PolyCase Introduces the Inceptor Injection-Molded Ammo Brand

Its not everyday that someone introduces a new line of ammunition, much less one that is injection-molded, lead-free, and claims that the ideal self-defense round does not expand. But, today (er, yesterday), was the day and PolyCase, a company out of Savannah, Georgia, introduced its Inceptor line of ammunition.

The ammunition line includes four distinct projectiles:

  1. ARX – Non-expanding, defense ammunition.
  2. RNP – Round nose, precision.
  3. Firefly – Tracer
  4. TNP – Flat noted, precision.

Like other frangible ammunition, PolyCase has lighter rounds for higher velocities, likely a byproduct of their chosen Cu/P material (its not as dense as lead). As such, shooters will get a flatter shooting round.


The claims surrounding the ARX line piqued my interest the most. PolyCase proudly touts it as “revolutionary self-defense technology” that its shape leads to a “hydrodynamic ram effect” on target that maximises “lateral force dispersion”. Some fancy words for what sounds like “we create a big temporary wound cavity.”

I’ll let PolyCase do the talking:

the ARX™ is a new bullet in every sense of the word. From the way it’s manufactured, to its shape to the way it transfers energy to the target. To understand the ARX™, one needs to forget nearly everything they’ve been told about bullets.

The ARX™ bullet is designed to not expand. The ARX™ is injection molded from a specially blended lead free, copper/polymer matrix that is designed to be tough enough to penetrate soft targets and tissue, but when it encounters tougher barriers it is designed to break up to reduce the risk for collateral damage due to over penetration.

Even though the ARX™ is lighter and travels at much higher velocities than conventional bullets, it will not defeat soft body armor.

Even the heaviest clothing barriers have no effect on the terminal performance of the ARX™ bullet. The ARX™ penetrates straight until it encounters soft tissue. Upon entering soft tissue, the specially designed grooves in the nose harness the rotational energy of the bullet during the initial 6” of penetration.

The features in the nose of the ARX™ bullet also create hydrodynamic ram which compresses the fluid-filled tissue ahead of the bullet and creates an envelope around the bullet.

At this point the bullet tumbles on a helical path and continues to create a large temporary cavity. As the bullet penetrates it tumbles in a controlled, predictable fashion that delivers very consistent terminal performance that equals or exceeds conventional hollow point designs. In soft tissue, the ARX™ is designed to penetrate 12” to 14”, every time.

ARX™ is safe for use in suppressors – it will not disintegrate in the barrel like sintered bullets.

Here’s the video of their 9mm ammo in slow-motion:


Note it does not show the permanent wound cavity, just a temporary stretch cavity.

My take?

This is a bunch of marketing gobblety-gook for ammunition that does not leave a significant permanent wound channel but has some redeeming features like some frangibility.

I’m not saying I am passing judgement against it, but I want to see good videos with the full test and outside opinions before I ever carry it. Right now, it looks like a R.I.P. with lots of sizzle and no support.


Full Press Release Below

PolyCase Introduces Inceptor Ammo Line

Savannah, GA– PolyCase Ammunition, makers of ammunition for the 21st century, announces the launch of its revolutionary Inceptor™ by PolyCase line of ammunition. Lead free, environmentally safe and range compliant, Inceptor by PolyCase ammunition features their patent-pending Cu/P™ projectiles, produced by a patent-pending, technologically advanced and fully automated injection-molding process, loaded to SAAMI specs in high quality brass cases.

“PolyCase Ammunition approaches ammunition from a different method, leveraging highly engineered designs, advanced materials and patent-pending precision injection molding techniques to create polymer-based components with sound terminal performance. We carefully consider and determine all aspects of how our products are made, to how they function, and own and control the research, development, rapid prototyping, testing and manufacturing processes. From the drawing board up to the finished product, we produce components that are easy to load, durable and highly effective,” said PolyCase Founder and CEO, Paul Lemke.

PolyCase Ammunition’s Cu/P material –– a proprietary lead-free copper alloy with a high-tensile strength nylon binder developed specifically for projectiles –– produces lighter, faster, extremely accurate yet cost competitive bullets. Those bullets, engineered to display uniformity in concentricity and weight, fly faster and flatter, resulting in higher velocities and match-grade accuracy. Initially loaded in the traditional pistol calibers Inceptor by PolyCase cartridges feature four bullet profiles:

The non-expanding patent-pending, ARX™ (Advanced Rotation eXtreme) establishes itself as the ideal self-defense projectile with a revolutionary design that transfers both rotational and directional force to targets and produces exceptional penetration while mitigating the risk of over penetration. Currently available in the traditional pistol calibers of .380 Auto, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 Auto, rifle cartridges ship in the next few months. Watch the ballistics test of the 9mm Luger 74 Grain ARX here.

The extreme precision RNP™ (Round Nose Precision) available in .380 Auto, 9mm and .45 Auto & TNP™ (Truncated Nose Precision) in .40 S&W deliver predictable performance at the range and approved for use on steel targets with significantly reduced ricochet. See the .40 S&W TNP in action here.

A bright tracer compound makes FireFly™ visible in full daylight, allowing shooters to track their shots from muzzle to target. Engineered for training and tactical applications, Inceptor by PolyCase FireFly™ does not foul or damage the barrel of your firearm and comes in .380 Auto, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 Auto. Watch the FireFly™ tracer shot at dusk here.

Safe for handguns, rifles and suppressors, Inceptor by PolyCase Ammunition produces faster velocities, reduced recoil and lower muzzle rise, allowing for quicker follow-up shots and making a day at the range fun for everyone especially beginners and small statured shooters. Environmentally conscious and non-toxic, Inceptor by PolyCase line of ammunition stands as the choice for effective, reliable, accurate and lightweight, lead-free ammunition for the 21st century.

For more information and to view the entire product line visit: www.polycaseammo.com or www.facebook.com/PolyCaseAmmunition or email PolyCase Ammunition at info@polycaseammo.com. For media inquiries please contact: plemke@polycaseammo.com

PolyCase Ammunition is a precision injection molding company located in Savannah, Georgia. Veteran-owned and operated, PolyCase develops, manufactures, markets and sells premium, patent-pending, injection-molded, competitively-priced small arms ammunition products to sportsmen and Law Enforcement professionals. Made in the USA, using over ninety years of collective advanced design, materials and manufacturing experience; PolyCase brings technologically advanced, yet competitively priced ammunition options to the shooting public. For additional information, visit www.polycaseammo.com.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Matt

    “The claims surrounding the ARX line peak my interest the most”

    One’s interest is piqued, not peaked.

    • Matt

      Damn, got my /’s and my ‘s mixed up again…

  • jimmarch


    To it’s credit the little puppy tumbled nicely, which can in some cases substitute for expansion.

    I’d like to see more tests.

    • Risky

      I wonder what the length of the bullet is compared to normal 115-124 copper jacketed lead core bullets. If they’re using a lighter bullet, they could make it longer and set it deeper giving it more terminal effect when it tumbles. This is much easier to do in rifles than handgun rounds, though. Still… in handguns, temporary cavitation isn’t supposed to account for much in the way of permanent wound cavitation as many say you need rifle velocities to achieve that.

  • dan citizen

    Your statement perfectly sums up my take on this ammo…

    “This is a bunch of marketing gobblety-gook for ammunition that does not leave a significant permanent wound channel but has some redeeming features like some frangibility”

    • John Yossarian

      It also goes completely against the most recent FBI testing which showed – that for handgun effectiveness – permanent wounding effects to major organs and nerve centers are what matters in stopping the threat.

      Thereby, wider and deeper wounds (expansion and penetration) have a greater chance of impact. A lighter bullet penetrates less and this one is even designed not to expand. Total fail!

      • Paladin

        Expansion is not the only way to ensure a large permanent wound cavity. The Lehigh Defense bullets, which operate on a similar principle, produce wound tracts comparable or superior to many hollow point designs despite the fact that the bullet does not expand.

      • dan citizen

        To me, most expanding bullets are a bit gimmicky.

        .380 and .45 often produce indistinguishable wound paths. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer the larger slug, but it does mean that I’m not going to hang my hopes on expansion, or even tumbling.

        A couple notable rounds are .32 acp and 7.62 tokarev. Both have fantastic real world track records of stopping ability, with the tokarev having a real knack for boring a hole clean through somebody regardless of thick clothing. Whatever round I carry, I want an exit wound, because that extra hole will gain me more than a larger temporary wound cavity, which may or may not help.

        Why burden a 9mm with a super light bullet? It already has a tendency to make a caliber sized whole clean through, go with the reliable physics of a heavier slug, rather than risk a fancy little bullet that may fail to perform.

        • Sulaco

          I think the Tok rounds track record of stopping power (?) was from when it struck bone, not through and through wounds. This from reading WWII Russian vets stories…

          • dan citizen

            The tokarev round has been issued to a vast number of police departments in the last 70ish years. I’ve been to more than a couple of those areas. Anytime a bullet punches a hole clean through a person, stuff is apt to leak out.

            The couple in person tokarev results I saw involved soft armor, the equivalent of US level IIA. It poked a hole through front and back panels, as well as the guy wearing it. The wound channels looked indistinguishable from 9mm… a pinky sized hole.

            It is the poor man’s .357 sig.

          • Sulaco

            Vast number of police depts.? Source please. I have tested police 2A and it stopped the Tok round very well. There are any number of accounts of through and through wounds that did not kill the person, “stop” maybe. Again the Russian accounts stress bone hits with the very small very fast round to get the most out of it…

          • dan citizen

            The ‘stans, (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Dagestan a couple more too) Hungary, Belarus, Poland, Finland, Latvia, Czechoslovakia, Bosnia, Serbia, Finland, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, GDR, Albania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Zaire, Zimbabwe… All these countries have used the tokarev in military and police roles, some still do.

            I sell armor, and the soft stuff is awful prone to getting perforated by 7.62 x 25. I personally feel IIA is between minimum and inadequate, often failing to stop .357 sig FMJ. I also strongly recommend hybrid panels (ie Goldflex over UHMWPE) as they consistently perform above their NIJ rating.

            The Russians and Fins in WW2 both used this round extensively, even using it as a a make-do-sniper-round. Both countries heavily stressed multiple hits finding that 2-5 rounds were necessary to reliably atop an enemy combatant… much like modern US law enforcement, except you don’t see american cops deploying a pistol round out to 100 yards (nor do they face massed enemies).

            There is so little reliability in any pistol round though… A coworker shot a drunk twice through the chest with a 9mm, both went between the ribs and the guy didn’t realize he was shot until the paramedics showed him the wounds. On the other hand, a friend had his sergeant shot in the arm with a .22, tore an artery, and died of shock in minutes.

            I personally don’t carry the tok round, though I would not feel undergunned,

    • Dracon1201

      Lehigh Defense would have something to say about your skepticism. So would Shootingthebull410.

  • David Vileta

    expensive ammo is expensive

    • tony

      Sun Tzu

    • MrApple

      Thanks for that update.

  • Vitor Roma

    Now let’s wait for Shootingthebull to test it. Im always open to new ideas and concepts, The cross pattern bullets from Lehigh surprised me by how well the performed.

  • lucusloc

    trying to judge the scale on the slowmo, does it look like it under penetrated to anyone else (say only 10 to 12 inches)? How is this going to perform against bone?

    A press release is all well and good, how about a data dump at the same time?

    • Risky

      It’s hard to tell from company test videos because you don’t know how the gel is concentrated or if it’s been calibrated. I always withhold judgement until we get some of the good independent tester’s results.

      • John Yossarian

        True on that. I find it rather obvious when I consistently see exotic ammo manufacturers demonstrating the effects of their ammunition on on the less dense clear gels.

    • Paladin

      There’s no real way to be sure, since it’s not an independent video and there is no scale, but the standard gel-block is 16″ long. Since the bullet cleared the first gel block that would put it well past the FBI recommended minimum of 12″

    • Westwood

      According to a comment by PolyCase on youtube, each gel block is 13″ long

  • YS

    Wasn’t there some polymer based bullet about two decades ago named Black Rhino, promising unheard of performance? AFAIK, that one didn’t make it to the market.

  • Tiru Maru

    As for the bullet design, what does Lehigh Precision have to say about it?
    They have been making these for some years now. Only Lehigh make solid copper/brass bullets.

    • -V-

      The patents that Lehigh’s bullets, and this one are based on have been expired for a while – since 2003 or 2004 if I recall correctly. Lehigh didn’t even patent that design initially so they have no IP claim to this design.

      • Tiru Maru

        Thanks. ya learn something new everyday….. : )

  • ExurbanKevin

    I had a chance to talk at length with these guys at SHOT, and I like where they’re headed. The comparisons to the Lehigh bullet are valid, and as I told these guys at SHOT, an FBI-standard gel test with denim and samples sent to shootingthebull or tnoutdoor9 would go a long way into proving their claims.

    That being said, I think they’re on to something here.

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, impossible not to think at the Lehigh XP, and that seems to work very well, so this might be not only marketing.

    • MrApple

      I emailed the company and asked them to send some samples to ShootingTheBull410. His testing is the best on YouTube at the moment.

  • Vitsaus

    Hoefully this is the first step toward something more advanced.

  • sianmink

    The tumble is nice vs ball, but temporary cavity in handguns is meaningless. I don’t think this would compare favorably to most hollowpoints. Also yowza they’re expensive.
    We need to get Shootingthebull410 on it. 😉

  • Bill

    i’d like to see what happen when it hits hard targets, like steel or concrete. There’s a role for specialized ammo that won’t damage (excessively) surrounding materials in infrastructure protection, like nuclear facilities, power and water plants. ships and aircraft and so forth.

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    This is the same stuff as Atlantic Marksmen ammo.
    Looks like they’re going on with the Polycase brand name.

    Initially I was a bit sceptic about this ARX bullet,
    but the more I look at the -independent- test videos on YouTube, the more I like it.
    The “screwdriver pattern” bullet reminds me of the Xtreme Penetrator bullets that Lehigh makes – IF it performs like those Lehighs, it can’t be that bad.
    They also use Lapua brass, which obviously is a good thing.

    On the long run, these injection molded bullets can cost less, since they don’t require machining like the Lehigh bullets. Once the precision molding dies are made and the molding rig set up, large scale production will show its benefits, just think of affordable polymer parts produced in really large numbers. They’re all injection molded.
    That’s where PIM really excels at.

    My issue is with the plastic itself. It’ll leave plastic fouling behind in the barrel,
    there’s no way around it. Once the barrel heats up, that plastic will melt,
    unlike copper/brass, which have significantly larger melting points, regardless of what type of plastic is used in this case.
    Gummed up, melted plastic in the barrel…meh, don’t know what to think about this.
    Maybe it’s not an issue with a pistol.

    • Sledgecrowbar

      I’ve been using the nylon-jacketed ammo from Cabela’s lately and although you do smell melted plastic when shooting, it’s some of the easiest cleaning afterwards. I was expecting a layer of plastic in the barrel, even just in the grooves, and whether it was easy or hard to remove would determine if I’d buy it again, but it was pretty much just carbon fouling alone. If this copper/nylon turns out to be cost-effective, I’m patiently waiting for the days of cheap range ammo to return, even if reloading. This $3/round nonsense is for the gottahavit crowd, but I can see why they went with the plastic option for ease of manufacturing a complex shape.

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        Thanks for the quality input Sledge’!

        Melting plastic fumes don’t sound too good (lot of rounds+indoor range on long term= straight road to lung cancer), it doesn’t give you anything over copper jacket/brass plating either, and it’s even a health/environmental hazard -unlike solid brass or copper-, but as a niche type I see very good potencial in these bonded polymer-metal bullets.

        I agree that producing complex [self defense] bullet shapes cheaply is where this technology could come into play as a serious contender.
        For their current price I would definitely choose Lehigh in this “screwdriver bullet” niche though.
        We’ll see if the pricing is product positioning or just the the initial cost of launching a new technology.

        • Bill

          Nyclad bullets date to the mid 80’s, if not earlier

          • Adam aka eddie d.

            Thanks for the info Bill!
            Things we learn. 🙂
            Never heard of this type of ammo.

            I’ve just done some reading on it –
            interesting stuff, but it’s a whole different animal in my humble opinion.
            Federal’s Nyclad was a plastic coated/jacketed lead projectile as I understand, Polycase’s bullet is a mixture of copper particles and plastic bonded together.
            I don’t know crap about ballistics 🙂 , but I’ve got a feeling they behave very differently.

            Interesting datapoint though, thanks for sharing it!

  • 2Spooky

    It took me a quick google search to find videos showing the permanent channel in a gel block. Do at least *some* research before posting?

  • Blake

    Why do they call it PolyCase if the cases are brass?

    • jared

      Well poly just means many, but yeah first thought was polymer.

    • Matt

      If I recall correctly, they do have lower pressure fmj rounds that are a polymer case

    • Gregory Markle

      The name is only confusing or misleading if you mistake an article about the ARX bullet for being an article about the entire company. They do currently ship polymer cased .380 with both the RNP and ARX bullets such as these sample components I picked up at SHOT 2014 (that’s one the RNP bullets, the ARX was just being developed at the time and they didn’t have extras.) It shoots well out of the firearms I’ve tested it out of (Desert Eagle Micro, LCP, and a Mac 11) and the 9mm Inceptor ARX seemed to shoot well out the SCCY pistols they were using at the ATAC Range Day. I’ve seen and have samples of some other stuff I can’t talk about right now also but Polycase isn’t a misnomer for them.

  • john

    The name and box design makes me think of condoms. “Use the ‘Firefly’ to spice up the bedroom!”

    Waiting for the extensive YouTube testers to shake this one out….

    • Sulaco

      Thanks for that “John”….snicker

  • Sulaco

    I think we will be seeing more and more of these types of ammo being developed as the Ban Lead crowd gain converts in Government and media aka: CA. This and the non lead ammo like LeHigh will replace civilian ammo sales over time to the consternation of your owners in government.

    • sianmink

      Sportsman’s bill will pass, protecting lead ammunition for the foreseeable future.

  • Tom Currie

    ANY new ammunition coming from an previously unknown maker that touts using the so-called ‘rotational energy’ of the bullet is easily recognized as total hogwash. This is the same pseudo-physics that we have seen from other wanna-be ammo companies claiming a ‘hole saw’ effect from sawteeth on the front of the projectile supposedly spinning at several thousand RPM. All this ‘rotational’ crap is talking about the spin of the projectile due to the rifling of the barrel. It sounds great unless someone stops to think about the fact that the spin of the projectile is determined by the muzzle velocity of the bullet AND THE TWIST RATE of the barrel.

    Maybe they do have something with the frangible nature of this bullet – that will have to wait until we can see how it performs in ballistic gelatin (and more importantly how it performs in actual shootings if it ever gets that far), but when the marketing boys try to pull off that ‘rotational energy’ crap I loose interest until some can show me some actual engineering not fantasies intended to dupe the ignorant!

    rotational energy
    rotational energyrotational energy”

    • Mark N.

      When I read it, I assumed they were talking about how the bullet tumbles, thus imparting “rotational energy” to the block.

      • Tom Currie

        Look at THEIR diagram for this “PATENT PENDING DESIGN” and tell me again what “rotational energy” they are talking about.

  • noguncontrol

    if it doesnt penetrate soft body armor, no thanks, i’ll stick with good but cheaper jhp’s or dxp , if you are going to make new pistol ammo, it should be able to penetrate soft body armor without using banned materials like steel or brass etc. otherwise, there is no point.

  • Lt Donn

    Until much testing and evaluating is completed, I am not going to urge any of my students to switch from the brands that have a documented & proven track record. Not saying the claims made by the company are not valid…but like any reputable SD brand, [we] need a lot more info, testing and time. In addition, I specifically refrain from using or recommending any ammo for citizens…not matter how effective, that uses a catchy, or “tactical” name…using such ammo in a SD shooting could easily be portrayed as “menacing” to a jury by an avowed anti-SD prosecutor…the safest bet is to carry what your local police department carries…this is the most “defensible” position in court.

  • TreizFaction

    They uploaded the video in 144p? WTF? How do we even know that that’s their bullet? The quality is too low to see anything.

  • Delta Dawn

    introduced the prototype of their ARX at SHOT Show 2014, over a year ago … I
    think the PolyCase design was actually first, it just hasn’t been covered by
    the media until now.

  • fmike15

    What if your perp is behind a door or in a car? Temporary cavities are nice but FMJ penetrates barriers and creates entrance and exit wounds. If you’re worried about over penetration you shouldn’t be shooting.