Ruger Ammunition

Ruger 380

Ruger is entering the ammo business with a new line of handgun loads made under a licensing agreement with PolyCase ammunition. The initial calibers supported will be .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. It is not immediately clear if the rounds will be made by Ruger or by PolyCase for Ruger.

The new rounds use the PolyCase ARX bullet design, and are high velocity/low mass loads:

  • .380 ACP:  56 grain bullet @ 1,400 fps
  • 9mm +P:  74 grain bullet @ 1,530 fps
  • .40 S&W:  107 grain bullet @ 1,310 fps
  • .45 ACP:  114 grain bullet @ 1,180 fps

The ARX bullet is a non-expanding bullet that is designed to use rotational energy to increase the wounding effect. According to PolyCase, the 9mm load “…has been compared by some to be similar to that of a .223 75 gr BTHP.”



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • MR

    Like the rest of the Ruger product line, they’ll be overpriced and of dubious accuracy.

    • Vitor Roma

      Why? Fast rounds fly quite straight. You may say they will slow down faster but Im sure the accuracy is fine for 50 yards.

    • DannyBoyJr

      Overpriced? My P95 and SP101 are relatively inexpensive when I got them and are solid performers. And since Rugers are overbuilt, I expect both to outlive me. Accuracy, OTOH, is a matter of operator competence.

      As for the Ruger ammo… Erm, why PolyCase? They’re not street proven, of dubious performance, and may cause other unforeseen consequences. Why not just make your own custom Hornady XTP load like most other small ammo manufacturers?

      • Vitor Roma

        Shottingthebull410 liked them.

        • DannyBoyJr

          His youtube channel is quite entertaining, informative even. But like most amateur ballistician, he takes the IWBA/FBI 12″ penetration testing on ballistic gelatin as gospel truth. It has always been understood to just be a useful guide and not really indicative of actual performance on living human tissue.

          As for PolyCase, I’d still wait for actual self-defense use by other people before I commit my safety to it. Will it stop perps as soon as you double tap them or will it kill them only after they manage to kill you first? I don’t really want to be a “beta tester” for that scenario.

          And so, I will still use Federal HST, based partly on Shottingthebull410’s test in 9mm.

          • NDS

            I like that he keeps his testing uniform across all calibers and types of ammo so a fair comparison is possible. I’m with you, a FBI stimulant test is just that, a test. I carry HST because they are field proven and are reasonably priced in bulk.

          • Sulaco

            The ammo does meet the non-JHP requirement for some jurisdictions however…

          • Dan

            Yeah, same with JSPs. I am reluctant with the PolyCase because it is still too new and unproven to be one’s self defense ammo when SHTF. But hey, once the ammo gets the chance to prove itself in the field, we can revisit this conversation again.

            As for non-JHP jurisdiction, I can only think of NJ on the top of my head. As I understand it, NJ does not outright ban JHP, so mere possession is ok. You can even use it in self defense if used within your house. But they do restrict carrying JHPs (in your gun or even just in your pocket) outside your house. And since NJ has an impossibly hard and corrupt may-issue CCW process, you won’t even get the chance to carry JHPs in the first place.

          • Sulaco

            Actually some of us do have CCW for even NJ. Can’t remember off hand but there was at least one other jurisdiction that limited JHP’s but you are right it is a limited number…

    • Southpaw89

      ? Seems like Ruger is one of the few companies that doesn’t overprice their stuff, my Blackhawk was very reasonably priced and is one of the most accurate handguns I’ve shot. And quality is certainly not an issue, they’re not called “Ruger only handloads” for nothing. No idea on the ammos performance though.

    • Emfourty Gasmask

      My SR-762 has proven to be sub-MOA with 168 grain match ammo. Pretty awesome rifle if you ask me.

    • Treyh007

      Ruger over priced and dubious accuracy?? I believe your statements are of dubious accuracy sir!

      • MR

        You’re right, $1000 is a great MSRP for a rimfire Model 77.

        • Jack Burton

          Who cares about MSRP?

          • MR

            I know. Just like to stir up the fanbois. $739 is a downright bargain for a rimfire.

          • Cymond

            Their 77/22 is practically built like a centerfire, sorta like how a S&W 617 is priced closely to a 686. If you want something built like other rimfire rifles, look at the American Rimfire or the venerable 10/22.

            From my perspective, it looks like you chose their most outrageously priced product as your example.

          • floppyscience

            Exactly. It’s a full-scale M77, just in .22 LR. Rimfire guns aren’t cheap because they’re rimfire, they’re cheap because they’re usually built to lower standards. The M77 is not.

            If you want a .22 that’s built like a .22 they make the American Rimfire which is less than $300.

        • Echo5Charlie

          Street price on a Ruger 77/22 (7002) is around $739 – which is $200 under the actual MSRP for that model.

          Perhaps being slightly informed before you argue would be a better approach? MSRP is as applicable to firearms as it is to cars. Unless there is crazy demand, if you pay MSRP you deserve to be separated from your money.

      • iksnilol

        I’ve seen crappy shotguns pattern better than the couple of Mini-14s I’ve seen (+ it is expensive). The 10/22 is overpriced considering you need to switch out most of the parts to have good accuracy and considering it costs more than other rimfires with better accuracy.

        Their model 1 and their revolvers? Those are good. Their ARs I can’t speak of, I’ve no experience there.

        And some of their handguns are ripoffs of Keltec, I can’t really respect theft like that.

        So Ruger is 50/50 in my book

    • Twilight sparkle

      Ruger is very reasonably priced, it’s actually cheaper than comparable firearms. It has been known for being cheap since they started…

      The reason the rimfire 77 is so expensive is because it’s made like the rest of the model 77s. It has control round feed with a modified Mauser action and they had to shrink it down to a rim fire size, that’s a lot of work and I’m the end you have a bomb proof rimfire that will last hundreds of years.

      If you noticed the rimfire ruger American isn’t made that way and it’s considerably cheaper.

    • Echo5Charlie

      Keyboard Commando, eh?

      • MR

        Jeeze, it’s “Keyboard Operator”, get with the times, fogy.

        • Dan

          People will always be behind the curve. Im still in trials for tier 1 keyboard operator.

  • charlesrhamilton

    For my money, Ruger can’t be beat when it comes to quality for the price.

    • iksnilol

      *cough* Mini-14 *cough* 😉

      • floppyscience

        Show me a better steel and wood semiautomatic centrefire rifle for $750.

        • iksnilol

          Most AKs?

          • floppyscience

            I guess we have different definitions of “better”.

          • iksnilol

            I take it you haven’t handled a Molot Vepr?

            Also, I forgot to mention: Keltec SU-16. It does the same thing, is lighter and uses common magazines. A Browning BAR is also a solid option, though it costs a bit more than 750.

  • Brian Fulmer

    Really bizarre for Ruger to select a “snake oil” bullet type. If they want to go outside of mainstream bonded bullets, Barnes copper bullets have a track record for hunting in my family that is stellar. For pistol ammo, I have 357 Mag and 45 ACP components to handload, and I just picked up a couple of boxes of M1 Carbine CorBon as well. Ruger missed the boat on this one.

    • ExurbanKevin

      Not at all. Ruger came out with a pocket .380 when no one else was seeing the need for an ultra-concelaable pocket gun, and they’ve proven time and time again they’re willing to upset the apple cart.
      All new products are “snake oil” until they work, and then they become the new standard.

      • Jim B

        Ruger copied that pocket .380 from Keltec, not exactly innovation on their part. However, the 10-22, SP101, P90, old model Vaquero and SRH are really great guns (all of which I own).
        So yup, I’ll give their ammo a try.

        • MR

          Assuming it’s not over a buck a round for nine millimeter, I’ll probably grab a box or two, to try out.

        • floppyscience

          They copied the LCP from Keltec, yes, but they made a better pistol and marketed it well, starting an entire .380 craze that lasted several years and resulted in many companies copying the LCP in turn. It took me a year to find an LCP on the shelves after it was released.

          • Edeco

            *stuffs metaphorical handkerchief belonging to George Kellgren into gauntlet of white-knight-armor*

            Started? Harumph!

    • Giolli Joker

      Not really “snake oil”; check ShootingTheBull410’s video review on these rounds.

    • I thought it was actually a bold move by Ruger, and based on testing I’ve seen so far, a good choice.

      The ARX seems to due considerably better than expected, penetrates well, and has lower recoil. This last characteristic is likely the deciding factor for Ruger’s line of lightweight pistols (LCP and LC9S).

      I just cant wait for the .357 mag loaded for the gp100. It should easily exceed 2000fps.

    • Edeco

      Not surprised myself, I mean, they rode the MIM wave.

      • wedelj1231

        They still do MIM parts. Every heard of an SP101? BTW, those guns are known for their reliability and toughness.

        • Edeco

          Yep, I’ve heard of them

  • smartacus

    i like the Lehigh (and Underwood) phillips screwdriver shaped bullets BETTER.

    • Have you tried both?

      Personally I really want to see Underwood load the ARX. If a standard pressure 9mm ARX does 1500fps, I imagine Underwoods +p+ will do 1700, and their .357 Sig would be in the 1900fps range.

      • iksnilol

        I wouldn’t mind them making that ammo for 7.62×25.

        • maodeedee

          So instead of the bullet weighing 80 grains it would weigh 35 grains?

      • smartacus

        i haven’t tried ARX yet 🙂

        .357 Sig ARX by Underwood at 1900fps would probably makes most sense to me for “hydrostatic shock”.
        (Ditto a .40 S&W ARX loaded in an Underwood 10mm)

        i still like the Xtreme Penetrator in .380 because of the adequate penetration.

  • smartacus

    Just make sure you don’t put them in a barrel with a left-hand twist.

  • Broz

    As a reloader, I prefer brass cases…of course I’m not humpimg 120lbs of ‘impedimenta’ around on my back

    • ostiariusalpha

      Don’t let the name fool you, it’s the bullets that are polymer, not the casing.

      • iksnilol

        This seems like a common misconception. Maybe they shouldn’t have named the brand “Polycase”?

        • Spencerhut

          Maybe people that can’t tell the difference between brass and plastic should stop breeding and go suck start a shotgun? Just saying . . .

          • MR

            Because nobody’s ever plated plastic to look like brass…

          • anomad101

            Nobody has ever plated plastic to look like chrome either.

          • Spencerhut

            Go get your shotgun and put it in your mouth too.

          • Spencerhut

            Go get your shotgun and put it in your mouth.

          • anomad101

            Today, there are still some people that can not tell the difference between their ass and the proverbial hole in the ground. Excluding me of course.

          • Spencerhut

            Give them a shotgun

          • Swarf

            Do you need your Binky and a nap?

            Jesus, calm down.

          • Spencerhut

            Stop coddling the stupid.

        • maodeedee

          No they should call it “Plasticbullet” because it sis the bullet that is partially polymer, NOT the case.

  • Don Ward

    The more ammo being made the better.

    • Anonymoose

      This is almost certainly just rebranding though.

      • TexTopCat

        Yes, it seems to indicate that Ruger might make a run at the military handgun contract. Interesting.

        • Anonymoose

          iirc, they did enter the SR45 in the JCP trials back in the day…

          • floppyscience

            The JCP trials ended in 2006. The SR45 didn’t come out until 2013. They entered their older P345.

  • M T

    Orgonite bullets to shoot them there reptilians, hilarious!

  • John

    This stems from the Great Ammo Shortage of the 2000’s. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon hoping the next shortage will make them even richer.

    Too many eggs in too many baskets if you ask me.

    BTW, wasn’t Sig’s new ammo pretty well proven to be all hype in lots of online testing sites?

    • TexTopCat

      Think military contract requirement.

    • floppyscience

      From what I’ve seen, SIG’s new ammo plain sucks. Then again so do the new “G2” Gold Dots. And G2 RIP.

      There’s been a whole lot of bad ammo released lately.

  • Dan

    People demand a lot of convenience out of companies now days. Parts commonality etc. Not many people demand springfield and other M14 makers switch over to use cheaper AR10 mags. I bought a bunch of thermold mags for my M1A when I couldn’t find any decent non springfield mags and figured eh theyre cheap and i can live with them until something comes along. They actually surprised me and worked flawlessly. Never would have expected it. Flat out refused to believe it and spent a lot on ammo to prove to myself they would fail. 1 out of the 5 failed in 900 rnds. I traded in the gun and a friend ended up buying it and has reported 0 problems with them. I have a hard time telling people they work and i won’t recommend them but they work and the little mag loader they came with was nice too. Damn the luck when a cheap throw away mag works and makes you question all that you believe. Where was i going with this? I need sleep.

    • MR

      That’s okay, I was just tossing in some clickbait to keep the fanbois rabid.

  • NDS

    “According to PolyCase, the 9mm load “…has been compared by some to be similar to that of a .223 75 gr BTHP.” ”

    Shame on you for publishing such a ridiculous claim, even if it comes from the manufacturer. It’s a complete lie and does nothing but hurt your credibility to repost it here.

    • Kirk Newsted

      Perhaps you could provide some actual evidence to support your counter-claim.

      • NDS

        Sure.

        A 75gr .223 at 2800fps makes 1300ish lb/ft of energy, is effective beyond 600 meters, and has vastly different wounding mechanics than a solid projectile.

        A 74gr 9mm at 1500fps does none of those things. I’m not saying the concept is invalid; Lehigh makes a very effective version of this especially for .380. Saying it is similar to a .223 is an absolute lie and TFB is irresponsible for printing it.

        • Actually, I work from the position that TFB readers are intelligent people who can critically evaluate manufacturer statements on their own.

          When someone makes a significant claim that I am not able to test the veracity of, I will sometimes include it with the understanding that readers are able to form their own opinions on that statement.

          If the company is making outlandish claims – as you suggest here – wouldn’t you be better informed by reading its own words so that you can form an opinion about any other statements the company makes about tis products?

          You may believe the company is lying, and that reinforces my belief that readers are able to form their own opinions.

          • Spencerhut

            Nailed it.

          • NDS

            I’ve been a reader of TFB for many years, and 100% agree that the readers and commenters are among the best and brightest in the “blog world”… My concern is, how many new & inexperienced shooters do you think come to TFB for advice and product reviews?

            I’m not knocking TFB for the actual information; as I said originally the manufacturer is making this claim not the author.

        • Swarf

          Maybe the two rounds produce similar results at 10 yards…

          • Giolli Joker

            Maybe they make similar holes in paper targets. The sentence is quite vague. 😛

          • NDS

            I’d love for ShootingTheBull or someone of his expertise to weigh in; I’m not a ballistic expert by any stretch. I shoot a lot of 9mm and a lot of 5.56 and I am under zero impression the two are alike in any way. Maybe I’m completely wrong.

        • Kirk Newsted

          Thank you for the info. Which is harder, providing the info first or forcing other people to ask for it?

          • NDS

            I don’t understand what that means, I’m sorry, which is harder? No disrespect I just don’t know what you mean. You asked for evidence so I just Googled the load data for a generic 75gr Hornady .223 factory BTHP to get some actual numbers on there.

            Maybe I’m crazy? I didn’t think it was a controversy to be surprised by the comparison of a .223 rifle cartridge to a 9mm pistol cartridge.

            Another comparison, so I’m not leaving any data off the table:
            The Underwood 180gr 10mm JHP makes 1350fps and 768ft/lb energy at the muzzle – that is a beast of a pistol cartridge and you have to get into the mag and super mag revolver loading to beat that. I still wouldn’t compare it to .223 out of a rifle – they have completely different wounding mechanics, penetration, trajectory, etc.

    • maodeedee

      Agree. A 223 75 grain bullet has enormously greater sectional density than a 56 grain .355 grain bullet. That’s like comparing an arrow to a BB and additionally the 223 75 gr BTHP develops nearly twice the velocity and doubble the ft-lbs of energy
      Give me a break already.

      No matter how you spin it this ammo is no more effective, and likely less so than any of the better existing. 380 defense loads. All they’re doing is trading velocity for mass woich is a losing proposition but since all that most people understand about ballistics is velocity, many will believe the hype.

  • DaveP

    The 10-round mags for my Ruger Gunsite Scout .223 run $75. That’s not ‘overpriced for what they are’, that’s ‘overpriced out of the market’. Ruger actually would’ve made more of a profit adapting the rifle for standard AR-compatible mags, because then they would’ve at least sold a few.

    • I also wish they could have adapted the rifles to run AR magazines. However, Mossberg locked up the ability to run the mags in a bolt gun pretty tight with their patent. It is my understanding that Ruger was not able to get around the patent, and Mossberg was not willing to license the technology. So, Ruger felt it was in a position of building what we have now, or doing nothing at all.

      • DaveP.

        Maybe so, but remember Ruger actually has a 30-rounder in house: the Mini 14 mag. Since the Mini-i4 uses a completely different mag latching mechanism (fore-and-aft instead of AR style), they could’ve adapted the magwell to use those; they would have spent a little more on production costs but would’ve made up for it on mag sales and appeal to folks who already own a Mini-14. As things are, the cost of the mags (and for some reason Ruger doesn’t seem interested in producing the .223 mag in less-expensive polymer, the way they do the .308 mags) means anyone who is looking seriously at a “patrol-style” .223 will look elsewhere.

    • Swarf

      This is absolutely true.

      As much as I like the GSR and Ruger in general, I would probably get the Mossberg Predator based on the magazine issue alone (n.b: that is, given that the overall quality is acceptable. I haven’t actually handled one, so there is that caveat)

  • anomad101

    Screw them with a phillips head bullet.

  • Sulaco

    1400 fps out of what .380?

    • maodeedee

      1400 fps! 1400 fps! –never mind that the bullet weight is only a tiny bit more that a 25 auto but has LESS sectional density.
      An arrow fired from a 80 pound compound bow only develops 5 or 600 fps but it’s sectional density gives it the ability to kill big game.

      • Sulaco

        I’m not sure what your point is. Arrows have a very sharp pointy thing on the front that gives it the penetration to “kill big game”. Small very light bullets tend to splat on impact and give up all their energy and not penetrate very much which is why most PD’s use 147 grain or higher rounds. My comment was about disbelief that a short barreled .380 would get an honest 1400 fps not about impact of penetration issues. I think you mis read it.

  • puhiawa

    Does it load reliably? .380, like the .45 ACP, is notoriously finicky about the ammo each model prefers. Military ball is the only reliable load for all gun manufacturers. I really wish manufacturers would have this as a factor.

    • anomad101

      I think, but have not tried, my .380 Bersa would load and fire an old tennis shoe. Finicky it ain’t.

    • It has a rounded profile towards the tip, so I expect it would fead similarly to ball, and more reliably than a flat tipped JHP.

    • Mark

      My G42 doesn’t like light weight bullets like these and Barnes. I’m not sold on the “Science” of these projectiles. I’ll stick with Gold Dots.

  • stephen

    Shot some arx at Murdoch’s shooting expo 2months ago, good for a target round, especially at indoor ranges, still waiting to see rl results

  • maodeedee

    Trading mass for velocity is a losing proposition. A 56 grain .355 bullet has the sectional density of a roundball.
    A 36 caliber mussleloader had the same ballistics this does an it was considered a q