With over 150 years in production, the rimfire cartridge remains the most prolific and popular cartridges made today. Although the variety of calibers has reduced, rimfire rounds are still in great demand among hunters and shooters for their low recoil and noise.
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Choose Your Particular Rimfire Ammo Caliber Below
|22 Long Rifle (LR) Ammo||22 WMR Ammo|
|22 Long Ammo||22 Short Ammo|
|17 HMR Ammo||17 HM2 Ammo|
|5mm Rem Magnum Ammo||22 Win Auto Ammo|
History of Rimfire Ammunition
A rimfire cartridge is different from a centerfire cartridge in that the priming compound is placed in the rim of the cartridge where a centerfire has its priming compound in a removable cup inside the base of the cartridge.
The first commercially successful rimfire cartridge was the Flobert cartridge which used the pressure of the exploding priming compound to propel a 6mm bullet. The cartridge was used for practice indoors and is also known as the .22CB cartridge in many countries.
In 1857 the Smith and Wesson company took the Flobert idea, added a few grains of powder and created the .22 Short. This cartridge was designed to be used in the first American rimfire revolver, the Smith and Wesson Model 1. With the success of the .22 Short, a .22 Long was introduced. The .22 Long had a heavier bullet and a slightly larger powder charge. The performance was somewhat better than the .22 Short, but in 1887 the .22 Long Rifle was introduced and would eventually overtake all other .22 caliber rimfire cartridges in popularity and become the most prolific cartridge in the world.
When talking about rimfire cartridges, many people forget that there was a good variety of rimfire cartridges in various calibers. The .25 Stevens, .32 Long and .44 Henry Flat were also well known rimfire cartridges. The largest caliber production rimfire cartridge was the .58 Miller which was used in converted muskets during the end of the Civil War.
Today, the cutting edge of rimfire technology is centering around the .17 HMR and .17 Mach 2. The extremely high velocity and flat shooting characteristics make these cartridges popular among varmint hunters. Also, the .17 caliber cartridges have virtually non-existent recoil and relatively quiet noise signatures when compared to centerfire varmint ammunition.
Rimfire ammunition has been a fixture in the firearms ammunition industry for almost 200 years. The huge demand for rimfire products from the public and the continuous improvements in design and performance made by manufacturers prove that this ammunition will likely remain with us for a long time to come.
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