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December 10th, 2020

Three Dry-Fire Training Systems — Mantis, Strikeman, SCATT

Mantis X2 X3 X10 dry fire monitor system

With the current acute shortages of ammo and reloading components (particularly primers), many shooters are doing more dry-fire training. This method allows you to practice your hold, aiming, and trigger-pulling skills without using precious components and/or barrel life. Here are three systems employed for Dry Fire Training. The first device, the Mantis X Series, fits on a Picatinny rail and has a full-featured App that records your sessions and offers training tips. The Strikeman, used primarily by pistol shooters, features an in-chamber laser and a smartphone App that “reads” a proprietary target. The third device, the SCATT MX-02, is favored by top air rifle Olympic shooters and smallbore marksmen, but it can also be effectively used with centerfire rifles also. AND it can work for LIVE-fire as well as dry-fire training.

Mantis Systems — X2 for Dry-Fire, $99.99

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Built for dry-fire use only, the Mantis X2 ($99.99) provides real-time, shot-by-shot feedback for both pistol and rifle users. You can track multiple training sessions with data-driven insights, and monitor your progress. This unit has earned high user reviews such as: “As a new gun owner the Mantis X is a game changer for me. I have not been able to get to the range during the lockdowns and being able to practice at home [is great].” And another: “Easy to install[.] The App is free and easy to use. I can’t make it to the range very often so I love being able to improve at home. It holds its charge for a long time.”

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Guns America Digest has reviewed the Mantis X2. Tester Edgar Sherman says it offers good functionality for the $99.99 MSRP: “[The X2] is a clip-on attachment you can put on your handgun or rifle to test your accuracy [and see] how much movement you produce when breaking your shot. I use this system for myself to check my grip and trigger press [and] help new shooters eliminate variables. This tool will link up to your phone via Bluetooth and a free [Android App].” The Mantis X2 is a good value. The manufacturer states: “There is nothing at this price point that will give you this level of feedback for dry fire.”

There are actually four Mantis versions for firearms: X2 ($99.99), X3 ($169.99), X7 Shotgun ($199.99) and X10 Elite ($249.99). The X3 adds live fire functionality, allowing you to delve into and compare performance improvements between dry and live fire sessions. The capabilities of each system are found on the Mantis Model Comparison Page. NOTE: If your pistol/rifle lacks a standard accessory rail, Mantis offers a variety of Clamp-on Rail Adapeters.

Strikeman Training System


In this video Dustin Ellerman shows how to use the Strikeman Dry Firing System.

The Strikeman system is designed for dry-fire training primarily with handguns. This $99.99 system has four components: 1) a laser cartridge (similar to a bore-sighter) that fits in your chamber; 2) a special target; 3) a mount for your smartphone; and 4) a smartphone App that records your aiming. During practice, you set up your smartphone to point at the target, and the App record the laser movement, effectively tracking your muzzle movement. The manufacturer explains: “By using our signature target, laser cartridge and smartphone holder in unison with our phone App, you can safely practice your shot in the comfort of your home. The target includes a removable mount and suction cups. Our custom designed smartphone holder allows you to adjust your smartphone effortlessly.” Users seem to like this system, and Strikeman even offers a 15-day sastisfaction guarantee: “The Strikeman Training System is guaranteed to improve your shot accuracy, or your money back. Try it risk free for 15 days!”

strikeman laser cartridge dry fire training target

The Strikeman is currently offered for seven (7) different cartridge types: .380 ACP, 9x19mm, .357 SIG, .38 SPL, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .223 Rem/5.56. The manufacturer’s video below shows how to place the Strikeman laser cartridge in your pistol and set up your smartphone and the special target:

SCATT MX-02 for Dry-Fire and Live-Fire

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 ($1799.99) is an electronic shooter training system that can be used effectively for dry-fire training. However, it it is also capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony found this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 3000-word Review. There is a newer SCATT MX-W2 model ($1899.00) that offers all the same capabilities with a Wireless configuration.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT Dry-Fire Training MX-02 MX-w2 WSB WS-1

If you do not need Live-Fire capability, SCATT offers two lower-priced dry-fire-only systems, the SCATT USB Dry-Fire Training System ($1049.00), and the SCATT WS-1 Wireless Dry-Fire Training System ($1299.00).

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December 10th, 2020

Wind Reading Wizardry — Key Concepts from Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

Emil Praslick III is widely recognized as one of the greatest wind wizards on the planet — a master at identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles. As coach of the USAMU and top civilian teams, Emil has helped win many high-level championships. In the three videos we feature today, Emil, who works with Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) and Team Applied Ballistics, explains how to determine wind direction and velocity using a variety of indicators. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU.

Video ONE: Wind Theory Basics — Understanding “Wind Values”

In this video from UltimateReloader.com, Emil explains the basics of modern wind theory. To properly understand the effect of the wind you need to know both the velocity of the wind and its angle. The combination of those variables translates to the wind value. Emil also explains that the wind value may not be constant — it can cycle both in speed and velocity. Emil also explains some of the environmental conditions such as mirage that can reveal wind conditions.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN Wind calling reading

Video TWO: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

Video THREE: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

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