my students regarding defensive marksmanship.

I removed the Mantis Evaluation from my list of offered services. I think that for me and for those that I have instructed over the the years, Mantis is better suited for dry fire when the range isn’t practical or finances won’t allow.

Allowing perfect to get in the way of good enough isn’t for me. And good enough is really all anyone will ever need in a critical incident.

Stay safe out there,


Somehow I missed @Frank73’s post when it went up. But yeah, pretty much what I see.

Juggling MantisX at the range seems to be just a hassle with little clear benefit — and my regular exercises usually need to be adapted for it, so it makes kind of a day off from consistent progress tracking. There is satisfaction in confirming live and dry fire are about the same, but is that of value if target and timer can tell you the same thing?

I don’t find the “coaching tips” useful in understanding the previous trigger release. Once I figured out what the device wanted, I was shooting in the low 90s from the outset. I do see where group scores are posted that some folks do have consistently low and erratic scores regardless of speed/pace — and some who don’t match dry fire with live ammunition. But I’m not in contact with those folks, so I’m not sure what might be going on.

Maybe without a clear understanding of handgun biomechanics (and therefore receiving low scores without understanding why), a person would be helped more by the tips. I don’t know whether MantisX feedback would assist that same person learning from a live coach/instructor. I’m not in that trade.

I do perceive MantisX has improved my real time shooting for defensive results. Not by allowing real time defensive shooting, but by coaxing me into a more disciplined operation of grip, trigger, posture, and such. It’s a high tech Dot Torture or Wall Drill.

If a person believes those kinds of untimed precision exercises build useful defensive proficiency, MantisX can reduce the sometimes grim tedium of skill-building. For someone who believes defensive skill can be acquired by shooting only defensive targets at defensive speed at defensive distances, the device might not bring much to the project. The value I get from it is in dry fire, not at the range.


Anyone chance to see this, the latest exercise on the Mantis Laser Academy app?

(It is too a Christmas movie)


Don’t try it … next to big glass exterior wall :sweat_smile:

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I’m a new shooter and was looking for a way to practice dry fire that was meaningful and would help me learn the basics of my stance, aim and trigger pull without hearing ‘cha-ching’ every time I pulled the trigger. At the same time, range time for me is limited due to work and location and obviously the cost.

Enter Mantisx for me. Somehow, I won a $250 gift cert from Mantis for signing up to the news letter (shocking as I literally never win anything) and decided to get the X10. I also have a laser cart so I grabbed LA.

At this point, I only have a bout 1000 rounds through it (100 of them live fire) so I figure I’ve saved about $250 in ammo (yeah… haven’t found the best prices for ammo yet and don’t have alot of money to buy in bulk… suggestions are welcome)… But at the same time, I feel like I’ve been able to get comfortable with my grip, aim and especially my trigger pull… all things that I feel are well suited to a system like this.

I also pair this with LA at home so I feel I’m getting some benefit and don’t feel like I’ve wasted any money or time. Doesn’t mean I will skip the range or any training with an instructor, but at least when I’m there, I’ll have some kind of base behind me and feel like the $$$ I’m spending are worth it.


Something funny happened tonight. But first…

Welcome @Christopher379. We were sharing a fair bit here for awhile. Help us liven it up again!

Ok, back to tonight’s MantisX practice. I set up my X3, connected to my phone, and watched the thing calibrate. Then I shot this:

Whoa! What the heck??? My first shot (as interpreted by MantisX) was a 46.2. My next wasn’t much better. They were, however, oddly consistent as you can see.

I’ve never seen this before. Clearly, the calibration failed in major way.

We talk sometimes about whether we trust the device or not. What I’m wondering now is if it can fail big, can it fail small as well?

Here’s one more look, the full summary:

After turning everything off, I restarted and it calibrated again. FWIW:


Wow, I haven’t seen that one. Truly bizarre — weird consistency and weird magnitude for what is clearly a device error.

I (sort of) believe in the small fails. Sometimes I know I’ve made a sloppy pull, sometimes I think I did it right but the machine disagrees. So it goes; I can’t be a perfect witness to my twitches and lapses.

But occasionally (guessing maybe as much as 5% of the time) I will get a run of low scores which just don’t seem to reflect how I feel about my shooting at the time. What can it be if not me? Seems like the gun could make weird movements and/or the MantisX device could misread the movements.

So I reset the device (hold button until the light flashes red/blue/purple) and let it recalibrate; I jiggle the trigger around; and I jiggle the magazine around (where I mount the device). Usually, thereafter I get scores which feel more like how I am actually shooting.

But I have no idea whether I am actually correcting something mechanical gone amiss, or if I’m just doing a superstition ritual like wearing my lucky sock to the big game — producing a more stable mind/body state. Clearly, @Alces_Americanus has a real thing going on.

Although, I’ve got to say, even with the device in seizure, shooting six points of variation is pretty uneven for Mr. Consistent — must have been unsettled upon hear that first score. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Maybe, once you get to a certain level, MantisX introduces stressors to enhance your training for critical incidents.

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Waiting for my X3, should get it on Saturday.


You might indeed say so! Look at the shot timer, and you’ll see how surprised I was after that first.

Mantis got back to me after I shared with them. They told me this happens, though it’s rare. Just turn off the unit and recalibrate, they said.

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Excellent! Maybe we can indeed reinvigorate this thread!

Sure, but after a five-second pause — you bear down, force another 5 points out of the damn thing, and then just start knocking them off with a flat line on the new curve.

How many boiled eggs can you eat?

Out of the Box

Just got my X3, right out of the box I messed around a little bit. I’m actually surprised, at least with this small dry fire sample set, that I seem to handle my Springfield better than my Kimber which is my EDC. I probably have twice the rounds through my 9MM that I do my .380.
Oh well practice practice practice.


Looking forward to watching your progress.

I dislike the title of this challenge, but the drill itself is worthwhile. (I think it’s actually part of the FBI qualification test.) Anyway, today’s results:

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I was hitting targets just fine today, but impressing MantisX? Not so much.

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No. I did not accept the challenge.

I guess if someday I find myself ziptied while cleaning my gun, I will just die.


I don’t know if the imagined captors in this scenario are dumb, arrogant, or both. Why would they leave my gun — disassembled or not — laying in front of me, and then apparently exit the room?

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