Rob Pincus

Mantis Blackbeard Compressed Surprise Break Drill

Rob Pincus
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Duration:   6  mins

By shooting a drill on the app provided with a Mantis Blackbeard system inside an AR, Rob Pincus shows one of the things that can be measured with the Mantis.

Rob starts by reminding us that the Mantis Blackbeard is designed to give us a score based on competition aspects of firearms movement, not necessarily on the way we want to move an AR in a defensive situation. For more on the system itself, check out Rob’s previous video, Mantis Blackbeard Overview.


Going into the drill section of the accompanying smartphone app, many choices come up, including Open Training, Shot Timer, Par Timer, Shoot No Shoot, MantisX Benchmark, 20 Second Benchmark, Timed Benchmark, Compressed Surprise Break, and Secondary as Primary. In other words, you have numerous options for doing rifle shooting drills with the Mantis Blackbeard.


Rob chooses the Compressed Surprise Break drill. This gives the shooter multiple audible signals to engage the target. Rob starts in a low compressed ready position with the safety on. He does some visualization of how he could employ this in a defensive scenario, for example home defense with an intruder and Rob assesses the environment and gives verbal challenges to the intruder. Then every time Rob hears a signal, he engages a target.


Rob stresses the importance of understanding how to interpret the data provided by the Mantis Blackbeard system. To illustrate this, for the first three shots Rob takes, he shoots in a target-shooting way—he settles the rifle, then breaks the shot.

For the fourth through sixth shots, Rob brings the gun up and tries to get the shot into the same rectangle but without stopping and settling the gun between shots as in target shooting. Instead as soon as Rob brings the gun up, indexes it on his cheek, and gets his good kinesthetic alignment, he breaks the shot.

As Rob expected, higher scores were awarded to the first three shots taken—the ones where the gun was settled.

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