The Deadliest and Best CCW Ammo for .380, .38spl, 9mm and .45acp

Inceptor® has planted both feet into the next generation of technology to engineer handgun ammo which is the new definition of personal defense. Inceptor also produces hunting ammunition in the larger calibers such as 450 Bushmaster ARX, 458 SOCOM ARX, 50 BEOWULF ARX and 45 Long Colt Lever Action ARX. However, we are discussing personal defense handgun ammo.

They also offer a combo pack wherein they have range ammo and defense ammo in the same pack. You can practice with your .380acp shooting the same bullet weight and powder charge as the ARX defense round but a different bullet design. The range or Sport Utility Ammo™ is the RNP™ projectile of which I did not receive samples of. The ARX® Preferred Defense™ rounds were supplied for testing. Both the RNP and ARX are projectiles made by injection-molding technology. A polymer-copper compound is used for their projectile designs. These projectiles are lead free which is a good thing if most of your shooting is done at an indoor range. I find the Inceptor concept to be very interesting.

Inceptor also makes ammunitions in the popular 223 Remington, 7.62X39 and the ever popular .300 Blackout. As an example, according to Inceptors’ website, the 223 Remington has a velocity of 2,810 which is about par with copper jacketed lead projectiles of same projectile weight. Inceptor has designed these rounds to be fired on the range primarily or ideally at metal targets. These training rounds are designed to fragment when striking a hard solid object. They are designed for closer metal target shooting thereby simulating CBQ (Close Quarter Combat).

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Inceptor Ammo Test and Evaluation

Inceptor sent me for test and evaluation, four calibers of ammunition. I received the .380acp, .38spl, 9mm and my favorite the .45acp. These samples came in boxes of 20 rounds each. Inceptor also makes these bad-boys in the 9mm+P, 40 S&W, 10mm and 357 mag. The 9mm+P rounds’ velocity, according to Inceptors’ website, is only 45 fps faster than the standard 9mm. My test 9mm Luger Inceptor ammo with the 65 gr projectile, was fired from a Glock 17. I tested with a three shot average which produced a velocity of 1,781 fps. This is slightly faster than the charted Inceptor 9mm+P. With the lighter bullet you will find the recoil is considerably less.

Gridley and I tested the Inceptor ammunition over a period of four weeks. We fired a sample round of each caliber received into a 50 pound block of clay. We were looking for the “soft tissue” damage as advertised. For a hard round such as the ARX with no expansion capabilities, we were very impressed. In all calibers from the .380 acp to the .45 acp we found each exhibited considerable wound damage.

ammunition polycase Inceptor .38 spl arxUnlike jacketed hollow-point ammo which uses its kinetic energy upon impact to cause the projectile to expand, the Inceptor ARX projectile design uses its kinetic energy at impact to cause a massive wound channel. As the ARX round continues in a straight line through the target it slows down causing a funnel type wound. A large entry wound with a smaller exit wound. The kinetic energy is the force surrounding the projectile as it travels through the atmosphere. The kinetic energy surrounding the projectile is what creates the most soft tissue damage. For you Einstein types Google “Kinetic Energy, Bernoulli Equation and Venturi Effect”. Never the less, Inceptor has used these highly technical equations to create their ARX projectile.

The ARX projectile looks like some blunted drill bit. When we fired an Inceptor .45 acp round into the 50 pound unprotected block of clay, it created a 6.5 inch entry wound. So we placed four sheets of cloth over the front of the clay to see what effect, if any, this would cause. Surprisingly the entry wound was about four inches in diameter with the same huge wound channel the unprotected clay caused. The .45 acp round caused the most damage. All round fired at the clay block exhibited impressive wound channels. Even the pipsqueak .380 acp. Check out our video on testing the Inceptor handgun rounds.

We found all rounds fired as you would expect a quality ammo should. We had no malfunctions of any kind. The recoil is considerably less. This would be good for those smaller framed ladies who are somewhat intimidated by recoil. I now carry Inceptor ammo in my favorite NAA Guardian .380acp.

As for penetration the Inceptor projectiles penetrated deeply into the clay block. The clay bock used was about 14 inches long. The 9mm and .45 acp penetrated the deepest. The 45 acp came within a .25 of an inch from exiting the clay. The 9mm was within an inch of coming out of the back.

Being law enforcement, in my final testing of the Inceptor rounds, I was wanting to see what would be the effects on a ballistic LEO vest. Because these vests are very expensive, I had to find an older one which was no longer being used. I secured a ballistic vest from my buddy Mike. The vest is rated at a threat level II. Gridley and I took the vest to the Oklahoma City Gun Club for testing. We fired at the vest from a distance of eight feet. We fired the Inceptor ARX .380 acp, the 9mm, the 38 spl and .45 acp. We hung the ballistic vest over a make-do frame. The front and back panels were about two inches apart. Not ideal but Gridley was very adamant about not being my test dummy. Good thing too.

The .380 acp penetrated about one half way through the front panel. The .38 spl penetrated a little farther but did not come close to exiting the front panel. The .45 acp had a bigger impact but did not penetrate the front panel. The 9mm Inceptor ARX penetrated the front panel and almost exited the back panel cover but did penetrate two panels of threat level II body armor. I was surprised. Now keep in mind this vest was well past its expiration point. There was no objects for the projectile to pass through before striking the back panel. I am addressing this issue with the manufacture to see if the new highly engineered body armor will stop this round. My sense of this is, the newer threat level II body armor, currently being used, will stop the 9mm Inceptor.

Inceptor Ammo – Final Word

Over all I can say the Inceptor brand of ammunition is a very good quality ammunition. I can say the projectile design does cause a larger wound channel without the need of a hollow-point. With the Inceptor there is less likely a chance for a ricochet. Of the rounds we tested for penetration, for a normal bipedal dirt-bag, I would say other than the 9mm none of them would likely pass through. This would depend on where the shot was place and distance from the target. As always, if at all possible be sure of the background of your intended target. Remember two of you may be in a gun fight, but everyone around you are also involved……as possible victims.

Inceptor® ARX Ammunition: Three Shot Average

Caliber Weight Ft/Second Foot Pounds Barrel Length
.380 acp 56 gr 1,200 179 3″
9mm 65 gr 1,787 458 4″
.38 spl 77gr 1,070 196 2″
.45 acp 118 gr 1,242 404 5″


NAA Guardian .380 acp

Henry Repeating Arms