Red Army Standard Ammo Review: Lock and Load, Comrade!
No matter if you love taking out your tricked-out AR-15 carbine, Tula-made SKS, or semi-auto Glock handgun out for an afternoon of plinking, ammo cost is always at the forefront of every shooter’s mind. Red Army Standard Ammunition answered the call of American shooters, providing high-quality handgun and rifle ammo at a price point anyone can afford.
As a relative newcomer to the Russian ammo arena, Red Army Standard (RAS for short) looks to differentiate themselves from your run-of-the-mill Wolf or Tula ammo by providing shooters with consistent bullet weights and powder charges. The result is greater accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency.
But is RAS ammo the best choice for your AR-15 and AK-47 mags? In this in-depth Red Army Standard ammo review, we will take an objective look at RAS and help you decide if this it’s right for you and your favorite firearms.
Red Army Standard ammunition is extremely reliable thanks to its non-corrosive Berdan primers. However, since Red Army Standard (RAS) utilizes steel cases, some rifles and handguns might experience jams or failure to extract (FTE) malfunctions.
As much as we love ammo, we understand that no manufacturer is perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of Red Army Standard ammunition you should be aware of.
- Great price
- Extremely reliable
- No imports since Biden Russian ammo ban
- A little dirty
- Steel-cased ammo
Red Army Standard offers several calibers of centerfire rifle and handgun ammunition in different chamberings, here are their most popular factory loads:
Red Army Standard Ammunition is a relative newcomer to the steel case ammo game, coming to the market in 2017. RAS ammo is imported by Century Arms and comes in two distinct varieties.
Some Red Army Standard ammo is found packaged in red boxes. This ammo is some of their best and most accurate and is loaded in brass cases or lacquer coated steel cases depending on the cartridge. RAS Elite ammo is loaded in brass cases and is Boxer primed.
However, the more common RAS ammo you’ll find in the wild is their white box ammo. White box ammo, like Winchester in this regard, is their more budget-friendly option. White box RAS ammo is loaded in a steel case to reduce the overall cost to the end user, uses Berdan primers, and is polymer coated like Wolf Polyformance ammo.
The polymer and lacquer coating ensures smooth feeding into and out of the chamber of your firearm. All Red Army Standard ammo uses sealed primers to ensure reliability even during the harshest environmental circumstances. This makes it a great ammo choice if you’re stocking up for SHTF or any disaster scenario.
Red Army Standard strives to produce ammunition that consistent with Russian military specs, giving your exceptional reliability and accuracy for all your shooting needs.
RAS ammo is typically loaded with a bi-metal full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. Bimetal bullets are projectiles comprised of a soft lead core surrounded by a steel jacket that is then enclosed in a 100% copper jacket coating. Bimetal bullets are banned from some indoor ranges due to their ability to penetrate deeper than traditional full metal jacket bullets used by the United States and NATO.
Bi-metal bullets have been shown to wear out barrels quicker than traditional FMJ bullets, especially in the AR-15 carbine. However, the low cost of RAS ammo more than makes up for additional barrel wear, as the money you save on ammo will more than make up for a new barrel every thousand rounds or so.
The original red box rifle ammo imported by Century International Arms was a 7.62x39 cartridge designed for the AK-47 or SKS rifle. Loaded with a 124-grain boat tail hollow point bullet, this round has a muzzle velocity around 2,260 fps and was extremely reliable in our hands.
However, more often than not you’ll find the white box 122 grain FMJ 7.62x39 load out in the wild. This round performed admirably in my SKS and I’d have no issue buying a 1,000 round case of ammo for it.
For handgun shooters, RAS has two loads you might be interested in. Their 9mm Luger cartridge is loaded with a 115 grain full metal jacket, is loaded in Russia, and can be found in their white box line. But for the 1911 shooters out there, a 45 ACP loaded with a 230 grain FMJ is also available to quench your need for plinking.
If you enjoy shooting a 40 Smith & Wesson, Red Army Standard does not currently load this round at the time of writing.
Sadly, due to the Biden Russian ammo ban, Red Army Standard ammo has become increasingly difficult to locate. Meaning that you’ll need to find other sources of ammo for your beloved AK-47, Ruger Mini-30, or SKS from suppliers like Hornady, Winchester, or Remington.
But, if you do find some Red Army Standard ammo when you’re scouring a gun store shelf, don’t hesitate to pick up a box or ten, you won’t be disappointed!
Red Army Standard ammo has been manufactured in numerous countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Polan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland.
The Red Army Standard logo is written in faux Cyrillic. Letters are intentionally written backwards to appear Russian in origin. The star, sickle, and hammer are symbols of the Soviet Union and harken back to the original days of the AK-47 and its legacy.
Red Army Standard ammo is the overarching brand which manufactures multiple calibers, including 9mm Luger, 45 ACP, 223 Remington, and 308 Winchester. Red Army Standard 7.62x39 ammo is the first cartridge the company offered.
No, Red Army Standard ammo was loaded with non-corrosive Berdan primers.
As Red Army Standard is steel-cased ammo, it is inherently dirtier than an equivalent brass-cased round. However, I found RAS ammo to be slightly cleaner than traditional 7.62x39 ammo from Wolf and Tula.
Yes, Red Army Standard ammo is extremely reliable thanks to its use of Berdan primers.
RAS ammo is loaded with non-corrosive Berdan primers that are extremely reliable for all their centerfire ammunition.
No, RAS ammo is manufactured with steel cases that are Berdan primed. Steel cased ammo is not reloadable and Berdan-primed cases are extremely difficult to work with and require specialized reloading tools.