NEW: Red Army Standard Ammo

Century International Arms is importing a new line of ammunition named Red Army Standard. The ammo is being manufactured in Romania and features a lacquered steel case, traditional bi-metal bullet and sealant around both the primer and bullet. 

red army standard ammo

Red Army Standard uses a traditional bi-metal bullet with a mild steel jacket around a lead core.

I’ve found sealed lacquered cases to be the best choice for long term storage or if you plan to use your ammo in wet/hostile environments.  The sealed lacquered cases set the Red Army Standard ammo apart from the Wolf and Tula brands and for this reason I suspect it will make it an attractive choice for survivalist/preppers.

The ammo will be offered in (2) calibers initially; 7.62×39 and 7.62x54R, both Berdan primed and non-corrosive. The 7.62×39 will come packaged in (30) round boxes while the 7.62x54R will come packaged in (20) round boxes.  Both calibers will be available in handy range packs holding (6) boxes of ammo each.

The head stamp of the ammo shows a production date of 2013 making it recent production ammo and not military surplus.  

While the packaging is new, the ammo has been previously imported and sold by Century Arms under the brand name “HotShot”.  The old HotShot brand wasn’t as creatively packaged as the new Red Army Standard ammunition — I have to admit the new boxes do look sharp.

Century Arms is listing the following retailers/dealers as sources for the ammo.  You will have to check these retailers for pricing and availability.

I have 180 rounds of 7.62×39 (123gr) and 120 rounds of the 7.62x54R (148gr) that I will be testing firing shortly.  Century Arms tells me that the 5.45×39 and 9×18 Makarov will be available soon to complement the 7.62×39 and 7.62x54R offerings.

I plan to post a video on the Military Arms Channel of this new ammo in action, so stay tuned!

Red army standard ammo packaging

The new Red Army Standard range packs containing (6) boxes of ammo each.


MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • Dave

    Any idea what the price is going to be like?

    • Pip

      Classic Firearms has it “instock”…$219.99+shipping for a 600 round tin ($0.36 per round…over .40c per round shipped to TX)…Golden Tiger it is then

      • Avat

        I’d rather buy Tula tins over that.

  • Brc

    Will they have .223/5.56 available anytime?

  • icepick37

    That sounds pretty great, actually. If the price is decent.

  • Brian Streufert

    Yesssssss!!!! An alternative to 5.45 surplus!!!!

  • Mark

    I detest communism but love the packaging. Uh oh conundrum.

    • Lew

      What better way to celebrate the fall of that evil ideology then by buying stuff marked with its regalia, made by free people in a country that used to suffer from said ideology? Me, I love using my decadent western capitalist money on stuff makred with red stars and the like – WE WON! Woo!

    • Michael Lawrence

      Romania isn’t communist…they were forced into communism by the Soviet Union….they are an independent nation now and have been since 1989.

  • Justin


  • Nerd Bane

    and we all thought the 5.45 supply was on the verge of collapse

  • Rich Guy

    Yes,some more decent 5.45!

  • Hybris

    Hey MAC could you cover in your video in better detail the increase barrel wear factor of bi-metal jacket rounds?

    • MAC

      That’s fairly well documented in an in depth LuckyGunner test.

      • Rambeast

        That test is severely flawed. Running ammo through rifles at that pace is not a true test of damage caused by “normal” shooting. The heat generated from that volume of fire is going to weaken the barrel and accelerate wear well beyond real world results. If you make a cold barrel shot every time, with anything softer than the barrel’s material, you will never wear it out. I would like to see a true scientific method test based on firefight and range paced scenarios. Not just some massive ammo dump that only resembles a last stand at an armory.

        • MAC

          That is absolutely not true. Regardless of how slowly you fire, you will wear a barrel out with use. The lucky gunner test shows how much more quickly bi-metal bullets erode a barrel than copper jacketed as both were used in the test. Yes, heat accelerates this, but that’s all it does, it doesn’t change the outcome. Bi-metal does cause more wear, however it’s not a huge difference and the cost savings winds up favoring the Wolf even after you buy a replacement barrel.

          • Rambeast

            I rechecked my source, and realized they were notes I took while discussing casting your own bullets. We were asking about lead and alloy (Tin, Antimony, and Lead) for casting hardness required for rifle speeds, and barrel life. Nowhere near the hardness of copper and soft steel in the test.

          • phil

            The test was an admirable attempt and is a good read. However, the fact that 2 out of the 4 bushmasters were out of spec with loose barrels from factory started it out questionably. Then the substitution of a spikes tactical to make tula run throws the comparison off a bit.

            But my complaint is with the blaming the massive deterioration of accuracy on barrel wear from ammo. Why I say this is that accuracy was checked at 4&6,000 rds , but at 5,000 they removed the barrels and chamber casted.
            The guns all were decreasing in accuracy pretty closely til after the 5000 rd mark when they were torn apart and had hardening substance poured in the chamber. Did they screw one or the other up? Were those the factory lemons? Was there a deeper cause of loose barrels? Bad metallurgy not holding torque? Loose barrels make for bad accuracy, dealt with a dpms that way.

            Not scientific enough to be taken for absolute accurate fact, but informative none the less. I say not scientific because of all the variables introduced throughout the test. It was a great testament to the reliability of the ar platform under extreme abuse. The test however was about the effects of ammo.

            If they would’ve collaborated with the rifle manufacturer for four identical units both parties would’ve benefited. As it was it appeared to be a coin toss on build quality. The manufacturer should’ve taken the rifles in a consecutive batch, tested for alloy composition and assembled them under very exacting specs and tolerances. This may have shown their rifles performing a torture test, rather than spotlighting poor workmanship. The test would’ve benefited from less variables. The rifles should not have been torn down till afterwards. The test environment should have been less harsh, as dirt, sand, water and dust cause their own erratic wear.
            The fire rate increased wear, but was unavoidable for testing to be conducted in a reasonable time frame. 20,000 rds in cold bore would take 40 days at 8 hrs, not feasible. This would’ve only shown that barrels last longer at cooler temps, which just makes the cost difference all the more appealing with steel.

            • phil

              I say 20,000 rds because slow fire should double barrel life over the tests rapid fire. To be clear I don’t deny greater wear, just the degree of it. After 20k at a savings of $.15/rd thats $3000. So if you your savings to purchase spare rifles you could buy 4 extras. If you are someone who doesn’t shoot enough for the cost to matter then you will never see the difference in wear either.

          • Bill kennedy

            Mac, I have Fulton Armory 16 in carbine ( Douglas 1-7 barrel) that has a round count of about 4,000 rds., not much for an AR. About half was various steel case and the rest Federal xm-193. The rifling was fine but at that round count the chamber should have gauged a 7 or maybe an 8. It gauged 5 because the throat was eroded far beyond what I expected. He ( Clint Mckee@ Fulton) says the very warm XM-193 torches throats quickly with sustained fire. My rifle was occasionally fired rapidly with 2 30x magazines and occasionally with one or most of one. There were other signs of high heat.
            I have fired a minimum of 10,000 rounds of steel case through my Fulton AR’s of various configurations with no sign at at all of distress when they were sent back to Fulton to be periodically TI’d. None, ever. All have Douglas or Kreiger barrels.
            I don’t think the referenced test was a very good predictor unless you use the rifle that way ( as a light machine gun) which most civilians don’t. Also as you alluded to, the steel case is a cost effective training round even allowing for slightly greater wear under normal conditions.


  • Tony

    Too cool!!! This would work nicely in my Yugo SKS.

  • huey

    well looks like something else to feed my nugget with!

  • Josh

    Look forward to hearing the review on it. Can’t wait for the 5.45

  • ghostwheel

    AK time! Any ammo is better than no ammo at all!

    Surprised there has been no comment here about Hornady ammo SUSPENDING PRODUCTION on most ammo types so they can throw all their effort into the most demanded rounds. They are 2 years behind on filling ammo orders.

  • Rob.G

    Red Army vs. Golden Tiger would make for a good MAC video. :-)

    • MAC

      I can’t get my hands on any Golden Tiger these days…

      • Rob.G

        Keep watching and sign up to be notified when it comes back in stock.

    • Brian Diffenderfer

      Golden Tiger was my choice in 5.45×39. But Ive not been able to find any anywhere in over a year, Ive also contacted Golden Tiger about distributors, but they have never responded. I do see GT ammo though on occasion but chambered in 7.62. I fear there will be no more GT in 5.45 imported

  • fenrirmultigun

    Wouldn’t the Wolf Polyformance be also a good choice? I was concerned that lacquered cases when firing alot of rounds doesn’t the lacquered ones build up in your chamber possibly causing a malfuntion?

    • Mike

      If my VZ58, SKS, or Mosins are any indication, it’s not a concern at all.

    • Brian Diffenderfer

      Ive shot thousands of steel-cased/lacquered rounds of 5.45 through my AR15… 0 issues, and that lacquer will not burn off and build up in your chamber ! Ive taken a blowtorch to a lacquered case and it would not burn off whatsoever.

  • Big Al !

    Will Red Army Standard be introducing a .223 round ?

  • Sean H

    What is the better quality ammo Red or Tusla?

  • adam

    There a rumors this ammo is corrosive flying around AK files despite it being marked non-corrosive- could someone do a nail test to verify?

    • MAC

      I’ve spoken to Century and they have a recall on the 7.62x54R ammo because some of it was tested as being corrosive. They told me it was only the 54R. I haven’t fired my 54R ammo yet so I can’t confirm. I did fire my 7.62×39 and it wasn’t corrosive, at least my batch wasn’t.

  • John Bailey

    Dose RED ARMY STANDARD have any plans on making ammunition in 7.62X25 Tokarev ??

    • MAC

      I don’t know. I would like to see it come into the country though!

    • Mike M.

      I sent a note to them inquiring the same. I got a affirmative reply.

  • Greg Hawkins (@PhilippiJailer)

    I’ve been shooting the New Red Army Standard manufactured in the Ukraine. I love this stuff. It burns clean and is reliable. I’ve been getting the range packs. You can’t beat the price right now.

  • Eturu

    Lacquered and polymer coating are the same, wolf changed to poly just
    because of the rumor of lacquer gumming up the chamber. The REAL reason steel cases (lacquer or poly) cause a malfunction is the
    steel does not expand to fit the chamber, this allows powder to
    build-up in the chamber. If you don’t clean the chamber before switching
    to brass cases, the brass WILL expand and stick to the powder build-up.