The 1792 contract rifle discussed in the article linked above, using the words in the article, a basic hunting rifle. In the early 1790's, before Congress authorized the establishment of a small standing federal army, the number of officers and men of the military establishment was less than one-thousand men, while the 1792 contract was for more rifles than there were men in the federal establishment. Think about this....Early American military units were supplied with basic rations when/if conditions permitted, but were also expected to supplement their diet with whatever could be obtained through hunting, fishing, trading with locals, etc. I suspect the 1792 contract rifle was an effort to provide small units with a hunting rifle more attuned to putting food in the communal pot than as a combat weapon, although that does not mean dual use. Yes, muskets can be used to hunt, but they are less accurate at distances and use more powder and lead than rifles. Something we tend to overlook is how much smoke blow powder produces on a battlefield, particularly when there are thousands of troops involved (unlike small reenactments of 18th century events), and the compounded effect of artillery. Visibility on an 18th century battlefield was likely terrible/non-existent, and the ability of a skilled rifleman to see any further than a musket carrying line soldier was the same.