What is a Centre Fire Bullet?

A centre fire is a firearm metallic cartridge whose primer is located at the centre of the base of its casing (i.e. “case head”). A centre fire bullet is a type of bullet that is fired from the centre of the cartridge. The cartridge is a type of ammunition that contains the bullet, gunpowder, and primer. The primer is a small explosive that is used to ignite the gunpowder. The gunpowder is a type of explosive that propels the bullet out of the gun. Centre fire primer is typically a separate component seated into a recessed cavity (known as the primer pocket) in the case head and is replaceable by reloading.

Centre fire bullets have supplanted the rim fire variety in all but the smallest cartridge sizes. The majority of today’s handguns, rifles, and shotguns use centre fire ammunition, with the exception of a few .17 calibre, .20 calibre, and .22 calibre handgun and rifle cartridges, small-bore shotgun shells (intended for pest control), and a handful of antique (and mostly obsolete) cartridges.

Note centre fire is different from rim fire, they are two categories of primer ignition systems for ammunition cartridges. The firing pin in rim fire guns strikes the rim of the cartridge base to ignite a primer while in centre fire the firing pin strikes a centre primer.

How far can centre fire bullet can travel

Depending upon multiple conditions, a round of centre fire ammunition can theoretically travel more than five miles (at an altitude of 12,000 feet). At sea-level, the theoretical maximum is around 3 and a half miles. However, this will depend on many environmental variables as well as the calibre. A centre fire bullet can travel several miles. Small shot can travel 200–350 yards. Larger shot can travel over 600 yards

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The centre fire has been around for a long time since the 19th century it was created, it is totally different from older rim fire design, and has a primer located on the outside of it cartridge. It derived it name from the fact that the primer is located in the centre of the cartridge. Centre fire bullets are more powerful and accurate than rim fire bullets, making them the preferred choice for most shooters.

Centre fire bullets are more accurate than other types of bullets, and they also have a higher velocity, which means they can travel further and hit their target with more force. Additionally, centre fire bullets are less likely to jam in your gun, and they are easier to reload and can travel up to several miles, depending on the type of firearm and ammunition used. For example, a high-powered rifle can shoot a bullet over five miles, while a handgun will generally only shoot a bullet a few thousands feet.

Safety Measures

Whether you’re hunting, target shooting or plinking, it’s important that you be aware of the maximum range of the gun and cartridge combination you’re using. The maximum range is the greatest distance a projectile can travel when fired at the optimum angle of elevation of the gun barrel. This optimal angle of elevation is usually around 30 degrees from horizontal. Note that the maximum range is far greater than the effective range of the cartridge, which is the maximum distance at which a projectile can be expected to be useful. This is usually determined by factors such as accuracy and, for hunting or military uses, striking energy.


The importance of maximum range stems from the safety rule “Know your target and what is beyond.” A bullet from an errant shot or a miss may fly several miles before it impacts the earth. A knowledge of maximum range (as well as what lies beyond the target area) can help a shooter assess whether it is or is not safe to fire.

The following table contains representative figures for the maximum range for many common rifle and handgun cartridges. Note that these figures are approximate and are useful for rough comparison only. Variations in barrel length, the velocity level of the load, bullet ballistic coefficient and more will affect the actual distance attained by a particular load in a particular gun under specific conditions.



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