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Thread: wondering about rimfires

  1. #1

    wondering about rimfires

    Just a starting to get curious about the history of ammuniton/calibre development.

    Could someone explain why rimfires were superseded in all except .22 and .17? Or why a centrefire equivalent to a .22LR doesn't exist? (Or does it?).

  2. #2
    wouldn't say they have been "superceded" as they are not really a comparison to CF
    there are other rimfire calibres in 5mm etc just not over here or popular ones.

    they run at much lower case pressures so there is a limit to bullet size (or more accurately...weight) and as a result the .17 and .22 are the most useable.

    the more modern .17 variants are actually just hot, necked down version of tried and tested .22lr and .22WMR cases

  3. #3
    Rimmed cases are not suitable for many firearms. Additionally, the rim-primed case is not known for withstanding high pressure. The highest pressure rimfire on the market today is the 5mm Remington Magnum. The current loading runs 30,000PSI tho is SAAMI'd for 42K. Even at that, there is quite a bit of metallurgy involved in keeping the rim intact at those pressures. One of the reason's Remington stopped making the 5mm is because they couldn't get a handle on it. The cases were rupturing and blowing extractors out of guns. The new production from Centurion Ordnance is not subject to that issue. Still, this highlights the reason why large bore rim fires aren't generally feasible in this performance driven market.~Muir

  4. #4
    T'was also a safety issue same as why the Pin fire was passed over from. Centre fire cartridges are much safer to handle especially in a military enviroment. Rimfires are much easier to set off accidentily than a centre fire especially in larger cartridges where there is more weight.

    So cannot withstand the high pressures demaded by modern cartridges and less safe = bye bye.

  5. #5
    Thanks for that.

    So it sort of raises the quetion as to why they persist in the smaller calibers at all. Did anyone ever try a centrefire equivalent of a .22LR? Seems like an obvious thing to do?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Thanks for that.

    So it sort of raises the quetion as to why they persist in the smaller calibers at all. Did anyone ever try a centrefire equivalent of a .22LR? Seems like an obvious thing to do?
    Why on earth would you think that? The 22LR has some unique ballistic qualities that would be unobtainable in a centerfire unless they stayed with a lead bullet: Jacketed bullets wont expand at 950 fps which is about the low end of 22LR velocities. Lead bullets expand nicely at low velocities and take game well. Additionally, the 22LR takes a heeled bullet; that would be a pain for manufacturers and nightmare for reloaders. Drawing such a tiny case in CF, with it's relatively large primer pocket and thin walls would be a chore. The rimfire rounds are also inexpensive to make and to buy. I know that I have better prices here in the US but I can buy 5K rounds of CCI Blazer ammo for anywhere between $129 and $170. I doubt if I could reload any CF equivalent for anywhere near that... even if I could get heeled, .219" bullets. In the end, it isn't practical to make nor would it be marketable.

    There have been some diminutive CF wildcats like the 22 Squirrel but those are in the realm of experimenters. I shoot a wildcat CF version of the 5mm Remington Rimfire but at 2560 fps, it's got it's practical side.~Muir
    Last edited by Muir; 14-06-2012 at 13:04.

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