What’s the difference between a rimfire scope and a centerfire?

What’s the difference between a rimfire scope and a centerfire?

If you plan to invest in a rifle scope, it is advisable to have appropriate knowledge of the kind of weapon you plan to purchase and choose which best suits your circumstances.  The two significant types of scope available are centerfire scope and rimfire scope; let’s start with the definition of both equipment:

Defining Rimfire Ammunition

Rimfire ammunition that requires primer in its ammunition case rim is known as Rimfire Ammunition. They are usually found in smaller caliber weapons since it requires the cartridge wall to be crushed by the firing pin while lightening up its primer. Expert shooters prefer this gadget because it is relatively cheaper than centerfire. It is simpler to use and can successfully work in weapons with low recoil. Rimfire ammunition is regarded as the best weapon when hunting for small games like rodents, hogs, etc.  They are most popular among shooters;

What is the Rimfire scope?

Rimfire scope is often used for short-range shooting and has a parallax setting of about 50 yards, and they cannot withstand a healthy or high-level recoil, which is why they are always attached to rifles with low recoil.

 They always have short eye range. The milder recoil still has short eye relief because the rimfire scope is excellent at short-range shooting compared to centerfire with a range of 100-yard parallax or more.

Tips To  Consider Before Buying A Rimfire Scope

Before you consider buying a rimfire scope, please note the following;

  • Don’t purchase rimfire scope made of plastic, although they are relatively cheaper but won’t stand a bit of recoil. It is advisable not to buy it.
  • Don’t acquire rimfire scope used with airguns; there is a high possibility of the range being damaged. Airgun has a high level of recoil, and if used with rimfire scope, it could get damaged within a short while.

Defining Centerfire Ammunition

Centerfire Ammunition is the most effective type of ammunition as they are useful as shotguns, rifles, and handguns. They also serve a vast range of purposes as they can reload, unlike rimfire scope. The primer is at the center of its casing to enable easy reloading as its strong cartridge wall serves as a shield even during shooting.

What Is A Centerfire Scope?

Centerfire scope usually has adjustment parallax, which can reach 100 yards or more; the  Adjustable Objective(AO) lens helps the parallax adjustment easier.  They contain more recoil and are quite expensive than short eye relief rimfire scope; they are durable, practical, have better glass, project the target image better, and are less prone to damage.

Tips to Consider Before Purchasing a Centerfire Scope?

  • Centerfire scope cartridges are thicker and reliable, and these make them practical for long-distance range shooting.
  • They are quite expensive before purchase to ascertain the price to avoid debt.
  • Centerfire scope is sufficient with weapons with a high caliber of 0.38 or 0.40.

Similarities Between Centerfire And Rimfire Scope

  1. They are both used for aiming targets.
  2. Their parallax adjustment can both be adjusted.
  3. They are useful in security operations and can serve as a personal protective tool.
  4. They are identical and can be mistaken for each other.
  5. The scopes are both removable from their rifles.

Differences Between Centerfire And Rimfire Scope

Both types of equipment have a lot of similarities between them; below are some of the significant differences between them;

  1. Eye Relief– One of the principal differences between rimfire scope and centerfire scope is the range of their eye relief. Rimfire has short eye relief or below 50 yards, while centerfire scope has better or upgraded high relief that can reach the range of 100 yards or more.
  2. Parallax Adjustment– The parallax adjustment in rimfire is shorter compared to centrefire, which is longer.  
  3. Shot Accuracy– Both are effective for shooting targets but note that because rimfire scope works perfectly with rifles with low recoil and shorter- this improves its accuracy.
  4. Rimfire scope can’t be used with a centerfire rifle, unlike a centerfire scope, which works entirely on a rimfire rifle because it can cover more range.
  5. Centrefire is relatively cheaper compared to the purchase price of the rimfire scope. Before purchase read the reviews from my friend on ellettbrothers.com.


By now, I am sure you would explain the relative differences and similarities between centerfire and rimfire scope. When considering purchasing either of the two scopes above, many factors are involved: cost, purpose, magnification, etc.

Suppose you are a newbie to using either of the two. In that case, it is advisable to start practice with rimfire scope because they are better for shorter range, cheaper, and easy to use. With constant practice, you can begin to learn how to use the centerfire scope effectively.

If you are also a veteran with these weapons, you can decide the scope you prefer but note that the centerfire scope is more automated and upgraded.

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