Developed as a diagnostic training aid, the MantisX Elite is the second generation of the electronic device by Mantis that incorporates all previous models of programming. Its lightweight and compact design allows the shooter to use the device on a handgun, rifle, shotgun, or archery.
Inside the ruggedized polymer housing, the MantisX has a number of precision sensors that measure a variety of behaviors during the firing process to include recoil and draw analysis (if so utilized). The device is sensitive enough to be used with regular ammunition, dry fire, or even airsoft devices.
The MantisX attaches securely to any MIL-STD-1913 rail via an integrated mount on the device’s exterior housing. A QD switch faces forward and allows for easy attaching/removal of the device, while a rear-facing USB port allows for charging of the internal power source when not in use. On the bottom is the Bluetooth sync button with a visual LED light to denote pairing with your enabled device.
When used in conjunction with a holster, the MantisX Elite module itself fits inside the portion of the holster that is allotted for a full-size weapon light. However, because it is not an exact fit, users will note the firearm may not be as secure inside the holster as it is with a weapon light.
The real diagnostic power of the MantisX lies in its application, free for download to any iOS or Android device. When synched via Bluetooth, the MantisX displays real-time individual shooter data in the form of several functions:
- Direction & Magnitude
- Shot-by-Shot Analysis
- Detailed Trace
This functionality is then spread out across 11 different drills built into the Training option of the app that includes; Open Training, Benchmark, Primary/Support Hand Only, Reload Drills, Hostage Drills, and more.
In addition, the MantisX Elite offers a number of assistive training modes and instructor-led courses that are intended to help the individual address noted deficiencies. These are presented as both textual, or come with an assistive video for demonstrative purposes.
The app also allows for a group and leaderboard mode that enables the shooter to compete with friends and fellow team members.
Lastly, the Settings feature of the app allows for the customization of the MantisX for a variety of features to include audible settings, sensor mounting, and overall historical tracking.
- Overall Dimensions: 1.3” (L) x 1” (W) x 0.75” (H)
- Approximate Runtime: 20 hrs. on single charge
The MantisX comes in a variety of models, each with varying degrees of functionality with the Elite being the premier model and only comes in black.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): With MantisX having a variety of training devices available within its product line; the Elite version is the most advanced and recent on the market with an MSRP of $249.99 (while its X2 device starts at $99). Obviously the Elite has all the functionality and added applications of other previous models, making it the most inclusive device offered. While there is no direct comparison to the MantisX device on the current market, alternatives for users could be as simple as a pack of dry-fire snap caps ($8), to reactive laser target kit ($110-$350) like those from LaserLyte, or the smart phone Dry Fire Training Kits ($87-$149) from LasterHIT. However, each of these alternatives do not have the ability of giving you the analytical diagnostic feedback as what the MantisX devices are capable of. As such, the top tier MantisX Elite is appropriately (or of average) priced with regards to the overall market of training devices, while the more inexpensive Mantis X2 and other versions being more competitively priced (but with less functionality).
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the MantisX Elite boiled down to how comfortable the device was to use physically, as well as navigate the smart device application. With regards to the Elite device itself, it somewhat mounted easily to any MIL-STD-1913 rail, however some handgun rails (such as on a Gen 5 G19) have a somewhat domed profile, which made for a tight fit to the Elite device (which necessitates a flat picatinny rail profile like on a P226). Thus, users should be aware of this aspect before considering and how the rail of their handgun may play a factor. In both cases (domed or flat rails) the Elite device was still able to be properly mounted and remained secure throughout evaluation. Elsewhere, the smart device application was amazingly easy to navigate, though very in-depth in terms of different means to display shot placement, data analytics, and recommendations for improvement. The extensive training options within the app were appropriately divided so as not to become overwhelming. Yet through it all, the app’s interface was very intuitive and the buttonology flowed easily with some icons sharing commonality to the basic smart device operating system (i.e. an “X” to close, the trashcan option to delete, zoom in/out function, etc.).
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): The electronic device to the MantisX Elite was made with a polymer/ABS shell that enclosed the sensitive electrical measurement devices, which recorded vibration, velocity, and angle. That data was then sent via Wi-Fi to the smart device app for further refinement. Throughout use, the device handled both dry and live-fire, holstering, and general range use (to include magazine changes and barricade shooting) without any indication of cracking, wear, or fatigue at the rail mount. One other notable aspect to the durability of the MantisX Elite was the speed in which the device paired with the smart device, even after prolonged use. This demonstrated that although the device was presented with hard use, it was still able to safeguard the sensitive electronics inside to rapidly enable pairing quickly and consistently.
- Functionality – Excellent (5/5): Functionally after an extensive 30-day evaluation on both pistol and rifle, it was determined that the MantisX Elite offered two distinct roles. The first being that it made practice (regardless of weather or setting) more enjoyable (thus increasing the likelihood of continued training). The ability of the device to distinguish between both live and dry fire behaviors meant one could practice on the range in ideal weather with live fire, or dry fire in the basement or garage when the range was closed due to inclement weather or COVID restrictions. The second role of the MantisX was that it allowed in-depth visualization of the mechanics involved in the individual’s specific shooting style. While yes, you could duplicate this process by examining shot placement and personal videos, with the assistance of a dedicated instructor with years of experience, over the process of endless paid private lessons. But realistically few are willing to dedicate themselves to the more traditional road in an era of technology and analytics, with ammo shortages and time in high demand. Moreover, instructors may find the MantisX more ideal for younger students who identify with data-centric analytics partnered with personal guidance. Elsewhere, it was found that the Elite and its app focused on improvement of fundamental principles (trigger squeeze, grip, sight picture, follow-through, etc.) through multiple drills with time and repetition, whereby it took a minimum of 50 rounds for each drill for the software to really begin delving out the full analytics into the shooter’s performance and behaviors (heeling, anticipation, grip posture, etc.). Thus, over time and following the recommendations on improvement, the shooter did note improvement in performance over the 30-day evaluation specifically on; accuracy, acquisition, and follow-through. The MantisX as a training device doesn’t make one a top-tier competition, A Class shooter specifically because it stresses the core fundamentals that without which other advanced techniques cannot be built. But over time, individuals will be challenged via the in-app drills to improve—and that opens the door for other avenues that are similar to improvement in competition shooting such as; wind sprints, stage planning, multiple transitions and more that have broad application.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): At an amazingly demure 0.5 ounces, the MantisX Elite did not pull down or otherwise weigh down either handgun or rifle (as that would have negatively affected the sensor analytics) thanks in large part to the polymer housing and lightweight sensor technology. This helped ensure accuracy and that the mechanics of the shooter wasn’t thrown off. Furthermore, the MantisX came in a small, compact foam padded case that was zipper secured to help protect all components during transport. In comparison, the reactive laser target kits (at 1 pound total for all components) like those from LaserLyte, or the smart phone Dry Fire Training Kits (at 1 pound total for all components and excluding wall targets) from LasterHIT all illustrate that comparable systems rely on multiple parts with invariably more weight and bulk that takes up added space.
Overall Rating – Very Good (22/25)
Product Link: https://mantisx.com
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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