The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Preview – MantisX

This Tiny Training Partner Could Elevate Your Shooting

The guys behind the MantisX training system chose their name carefully. The mantis shrimp has the most complex visual system of any creature on the planet. It can see things that might be invisible, it’s tiny and aggressive as hell. Some species of this pissed-off little guy have even been known to punch through aquarium glass. Seems like this motivator has the right qualities for a shooting coach, no?

What is it?
MantisX is a two-part pistol shooting diagnostic system. It consists of a wireless, rail-mounted sensor and an application that resides on a smartphone. The 1-ounce sensor gathers movement data 1,000 times per second using a miniature three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer, streaming the raw data to the app using a low-power Bluetooth connection. The system relies on the MantisX software and the processing power of the phone to interpret the transmitted data and give the shooter meaningful feedback.

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The sensor runs on a USB rechargeable battery and keeps things simple with only one button that turns the unit on and off. There are a few LEDs to tell you when it’s got a solid Bluetooth connection and how much power is left. Once it’s clamped to a Picatinny-compatible rail, power it on and fire up the MantisX app on your mobile device. Hit the big CONNECT button on the app’s main screen and your phone is now your shooting coach.

The application has three functional areas and a settings area. “Train” displays your realtime shooting results, “Track” is a couple of screens that give an overview of your progress across multiple training sessions, and “Learn” explains the problems the system has uncovered in your shooting and offers common ways to address them. Use the “Settings” area to configure MantisX for left- or right-handed shooters, put it into dry-fire mode and tell the app which way the sensor is facing.

What Does it do?
The gadget tracks every movement the gun makes immediately before, during and after the trigger is pulled and reports how poorly you shot with a score and a diagnostic assessment based on the age-old pistol shooter correction target/chart that’s graced the walls of ranges for as long as we’ve been shooting. Lost in the mist of time and lore, the origin of The Chart is hard to pin down, but several sources tell us it was a ’50s era NRA training aid later adopted by the Marines and then the Army Marksmanship Unit competition pistol shooting team back when Van Halen was topping the charts. Jerking the trigger, anticipation, heeling, pushing, yada, yada … you know the chart. Instead of relying on bullet placement on the chart for a diagnosis, the motion sensor knows that you pushed the gun to the right as you pulled the trigger, or that you anticipated based on the movement of the gun in your hands.

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