General History/American Rifleman


I am looking for information on the American Rifleman and the use of the Pennsylvania longrifle in both the French and Indian War and American Revolution. Any information would be greatly appreciated. If the question is to broad I can specify if needed

The Pennsylvania long rifle is also sometimes known as the Kentucky Long rifle, although it did not get that name until the early 1800s.  It was produced in Pennsylvania but was commonly carried by frontiersmen entering the Kentucky territories.  It was strongly favored by hunters because of its greatly increased accuracy over muskets.

Most armies, including the British Army, favored muskets over rifles because before the invention of the minie ball in the early 1800's, rifles took far too long to reload.  Armies were focused on the rate of fire from a line and rifles were far slower rates of fire.  

The rifles were not used to great effect in the French and Indian War.  They were used by skirmishers and scouts working in small or single groups.  They were not used in a major way, but Col. Washington saw their usefulness first hand.

During the Revolution Gen. Washington organized rifle companies that were used to great effect to take out officers on the field.  Gen. Arnold credited them with American success at Saratoga.  British officers suffered disproportionate casualties, leading to great chaos on the field of battle.

For more info, you may find these sites helpful:

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

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Michael Troy


My specialties are 17th through 19th Century history, especially in the Americas and Europe. I also have a fair knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman History, and some knowledge of Medieval European history. My expertise is focuses on Military and political history, but I`ll take a crack at anything.


I have been a guest lecturer at George Washington University. Mostly, I have just read hundreds of books about world history.


J.D. Univ. of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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