Rimfire vs. centrefire ammunition: what’s the difference and which is best?
Both rimfire and centrefire ammunition are common rounds used for competitive target shooting. But what are the main differences? Despite both being primer-ignited cartridges, it’s actually the way the primer is ignited by the firing pin that characterises each round.
Named after where the pin strikes the base, in a rimfire gun, the firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge base to ignite the primer. Whereas, in a centrefire cartridge the firing pin strikes the centre.
In addition, most centrefire ammunition is reloadable. Spent cases for rimfire cartridges are not.
Higher velocities and pressures are characteristics of centrefire ammunition. This means that the cartridges produce more recoil so regaining sight picture is a little more challenging. It also means shooters tend to use centrefire ammo to compete at longer distances.
While rimfire rounds may not pack the same punch as centrefire, they are arguably the most popular round in the world. A more cost-effective round due to lower manufacturing costs means you quite literally get more bang for your buck. Rimfire rounds are also lighter to transport and more of it can be stored relative to centerfire ammunition.
But which should you be using for the best results?
This depends. As with most things in target shooting, there is no right answer. It is dependent upon what you’re end goal is, the discipline you want to shoot, the distances you want to compete in etc.
For example, if you’re a hunter, it will depend on the size game you are looking to shoot. Rimfire if only recommended for small-game such as gophers and squirrels. If you’re a competitive target shooter, you need to consider the distance you looking to compete in? The choice is yours.
We stock both rimfire and centrefire rounds so why not try both and see what suits you. Shop our ammunition range today.
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