Review: MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit

A simple way to make dry fire more fun and more effective.

posted on August 8, 2023
Mantisx Laser Academy

I've always believed in the importance of consistent practice to enhance my shooting accuracy and timing. It’s something I adhere to myself and emphasize with my students. You can’t always get to the range, and ammo is expensive, so how do you keep your skills sharp? One way is through dry fire with the addition of a training aid such as the MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit.

After putting it through its paces, this kit has exceeded my expectations, from ease of use and simple setup to pinpoint accuracy and invaluable feedback.

BoxThe MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit arrived neatly packaged, and I was immediately impressed by its sleek and compact design. Upon opening the box, I found the core components neatly arranged: A laser training cartridge (this one for 5.56 NATO, but you can also get 9mm), a stack of targets, a smartphone holder and tripod, and a carry case. The user manual, complete with step-by-step instructions, made the setup process a breeze, even for someone who isn't particularly tech-savvy.

Setting up the kit involved downloading the MantisX app, clamping my cell phone into the included tripod, setting a target up on a wall, positioning the cell phone so it can see the target, and finally placing the laser round into the chamber of my AR-15. The last thing was to connect the phone to the MantisX app via Bluetooth. Within minutes, I was ready to start training, and the simplicity of the setup was a breath of fresh air compared to the more complex training systems I've tried in the past.

Accuracy is paramount in firearm training, and this is where the MantisX Laser Academy kit truly shines. The kit utilizes a laser that accurately simulates bullet impact points on your target, making it possible to practice indoors or in a controlled outdoor environment without the need for live ammunition. As I aimed and fired, the laser's precision was astonishing. The feedback loop between my actions and the app's analysis of my shots provided immediate insights into my shooting mechanics and allowed me to adjust.

MantisX AppsWhat truly sets the MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit apart is its exceptional feedback system. After each shot, the app displays a detailed analysis of my performance – from muzzle movement during trigger pull to follow-through – along with a visual representation of shot groupings. This real-time feedback enables me to instantly address errors in my technique, which is a game-changer in improving my shooting accuracy.

Moreover, the MantisX app includes various training modes, each designed to target specific aspects of shooting skills. From timed drills that test my trigger time and target acquisition to slow-fire exercises that promote steady aiming, the variety in training modes keeps my practice sessions engaging and productive. The app also tracks my progress over time, allowing me to monitor improvements in accuracy and timing.

Speaking of timing, the MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit also offers a built-in shot timer that adds another layer of training depth. This feature challenges me to not only hit the target accurately but also do so within a specified time frame. The pressure to beat my personal best times has made my practice sessions more dynamic and has improved my overall performance. The only drawback to this platform is that it won’t capture try time between trigger pulls because you must pull the charging handle between every shot, slowing down the time between.

With a very reasonable MSRP of $99.99, the MantisX Laser Academy Portable Training Kit is a remarkable value for what it offers. In a world where ammunition costs are rising and range time may be limited, this kit provides an affordable and efficient way to maintain and refine shooting skills from the comfort of your own space.


Watchtower Specops 15
Watchtower Specops 15

First Look: Watchtower Spec Ops Type 15 Rifle

A solidly built AR-15 with a billet receiver and an option for a .223 Wylde chamber.

Review: Girsan MCP35 PI LW Match

The latest addition to the MC P35 PI line may be the best yet.

First Look: Maxim Defense PDX-SD in .300BLK and 7.62x39mm

A compact firearm with an integrated suppressor gets two new caliber options.

Lessons Unlearned

When forming opinions on firearms, it’s best not to jump the gun.

I Carry: Glock Gunsite Service Pistol in a Bianchi Holster

In this week's episode of "I Carry," we have the Glock G45 Gunsite Service pistol carried in a Bianchi Assent holster with a Holosun HE509T red-dot sight and a Buck Knives Infusion pocketknife.

First Look: Cold Steel 60 Series Knives

Three new blades designed with everyday carry in mind.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.