Monarch Ammo and XD Range Report

Took the Mrs to the range last night to shoot her new toy. Academy, a local sporting goods store, has ammo cheaper than the range, so I went there at lunch. The cheapest 9mm ammo they has was named Monarch, which I decided to buy and try out.

A little research on the net said that Monarch is ammo made in Russia or Croatia for Academy. Academy had two kinds, one in a green box and one in a blue. One was just under $7 and the other just under $5. I asked the sales guy what the difference was and he said the cheaper ammo was “that military looking ammo”. What he meant was the shell was actually olive colored. Someone online asked that a shooter who was testing Monarch try a magnet on the shell to see if it was steel. Turns out the cheaper ammo is steel. I kept a shell from each box and the olive ones are magnetic. The copper ones aren’t.

I couldn’t tell any difference shooting them. They all fed through the XD and my Walther fine. The XD had one stove pipe jam and it was the olive round, but it was also the second shot from the gun. You could tell the gun needed some rounds through it to loosen up.

The XD was a fine gun. It didn’t have a big kick from a small gun. It seemed to put things where you aimed. I got a pretty good group with it, though I felt the sites might be a little off.

Stripping it down and cleaning it was easy once I read the manual. I did the Walther right after it and thought it would be possible to take the slide off the Walther with one hand in front, but on the XD.

You could really tell the difference in the two guns and the Walther definitely had a broke in feel the XD didn’t. The slide is very stiff, the magazines are also very stiff. Forget getting 16 rounds in there. We probably put about 150 rounds through the XD and I think I’ll try and get maybe 300 more through it before we go to FrontSight Feb 1.

Speaking of FrontSight I need to make hotel reservations.

Honey’s Got a New Gun

Been an incredibly busy weekend. But it started off Friday night with the Mrs and I going back to Gander Mountain in Spring Texas to look at guns again. Remember from my pervious post we spent a hour or more there a couple of weeks back looking at guns and had a short list. Well we were planning on going to a gun show Saturday morning and I wanted to write down the prices Gander was charging to compare.

We get there and it was fairly busy. We talk about little about guns and then ask to see a couple. The guy behind the counter gets them out for us and the Mrs is having her usual trouble with the slide. A couple is standing next to us and they start giving her advice. The woman from the couple makes some suggested based on what she carries. After a couple of minutes the guy from behind the counter looks at the couple and says “Do you just want to clock in?” and they say “Sure”.

Turns out they work there and were just finished buying something else. But they got into helping us and ended up showing us a bunch of guns. The lady suggested a Bersa 380 because of its size. But we need at least a 9mm for FrontSight. A guy standing there suggested the Taurus Millennium, but there weren’t any in the case. So our help salesman went to the back to see if they had any. Came back out with on and with a Springfield Armory XD subcompact. The Mrs really like the little XD and I have to say I liked it as well.

I don’t really like to have to disengage a safety to fire the gun, though people who work in gun stores seem to like lots of safeties. The XD has two external safeties, one on the trigger and one on the back of the stock. So if you don’t pull the trigger back or if you don’t have a grip on the gun, it won’t fire. So I ended up liking it anyway because you don’t have to think about flipping off a safety, but you do get the added safeness.

It comes with two magazines, a 10 round that fits flush to the stock and a 16 round that has a plastic extension of the stock on the bottom. Has a really nice feel with the longer magazine, fixing the fact your hand hangs off the stock.

Haven’t shot it yet, probably do that tonight, but it seems a sweet little gun.

Case came with a sticker “Not for sale in California”. 🙂

If It Weren’t So Stupid…

…it’d be funny. Linoge has a post with an image of Philippine riot police. Including 4 female officers in riot gear.

At least from the waist up.

Below that they have on a strait skirt and heels. Guys have leg protection on, women don’t. That’s crazy.

The only two things that might explain it a little would be if it was a training exercise, but you’d expect to train the same gear you’d work in. Or it was some surprise riot on a police station where they just grabbed everyone available including those women on desk duty. But it’s still crazy.

Full Auto

Alas I haven’t made a pilgrimage to shoot full auto yet, but I found a great series of posts complete with video for you who are interested. It is a blog new to me called Snowflakes in Hell. Check the full auto category.

He has a great design as well.

Honey Needs A Gun

So the Mrs and I are signed up for FrontSight at the end of the month. We will be spending 4 days in the Nevada desert learning how to shoot a semi-auto handgun.

I’m planning on taking my Walther P99 – unless I trade it for a P99 QA 40 before then. But the Mrs doesn’t have a gun. We could probably borrow her sisters Glock, but we figure she’s getting a CHL after we get back, so she needs a gun.

We went to Gander Mountain, a local outdoors store with a huge selection of guns, and she got to handle a lot of handguns. She had problems racking the slide on a lot of guns. But we found a few and she got a feel for what she likes. She likes all metal guns at least partially because she wants something she can hit someone with if needed. 🙂

The guy at the store was down on Glocks because they don’t have an external safety. My Walther doesn’t have an external safety and I like that. It’s one less thing you have to remember if you have to draw and use it. But training and practice would make disengaging the safety second nature.

Talked to a friend last night who is a former IPSC(sp?) shooter and firearms instructor and he suggested an HK. He didn’t like Glocks either because he doesn’t like the “half cocked” nature of the Glock and how you can’t decock it without pulling the trigger. He offered to point me to court cases where Glocks have gone off unexpectedly.

My wife wrote down 4 guns she liked, I don’t remember all of them. I know one was a Taurus and I think there was an HK. If we’d bought that night, we’d probably have gotten the Baby Eagle because she like it a lot. I know Linoge would recommend that.

UPDATE: She posted her list and research to her blog. Pistols
Now’s your turn to weight in. What handgun should my wife buy?

  • I’d like it to be a 9mm because that’s what I carry and we’d be able to share ammo.
  • She’s going to carry it on a regular basis.
  • It needs to be a semi-auto because FrontSight requires that.
  • I know a revolver is easier to carry and we might pick one long term, but first we’ll get a semi.

Is Black Gear A Good Idea?

If you are shopping for gun or survival gear most of it is black. Is that a good idea? I thought about it the first time I dropped my black pocket knife at night. Black is hard to see in the day on a dark background, and its neigh impossible at night.

So as I’ve bought gear I’ve tended to buy what I can in a color that is easy to see.

There is a drawback to gear that is easy to see. It is easy for other people to see as well.

In the very good Tactical Pistol Marksmanship book I’m reading he says your gun should be black because the bad guy can see you if not. But he doesn’t consider you might drop the gun and then not be able to find it. I guess you have to decide which is more likely.

I’m considering trading my Walther P99 9mm for a P99 QA in 40. When I do I have the option of the getting the olive drab version instead of the black and I think that may be a good idea. On one hand the black looks cooler, but the olive would be easier to find if you dropped it, without being to obvious when you are holding it. But it won’t match my clothes. You know black matches everything I wear. 🙂

Something to think about next time you are buying gear you plan on using in a survival situation. Or even in a non-survival situation. How likely are you to have to find this item in the dark? How easy will that be?