With ammo prices still quite high, and the end of shortages seemingly nowhere in sight, nothing seems quite as valuable as good dry fire practice nowadays. While there are many existing laser training options for dry fire training with your pistol, dry fire training with your rifle, specifically the AR-15, has been a bit of an issue...until now. Enter the Mantis Blackbeard.
The Mantis Blackbeard system replaces your bolt carrier and magazine, and uses a battery powered piston to auto-reset your trigger. An optional laser (visible red included in this review) fires down the barrel to give you a visual indicator of where your shots land. With a battery that’s good for 100,000 shots per charge and up to 10 shots per second, you can train to your heart’s desire as fast as you can pull the trigger!
The ease of installation is an absolute win for the Mantis Blackbeard. You quite simply swap your BCG with the Blackbeard mock BCG, and insert the Blackbeard “magazine,” into your mag well. No need to recharge the weapon, no need to modify the weapon, nada. Just swap the BCG, insert the Blackbeard mag, and you’re ready to rock!
Mantis was also nice enough to send us their Laser Academy kit along with the Blackbeard. The Laser Academy Training Kit includes an access code to the Mantis Laser Academy, a Pink Rhino Laser (ours included a 9mm one), a set of 5”x7” Smart Targets, a set of 8”x11” Smart Targets, a mini tripod and large tripod with smartphone holders, a carrying case, a laser extraction stick, and a set of target stands.
Training with the Blackbeard and the Laser Academy is a TON of fun. As you can see from a screenshot of one of our first test runs, the app (available on both Android and iOS) uses your smartphone and it's camera to track break times, shot location, total time for the session. We set up some of the different included targets in the office, and had a blast competing against one another with some of the different smart targets. The app is incredibly intuitive, and works amazingly well with your smartphone camera to pick up the QR codes on the smart targets.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend the MantisX Blackbeard with Laser Academy. The ammo cost savings alone make it worth your while at $219 (for the red laser version we were sent)! Buy yours today here!