Ammo shortages in America, the record prices we’ve seen for a box of 223/556 and if you can afford to go to the range and blast 500 or more rounds in this environment, well, you’re better off than most of us in America.
Back in November 2021 we reached out to MANTIS and inquired about their new Blackbeard product and thought with the ammo situation this might just be what our readers were needed to stay at the tip of their spear.
So what is the MANTIS Blackbeard? Plain and simply it’s a dry fire training system for an AR platform and this company has products for pistol as well. Mantis claims it’s the “Best most realistic dry fire system on the market” and so we were excited to give it a try. In full disclosure, these folks not only sent us the “Blackbeard” to try out along with the X10 ELITE and LASER ACADEMY, which we will be rolling out reviews on in the next few weeks. Let me add that many companies like ours that do testing and reviews will rush out a product review after only having it a short time, however with the Mantis and their claim of 70,000 uses, this was not something we wanted to rush. This Blackbeard needed a lengthy testing process over several months to see if it still held up and worked after months of continuous use.
The MANTIS Blackbeard comes in an awesome solid case and fits perfectly for storage or transportation. They claim it installs in your AR in under 1 minute and so as you’ll see if the accompanying video, we timed ourselves and they were right. Additionally the BCG (bolt carrier group) fit perfectly, as did the magazine, however some have reported a tighter fit than we had, but with the variety of AR’s on the market, not surprised.
Once we changed out of BCG, inserted the magazine, we were immediately good to go. The magazine drives your existing trigger and can drive up to 10 shots per second. We did standard interior target shots and loved the laser options from Red, Green, Infrared. Blackbeard’s variety of laser options provides an extra layer of feedback during your training. Not only does it allow you to see where your shots land on your own, it can also pair with their Laser Academy training system Laser Academy for deeper interactivity and performance assessment.
Over the months we headed out to the range and tested the Blackbeard in sub freezing cold and snow, to the beautiful spring and summer weather. In all cases we never had a single issue or malfunction and the red laser was easy to see both indoors and out. We get a fair amount of rain here in the Carolinas and as we are not opposed to training in inclement weather, the indoor options are what make this system so great.
We placed targets throughout the house and in doing a multi-floor clearing, this took our training to the next level. Side Bar – You will notice on our rifle we use a RYKER Grip and especially for CQB, this is one of the best additions we have seen for an AR. MANTIS claims you have up to 75,000 shots per charge on the magazine and we intended to provide it and to our surprise, we never had a slow down or malfunction as we got close to that number.
Once the Blackbeard stopped clicking the shots off we knew it ran its course. As instructed we simply plugged the magazine into USB and did a recharge. Full charge took only a couple hours and then we were back running and gunning with not a single issue. As we really got into the Blackbeard we became more excited with the training opportunities this product offered. From up drills, to working with a new shooter, this training system is priceless. Fact, my wife stated this made her more comfortable with her AR!
Technical Laser Details: 650 nm, 60ms, Class 3R – Red laser 520 nm, 60ms, Class 3R – Green laser 780 nm, 60ms, Class 3R – IR laser Class II (<1 mW) available upon request.
Not compatible with Fostech Echo 2
Not compatible with Springfield SAINT Victor rifles
Not compatible with lowers that feature a Sear Block.
*Compatibility cannot be guaranteed on 80% lowers
Auto-resetting trigger system
Installs in under 1 minute
Dry fire without recharging the AR
You can use the Mantis Blackbeard with or without their Laser Academy
Same, Trigger weight, break and reset as your AR
Can see it from 25 yards
You can practice hostage shots, cover & concealment, great for one man CQC room clearing
Lasts for 75,000 trigger pulls
Save’s you lots of money on ammo
You can practice your up drills
Safety when training with full kit on
Improves your trigger work and more
Great for running your safety after every trigger pull
Small space training such as in an apartment
Cost @ just above $200, but compare to ammo its a one time fee and how do you put a price on quality training?
Felt at times I could have out run the trigger
The clicking sound got annoying
Truly impressed and even if ammo prices were at a record low (we can only hope one day) you simply can’t beat this training system. We love it for indoor training on those snowy days and CQC/room clearing training. And again for the new shooting a must have!
Connect the system to the MANTIS phone app and it’s a game changer to improve your shooting.
For more information check MANTIS out at www.mantisx.com