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Most men who fought in the American Revolution (1775-1783) fired smoothbore muskets, but units of riflemen existed in both the British and American armies. Rifles were much more accurate than muskets because the bullet spun out of a narrow, spiral-grooved or "rifled" barrel. This made them useful for long-range accurate firing. Colonel Daniel Morgan's riflemen used them to deadly effect when they shot down virtually every British officer who advanced on Freeman's Farm in the opening minutes of the Battle of Saratoga. Rifles had disadvantages; they were more finicky and took far longer to load than muskets. Unlike most infantry, riflemen did not generally carry cartridge boxes with pre-rolled cartridges and gunpowder. Instead, rifles were loaded by putting powder from a powder horn down the barrel and then a ball wrapped with a wet or greased patch of cloth. The ramrod was used to make sure the powder and ball reached all the way to the breech. This leather bullet pouch could hold extra gun flints and cloth for cleaning the weapon as well as bullets and patches.
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