Here at GunSpot, we just got in the Mantis X Laser Academy and it is a pretty interesting training tool. The Mantis Laser Academy is a home-use dry fire training kit that right now can be of immense value as we all navigate through ammo shortages.
There are two kits: the portable kit and the standard kit. I would advise you to get the standard kit because it is the better value. Let’s dive into the review so I can explain what they are and what might be important to you.
Editor’s Note: Prior to publication, the MSRP for the “Standard Kit” changed to $149.99. Additionally, Mantis added 5.56/.223 to the list of available chamberings.
The standard kit includes an access code to the full Mantis Laser Academy Pro training drills which if you buy after the fact costs $100. The whole standard kit only costs $149. The Pro drills are the ones with built-in shot timers and multi-shot drills. These are going to be the best drills to make yourself a better shooter, so trust me, just buy the standard kit.
The Mantis Standard Kit also comes with a Pink Rhino Laser Training Cartridge in your choice of caliber, including 9mm, .40, .45 ACP, .38 Special, .380 ACP, .357 SIG, and 223/5.56. The cartridge fits into the chamber of your firearm and fires a “laser shot” when you pull the trigger. Make absolutely sure you do not get lives rounds mixed in while using this! The kit comes with two sets of complete targets in 5”x7” and 8”x11” sizes.
It also includes a mini tripod and a large tripod and two different styles of phone holders, one for each tripod. The larger tripod will rise to a maximum of 52”. You can angle the phone to aim at higher targets. It also comes with some sticky tack to stick targets up and a portable carrying case.
How’s It Work?
So how does Mantis Laser Academy work? In short, you have targets that are recognized by the Laser Academy app using your rear-facing smartphone camera. Your phone camera will pick up the laser beam on the target and the app reads it and gives your shot a score and in timed drills, it will report back your time.
Here are the included drills in the app:
Open Shooting: This uses a single target and is just basic target shooting with scoring and the ability to store sessions to track your progress.
Shot From Guard/Low Ready: This is one shot: Starting from a prompt, this mode times your shot and tracks accuracy in single-shot sessions.
Duel: This is a single shot where you and a training partner compete to see who has the fastest draw and eagle eye.
Bullseye: Five shots. This has no prompts and receives scores and splits from five-shot rounds.
Now, with the full access code, the Pro drills are the ones to which you gain access. Remember, if you buy the standard kit, you get an access code to unlock these. Otherwise, it’s an in-app purchase to get them.
Open Shooting: Multiple target scoring and the ability to store sessions to track your progress.
Duel: Best of five versus your training partner.
Shot From Guard/Low Ready: Multi-shot. Starting from a prompt, this mode measures your reaction time and tracks the accuracy of your shots.
Bullseye: 10 Shots. Records scores and splits for 10-shot sessions.
Holster Draw mode with or without a par-time.
The Pro drills will be the drills that will test your skills more and be able to push your limits.
In my opinion, I really like this. It’s nice to be judged off of your actual shot placement instead of just your trigger pull. Obviously, using this doesn’t factor in anticipation of recoil, but this is still a great training tool. Dry fire is essential in your training, especially now when ammo is expensive and hard to come by.
This comes with a variety of drills and targets that will keep your brain entertained when it comes to dry fire. It does come with a dot torture target, which is great because that drill is so popular among pistol shooters. Another thing I really liked about this is you don’t have to add anything to the outside of your gun. Being able to practice drawing from concealment with par times and getting scores is something that is really valuable to me.
This device is a lot of fun and comes with everything you need. It even can be packed up in a great travel size. It is definitely a way to keep dry fire training entertaining which can be a real struggle.
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