Ballistic Gel Test: Inceptor .380 Auto

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Duration: 4:35

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PDN conducts ballistic gelatin testing on the Inceptor .380 ACP round. How does it compare to a standard .380 ball round and a non-bonded hollow point?


The Inceptor is a frangible round that has cut outs in it. They are designed to increase the damage that the round does inside the human body. It’s a defensive round that feeds like a ball round and doesn’t expand.

Average defensive shooters will be better served by a bonded hollow point or perhaps a non-bonded hollow point in a slow-moving round like the .380. But the reasons a shooter might be interested in the Inceptor round are twofold: First, a lot of .380s are simply not reliable firearms, a critical factor for defensive use, and therefore feeding hollow points might be an issue. The Inceptor feeds more like a ball round but potentially has better performance inside a human body (though let’s see what the results of our ballistic test are).


The other reason you might want to use the Inceptor is because hollow points are illegal in some places, including New Jersey unless they are in your home. The Inceptor can fill the role of a legal defensive round that is better than ball ammunition, especially for use in ultra-compact .380 handguns popular for concealed carry.


The Inceptor round tumbled and caused more damage than the ball round. From 2½ to 5¼ inches, there’s a much larger wound cavity from the movement and tumbling that is caused by the cut outs on the front of the Inceptor round. Also the Inceptor round penetrated 13 inches, ideal for a defensive round.

We analyze the performance of the ball round and the non-bonded hollow point, and the Inceptor looks like the best choice of these three.