.45" Caliber Longrifles, Used For Commercial Hunting:
The most famous frontiersman of the time was Daniel Boone (1734-1820) commercial hunter by trade. Boone would go on long hunts alone or with a small group of men, accumulating hundreds of deer skins in the autumn, and then trapping beaver and otter over the winter and return in the spring and sell their take to commercial fur traders.
The settlers of western Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina soon gained a reputation for hardy independence and rifle marksmanship as a way of life, by the 1750s it was common to see frontiersmen carrying a new and distinctive style longrifle that was used with great skill to provide tens of thousands of deer hides for the British leather industry.
These woodsmen were also exceptional trackers and Indian fighters, and played an important role in the French and Indian War which was fought in many parts of the American back country as a guerilla war. By the time of the American Revolution a strong tradition of riflery had been ingrained into the citizens of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
.45" Caliber Longrifles, Used In The Revolutionary War:
The legendary status of the .45" caliber muzzle-loading rifle was well established by the end of the revolutionary war in 1783 when the United States of America won its freedom from British rule.
Fair warning was given to the effectiveness of the .45" caliber longrifle when in 1775 the London Chronicle printed this warning that was sent to them from a Philadelphia printer
"This province has raised 1,000 riflemen, the worst of whom will put a ball into a mans head at 150 to 200 yards, therefore advise your officers who shall hereafter come out to America to settle their affairs in England before their departure".
While this warning probably inflamed British troops beyond belief, the one thing they quickly discovered was that it may have seemed arrogant to issue such a warning but it was definately true and so the mood of British troops went from disdain for frontier colonists upon arriving in America to one of fear once they realized the effectiveness of the American made .45" caliber muzzle-loading longrifle.
In 1778 at the siege of Boonesborough, Kentucky, one of the officers of the British assault force was hiding behind a tree. He stuck his head out from behind the tree and was instantly killed by a ball to the forehead fired by Daniel Boone. This shot was later confirmed by witnesses on both sides and the distance measured was 250 yards.