This article was written by our Woox team in Italy, and has been translated to English

Ammo Matters: Rimfire vs Centerfire.
Which is Right for You?

Firearms come in different types and one of the key differences is the type of cartridge they use. Rimfire and centerfire cartridges are two of the most commonly used types of ammunition in firearms. In this article, we will examine the key differences between rimfire and centerfire cartridges, their design, usage, pros and cons, and more.

RIMFIRE cartridges 

Rimfire cartridges are named after the design of their primer, which is located on the rim of the casing. This type of cartridge is relatively inexpensive and is commonly used in small caliber firearms such as the .22 LR. Rimfire cartridges are manufactured by folding the brass casing into a cup shape and then crimping the rim of the casing to hold the primer in place.

Design The design of rimfire cartridges is simple and straightforward. The casing is made of brass or copper and is thin-walled. The primer, which is made of a mixture of chemicals that ignite when struck by the firing pin, is located on the rim of the casing. The powder and bullet are housed inside the casing. Rimfire cartridges are generally small, lightweight, and easy to handle, making them ideal for use in small firearms.

Usage Rimfire cartridges are commonly used in small-caliber firearms for hunting, target shooting, and plinking. They are also commonly used in firearms designed for self-defense and home protection, although their small size and relatively low energy output make them less suitable for this purpose. Rimfire cartridges are typically cheaper than centerfire cartridges and are therefore often used as an economical option for shooters who want to spend more time at the range without breaking the bank. 

RIMFIRE cartridges pros 

 • Rimfire cartridges are relatively inexpensive compared to centerfire cartridges, making them a good choice for budget-conscious shooters.

• Rimfire cartridges are small and lightweight, making them easy to handle and transport.

RIMFIRE cartridges CONS

• Rimfire cartridges have a relatively low energy output compared to centerfire cartridges, making them less suitable for use in firearms designed for self-defense and home protection.

• Rimfire cartridges are prone to misfires and other malfunctions due to their design, which makes them less reliable than centerfire cartridges.

• Rimfire cartridges are not easy to reload

centerfire cartridges 

Cartridges Centerfire cartridges are named after the design of their primer, which is located in the center of the casing. This type of cartridge is commonly used in larger caliber firearms such as the .30-06 and the .45 ACP. Centerfire cartridges are manufactured by punching a hole in the center of the brass casing and then inserting the primer into the hole.

Design: The design of centerfire cartridges is more complex  than that of rimfire cartridges. The casing is made of brass or copper and is thicker-walled to withstand the pressure generated by the explosion of the powder. The primer, which is made of a mixture of chemicals that ignite when struck by the firing pin, is located in the center of the casing. The powder and bullet are housed inside the casing.

Centerfire cartridges are generally larger, heavier, and more powerful than rimfire cartridges. Usage Centerfire cartridges are commonly used in larger caliber firearms for hunting, target shooting, and military and law enforcement applications.  They are also commonly used in firearms designed for self-defense and home protection, due to their higher energy output and greater reliability.

Centerfire cartridges are typically more expensive  than rimfire cartridges and are therefore often used by serious shooters who demand the highest performance from their firearms.

POPULAR RIMFIRE RIFLES 

Ruger 10/22 rifle upgraded with our Wild Man stock

Here's a short list of popular rimfire rifles:

1. Ruger 10/22
- A popular semi-automatic rifle known for its accuracy and versatility, commonly used for target shooting, hunting, and plinking  (check out 10/22 stocks)

2. Savage Mark II- A bolt-action rifle known for its accuracy, often used for target shooting and varmint hunting..

3. Henry Repeating Arms H001
- A lever-action rifle that is popular for hunting, target shooting, and plinking.

4. Bergara B-14R
- A Rem700 footprint rimfire rifle known for its accuracy, often used for target shooting and varmint hunting (check out B-14 stocks)

5. Taurus CT9
- A semi-automatic rifle designed for plinking and small-game hunting, available in a variety of colors and finishes.

POPULAR CENTERFIRE RIFLES 

Long-range shooting: centerfire rifles are generally the better choice. In the picture a Rem700 upgraded with  our Cobra aftermarket stock in Tiger wood.

Here's a short list of popular centerfire rifles:

1. Remington Model 700 -
A classic bolt-action rifle known for its accuracy and reliability, often used for hunting and long-range shooting (check out R700 stocks)

2. AR-15
- A popular semi-automatic rifle designed for a variety of purposes including hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

3. TIKKA T3x
- A European bolt-action rifle that is very popular for hunting and target shooting (check out Tikka T3x stocks)

4. Browning BAR -
A semi-automatic rifle used for hunting, available in a variety of calibers and finishes.

5. Winchester Model 70 -
A classic bolt-action rifle that has been a favorite among hunters and target shooters for decades.

Rimfire vs centerfire ballistic 

If you are interested in long-range shooting, it is best to choose a centerfire rifle that is specifically designed for this type of shooting, and use high-quality centerfire cartridges.

The main difference in ballistics between rimfire and centerfire cartridges is their size, power, and accuracy.

1. Size: Rimfire cartridges are smaller in size compared to centerfire cartridges. Rimfire cartridges have a smaller case, a smaller primer, and less powder compared to centerfire cartridges.

2. Power: Rimfire cartridges generally have less power compared to centerfire cartridges. Rimfire cartridges have a lower velocity and energy, which limits their range and accuracy. Centerfire cartridges, on the other hand, have a higher velocity and energy, making them better suited for long-range shooting and hunting.

3. Accuracy: Rimfire cartridges are not as accurate as centerfire cartridges at longer ranges. Rimfire cartridges are best suited for short-range shooting, such as plinking or target shooting, and are not designed for long-range accuracy. Centerfire cartridges, on the other hand, are designed for longer-range shooting and are generally more accurate at longer distances.

4. Ballistic Coefficient: The ballistic coefficient of a cartridge refers to its ability to maintain its velocity and energy over long distances. Centerfire cartridges typically have a higher ballistic coefficient compared to rimfire cartridges, making them better suited for long-range shooting.

5. Trajectory: The trajectory of a cartridge refers to the path it follows as it travels through the air. Centerfire cartridges generally have a flatter trajectory compared to rimfire cartridges, making them easier to aim at distant targets.

Rimfire cartridges are best suited for short-range shooting, such as plinking and target shooting, while centerfire cartridges are better suited for long-range shooting and hunting. It is important to consider the ballistics of a cartridge when choosing between rimfire and centerfire, and to choose a cartridge that is well-suited for the type of shooting you plan to do.

From Plinking to LOng range shooting: rimfire Vs Centerfire usage 

It is important to consider your specific needs and the type of shooting you plan to do when choosing between a centerfire or rimfire rifle. The best choice will depend on your particular goals, budget, and preferences. Here are some common uses for rifles and the best choice between centerfire and rimfire for each.

For plinking, or casual target shooting, rimfire rifles are the best choice due to their lower cost and ease of use. Centerfire are  better suited for taking down larger game..


1. Hunting: For most hunting applications, centerfire rifles are the better choice due to their greater power and accuracy. Centerfire cartridges have a higher velocity and energy, making them better suited for taking down larger game.

2. Target Shooting
: Both centerfire and rimfire rifles can be used for target shooting, but rimfire rifles are typically the more popular choice for this use. Rimfire cartridges are less expensive, have lower recoil, and are quieter, making them ideal for target shooting and plinking.

3. Self-Defense: For self-defense, centerfire rifles are generally the better choice due to their greater power and accuracy. A centerfire rifle can provide more stopping power, allowing you to defend yourself and your family more effectively.

4. Varmint Hunting: For varmint hunting, either a centerfire or rimfire rifle can be used, but rimfire rifles are often the preferred choice. Rimfire cartridges are quieter and have less recoil, making them easier to use in the field, and they are also less expensive.

5. Plinking: For plinking, or casual target shooting, rimfire rifles are the best choice due to their lower cost and ease of use. Rimfire cartridges are less expensive, have lower recoil, and are quieter, making them ideal for plinking and casual target shooting.

6. Long-range shooting: centerfire rifles are generally the better choice. Centerfire cartridges have a higher velocity and energy, which allows them to maintain accuracy over longer distances. Additionally, centerfire rifles typically have a more rigid construction, making them more stable and accurate at longer ranges. Centerfire cartridges also have a flatter trajectory, which makes them easier to aim at distant targets, and they generally have a higher ballistic coefficient, which makes them better suited for long-range shooting.

While some rimfire rifles may be capable of long-range shooting, they are typically not as accurate or powerful as centerfire rifles and are not designed for this type of shooting. The smaller size of rimfire cartridges limits their performance at long ranges, and they are typically used for closer range shooting or plinking.

POPULAR RIMFIRE VS CENTERFIRE ammo brand

CENTERFIRE ammo brand

1. Federal Premium- Known for high-quality and reliable ammunition, Federal offers a variety of centerfire cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

2. Winchester
- A trusted name in ammunition for over 150 years, Winchester offers a wide range of centerfire cartridges for various firearms and applications.

3. Hornady
- A leader in the ammunition industry, Hornady is known for producing innovative and accurate centerfire cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense

4. Remington
- One of the oldest ammunition manufacturers in the United States, Remington offers a wide range of centerfire cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

5. Sig Sauer
- A well-known brand in the firearms and ammunition industry, Sig Sauer offers high-quality centerfire cartridges for a variety of applications.

RIMFIRE ammo brand

1. CCI- A leading manufacturer of rimfire ammunition, CCI is known for producing reliable and accurate rimfire cartridges for target shooting and hunting.

2. Federal Premium
- As well as producing centerfire ammunition, Federal also offers a variety of rimfire cartridges for plinking and target shooting.

3. Winchester
- Offers a range of rimfire cartridges for plinking, target shooting, and hunting.

4. Remington
- Also offers a range of rimfire cartridges for plinking, target shooting, and hunting.

5. Aguila
- A well-known brand in the rimfire ammunition industry, Aguila offers a variety of rimfire cartridges for plinking and target shooting.

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