Dry-Fire Training, Part 4 – Mantis BlackbeardX

The Mantis BlackbeardX allows you to dry-fire train realistically with your AR-15.

What is the Mantis BlackbeardX?

It combines the auto-resetting trigger of the original Blackbeard with the shooting analysis of the MantisX. With this system, you’ll receive real-time feedback during your dry-fire training on how you can improve your performance with your AR-15.

If you order a BlackbeardX with a laser, you can use it in conjunction with the Mantis Laser Academy training system. By pairing the BlackbeardX with the Laser Academy training system, you’ll have a comprehensive portable indoor dry-fire range that can be set up almost anywhere.

A review of the Mantis Laser Academy training system coming soon.

How does it work?

The Mantis BlackbeardX replaces the Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) and magazine of your AR-15. This allows for a safe dry-fire practice. After replacing the BCG of your firearm, you never have to worry about accidentally loading a live round of ammunition in your firearm and having a negligent discharge.

The magazine of the BlackbardX is the powerbank/battery of the whole system. The battery provides roughly 75,000 trigger pulls per charge.

How much does it cost?

With Red laser = $319.00

With Green laser = $349.00

With Infrared laser = $349.00

With no laser = $299.00


Quick Installation

Installation is simple. On your AR-15, pop the rear takedown pin and remove your bolt carrier group. Insert the BlackbeardX where the bolt carrier group was and pop the rear takedown pin back in place. Insert the charged magazine powerbank, and you are ready to start your training.

Shooting Analysis

The BlackbeardX is able to be linked to the MantisX application. This application provides real-time feedback on each trigger pull and has a variety of drills and classes you can run during your dry-fire session.

Same Weight, Same Trigger Pull

Both of the components of the BlackbeardX, the replacement BCG and magazine, are the same weight as their live-fire counterparts. You’ll also experience the same trigger pull, break, and reset as you would during live-fire training. 

Sight Over Bore Training

“Sight over bore” or “height over bore” is the phrase used to define the difference between the two parallel axes on a rifle. One axis is the barrel of a rifle and the other is the shooter’s line of sight through their optic/sights.

Most rifles are typically sighted in at a distance of 50-100 yards. When using your rifle at a shorter distance than what your rifle was sighted in at, you must factor in the sight over bore. If you don’t, you’ll be aiming at the center of the target but hitting below it. The same idea is true when going beyond the yardage you sighted your rifle at – you’ll want to aim higher than the target to hit it.

Typically the BlackbeardX will be used in an indoor space, with a target distance of only a few yards so understanding your sight over bore is especially important.


Requires Connection to Smart Device

Although it’s not required, to take full advantage of all the features the BlackbeardX offers, it does need to be connected to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. If you do not have a smartphone or tablet, you won’t be able to get the shooting analysis from the MantisX application.

MantisX Doesn’t Catch Every Shot

While using the BlackbeardX with the MantisX, the application sometimes doesn’t record every trigger pull. This could throw your training off depending on the type of training you’re doing. For example, you could be practicing two shots on a target in a spread of three different targets. If the app doesn’t register one of the shots, it is hard to identify where the error occurred.

Note: this error usually occurs when you are pulling the trigger at a quick pace.

Final Thoughts

The BlackbeardX is by far one of my favorite dry-fire training tools. It is easy to use and mimics the mechanics of live-fire training. In addition to the training, having analytical guidance helps to make improvements that could be missed during live-fire training. Investing in the Mantis BlackbeardX is worth it if you’re looking to improve your skills with an AR-15.




Meaghan Roble is an anti-gunner turned gun activist. She is a USCCA-certified instructor and an NRA-certified range safety officer. Meaghan is an A Girl & A Gun Chapter Facilitator and the Wisconsin State Director for DC Project. She owns her own Firearms Training & Education business, Roble Defense, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others.






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4 thoughts on “Dry-Fire Training, Part 4 – Mantis BlackbeardX”

  1. I appreciate the analysis and recommendations. I have Mantis for my 9mm and tend to forget over bore…the explanation is super helpful!! Great info!!

  2. Pingback: Dry-Fire Training, Part 5 - Shooter Make Ready Laser Targets | CrossBreed Blog

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