What is the distinction between rimfire and centerfire cartridges?
The terms rimfire and centerfire describe two basic types of cartridge design. The difference between the two types is in the location of the priming compound in the cartridge case. The priming compound initiates the burning of the main powder charge when it is struck by the firing pin of the gun. A rimfire is so called because the priming compound is actually inside the rim of the case, which is of folded construction. Look at a .22 LR cartridge and you will immediately see what I mean. The firing pin of a rimfire rifle strikes the rim of the cartridge when you pull the trigger. A centerfire cartridge has a separate primer in the center of the base of the cartridge case. The rim of a centerfire case is solid. Look at a .30-30 cartridge and you will immediately see the difference. The firing pin of a centerfire gun strikes the primer located in the center of the base of the cartridge, rather than the rim. Such cases are much stronger than the rimfire type, and can contain much higher p