Rimfire Cartridge Turns 171 Years Old

Louis Flobert filed his patent for the rimfire primed cartridge on July 21, 1849. His original cartridge was just a percussion cap with a lead ball inside of it. We’ve got a whole lot more about the 22’s development on our site.

Not to put Flobert’s idea down, but imagine inventing something so basic that would change the world so drastically? No single person will ever do it again. The future of invention belongs to groups of white coats.

I’ve heard that Russia uses steel cases to discourage their citizens from handloading. Making every round rimfire primed could effectively do the same thing, even if it is impossible. But how powerful would a firing pin have to be to work on a bigger round, like a 223, if it had rimfire primer? Could a firing pin theoretically make it through all that brass? Or is this idea ridiculous?


In some jurisdictions, rimfire cartridges have more permissive laws than centerfire. I’d be happy if a larger cartridge were available in rimfire. But I’d be even happier if someone could figure out how to make our remake them at home.


If I remember correctly the logic for moving to center-fire wasn’t that power of the firing pin requirement but, rather the consistency of ignition.
I will attempt to source that statement later today.



Reloading .22 Long Rifle—a new option for competitors


That sounds like the likeliest original motivating factor behind the centerfire primer, but I do believe there is a limit to how powerful a rimfire primed round can be. The brass has to be thin enough for a firing pin to dent, but at that thinness a case would burst under a larger round’s pressure. I’m interested to see what you come up with.


Agreed fully