MantisX10 Long-Term Data Analysis.


Mods: Please move this if you feel there is a better forum for this. I wasn't sure if this should go here or in the training forum.

Disclaimer: I am not an employee of MantisX, nor did I receive compensation for this post or system.

Having felt the ammunition crunch/range availability like most over the past year, I've been focused in on doing more dry-fire consistently. While many may wonder if the investment is worth it, I will attempt to show what I have learned with it over the past 555 days of long-term use.

In that time, I have put in over 22,000 repetitions of dry-fire with the Mantis X10. My pistol skill was weakest, so I wanted to work on that first, then transition to the rifle. I chose this because in my experience, it is harder to learn the pistol than the rifle, and the skills from the pistol transition better generally to the rifle than vice versa. I also wanted to have a way of illustrating both to myself, and to doubters how MantisX can illustrate how perishable the shot process is.

For those not familiar with the MantisX, one of their primary drills is the MantisX Benchmark: Ten-shots (dry-fire, live, SIRT, Airsoft) untimed. The focus is on precision for this drill, with speed being addressed in other drills. I have been performing this drill on a regular basis, both at the beginning and the end of my training sessions. Initially I was using a scale B8 with these drills, but I transitioned to using a scale A8 target I created for use at 3 meters, and it has worked well for me (see the attached photo). As a baseline for precision, it is a good way to compare trends over time with.

While the MantisX offers some great analytic tools on their website, I like to tinker, and look at and play with the data myself. MantisX actually allows you to export the data for use in your own analysis, and download a comma separated value file of your data, which can be pulled up in Excel. I went a little bit further with my analysis and used Python to develop some more representative plots of the trends over time.

As you can see in the first attached image, I have two lines going across. The Blue line represents an average of the scores of this drill over a two-week period. This two-week window was a rolling window, mean Why two weeks? because that should be a sufficient length of time to see trends in the average. The rolling-two week average meant that if I missed training, it affected my overall average. The 'steps' in the line are a reflection of that. The first set of 'peaks' at the left edge of the plot, were from when I was doing dry-fire consistently. I used it for a college project in a statistical design of experiments class (which intrigued my professor to no end). After that, both work and school took over my life, and I stopped doing dry-fire consistently until January of 2021. Thus my score went to zero.

January of 2021 hit, and I really started putting in the numbers. You can see the large spike in the shot count (orange line) that reflected this trend. The shot count is the sum of the total shots done for that day, the benchmark score is the average of the scores for all the repetitions of that drill that were performed that day. When I put in the effort, it paid off. As the average number of repetitions peaked in June/July of 2021 at 200+ per day, I was seeing a huge improvement in my scores. Then once again, you see the downward trend when work and school picked up.

What this has done for me, is it has become my 'DOPE book' for my shot process. MantisX allows you to capture your shot data over a variety of platforms, weapon types, and types of fire. Having a way of capturing that information, and looking back on it has made me a better shooter, because it lets me identify common faults (such as: heeling, pushing forward, etc.) and if you review it after performing the dry-fire, you can associate what those bad habits look like when you are in your shot process. The fact that it can be used under multiple conditions makes it extremely valuable in my opinion. It gives you the information is hardest to capture independently; what you are actually doing pre-shot, shot, and post-shot. And it is brutally honest, something that was humbling for me, as my ego believed I was a better shot than I was.

Some things to be aware of when using it are as follows:

'Garbage-in, Garbage-Out': The information MantisX provides is only good if you are honest with yourself. If you know you pulled the shot, but your 'score' is good, then your data is not going to reflect your actual performance. That is why you have to have a legitimate target of some sort to be shooting at. The target is not relevant to the data collected by the sensor; however it is relevant to the 'software' you are creating for your shot process. And if you know that your shot calls do not reflect good performance for that drill, than you need to delete it, regardless of what the 'score' is.

'Ego is the enemy': The MantisX offers a way of filtering the shots it receives from you. I set it at a 65 when I first got the MantisX. As can be seen in the picture labelled 'initial benchmark' my trigger squeeze was all over the place, and my hold sucked. It would have been easy to set it on 90 at that point, and just put in shot after shot until I got ten good ones. The problem with that is, you don't know what you are doing wrong, and can't learn from your mistakes. You have to put your ego aside and accept that maybe you aren't as good as you thought you were. If you can do that, then this system will provide you with the information you need to improve. If you just put in 100 dry-fire shots for ten 'good ones' what have you learned in your shot process?

'Plateau-busting': MantisX is your film for your shot process. If you go back and analyze it, you can learn how to improve and break through training plateaus. That will involve you focusing on specific elements of your shot process. For me, it was what I was doing with my primary hand while squeezing the trigger. Focusing on that and looking at the information provided by the app when it identified deficiencies in your form, helped me to be able to overcome training plateaus. That training period I had in July was a lot of volume, but also a lot of looking back at the 'DOPE book' and seeing what each shot was like. When you start doing this, you can start to improve your threshold score. I brought it up when I was having 8 to 9 out of 10 shots at the level I expected for the new plateau (e.g. 80). Then I trained like mad at the new level. If I had a benchmark drill where I was ten shots in a row where no score was recorded, back down I went to learn what I was doing wrong. If you couple that with good shot calls, you will be able to overcome training plateaus in a relatively short period of time, provided you are honest and put in the reps consistently.

'No excuses': The most improvement I made was when I gave myself no excuses for not doing it. MantisX was good for me in that regard, because It showed me that I had not done the dry-fire that day. It also had a group feature which I found very helpful. I signed up for the Primary and Secondary group, and was able to compare my performance to others. 'Competition breeds excellence' is the old saying; And for me that did prove true. I improved the most when I was trying to keep up with someone in particular as far as repetitions or benchmark score (looking at you MicroImprovements). And being one of the few members to actually get the goal of 200 repetitions per week was motivating for me.

Will the MantisX work for everyone? I can't say. However, the versatility of the information provided by the MantisX systems makes it one of the best investments in equipment that I have made for improving my shot process. Coupling this with a DryFireMag for a pistol, or the new MantisX BlackBeard, and you can really start working more complex dry-fire drills, scenarios, stage planning, etc. The MantisX gives you the feedback needed to improve. You have to be willing to accept what you are getting from it though.


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