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Ruger ARX 9mm 80gr +P in Clear Ballistics Gel

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5pins, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. 5pins

    5pins Member

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    Nu7RyTDl.jpg

    Test Gun: Sig P229, Kahr Mk9.
    Barrel length: 3.9, 3 inches.
    Ammunition: Ruger ARX 9mm 80gr +P
    Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
    Distance: 10 feet.
    Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
    Five shot velocity average: 1411, 1323fps
    Gel Temperature 73 degrees.

    I have had this box of ammo for some time now and now that I decide to test them it looks like it’s been discontinued. Part of the reason for waiting was trying to figure out how to evaluate them. Trying to evaluate them on the permanent wound damage in the gel is subjective and open to interpretation.

    From the Sig P229, I got a five-shot average velocity of 1411fps with a high of 1421 and a low of 1403fps.

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    With the Kahr, the five-shot average was 1323fps with a high of 1331 and a low of 1316fps. The recoil in both pistols was very mild.

    From the Sig, the first round had a velocity of1420fps and penetrated to16.75 inches. The second round hit the block at 1416fps and went to a depth of 16 inches. The bullets had a recovered weight of 82.1 and 82.4 grains with no expansion. Both bullets were recovered base forward.

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    In the heavy clothing covered gel, the first round’s velocity was 1452fps and its penetration was 16.5 inches. The second round had a velocity of 1436fps and penetrated to 15.75 inches. Recovered weight was 82.1 and 82.7 grains and no expansion. Both bullets were recovered base forward.

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    Out of the Kahr, the first round’s velocity was 1309fps and it penetrated to a depth of 15.5 inches. Round two also penetrated to 15.5 inches with a velocity of 1331fps. Both bullets were recovered base forward with a weight of 82.6 and 82 grains, no expansion.

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    I tried getting some decent pics of the tracks in the gel but as normal they are not so great. But they definitely showed much more permanent damage then ball. Most likely from tumbling. Not as much as you see with good hollow points but more then I expected.

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    https://generalcartridge.wordpress.com
     
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  2. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to do a write up for us, and the test data itself. Cheers!
     
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  3. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I have no data on expansion or penetration, but the .38 special flavor of the ARX is ridiculously accurate out of a snub nose Charter Arms.
     
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  4. Virginia Jim

    Virginia Jim Member

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    Hate to hear of it being discontinued. I have a pocket .380 that loves the stuff.
     
  5. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    The ARX ammo that you speak of has not been discontinued. The ammunition is produced by Inceptor Ammunition and is still available. What is no longer available is the Ruger branded ARX label.The contract with Ruger has expired. I've carried ARX ammo in my EDC Ruger LCR357 for the past 3 years. I carry it the .38 Spcl 77 grain. I began carrying it based on the information I gathered HERE. The fella that owns the sight has done quite a few reviews on various ammo. On the ARX he's also done a review on the .380 and the 9MM .

    From what I understand, it tumbles by design to slow its forward motion, thus minimizing collateral damage. It's the hydraulic cavitation created by the fluting on the projectile that expands the wound cavity to one that is comparable to a mushrooming hollow point of a heavier grain. It's the wicked fast velocity out of such a short barrel that impresses me . On the LCR 1-7/8" barrel it averaged around the 1050fps range. Haven't seen any reviews on the .357 86 grain, but my guess is it would be in the 1500 - 1600fps range out of that short barrel. I think most will agree that velocity plays an important factor on a bullets performance. These ARX rounds have that and other performance enhancements that gives them a lot of credence in my opinion.
     
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  6. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    I don't believe in the premise of these fluted, non-expanding bullets. I think the idea of "cavitation" from the flutes being a good wounding mechanism is nothing but pure snake oil, for example: "the ARX® is designed to cut into and penetrate to a significant wound depth and cause massive hydrostatic shock damage through cavitation along the way". Yeah, right. So far I've only seen the results in gelatin blocks and such. Rather than temporary cavity cracks in a gelatin block, they need to show me evidence of this "massage hydrostatic shock damage through cavitation" on actual living creatures and I'd be more impressed. Shoot a deer with them and let's see the wounds. Are they equal to a hollowpoint? But I suspect it would act about the same as ball or hardcast loads.
     
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  7. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I thought the ARX bullets were claimed to be less likely to penetrate dry wall or bounce around and cause collateral damage. It seems like the ARX mfg has stopped making this claim. Does anyone else remember this claim? Or am I remembering incorrectly?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  8. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    That agrees with everything I've been able to learn about the effect of cavitation due to hydrostatic shock. Unless the bullet is moving at speeds greater than 2000 fps, the secondary wound channel tends to have little effect on the aggressor's ability to continue the attack. Bleeding out your attacker takes too much time! There are many, many accounts of attackers getting hit by many handgun rounds and still continuing the fight.

    Read the wikipedia account of the infamous 1986 Miami shootout between 2 bad guys and 8 FBI agents to understand what a determined aggressor or two can do. Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout

    What really matters when using the best handgun ammo is that your bullet(s) penetrate deeply enough to hit something critical -- something that will stop the attacker quickly: head, spinal cord (i.e., the central nervous system.) An attacker who has been hit in the heart may still have up to almost a minute to do the same to kill you.

    That said, the APX ammo seems to perform pretty well, and it may be at least as effective as many self-defense rounds.
     
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  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I'm of the same opinion that until I see real evidence that shooting a living creature will produce a similar wound channel as seen in gel, I will remain skeptical on screwdriver bullets. Same goes for the Lehigh screwdriver bullets. I've seen a little bit of testing in chunks of meat with the later, and the results seemed to indicate the claims might have some validity, but I'm still unsure. I believe CraigC, MaxP and some of the bovine bashers have tried some of the Lehigh screwdriver bullets and were not terribly impressed. The Lehigh stuff does seem to penetrate very well.

    I do believe temporary cavitation can help slow down an attacker which may buy you the half second you need to get off additional aimed shots, but I will not rely on it for a permanent stop.

    Where I do think some interesting applications of screwdriver type ammo could exist is in pistol caliber carbines. Monolithics would have a better chance of remaining in tact at higher velocities. Though this ARX stuff, I imagine could come apart on impact if driven too fast.
     
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  10. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    When it comes to defensive ammo, it's a personal choice. Everyone has to choose and go with what they're comfortable with. I chose the ARX ammo because of the many reviews I read, specifically THIS one from a 2015 interview with Paul Lemke the founder of Polycase Ammunition which is now Inceptor Ammunition. I've read other reviews where it was used on hogs with some pretty dramatic results. I intend on using it myself in my new Marlin 1894 .357 Carbine this hunting season to see how it stands up.
     
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I’d be very interested in the hog results if you have a link. If not I’ll try Googling it.
     
  12. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    HERE'S the article from the November 2015 Shooting Times by Lane Pearce where he witnessed the effect on a hog killed with an ARX round. No mention of what caliber or what type of gun was used.
     
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  13. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Post your report afterwards, will be interesting. I know they load it for various rounds, there's even a 200-gr ARX load Alexander Arms offers for the .50 Beowulf that hits about 2,400. But at 9mm or .380 velocities, I doubt it. Same goes for the LeHigh stuff, a fast bullet with a fat meplat and lots of energy behind it can make more damage than a round nose, so presumably the screwdriver bullets could too, but not sure about when you drop to 200-500 ft lbs and 1200-1500 fps.
     
  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Thanks for posting that.
     
  15. DairyVet

    DairyVet Member

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    The description of the hog shot sounds more like blunt-force trauma than penetration to a vital structure. I.e. the frontal bone was crushed pushing out the eyes but only minimally penetrated (if at all), like you would expect with a blow from a large hammer.

    The author saying “I think of them as power veins” made me chuckle.

    I’ll keep my bonded hollow points for now...
     
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  16. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    ........OR....the eyes bulging out were caused by the pressure created by the hydraulic cavitation from the bullets penetration which stopped just short of the hogs head exploding. Either way the hog was just as dead.
     
  17. DairyVet

    DairyVet Member

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    He also described the skull as significantly flattened.

    I agree, just as dead if you’re slaughtering a domestic hog. Less impressive if hunting a wild one. The purpose was to demonstrate its potential as a defensive round. Failure to penetrate doesn’t inspire confidence in me.
     
  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  19. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    Ahhh...but we don't know whether or not it penetrated. It's pure conjecture and speculation to think otherwise.
    I shot these rounds thru 2x4 lumber with my LCR so I can attest to their penetration capabilities.
     
  20. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    HERE'S another article from the recent "Shooting Illustrated Reloaded" that touches on the ARX capabilities that you may find interesting. The author speaks of utilizing the round in the hunting environment where immediate incapacitation of prey was achieved.
     
  21. kemikos

    kemikos Member

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    They're not the same, though. The Inceptor bullets are more of a tapered cone shape, while the ARX is a more blunt, rounded shape with significantly bigger flutes. You can kinda see the difference in one of the comparison photos in one of my old posts.

    It's a shame because one of my EDC guns shoots the ARX flawlessly, but cracks off the nose of the Inceptors about 15% of the time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  22. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    Perhaps... maybe it was improved upon. I do not have any Inceptor ammo to compare it to as I bought a glut of the Ruger ARX 38 Special when it was first out. I keep saying I'm going to order some in . 357 just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    How is it breaking off the nose? Is it a feed problem? or during ignition?
     
  23. kemikos

    kemikos Member

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    No, it's a feed issue. The full description is in the link I posted, but basically I was testing it in a semi-auto with an unconventional feeding system (Bond Arms Bullpup), so I have no idea if it would be a concern with any other feed design. At some point during the loading cycle, though, the nose of the bullet would break off and fall into the action, jamming it up.

    I never did spend any more time figuring out, just put the Inceptors on the "don't use in this gun" list, but I thought it was weird that they weren't breaking where the Inceptors were narrower; at the break point, both rounds are the same diameter, so I have no idea why one breaks and the other is fine...
     
  24. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    Makes me wonder if they changed their formula. I'm feeding them to revolvers so I don't anticipate any issues.
     
  25. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Paul Harrell has done some testing of the Extreme Defense and Inceptor ammo. He uses his "meat target" rather than ballistic gel. I find it to be an interesting alternative.


    Underwood with the Extreme Defense bullets in a meat target.


    Here is a test of the Inceptor ammo including a meat target test.

    There might be some interpretation to this. I thought he found these non-expanding bullets did more damage than FMJ, but might not do quite as much as good hollow points. He mentioned the inceptor ammo had a lot of penetration which I saw when shooting water jugs.
     
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