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Dry Practice & Mantis Training System Special Interest Group

February 10, 2021

There are many good ways to train to shoot better. “Writ large,” so to speak, overall fitness is more helpful than you might imagine. “Writ small,” or at least smaller, are elements even more enduring and basic: sight picture/alignment and trigger press.

When it comes to the latter, a time-honored but often-overlooked element is “dry” practice. Simply, this is carefully executed trigger manipulation without an actual shot. The very best shooters do this a lot, guaranteed.

This is absolutely elemental in mastery of handguns because it is the primary cause of every shot that doesn’t strike where you hope or expect – or worse, where it needs to. Not to put to fine a point on it, but we manipulate from the hands back and the feet up (priority depends on your training) in order to align the sights correctly, and then trash it all by misaligning the sights just as we “break” the shot.

Like most practice or training modalities, neither this knowledge nor the excellent (potential) results are anything new. The method of balancing a dime or an empty case on the front sight and actuating the trigger without upsetting the balanced object is as time-honored as it is effective in producing improvement.

What it isn’t is “fun,” or enticing. This is mainly because of the mechanical delicacy required, and the resultant inefficiency: not many actual presses per unit time. Can you say “b-o-r-i-n-g?”

Technology has an answer that the Club has found to be hugely helpful – the Mantis Training System. This is a small device that can be attached with great ease to any pistol with a rail, but also to rail-less guns by other simple methods. All it does is measure gun movement during key exercises.

For trigger press training, it captures a time slice before, during and after trigger press to show the amount of shooter-imparted gun movement. It diagnoses trigger press variations with great precision and can even recommend technique adjustments.

Display of all data in real time – and even verbal prompting – is executed by your smart device via free connection software. Historical data is even preserved so you can track improvements.

As if that weren’t enough, it has a dozen or so other practice and training modes including reloads, draw analysis and multiple “benchmarking” tests. It also works just fine in live fire, measuring the same crucial elements of each and every shot.

With ammunition so hard to come by at present, there are few better ways to get or keep your edge. This special interest group is a great way to share tips, tricks – even brag a little! – and get questions about the Mantis System answered whether you own one yet or not!

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