Your gun’s made from polymer. Now your bullets can be, too, thanks to Ruger and Polycase. So how effective are polymer bullets?
I’ve shot these. This isn’t just one of those re-posted press releases that takes the media’s mumbo-jumbo claims and regurgitates them verbatim. I’ll do that part, too, but not until after I’ve said my fill about the polymer bullets. So here’s my take on the matter.
I’ve shot two kinds of rounds that I’ve considered experimental. The first had polymer cases. I ran several boxes of .380 rounds a while back and had no issues. But the real potential isn’t in the replacement of brass (which I don’t mind touching, unless it is hot), but in the replacement of lead. And that’s where Polycase’s new bullets seem to shine. These are polymer and copper. The slury is molded into a bullet, and they work.
The benefit, as I see it, is easy to articulate. You no longer have to deal with lead. While I love what lead does to bad people, I don’t like what lead does to good people accidentally. These lighter bullets need more physical mass to bring up their weight, but the odd design of the bullet (more of a curved fin look than a hollow-point) allows for the extra mass.
I shot 100 rounds at a media event early this summer, and I shot them out of a Ruger LCP. These 9mm rounds had real knockdown power. We were shooting at steel plates (10″ plates, .5″ thick). I’d halfway expected the polymer rounds to pop off of the plates and ricochet. Not the case. The bullets, from 15 yards out, pulverized against the steel into a wicked cloud, but they knocked the plates over. I think I had one hit in all of those rounds that shook the plate but didn’t knock it down. I saw no difference in accuracy, no change in the reliability of the LCP, and no increase in felt recoil. The rounds certainly passed my preliminary tests.
What’s not yet known–at least by me, first hand–is how these rounds will perform in serious terminal ballistic testing. We’ll get to that soon. The fins offset grooves are interesting. The rumor floating around the event was that these grooves push material away when a bullet enters a body, producing an even more devastating temporary cavity.
For now, I’m content with the frangible qualities of the rounds, which I can speak to. They work. And I’m excited about Ruger’s involvement with Polycase. Sig has their own line. Remington and Winchester, obviously. Seems like most of the majors are getting into the game at some level. And with Ruger’s support, the Polycase concept may get the attention it so clearly deserves.
Here’s the press release:
FOR RELEASE: October 7, 2015
PolyCase Introduces Ruger Ammunition
The Next Generation of Premium Self-Defense Technology
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) and PolyCase Ammunition® are pleased to introduce the Ruger® ARX® line of ammunition. This new ammunition is designed and produced by PolyCase® under license from Ruger and incorporates PolyCase’s revolutionary ARX bullet technology.
“We were impressed by the innovations PolyCase has developed and incorporated into the ARX bullet technology,” explained Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO. “Ruger prides itself on being an industry leader in innovation, so matching up the Ruger brand with cutting-edge PolyCase bullet technology seemed a perfect fit,” he concluded.
From the research and development laboratory of PolyCase Ammunition, through Ruger’s extensive testing, the flagship ARX projectile has established itself as the next generation of highly effective self- defense ammunition. Achieved through advanced design and materials science, the unique bullet profile transfers maximum energy to the target from a fluid dynamic effect. By design, the non- expanding Ruger ARX exploits the bullet’s velocity to redirect energy laterally via flutes in the bullet ogive. This effect results in stopping power and terminal performance that rivals that of many expanding handgun bullets.
The design of the Ruger ARX allows it to feed like a round nose yet still transfer energy to targets effectively over a wide range of bullet velocities. The ARX penetrates many barriers without deformation, and penetrates through clothing without clogging and degrading terminal performance.
The Ruger ARX ammunition utilizes injected molded copper/polymer matrix projectiles. Unlike traditional bullets, this unique material can be molded into complex shapes like the ARX bullet configuration. These lightweight bullets are launched at high velocities and achieve very high energy levels, but at nominal or even reduced recoil levels and reduce the loaded weight of firearms and spare magazines. The copper/polymer bullets fragment upon striking solid backstops, making them ideal for use in indoor ranges.
“PolyCase Ammunition is honored to be selected by Ruger as a licensee and is pleased to introduce Ruger-branded ammunition to the commercial sporting market,” said Paul Lemke, CEO and Founder of PolyCase Ammunition. “Ruger is a forward-thinking company that has been a model of corporate responsibility for over 60 years. These traits, combined with Ruger’s strength as the leading American manufacturer of firearms, is why PolyCase decided to pursue a licensing arrangement with Ruger. We are excited that Ruger shares our vision for this technology and look forward to providing highly effective, innovative ammunition technologies to the defensive and commercial sporting markets for years to come,” Lemke concluded.
For more information about Ruger-branded ARX Ammunition visit Ruger.com/Ammo.
To learn more about the extensive line of award-winning Ruger firearms, visit Ruger.com
or Facebook.com/Ruger. To find accessories for Ruger firearms, visit ShopRuger.com or your local independent retailer of Ruger firearms.
About Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of rugged, reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market. The only full-line manufacturer of American-made firearms, Ruger offers consumers over 400 variations of more than 30 product lines. For more than 60 years, Ruger has been a model of corporate and community responsibility. Our motto, “Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens®,” echoes the importance of these principles as we work hard to deliver quality and innovative firearms.
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens®