The longrifle rifled muzzleloader is probably the least understood of all muzzle-loaded rifles. Historically the longrifle was used for deer and small game hunting in the eastern United States where it originated. To conserve lead on the frontier, smaller calibers were often preferred, .32", .36", .40" and .45" caliber were commonly used for hunting small game and deer by firing but a single spherical projectile made of lead or lead roundball bullet.
The longrifle was for the most part noted for its flat trajectory, low recoil and accuracy. The 40"-48" barreled, longrifle was a type of muzzleloading rifle that was a unique development of American rifles. The main reason for the longer barrel was it gave the black powder more time to burn, increasing the muzzle velocity and aided the accuracy of it by having a much longer sighting radius.
The longrifle's destinctive feature was a barrel with a slow twist rate of about 1 in 60 to 1 in 70" inches and length of approximately 40-48 inches which increased roundball velocity to 2,000 - 2,400 feet per second when maximum charged with black powder.
The Kentucky rifle, and Tennessee rifle were variants of the .45" caliber Pennsylvania longrifle using a flintlock, side-lock type rifle action. The longrifle developed on the American frontier in the period beginning in the 1740's, and continued in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina, well into the 20th century, as a practical and efficient firearm, in the early 19th century many of the rifles being built were fitted with a percussion lock, or percussion cap, side-lock ignition system.
A typical Pennsylvania flintlock longrifle is .45" caliber, will weigh from seven to nine pounds, and have an overall length of approximately fifty-five inches from barrel muzzle to riflestock butt plate, with a barrel length ranging between 40" to 48".
Flintlock longrifles are one of the oldest type of muzzle-loaded rifles that are quite skillfully used in hunting today by those who truly love to burn black powder. Pennsylvania is where the longrifle originated and it was made by the hands of very skilled craftsman. The Pennsylvania Longrifle was the first truly American firearm that played an important role in shaping a vast wilderness area into what is now the United States of America.