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The bores were partially cleaned by the loading process.

Black powder also quickly obscured the battlefield, which led military leaders of the time to conclude that the greater range of rifles was of little value on the battlefield.

Muzzle-loading rifles had been in use for many years but prior to the Civil War had been very rare in military use.

The black powder at the time quickly fouled the barrel, making reloading slower and more difficult since the balls had to be patched and matched closely to the bore size for rifles.

Casualty estimates compared with expended ammunition from battles indicate 1 casualty for every 250 - 300 shots discharged, not a dramatic improvement over Napoleonic casualty rates.

No contemporary accounts indicate that engagement ranges with substantial casualties between infantry occurred at ranges beyond Napoleonic engagement ranges.

For instance, one was produced specially for African-American troops, and another for Zouave units.