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Dynamics of fire controls in a 1911 for a better understanding of MantisX

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Post by inthebeech 5/20/2021, 7:46 am

Starting to use a Mantis now out of the realization that I am not going to "See" what is wrong with my trigger process after dryfiring and wallowing in SS for ten years.
What I am after, to better understand the Mantis trace, specifically the transitions, are a couple of average times from you guys who have studied this (most likely the pistolsmiths who have devoted time to tuning triggers, and the M / HM's who have learned this along the way). I intend to call Mantis as well to see if they have studied this.

1. Time between sear releasing the hammer and hammer striking the fp/fps (and therefore creating both the vibration and sound that the Mantis uses to define "releasing the shot."  What is a rough value that I could use here?
2. Time between hammer hitting firing pin and bullet out of the barrel?

You can assume some common values for the dependent inputs in case it matters - 740 f/s, 12 and 19 lb springs, 185 gr bullet, ordnance design (and weight) hammer...

Thanks in advance,
Ed
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Post by SteveT 5/20/2021, 9:55 am

I tried using a GoPro at 240 fps to capture gun functionality. In one frame you can see the hammer moving and in the next frame there is a puff of smoke out the barrel, so less than 4mS from hammer fall to bullet exit, probably more like 1-2mS

Using a GoPro as a High Speed Camera to Watch Gun Operation
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Post by msmith44 5/22/2021, 11:20 pm

inthebeech wrote:Starting to use a Mantis now out of the realization that I am not going to "See" what is wrong with my trigger process after dryfiring and wallowing in SS for ten years.
What I am after, to better understand the Mantis trace, specifically the transitions, are a couple of average times from you guys who have studied this (most likely the pistolsmiths who have devoted time to tuning triggers, and the M / HM's who have learned this along the way). I intend to call Mantis as well to see if they have studied this.

1. Time between sear releasing the hammer and hammer striking the fp/fps (and therefore creating both the vibration and sound that the Mantis uses to define "releasing the shot."  What is a rough value that I could use here?
2. Time between hammer hitting firing pin and bullet out of the barrel?

You can assume some common values for the dependent inputs in case it matters - 740 f/s, 12 and 19 lb springs, 185 gr bullet, ordnance design (and weight) hammer...

Thanks in advance,
Ed
I'm not a SS but I've used MantisX for training. This is my experience in a nutshell: I improved until I started competing with the algorithm then I regressed. Why does Mantis X score my shot at 79 when I just shot an X? Mantis X helped me get that X. Now you have to do it the MantisX way. That's the problem with MantisX. It cannot adjust to the variables that go into the individualized "perfect" shot. And, they are individualized. Stuck at SS? Maybe it's a head issue not a trigger issue. Just saying.

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Post by 10sandxs 5/23/2021, 9:11 am

Im a technical guy so I get the need to break down and quantify things, but I think there is too much emphasis put on "electronic analysis" today. Yes we have the tools and they help, but the level of analysis your going through is more than I feel is warranted.  Did it "feel" like a good shot, and did the mantis confirm it was a good shot? That would be the question, for me anyway. Going deeper is more of a distraction imho.

I worked with a friend on Monday who was scattering the 45 all over/off the target, even though he holds the 22 in the 7 ring. "Gotta be something wrong with the gun" was his comment. Ok, let me try it. I shoot a 9 ring sized group, high right in the 7 ring... obviously he had adjusted for trigger jerk. But that was inconsistent so a lot of shots were high right "for some reason".  

We talked about what he sees in terms of dots, targets, etc. He tried different glasses and felt more comfortable.  We then did a drill where I loaded (or didnt) the gun and put it in battery on the bench. He then picked it up and shot the shot/dry fired. Four of his 5 shots were 9 ring. The 5th was a 7 if memory serves. Point is he was doing something VERY different when he knew the gun was loaded than when he was dryfiring.  I think this happens to many people, more so than we realize.  

If you have a shooting buddy, I'd suggest you do try this drill with the mindset of "this one's the empty" for each shot.  If you don't have a buddy close, the ball and dummy drill is always a good one to do alone. Just make sure you take the dummy out of rotation for sustained fire.

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Post by inthebeech 5/24/2021, 12:03 pm

Yes, I agree.  I have no regard for the "score" that Mantis shows you.  It is pretty meaningless.  What is useful, given some additional information that the engineers there supplied me with, and a little bit of trig, is an actual time-based graphic showing the movement of the gun.  In other words, you already get a line showing movement of the gun. Mantis calls this the trace.  Now you can identify the time on that curve corresponding to any event that you're interested in (sear release, hammer hits pin, bullet leaves barrel...), and also calculate the distance from aiming point to the location of the hit (at any distance).  So basically you have all the benefits of dry firing but now also with actual validation of where the bullet would have hit; the same validation as with live firing. So for folks like myself who still question “I think the sights were ______ when the shot broke.  Were they really?” while dry firing, we now have a way of KNOWING where the sights were.  We can also validate what we were always "thinking" our wobble area is.
We’ll see if it helps any. I had to do something different if I wanted to get different results. Tri-state Regional in NJ is in two weeks.
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Post by frazitl2 5/28/2021, 10:27 am

Inthebeach

I'm also using the mantisx and am interested in more detail on your analysis. What key info did Mantis supply and how did you use it?

Thanks in advance

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Post by inthebeech 5/29/2021, 3:25 pm

1.  Zoom way in on your traces and you will see dots.  These are 1 ms  (.001 s) apart.
2. In Bullseye mode (in Advanced settings) your traces, in time are as follows; Blue - 3000 ms, Yellow - 150 ms, Red - 1000 ms.
3. The "X" is obtained with acceleration (not sound) and is what they call the release point.   They are not sure whether it is the hammer coming off the sear or the hammer hitting the FPS.  But since hammer fall is 2-4 ms, we can live without knowing for sure.
4. There is a chart of ring sizes in degrees.  I verified this with graph paper set up at a known distance and intentionally waving the sights from side to side a known amount.  It is accurate.
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Post by frazitl2 5/30/2021, 7:06 pm

Smile Thank you inthebeech.  Exactly what I was looking for to decode the Mantis data. Is it possible to send your attachment as a .pdf file?  It came across as a .jpg I think, and too small to read.


Last edited by frazitl2 on 5/30/2021, 7:11 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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Post by inthebeech 6/3/2021, 8:01 am

PM me you personal email and I’ll forward. If you want to call I can share what I just learned about how their sw decides where to place the scoring rings relative to the “x”. It shouldn’t matter to us since we are more interested in other features of the trace but it is good to know so you don’t get hung up chasing high score values which are unimportant (relative to the shape and positions of the blue,yellow, and red traces)
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Post by UnGe 6/3/2021, 10:52 am

I just got MantisX, and really have problems making sense of it/interpreting results. Error detection seems completely wrong, e.g. detects 2-o-clock flyers as a perfect shot or as 6-o-clock one, traces (at least with provided colors) do not give good info to distinguish aiming, pull, release and follow-up (or I just cannot read them right. BTW, zooming in does not show dots for me).
Dynamics of fire controls in a 1911 for a better understanding of MantisX Screen10

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Post by inthebeech 6/4/2021, 4:42 am

I can see the charted dots on the curves right here in you inserted photo.  .???  They are .001s apart. X is your release.  It is based on acceleration (not sound) so it is either hammer suddenly releasing or it is the acceleration created when the hammer smacks the fp. There are only 2-5 ms between these two events so it isn’t really that critical not knowing which is really represented by the X. Blue is 3000ms, yellow is 150 ms, red is 1000ms. So now you know what and where sear release is and also when it is happening.
The chart above gives you the magnitude of your movements in inches. That’s really everything. You can toss any “built in evaluations” that you get from Mantis. The Masters and HM’s here are much better help. I dug in to it because I am an engineer (According to Zins this is why I am impossible to teach) but it doesn’t need to be this analytical if you just want to get better.  Your first maybe 10ms of red trace better be superimposed over your blue and yellow.  Looking at your traces here, count the dots after the break above and you see about four of them before you are already in the eight ring. Use the chart. How big is the eight ring. Correct. You are off the entire repair center at both the short and long lines. Now just ask these guys what it means when just after the break and well within the time that the bullet is still in the barrel, your muzzle is pointed (and bullet is headed) out of the black at 10:00.  Use their advice.  Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Post by UnGe 6/4/2021, 9:11 am

inthebeech wrote:I can see the charted dots on the curves right here in you inserted photo.  .[...] I am an engineer (According to Zins this is why I am impossible to teach)[...]
As somebody who is impossible to teach, I can say that I was lucky (or unlucky) with the screenshot - app shows dots only on specific zoom level (not very visible for my old eyes), but as soon as I zoom in, dots disappear, making impossible to count them.

I'll do my best to understand these traces, but for now I feel that spotting scope was much better investment. I need to understand what happens when my call is off, and scope tells me when it is. Mantis diagnostics gives third point that usually does not match neither. Probably something is somewhere deep in the trace, but I did not learn this language yet. Are there any good courses/tutorials for reading traces? Or somebody can offer a walk through for them to teach (again, teaching somebody who is impossible to teach)?

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Post by Oleg G 6/4/2021, 11:50 am

UnGe wrote:I need to understand what happens when my call is off

Actually, you don't. You do need to understand EXACTLY what you did right when your shot is on call. This will reinforce in your mind the correct shot process to follow.
Improving in the shooting sport, and other precision sports is VERY MUCH UNLIKE troubleshooting a malfunction in a piece of man-made equipment.
To improve your skills you DON'T need to understand what you did wrong, you DO need to study and attempt to repeat the precise sequence of actions, which results in doing things right. When you try analyze exactly what you did wrong, you actually teach your brain and body to repeat the wrong action. You want to avoid this at all costs.

As to reading the Mantis traces (or any other shot traces). Let's look at the one you posted. it is not a bad shot. The blue line shows the movement of your arm (and the pistol is an extension of your shoulder-arm-wrist system). The blue line describes a rather-well-controlled wobble, which is contained within approximately the 9-ring. The fact that the wobble is positioned to the right of center, is hardly relevant - a slight change in your stance (moving your back foot rearward and to the right) will take care of this. The yellow line shows the movement of your arm during the short interval before the shot broke. I don't know exactly what time interval Mantis is measuring - please look it up. My guess would be 0.5 to 1 sec. In any case, this line represents the final movement (or pressure) of your trigger finger and whether this movement has disturbed your sight alignment. The answer for this trace is - the trigger operation was completed rather smoothly. The red line describes you follow-through. Judging from this one trace, follow-through is the area you should focus on for the next few training sessions. You want to have the red line resemble the blue one in this trace as much as possible. This would mean that your arm (and your pistol) remain stable and your sight alignment is maintained through the completion of the shot. Ideally, the x on the trace will mark the spot exactly in the middle of the ball of blue/yellow/red lines.
Mantis does not know exactly when you began operating the trigger, you need to determine this when you are replaying the shot in your mind to call it. Your sequence of actions should be: complete the shot; replay the shot in your mind focusing on the remembered sights / dot movement; call the shot. Only after that look at the Mantis screen and replay the shot determine how well your mental picture correlates with the actual trace.

Please take a note that nowhere in this analysis I have referred to the value of the shot. It is absolutely irrelevant when you analyze shot traces. The great value of the shot trace is that it shows you what you did right in executing the key elements of your shot process - aiming, trigger press, follow-through -  not as a shot scoring instrument.

Best Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by UnGe 6/4/2021, 12:11 pm

Thanks a lot, Oleg!


RE: "You want to have the red line resemble the blue one in this trace as much as possible."
This is a live shot trace, I think one can keep red line there only while dry firing (no recoil)

I am not sure what algorithm Mantis uses to determine line location wrt target, but it seems it just thinks that center is always around start of yellow line, that can be right only if pull is 100% controlled

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Post by Wobbley 6/4/2021, 12:35 pm

If these trace dots are .001 second apart and the yellow is the movement before trigger break, then the indications are that the trigger is moving the pistol perhaps excessively.  This is based on the spacing between dots.  It is also my estimation that the bullet has left the firearm in the red trace minor “dipstick doodle” just after the break.  The large trace swings are from recoil and slide function.

So my guess to your major issue is anticipation of the shot and poor trigger control.  A session of ball and dummy is the prescription.  Load up 20 in cases that have been resized but not decapped using the same bullet as you normally shoot.  Toss them and 20 rounds into an opaque bag and load your magazines without looking.  Then look at your traces after a few sessions of that.  Just shoot them slowfire at 25 on a B8 center.
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Post by inthebeech 6/4/2021, 2:21 pm

[quote="UnGe"]
I am not sure what algorithm Mantis uses to determine line location wrt target[/quote]

Here it is...
Using mostly the yellow but also a small segment of time of the blue (tech did not know exactly how much time but my estimate is about 100-150 ms) you have the X in the place where the directions and lengths of the vectors for all of those specific data points, average out to be zero.  If you’re a mech eng think of the calculation of polar moment of inertia ( Is + Iy).  X is the center of the distances and directions of the yellow and a bit of the blue.  Stare at it and you will see.
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