This Should Hurt Your Feelings…
by Mike Warn of Rangetech.us on December 2, 2020
“There are no experts, only those at different points on the path to expertise.”
J, a Rangetech Instructor
Your feelings don’t matter to me… they really don’t. As a firearms instructor I don’t, and won’t, care if your pride is hurt any more than the Mantis X10 system will. At the end of the day my job is to make sure you’re still alive. I apply the same attitude towards my own training too because I’m a bit of a masochist I suppose.
So You Think You’re John Wick?
98% of us imagine that we are someone like Jerry Miculek, John Wick, John Wayne, or Robert Vogel but the unfortunate truth is we are not. They are they and we are well, normal. And even though we go to the range and spend a fair dime slinging lead down range most of us are not actually progressing at all. The truth is most people pretty much suck at shooting. Their form and technique are off the map bad; maybe even leaning a little too Middle East-ish—you know, spray and pray. Your groups are measured in barn sizes not A, B, C or sub half MOA. BUT everyone around you is the same right. Your uncle or your grandpa taught you to do it like their civil war grandfather did. You can hit that 500-yard target on the thirteenth round so all good and call it a day. Maybe you tagged the bull’s-eye once or twice in a pistol range session, but you did it. –so, you must be progressing right? WRONG!!
Let’s start with a press check
The truth is many people rest too much on their laurels whether real or imagined. Most people do not have the biomechanical awareness of an Olympic athlete which is necessary to make the tiny incremental modifications to their technique. Neither do they have the diagnostic skills that are necessary to bring them from a Minute of Deer shooter at fifty yards to the quarter minute of angle shooter at a thousand yards shooter. And they certainly do not know what it takes to quickly and accurately deliver bullseye accuracy with a pistol, under stress.
ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT. --Enough soul crushing pride withering reality.
Obviously, few of us have the time, money, and resources to foolishly use our precious ammo in courses that require high volume shooting. You might even be one of the seventy-two million, brand spanking new, shiny out of the box, gun owners in America this year. You have ZERO idea what you just got into; but you watched John Wick 1, 2, and 3 back-to-back and you’ve got a scary black gun or maybe five scary black guns and a shiny one. Now what? How do you or I improve without firing a shot or going to the range several times a week? You’re maybe going to get eaten by the post COVID Zombies, or are you?
So, what do you do if you do want to be like John Wick or Robert Vogel? The obvious answer is work and time, and then more work and time. But it doesn’t matter if you “train” non stop everyday all day if you’re not correcting your deficiencies as you go, so how do you do better?
The Big How to (Improve) is Really Small
There is a really simple, easy, and cost effective, time saving way, to improve your handgun, precision rifle, AR, and shotgun shooting techniques. It won’t even necessitate importing black market Soviet Era ammo into the country either. Plus, the CIA rigged that stuff years ago…
The solution is the Mantis X10 shot analysis tool. This tool is a dry or live fire diagnostic system for your shooting, like an Olympic coach in a box. It is a small unit about the size of the end of your thumb that attaches to any picatinny style rail on any firearm from a pistol to an AR, to a precision rifle, to a shotgun. The tiny unit measures gyroscopic movement up to a few milliseconds before and after your shot. It records this information and a mini video to the app on your phone and to the Mantis website cloud so that you can refer to it later. And if that isn’t enough reason, you can antagonize your buddies about your great shot averages when they struggle. –Trust me, when I say this alone is worth buying the Mantis X10.
The unit allows you to very easily see and correct your technique; even offering a diagnosis and breakdown that will help you make the necessary adjustments. I tried this on my thirteen-year-old son who very quickly understood the system and quickly made changes to his technique. The app is well designed and user friendly. There was no heavy intellectual lifting involved so I’m reasonably confident most of us can understand it but in case you can’t (and there’s no shame in this) the company is very helpful and very quick to offer needed help.
What’s in the box
The Mantis arrives in a tiny box and I was really surprised at just how small it was. It came with its own tiny padded carrying case and a small charger wire. That’s it. No batteries to remove and replace. Just plug and play.
Deploying The Mantis X10
The Mantis X10 system needs to be charged, and the app installed to your phone which will only take a few minutes. Once the unit is charged then the Mantis X10 can be installed on your verified safe firearm and you are ready for your ten-minute training session. No cleaning involved, no precious ammo used, and no parts worn out. The only thing you might want to consider for any firearm you use with the Mantis X10 dry fire training is snap caps. I highly recommend that you use the type with the urethane primer pockets to reduce wear on your firearm because anything mechanical will wear faster without that shock absorbing feature of the Snap-Cap. Snap-Caps are also key to practicing reload and failure drills which should be just as important to you as being a proficient shooter. –guns fail, things go wrong, and always at the worst time.
Connecting the Mantis X10 to your phone is fast and easy. The user opens the Mantis app which will then search for the unit. The user then presses the button on the bottom of the X10 and waits till the app says that it has completed calibrating itself (this can be done on or off the weapon). Once the Mantis App and X10 are connected the user can go into the app and select which type of training they wish to start with. I decided to start with the most basic settings because who amongst us doesn’t benefit from doing foundational work every so often.
The Mantis App was a really easy to use and understand program. With plenty of features and adjustments, my co-instructor and I kept finding more and more features and getting more and more excited about the possibilities it opened up for us and for students. It includes everything from shot analysis, to draw analysis, to shot-timer, and the Mantis University training program; which will take you step by step through making the improvements necessary to become a proficient shooter. It might not turn you into a runner and gunner out of the gate but it will provide you the means to build a foundation that is necessary for all advanced firearms skills.
Note of Caution: Let me say it again and even a little more clearly. You are training with a real firearm and no amount of extra caution is ever enough. Make certain of your practice target and what is behind it so that in the event of a negligent discharge you are repairing a ding in wall and not attending a funeral from prison. A bedroom wall facing your kid’s rooms, or a neighbor house is not a safe direction
Sell me one already
The unit runs a cool $249.99USD on Mantis’s site and it is worth every penny and more. But maybe you’re saying that’s a lot of money for something so small? It’s really a cost saver when one starts adding up ammo costs (Especially in the season of Covid which might be around a few more years.) It gets even cheaper if you live in the city and the range is an hour away –better add in an oil change to those costs so there’s a cool hundred and twenty bucks for that one-ton truck you’re driving. Or what if all you have is the one box of defensive ammo that the gun store sold to you when you bought that new gun this year? Is it really possible to master trigger press, sight alignment, breathing, reloads, draws, and grip in a single twenty or fifty rounds? The answer is a hard no. A really hard no.
The benefits of using the Mantis X10 system are enormous, too many to list for this article really. The Mantis X10 analysis provided to the user will explain even the slightest motions that even the most seasoned shooter would be hard pressed to be aware of. From your target acquisition to your trigger press, to your breathing all are captured with this tool. The Mantis X10 plays it all back to you on your phone. It’s really that easy.
This is not to say that the unit is just good for beginners because it is useful and necessary for anyone from the beginner to the top-tier firearms user. Firearms skills deteriorate rapidly without practice. I personally use it to practice at home or when I’m away teaching, for both rifle and pistol. It gives me a visual training aid similar to what my fellow instructors and I do for each other. For our students it means they can observe through the playback what they are doing. More so than you might realize a visual tool like this is a blessing beyond description to an instructor or student because a picture is worth a thousand words. And that leaves a lot more time for the fun stuff…shooting!
Who We Are
I am a long range/ultra-long range, high angle/technical terrain shooting instructor for RangeTech.us/Cumorah Group LLC and teach in both the United States and Canada. Our company has over one hundred years combined experience working and training with; and offering training to military and police in Canada, the USA and UK, as well as private entities. This includes significant expertise in the field of community policing, crowd control, and public safety. Our instructors have had a significant impact on national training standards within the USA, Canada, and Great Britain.
Come out and enjoy a course with us in 2021 or book us to come to you.
Coming up… draw analysis with the Mantis X10 for accurate first round shots.
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