These rifles are accurate at long ranges, outpacing the sound of their firing; the bullets are effective as well, expanding in the interskeletal armor that is so common in their intended targets: Nobles.. The bullets are close to hollow points in the real world
They were not as effective against later versions of nobles however.
↑A rifle with a bayonet hung behind his back. I’d heard people refer to the particular brand of rifles as ‘exorcists’. They were single-shot, heavy, ugly weapons, but they made big holes, they were easy to reload, they were reliable, and they were well made. The name ‘exorcist’ had probably come up because they were supposed to put spirits to rest. Or was it because they were supposed to help the little guys stop the real devils of the battlefields? - Excerpt from Esprit de Corpse 5.1
↑The tendril-dog was limping forward, momentum broken. Stitched were dying in droves. They were supposed to take a half-dozen bullets before going down. They were taking one or two at most.
↑“Nobles favor a layer of something like armor, an interskeletal barrier between their skin and their muscle or bone structure. Normal guns are meant to ricochet, their bullets move slowly, to pass into the subject and bounce around, doing grievous harm. Few think twice of this. But the Crown has reasons for perpetuating this standard. Those slower, bouncing bullets aren’t so effective against the nobles.” Bullets sink in and stop at the armor, or they bounce right out. The noble bleeds but doesn’t stop. They appear immortal, and enemy morale suffers. The myth that surrounds them grows.”
I nodded. I’d seen the Duke in battle.
“These bullets penetrate that layer. That armor helps strips the outer shell off as the bullet passes through, and what remains unfolds and expands as an umbrella might,” Mauer said. His hand, all fingertips and thumb meeting, tapped my chest, hard, then opened up, fingers splaying. “The final part of the projectile sometimes punches through on exit, or joins the expanded metal in complicating the efforts of doctors and staff. Especially uncareful or hasty doctors might even do further harm to themselves, if an expanding bullet finishes expanding too near a prodding finger or working hand.” [...]“It might, if it hit hard bone, but no, it isn’t meant for ordinary people,” Mauer said. “The guns are long range, they’re accurate, and they’re felt before they can be easily reacted to. - Excerpt from Counting Sheep 9.17