View Full Version : What's the difference between Rimfire, Centerfire, Airsoft, Air pistols?

11-10-2004, 11:47 AM
I hear so many different terms for pistols, and I still don't know the differences between each.

Can someone give a brief description of each.


11-10-2004, 12:52 PM
Billybob, I take it you're new to shooting sports. :)


Cartridges that have the priming compound in the rim of the brass case. The only cartidges made, in modern times, in this manner are the .22's, .22 short, .22 long (both rarely seen these days), .22 long rifle (lr) and .22 magnum. In the past 1-3 years Hornady has introduced two new cartridges in .17 caliber: .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) and .17 HM2 (Hornady Mach 2). These are low cost, low velocity, low pressure rounds used for training, informal target practice (plinking), or small game hunting (rabbits or varmits).


Cartridges that have a separate metal primer cup pressed into the base of the case, centered in the case head. These rounds are higher pressure, high power pistol and rifle cartridges that are appropriate for personal defense. Centerfire cartridges include 9mm Lugar, .40 Smith & Wesson, .45 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, etc.

Air Pistols:

Shoot small .177 caliber steel BB's or lead pellets at modest velocity, powered by compressed air. Used for target shooting or very small animals (vermin).

Air Soft:

Shoot small, light plastic balls (6mm) at very modest velocity powered by spring or compressed gas pressure. Eye and face protection and a sweatshirt constitute armor. :)

11-12-2004, 05:31 AM
Thanks fcdobbs.