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GENERAL => General Firearms Discussion => Topic started by: Joe L on March 13, 2017, 09:24:15 AM

Title: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on March 13, 2017, 09:24:15 AM
A fellow mentioned a MantisX pistol training device on the Sigforum so I looked them up and checked some Youtube videos and ordered one.  (Update--videos posted below now)

It is a small light rail mounted device that has two accelerometers in it to detect motion and a short term data logger.  It is paired to a phone via bluetooth.  When turned on, it starts storing motion data that is continuously replaced until a hammer drops, indicating the gun is fired.  Then it takes that motion data up to the time the gun goes off and sends it to the phone, displaying the last little bit of motion during the trigger pull. 

What I hope the device can show is "movement of the gun as the trigger is pulled", the #1 impediment to precision pistol shooting.  If it can record and feed back that information, one can train to minimize said movement and improve accuracy.   One should be able to see the effects of grip strength, trigger finger placement, Sugru here, Sugru there, JB-Weld on the trigger to increase trigger reach, breathing, that sort of thing.  Also 3# versus 5# trigger pulls. 

This is another one of those devices that is made possible by technology developed for other uses, in this case possiby image stabilization for digital cameras, applied to this very specific application.  I have no idea how well it works, other than seeing some positive Youtube videos, but I am hopeful that use of the device will help me quantify some of the things I have seen in my own shooting, more precisely than a dry fire laser or a close up video of the gun during live fire. 

The device is sensitive enough to use during dry fire (might need a 17# hammer spring?  just kidding).  It needs a rail or some way to mount it to the pistol, which will be a problem with some guns. 

As an engineer, I am fascinated with what people can come up with.  Maybe I can demonstrate some of the grip changes and finger placement changes I've come up with over the years with trial and error, shooting less ammo than I have to expend when the only quantification is a repair center target. 

I think the absolutely horrible range session results I had on Sunday trying to shoot the Kadet and P-09 may have something to do with my interest in this device.  Plus the soon to arrive (maybe) P-10C.  More later when I get the device and simmer down a little. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: aguila9 on March 13, 2017, 01:54:51 PM
While I am fascinated by the development of tech training aids in the shooting world most of this stuff is not necessary.  Little coaching from a competent instructor and dry fire drills (done properly) can correct most sight alignment/trigger issues by a shooter.

That being said I better check this device out.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk

Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: SlvrDragon50 on March 13, 2017, 02:51:55 PM
Interesting, but $150 is asking way too much for an accelerometer.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: silentbob on March 14, 2017, 05:56:20 PM
http://shootoffapp.com/ (http://shootoffapp.com/)

Software is free, you need a webcam and a laser cartridge.
Inexpenisve laser ammo shipping from the US:
https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber (https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber)

Or if you don't mind waiting, ships from China, you can find it for half that.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Earl Keese on March 14, 2017, 09:01:38 PM
http://shootoffapp.com/ (http://shootoffapp.com/)

Software is free, you need a webcam and a laser cartridge.
Inexpenisve laser ammo shipping from the US:
https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber (https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber)

Or if you don't mind waiting, ships from China, you can find it for half that.
My wife bought me an itargetpro. The app is very clunky on android.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: silentbob on March 14, 2017, 10:08:27 PM
http://shootoffapp.com/ (http://shootoffapp.com/)

Software is free, you need a webcam and a laser cartridge.
Inexpenisve laser ammo shipping from the US:
https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber (https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage/products/pick-a-caliber)

Or if you don't mind waiting, ships from China, you can find it for half that.
My wife bought me an itargetpro. The app is very clunky on android.
Good to know about the app, but the link I posted was for the laser cartridge. They sell it for less than the others, I.e surestrike.
http://www.laser-ammo.com (http://www.laser-ammo.com)
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Scarlett Pistol on March 14, 2017, 10:26:47 PM
Excited to hear how it works and what you think of it!
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Joe L on March 15, 2017, 06:05:58 AM
Excited to hear how it works and what you think of it!

Thanks, the device will be here Thursday, so I'll get to try it over the weekend.  It may be May before the P-10C gets here, so I will probably practice with the P-09 and Kadet, maybe the 97.  I also have a new shooter lined up to try it with the P-07. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: The Conservative on March 15, 2017, 06:28:48 PM
Just watched a vid on this, looks really promising.  Should be a great tool for improving and finding problems when things start going south.  No more blaming gun, ammo, ect for really bad shots that felt like they broke on target.  Really interested in this, thanks for posting.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Joe L on March 16, 2017, 06:37:22 PM
Well, I'm glad there is some interest in the device.  I received it today and it worked perfectly out of the box.  It's small enough that I can put in on the top rail of the Kadet and still see the red dot.  The only gun I can't mount it on is the CZ-97B"E".  I've tried it so far in dry fire on the Kadet, an all stainless Sig P-226, and my favorite of all times, my first P-09.  I see the same variations I've been seeing lately at the shooting range, with the device reporting low 90s for what I would have called a wide shot, and 98 or better for a "perfect" shot.  I am going to make a dry fire video over the weekend, might also make a live fire one.  Will be fun to sync the target camera, shooter camera, and the MantisX feedback on the iPhone all at the same time! 

The device doesn't know where the gun is pointed when it went off, it just knows how it was moving 0.3 seconds before the hammer dropped.  I already suspect the wide shots will have a high correlation with the low MantisX scores.  The assumption is that the shooter was able to aim the gun exactly as iintended.  This isn't always the case in single hand, standiing, windy, bullseye practice!!   

This is fun.

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Earl Keese on March 16, 2017, 06:52:33 PM
Very interesting for bullseye practice. Excited to hear more.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Joe L on March 17, 2017, 06:48:51 PM
Here is a video I made this afternoon on my porch, dry fire.  Full disclosure--I'm having some back problems right now, so these results are less than spectacular.  After this little bit of experience with the device and seeing how sensitive it is, I'm thinking if I can average 97 for 10 shots, I will shooting a lot of 10 ring hits in a bullseye match. 

This video won't finish uploading until probably 8 pm CDT.  Here's the link...

https://youtu.be/fD8Zmi0gqNk (https://youtu.be/fD8Zmi0gqNk)

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Joe L on March 17, 2017, 08:48:18 PM
The bullseye practice video went well, so this time I decided to try the P-09 from a rest.  This went even better, confirming that my technique for bench shooting with a pistol is pretty good.  I had the  pistol too close to the iPhone and bumped the phone 3 times, setting off the MantisX just like a hammer drop.  You will have to ignore those in this video.  The device is very sensitive, as I didn't feel the hits myself. 

I think I could train myself to score 99.0+ with some time and effort.  That's what it takes to shoot good groups at 100-200 yards with a pistol. 

This video will finish uploading some time before 10 pm CDT.  I hope.

https://youtu.be/rgTzQh-E6Ko (https://youtu.be/rgTzQh-E6Ko)

This is fun.  This is not easy, even in dry fire.

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Scarlett Pistol on March 17, 2017, 11:00:51 PM
This is so interesting to watch and see how it works. I'm curious how much improvement it would provide to new and medium grade shooters. Can't wait for the next video to post. And then to hear how it translates to you live fire.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am going to try
Post by: Joe L on March 18, 2017, 05:23:37 AM
SP--I've thought about the initial results some.  The one revelation I've had overnight is this...

The MantisX device measures ALL movement, in other words, shooter wobble PLUS trigger pull.  My average score from a rest was probably 98, standing two hand 96, and bullseye 91, on Friday, first time out, with some bad back spasms.  From a rest, I had the gun very steady before initiating the trigger pull.  It shows in the scores.  But the way the device is calibrated, it could differentiate between a perfect pull from a rest--I only had one--and an average pull from a rest, a 98.n.  I couldn't tell the difference looking through the red dot at the aim point.  One thing I know how to do is shoot from a rest.  My scores seem to confirm what I was already thinking, but there is still room for improvement!!  The device can differentiate between a day when I could shoot a 3" group from one where I can shoot a 6" group, at 100 yards with the P-09.  When I bought the MantisX, I had much lower expectations on the sensitivity side.  I think it is good enough to help me refine even a pretty good bench rest technique.

In bullseye practice, I know already when I have a day where I can't minimize the wobble before releasing the shot.  I will shoot low 90s timed fire 25 yards, pack up and go home.  On a good day, I will shoot 97 and have a 99 or 100 for at least one target out of 6.  I think I can at least quantify what kind of day to expect from dry fire before even heading to the range if I wanted, with the device.  Might save a trip and some ammo. 

I had about the worst bullseye practice ever last weekend (before getting the device) simply because I couldn't relax due to the back problems.  I'm still having some problems.  I am NOT having problems pulling the trigger smoothly.  It is the wobble, standing, single hand. 

Live fire results on Sunday will be interesting, that's for sure.  And I'm going to shoot the P-09 from a rest at 100 yards this coming week, also. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Scarlett Pistol on March 18, 2017, 03:10:40 PM
This stays very interesting! I know you have only been shooting bullseye for a while, but on your practice could you sneak in some transitions between two targets to see how it registers everything?
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on March 18, 2017, 05:59:23 PM
SP--I'll see what I can do for the transition drills.  I still love doing them, and will be in an outdoor pistol bay, so I'll see about it. 

If I do this documentary video correctly, I'll need a target camera, a shooter camera, and an iPhone screen camera, plus a lav mic on my hat bill and an audio recorder.  Including the red dot and video monitors, that is at least 8 electronic devices to set up and check for each shot series.  And I have to not think about them while trying to pull the trigger without moving the gun, LOL.

I just hope it isn't windy. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on March 19, 2017, 06:07:21 PM
Ok, here is the live fire test video, using the P-09. 

https://youtu.be/ZYCpPtZ-Cw8 (https://youtu.be/ZYCpPtZ-Cw8)

This went very well, both from a new device standpoint and a video shoot standpoint.  I can't believe I got this many battery operated devices working at the same time long enough to finish shooting the video. 

At the end is a correlation of the target scores versus the MantisX app scores.  The correlation between poor shots and low scores was good, as expected.  But the correlation between really good hits like 10 ring or x ring, was also good.  This was a short test under less than ideal conditions, but I am very happy with the correlation, even for the very limited number of data points I collected. 

I learned a few things in live fire regarding use of the device.  One, you must tell the app that you are going to be shooting live fire instead of dry fire.  Second, the battery in the MantisX should be fully charged before you head to the range.  No dry fire the night before without charging.  Next, and this is a biggie, you should stop the datalogger before dropping the magazine, putting in a fresh one, and closing the slide.  Closing the slide is interpreted as a hammer drop by the device, and the datalogger will record the gun motion due to slide movement instead of trigger movement.  You have to load and chamber a round, THEN start the datalogger, if you want 10 datalogs for 10 shots.  Ideally, one would have an assistant or an instructor holding the iPhone and watching the results, safely behind the line and to the left of the shooter.  15 feet is no problem, at least I don't think it is, based on very limited testing at the house during dry fire. 

Keep in mind also that the device doesn't know where you are aiming, so correlation of the bullseye target scores and MantisX scores is affected by wind and shooter's ability to line up the sight with the center of the target.  I had a few times when I knew the hit was going to be a little high this morning, even with a perfect trigger pull.  If you aim high right but have a perfect trigger pull, you could have an 8 ring hit with a 97 MantisX score. 

I'm thinking dry fire practice is where the MantisX will be most useful for an experienced shooter.  Improving steadiness and developing a consistent (95+) trigger pull will most definitely result in higher live fire practice scores.  The device should be helpful in speeding up training of new shooters, as they can get some feedback on trigger pull during dry fire well before trying live fire.  I can't wait to try the device with a new shooter, both in the classroom and at the range.  I guarantee you that jerking the trigger or pushing right or left will show up on the device scores!!

The iPhone app doesn't appear to be buggy at all.  The device itself has worked perfectly.  The user must understand that the device will interpret a bump or a slide closure as a hammer drop and the user must charge the unit up before heading to the range or starting an extended dry fire training session. 

I am probably just going to tape it to the dust cover of my 97 for dry fire practice.  That is this week's chore.  There won't be any more three camera videos of the little device.  That would be pushing my luck.  Still can't believe I got it this morning in one take. 

Let me know if you have any questions.  Just in case anyone asks, I bought this device with my own money, it was not sent to me for testing or anything like that.  I love this stuff.  That is my ownly motivation. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Earl Keese on March 19, 2017, 07:21:47 PM
Thanks Joe, great test/review.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Scarlett Pistol on March 19, 2017, 08:28:45 PM
Wow if someone didn't know better they'd think you were a millennial with those mad device skills!

Thanks for taking the time to document your experience with the device! Takes lots of work. I don't think I'm going to buy one right now but I'll definitely keep it in mind.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on March 19, 2017, 09:23:25 PM
SP--I didn't try any transitions today, but might get to later this week.  All I could do to shoot bullseye this morning.  Sorry 'bout that.
Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Scarlett Pistol on March 19, 2017, 09:31:53 PM
SP--I didn't try any transitions today, but might get to later this week.  All I could do to shoot bullseye this morning.  Sorry 'bout that.
Joe

No worries. I'll be stoked if you get to it, but there's no rush need on my end.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on March 24, 2017, 02:05:58 PM
MantisX just updated their iPhone app, adding a bullseye option.  This has longer traces and a smaller viewing circle by default.  Here is a short video.  Not sure I am going to find this more useful than the original setting or not.  Some of the bullseye people asked for it. 

https://youtu.be/MliXKdfX1YQ (https://youtu.be/MliXKdfX1YQ)

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: K3JB on March 25, 2017, 05:06:13 PM
Interesting Joe. I have shot a friends PO-9 and would consider purchasing one, but I do like striker fired pistols and waiting for the P-10c. If it feels like the PO-9 CZ will have a winner. I have been watching the youtube videos on this shooting device,
it is very cool. I look forward to your continued reports.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on April 01, 2017, 08:56:49 PM
I spent a little more time this week with the MantisX and the new Bullseye option. 

Here is a new video, but the results are similar to the earlier ones.  Basically what I have asked Mantis to do in the iPhone app is to let the user select the trace duration and the target zoom.  What I want is the zoom from the bullseye option with the duration of the standard trace.  With the standard trace, the view is too far out and the trace pattern is too small.  With the bullseye option selected, the target zoom is just right, but the display covers too long of a time span.  I can't tell anything about what is going on because too much motion is reported.  Mantis is working on it. 

https://youtu.be/6VqSwDzTJe4 (https://youtu.be/6VqSwDzTJe4)

I will have a new shooter try the MantisX on Monday.  My niece.  Completely green, uh, inexperienced.  But a good student.  Rain expected here on Sunday morning, so no range trip planned.  I need some Kadet time. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: LMS on April 08, 2017, 09:02:03 PM
I just bought one this week.  Pretty cool little device (but I am a gadget head).   It had some trouble picking up my dry firing, but I did some live firing today and what it showed me made sense, including how to fix the stuff I was doing wrong.   Still learning and I may post more info as I get more range and dry fire time with it.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: milq on April 09, 2017, 01:46:56 AM
I've had one for a few months. It has been beneficial for dry fire practice (keeps me honest) and I occasionally get a student in CCW classes that just don't listen or believe what we are telling them. This gives them visual results.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on April 09, 2017, 06:25:28 AM
I've had one for a few months. It has been beneficial for dry fire practice (keeps me honest) and I occasionally get a student in CCW classes that just don't listen or believe what we are telling them. This gives them visual results.

I think this is an excellent device for a new shooter especially, just for this reason.  Plus a lot of new shooters are young and like the iPhone feedback better than the old guy (in my case)  feedback!! 

I've been unable to go to the range for the last couple of weeks due to family commitments and back problems, but should be ready to hit it again in another week. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: M1A4ME on July 12, 2017, 03:45:11 PM
Is it still working as well as at first?

Still a recommended buy?

Been thinking about getting one but not sure if there's been any issues crop up in the last few months.

Thanks.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on July 12, 2017, 04:21:09 PM
M1A4ME--Yes, it is still very helpful.  I used it a few weeks ago during an introductory class for two new shooters.  One averaged high 80s, one averaged mid 90s, which was excellent.  She did better on average than I did, and she had no trouble at all out to 50 yards with the .22 last Friday, shooting two handed, standing. 

There seems to be good correlation with high target scores and high MantisX scores.  I don't think it will differentiate very well between two experienced shooters, however.  It seemed to be very useful in dry fire for folks that needed feedback on their trigger finger pull where they had a flinch or otherwise were just jerking the gun around while pulling the trigger.  That is where the device will have the most benefit. 

I need to use it some more myself.  Keep in mind that it cannot detect or score bad aiming, only movement of the gun as the trigger is being pulled.  For example, my new shooter that had good results in dry fire, still had to steady the gun properly to get good scores on live fire targets.  But she sure didn't move the gun while pulling the trigger, and that is the most common problem I see. 

Based on the MantisX dry fire scores, I knew I had an exceptional shooter and a more typical shooter (like I was when I started) to work with at the range.  That is what showed in the life fire target results as well.  I'm taking them back on Thursday, so I'll see in live fire how they do with the MantisX if we have time to set everything up and try it. 

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: M1A4ME on July 12, 2017, 05:20:37 PM
Thanks, Joe.

Now I'll order one.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: M1A4ME on July 15, 2017, 03:16:33 PM
Came in today.  Downloaded app, mounted it on the P07 (after I unloaded it), let the phone find the Mantis (or is the other way around) and filled out the specs on the pistol, hand used, etc. and "fired" three groups.

Iron sights on a leaf on a bush in the front yard - 94
RMR dot on a knob on the entertainment center across the room - 92.9
Iron sights on that leaf on the bush in the yard - 96.1

It says I (sometimes??) break my wrist "up".  Or relax it too soon?

Now, before I do anymore dry firing I've got to find that bag of snap caps I bought a few months back.

And get the light off the P09 and the P01 and try them, too.

What's the advantage to using it while live firing?  Maybe to prove to someone they are flinching/jerking (which they might not do when they know they are dry firing?)

Joe, you said you went back to an "ugly" trigger on your CZ 97.  It doesn't have a rail does it?  No way to mount/use the Mantis to see the effects of nice trigger vs. ugly trigger??  Curious about that .
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on July 15, 2017, 06:26:07 PM
Nope, no way to use in on the 97.  I can put it on the scope rail on top if the gun on the Kadet slide in the 75B.  I've been using it on the P-10C and P-07 mostly. 

It works fine in live fire and should be useful when training new shooters on their second range trip, too much stuff for a first range trip.  If you are scoring in the mid 90s, I wouldn't pay any attention at all to the analysis hints, just work on your trigger pull. 

I did score a 100 one time, from a rest, and I don't think it took much other than stopping my heart beat for 3 seconds.  I can't score 97 or better standing single hand, so it should help me some more.  I think I will get it out tonight. 

Also, keep the battery charged.  Mine will work for an hour or so between charges and that's it.  No one else has complained about it, so maybe it's just mine. 

I've been working a bunch over the last month or so, so I put the MantisX aside.  Time to get it and the P-10C out.

Joe
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: M1A4ME on July 15, 2017, 07:22:08 PM
Over 30 years ago it was revolvers in many/most LE departments.

I can remember getting into "discussions" with guys who were jerking the trigger/flinching but refused to believe/admit they were.

I'd volunteer to load their revolver for them and then leave a chamber empty in the cylinder.  It did catch their attention and stop the "discussion" about whether they were or weren't.

I'm hoping this will help some of the young ones that go to the range with me at times.

I think it will help me, too, and will give me some good info/input when dry firing - or more incentive to do it since now I've got a "coach".

edited to add:

I'll be curious about any difference between a striker fired gun and a hammer fired gun (might not be, but they sure do feel different to me).

I'm trying to remember if I have anything (hammer fired) with an ugly trigger, and a rail.  I think my ugly triggers are all striker fired guns.
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: M1A4ME on July 16, 2017, 05:34:16 PM
Just went through eleven sets of 5 trigger pulls.

I noticed an issue and wondered if you'd run across it.

One two of the eleven I got a disappointing low average.  I dug further and found I was credited with a sixth shot.  A really lousy sixth shot.  One was as low as 7.4!!  Which shot that group's average to small pieces.

The first time I saw that I had the I phone lying on my laptop in the floor.  I wondered it if was some type of interference from the laptop so I moved the phone up on the coffee table.  Well, it did it again with the sixth shot having a score of something like 42.7 (again knocking the snot out of the group's average.)

For the very last 5 shot group (still dry firing in the living room) I shot it double action with the P01 (the P01 has a pretty bad trigger compared to my P07 or P09) and still got a 5 shot average of 95.1.  I was wondering if shooting it double action might cause a similar issue since there is more finger and mechanical movement of parts, but that doesn't seem to bother the little bugger.

If it continues I guess I'll contact Mantis and see what they say.  I was just curious if it was a common problem (sometimes).

Edited to add:  After the second (fake) 6 shot group something shut down on me.  I don't know if the Mantis shut down or if it just lost communications with the phone (was only about 18" from the phone).  I hit the icon on the screen and it came right back up and went to the screen I'd been on.  I shot a couple more groups after that just to see if maybe that was a sign the batter was getting low (I charged it up prior to starting, but it's new and I'm still testing it and learning how it works.)
Title: Re: New pistol shooter training aid I am now using: MantisX
Post by: Joe L on July 16, 2017, 06:03:06 PM
I've had some false "shots", even today, when inserting a magazine or closing the slide.  Ideally, you would not hit the start button until the gun is cocked and ready to go.  You can delete a false trace, but not sure when you have to do it.  With me trying to run 3 cameras, a recorder, the iPhone, and shoot well, the least of my worries today was the MantisX.  Here is the video I shot today, you will see that I only fired 10 rounds, but got 12 or 13 recordings.  I'll sort it out this week. 

https://youtu.be/T8VRYxVasGQ (https://youtu.be/T8VRYxVasGQ)

Joe