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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been reading stuff about guns on the interweb
(chuckhawks etc etc)
but I can't figure out the difference between rimfire/centerfire.
I understand the cartridges are called centerfire/rimfire
due to the primer placement,
but what about rifles (action ...)?
Can a 22rimfire not fire 22centerfire ammo? Why or why not?
I noticed that the bigger calibers and high/power ammo are mostly
centerfire, any reason for this (or why centerfire; why rimfire)?

Thanks
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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27,680 Posts
The priming coumpound is located in the rim on rimfire ammo.
The firing pin strikes anywhere on the rim to ignite the charge of powder.
Typically small caliber .22 .17 HMR, .22 mag etc..
Through history larger caliber rimfires have existed.

The draw back is reliability. Leave rimfire in a gun or mag and possibly expose the prime compound to oil water, etc.

The advantace, cost. Rimfire is cheap to shoot.

Centerfire uses the primer in the middle of the case. It is more reliable, less affeted by external moisture and oil. Reloadable (typically)

No a rimfire can't fire centerfire ammo unless a convversion is used. 1911 style pistols have conversion kits as well as AR type rifles and possibly some others.

Brief, but hope it helps a bit.

If not, stand by, someone will cut and paste the heck out of this then we'll be in a 3 week debate with a few bloody noses. :)
 

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Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
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Power-wise, rimfire cases must be thin to allow the firing pin to crush the rim - this limits the pressure the cartridge can generate. Centerfires can be made to withstand much more pressure. So, the larger RF pistol cartridges were simply superceded by much more powerful and efficient CF designs.
Also, rimfire can't as a rule be reloaded.
Rimfires also used a "heeled bullet" that was as big diameter as the outside of the case. This too is harder to reload than the usual CF bullet the diameter of the inside of the case.

Clear as mud? :)
 

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Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
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Yep, GH. I've heard of it being done, with mixed results. I like my fingers too much to try it. :)
 

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YOU TALKIN' TO ME!?
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Almost bought an old .32 revolver until I realized it shot .32 RIMFIRE! Good luck finding THAT ammo! If you did, probably wouldn't even work anymore!
 

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How does one know if his weapons are centerfire or rimfire

If you can not tell by Caliber, you can tell by placement of the Firing Pin in the Breech Face.

Obviously, Rimfire will have the Firing Pin placed such that it strikes the Rim (edge) of the cartridge base. Centerfire guns will have the Firing Pin placed such that it will hit the Center of the cartridge case.

Thus, the names Rimfire and Centerfire.



Welcome to G&G, Greg Thomas!
 

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Think about it, if the fireing pin is in the center to fire a centerfire cartridge, how can it hit the rim of a cartridge and fire that?
 
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