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Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo

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We’ve been spending some time over the last few months with Inceptor Ammunition, produced by Quantum. You may remember Inceptor as PolyCase, but the unique “plastic bullets” (we’ll explain why the quotations in a minute) underwent a rebranding and have been available on the market for some time since. We were first re-acquainted with Inceptor at a media day several months back. Since then we’ve been working with them directly and have run over a thousand rounds of Inceptor through nearly a half-dozen different pistols. We’ve yet to experience any problems with it, and have found it to be a favored range ammo for a couple of reasons.

inceptor loaded mag

But before we give our first impressions, what exactly sets Inceptor apart in a broad ammo market that seems to benefit from seemingly insatiable consumer demand? The Inceptor slugs are made of a copper-polymer matrix. In plain speak, a mix of pulverized metal powder and plastic that is then injection molded to form bullets. Injection molding is a relatively fast and incredibly uniform way to produce just about anything. As long as their base mixture remains homogenous, this manufacturing method gives Quantum the ability to crank out high volumes of bullets without sacrificing QC. There is no jacketing requirements, no stamping or forming, and no high-pressure press forming as in the case in sintered metal slugs. In fact, when you take a close look at the top of an Inceptor bullet, you can see the small, clean break mark where it was punched from the mold.

inceptor closeup1

All this science makes for great press releases. However, with the aforementioned demand for practice ammo being vigorous and unwavering, with no downturn on the horizon, ammo doesn’t have to excel for a company to succeed. It just has to work. Most of the time. So why look at Inceptor, as opposed to any of the lightweight, full metal jacket or lead round nose fodder that’s only a couple clicks away from your range bag? Inceptor slugs are incredibly lightweight for caliber. All our test ammo was 65 grain 9mm, traveling at 1565 feet per second. The box is marked +P but, to put things in perspective, a 115-grain JHP traveling at 1300 feet per second is rated +P+. Quantum’s website claims the light, low-density projectile provides reduced recoil even with increased velocity.

We won’t dispute the claim outright. But perhaps we’ll temper it with slightly more nuanced language. When a marketing pamphlet says an ammo has “reduced recoil” some shooters begin to drool over the idea of a 9mm cartridge that tenderly nudges your wrist like a subsonic rimfire out of a bull-barreled match pistol. Not the experience you’ll get with Inceptor. But our general physical perception was that the slide cycled faster, and with less perceptible muzzle flip. It still “kicks” like any other 9mm round, but the impulse dissipates more quickly and with less disturbance to the sight picture.

Maybe our favorite part about Inceptor is that it’s great for use against steel targets and inside shoot houses, as it’s completely frangible. Quantum claims that upon impacting hard targets, Inceptor bullets disintegrate down to less than 5% of their original solid weight. While we can’t verify that specific number, we may or may not have re-interpreted traditional minimum safe distances against steel targets (for research purposes only, so don’t try it at home) and experienced no ill effects for our efforts.

inceptor box side

Inceptor ammo is available in two variations. Their “Sport Utility Ammo,” which is intended for general range use, uses what they call a Round Nose Precision bullet. This is the line we’ve been working with over the last couple months and internet search results show an average of $11-$12 per box of 50 – 23 cents per round– if that’s how you comparison shop. That price point makes it not quite bargain basement, but not a whole hell of a lot higher. The defense and hunting lines use the uniquely-shaped ARX projectile, which sports a nose profile akin to a Philips Head screwdriver. We’ll bring you separate coverage on that later. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a flat-shooting, fast-cycling practice round that can transition seamlessly from paper to steel, Inceptor Sport Utility Ammo may be the next thing you stuff in the trunk for range day.

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