ruger- ARX

Sitting at the very top of my “to shoot” box are 250 rounds of an intriguing and radical new self-defense bullet design. The polymer-copper rounds from Polycase are a head turner… and is impressive enough on paper and in ballistics gel that firearms industry giant Ruger is introducing their own line of ARX self-defense ammunition:

The companies say Ruger ARX “changes everything you know about ammo,” and “is a revolutionary step forward in self-defense.”

Ruger said in a news release Wednesday that the copper and polymer bullet’s lighter weight and design “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. It offers maximum force to target and fast, repeated target acquisition.”

The ammo is available in a 20-round box for a .45-caliber handgun and a 25-round box for a .380-caliber pistol

Michael Fifer, Ruger’s chief executive, said “matching up the Ruger brand with cutting-edge PolyCase bullet technology seemed a perfect fit.”

Paul Lemke, the chief executive and founder of PolyCase, said Ruger’s position among the top U.S. firearms manufacturers persuaded PolyCase to enter the partnership.

The partnership is an important one not just for both companies, but for the self-defense ammunition market. Manufacturers have done some very impressive things with the basic design of hollowpoint bullets in the past ten years, but all of that development has been evolutionary, with minimal tweeks to relatively mature bullet designs and choices of materials.

Polycase’s ARX bullet design is shockingly different in terms of looks, design, materials, function, and consistency in performance in the standard test medium of 10% ordnance gelatin.

Polycase may have a great new design in the ARX, but it would likely have languished (at least for a while) as a novelty round without a major push. Ruger’s decision to feature the ARX design as their first offering in their entry into the self-defense market is a huge vote of confidence in the ARX design and Polycase as a company.

As a result, there is a good chance that the ARX and other intriguing new bullet designs will be mainstreamed soon than many of us expected.