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.


  1. AlanDP says:

    Get some kind of thumb saver for loading those mags. I have a bunch of Magloaders strewn around wherever I think I might need them. I just get them at the gun show but their website is Check it out. They’re cheap and they work on anything.

  2. Ron says:

    The XD actually came with a loader for the mag, and we both used it. I could actually get 16 in it with the loader, but not with just my fingers. The Mrs still couldn’t push hard enough for #16.

  3. Ron says:

    Looking at the site, the loader that came with the gun is a little different. It actually slides onto the magazine and you squeeze it toward the bottom.

  4. Linoge says:

    Hm. Wolf ammo has the same funny olive-drab coloration, and I seem to recall reading somewhere that it was some kind of ceramic sealant on the metal to prevent it from corroding. The downside of this is that it has a tendency of getting all over the inside of the gun, and can pose a serious fouling problem over time (hard to clean off or something). I could be misremembering, and this coloration could be due to something entirely different, but just a thought.

    And speed loaders are your friend. I grabbed a little $5 cheapo at, and it has saved my fingers for years.

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