Difference Between Rimfire Scope and Centerfire Scopes

Difference Between Rimfire Scope and Centerfire Scopes

How is a rimfire scope different from a centerfire scope?

It’s a question that boggles the minds of all rifle owners when they are going through a selection of scopes. Rimfire and centerfire scopes are always put in separate categories which leave people thinking what factually the differences are between the two. If you are one of them and are eager to know about their differences, just read along and leave the rest to us.

Difference Between Rimfire Scope and Centerfire Scopes

To know the details about the difference between rimfire scope and centerfire scopes that you would like to know exactly, now let’s start

Shooting range

Centerfire scopes are great for shooting targets at long distances while rimfire scopes are amazing for short-range shooting. Centerfire scopes are powerful enough to give you a precise shot up to and beyond 300 yards.

On the contrary, the range of a rimfire scope is around 50 yards and a bit more.

Magnification and accuracy

Centerfire scopes are used in rifles that have high recoil. The reliable top-notch feats of a centerfire scope can considerably reduce the negative performance impact that occurs due to the heavy recoil of a rifle. On top of that centerfire, scopes are much more convenient due to their extensive capability of zooming in.

They have magnification between 4x to 14x whereas rimfire scopes have a magnification range of 2x to 7x or maybe 3x to 9x. Rimfire scopes are typically used with rifles that have low recoil.

Low recoil can help you to avoid flinches and scope misalignments. Therefore rimfire scopes are more accurate because they are used with low recoil rifles.

rimfire scope

Eye relief and adjustments

Under good lighting conditions and within short ranges, both centerfire and rimfire scopes perform equally brilliantly. The difference, however, can be noticed when the light condition is poor and your target is at a longer distance. Centerfire scopes will easily outperform rimfire scopes during such situations.

The use of rimfire scopes in such scenarios will result in eye fatigue and poor performance. Due to the perfect parallax adjustment of the lens, centerfire scopes won’t hurt your eyes and will serve you reliably in any condition.


Rimfire scopes are meant for target practice purposes and shooting at small, moving targets. On the contrary, centerfire scopes can be used for shooting larger, tougher, fast-paced targets and at long distances.

Due to the high power, quality and reliability of the centerfire lens, they will certainly cost you top dollar. Rimfire scopes, on the other hand, have much lower price tags due to their certain specific limitations.

Final Words

There you go. We are done discussing the key differences between rimfire scopes and centerfire scopes.

In short, if you are a pro shooter, go for a centerfire scope and if you are a starter, rimfire scope is probably going to be the best choice for you as it is good for target practice sessions and close-range shots. Now the decision is yours to make.

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