Skip to main content

Rimfire vs. Center Fire

Learn the difference between rimfire and center fire from Police Officer Keith Charley in this Howcast gun video.


Today we're going to talk about rimfire versus center fire cartridges. Rimfire and center fire cartridges are the two cartridges used in guns today. We'll start with rimfire.

Rimfire was the first cartridge that was developed back in 1800s. Basically the back of a rimfire cartridge has no primer in the back. The entire back of the cartridge itself, is the striking surface. So, when the gun's firing pane will strike the back, as long as it hits anywhere here, it will ignite and that will fire down range. Your next type of round is what's called a center fire. If you look in here, you'll see in the center of the round, there's the primer.

The firing pane will strike this primer and ignite the round and send this down range. The difference between the two rounds is, a center fire round is the most commonly used round today, they're much cheaper to manufacture, and they can handle a lot more powerful, higher caliber bullets. The rimfires are generally 22 caliber rounds and smaller rounds such as that, the cases of them generally can't handle the bigger, more poweful rounds. Besides 22's today, you really very rarely will see a rimfire cartridge out there. And that's the difference between rimfire and center fire cartidges.

Popular Categories