Both rimfire and centrefire ammunition are types of primer-ignited cartridges. The main difference between the two lies within the way the primer is ignited by the firing pin.
Getting their names from where the pin strikes the base, unsurprisingly in a rimfire gun, the firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge base to ignite the primer. Whereas, in a centrefire cartridge… you guessed it… the firing pin strikes the centre.
Another key difference is that 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 in a competition. It also means shooters tend to use centrefire ammo to compete at longer distances.
Nevertheless, some skilled shooters are testing the boundaries of the humble rimifre round. Check out our article on the latest long range competition craze where shooters are using .22LR rounds up to 300 yards.
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 is right for you?
Like everything in target shooting, there is no right answer. It depends on what you’re end goal is, the discipline you want to shoot etc.
If you’re a hunter, it will depend on the size game you are looking to shoot. If you’re a competitive target shooter, what distance are you looking to compete in? The choice is yours.
View our range of .22lr rimfire target ammunition or check out our brand new .38 super comp major centrefire ammo.