One of the more common questions asked by new shooters is this: what is the difference between rimfire vs. centerfire?
And, beyond that, why should I choose one over the other? Today we are going to dissect these two types of ammo and determine which one is better for your specific situation.
I personally prefer centerfire based on my shooting style, technique, and hobbies, but there are still small-cartridge situations where rimfire is better. Let’s take a look.
Rimfire and centerfire refer to the categories of primer ignition systems, basically, what gets the whole process of firing the bullet going.
The explosion caused by the lighting of the primer causes the gunpowder to react and project the bullet forward out of the barrel of the gun. Every single time a gun is fired, this is what happens, regardless of whether a rimfire or centerfire cartridge is being used.
With centerfire cartridges, the explosion is concentrated more centrally in the middle of the cartridge. This creates a more consistent firing of the bullet. Because of this increase in performance, the professionals in the police and military are preferring centerfire cartridges.
Rimfire cartridges see the explosion overtaking more of the cartridge as it is tripped at the rim. The pressure on the bullet isn’t as concentrated on the center of it, and I’ve heard tale of rimfire cartridges not firing with the power of their centerfire counterparts.
Centerfire cartridges locate the primer in the center of the cartridge case head. These are much more common these days as cartridge size preference trends towards larger sizes. You really won’t find anything other than centerfire cartridges in larger or even medium sizes these days.
The move towards centerfire cartridges is based largely on the fact that they are more reliable in heavy duty situations. Police, military, and serious hunters and shooters have pretty much switched entirely to centerfire cartridges based on their dependability, consistency, and reliability.
Because of this, and because of the fact that so many shooters want to emulate the pros, most shops will stock a wide variety of centerfire cartridges while only stocking a minimal amount of rimfire cartridges.
Rimfire cartridges are pretty much a thing of the past, except for certain gun models. A rimfire cartridge works like this: the firing pin ignites the primer by striking the cartridge’s rim, causing friction and igniting the blast.
Basically, the difference starts with the power issues that we’ve discussed above. Rimfire cartridges are cheaper, for sure, and have lower recoil than centerfire cartridges.
One of the biggest drawbacks of rimfire cartridges is how hard they are to find. The older guys that I grew up with have been buying all the stock they can for fear of it no longer being available anywhere that they shop. As a result of this, hardly any new shooters are using rimfire cartridges.
Centerfire cartridges have higher recoil and are more expensive. But, because they are so widely available and there is no fear of them all being bought out or discontinued, the market price will probably eventually drop significantly just based on supply and demand.
I highly urge you, even if you are a long-time shooter, to make the switch to centerfire cartridges. The long term sustainability is much better and you’ll find that you spend less money over time because of:
Rimfire cartridges are certainly not as prominent as they once were. Right now, 17 caliber and .22 caliber pistol and rifle cartridges can be found in rimfire variety, along with some shotgun cartridges that are small-bore.
You won’t find any game hunting cartridges using rimfire anymore. Beyond that, mostly just collectors’ items will fit rimfire cartridges. .22LR are the most frequently used rimfire cartridge fittings. You’ll also see them in WMR, Winchester Magnum, Hornady Mach 2, and Hornady Magnum. Not a ton of variety offered here!
For today’s pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition, most of what is commonly used will be centerfire. If you are looking for a specific rimfire cartridge, your best bet is going to be to shop online on a store’s website first before visiting in person just to make sure that they will stock it before you head out.
I hope you have gained a solid understanding of the differences between rimfire and centerfire cartridges. Centerfire is the way of the future. Rimfire will likely continue on its slow and miserable decline. What the high-impact shooters of the world prefer is what goes, and you’ll be better off siding with them. I started using centerfire cartridges years ago because I predicted this trend after spending years in the military serving my country.
If you have enjoyed this article, please share on social media so that we can increase awareness of the differences between rimfire and centerfire cartridges and get more people switched over. Feel free to share your comments in the section below and we’ll get a conversation going. Take care!
You want to know which is better between .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor?
There has been much talk lately about the performance of the .308 Winchester versus the 6.5 Creedmoor. In my opinion, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a better cartridge overall. This is because of its ballistic capabilities and the fact that it is slightly smaller than the .308.
I happen to be fond of the little red tip as well, which is not present on the .308. In this article I’m going to show you why the 6.5 Creedmoor is the superior option, and why you should look for it to play an increasingly large role in the market, in everything from store shelf presence to gun fitting, going forward.
When shooting, both cartridges perform well and are effective for hunting and target shooting at the range. But for medium to long range shooting, the 6.5 Creedmoor is much better because it uses slightly skinnier bullets that make it down range at a faster rate of speed than the other, and I’ve seen multiple times this have a direct impact on accuracy.
The .308 just can’t quite keep up on shots over 700 yards is what I’ve noticed. The longer the shot, the bigger the difference there is between the two cartridges. The .308 Winchester is incredibly well-known in the shooting world. Pretty much everyone has experience with them.
If you’re going for something easy that is simple to get opinions on, fit to a gun, ammo for, or anything else, this is the winner here. But once we start to look a little deeper into the two cartridge types, some major points begin to rise. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a better cartridge, plain and simple. For long range shooting, for accuracy, for speed. Dare I say, even for consistency with loading and gun powder?
The shoulder is sharper on the 6.5 Creedmoor. This also factors into accuracy. If you spend a significant amount of time out in the field with both cartridges, you’ll notice that the brass lasts longer in the Creedmoor. The Creedmoor is based on a .30 TC Case, unlike the .308.
I do have to give the .308 credit for its consistency, however. Every time I’ve used it, or been hunting with someone who is, I feel like I know what to expect with each shot, from load to follow through. When I start getting carried away distance-wise with the 6.5 Creedmoor, I frequently notice some variabilities in the overall feel of the shot. This is particularly true when loading.
The case itself, on both options, is incredibly sturdy. They’ll be dependable whenever you need them and are worth the money. I don’t want to make it seem like I hate the .308 Winchester. I just think that it has had its time, and over the last ten years or more we’ve started to see the rise of a superior option. Particularly for distance accuracy, as I’ll note repeatedly.
I’ll give the .308 the edge for range shooting. It’s more consistent on shorter to mid-range shots and can be used in more guns. And because just about everyone has experience with them, these cartridges are easy to find bullets for and an expert to assist you with loading or anything else that you need help with.
The rising popularity of 6.5 mm cartridges is ensuring that shops will have more and more selections for the Creedmoor when it comes to bullets. Your choice of shot should be largely based on case outline. Again, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the winner here, particularly because as it grows in popularity, more options become available. Both cartridges will suffice just fine in the field. But if you’re hunting with someone using the other, you will notice differences over time.
The 170+ grain measure of the .308 struggles with magazine limitations. I also seem to have better luck with the Creedmoor when it comes to powder. It shoots at a higher speed: a 140-grain shot sees 2710 fps with a superior BC of .526-.535. You ain’t going to get that with the .308!
The 6.5 Creedmoor has less recoil because it fires lighter bullets, making the shots easier on you over time. The .308 is the winner on the lifespan of the barrel, due to the fact that that the .605 has a smaller bore and shoots at higher speeds. It does tend to wear the barrel out.
If you are finding the safe for you gun, don’t hesitate to read the best gun safe for the money to choose the good one
If you’re using a bolt action style rifle, .308 will be more apt to work with your gun. Obviously, this depends on what you’re using. But as the 6.5 Creedmoor becomes more popular, more rifle makers have started to make options that will accommodate. I’ve heard hunters say that .308 ammo is cheaper and more available (see video below), but this is going to be less and less of a problem as time moves along.
Since the 6.5 jumped into the spotlight, it has slowly gained momentum and traction. It’s versatility has increased in tune with that. Will it ever surpass the .308 Winchester in popularity? Probably not. Old hacks like me are stuck in our ways, in fact I’m one of the more progressive hunting types in my crew and the only one that currently prefers the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Here is a great video that explains why price and availability are factors in why some choose the .308.
Here’s a great video that agrees with me.
As I’m sure I’ve made very clear throughout this article, I prefer the 6.5 Creedmoor over the .308 Winchester. It’s a better cartridge because of improved accuracy and spotting, particularly in long range shooting. The .308 is the stuff of legend are lore these days, but sometimes its best that a legend passes the torch.
Down the line, the 6.5 Creedmoor will be increasingly fitted and common to more shooters’ tastes and hopefully we can wake up the rest to its superiority. And in my opinion, 6.5 Creedmoor is best ammo for an AR 10 rifle.
If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media so that we can get the good word out! Perthaps you’re an old .308 guru – throw a comment down below and let’s get a conversation going.
Do similar rounds produce similar results? Any experienced shooter will tell you that that is not always the case. For direct proof, look no further than the .260 Remington vs 6.5 Creedmoor. Both of these are a perfect match for the .308 Winchester rifle. In many cases, if you weren’t the one who loaded the rounds, you may not be able to even tell a difference.
My personal experience has led me to prefer the .260 Remington over the 6.5 Creedmoor. We’ll get into why in this article. I’m old school, is the main reason. This guy pretty much sums up my thoughts on the .260 Remington in this video:
.260 Remington is a classic among long-time riflemen, having been the backbone of what we’ve used for such a long time. The reason for this is that seasoned hunters have expertise in reloading. .260 Remington rounds necessitate this, while 6.5 Creedmoor rounds are better for those without that reloading expertise.
As many new hunters aren’t trained in the art of the reload, Creedmoor can significantly reduce the learning curve when looking to get out into the field. Additionally, the Creedmoor has a shoulder angle that is sharper than the Remington. This comes with less body taper
Additionally, less water is held by the Creedmoor. This won’t affect certain shooters, but it’s worth noting. It can fit a longer bullet because of this, but the general use of handheld cartridges has all but eliminated any benefit there. Here, a video description of the two takes place.
The brass on the .260 Remington is of a higher quality than the 6.5 Creedmoor. With the Creedmoor, you may find that the brass isn’t as long lasting. This affects hunters as they experience less overall durability and flow with their shooting than if they were to use the .260 Remington.
The Creedmoor’s case is a bit shorter than the .260 Remington’s. The Remington is undoubtedly faster as a result of the higher case capacity, necessitating less maintenance in the field. Remingtons are better for those looking to use a bolt gun, but for the semi-automatic inclined, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the better choice. I’m always using bolt, so the Remington works for me.
When it comes to distance shooting, the Remington will be solid up to at least 800-900 yards.
Beyond that, the accuracy can lose a bit of its dependability depending on skill and build. I’ve got mine accurate up to 1000, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. I will concede that the Creedmoor can perfectly nail a target from 1000 yards when built the right way and taken good care of. If everything is prepped correctly, that is the better option for really long distances.
I recommend keeping a chart of data from the rounds you fire with both. Test them out, and through your charts you can identify which one you are more accurate with, and which one makes the overall process easier for you. Keep track of powder, distance, velocity, and muzzle energy. I also encourage testing at different distances. Keep a record of 100 yard accuracy percentage compared with longer shots. Those who are new to long distance shooting should stick with the choice that they are the most comfortable with.
I also encourage shoots to watch some videos online of different practices with both options. Here are a couple great options:
At the end of the day, it really depends on personal preference. Take into consideration which bullets you plan to shoot, and whether or not you are willing to switch them to accommodate aesthetics or if you are hard lined on performance and personal comfort. I’ve grown so accustomed to the .260 Remington over the decades that I’m not going to be switching anything up at this point.
If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media – us gun freaks always love a good debate on equipment. Feel free to share your personal opinions in the comment section here, as I’m sure we’ve got a community of 6.5 Creedmoor users out there that have thoughts on the matter.