by Dr. Jim and Mary Clary
Dr Jim reviews the Ruger ARX Ammunition by Polycase.
USA -(Ammoland.com)- We received our allotment of Ruger ARX ammo (.45 ACP & 9mm Luger +P) last Spring for testing, but we were so busy with other reviews that we did not get around to it until now.
In actuality, that is probably better for all concerned. The dust has settled after the initial introduction of ARX, other writers and editors have had their say, and we now get the last word.
Polycase ARX was designed to be the ultimate self-defense ammunition for home and law enforcement.
ARX ammo uses a lightweight, non-expanding, copper-polymer matrix bullet with unique scallops that are intended to maximize stopping power.
The lower than normal sectional density (SD) of the lightweight ARX bullet decreases penetration compared to heavier for caliber, non-expanding bullets (FMJ, hard lead or solid copper).
This reduces the potential for collateral damage due to over-penetration when compared to conventional non-expanding bullets. However, compared to typical JHP expanding bullets, ARX bullets exhibit increased penetration.
Tests in 10 percent ordnance gelatin confirmed that penetration was 10 percent to 50 percent greater than selected JHP ammo.
The following table illustrates the penetration results with five Ruger ARX cartridges:
Rather than trying to paraphrase the specifics surrounding the Ruger ARX Ammunition, the following statement is from the ballistic engineers who designed and tested it:
“The non-expanding ARX bullet exploits the bullet's forward velocity to redirect energy laterally via flutes in the bullet ogive. This unique profile transfers maximum energy to its target through a fluid dynamic effect. The result is a bullet with stopping power and terminal performance that rivals many expanding handgun bullets.”
One of the first things we noticed while testing the Ruger ARX Ammunition was the reduced recoil of the .45 ACP and 9mm rounds we were firing.
This reduced recoil allowed us to get back on target faster than when using conventional rounds.
How much less, we could not say, but a factory engineer was able to measure a reduction of 15 to 35 percent less recoil, on average.
Ruger ARX Ammunition Recoil Table
Maximum energy transfer and lower recoil are great, but if the accuracy is not there, what's the value? As with all of our tests involving pistol ammunition, we did our shooting at 25 yards, using the Caldwell Pistolero Handgun Rest.
To achieve the following results, we fired multiple five-shot groups for record. Our 9x19mm test gun was a Springfield Model XD-9 and our .45 ACP test gun was a Colt Gold Cup Series 80 MK IV.
- 9mm Luger +P, 80 grain ARX, MV 1,445 fps, ME 385 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.12 in.; Largest group 1.50 in.; Average group size = 1.35 in.
- .45 ACP, 118 grain ARX, MV 1,307 fps, ME 448 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.25 in.; Largest group 1.75 in.; Average group size = 1.55 in.
Ruger ARX PolyCase Round
This is excellent accuracy for self-defense handgun ammunition. The Ruger ARX Ammunition is not only very accurate, it appears likely to maximize energy transfer and minimize potential collateral damage in close quarters combat, especially when compared to ammo loaded with conventional non-expanding bullets.
However, due to its lighter than normal bullets and higher than normal velocity, ARX loads are unlikely to shoot to the same point of impact as conventional ammunition.
If you decide to adopt AXR ammo as your service ammunition, you will probably need to re-sight your handgun.
This should not be a problem if your gun has fully adjustable sights, but it is likely to be a problem if you are using fixed sights that do not incorporate elevation adjustment.
Polycase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo
Ruger/PolyCase ARX is too pricey for most shooters to use for routine target practice or plinking. For routine target practice, Polycase offers its Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo.
This ammunition is ballistically matched with equivalent ARX loads and it is priced competitively with conventional FMJ cartridges.
Inceptor ammo is designed for training purposes and offers high frangibility against hardened steel targets. This allows it to be incorporated into close quarters drills using steel targets.
About Jim and Mary Clary:
Jim and Mary Clary have co-authored over three hundred and fifty articles, (and counting) on shooting and hunting. You can read many of them on AmmoLand News.