The rimmed cartridge, sometimes called flanged cartridge, is the oldest of the types and has a rim that is significantly larger in diameter than the base of the cartridge. Rimmed cartridges use the rim to hold the cartridge in the chamber of the firearm, with the rim serving to hold the cartridge at the proper depth in the chamber—this function is called "headspacing". Because the rimmed cartridge headspaces on the rim, the case length is of less importance than with rimless cartridges. This allows some firearms chambered for similar rimmed cartridges to safely chamber and fire shorter cartridges.
Rimmed cartridges generally do not work quite as well in firearms that feed from a box magazine, since the magazine must be carefully loaded so that the rim from each successive case is loaded ahead of the round beneath it, so the round will not snag on the rim of the cartridge below it as the bolt strips it out of the magazine.