PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition Ballistic Test – Review & VIDEO

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary
The Clarys put the all new Polycase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition to the test to find out if it is balistically equal to the more expensive PolyCase ARX ammo.

Jim Clary
Jim Clary

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- PolyCase Ammunition was founded in 2012 by Paul Lemke, who is a retired U.S. Army Airborne Ranger. Paul and the other founders of PolyCase were in the business of injection molding precision engine parts using the newest heat-tolerant cutting-edge materials.

It was no leap for them to apply that technology to develop an entirely new type of effective ammunition: One that was lighter, accurate and just as effective as conventional lead-core jacketed ammunition.

We have previously tested and reviewed the PolyCase ARX ammunition produced under the brand Inceptor and Ruger and it performed very well…. showing reduced recoil in all calibers tested and very accurate (Ruger ARX Ammunition by PolyCase).

Our only concern was the price for regular range use. That is one reason why PolyCase introduced the Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo line of ammunition.

PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

“Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo line of ammunition was designed to be ballistically matched to the ARX defensive loads allowing the shooter to train the same way they may have to defend. It is designed for training purposes. The lead-free copper-polymer blended bullets was designed for use on hardened steel providing unmatched frangibility with safe range distances measured in feet, not yards, for the safest and most realistic training experience. This allows it to be incorporated into close quarters drills using steel targets.”

The purpose of our tests was to compare the performance of the Inceptor ammo to their equivalent ARX loads. We did our shooting at 25 yards, using the Caldwell Pistolero Handgun Rest. We used Hoppe’s 25-yard slow fire, bullseye pistol targets, firing multiple five shot groups for record. The results are as follows:

Polycase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition
Polycase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition

9 mm Luger (Springfield Model XD-9) PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

  • 65 grain ARX (Ruger), MV 1,620 fps, ME 379 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.12 in.; Largest group 1.50 in.; Mean group size – 1.35 in.
  • 65 grain Inceptor, MV 1,540 fps, ME 342 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.25 in.; Largest group 1.60 in.; Mean group size – 1.40 in.

.45 A.C.P. (Colt Gold Cup Series 80 MK IV) PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

  • 118 grain ARX (Ruger), MV 1,307 fps, ME 448 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.25 in.; Largest group 1.75 in.; Mean group size – 1.55 in.
  • 130 grain Inceptor, MV 1,210 fps, ME 423 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.60 in.; Largest group 2.12 in.; Mean group size – 1.65 in.

.40 S&W (Springfield XDM) PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

  • 97 grain ARX (Ruger), MV 1,410 fps, ME 428 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.60 in.; Largest group 2.25 in.; Mean group size – 1.75 in.
  • 97 grain Inceptor, MV 1,380, ME 410 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.50 in.; Largest group 1.75 in.; Mean group size – 1.60 in.

.38 Spl. (Smith &Wesson Model 19-2) PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

  • 77 grain ARX (Ruger), MV 1,116 fps, 213 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.40 in; Largest group 1.80 in.; Mean group size – 1.50 in.
  • 84 grain Inceptor, MV 1,210 fps, ME 273 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.50 in; Largest group 1.75 in.; Mean group size – 1.55 in
Polycase .38 Special ARX Self Defense Cartridges & Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition
Polycase .38 Special ARX Self Defense Cartridges & Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition

.357 Magnum (Smith &Wesson Model 19-2) PolyCase Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

  • 86 grain ARX (Ruger), MV 1,650, ME 520 ft. lbs.: Smallest group 1.75 in.; Largest group 2.30 in.; Mean group size – 2.12 in.
  • At the time of our review, there was no Inceptor ammo in .357 Magnum caliber; however, we can say that the ARX loads were very accurate and almost fun to shoot.

Our test results confirmed that the folks at PolyCase have succeeded in producing Inceptor rounds that mimic the ballistic performance of their ARX ammunition. As such, it is both economical and practical to use the Inceptor ammunition on the range for practice and then switch to the ARX stuff for defense, without worrying about having to re-sight your gun or practice.

Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo is available in .380 Auto, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 Special and the newly launched .300 ACC Blackout Short Range Rifle. It is competitively priced with other premium range/utility ammunition. For more information, visit https://www.polycaseammo.com/project/inceptor-rnp.

PolyCase Inceptor .300 ACC Blackout
PolyCase Inceptor .300 ACC Blackout

**Author’s final note: We do not recommend copper-polymer matrix ammunition for use in derringers. The minimal rifling in their short barrels will not stabilize the bullets. Stick to lead core bullets or shot shells in derringers.

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.

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I shoot at a lead free range. I purchased a case of the frangible
“lead free” to shoot. Once I stated using the ammo at the range,
I was stopped by the range officer, and told that I could not use this ammo because the ammo contained lead primer. I think it should be noted on the ammo so other people won’t purchase it for lead free ranges. Besides being embarrassed by being stopped for using it at the particular range, it is now a waste of money for its intended use.


I wonder where that range officer got the information that there was lead primer? The product specifications say lead-free and non-toxic. I left a message for the company to ask this very question, so hopefully they’ll be getting back to me with a definitive answer. This sounds like a case of a know-it-all range officer to me.


Hello, I too have run into this issue and did some research on it. The rounds use boxer primers which contain lead as a part of the igniter for the bullet to fire. The vaporization that results is the main cause for lead inhalation toxicity and thus does not meet the lead free guidelines of some health conscious ranges. Vendors use the term lead-free which is grossly misleading since the primers are a major source of lead assimilation by the body. Their reasoning when I asked is that lead free means the bullet specifically and not the primer. If you… Read more »


Any ballistic gel testing on the RNP Sport Utility? I would like to see a comparison of penetration and terminal performance between the ARX and RNP. If the RNP tumbles and produces a permanent wound cavity in gel comparablel to the ARX, the added expense for the “self defense round” is just a scam. Injection molding negates any cost differential in manufacturing one configuration over the other.

Jo Ann

ARX does not feed, fire, nor eject reliably from my Glock 42 (.380) which is fussy on Ammo; doesn’t like PMC FMJ either. Fires fine with Buffalo Bore HC ammo and Hornaday Critical Defense. So guess this Utility ammo won’t either?

Sgt. Saxxon

Same here, my 42 fails to feed or eject 9 out of 10 shots with the ARX ammo. Been feeding her Federal HST, Fiocchi Extrema, Buffalo Bore, and Underwood with zero problems.

Jo Ann

Maybe they’re trying to tell us that frangible Ammo in small caliber handguns is a dumb idea?

Loic @ the Range

I prefer my SinterFire! They’re the original and still the leader.

Bob Shell

Jim Interesting I have tested & written about the ARX but not the Interceptor ammo yet. Well done Norm & I hope to see you guys at some point in the future

Dr. Jim Clary

Hi Bob,
Mary and I will be at the 2018 SHOT Show…. between now and then, we have to hang close to home to care for the “zoo”, with Susannah having added a few more critters .,.. another rescue horse and a couple more orphan goats. And I was going to relax in my twilight years…. right. Thanks for the compliment Bob, take care of yourself and say hello to Norm for me.

Matt in Oklahoma

I can see a use for it up close on steel but at the same time I can’t because the steel is simply replaced with paper.
I guess if you were limited on the indoor range.
As for the carry loads I’ll wait to see results. I don’t bandwagon any ammo for that.
Intriguing though


The problem right now is price. Cabella’s lists the 9mm at $320 for 1000 rounds, give or take a dollar or two. Currently you can get 9mm target ammo at less than $200 on AmmoSeek or Gunbot. I did not see Inceptor listed on either site at this time. As it becomes more available and production goes up prices may go down but right now ammo prices are, with this administration, on a down slide and will most likely continue that trend. 22LR ammo is at a ten year low and there is plenty of it.

The Nothing

@Vanns40 Yes, it’s expensive, but they didn’t really push the point of PolyCase ammo. The “range” loads are almost identical do the defense loads. This means the aimpoints are going to be the same. The recoil will be the same. The handgun will cycle the same. That is not necessarily the case with standard target loads and self-defense rounds. Additionally, it’s incorrect to compare PolyCase Sport Utility to your bulk target rounds. PolyCase Sport Utility is lead-free and frangible. Something none of your search results included. Lead-free rounds are becoming increasingly required at indoor ranges. The frangible rounds are important… Read more »


I cede your points but still feel, for the majority, price is the major consideration.