If you’re new to firearms, the world of ammunition can be a little daunting. There are all sorts of different calibers and types of ammo, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on one specific distinction: the difference between centerfire and rimfire ammunition.
Centerfire ammunition is so named because the primer (which ignites the gunpowder) is located in the center of the base of the cartridge. Rimfire ammo, on the other hand, has its primer located around the rim of the base of the cartridge. That’s all there is to it!
- There are two types of ammunition: rimfire and centerfire. Rimfires are less powerful but cheaper, while centerfires provide more power but are also more expensive.
- The main difference between centerfire and rimfire cartridges is in how the primer is ignited.
- Centerfire ammo has its primer located in the center of the cartridge, while rimfire ammo has its primer located around the rim of the cartridge.
- Overall, centerfire cartridges are more reliable and have a longer shelf life than rimfire cartridges, but rimfire ammunition is typically cheaper and has less recoil.
- Rimfire ammo is cheaper and easier to produce than centerfire ammo, but it’s not as powerful or reloadable.
Centerfire vs. Rimfire Ammo: How They Work
The main difference between centerfire and rimfire cartridges is in how the primer is ignited. A centerfire cartridge has the primer located in the center of the base of the cartridge case, while a rimfire cartridge has the primer located around the edge of the base. When the firing pin strikes the edge of a rimfire cartridge, it crushes the primer compound which then ignites the propellant. With a centerfire cartridge, the firing pin ignites a percussion-sensitive primer compound in the primer cup, which then ignites the propellant.
Overall, these two types of ammunition differ in how they ignite the propellant and where the primer is located. Centerfire cartridges are generally more reliable and have a longer shelf life than rimfire cartridges, but rimfire ammunition is typically cheaper and has less recoil.
Rimfire vs. Centerfire Ammo: Advantages and Disadvantages
Rimfire ammo is typically cheaper and easier to produce than centerfire ammo. Additionally, rimfires are often smaller in size, making them a good choice for small firearms like pocket pistols. On the downside, rimfires are not as powerful as centerfires and are also not easily reloadable—meaning you have to throw away the entire cartridge after firing it just once.
Centerfire ammunition is more expensive than rimfire ammo, but it’s also more powerful and reloadable.
Now that you know the basics about centerfire and rimfire ammunition, you can start to narrow down which type is right for your needs. If you’re just getting started in firearms or are looking for an inexpensive option for plinking (target practice), rimfires might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for more power or plan on doing any serious shooting, you’ll probably want to stick with centerfires.