Ammo Basics 101: Centerfire vs. Rimfire


The world of firearms is most definitely a beautiful one filled with many different ways to express your affinity towards anything gun related.  As different firearms companies spring up around the globe, we have been fortunate enough to witness an explosion in firearms technology that at times may boggle the mind.  The gun world has seen the development of tons and tons of different types of ammunition to hit the commercial market and we have loved every minute of it!!!  Some of our favorite companies like Hornady, CCI, and Federal are constantly coming up with new variations in our favorite calibers!

When learning about firearms it is virtually impossible to skip learning about ammunition.  It’s quite possible that in some third world countries its actually illegal!!!  So to keep you from becoming a criminal in Malawi, we will give you an understanding between the two basic types of pistol and handgun ammunition. Trust me guys this will not be the definitive guide to ammunition types, but it will most definitely give you some usable insight into what you need to know!  We even have pictures!!!  I know if you’re like me, thats a winning proposition!!!!

Centerfire Cartridges


The above pictures show you knuckleheads just exactly what a centerfire cartridge head looks like.  The picture on the left is a live .270 Winchester round and the picture on the right is a spent .45 ACP round.  I purposely showed you a rifle and a handgun cartridge to illustrate the point that regardless of the type of firearm (handgun or rifle), centerfire is centerfire.

On a centerfire cartridge the primer is located in the center of the cartridge head.  When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin strikes the primer (center) and the round goes off (fire).  If you take a gander at the picture on the right you will see the indention on the primer where the firing pin struck.

Rimfire Cartridges


These two pictures show you crazy gun nuts just what a rimfire cartridge head looks like.  Both of these pictures show a .22LR cartridge.  Similarly to the centerfire cartridges, this type of ammunition can be chambered to be used in both handguns and/or rifles.  More often than not, rimfire ammo is usually chambered for smaller calibers (i.e. .22LR, .17HMR, and .25 cal).

On a rimfire cartridge the primer is located in a small canal (of sorts) located around the rim of the cartridge head. When the trigger is pulled the firing pin strikes the case rim (rim) and the round goes off (fire). If you take a peep at the picture on the right you will see the indention on the rim where the firing pin struck.

The ammunition field is immense and absolutely fascinating.  Gaining an understanding about ammunition will not only increase your firearms acumen, but will will also help you understand how it works, what it looks like, the what different types of ammunition can be used for.  As with any of our informative posts please continue to do your credible research so that you can build on the base that we are happy to provide you!!!!

***Regardless of the type of ammunition, when handling live ammunition please be sure to make sure that you follow all safety rules.  When done handling live ammunition and/or spent cases,  please be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with cold water (first and warm can be used after the first washing).

We want to thank you for stopping by our lane at the shooting range!  We look forward to your next visit and we hope that you follow us to stay updated on new posts and happenings with PSA.  Thanks again and we look forward to chatting with you soon!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low.

Leave a Reply


Your Cart