The Barnaul Cartridge Plant, headquartered in the southern Siberian town after which it's named, is one of the world's best known names when it comes to Russian military-grade and civilian-purpose ammunition. Its product line is available to civilian shooters and professionals alike worldwide, and their low price range makes them extremely popular. Truth be told, certain loads in the Barnaul's product line are known for a quality level that doesn't matches their western counterparts, even thought most complaints are due to the awful fouling caused in certain weapon systems by Barnaul's typical red lacquer used to protect the primers. When it comes to efficiency and performance, Barnaul's products definitely have their share of enthusiasts, especially when it comes to plinking and otherwise informal shooting practice with former ComBloc-caliber guns or certain obsolete chamberings with very little commercial sources available.
The Barnaul product line hadn't changed for a while until early 2013, when the development for a new ammunition line − first started in 2009 − finally came to a conclusion with the commercial launch of Barnaul's CENTAUR line of loads on western markets.
Although distribution first started on the Russian market, the CENTAUR line of ammunition appears to have been conceived specifically for European and American shooters. It's a fact that there may be enough space for a company like Barnaul to expand its market share in Europe and in the United States, especially after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown (CT, USA) and the subsequent calls for more stringent gun control laws in the U.S.; although the anti-gun front was unsuccessful in its attempt to pass new bans at Federal level, and the restrictive laws passed in some States are now being challenged in courts, the hype following the shooting and said law proposals caused a buying frenzy for guns and ammunition in America, de facto depleting the stocks kept by many distributors and absorbing the production of American and European ammunition manufacturers for months to come.
As western shooters generally ask for higher quality levels than what many Eastern manufacturers are used to provide, the Barnaul Cartridge Plant planned ahead when working to launch the CENTAUR product line, by reaching agreements with foreign third parties to provide certain key parts. Barnaul still manufactures the polymer-coated steel cases and the lacquered primers used in their CENTAUR line loads, but the bi-metallic, tombac-coated bullet are manufactured in the United States by Hornady Manufacturing Inc. − one of America's biggest names in ammunition! − while propellants are provided by P.B. Clermont S.A., a specialized chemical company headquartered in Belgium with decades of experience in the manufacture of military, civilian and industrial-grade propellants.
The Barnaul CENTAUR line of ammunition includes: .223 Remington and 7.62x54R loads with FMJ-BT or HP-BT balls; .243 Winchester, .308-Winchester and .30-06 Springfield loads with FMJ-BT or SP-BT balls; and a 9x19mm FMJ-RN load. Distribution already started on a global scale, so the CENTAUR line of ammunition should now be available in all these Countries whose ammunition importers and distributors deal with the Barnaul Cartridge Plant.