What is a Rimfire Gun or Pistol?

The question ‘what is a rimfire gun?’ can seem unimportant, but it has a significant impact in determining the power of your gun. Mostly the details come down to the bullet the gun uses. Let us take a closer look.

Rimfire Guns and Cartridges

So what is a rimfire gun? A rimfire gun is a weapon that uses a different ignition method than the other dominant method. The main difference between a rimfire gun and a centerfire gun is the type of ammo cartridge they take. Rimfire guns use a primer ignition that is placed on the side of the casing, rather than in the middle which is typical with a centerfire weapon. So how can you tell if the bullet is a rimfire bullet? Look at the back of the ball. If the primer is in the form a circle in the middle of the cartridge, then it is centerfire.

Rimfire cartridges are cheaper than centerfire cartridges. The reason for this price difference is rimfire cartridges use less material than centerfire cartridges.  However, this advantage comes with a big caveat. Rimfire guns typically only go in there lower calibers. This is because the casing on these types of bullets is very thin. As such it is only limited to low-pressure guns like the following models:

  • .22 Short
  • .22 Long Rifle (LR)
  • .22 WMR: Winchester Magnum Rimfire
  • .17 HM2: Hornady Mach 2
  • .17 HMR: Hornady Magnum Rimfire

The main drawback for these types of weapons is you are limited to the smaller game when hunting. However, the .22 LR remains one of the most popular guns in the world and is a good starting place for new shooters. It has low recoil and can be used to shoot vermin or other small animals. As such, rimfire guns are not likely to go away anytime soon.

We hope this article helped clarify the answer to the question, “What is a rimfire gun?” If you are interested in finding the perfect scope for your rimfire weapon, then check out our review of the best rimfire scopes.

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