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Old 09-12-2018, 08:03 PM
Rudi Rudi is offline
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Does anyone have any feedback on Ruger ARX .38 special ammo? Shoots well, 77gr. copper-polymer matrix bullet, 1116fps. 213ft.lbs. Just wondering if anyone else has tried it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:32 PM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
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That's what my wife carries. Very low recoil.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:47 AM
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I wouldn’t use it for self defense, although you didn’t say what gun you use. If you are shooting from a 2” snub, maybe your priorities are different (recoil attenuation) than if shooting from a 6” revolver.

ARX .38 penetration is minimal with no expansion.

Flutes may produce a decent temporary cavity, but that is almost useless as permanent cavity is what really matters. Actually, the TC is not much different than FMJ.

Composite bullets are cheaper to manufacture, allow for simpler manufacturing distortion (flutes), and require high velocity to get the lightweight to penetrate (without expansion).

Gel tests are not meant to directly replicate how a bullet will perform in flesh. Calibrated gel is used as a consistent medium to compare basic functioning between different loads and bullets. A proper performing self defense bullet needs more than gel testing to evaluate, as bodies being shot have clothing, skin, muscle, fat, organs and bones that are all different than gel.

A non-expanding bullet that barely penetrates 12” in gel will likely penetrate less in real world conditions. This may be true also for an expanding bullet that only penetrates 12” in gel, but the permanent cavity will be larger and therefore more effective.

New ideas in bullet design are frequent. Actual game changing performance is not. Light and fast bullets have been around for decades. Non-expanding bullets are original from the beginning of ballistics. Modern expanding bullets remain the best self defense designs currently available according to real world testing.

There are plenty of threads here and across the Web on what constitutes the most effective .38 spcl SD load, but that determination needs to take into consideration barrel length. There are loads specifically designed for snubs.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:19 PM
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I look at that load as a 25 cal.

Minimal at best.

Maybe a 5 Iron................ ??
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:29 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys, that is what I was looking for.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:24 PM
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IMHO the problem with fast light projectiles is that a given charge will make them go very quick but at destination thier lack of mass will make them slow down very quick as well.

Think about it, is the 175 pound halfback or the 300 pound guard going to deliver a more decisive block. I would stick to 148/150 grain wadcutters to moderate recoil rather than go with a lighter projectile.
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:55 AM
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As a self defense load testing shows it to be fine. It is not designed to replace military rounds or even rounds for the police S.W.A.T. It will not reliably penetrate car doors or put engines out of commission. HOWEVER the rotation forces creating severe damage in soft tissue through cavitation is very real. It remains online through jean material and heavy coats. No hollow point to plug up and no unreliable soft point expansion to deal with. It is a self defense load and should be used as such though hogs and deer have been taken down quickly and effectively with it. Managebale recoil for ALL shooters is a plus. Feeding is reliable as any round nose in an auto and much more reliable than wadcutters in a revolver. Though it reduces weight even more in my J-frame airweight followup shots are quicker with less effort need to align sights. This ammo is for up close and personal protection and not an all around target, hunting SD round. It just needs some true understanding of the physics of how it works. If you are shooting through car doors or into cars you may want to rethink owning a gun or be carrying a badge as the courts are going to look VERY dis-favorable upon you without some extreme circumstances associated with doing so. P.S. you can find non SD loads that are cheap to practice with using the nonfluted bullet.

Last edited by Firesticks; 09-21-2018 at 02:58 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:26 AM
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Gimmicky gimmick round. The whole flute thing is done to abuse the dynamics of the ballistics gel to create "cool" looking cavities that will not be re-represented in living tissue, and on closer inspection those permanent stretch cavities are extremely thin and not very impressive at all even in the test medium itself. Heavier, and far better, options are available.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckford View Post
Gimmicky gimmick round. The whole flute thing is done to abuse the dynamics of the ballistics gel to create "cool" looking cavities that will not be re-represented in living tissue, and on closer inspection those permanent stretch cavities are extremely thin and not very impressive at all even in the test medium itself. Heavier, and far better, options are available.

I agree. Tested ARX in my 380s and, other than lower recoil felt, I was less than impressed. Flat nose or wad/semi-wad are much better for less$$.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:07 AM
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The misinformed say the same thing about a patched roundball in a muzzle loader. Too light a projectile. To soft a projectile. Poor aerodynamics limits them to 50 yards at best. Truth is they ofetn penetrate father in soft tissue. used on Buffalo far more often than cartridge rounds AND with great success. ARX has been used in real tissue and it works. It is new and coming into its own. For those who aren't afraid to try it then do so. Use it on some pests. Everyone has gone to the big boomers in each caliber and lighter and smaller framed handguns. That is the fad now. Fact is under extreme duress even trained officers miss far too often with their 40 glocks. This is an ammo that provides a good wound channel with reliable feeding and low recoil for accurate and controllable shots. If it is a gimmick in now way will it put down 200# hogs with a 45acp from chest shots. This is a very useful civilian SD round. My only caveat is I don't consider a 380 reliable except stuck under someones chin no mater what you stuff in the chamber.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:27 AM
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I worked for Barnes Bullets for five years before retiring. I have seen literally hundreds of ballistic gel and other expansion/penetration tests for dozens of competing bullets, both for rifles and pistols. Composite bullets, jacketed and non-jacketed, solid, expanding, hollow point, bonded, lead, copper—I have seen them all.

In self defense, it has been established for decades that expansion and penetration are the determinative factors in effective terminal ballistics.

Any bullet, especially with good placement, from a round .17 caliber BB and up can kill. The question is not whether it is adequate or even possible for the bullet to perform under ideal conditions, it is whether it can consistently perform under less than ideal conditions. That is where non-expanding, shallow penetrating bullets consistently fail to do enough damage. The FBI has developed scientific testing protocols for measuring bullet terminal effectiveness in humans. These standards have been proven and are accepted, and all self defense bullet and ammunition makers use them to test their products, including ARX.

When a bullet and cartridge fail to meet minimum expected standards according to FBI protocols, users can expect the round to have substandard performance in real world use.

Manufacturers specifically design and test their ammo to fall within the FBI specs. Those who make ammo that does not meet the specs have low sales and typically try to capture a small part of the market that the FBI protocols do not address—recoil, accuracy and feeding/firing reliability. Some people need to prioritize these last characteristics over terminal performance because of personal physical limitations, lack of training or knowledge, or use of particularly small guns. These compromises are personal decisions that can be justified, but when trained professionals select a self defense load, they do not choose light, fast, low penetration bullets.

The first two requirements for choosing an effective self defense load for most people are penetration between 12” (minimum) to 18” (maximum) with an expanding bullet (50-90%+ of original diameter) in the FBI test conditions. Real life conditions are more varied and difficult, especially taking into account the elasticity of skin, the density of muscle and bone, and the placement of the shot. ARX fails to achieve even minimal penetration without expanding under ideal test conditions.

I would not recommend it’s use unless there were fairly severe compromises required in categories other than terminal performance.
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