New Hampshire Business Review – by Bob Sanders
Sturm, Ruger & Co. is getting into the ammunition business for the first time, partnering with a Georgia company to produce what it calls a “revolutionary bullet” that “changes everything you know about ammo.”
Ruger, which is headquartered in Connecticut but has a major facility in Newport, will be putting its brand on bullets produced by Savannah-based PolyCase Ammunition LLC for a .45-caliber handgun and .38-caliber pistol. PolyCase has a pending patent on its process, which injects a dense polymer copper matrix into a mold. The resulting bullet in the PolyCase Ruger ARX line has several advantages over the traditional metal jacket bullet, according the company’s website, most notably that it’s cheaper and faster to produce with very little waste and doesn’t contain lead.
In addition, the bullet is recyclable to some extent – it can be melted down and the copper recovered.
The website says the bullet has grooves on its nose that, “when combined with the bullet’s forward velocity into soft tissue … causes an increase pressure of the fluid. As a result, the fluid is laterally ejected from the flutes at a higher velocity than the actual speed of the bullet itself, creating the massive cavitation and wound channels.”
Thus the bullet “feeds like a round nose, yet retains stopping power and terminal performance that exceeds most expanding handgun bullets.”
The bullet design is “shockingly different in terms of looks, design, materials, function, and consistency in performance” exudes Bob Owens, the editor of BearingArms.com, a gun rights website
The technology certainly impressed Ruger, whose CEO, Mike Fifer, said the PolyCase technology “seemed a perfect fit.”
It also means Ruger is getting into the consumables market, noted Dan Meador, a blogger on the gun industry at Seeking Alpha. The move could help smooth out the firm’s revenue stream in a very volatile market.
“Guns are made to last,” said Meador. “In most cases, a Smith or Ruger gun is made to last a lifetime. However, those buyers will eventually need something to feed their guns at the range. That is where we have consumables.”
The deal will mean about 25 to 35 new positions at the Georgia plant, said Drew Gorman, PolyCase’s vice president of business development. For Ruger, it will mainly mean royalty revenue from a licensing agreement, details which were not disclosed.
“But I think more than royalties, it will help the company’s brand awareness,” said Gorman.
Ruger did not return a phone call before deadline.
4 thoughts on “Ruger enters ammo business with ‘revolutionary’ technology”
I think they’re jumping into this field because they’re expecting a ban on lead bullets.
Actually, this invention may promote a ban on lead bullets, but banning lead bullets has been suggested before, in California, I believe.
You want to ban lead bullets, you might as well ban lead. I can hear the homemade furnaces firing up as we speak.
But yes, I get it.
Does it penetrate armor is the question. If not, keep it, and I see your ulterior motives.
It’s hard to predict, but I wouldn’t expect these to do much better against armor than regular FMJ lead core bullets.
For anyone who’s interested in armor — and that should be everyone who cares about the 2nd Amendment — let me share some important information. Most of this is available on the Web, but it isn’t always easy to find. So here are the Cliff’s Notes:
Penetration through soft armor is primarily about bullet speed. Of course it also helps if the bullet is narrow and pointed. Higher sectional density also improves penetration. A bullet that’s less easily deformed (especially with a hardened steel core) will do a lot better against armor than a soft bullet.
These factors are why, for example, a typical lead 12 gauge slug will be easily stopped by a Level IIIA soft armor vest, while something like a 5.56 or .308 will go through multiple vests of the same type.
With steel Level III rifle plates, extremely high speeds (like .22-250 at close range, or .30-378) can often penetrate regardless of how the bullet is constructed. I’m not aware of any steel Level IV plates — probably too heavy.
Hard polyethylene rifle plates (and newer helmets made from this material instead of Kevlar composites) generally require a bullet with a hard steel core to penetrate. 5.56 green tip will do it, as will .30-06 AP. MILD steel core 7.62 Russian rounds won’t get through. Neither will standard FMJ rifle rounds in .308, .30-06, etc. I don’t know about the really high velocity stuff like the .300 magnums.
Level IV ceramic plates can stop at least one round of almost anything, including .338 Lapua FMJ, though .50 BMG ball will go through at least one plate. .50 BMG AP black tip will go through at least two Level IV plates and is WELL worth having, along with a reasonably lightweight .50 cal rifle (like the Serbu carbine).