Centerfire vs Rimfire – Which one is better?

The two most common types of ammunition are centerfire ammo and rimfire ammo. The use of centerfire cartridges in firearms has been the dominant type of ammunition for over 100 years. The rimfire cartridge was invented in 1845, and it is still used today. However, its popularity has been declining as more people prefer the reliability and accuracy of a centerfire cartridge.

The centerfire cartridges have a flattened primer located inside the casing, which ignites the gunpowder to propel the bullet. On the other hand, rimfire cartridges have their primers located on an outside edge casing, making them less powerful. Rimfires were popular when they were first introduced because they were easier to load into guns. Read on to learn more about Centerfire vs Rimfire.

Centerfire vs Rimfire

Centerfire calibers have a primer in the center of the cartridge, while rimfires only have primers on their outer edge. The firing pin inside your gun hits the back of a center-fired round, igniting the primer, which then explodes with enough force to ignite the gunpowder inside and propel it out through the barrel. Rimfires require that you manually strike them against something hard to discharge them from your firearm chamber.

This is because they lack an internal primer; instead, they depend on friction between different parts for ignition. The main difference between centerfire rounds and rimfire rounds is how they are ignited. However, there are other differences such as cost, availability, and power of which centerfire has more power.

What is a Centerfire

A centerfire is a type of ammunition typically used in handguns and rifles. The bullet may be either lead, brass or copper. The primer contains explosives that ignite when struck by an external source and ignites gunpowder inside the cartridge to fire it out of its barrel. A rifle with a center fire ammo has more power than one using rim-fired rounds. This is because they have larger calibers powder charges which provide more energy for propelling them down their respective barrels.

They also have better ballistic performance due to internal pressures created when firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge prior to ignition. The design allows breech loading firearms (centerfire rifles) where cartridges can be loaded into chamber without need for a separate loading procedure. This is similar to a bolt action gun as you don't need any extra tools. 

What is Rimfire

Rimfire is the name given to any ammunition with a .22 caliber bullet. The term rim fire comes from how these rounds are loaded into guns, which differs slightly from other types of ammo as it has an additional step for them to work correctly. Rimfires use paper-based cartridges that contain gunpowder and metal priming compound at one end while held together by either glue or wax (or both).

This allows you all you need without having to load each round manually before firing. But it also can't be reloaded after being fired because there is no way to get more items past the primer once they have been activated and the firing pin strikes the primer. There are many different types of ammunition for guns, but the most common is Rimfire ammo. Rimfire guns can be made from alloys such as aluminum or brass, and they have a primer in them to help ignite the gunpowder, which then propels it out of your weapon at high speeds.

This type has been around since 1845 when Claude Minié invented his system that would work with either rim-fired cartridges or centerfire ones too! Rimfire rounds are versatile because they work with either a rifle or a handgun, making it easier for shooters to stock up on ammo.

Advantages of Rimfire Ammunition

  • They are affordable and cheap.

Rimfire cartridges are always among the cheapest rounds available. Rimfires have often been used by people who don't want to spend money on expensive ammunition because of their low cost, but there is more than just price when considering them as your go-to bullet.

  • Perfect for training

Rimfire cartridges are the ideal ammunition for training, as they can be used safely without worry of injury. They are light and easy to manipulate because their low kinetic energy minimizes recoils, making them perfect for introducing young shooters or beginners with little experience in handling a firearm responsibly. Rimfire ammo has lower kinetic energy levels than other types, so there are not many recoils when it fires, which makes it easier on novice users who may lack awareness about how firearms work in general.

Disadvantages of Rimfire Ammo

  • They are limited to small sized Calibers

Rimfire cartridges are limited to small calibers because they do not use gunpowder. Instead, the cartridge has a metal base with an oxidizer and a primer compound.  

What is a 22 centerfire?

A 22 centerfire is a type of rifle that shoots bullets from the inside of its barrel. A "22" Centerfire, is also known as an 'acorn' or rim-fire cartridge. It derives its name from being fired through the bore. It also has a firing pin face with no primer compound attached. Target shooters can use a 22 Centerfire caliber rifle for target practice, small game hunting, or pest control. It is also the most popular caliber among women shooters because of its inexpensive ammunition cost. 

You may not think that this little centerfire handgun has much power, but you would need to know some statistics. In 1998-1999, an average hunter took five shots per deer with a 20 gauge shotgun. This means they only needed two shots on average when using a .22 bolt action rifle. Its lower recoil also means easier shooting skills development, which will come in handy if you want to someday take up competitive pistol marksmanship!

Centerfire Cartridge

Centerfire Cartridges are the most common type of ammunition used in firearms. They contain a primer, gunpowder, and metal ball propelled out of the barrel through explosive force generated by burning powder gases. Centerfires have been around since 1892, when they were patented for use with black-powder cartridges but did not see widespread adoption until later when smokeless powder became more readily available as well. 

The centerfire mechanism was developed to increase safety due to its inherent design. This is instead of an external priming mixture or cap being placed at just one spot on the rim of the cartridge  cases near their bases. This is different from what occurs with flintlocks and some other firearm ignition systems such as percussion cap where sparks from outside sources could easily ignite both sides simultaneously. 

Advantages of centerfire ammunition

  • All sizes of guns support it.

The most commonly used cartridges are the centerfire cartridge. This type of ammo is compatible with all types and sizes of guns, making it an excellent option for shooters looking to upgrade their arsenal without buying new firearms that will match up perfectly. 

  • Reliable

Centerfire Cartridges come with standardized ammo, which is great because that means you will know your gun works no matter how big or small it may be! The Centerfire ammo uses the firing pin and primer mechanism whose cartridge base is softer than the centerfire cartridge cases. This ensures that energy is smoothly transferred when the firing pin strikes the primer.

  • Long distances accuracy

Centerfire Cartridge is the first choice for varmint hunters and shooters who want to hit targets at longer distances during target practice. Centerfire rounds are precision engineered with exacting tolerances, which is why they are a favorite among gun enthusiasts and law enforcement officers. Because of their accuracy in shooting long-range shots, centerfires have become popular on big game hunting and small game hunting grounds, and hunter ed where taking down prey from afar can be more challenging than close-up encounters.

Disadvantages of a centerfire Ammo

  • They are Expensive

Centerfire ammunition has a significant disadvantage compared to rimfires. They are usually more expensive unless there are gun deals and offers being given.

  • High Recoil  

They generate higher pressures which can cause malfunctions of the weapon or injury for the shooter due to recoil.

Centerfire Pistol

A centerfire firearm is a type of handgun that can only be fired with one hand. It is typically used as a sidearm or backup weapon by law enforcement officers and military personnel. This happens when their primary armament may not fit in the same carrying space, such as on an aircraft, ship deck, tank turret, etc. They are positioned at risk from attackers coming from many directions for any given moment. This firearm can be seen as an improvement on older guns like flintlocks and percussion revolvers, which typically had to have their powder charges at one end of their chambers.

This meant they required different types for a muzzle- or breech-loading weapons. The use of bolt action rifles was originally limited because they were much slower to load due to manual insertion and ejection of cartridges into chambers. They also needed you to manually rotate 3-5 rounds before loading them all at once, so that there will always be some ready ammo if you need more them quickly. This made these guns less reliable when speed counts (such as during combat). 

What is better: rimfire or centerfire?

Well, that depends on what you're looking for. Rimfires are cheaper and a lot easier to find in the stores, but they can be difficult to load because of their smaller calibers size, while with Center fires, it is easy, just like using an Altoids tin- if you have one handy! Also, Rimfire ammo does not produce as much recoil, but it can be more expensive than centerfire ammunition. Centerfire ammo also has a more excellent gun range due to their heavy projectile. Centerfire and rimfire ammunition are readily available, but most people go for Rimfire firearms when choosing between rimfire vs centerfire ammunition due to their affordability.

What is the difference between a centerfire and rimfire gun?

A rimfire is a gun with the primer compound located in its center and fires through an indentation or a single flash hole at the base of its cartridge. These guns are usually made with cheaper materials, such as steel alloys instead of brass, to save on cost. Rimfire and centerfire ammunition have low accuracy when compared to other firearms. Still, they can be fired rapidly because there is no need for reloading during each shot. When it comes to centerfire and rimfire cartridges, the centerfire rounds consist of one or more projectiles loaded into an inside cavity at the rear end.

The propellant, typically a gunpowder with nitroglycerin  is mixed in to reduce its sensitivity close to metal surfaces and make it gun safe for storage. It can be located around this projectile (a "cartridge") either before insertion within the case or afterward as part of a separate component such as would be found on certain types firearms. Between the rimfire and centerfire ammo, the rimfire round is a more affordable option for those who want to start practicing shooting firearms. Rimfire ammunition has the same weight, power, and effect as other bullets in their caliber range. However, they do not produce quite the noise created by high-powered ammunition when fired from an automatic weapon. Rimfire pistols can also be used without injuring your ears because they don't make nearly as much noise at all!

Is 9mm centerfire or rimfire?

The question of whether 9mm is a centerfire round or rimfire round can be a bit confusing. Generally speaking, the difference between these two types of ammunition stems from how they are loaded into their respective guns. Most known 9mm handguns are centerfires, but this cannot rule out that there may be a 9mm rimfires. The cartridge case and cartridge walls used in a 9mm handgun are similar to a centerfire ammo.

Are rimfire and centerfire interchangeable?

A Rimfire cartridge and centerfire cartridges are not interchangeable as a rimfire cartridge can only be used in rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Centerfires must be fired using a gun except for pistols that fire shotshells that have been converted to accept cartridges for center-fired handguns instead of relying on their small caliber. Rimfires cannot go into any other type of firearm besides what they were originally made for. At the same time, centerfires will work fine in either pistol or rifle, depending on how the manufacturer constructs it.


Centerfire ammunition is more expensive and much louder than rimfire ammunition, but the quality of bullets in a centerfire cartridge makes it worth the price. Rimfire ammo is cheaper to purchase and quieter, so if you are looking for something that will not deafen your shooting companion or scare away game with a blast from its barrel, then this type may be better suited for you. It is important to know what kind of a shooter you are before deciding which type of round best suits your needs!

Scroll to Top