The prices of 9 mm ammo have gone skywards, since the ban. Chinese ammo is Rs 120 a pop and Czech Selleir and Bellot is like 180 plus. So in these desolate times, Pakistani ammo has started appearing in the markets. In fact Pakistani ammo has been around since ages, but I would say its quality has improved, well somewhat. There is just one brand which can be called reliable, POF, Pakistan Ordnance Factories have been making 9 mm ammo. There have been quality issues in their ammo but still it is a better brand. Zol is a relatively new ammo in the 9 mm category. When we talk of ammo being made in Darra and Peshawar, basically they don’t make casings, in fact they get used casings, seat the desi primers and fix the projectile. I had actually never used desi or Pakistani ammo, frankly because I never considered it safe. However, after the furore on the Internet, I got a few boxes just to try them out. Well let’s say for practice. If you can get ammo in Rs 20 to 30 a pop nowadays which is safe to shoot then its not a bad deal. But off course it comes with hiccups. Like for instance desi ammo has been found to be corrosive, chiefly because of the primers. And desi ammo is filled to the brim, makes a big bang and I believe not safe. Zol however, has some positive reviews. So then I got myself some Zol and decided to try it out. Let me please say form the onset that this is not an exhaustive review of Zol ammo, neither is it to check the accuracy of this ammo. Well I intend doing that later. This is a just a brief introduction to the ammo produced by Zol. In some little way yes I will comment on the reliability of this ammo. Although 100 rounds is far too less to gauge reliability in its true sense, or to draw conclusions. But it might give an idea or help form an opinion.
Zol ammo, the one I was able to find comes in two varieties, one is packed in a fancy box and the other comes in a plain white box. The fancy has all those fine writings printed on it, like Export Quality (although I believe they are no way near export quality), Smokeless Propellant, and the words Deadly, Accurate and Dependable printed on it. So I fired two boxes of Zol, the white un-printed and the fancy printed one and got two misfires from the fancy one!!! Though it was slightly expensive and was claimed to be a better quality, but since the same handgun was used so I believe it was an ammo issue as closer inspection of the primer revealed a good strike on it. The misfired ammo was deftly discarded for safety purposes.
Here is how the box look from side view.
So here’s the Zol ammo packed in a plain box. Looks funny don’t it? How can one identify a brand without a marked box or stamped casings.
I think someone has done good job by rubbing off the markings and stamping them as Zol 9 MM LUGER. Observe one odd piece in glowing Gold 🙂 This is the Zol printed fancy boxed one. This was little pricey and supposed to be good quality but I got two misfires in this.
This is the Zol White box. You can see POF head stamps all over. So this is basically used POF ammo that was reloaded. I am not sure about the primers and propellant, though. I mean its quality etc. But Desi ammo has been known to be corrosive, so the gun was cleaned in Diesel thoroughly after firing.
Here’s a comparison shot of Zol vs, Zol fancy, Chinese 311 and American Eagle 9 mm ammo. First two from left are Zol (White box), second two is Zol (Fancy Box), next is Chinese 311 and last is American Eagle. Not much can be gained out of it, but it is just a pictorial shot.
So here’ my conclusion. I think I need to fire more of this in order to come to a conclusion about its reliability and accuracy. I also want to find how safe it is. But from what I have come to know, that the reloading has been done carefully under supervision. The funny thing is that, one of the ammo makers told me, they load the casings with propellant really good, with total disregard for safety. That is because mostly people in KP who use it like to hear big bang. And an overloaded round gives just that. But they say Zol has some standards which they follow, not sure what exactly. So I think only more use will confirm that. I used a desi Glock 19 to test this ammo. And I intend firing a couple of hundred rounds to arrive at a conclusion. So this post will be updated. Hope it was of some use. Cheers.