When you’re choosing ammunition for your weapon, here’s one thing you need to consider: centerfire vs rimfire?
In fact, before we go any further, what’s the difference between centerfire vs rimfire?
Centerfire vs. Rimfire
Centerfire and rimfire refers to the different ways that the firing pin in a gun strikes the primer. In centerfire ammunition, the firing pin strikes a small circular primer at the center of the bullet to set off the powder to fire a bullet, hence the name “centerfire.” In rimfire, there is no separate primer at the bottom of the bullet. Instead, the firing pin strikes the edge of the cartridge base, hence the name “rimfire.”
If this doesn’t clarify the difference, simply, if there is a small circular primer at the base of the cartridge, then it is centerfire. If there is no separate circular primer, then it is most likely rimfire.
Now that we know the difference, we’ll go into comparing the differences between the two and in which situations each one is appropriate in.
Since rimfire ammo requires the cartridge walls to be crushed by the firing pin to ignite the powder, rimfire ammo usually is only found in smaller caliber ammunition. The most common form of rimfire ammo is seen in .22 LR rounds.
There are many benefits to rimfire ammunition. First, rimfire ammunition is typically cheaper since it is easier to manufacture thinner cartridge walls with a flat primer. Secondly, since rimfire ammunition typically comes in smaller caliber bullets, it has less recoil which makes it perfect for beginners or for training purposes.
Unfortunately, there are several downsides to rimfire ammunition as well. First, these cartridges are typically limited to smaller firearms, so owners of larger firearms would not be able to use these cartridges. Second, these cartridges are not reloadable because the primer itself is at the bottom of the cartridge, but this downside is slightly offset by the lower cost of rimfire cartridges. Third, there are reliability issues in that there are higher chances of malfunction when firing a smaller caliber bullet. Fourth, these smaller caliber bullets will not be accurate when fired at long distances due to their small size.
On the other hand, centerfire ammunition is very versatile and is generally the standard when it comes to ammunition.
The benefits that come with centerfire ammunition are numerous. First, centerfire ammo is generally supported by all sizes of firearms. This makes it perfect for scenarios whether it’s defense or hunting. Secondly, centerfire ammo is generally very reliable and less prone to failure. Third, centerfire ammo is reloadable because the primer is struck through the centerpiece, which means the entire cartridge isn’t rendered useless when fired. Lastly, centerfire ammo is more accurate over larger distances because the cartridges are generally able to hold larger bullets which are more accurate at longer distances.
In terms of cons for centerfire ammunition, there is only one glaring problem: the cost. Centerfire ammunition can definitely be pricier than rimfire several times over in many cases, and therefore, will cost you a lot of money if you’re looking to use a lot of rounds.
Which one is better?
In the end, the real question is, what are you using it for? Generally, the debate between which one of the two is better depends on what you are going to use it for. But to give you a conclusion, we would say that centerfire ammunition is the overall better type of ammunition. This is mostly because centerfire ammo is much more reliable, practical, and versatile compared to rimfire ammunition. Even though it is costlier, the fact that you can reload it and use it in various scenarios makes it much more desirable than the rimfire ammunition which is limited in uses. That being said, ultimately, it comes down to your unique circumstances: Centerfire vs rimfire. If you are just training at the range or hunting rodents, then the cheap rimfire ammunition will probably be more efficient and desirable. On the other hand, if you need reliability for home defense or for larger hunting tasks, then centerfire ammunition is going to be your best friend.