Dry-fire training is an essential component of improving your skills as a shooter. Although not a replacement for live-fire, dry-fire is actually better than live-fire for the development and maintenance of many skills.
Dry-fire training allows you to safely work on all the fundamentals, train in more places and train more often. And with the current ammo shortage and high cost of ammo, dry-fire training has taken on even greater importance as a tool to maintain skills. As we all know, shooting is a perishable skill.
That said, dry-fire with an AR is less than pleasant. Having to rack the charging handle after every trigger press to reset the hammer isn’t any fun, restricts training and introduces training scars.
About the Mantis Blackbeard
The Blackbeard AR-15 trigger auto-reset system from Mantis Tech, LLC is a drop-in replacement for your bolt carrier group and magazine that automatically resets your trigger between shots. It’s capable of up to 10 shots per second.
Blackbeard is a great concept. There’s no alteration of your AR’s trigger weight, break and reset. There’s no need to run the charging handle after every shot. Training is more realistic, and training scars are eliminated.
The Blackbeard is available with an optional integral laser shot indicator. It fires a laser down the barrel every time the trigger is pressed to provide you with a visual indication of where the shot would have landed.
The Blackbeard is designed to automatically recock the hammer to reset the trigger every time a trigger break is detected. It accomplishes this using an electromechanical actuator assembly. It’s a simple and reliable system. The Blackbeard now supports both direct impingement (DI) and piston-operated AR platforms.
Installing and Using the Blackbeard AR-15 Auto-Reset System
To install the Blackbeard, you simply replace the bolt carrier group (BCG) and charging handle with the Blackbeard BCG, insert the Blackbeard magazine, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll. There’s absolutely no modification whatsoever of your AR, making for simple transitions from work to training and back.
The Blackbeard is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack that’s located in the Blackbeard magazine. Lithium-ion batteries have greater energy efficiency than other rechargeable batteries. They also have a longer lifespan and are faster to recharge.
Incorporating the battery pack into the magazine allowed Mantis to employ a larger battery pack, eliminating the need for any halt in training as the result of a discharged battery. According to Mantis, the battery pack is good for up to 100,000 “shots” per charge.
Charge level is indicated by red LED bars on top of the magazine. Five bars signify it’s fully charged. A blinking bar indicates it’s charging. There’s a small “lever” on the magazine that can be pressed to indicate the charging level.
One can charge the Blackbeard battery pack via a Micro-USB port on the side of the magazine. It comes with a Micro-USB to USB cable. And the cable plugs into any USB 2.0 outlet, so you can charge it virtually anywhere.
AR-15 Safety First
Mantis made the body of the Blackbeard BCG and Blackbeard magazine from a durable, bright red injection-molded polymer. The high-visibility red color makes it easy to tell at a distance that the AR has been converted for training.
It’s impossible to chamber or fire a live round with the Blackbeard installed. It transforms your AR into an inert training tool. Inert or not, the four firearm safety rules should always be followed. An essential component of training and skill development is to instill proper habits.
The Blackbeard BCG features an integral molded, simulated charging handle that’s not rackable. It doesn’t allow you to cycle the bolt to practice malfunction clearance drills or practice magazine changes from the open bolt. These are tradeoffs with the Blackbeard.
Choosing Your Blackbeard System
Laser-enabled Blackbeard models are available with a red, green or infrared (IR) laser. There are fundamental difference between the colors that you should consider.
The human eye is most sensitive to colors in the green spectrum, making a green laser more visible on a target than a red laser in right light conditions, everything else being equal. Both colors are easily discernible in reduced light conditions. An IR laser isn’t visible to the naked eye and requires a night optical/observation device (NOD) to see.
Mantis zeros the laser and tests each Blackbeard in an AR at the factory. The zero may need to be adjusted for different firearms and different sights/optics. It’s easy to do using the included Allen wrench. All adjustments can be accessed through the ejection port with the Blackbeard BCG installed.
Should you purchase any Mantis products and have an issue, they’ll take care of you. So giving the Blackbeard a try in your AR is really no risk.
MSRP for the Blackbeard with no laser is $199. The red laser-enabled model has an MSRP of $219. The green and IR laser models have an MSRP of $249.
The Blackbeard comes with a hard-shell zippered carrying case with a fitted closed-cell foam interior and internal mesh pocket. Mantis makes its Blackbeard in the USA and covers it with a two-year limited warranty.
*The Blackbeard is not compatible with Fostech Echo 2. It is not compatible with lowers that feature a Sear Block.
Mantis Tech: MantisX.com