9mm Polycase "Inceptor" frangible ammo

As announced today on the Polycase Facebook feed; “Inceptor” 9mm frangible ammo is available in 25rd and 50rd boxes. The cases are brass instead of the proprietary polymer which Polycase had used on their .380acp loads from a couple years ago. I believe they intended to have these loaded on the polymer cases, but have either chosen to move away from that, or have been unable to produce them with that method for some reason, at least for the time being. At SHOT show earlier this year they were advertising both brass and polymer cases, both with frangible bullets, but the bullets had a different design to them with a notch in the bullet. These Inceptor loads are listed as typical round nose however. With all the frangible 9mm that has been and is available these seem somewhat redundant as loaded on normal brass cases. I wish they had done something slightly more interesting like a cold tracer frangible or frangible duplex, or something to set them apart. No word on headstamps, but if these are loaded on Starline or Top Brass, then that will also be a fizzle (for collectors). I ordered some today.


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Just found a link here that mentions Lapua cases for the Inceptor:

Frangible tracers are coming soon. I was wondering why somebody had not tried these at all over the past 20 years of specialty bullet making, but these will be coming out in September apparently. Polycase calls these the Inceptor - “Firefly”. Their odd-shaped “ARX” frangible bullets will also be coming out soon according to their Facebook feed.


I heard from Polycase today that their new ARX and Firefly ammo will be available on or around October 15th. Both in 9mm for now, with other calibers TBA. Still no word on further production of the plastic case ammo which is what they started out with a couple years ago, but they still show some images of it on their website.

Today I received some of the ARX ammo, and the Firefly tracers from Polycase - all 9mm. I also got in a box of 100 9mm projectiles of the standard round-nose type.

The first thing I noticed is that unlike the previous boxes of round-nose Inceptor ammo I have, these all have little casting marks on the projectile near the rim. Maybe where they snapped out of a sprue or mold? These were on the Firefly, ARX, and the unloaded bullets. The marks are not deep, and are just surface marks. You can see in the Firefly photo how the case has a dyed-red base, and the bottom of the projectile shows the hole with tracer compound.

The other interesting thing I noticed was on the box of 100 projectiles, they have a variety of numbers molded into the base of the bullets. I found numbers 1 though 18 (except for 17). These may be mold locations, and although I had around 5 complete sets of this number series across the 100 projos, it was not perfect, and I had several extra number 4’s.

You can see the marks in this one (they don’t always appear at the same relative location on the bullet):

Matt, very interesting, thanks for sharing this information and pictures.

You’re welcome Fede, I’ve been looking forward to a new bona-fide specialty cartridge like the Firefly for a while.

I should add that on the bullet bases, I’m not sure if the 6 or 9 are the same as far as if they are all 6’s or 9’s - I can’t tell since there is no underline.

I noticed today that a company called “Atlantic Marksmen” out of Gulfport, Mississippi is marketing the Polycase ARX 9mm, and the Firefly tracer 9mm under their own label, but loaded on Lapua brass instead of the random brass from Polycase which is usually starline, or the generic “9x19” stamped stuff that Lew mentioned from Truelove & Maclean. The Atlantic Marksmen website is sort of vague, and has no retail function to purchase ammo from them, but I did find one photo from Polycase’s Facebook feed which was touting the relationship with A.M.:



I sent a message to Polycase asking them if this was just a private-label endeavor, or if Atlantic marksmen was their own manufacturer who was just purchasing projectile components from Polycase and what A.M. was striving to serve in terms of contract or export or whatever, but I haven’t heard back yet. A.M.'s website mentions a “9mm Atlantic action pistol”, but they are just referring to the ammunition in a confusing sounding way, as far as I can tell.

Just noticed that Polycase now has ARX, Firefly, and Inceptor loads in .40S&W, and .45acp, and has Firefly in .380acp, and ARX in .357sig. The only place that seems to have any is Clark Armory which is becoming their de-facto store front. I wonder if the .40 and .45 projectiles will have all the mold numbers on the base as well?


I have been trying for months now to order some of the new Firefly tracers in .380acp, .40S&W, and .45acp, of which they seem to have plenty of product images with the new boxes, and had at SHOT show, and did do some actual limited distribution of, but have had no luck in getting everything from Polycase’s proxy storefront; Buygunsandammo.com. They just emailed me today and said that they would not be offering the Firefly tracers for the foreseeable future, and that they will not come off backorder. He blamed it on a supply problem (with the tracer compound? or whomever is modifying their Inceptor bullets with tracer material?) Their rep also told me that they are shifting priority to the ARX load type, as this has become their primary seller, and is getting into some large retailers. So I went into a flurry of searching and managed to find only the .380acp and .40S&W Firefly tracers at two different retailers: Bangit Ammo had the .40S&W (probably very little left now):

and Healey Arms had the .380acp:

The 9mm is more readily available as retailers had ordered more of that for stock, but that will presumably be gone soon as well. I couldn’t find the .45acp in stock anywhere, and retailers seemed to have sold out of it over the past month (as I was awaiting things to come off back order direct from Polycase / buygunsandammo !)

Get it while it’s hot, as it may not return. I presume this will also mean that the private label Atlantic Marksmen stuff in 9mm tracer will be gone indefinitely as well.

Ammoseek can also be handy in tracking down stock, but even they could find no .45acp Firefly:

Here a perspective of what might be around:

Thanks for that photo Alex. I haven’t seen the .38spl anywhere, but I had heard of them marketing it for upcoming release sometime. I did see the .458 SOCOM load by SBR with the ARX bullet, but at $65.00 per box of 20, I didn’t end up buying those. I haven’t seen the other rifle loads anywhere yet.

Here is the SBR .458 box at Bangitammo:


Matt, quite pricy stuff for plastic bullets…

Alex, where was that display exhibited? IWA 2015?


I finally noticed an in-stock listing for some Firefly tracers in .45 auto. They appeared all of the sudden as one of the secondary warehouse choices at Cheaperthandirt, where for months now the #1 warehouse (CTD) has listed it as out of stock.

The CTD link is here, at the #3 warehouse: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/3-0320187

and after some Googling of the item number which they use (45RNPBRTR), the first dealer which comes up as having any in stock is a place called “Dan’s Guns N Stuff” here: http://dansgunsandstuff.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=52500 who I presume is one of Ellett Brothers’ many proxies (Ellett is reported online to be CTD warehouse #3, among other #'s) since the site has the look of one of those terrible cookie-cutter designed web “retailers” of which there are usually a dozen or more clones that some of the larger distributors use to sell their own ammo direct-to-public with the right hand (via drop-ship through a partnered brick & mortar FFL who would not otherwise sell via internet), while the left hand sells to otherwise typical FFL dealers with the promise of non-competition. It’s all the same to me, and I have bought some. Dan’s lists 8 units in stock, so get it while it’s hot, if their inventory is accurate anyway? Perusing the Google results for that item I see that Doddsports also coincidentally lists “8 in stock”, a giveaway to Ellett’s proxy retailing.

I am glad I went deep into the rabbit hole because I also stumbled across a new image of a box which would seem to indicate a private-label deal with Ruger, where Polycase is branding some of their ARX ammo with the Ruger name & graphics. That is a major boon for Polycase:

Another proxy-retailer who drop-ships straight from the distributor (likely Ellett, my guess is that Ellett has some early samples of this new product and they have dumped them into active inventory a bit soon, although Polycase’s own proxy-retailer Buygunsnammo shows the .380 & .45acp listed, but they have no announcement of it on their Facebook or website, so odd all around…):

Looks like RBS Ammo out of Burlington, Washington is selling their own generic (commercial brass) loaded ammo with Polycase Inceptor bullets, which, in the case of the 9mm at $17 per 50rds is quite a low price as compared to the original 25rd Polycase brand 9mm RNP boxes which don’t normally sell for any less than $12 per box, and as high as $23 per box:


From the Polycase Ammunition Facebook feed, this photo showing the newly minted Ruger-headstamped 9mm cases. Shown loaded into a Ruger LC-9:


Here are the new Ruger headstamps on .380, 9mm, and .45acp (I didn’t receive any .40S&W yet):