How Are Rimfire Cartridges Made?

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posted on September 2, 2017
rimfire.jpg
Above: ELEY's contact .22 LR subsonic ammo. This particular round uses 42-grain round nose bullets at 1090 fps.

Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. These cases are cheap and easy to manufacture and provide customers with a low-cost, reliable round. 

Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.

Initially, rimfire ammo was made using black powder. Smith & Wesson’s original .22 used four grains of black powder. The .22 Long upped that to five grains, and the .22 Extra Long used six. Nowadays, there are even kits available for reloading .22 LR. New disciplines, such as the ELEY Practical Rimfire Challenge, are gaining in popularity alongside traditional Smallbore Rifle competition.

The rimfire cartridge has also been used extensively for self-defense, mostly because of the convenience factor.

We've listed below some of our favorite rimfire cartridge articles from across the NRA Publications network:

Latest

2021 Special Edition 2
2021 Special Edition 2

Read Our Free Commemorative Magazine About The 2021 NRA National Matches At Camp Atterbury

This special edition magazine chronicles and celebrates the 2021 NRA National Championships

New: Luth-AR MCA-22 Rimfire Chassis

This modular chassis assembly will fit Ruger 10/22 and similar semi-automatic .22 LR rimfire actions and barrels

Back-To-Back Dragons Cup Open Titles For KC Eusebio

Team Bushnell's KC Eusebio repeats as Open Champion at 2022 Dragons Cup

BRG9 Elite: More Features For Less Money

Buffalo Cartridge Company’s BRG9 Elite is a solid beginner pistol for action games and is also suitable for self-defense purposes

5 Problem Sporting Clays Targets And How To Break Them

In sporting clays, it can pay dividends to know multiple techniques for taking down problem bird presentations

New: Trijicon Q-LOC Quick Release Mounts

Trijicon says this family of quick release mounts for shooters and hunters are “strong enough to match the durability of our optics.”

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