Mantis makes great dry fire training systems, so we were pleased when they sent us one of their latest developments: The Blackbeard AR-15 Trigger Auto-Reset System.
Choose between red laser, green laser, infrared laser, and no laser. Shoot at the target of your choice and the Blackbeard will reset the trigger for you quickly. It is compatible with the Mantis Laser Academy or the dry firing target system of your choice.
The Packaging for the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Auto-Reset System
The Blackbeard was shipped to us in a cardboard shipping box. Within the box was a thick black cardboard box folded pizza-box style with the Mantis logo on the top The folded box was inside a stiff black paper sleeve decorated with the Mantis logo and the name of the product.
In the box was a sturdy zippered case made of fabric stiffened with cardboard. The case was black with a red zipper running around the perimeter, reinforced at the back with black binding material. It was rectangular with rounded edges and features the mantis logo on a rubber patch on its top.
The case opened like a Bible cover to reveal a stretchy mesh pocket on one side and a foam insert on the other with cutouts for the two components of the Blackbeard: the BCG and the magazine. The mesh pocket held the charging cord and two post cards: one advertised the Mantis Laser Academy and the other contained the instructions.
The Components of the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Auto-Reset System
To install the Mantis Blackbeard in your AR-15, you remove your BCG and replace it with the Mantis BCG. Then you add the Mantis magazine into the magazine well. Both are made of hard red plastic with metal components to activate the magnetic system that works the device. The USB charger is included, along with a tiny Allen wrench and a Mantis sticker.
The red color helps you distinguish between actual gun parts and your dry fire parts. That way you know at a glance that you are using a dry fire system. It is crucial not to get confused and use your actual components for dry fire, or accidentally install the dry fire components when you actually need to fire your gun.
How the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Trigger Resetting System Works
The Blackbeard uses a magnet to reset the trigger in your AR-15 up to 10 times per second. If you dry fire your AR-15 without the Blackbeard you have to run the charging handle between shots, breaking your training into single shots. With the Blackbeard you can shoot continually if you want. Watch Chris use rapid fire in the YouTube video above.
Mantis says you can shoot 100,000 times on one charge. If you touch the BCG and the magazine together without putting them in the gun you will see the laser activate and the trigger resetting device will come out. It happened so fast that we slowed it down in our video to allow you to see what was happening.
Install the BCG into your AR-15 and slip the magazine in your magazine well. That takes about 10 seconds. Now point at the target and you are ready to shoot.
How to Install the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Trigger Resetting System
Push out the rear takedown pin located above the selector switch at the back of the lower receiver (just above the grip).
Let the upper receiver separate from the lower receiver. Pull out the bolt carrier group (BCG) and the charging handle. Replace the BCG with the Blackbeard BCG by sliding it into the upper receiver.
Reunite the upper and lower receivers and push the rear takedown pin back into place.
Insert the Blackbeard magazine into the magazine well. Move the selector switch to fire. Aim your gun and press the trigger to fire.
Our Experience With the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Trigger Resetting System
My husband Chris is a certifiable gun nut. He dropped the Blackbeard into the AR-15 that he built himself and had a great time shooting the laser at paper targets. The free version of the Laser Academy app recorded the shots as quickly as he could press the trigger, with no lag time or missed signals. The array of targets was adequate if not impressive.
Chris shot his Ruger AR-15 in the video above. He loved it.
I approach guns from a different angle. I value the United States Constitution and regard the Second Amendment as the main reason we are still a Constitutional Republic. As soon as the government takes our guns they will take away everything else that makes us Americans. Read my series on the Constitution to get an idea where my heart lies.
I have shot the AR-15 before and found it easy to pull the trigger, with very little recoil. The noise, however limited my enjoyment.
Removing the noise of the AR-15 helped me concentrate on the way I was holding it and the whole process became a lot more fun. Our 11-year-old found it “interesting.” You can see her shoot an AR-15 in this video.
Which Targets Are Compatible with the Mantis Blackbeard AR-15 Trigger Resetting System
The Blackbeard is a stand-alone system that does not require a specific target to work. If you get the red or green laser you can shoot at paper targets or any electronic system that senses laser. If you get the infrared laser, make sure to choose a system that detects infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye. You can also choose no laser if your aim is to work on trigger control or speed rather than, uh, aim.
Why Try Dry Fire?
With ammunition shortages continuing to drive high prices, it doesn’t make sense to spend all your money on ammunition right now. Invest in a good dry fire system and then shoot as much as you want without further expenditure.
Dry fire is quiet, uses no ammunition, does not destroy anything, and can be practiced anytime and anywhere. The only expense is the equipment. See my article for a list of excellent choices of dry fire options ranging from free to moderately expensive.
Dry fire is a great way to teach your kids about gun safety. Teach them the difference between live rounds and dry firing options and satisfy their curiosity in a safe and supervised environment without the noise and smoke of a gun range. See my article on teaching kids about gun safety.
Once you have removed your live ammo (best practice is to store live rounds in a different room while practicing dry fire), dry fire is a safe and effective way to practice your shooting skills. You can even practice in your own home. Just remember to follow the Four Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded until you have verified that it is not
- Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy
- Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot
- Know your target and what is beyond it
The main drawback of dry fire is the lack of recoil, and an AR-15 has so little recoil that it is unlikely to cause a flinch.
Why Choose Mantis?
Mantis is a US company headquartered in Illinois and all Mantis products are made in the USA. Mantis provides a two year warranty and will repair or replace products that fail with normal use in the first two years.
We have reviewed several excellent dry fire options. See my articles on the Mantis X, Dry Fire Online, and the SIRT Pistol . Mantis makes an app that can be used with live fire or dry fire, and it challenged my newbie shooting skills as well as my gun instructor husband’s more advanced skills.
The Blackbeard can be used on its own, but is compatible with the Mantis Laser Academy if you want feedback on your technique.
The Mantis X app required a steep learning curve for me, but once I realized that it only recorded shots that met criteria, I was able to improve my skills measurably in one session.
Because they want you to have the latest model, Mantis offers a trade-in program. Buy the latest version and then send back the old one for a refund.
Other Mantis Products
Mantis offers its Mantis X app at three different price levels. The X2 offers dry fire practice for pistols and rifles. The X3 offers live and dry fire and has extra coaching and analytic features. The X10 elite does everything the X3 does but also works with shotguns and bows.
The Laser Academy app comes in a free version and a paid version. We tried the free version for this review. You can also get targets, a tripod, and kits that combine several products.
The Blackbeard comes in red, green, infrared or no laser, at varying price points. We tested the green laser.
Mantis offers myriad rail adapters that you can use if your gun does not have a Picatinny rail.
Just in case you really like the product, Mantis offers t-shirts with their logo.
Thanks for reading my blog. Return often to learn about guns and read more reviews. Head over to our YouTube channel Double Eagle Gunworks to see more free videos on gun related topics.