Avoid Monarch Ammo!

C_Carson

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Nov 18, 2010
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Husband and I took the Bersa .380 and the Sig 9mm to Philson's shooting range this afternoon to get a little practice in before taking the CWP course this weekend. The 9mm worked flawlessly, with ammo provided by Upstate Armory Group.

Our Bersa .380 we shot with Monarch brand ammo purchased a short time back from Academy Sports. Evidently this is the cheap "store brand" ammo, made in Serbia, and from various reviews we read online after getting home, it appears this ammo is sometimes reloaded and sold, without any advertising of the fact!
We had several jams, but attributed it to just being low quality, until about the third clip, fifth round in. There was a dull "poomf" sound, and when we checked the barrel, we saw the projectile protruding from the tip. Evidently this was an issue of not enough powder. We had to take our cleaning rod to prod the tip out and took it to Academy Sports, who told us the rest of the box should be fine to shoot. (They have a policy against returning ammo and guns, even if its defective.) I don't know about you, but if there's a faulty round in a cheap box of ammo, I don't feel comfortable relying on it and their reassurance doesn't persuade me one bit.

So after this, Andrew and I have decided from now on to avoid major retailers (and Monarch ammo!) and give our full support to local businesses.
 

Dirk Pitt

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Oct 1, 2009
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I've had similar issues with ammo before and it cost me a barrel and could have cost me a gun. I've got a Beretta 92F that my father purchased from our neighbor, when we bought it he gave us a bunch of 9mm reloads he had for it. We were having reliability issues with it and ended up taking it to a gun smith to get it diagnosed and fixed, ended up being some weird aftermarket recoil system my neighbor had put in it, we also found out the barrel had a bulge in it. Now new barrel latter were shooting off some of these reloads he gave us and one day we had a failure to chamber, bullet lodged in the breach of the barrel. Now this led us to believe that ether my father and I or our neighbor had a bullet lodged in the original barrel and shot another round behind it. Had we not found out about the bulge that could have been the end of our barrel.

Needless to say I'd rather spend a few bucks more for ammo I know I can trust than save a few cents per round on and ammo and ruin several hundred dollars of gun.
 

Schultz

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Jan 12, 2010
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I've never shot the pistol ammo but do shoot the Monarch rifle(223) all the time without a hitch.
 

Clicker

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Apr 29, 2010
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Why are we discussing ammo issues in the classified section?
Shouldn't this be moved to say GD or handguns?
 

thebrasilian

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May 7, 2010
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Clicker said:
Why are we discussing ammo issues in the classified section?
Shouldn't this be moved to say GD or handguns?
I agree. But here is my opinion:

380's are finicky in the first place. But Cheap ammo doesn't help either. I stay away from lacqured or no reloadable casings (coated steel or aluminum). For example, I have never had an issue with my carry gun. A Taurus PT145. Until I used some cheap wolf ammo. When the gun started getting warm, the mag's would lift the wolf ammo. The coating on the brass was getting tacky (they were also sitting in the sun on a 90 degree day in a sandpit. . Changed to WWB and no problems.
 

Frost

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All bs aside.
Do not shoot the remainder of the box.
If they had a no powder charge they might have a double charge.
 

carsontech

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Nov 17, 2010
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You don't have to worry about us shooting the rest of the box, or the other box of it that hasn't been opened yet. We are going to dispose of both boxes. We tried coaxing Academy Sports into taking it back, but they do not accept returns or exchanges on ammo or guns.

We are going to try to get in touch with Monarch and see what they can do about this. After the incident, we discovered there is a disclaimer on the box stating they (Monarch) are not liable for any junk rounds they sell, as they have no control over of there manufacturing. ???? WTF does that mean?!
 

C_Carson

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Nov 18, 2010
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Clicker said:
Why are we discussing ammo issues in the classified section?
Shouldn't this be moved to say GD or handguns?
My bad. Guess I was more tired than I thought last night and posted in the wrong section. Mods, can you move this please? Thanks!
 

carsontech

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Nov 17, 2010
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carsontech said:
After the incident, we discovered there is a disclaimer on the box stating they (Monarch) are not liable for any junk rounds they sell, as they have no control over of there manufacturing. ???? WTF does that mean?!
Never mind, the disclaimer was for reloading the brass after being shot.
 

mcdaniel

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Jan 14, 2010
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Not discounting your experience, but I have put a metric s-ton of that through my 9mm glocks, .45 1911, a bolt .308, a .38, and a couple of .380s and have had no issue with well maintained firearms.

I have had nothing but good luck, and I wont be buying any other brand practice ammo because Monarch is the best deal going.

FYI- their brass cased is made in serbia, but the steel cased is manufactured by wolf in russia, (from what I have heard, no guarantee that is a fact)
 

C_Carson

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Nov 18, 2010
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These were brass casings; one or two bullets we did not fire because they had slight dents or warping on the side. It's very likely that the unopened 2nd box is okay to shoot, but we bought both boxes together, so I'm concerned we may have gotten a defective batch. It might be okay, but I don't feel safe risking my gun or my well-being just to fire off the last 75 or so rounds. We're going to contact the manufacturer and hopefully get some resolution.

I'm glad you haven't had any issues with this brand; perhaps it was just a bad batch. All the same...


...you wanna buy some ammo at a seriously discounted price? ;) lol, just kidding!
 

mcdaniel

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Jan 14, 2010
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I believe you and you can guarantee I will check them out a bit closer now.

Just sharing my opinion that I would guess bad batch, not awful company overall.
 

carsontech

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Nov 17, 2010
Messages
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Bringing back a semi-old thread with just a few findings about the brass casing Monarch ammo. I am sure if you search any ammo name brand, you will find squib load stories, but I just thought I would throw these up here. Most stories are about the .380 ammo, and some are hearsay:

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14902684&postcount=30

http://www.handgunforum.net/smith-wesson/22837-monarch-38-special-squib-warning.html

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showpost.php?s=5ba28d0f6484acb5fd6c808e01eb9676&p=2084875&postcount=3

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3290600&postcount=10

http://www.bayoushooter.com/forums/showpost.php?p=337815&postcount=27
 
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