The movies might make shooting a pistol accurately look easy but the reality is that shooting a handgun is one of the hardest skills to master as a shooter. The MantisX review might be one of the most time-intensive reviews that I have ever done with over 6,200 dry fire presses in the last year. I have to say that I feel like the MantisX is likely responsible for much of the improvement I have seen over the last year as a handgun shooter.
This is a review of the original MantisX. If you are looking for information on the Mantis X3 or Mantis X5 CLICK HERE.
Until recently there haven't been too many tools out that actually help you improve as a pistol shooter. The introduction of the MantisX shooting performance system changed that by providing an affordable solution that gives instant data. Sure there was the "dime trick" (balance a dime on the front sight and press out a shot) that Uncle Sam taught a lot of us, but the reality is, the "dime trick" is kinda crap when it comes to identifying exactly what you are doing wrong.
MantisX Video Review
A Closer Look At The MantisX
The MantisX ships in a nice zippered case that should protect the sensor unit when it isn't installed on your pistol. Mantis Tech makes sure to include everything that you might need to get started right out of the gate which isn't really that much when you look at it. My test unit came with a flat head screw installed on the MantisX as well as a thumb screw to make installing the sensor unit easy and tool-free.
If you have paid attention to the rails on your handguns, you might notice that many of the widths vary. In order to address this issue Mantis Tech designed an adjustable rail mount that widens to well beyond what most pistols require. As you tighten the screw, the mount closes and provides a pretty dang secure fit. You have to be very careful to not overtighten the screw though, it can cause malfunctions on most polymer framed pistols.
What happens when you over tighten the screw on a poly framed gun? The mount clamps down on the dust cover and creates interference between the dust cover and the nose ring (the part that generally holds the end of the recoil spring) of the slide.
How about when you don't have a rail on your pistol like many of the single stack 9mm carry guns out there? Mantis Tech offers several magazine baseplate options that allow you to hang the sensor off the bottom of the gun without the use of a rail.
Once the sensor unit is mounted, the controls are painfully simple. Touch the lone button on the bottom and the MantisX powers on and searches for your device with the MantisX app open. Click connect inside the app and the MantisX sensor is paired.
One of the coolest things about the MantisX is how low profile it is. While the thumb screw might protrude from the side of the MantisX a bit, I generally keep that screw installed for convenience's sake.
On the other side of the MantisX you find a hex nut recessed into the side of the MantisX sensor unit that stays in place. After over a year of use, travel all over the US with it, and north of 6,000 recorded dry fires, the hex nut has yet to come loose or get lost.
Should You Buy A MantisX?
I think so. I honestly believe that regular dry fire practice with a tool as powerful as the MantisX is 80% of the reason I have seen such a drastic improvement in skill. That said, the only thing that I found that I didn't like about the MantisX is the finish quality on the thumbscrew and the lack of accurate reads during live fire that I spoke about in the video.
I will have to remark that the thumb screw's finish is a bit thin and has almost turned white over the course of a year. The photo you see below was taken when the MantisX was only a few months old and is already showing significant wear.
The MantisX runs about $150-$160 depending on where you buy it. You can find more information about the MantisX on the Mantis Tech website or find it for sale on Amazon. If you enjoyed our MantisX review, please use the affiliate links above, it helps out immensely and costs you nothing.
For those of you that are looking for the X300 Ultra light shell shown in the video, you can find more info in Brandon T's Primary and Secondary thread here.
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Question, how far should you be away from target when practicing with dry fire
New handgun owner here. Please tell me if I need a specific holster to be used with the rail mount.
You'd like need some purpose built holster. If you use the Surefire X300 shell mentioned in the article, then you could use holsters compatible with that weapon light. There are also options for mounting the MantisX to the magazine floorplate, which would then allow you to use your normal holsters.
This reminds me of something I ran across in the army about 40 years ago. They had this special truck they brought around with this fancy electronic shooting device that was supposed to teach us good shooting techniques. I know things have come a long way since then but I lost faith in it right away when the instructor said I was not holding a still sight picture for so many seconds. He said I was bringing my sight up and shooting. He called it ambushing the target. I asked where are all the shots ending up? They were all in a tight group where they were supposed to be. I asked how do you think I will need to be shooting standing still or will my target stand still waiting to be shot? I think not. Also, glad to see you are back. Good to have another honest opinion out there.
Thank you for the thorough & considered critique! This is a prime example of what more reviews should aspire to be! (Comment ported from Full30)
Thank you for the kind words! I really try to be as thorough as possible.