Polycase ARX Inceptor Ammunition Tested – Results Surprised Me

When I first posted on the Polycase ARX ammunition, I was obviously skeptical to its capabilities and claims. When a product is released with that much marketing sizzle and vibrant cliams, I am naturally inclined to view it as gimmicky.

However, there are times that I am proven wrong and ShootingTheBull410 (one of my favorite YouTube channels) has put the Polycase ARX Inceptor through his wringer… and it performed well, especially in the .380.

Check out the video below for the full test. STB has some excellent thoughts after the shooting results that you may want to consider.

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.


  • Darkpr0

    Interesting. This is a neat way to approach the penetration problem. Heavy bullets will tend to want to keep moving through resistance, and so they’d overpenetrate. Add in a hollow point and you can get better wounding effects by trading off the excess penetration and energy through increasing the resistance of the bullet to flow by deformation.

    This goes in the opposite direction. A solid bullet that won’t deform, but is moving at a good clip and prone to tumbling is kind of neat. You’d expect to see some tendency to fly off-kilter once it hit the target as the video noted, but from rifles we know how effective tumbling can be from rifles even when the rounds are non-expanding and non-fragmenting FMJ. I think it’s kind of funny that the fluting was designed for a totally off-base mechanism of wounding (using the rotational energy to wound is not new, but also has not been that successful), but contribute heavily to another far more conventional wounding method. I have to think that the weight taken off the front of the bullet is moving that COG rearward and getting that back end to come around.

    It does provoke me to suspect, though, that the fluting might actually be helping cause the yaw by more than just moving weight around. If the fluting is attempting to convert energy into temporary cavity, then the resistance to spin will suddenly increase many times upon hitting a target. If the spin slows down more quickly than usual (which you would expect with high rotational resistance from those flutes and such a light projectile) your stabilization is probably gonna go with it, and that could be inducing some of the tumbling effects we see. It would be need to see what effects that would have on rifle rounds like 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm where fast yaw considerably increases terminal effects.

    • Scott Tuttle

      the fluting also makes it rear heavy I’d say. tumble city.

      • CrankyFool

        I think that’s what Darkpr0 was referring to when he talked about “moving the COG[sic — I suspect it’s really more COM, or Center of Mass, not Center of Gravity] rearward and getting that back end to come around”

  • I talked to the owner of PolyCase at SHOT last year and came away very impressed. He had a photo of a hog taken with the 9mm ARX at 60 yards from a carbine – there was what looked like a 6″ X as the exit.

    I’m looking forward to more testing with the round, possibly with some handloads. The 56gr used in the .380, but mated with a hot .357 sig could be in the 2100fps + range, which when combined with the rotational energy could make for some spectacular results. Because the round is a solid, and not a JHP, there is no worry about driving it too fast.

  • lucusloc

    I will check these out,they look really neat. Also subbed to the channel, thanks for letting me know about it.

    Now if we can just avoid all the speculation about strange bullets leading to arrests for obvious self defense cases. . .

  • Gidge

    Impressive. Nice to see something new that takes a different approach. The real potential of such a light bullet is in something with a ported barrel like a Glock 17C/19C, S&W M&P Performance Centre Ported or anything with a compensator on it. Combined with a heavy charge of slow burning powder you maximize the efficiency of the ports/compensator and give you a very soft shooting gun.

    I do have one concern though. If the bullet is so hard and doesn’t deform what’s that going to do to your barrel life?

    • Giolli Joker

      In defensive use an efficient ported barrel might have a blinding effect.
      Lighter bullets should reduce recoil anyway.

    • Darkpr0

      It shouldn’t do anything to your barrel life. Quick search says that the bullet is all copper with a nylon binder. Neither of those is going to hurt a steel barrel. The lack of deformation is due to the shape of the bullet and it stays together for the same reason any FMJ would. But that all happens when the bullet has left the barrel and gone for its adventure through external ballistics. Inside the gun, it’s no different from your favourite surplus junk ammo, or finest personal defense loading.

  • gunsandrockets

    This is why I love the Firearm Blog. Thanx for that very interesting review.

  • phuzz

    Can any one explain why his tests where he was shooting through the denim penetrated further than the shots without?
    I’d have expected the opposite.

    • Drew

      It may have to do with the velocities achieved on the shots through denim. The two bare gelatin shots had velocities of 1102 and 1084. The shots through denim had velocities of 1129 and 1143.

  • Barry

    So would this be acceptable for military applications?