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What Is Boxer-Primed Ammo?



Welcome to another edition of True Shot Academy, the official blog of True Shot Ammo. Today, we’ll explore Boxer-Primed Ammo, a topic widely debated among shooting enthusiasts. We’ll be touching on its history, performance, and the inevitable boxer vs rimfire and boxer vs centerfire debate.


History of Boxer Priming

The boxer priming method was introduced in the 19th century by an Englishman named Edward Mounier Boxer. The essence of boxer priming lies in its design: a single flash hole and an anvil as part of the primer itself. This means that when the firing pin strikes, it crushes the primer against this anvil, igniting the propellant in the cartridge.

Boxer-primed ammunition rapidly gained popularity in the United States, primarily because of its ease of reloading. The single flash hole design made removal of the old primer and insertion of a new one straightforward.

Now, before we proceed, let’s understand a bit about ammo primers. Primers are essentially pressure-sensitive compounds placed at the base of the cartridge. When struck by the firing pin, these compounds ignite, producing a flash of light and heat that, in turn, ignites the propellant. The propellant burns, generating gas and propelling the bullet forward.


Is Boxer Priming Rimfire or Centerfire?

The terms “rimfire” and “centerfire” refer to the location of the primer in the cartridge. Rimfire ammunition has the primer located in the rim of the brass case, while centerfire ammunition, like boxer primed ammo, has the primer located centrally at the base of the case.

Rimfire and Centerfire: The Basic Difference

With rimfire cartridges, the firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge to ignite the primer. These cartridges are typically limited to smaller calibers due to the pressure limitations of the case design. Boxer and Berdan primed ammunition, on the other hand, fall under the centerfire category. Here, the firing pin crushes the primer which is centrally located at the base of the cartridge.


Performance of Boxer-Primed Ammo

Boxer primed ammunition, as a type of centerfire ammunition, tends to be preferred by many shooters because of its consistent performance. The central placement of the primer ensures an even ignition of the propellant, often leading to more consistent velocities and, therefore, accuracy.


Pros and Cons


  1. Ease of Reloading: One of the significant advantages of boxer primed ammo is its ease of reloading. The single flash hole in the primer pocket allows for straightforward removal and replacement of the primer.
  2. Consistent Performance: As mentioned, the central placement of the primer in boxer-primed ammunition often leads to even and consistent ignition of the propellant.
  3. Versatility: Boxer priming is used in a vast range of centerfire cartridges, offering shooters a wide variety of ammunition choices.



  1. Cost: Typically, boxer primed ammunition is slightly more expensive than its Berdan counterpart, primarily because of its ease of reloading, leading to a higher demand among shooting enthusiasts.
  2. Availability: In some parts of the world, especially where reloading isn’t common, Berdan primed ammo might be more readily available.


Boxer vs. Berdan Primed Ammo

While both Boxer and Berdan are types of centerfire primers, there are notable differences between the two. Berdan primed ammo uses two flash holes and has the anvil built into the case. This makes reloading Berdan primed cases more challenging than Boxer ones. Also, the tools and processes required for reloading Berdan primed ammunition are different, and often more expensive, than those for Boxer primed ammo.



Understanding the nuances of ammunition can seem overwhelming, but it’s essential for shooters who want to make informed decisions about their ammo choices. Whether you prefer Boxer-primed, Berdan-primed, rimfire, or any other type of ammunition, understanding the pros and cons of each can help you select the right ammo for your needs.

We hope this detailed dive into Boxer-primed ammunition has been enlightening. Keep following True Shot Academy for more insights into the world of ammunition and shooting. Remember, the key to becoming a better shooter is knowledge, practice, and of course, quality ammunition like that from True Shot Ammo.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

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