March 12th, 2016

Are Polymer-Copper Matrix Bullets the Future for Pistol Ammo?

Ruger ARX polymer copper matrix Bullet Cheaper than Dirt
Photo from Ruger ARX Ammo Review in Cheaper Than Dirt Shooter’s Log.

Take a good look at this unusual ammunition. We think you are looking at the future of handgun ammo — at least for range and practice work. This patent-pending ammunition features a 100% lead-free bullet blended from polymer (plastic) and copper powder. The polymer-copper matrix (PCM) composition offers three major benefits: 1. the bullets do not ricochet; 2. the bullets are lighter and therefore faster than conventional projectiles; and 3. the bullets are environmentally friendly. We think this is a big deal — we predict matrix pistol bullets will become extremely popular in the years to come.

At the 2016 SHOT Show Media Day, we shot ammo with PCM bullets in a half-dozen handguns. The ammo performed flawlessly, without a hitch. In .40 SW and .45 ACP pistols, the felt recoil was considerably less than with conventional lead-core ammo (the difference was less noticeable with .380 ACP and 9mm Luger).

Ruger is now offering Ruger-branded ARX ammo with polymer-copper matrix bullets. This ammo will be produced under a licensing agreement with PolyCase Ammunition, the Georgia-based business that originally developed this bullet technology.

While Ruger is touting this ammo as a self-defense solution, we think the most common use of this new ammo will be for indoor practice, plinking, gun games such as IDPA, and use on steel and reactive targets. If you like to shoot steel, matrix bullets make sense. The polymer-copper matrix bullet basically disintegrates into very small fragments when it hits metal.

This video includes extensive tests of Ruger 9mm ARX ammo:

Ruger ARX Ammo with Injection-Molded Matrix Bullets
The fluted projectiles are injection-molded from a polymer-copper matrix. This offers many advantages. First, being completely lead-free, these bullets can be used at indoor facilities that prohibit lead-based ammo. Second, because the composite bullets weigh 30% less than comparable lead-based projectiles, shooters experience less recoil (even though velocities are higher). Third, the composite matrix bullet has low-ricochet properties. When these bullets strike metal, they are designed to disintegrate, rather than ricochet. This makes them well-suited for indoor use, or use with metal plates.

Ruger ARX Ammunition Ammo Injection Molded Matrix Composite Copper Nylon Polymer

Ruger’s new ARX line of lead-free ammo features injection-molded bullets that are much lighter than conventional projectiles, caliber by caliber: 56 grains for .380 ACP, 74 grains for 9x19mm, 107 grains for .40 SW, and 114 grains for .45 ACP. The lighter bullets fly faster, but ARX ammo still offers reduced perceived recoil.

ARX Ammo for SALE
.380 ACP
9mm Luger
.40 SW
.45 ACP

Shooting Wire Editor Jim Shepherd reports that ARX ammo delivers on its low-recoil promise: “Having spent time testing the PolyCase ammunition (largely in Ruger firearms), I know the reduction in felt recoil isn’t just hype. While firing PolyCase ARX ammunition in calibers ranging from .380 in small concealed carry pistols (including a Ruger’s LCP) up to .458 SOCOM in modern sporting rifles, the lessened felt recoil was noticeable.”

Polymer-Copper Matrix Bullets Show Good Penetration
Despite their lighter-than-average weight, ARX bullets show good penetration in ballistics gelatin, thanks to their unique, fluted-tip design. This video shows penetration tests:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 8 Comments »
March 12th, 2016

Lightweight Cleaning Cradles from PMA Tool

PMA Tool Cradle Benchrest

PMA Tool offers lightweight yet sturdy cleaning cradles that are handy, affordable, and easy to transport. PMA’s single-gun cradle, priced at $69.95, is ideal for benchrest rigs. It measures about 17″ in length and weighs about one pound. PMA now also offers a two-gun cradle for $112.95. Both single and double cradles secure your rifle(s) in a muzzle-down position that allows easy cleaning and prevents solvents from running back into the action. The front “saddle” and all contact surfaces are covered by thick silicone rubber padding which grips the rifle securely yet protects the stock and components from scratches.

PMA Tool Cradle Benchrest

These cradles are currently available either with a 3″-wide front saddle for Benchrest and F-Open style stocks, or a 2.5″-wide front saddle for rifles with narrower narrower, flat fore-ends such as those found on Hunter Class and modern varmint stocks.

Double Rifle Cradle is a Smart, Versatile Design
PMA’s double rifle cleaning cradle was was designed from the ground up to work perfectly for two rifles side-by-side. Using the same tie bar and protective saddles found on the single cradel, PMA widened the base and created new uprights to support the saddles, making the cradle as narrow and light as possible, while retaining all the protective and non-slip features from our single unit. This unit is available in double 3″ front saddles, double 2.5″ front saddles or combination 3″ / 2.5″ front saddle configurations to accommodate multiple classes of rifles for centerfire and rimfire benchrest competition.

Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
March 12th, 2016

Building an AR-Platform Rifle DVD on Sale


Planning to put together an AR-platform rifle? Or are you looking to upgrade your AR with a new barrel, stock, or trigger group? Then you should check out the AR-15 Rifle Build DVD from our friends at This DVD covers all the details of a custom build, using high-resolution video sequences, and helpful supporting graphics.

In this DVD, Gavin Gear guides you through the entire process including selecting components, acquiring and using the necessary tools, assembly steps and details for each component, and even mounting a scope. Building an AR-15 can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance and help it’s not difficult and is a lot of fun. With this DVD you’ll be able to build your AR-15 with confidence.

Right now, as a New Year’s promotion, the AR-15 Build DVD is on sale for just $9.90 (plus $3.80 shipping/handling). This DVD can pay for itself many times over by showing you how to do your own gunsmithing (and get quality AR components at attractive prices).


Upper: Barrel / Gas Block / Gas Tube

Upper: Handguard Installation:

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »