Ruger ARX Self-Defense Ammo First Viable Polymer Bullet for Lethal Force?


Ruger ARX Self-Defense Ammo.

A new polymer-copper blended bullet made by PolyCase Ammunition and licensed by Ruger promises to deliver ultra-high velocity and superior terminal ballistics for personal protection.

Ruger-PolyCase ARX Ammo in .380 Auto. Plastic bullets aren’t new, they’ve been used since the early 1970s as non-lethal projectiles and training aids. However, a new polymer-blended-with-copper job from Ruger and PolyCase Ammunition aims to take copper-impregnated plastic onto the mean streets and is billed as a “force multiplier” for lethal force applications.

According to Ruger, the distinctive bullet profile transfers maximum energy to the target by fluid dynamic effect. 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, they report.

Ruger-PolyCase ARX Ammo in .45 ACP.

ARX Self-Defense Ammo

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 injection-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—while reducing the loaded weight of firearms and spare magazines. The copper/polymer bullets fragment upon striking solid backstops, Ruger said.

Currently, the ammo is available in .380 Auto and .45 ACP. The .380 is said to be clocking 1,315 feet per second (fps) with a 56-grain bullet—putting about 215 foot-pounds (ft.-lbs.) on target. The .45 ACP does about double that, with its 118-grain bullet at 1,307 fps for 448 ft.-lbs of energy.

According to Ruger’s website here, 9mm and .40 S&W will be available soon.

44-Targetposters-pack-GD-reduced-300NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Storm Tactical Printable Target Pack

62 Printable MOA Targets with DOT Drills - Rifle Range in YARDS This impressive target pack from our friends at Storm Tactical contains 62 printable targets for rifle and handgun range use. Target grids and bullseye sizes are in MOA. Ideal for long-range shooting!

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and we'll send your print-at-home target pack right away. Just enter your email address below.


  1. So since they fragment on hitting a hard surface backstop how does one expect to use them for say a window? If someone was in need of shooting thru glass what happens do you use a solid bullet as the first in the mag followed by these as the rest or hope that the time won’t come when there is a barrier? I LOVE the concept but that is a concern especially for law enforcement
    Dr D


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.