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Blackbeard from Mantis, Practice without Ammo First

Blackbeard, the auto-resetting trigger system for AR-15’s

Dry fire practice can be cumbersome on pistols and even more so on AR-15 platform rifles.  Often it doesn’t get done because of the resetting of the trigger.

MantisX, known for high-quality dry practice devices for pistols has come up with a solution for realistic dry practice training on your AR-15 with the introduction of the Blackbeard.

Set-up of the system is easy

Remove the source of ammunition from your AR and secure it.  Check the chamber both visually and physically that it is empty.

Break open your AR at the rear take-down pin and remove the bolt carrier group and charging handle.  Slide the Blackbeard device in and close your AR, putting your take-down pin back in place.  Insert the supplied battery source/magazine and you are in business.

You may need to zero the laser before pairing it with the Mantis Laser Academy system and that isn’t so tough either. Check this video out to see how easy it is.

While in your AR, slide the little switch that is visible through your open dust cover so that the laser goes on and stays on.  Use the supplied Allen Wrench to adjust the laser to the correct point of impact.  Don’t forget that at short distances it shouldn’t be an exact point of aim point of impact!  You don’t want to create a training scar where you don’t know the actual hold-over at distances closer than your mechanical zero (I use the 50-yard zero.)

This is not a drop-in trigger that you have to swap out!  It uses your trigger and doesn’t change the weight of pull or reset.  Using the same FM technology (Freaking Magic) that they use on the Mantis X10 Elite system, Mantis allows you to take up to 10 dry fire shots PER SECOND, quickly resetting the hammer of your AR between each shot.

The Blackbeard allows you to work through the fundamentals of running your AR with every aspect of live fire except recoil and ammunition management!  Just think of all the money you will be saving.

The Blackbeard has multiple applications for training that I’m still discovering.

  • dry practice without recharging
  • no gun modifications
  • same weight, break, and reset
  • installs in under a minute
  • up to 10 shots per second
  • up to 10,000 shots per charge

Pair it up with the Mantis X10 Elite and or the Mantis Laser Academy

The Blackbeard paired with the Mantis Laser Academy Training System helps focus your dry practice time.  The Mantis Laser Academy Training System provides guided drills and real-time feedback.

After downloading the app, I placed the provided targets on my wall with the sticky squares that were included, aimed my smartphone camera while mounted to the provided tripod and began training.  There is a full library of training events for you to use and it’s so much fun, you forget that you are training.

Quickly Save Thousands on Ammunition

In this day and age of ammunition shortages, social distancing, and crazy prices for products, Mantis delivers multiple products that help shape your skills and abilities with your firearms.

Use as an Instructor

When teaching a new skill set and challenging even seasoned shooters, it is a good idea to “go dry” to run through those skills.  When the student goes dry for the drill, it isn’t always obvious if the student understands or not.  There isn’t any feedback to demonstrate that sight alignment is correct and that the position or technique is working.  Add the use of the Blackbeard and both you and the student get instant feedback of whether the technique is working along with providing positive reinforcement all while being safe and learning the skill in a progressive way.

When using the Blackbeard in this capacity, I have the students unload and show clear.  They then open the rifles and remove the BCG and charging handle.  I issue the Blackbeard to them and place their BCG and charging handle in the Blackbeard case where it’s kept secure and safe from mixing up into someone else’s firearm.

With the Blackbeard installed, the student can’t screw anything up by means of loading the rifle inadvertently.

If only working with two students, I make sure one student has the green laser and one has the red so it is easy to discern which student is hitting where.

Once the new skill set is understood and practiced to a level of success, we secure the Blackbeard and move on to live-fire.

My most use of this technique was applied to working through bi-lateral shooting from standing, kneeling, and prone in preparation for more complex skills using first the Viking Tactics barricade and eventually a shooting around, from, and into vehicles course of fire.

About the Author /

Heath has been a law enforcement officer in the Great Pacific Northwest since 1993 and trains as a pistol and rifle instructor for both law enforcement and civilians. He also serves as an advanced armorer on pistols and rifles. If you're looking for training or would like to contact him, he can be reached at

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