Centrefire ammunition has a small gap in the centre of the base where a primer will be installed, these primers also have ignition chemicals in them which a much stronger firing pin will strike to ignite the explosive, once fired shooters can re-use the spent case by popping the primer cap out and commencing the reloading process
Rimfire casings are made much thinner than centerfire casing as they are for small bore firearms which basically means less power in the explosive, centerfire needs much thicker casing / shells as there is much more explosive and these casings are too thick at the base to be able to work with a rimfire striking pin, therefore centerfire ammunition is purposely for much higher powered rifles and hand guns.
Centerfire ammunition is reloadable manually by purchasing the required equipment whereas Rimfire is not reloadable and has to be manufactured, this is not a major problem as Rimfire is generally extremely cheap worldwide.
Rimfire vs Centerfire
- Ammunition is cheap, (therefore more practice),
- Ammunition is smaller & lighter (you can carry hundreds, if not, thousands of rounds for your shooting session/s),
- Almost no recoil (great for beginners or people who have a fear of firearms),
- Much softer 'Bang' (again, great for beginners etc.),
- Superior availablity (due to demand).
- Longer range / more power,
- Wider choice of hunting quarry (Game),
- Wider selection of firearms / calibers,
- Longer shelf life of ammunition (Rimfire ammunition has a 2 year manufacturing consent meaning it's consistency cannot be guaranteed after 2 years and you will pretty much be having a few misfires here and there as a result).
In conclusion, a Rimfire gun is an excellent starter firearm for people looking to get into shooting or for a fun day out with the family at the range plinking informal targets or real target shooting - it is an excellent way to introduce people who have firearm phobias or have a general belief that guns are evil. Most Huntsmen, or gun owners / enthusiasts will have a .22LR rifle but also possibly a pistol as well. Most youngsters will fire a .22LR as their first go with a firearm after air rifles or pellet guns.
If after purchasing a .22LR you want to get further into the sport or hunting, it is recommended to go for something a bit more powerful such as a .17HMR or .22WMR but going for a Centerfire .223 would also be an option for either larger game (Hunting) or distant target shooting before commiting more money going up the ladder to .308 for example.
Here is a reloading setup ( reloading bench ) to give you a general idea of how this can be performed at home on centerfire ammunition only;