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What is the Main Difference Between Centerfire and Rimfire Ammunition?

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And what is best for you?

In hunting, ensuring you’re selecting the right ammunition is as crucial as choosing the right firearm in itself.

In the world of ammunition, we have to primary types that dominate a majority of the hunting related weapons you’re looking for: rimfire and centerfire.

But, what exactly is the difference, and which one will fit best for your hunting needs?

Let me tell you about the basics of the ammunitions, how they work and what they do, and which one is best for whatever game you’re going for.

When dishing out a bunch of money on weapons and ammunition, you gotta know the basics so that you make an informed decision, after all!

Let’s get into it.

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Understanding the Basics

Rimfire ammunition has it’s primer compound in the rim of the cartridge. When the gun’s firing pin strikes the rim, it ignites the primer and then the gunpowder.

.22 long rifles and WMR magnums are probably the most calibers to go with.

For Centerfire Ammunition the primer in the very center of the cartridge. The firing pin strikes the central primer which then ignites the gunpowder.

Centerfire has a huge range of calibers available, from .223 Reminton’s, 308 Winchester, Springfields, .300 Winchester and a bunch more!

Game and Ammunition Pairing

Rimfires are best for small game such as squirrels, rabbits, and groundhogs. It’s much quieter and have minimal recoil, and the soft shot rifles (think the .22 long rifle) is perfect to hunt smaller animals without causing unnecessary damage to meat or pelts.

Centerfire for everything else. Medium to large game such as deer, boar, elk and most predators all fall into the centerfire category. The diversity in the caliber and bullet types you can flex it with means there’s a specific round perfect for nearly any larger game. It also has a much more powerful impact so you ensure a humane and ethical kill.

What is the Main Difference Between Centerfire and Rimfire Ammunition

Advantages & Drawbacks

Rimfire is cheapter, quiter, has less recoil, and is wonderful for both training and small game.

But, it’s terrible for larger game, cannot be reloaded, and has a very limited range.

Centerfire is versatile with a broad range of calibers suitable for all sizes of game. It’s reloadable, powerful and efficient.

But, it’s loud, has high recoil and significantly more expensive.

Which Gun Should I Buy?

I couldn’t tell ya, because that’s completely up to your preferences, price range and game. Lucky for you though, I’ve written some helpful buying guides.

Go here to find out what you should think about before buying a firearm, here to learn about the legal considerations that’s good to know before buying, and here to learn more about chokes.

These are just buying guides; I’ll never tell you which gun to buy, just what you need to know before buying one!

Rifle and hunting boots at the stump in gun store

And that’s that

It’s that easy! Now that you know the differences between centerfire and rimfire ammunition, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on what you want to go with.

Just think “rimfire small and cheap, centerfire everything else”.

And if you’re tempted to go with the rimfire even for bigger animals: please don’t. I’ve seen hunters do this in the past to save on costs, but all you’re doing is lowering your chances of success and increasing the chances of an inhumane kill.

Any shot that doesn’t kill the animal right away is terrible, and if you don’t care about the animal, just know that panic festers in the meat and makes it taste bad. So at least think of the food.

That’s all I got for you today!

If you’re looking for any other hunting related content, check out our vast library of articles right here!

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