Centerfire cartridges have been around for over a century. They are the most common type of ammunition, and they come in many different sizes to suit any application. This article as well as will cover what centerfire cartridges are, how they work, and their uses in hunting. We’ll also go into detail about the best types of centerfire ammo for various applications so that you can make an informed choice on which one is right for you!
Also, make sure to check out the linked articles in the list above to get more information about specific cartridges, calibers, bullets, powders, and more!
What Is A Centerfire Cartridge?
Centerfire cartridges are a type of ammunition that is used in rifles and other guns. They are called centerfire because the primer is located in the central part of the cartridge. The firing pin strikes this primer, which causes an explosion that ignites gunpowder inside the casing to propel a bullet from the barrel at high speeds. Centerfire cartridges can be found in different sizes and shapes depending on what they are designed for.
How do centerfire cartridges work?
Centerfire cartridges have a primer which is located in a small indentation at one end of the center fire casing. When struck by the firing pin, it produces hot gas and incendiary particles which ignites the main powder charge. The ignition of this powder creates combustion gasses under great pressure which drives bullet out of the chamber and down the barrel at high speed.
Why should you use a centerfire cartridge?
Centerfire cartridges are commonly used in hunting because they can produce a very powerful and accurate shot. Center fire ammunition is also reloadable, so you can re-use the brass casing to load your own ammunition at a significant cost savings versus factory ammunition.
The other main type of rifle ammunition is a rimfire cartridge. While these rimfire cartridges are a good choice for smaller calibers, they lack the larger pressure potential and inherent accuracy of a centerfire cartridge.
What kind of firearms can use a centerfire cartridge?
Centerfire cartridges are designed for use in rifles as well as pistols. There is a wide range of rifle models that can chamber center fire rounds. These include traditional bolt-action types as well more modern lever action or semi automatic guns such those made by Browning Arms Company which manufactures the popular BAR line series among others.
Shotguns shells are technically centerfire ammunition as well as they use the same principal of a small primer in the center of a metal casing to ignite the powder charge.
Types of centerfire cartridges
The main distinctions in types of centerfire cartridges are the calibers, primer type, powder loads, and casing materials.
The two main primer types are; Berdan Primers, and Boxer Primers. Named after there respective inventors, these two primers vary slightly in their design in the placement of the anvil in which the incendiary primer material is impacted against by the impact of the firing pin.
The other main distinction in primer type is that the Boxer primer has one main flash hole as the Berdan primer has two. This difference makes Boxer primed casings much easier to reload as pressing out the spent primer is much more easily done.
Centerfire ammunition comes in a variety of calibers depending on the intended purpose. These are spelled out with three digits representing their diameter, and also relate to their specific cartridge specifications. There are hundreds of different types of cartridges based upon caliber sizes ranging from .177 all the way up to heavy hitters such as the .50bmg.
Similarly, there are a ton of different types of gunpowder that can produce different pressure curves, rates of burn, and muzzle velocities.
Benefits of centerfire cartridges
The main benefit of a centerfire cartridge is that the primer placement ignites the powder more easily, and consistently than a comparable rimfire cartridge. They can be reloaded for repeated use with significant cost savings, and they come in an amazingly wide range or calibers and power ranges.
Drawbacks of centerfire cartridges
The main drawback of a centerfire cartridge is that they are somewhat expensive compared to smaller rimfire rounds. This is mainly due tot he increased materials used in creating the round as well as a slightly more intricate and refined manufacturing process.
One additional specific drawback is that certain military surplus that utilize Berdan primers use a corrosive material that can cause damage to your barrel, chamber, and other components if not thoroughly cleaned after usage. While these Berdan primers may hold up longer under poor conditions such as wet or humid storage, the corrosive nature makes them something to watch out for.
How to choose the right cartridge type for your needs
Choosing the right cartridge is almost, if not, more difficult than choosing the best rifle for you hunting needs. There are such a wide range of cartridges available today, with a huge range of uses, powers, ballistic capabilities and more. And that doesn’t even get into the old obsolete or wildcat rounds.
The best way to choose a specific cartridge for your uses is to read articles such as those linked above to learn more about specific cartridge types in great detail. Once you understand the power, ballistic profile, and terminal performance of specific cartridges then you will be able to make a good decision about the best hunting cartridge for your next hunt!