AllOutdoor Review: Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System


AllOutdoor Review: Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System

I have been interested in trying the Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System for some time. I love competing in 3D archery tournaments, and I am always looking for a way to improve my scores. The Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System is a training aid that mounts to your bow and is paired to your smart phone. An accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer are combined into one small unit that attaches to your bow via a small, supplied picatinny rail. The Mantis X8 unit records your movement before the shot, at the exact point of the shot breaking, follow-through after the shot, and collects data on canting of your bow and time you take to make the shot.

How the Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System Works

The Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System ships in a nice padded zip up case complete with the Mantis X8 smart sensor, a USB charging cord, a polymer picatinny rail, and high quality double sided 3M tape. I shoot crossbow and chose to mount the unit to the rear of my optic on my Killer Instinct X-1 crossbow that I primarily compete with. The smart sensor without the small pic rail weighs in at 0.4 ounces according to my scale. Start up is fairly straight forward. One simply goes to the App store or Google Play and downloads the “Mantis X Archery” app, and then attaches the smart sensor to your bow. Open the App and follow the directions. The shooter will want to develop an equipment profile. You enter an amazing amount of metrics about your bow. The data points you can document are:

  • Recurve or compound
  • Stabilizer configuration – lengths and weights
  • D-loop length
  • Holding weight
  • Peep height

Having your bow configuration documented and detailed in a nice clean format is very appealing to me. Bow configurations are compiled in the App. Actually being able to map how well your holding with each configuration is a competitive shooters dream come true.

Mantis X8

Data Collection

The Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System has a very detailed target log that allows the shooter to record the distance and target face. The shooter can also log the arrow impact points on a target face that was being shot during the practice session. An extremely comprehensive NFAA, IBO, ASA, and World Archery target library is contained in the app.

Mantis X8

Target distance of the practice session can be documented during the practice session. Data from 36 shots are stored in each training session. The shooter can go back in and delete any erroneous shots that might been recorded.

I found the trace screen an extremely intriguing feature. The feature maps the entire shot process relative to bow movement. The Mantis X8 plots how you come into the target, the instant the shot broke, and your follow through as well as assigns you a stability score. I have been battling target panic off and on for about half a year. The Mantis X8 allows the shooter to play back and observe actual bow movement using the trace screen in the App. I found this feature useful in practice sessions to view exactly how I was influencing my shot in a negative way. When shooting crossbows, follow through is just as important as any link in the chain of events for perfect shot execution.

Mantis X8

The Mantis X8 has a shot timer screen that times your whole shot process. I have used this function to accumulate data on how long I can hold before my shot starts to break down. Historically, I have a tendency to hold too long at the stake thinking that magically the shot will settle into the 11 ring. I have been using this function of the App to break myself of this habit.

Mantis X8
Mantis Shot Timer screen.
Mantis X8
Shot Impact Record inside the Mantis X8 App.


One of the more powerful uses of the Mantis X8 system is it gives coaches a way to see exactly how the student made the shot. Using the Trace and Timer functions of the Mantis X8 allows the coach to help the student make changes to their shot process. This allows the coach to get inside the mind of the student during the shot process, rather than just observing the shot take place. The data generated is almost as good as the coach holding on to the bow. Another nice feature of the Mantis X8 for the coach is the ability to build a sub-user index. With the App, the coach can collect data from multiple students and catalog all data in one area to chart progress of multiple students.

How It Worked for Me

I thought an excellent application of the Mantis X8 would be to utilize it during matches to review what exactly happened during the competition. The Mantis X8 could be used to examine what happened if a bad shot occurred, the shooter could check the shot trace screen to see if there was a bad trigger press or follow through. I first contacted the IBO and ASA to see if it would be legal to use this product during tournaments. The IBO said it is legal to use during competitions, the ASA said it is illegal for competition as you are not allowed to be on your phone.

Next, I also talked to a rep from Mantis and asked if the unit could be used in the rain. The rep told me that Mantis unit is definitely not water proof. Inclement weather is a possibility on the 3D course. The next issue in my plan for the device is the Mantis is extremely sensitive, and it picked up movements while cocking my crossbow creating false data.

All this being said, the Mantis X8 Archery Shooting Analysis System is an extremely powerful training tool. I have spent quite a bit of time using the product. I feel that I have not even scratched the surface of its capabilities. The Mantis X8 gives the shooter the ability to try different equipment configurations. Decisions can be without personal bias, determining which is the best setup. Coaching efficiency is taken to the next level by the coach almost being able to see what the student is seeing. As well as the coach being able to set up student directories for multiple students. The Mantis X8 is an extremely sophisticated piece of gear for archery training. Each time I use it I learn something new. I will be incorporating the Mantis X8 into my training regimen for years to come.

mantis x8
Field testing the Mantis X8 at the Rinehart 100. Note the Mantis X8 mounted under the eyepiece of my optic.
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Brian Miller is currently a writer for AllOutdoor who has chosen not to write a short bio at this time.

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