- Weight: Variable.
- Length: Over 65 in
- Barrel Length: 35 in to over 48 in
- Caliber: .50 inch musket ball
- Action: Flintlock
- Rate of Fire: User dependent (about 58 seconds)
- Muzzle velocity: 1,235 fps
- Effective Range: 250 yards
- Feed System: Muzzle-loaded
The Pennsylvania Long Rifle was tested with the Brown Bess musket to eliminate 4 infantry targets and one commander on a horse. The George Washington Team was able to kill all 5 targets in 3 minutes 31 seconds with 6 hits, the horse killed, with an average reload time of 58 seconds for the Rifle. The edge was given to the Pennsylvania Long Rifle due to it's accuracy.
The long rifle developed on the American frontier in the 1740's. Although European smoothbore muskets were the weapons of choice on the frontier, the rifle gradually became more popular with frontiersmen, Indian fighters, and professional market hunters due to its greater effective range. This accuracy came at a price, as it took nearly twice as long to reload the rifle as it did a musket due to black powder becoming trapped in the rifling and fouling the barrel. During the American Revolution it became an effective weapon of the minuteman militia as it's range and accuracy made it an ideal hit and run weapon for their guerrilla tactics.
George Washington was one of the first generals to use rifles in combat, as many armies believed that the slow reloading speed made the rifle useless against large armies. Even though it show its effectiveness, muskets continued to dominate the battlefield thanks to their cheap costs and a faster reloading speed was essential for conventional and Napoleonic style warfare.
Most rifles used by the Continental Army were hunting rifles. Since only military muskets were designed to be fitted with the bayonet, most civilian rifles were not designed for it and so had no bayonet of them all.