Back in July, GunDude Jay gave me a Mantis X10 Elite for my birthday.
I had recently invested in a couple of DryFireMags to use in classes to teach trigger reset. While it doesn't give an exact trigger reset, it's a great way to teach the concept to newer shooters. When I wasn't using the mags in class, I was using them at home for dry fire practice. They are great for what they are and I don't regret investing in them at all.
However, the Mantis ... Wow. If you follow our Instagram or Facebook page, you've likely seen several posts about the Mantis. To say I love the product would be an understatement. I never much thought of myself as a data girl, but it turns out I'm incredibly competitive with myself and comparing my scores from one shot to another is addictive.
I did find, after owning both the DryFireMags and the Mantis, that you can buy a DryFireMag with an integrated Mantis. However, since I already own each individually, I'm not going to drop the money to buy an integrated one.
Back when I first started shooting, I was diligent about dry fire practice. Sort of. I was really working on my draw stroke, and finishing with one shot. I can't say that I did any focused dry fire practice for more than a shot or two. If I found I was flinching, I might stick a dime up on my slide and do a few trigger presses, but that was about it.
This Mantis has been a game changer. I immediately put it on my M&P 2.0 and tried it out. Five "shots" in and I was in love. Included in the X10 Elite is a course to help familiarize you with the system, and three courses to increase accuracy. I whipped through the introduction course and couldn't wait to get more. The Basic Marksmanship and the Advanced Marksmanship went pretty quickly - just a couple of days for Basic and a week or so for Advanced. The Compressed Surprise Break is my nemesis.
The system quickly found my weaknesses (hello, Compressed Surprise Break). I can be accurate, or I can be fast, but so far, I can't be both. My goal is to work on combining the two. When I get in a hurry, I tend to slap the trigger. When I'm trying for accuracy, I slow down way too much. It can take me seconds to press the trigger.
I did manage to fight my way through my mental block with the Compressed Surprise Break and earn my Advanced Marksmanship patch.
I'm currently working on the Elite Marksmanship badge, and I tell you, if I could stop over-thinking everything, I would have finished it already. But, I'm female and over-thinking is what we do.
The feedback from the system can be brutal, but it's completely objective. I can choose to pay attention to the data, or I can continue to suck. I thought I was doing pretty well with my dry fire, so I decided to take my show on the road and see how I did live fire. Boy, was that a hard pill to swallow.
I definitely had stuff to work on with live fire, and the Mantis showed me in black and white where I was screwing up.
However, there are moments like this (dry fire at home):
To say using the Mantis for dry fire practice is addictive would be an understatement. I've "shot" 3,017 rounds, which is a huge ammo savings. The fact that I can use my Mantis for both dry and live fire, on my pistols, rifles, and shotgun makes me love it even more.
My Glock 43x doesn't have an accessory rail, and to be honest, the stick-on accessory rail that came with the kit was crap, so I bought a Recover Tactical accessory rail that went on to my Glock in seconds. It holds the Mantis nicely, though I had to have a friend mold a holster to accommodate the rail and mounted Mantis.
Since the 43x is my EDC and I only had one OWB holster for it, I eventually used my teaching money to purchase a second 43x for practice purposes. I can now carry my EDC 43x in all of my 'normal' holsters, and practice with the other one. All I can say is thank goodness for the students who are willing to pay to take classes so I can buy 'training aids'.
In talking to someone who also has the Mantis, I found that I could buy baseplates for my magazines that I could attach the Mantis to without having to have special holsters for drawing practice. Since I am 100% drinking the Mantis Tech kool-aid, I bought a baseplate for the 43x and for my M&P 2.0. Now I can practice my draw stroke from any of my holsters with either gun.
I have seen the Blackbeard for the AR system on Active Self Protection's FB page and went looking for that. I desperately need more practice with my AR, but hate cycling the bolt every time. I was pretty excited about the Blackbeard system until I saw the price. I need to teach a few more classes before I can throw out another $199.00 plus shipping and tax. However ... I found the TRT Tap Rack system for a 9mm for only $8.99. Guess what went into my cart?
With the ammo shortage what it is, I cannot recommend the Mantis system enough. You can purchase the MantisX 10 Elite for way less than a case of ammo and it will pay for itself is around 400 'shots'.