Bob Shell does some reloading and ballistics testing with the innovative ARX Bullets.
Editors Note : Caution, ammunition reloading can be very dangerous, read our “Reloading Disclaimer“ .
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- A couple of years ago ARX introduced some high-performance ammo using some new technology and bullet materials. The bullets are lighter than standard off the shelf parts and are made from some sort of resin utilizing no lead.
They are made for self-defense and with the higher than normal velocities, and the preformed shape should work well in that venue. I received some 38, 357, 40, and 45-auto bullets for testing.
The bullets are known as Inceptors and come in boxes of 100. They have RN [round noes] bullets that are a less expensive option for target shooting and offer loaded ammo as well. For info you can go to www.inceptorammo.com
The ARX bullet is unique in a couple of ways. It has a design that twists in flight which is supposed to aid in its intended purpose. The lead-free bullet is injection molded made from copper and a high strength resin.
It is a proprietary design, so we don’t know how the bullets are made nor the exact formula used. The 45 bullet weighs 114 grains at an advertised muzzle velocity of 1300 FPS, giving it over 400 FT LBS of muzzle energy. The target version weighs 138 grains as a comparison. One advantage of a lightweight bullet is reduced recoil which enables rapid follow up shots. They are frangible and gives about a foot of penetration in ballistic gel. Being frangible there should be no ricochet issues, making it safer for populated areas.
The bottom line is how well will it do against an antagonist? Time and actual incidents will tell the story.
As of now, they are available in 380, 9mm, 40-auto, and 45 ACP. Later on, I imagine they will be offered in other chamberings. They have a variation in the 458 Socom and the 50 Beewolf.
There are a couple of other variations available, and hopefully, the bullet will be offered to handloaders. The ammo and bullets are made in the U.S. which is unusual these days. Here are my findings.
I have found that in some instances the ARX Bullets are too tight to chamber easily. They seem to be a little on the large side. The 357’s measured .3575 to .358 and the 45 measures .4525 or a little above. That isn’t much but combined with thick brass and a tight chamber the fitting problem may occur.
Therefore, when I just resize the top part of the case with the bullet seated it resolves the problem. Based on that I would recommend checking the chamber prior to taking them anywhere especially if they are going to be carried for social defense purposes [not recomended]. As a note if I go hunting or using any ammo for a serious purpose I always run them through the magazine and chamber to be sure they cycle. It is easier to fix ammo at the shop as opposed to in the field. I do that with everything even factory ammo fodder.
I don’t have a Socom, but the 45-70 should do well with such a bullet. They recently came out with a 90 grain .311 diameter for the 7.62 X 39 though it should work in other .311 rifles such as the 303 British, 7.65 Mauser, 7.7 Jap, and the 7.62 X 54 Russian. They have a line of target bullets. They have the conventional RN type ensuring that they will feed in anything. The material is the same, but the target bullets weigh more because a different mold and matirial is used. For low-cost target shooting, they provide a good option. Another site to find them is www.inceptorammo.com/tag/quantum/
In my line of work, I do a lot of testing on ammo and the various components required to make a round. I get to observe over a period of time how various items work such as the brass. There are several quality brass makers and a couple not so much. As a rule, if available in that caliber I usually get Starline. I have found over years that their brass is consistent and works well. Their pricing is very reasonable, and if you haven’t tried that brand, I suggest that you do so. For info, you can go to www.starlinebrass.com/articles/archive.cfm for info. They always bring out new offerings so you might watch the website for changes.
The 7.62 X 39 is one of the most common rifles available. With a 90-grain bullet, it should be good for close range hunting and personal defense. With the lightweight it has a low sectional density which will limit is effective range and penetration. The bullet is the same size as a conventional 150 grain. Like some of the others, more ammo can be carried, and recoil is reduced. I shot a few from the Ruger at a rock at 50 yards. I was close and hit it though not scientific it shows possibilities. One other thing I noticed is not much dirt was disturbed which would indicate that it lost a lot of its power again not scientific but casual observations can tell you a lot if you know what to look for.
|Load||Rifle used in Test||Bullet Weight||Velocity||Comment|
|11 grains Target||AK||90 gr||2209.09||Very Consistent|
|13 grains Blue||AK||90 gr||2153.91||OK|
|18 grains 2400||AK||90 gr||2480.67||Consistent|
|18 grains 2400||Bolt||90 gr||2568.56||Nice|
|20 grains 2400||AK||90 gr||2619.5||Consistent|
|20 grains 2400||Bolt||90 gr||2668.44||Nice|
|22 grains 5744||AK||90 gr||2568.56||Very Consistent|
|22 grains 5744||Bolt||90 gr||2358.2||Fair|
With the diameter of .311, it should work with a full-size rifle such as the 303 British. The 303 British has been around since 1889, and the original load was 70 grains of black powder and a 215 gr FMJ. But it has adapted well to modern loads making it a useful hunting rifle. These 90-grain bullets should perform at closer ranges given their velocity potential. With that thought, we have made a couple of loads.
|35 grains 5744||90 gr||3156||Very High ES|
|48 grains 4166||90 gr||3146||OK|
The 380 is usually considered the minimum round for serious self-defense. With the typical ball and old style hollow points it leaves a lot to be desired. However, with a light bullet of modern design, it does show improvements.
|4.5 grains 244||56 gr||1431.5||Consistent|
|5 grains Red||56 gr||1584.25||High ES|
|ARX Factory||56 gr||1258||Consistent|
The 9 MM I loaded with the shellshock case with the 56 gr ARX. The purpose is to have an effective round that has reduced weight and recoil. So any loads mentioned here will feature the Shellshock case unless otherwise noted. With the Shellshock cases loaded weight of a round averages 95 to 95.5 grains. Since a typical 9 mm bullet weighs 115 to 124 grains, it doesn’t take much thinking as to which round will allow you to carry more ammo. With the velocity lack of weight should be a problem for the way they work. The ARX molded blades spin which will displace more material causing a larger cavity in the target. That will translate to better stopping power which it is intended for. The Beretta won’t cycle loads even at 2000 FPS probably a stiff spring
|6.5 grains 244||56 gr||1998.13||Did Not Cycle|
|7 grains 244||56 gr||2038||Nice|
|7 grains 244||56 gr||1958.64||Consistent|
|7.5 grains 231||56 gr||1756.2||Mild-High ES, Did not Extract|
In the last few years, there have been some lightweight bullets at very high velocities. It is not anything new as Glasser Safety slugs have been out for some years, and I have been making these types of bullets for over 30 years. Liberty Ammo produces some light bullets at very high velocities. The idea of these bullets is to use for self-defense where it isn’t desirable for excess penetration. They work in different ways but generally produce the same results. The ARX brand produces both ammo and bullets, and they have blades which would enhance wound capability as they rotate at a high velocity much like a boat propeller. I first discovered them at the SHOT show. We shot some 45 autos and they were accurate and reliable. Another advantage of light bullets is recoil reduction allowing better control of your gun.
Some 357 loads. I am working on a project involving quite a few 38 and 357 loads with both the self-defense and target bullets and upon completion will publish data along with the 10 and the 45 win mag among others.
|38 Special, 10 grains Red||77gr||Handgun||1864.1||Fair|
|38 Special, 10 grains Red||77 gr||Rifle||2205.33||Consistent|
|357 Magnum, 11 grains Target||86 gr||Rifle||1844.87||Consistent|
With the 40 autos, the 88-grain bullet makes a nice carry load. It is a very popular police round and is carried by many concealed gun permit holders. In the future more 40 and 10 mm, loading data will be provided with both types of bullets.
|10 grains Red||88 gr||1664.14||Nice|
In the 45 ACP, the ARX offers a 114-grain bullet. I chronographed it in three 45 autos so to have a good idea as to what to expect. Velocities are high, but recoil is mild because of the lightweight bullet. The # 1 & 3 pistols are Rugers, one has the aluminum frame but same barrel length. One is a Colt 1911 model with a 5 ” barrel. There are definite differences with mine showing the most consistency.
|ARX Factory (pistol 1)||118 gr||1758.5||Super Consistent|
|ARX Factory (pistol 2)||118 gr||1734.22||Consistent|
|ARX Factory (pistol 3)||118 gr||1657.1||OK|
|8.5 grains Red||118 gr||1346.09||Nice Load|
|10.5 grains Green||118 gr||1553.63||Consistent|
|10.5 grains Green Dot||118 gr||1701.89||HOT!|
The 45 Colt round has been around since 1873, and it is better than ever. With some modern guns, heavy loads can equal the 44 magnum but only in modern guns. With a modern gun and rifles, it should be a good close range hunting load. Will be working on more 45 loads plus some 454 Casull info.
|ARX Factory||118 gr||1343.5 (handgun)||Consistent|
|12 grains Red||118 gr||1544.5 (handgun)||Mild|
|12 grains Red||118 gr||1909.5 (rifle)||Good Load|
|8 grains Red||135 gr||1095.25 (handgun)||Fair|
|8 grains Red||135 gr||1480.18 (rifle)||Consistent|
The 45-70 has been around for 145 years, and it just gets better with the passing of time.
With modern loads and rifles, it is one of the most versatile rounds in existence. With that thought, it seems natural to try some of the ARX bullets. With the velocities obtainable it should be a very formidable hunting round at moderate ranges. Due to its weight, it wouldn’t be suitable at very long ranges.
|25 grains Blue||200 gr||1776||Mild|
|38 grains 2400||200 gr||2610||Better|
Hodgdon Powder Company has recently brought out some new flake powders. I have a couple of projects using these powders including cast bullet loads for rifles. Anyway, they work well in many handgun rounds and are well worth checking out. For info on their extensive line of powders go to www.hodgdon.com
Just as a note here are some sectional densities comparing standard against ARX slugs. Sectional density is a mathematical formula showing a bullet’s weight compared to its weight. It is one factor in determining the ballistic coefficient of a bullet. It is also a factor in how much a bullet will penetrate. The higher the SD, the deeper it will penetrate if all other factors are equal.
|Caliber||Bullet Weight||Bullet Type (ARX Resin v. Lead)||Sectional Density|
|45-70||300 grain||Standard Lead||.210|
|45-70||400 grain||Standard Lead||.280|
|9mm||90 grain||Standard Lead||.102|
|9mm||115 grain||Standard Lead||.130|
|9mm||124 grain||Standard Lead||.141|
|9mm||147 grain||Standard Lead||.167|
|38 Special||158 grain||Standard Lead||.177|
|38 Special||180 grain||Standard Lead||.202|
|38 Special||77 grain||ARX||.042|
|357 Magnum||86 grain||ARX||.047|
|7.62x39||123 grain||Standard Lead||.183|
|7.62x39||150 grain||Standard Lead||.220|
|10mm||180 grain||Standard Lead||.161|
|10mm||200 grain||Standard Lead||.179|
|45 Auto||185 grain||Standard Lead||.130|
|45 Auto||200 grain||Standard Lead||.140|
|45 Auto||230 grain||Standard Lead||.162|
|45 Auto||118 grain||ARX||.084|
About Bob Shell
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo. Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting, and Related Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com.