Toward the end of last year, I wrote an article on the Mantis Blackbeard auto-resetting trigger system. I had taken some professional training with my Ruger AR-556, but had failed to follow up with any meaningful practice. In case you don't know, you can take the best training in the world, but if you don't practice what you learn in that training, you will quickly lose any skills and benefits you may have gained.
Afterward, I was so impressed with the Mantis rifle dry fire system, I thought to myself, 'Maybe Mantis can help me improve my pistol skills, too.'
Full disclosure: This article won't cover everything about the Mantis X10 Elite and Laser Academy systems. This would be a really long article if I attempted to do that. Instead, I'll use this one to talk about what's included with the Mantis X10 Elite, the function of the system (including the MantisX app), what I hope to gain from integrating them into my training regimen (such as it is), and share some initial thoughts and results.
Dry Fire Can be Fun (and useful)
(Preface: It has been far, far too long since we posted anything on Untactical! For that, I sincerely apologize. We've let life get the better of us, but hope to dedicate more time to shooting - and writing about shooting - through this and other platforms. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading about our experience with a great product that will help keep your rifle shooting skills sharp!)
One of the first things Mrs. Untactical and I discovered when we entered the world of firearms is how darn fun it is to shoot. Maybe we didn't have all the gizmos (and we still don't) but just hitting the range and "making donuts" as I've heard target shooting referred to, was really enjoyable.
Right after we learned how fun shooting is, we learned a couple of other truisms:
Today, I'm excited to tell you a little about a product that helps solve both of the problems above; a way to practice shooting to keep your skills sharper and to do so without breaking the bank. Give it up for the Mantis Blackbeard!
Guns - A Six-Month Review
America and Guns
I grew up on the west coast of Florida. I remember going to the beach as a kid and getting knocked down by waves. Initially, the waves would roll in and I'd be fine, bracing my little legs against the insistent mass of green water. But then, one wave would arrive that was bigger than the others and I would be knocked flat, sand and salt water invading every orifice. Today, I still love the beach, but more as a spectator. Fighting against the laws of nature seldom yields a different result.
Caveat: I'm not a behavioral scientist. The points I raise here will be purely opinion, based on my own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and conclusions.
For years it has been hotly denied by the entertainment industry that music, television, film, and video games have any measurable effect when it comes to the behavior of consumers. "It's make believe," they say. "Everyone knows the difference."
Although this article is not an indictment of the entertainment industry, let's look at a few high-level statistics:
In the top video games and films, our kids see heroes who are great fighters. With and without guns. It's not a bad thing for people to have heroes. We all have heroes. I grew up idolizing prominent sports figures. Then I, too, began to idolize film and television stars. And what thoughts go through a kid's head when they are idolizing someone?
"I want to meet them!"
Yes, but also, "I want to be just like them!"
These days, there are heroes everywhere. The sport and film stars are still there. The old-school, traditional heroes are still there (teachers, police, firefighters, etc.). And they've been joined by a whole new breed of anti-hero. Anti-heroes go against the grain. The 80s were awash in young anti-heroes. Just watch a re-run of The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
These days, society celebrates those who are different. And why not? Diversity is a good thing, right?
Except when it comes to someone who is so different from the rest of us that they desire to kill.
I won't use names here because many mass murderers' ethos includes narcissistic and attention-seeking tendencies. Not going to get it from me. Sorry.
But America loved the show, which apparently means they love the idea of a meth-cooking, gun-shooting, anti-hero... as long as he's doing it for the right reasons. Modern anti-heroes like Walter White and others on television, film, and video games can get away with murder... as long we (the writers) strongly communicate a character motivation that resonates with consumers and allows for the suspension of disbelief.
But where is the line between fantasy and reality? I don't mean fantasy like sword and sorcery. In this case, fantasy is anything in someone's mind that does not conform to social norms, laws, etc.
And this brings us to America's love affair with guns.
GASP! And therein lies the crux of the debate I mentioned.
The statement I've seen most often in the weeks that followed the Parkland shooting is a variation of, "No one needs an assault rifle except the military and maybe Law Enforcement."
This statement is usually followed with even more stringent rhetoric. "All semi-automatic rifles should be banned!"
As if the person truly believes that all semi-automatic rifles are to be considered assault rifles.
I don't want to rehash all the back and forth between the two sides in this argument. And make no mistake; there are only two sides. Sure, there may be a few people in the middle trying to parse things a little more finely in an effort to reach some sort of detente but, ultimately, it comes down to two: those who support the literal meaning of the Ssecond Amendment and those who don't.
Mrs. Untactical and I own a grand total of three firearms. And here they are, in order of acquisition:
1. .32 Smith & Wesson Revolver: We inherited this pistol from my mother. Her dad was a deputy-sheriff in Spartanburg County, SC back in the day. This pistol is nickel-plated with mother-of-pearl handles; basically a six-shooter if you grew up watching westerns.
2. Ruger 9E Semi-automatic Pistol: We purchased this gun last year as we began our journey into the firearm community. It was relatively inexpensive and shoots great. A very accurate pistol for both of us and we like it a lot.
For those who don't know, guns in general are FREAKING expensive! So, despite your various opinions on the law and the constitution, not everyone can afford to rush out and gun-up like it's the zombie apocalypse. Between the cost of the gun itself, ammo, training, licensing, and accessories, you are talking at least several hundred dollars, if not a couple of thousand.
3. Springfield XD Mod 2 Sub-compact Semi-automatic Pistol: Technically, we own this gun - we just don't have it, because it's currently on lay-away at one of our local retailers not named Dick's, Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc.
And, honestly, the only reason there is not an AR-15 style rifle on this list is because we can't afford the one we want (yet).
Writing is hard; at least hard to do well. I'm no expert, but I am pretty handy with grammar. That's why authors pay me good money to edit and proof their manuscripts.
What you have in the Second Amendment is, generally, a couple of independent clauses. Separating independent clauses is one of the jobs for which we use the comma. The other primary purpose for a comma is to insert a pause in a sentence. Let's break it down using those definitions:
A well-regulated militia <pause> being necessary to the security of a free state <separation between independent clauses> the right of the people to keep and bear arms <pause> shall not be infringed.
You see, the framers wanted this (and all the other text of the Constitution and various amendments) to be crystal clear. Back in the 1800s, folks tended to write much more formally than we do today. If we (normal folks like you or me) were writing the second amendment today, it would read something like this:
A well-regulated militia is necessary for state security. The citizens of the United States have a perpetual right to keep and use weapons.
Instead of commas, we would just use periods. Periods are easier for us to understand . Periods are kind of like the Harry Truman of punctuation. Here's what I want to say <stop>. Here's something else I want to say <stop>.
This subject has all sorts of little rabbit holes we could explore. But if you've read this far, I don't want to keep you. It's Saturday and you probably have better things to do, like spend time with your family or go to the range. Maybe you need to spend time with your family at the range!
Mrs. Untactical and I were able to begin our journey into the wide world of firearms specifically because the Bill of Rights guarantees us the freedom to do so. And while we mourn alongside everyone else the senseless loss of life at Parkland and elsewhere, we do not believe that banning guns - and let's face it, that's EXACTLY where this is leading - is the answer.
There are millions of law-abiding gun owners in this country and taking our guns away is not going to keep bad people from doing bad things. So let's work together as a country to solve the real problems and leave the strong foundations of America intact.
Stay safe, thanks for reading, and God bless.
First, a little about the company. Anson Belt and Buckle is a family-owned business founded in 2009 by father and son team, Frank and David Ferree. The company is located in Morehead City, NC.
Anson make what I refer to as a ratchet belt; that is, a belt without holes. Apparently, this isn’t a new concept. However, like the Ferree family before me, I have somehow managed to live my life unaware that there was such a thing as a ratchet belt. Having said that, I did attend military school and spend more than nine years in the U.S. Air Force, so I’m very familiar with web belts that are cut and sized to use with a small metal buckle with a clamp and clip.
The Anson belt and buckle system is very much like that, only updated and improved.
Let’s get to the review!
Maybe if I get enough equipment?
All the gear in the world won’t save you in a life-or-death situation if you have not trained and prepared well.
Still, this article will focus on the equipment side of things.
Equipment needs are dictated by their specific applications. Are you considering equipment for concealed carry? Home defense? Shooting at the range or in some type of competition?
You should also know a great deal about shooting in general. Which brings us to likely the most important thing(s) you need to learn and remember:
THE FOUR RULES:
For those entering the world of guns these are the four most important things you can learn. Learn them first and learn them well.
Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules…
Our First Pistol: Ruger 9E
Welcome to Untactical!
I'm Mr. Untactical and welcome to our blog. Mrs. Untactical and I will strive to post informative and interesting articles that will provide measurable benefits to the shooting community at large.