The Type of Ammunition Does Matter - Monarch vs. Sellier & Bellot

I think by now I don't have to actually state that this will be an informal comparison of ammunition.  It will not get into the velocities and pressures etc of ammunition.  This comparison will be actual, readily available, ammunition fired at the range at targets at a specified distance.  I am not a marksman and do not claim to be such.


I like to do a lot of target practice and tactical practice so I go through a lot of ammunition.  It is because I use so much that I actually tried to be cheap about it a time or two.  I know hard to believe that a person that buys a cheap gun, like an RG 38S, would buy cheap ammo.

I would like to state that my ammunition test is not definitive, some people may use this ammo and not have a problem with it at all but what what I have found from shooting it and talking to others that have shot this ammunition it is not to be considered reliable.

This ammunition comparison was done using my CZ 82 pistol that uses 9mm Makarov (also known as 9X18).  I started out the morning I went to the range using Monarch Makarov.  I had bought several boxes of it because it was on sale for 9.99 for a box of 50.  Can't beat that with a stick! 

Well actually you can beat that with a stick.  In fact if you have Monarch Makarov in your gun for self defense you surely may have to beat them with a stick because you may not be able to accurately shoot them! 

When I started shooting that morning I noticed immediately that my shoot were off,  just how off I would soon find out.  After several hundred rounds I was pretty despondent.  I called my husband and told him I thought maybe I was losing my eye sight because my target practice was worse than it had ever been.  I had hit better shots during tactical exercises where I was running by the target not just standing in front of it. 

It was then that the person in the lane next to me asked what I was shooting and I told him it was Monarch.  He said that's what my problem was.  He said he had tried the Monarch in the past and had no luck with it.  I told him it wasn't a matter of just bad shots but I had shots that weren't even accounted for!  Yes, you understood that correctly shots that did not even hit the target!  I had never had such a bad target practice.

My husband offered to go to the gun supply store and pick up some better ammunition and I gladly welcomed that option.  He picked me up 200 rounds of Sellier and Bellot makarov.  Now, Sellier and Bellot is not exactly a well know accuracy ammo either but there are not alot of options when it comes to Makarov around here.  I have used Wolf in the past without problem but it would not be allowed at the range I would be going to in the following week so we opted to try the Sellier and Bellot. 

The following images are of the targets shot with the Monarch at the distances of 7 yards and 15 yards. 

I apologize that the photos are not better but it did not strike me to document the differences until I was ready to throw the targets away and was taking not again of how bad some of the shots were.

7 yard line with CZ 82 and Monarch ammo.            7 yard line with CZ 82 and Sellier and Bellot ammo

At just 7 yards there are already 7 shots unaccounted for with the Monarch.  You will note that my shots are wide spread with the Sellier and Bellot but they are all accounted for and I think part of the problem was my nerves by that point.  You can see once I did settle down the shot groups around the top center of the target are not too bad and were fired in 3 shot shot groups.

15 yard line with CZ 82 and Monarch ammo.           15 yard line with CZ 82 and Sellier and Bellot ammo.

Upon inspection of this target I can not account for 8 shots of the Monarch.  Note with the Sellier and Bellot once the center of target was achieved it could be maintained without loss of any shots.

The bottom line here is that I personally would not waste even 9.99 again on the Monarch for target practice and I would sure never purchase it for self defense.  The Sellier and Bellot performed adequately and I would purchase it again.  I will never again waste hundreds of rounds and my shoulder trying to get Monarch ammo to hit the target successfully repeatedly.  Sellier and Bellot may not be considered a top of the line ammunition but I can say that it performed well in the hands of a very stressed person that had fired hundreds of rounds of cheap ammo prior to switching ammunition.





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