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Oswald & Ammunition


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#16 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:22 PM

Miracle!

#17 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:32 PM

Manufacture consisted of Lot's number: 6000/6001/6002/ & 6003, for a total run of a purported 4-million rounds.

Now, one who knew little would assume that one begins with Lot#1 and by the time that one got to Lot#6000, that a whole bunch of bullets had been made.


Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. The tests were run to determine the muzzle velocity of this rifle, using this ammunition, at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., on December 2, 1963, using two different lots of ammunition--Lot No. 6,000 and Lot No. 6,003.
I might point out that there were four lots of ammunition manufactured by the Western Cartridge Co., only two of which are available.

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Which statement, if accurate, may demonstrate that Lot# 6001 and Lot# 6002 may in fact be non-existant!

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Always nice to note that Brigade 2506 took it's name from the enlistment number of the SIXTH person to enlist, who was killed in training (fell down a hill/embankment) in Guatemala.

In order to "fake" out all, the first number issued to an enlistee was #2500.

So, if you were #2506, you were in fact the SIXTH person to actually enlist!

#18 Royce Bierma

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:20 PM

I must admit some befuddlement about this also and would like to know more. I don't think I've ever seen or heard of this list before. What is the source for this? Is it in the Warren Commision record? Are the other items referred to in this list in evidence? [EDIT On second look I see that the other two cards DO refer to items actually in evidence] If the items referred to in this list [card] are not in evidence, how and where was this list discovered? Do we know where the "two boxes" were found?

One odd thing about this is that the ammo found in the Sixth Floor was not Italian but was manufactured by Western Cartridge Co. no?

I imagine that a Western Cartridge Co. ammo box would not say "Italian" anywhere on the box, so at first blush this does not sound like the same brand of ammo found in the TSBD. The card reads TWO EMPTY BOXES MARKED "6.5 ITALIAN AMMUNITION" which sounds like whoever made this card is referring to two empty boxes on which someone had ADDED the "mark" or notation "6.5 Italian ammunition" for identification purposes. It is not clear that the mark "6.5 Italian ammunition" is actually from the original manufacturers label.

I am sure some of the early critics pointed out that the Warren Commission could find no evidence that Lee Oswald EVER bought or possessed ammo for the Carcano, so this item is indeed a curiosity.

I came across that in the Commission Documents. I will try to find the exact location for you. I also found the "Italian" to be a bit curious, but have not found one dog gone word about that either!

It would seem that the ammo boxes were found at the Paines home. Given the number sequence and the other items on the list, this would seem to make sense. Ruth Paine lives not far from me perhaps I can give her a call and see if she recalls anything about this.

There is a typewritten list containing these items as well: CD1554/75. This lists a series of "FBI Exhibits" without indicating their origin. The 5/28/64 Gemberling Report (CD1066/96) is a similar list. Their origin seems to be indicated in CD205/97, which says that Irving resident William J. Honea found them "in the vicinity of an abandoned gravel pit" and contacted the Dallas Sheriff's Office about them. The report says that the boxes "apparently at one time contained 6.5 caliber [sic] Italian ammunition." It does not specifically state that Deputy Sheriff B.J. Courson, to whom Honea "furnished" the empty boxes, in turn furnished them to the FBI or whether he was simply reporting that someone had furnished them to him, but the coincidence of the FBI being informed of two empty cardboard boxes "apparently" (whatever made that "apparent" is not indicated either) containing the ammo at one time, and then having two empty cardboard boxes marked as 6.5 "Italian ammunition" seems too unlikely to think that they were not the same items.

I agree that "Italian ammunition" as a manufacturer's label name is unlikely, just like .303 Enfield rounds would not likely be labeled as "English ammunition" or 9mm rounds for my Taurus aren't likely to be labeled "Brazilian ammunition." Okay, so the last one's a little far-fetched, but the point is that ammo isn't likely to be called anything according to a country of origin of the weapon(s) that might fire it, unless Italian rifles were the only guns that fired 6.5mm rounds, which I can't imagine to be the case simply based on the idea that without nearly everyone owning an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano, the rounds would tend to be as scarce as hen's teeth. There must have been enough rifles that used them for gun shops to even bother carrying them, which we know at least two or three around Dallas did ... or a lot of M-C rifles in Dallas.

It doesn't seem that the fact that this item is interspersed between items generally attributed to having been found at the Paine residence is necessarily meaningful, especially given the likelihood that if they had been found among LHO's effects it would have served as proof of his having bought such ammo, which proof nobody claimed to have had. Whether it was intended to look that way is another story. :)


Duke, Italian ammunition had SMI stamped on it, the same company that manufactured the rifle clip listed. Brinegar or some guy that worked for H.L. Green Co. mentions this. It's seems to me this is very meaningful. The boxes likely were dumped there by Ruth or Michael Paine.

Roy

#19 Duke Lane

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:19 PM

Duke, Italian ammunition had SMI stamped on it, the same company that manufactured the rifle clip listed. Brinegar or some guy that worked for H.L. Green Co. mentions this. It's seems to me this is very meaningful. The boxes likely were dumped there by Ruth or Michael Paine.

Thanks, Royce. I took a look at CD778, which details the FBI's investigation of MC rifle and ammo availability in Dallas, as well as the proximity of possible practice ranges for Oswald near his residences. It appears that the Carcano rifle was fairly prevalent in Dallas and around the country at the time. The Italian military shells were supposed to have either "SIM" or "SMI" on the base, according to Richard Lopez, who had worked as a clerk in the gun department at H.L. Green Co. There's a whole section on how the Italian military rounds were package vice the Western Cartridge Company rounds (I find it stranger still that an Italian company would put "Italian 6.5" on their boxes).

Both Masen and Brinegar, whose two gunshops were the only stores - including pawn shops - in or around Dallas that carried WCC MC ammo. Brinegar bought a case of it, and Masen twice got lots of 10 boxes from Brinegar. That neither of them had sold or remembered selling any of these bullets to Oswald is the basis on which it's stated that Oswald couldn't be found to have bought any. (Not remembering someone who looks enough like you to be a brother would seem a natural reaction for Masen, whose closet was not devoid of skeletons with guns.)

I'd think it's highly unlikely that the Paines dumped the boxes in question anywhere, if only inasmuch as the pair seemed more than willing to aid in providing anything to the authorities that wouldn't help Oswald. Instead, I'd think they'd have walked them downtown if that's what it took to get them to the FBI; I don't for a moment envision either of them hiding anything that would incriminate Lee.

#20 Royce Bierma

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 10:31 PM

Duke, Italian ammunition had SMI stamped on it, the same company that manufactured the rifle clip listed. Brinegar or some guy that worked for H.L. Green Co. mentions this. It's seems to me this is very meaningful. The boxes likely were dumped there by Ruth or Michael Paine.

Thanks, Royce. I took a look at CD778, which details the FBI's investigation of MC rifle and ammo availability in Dallas, as well as the proximity of possible practice ranges for Oswald near his residences. It appears that the Carcano rifle was fairly prevalent in Dallas and around the country at the time. The Italian military shells were supposed to have either "SIM" or "SMI" on the base, according to Richard Lopez, who had worked as a clerk in the gun department at H.L. Green Co. There's a whole section on how the Italian military rounds were package vice the Western Cartridge Company rounds (I find it stranger still that an Italian company would put "Italian 6.5" on their boxes).

Both Masen and Brinegar, whose two gunshops were the only stores - including pawn shops - in or around Dallas that carried WCC MC ammo. Brinegar bought a case of it, and Masen twice got lots of 10 boxes from Brinegar. That neither of them had sold or remembered selling any of these bullets to Oswald is the basis on which it's stated that Oswald couldn't be found to have bought any. (Not remembering someone who looks enough like you to be a brother would seem a natural reaction for Masen, whose closet was not devoid of skeletons with guns.)

I'd think it's highly unlikely that the Paines dumped the boxes in question anywhere, if only inasmuch as the pair seemed more than willing to aid in providing anything to the authorities that wouldn't help Oswald. Instead, I'd think they'd have walked them downtown if that's what it took to get them to the FBI; I don't for a moment envision either of them hiding anything that would incriminate Lee.


Duke, I agree that they were'nt solicitous of Lee's interest, but, how would Italian cartridges incriminate Lee, since it was determined that the cartridges he used were made by the Western Cartridge Company? Western was a clearinghouse for American surplus ammo while SMI, not SIM, was a clearinghouse for Italian-made ammo.

Roy

#21 Don Bailey

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:57 AM

Interesting subject and responses…

Question: Are these two different manufactures of the 6.5mm ammunition capable of producing two different metal materials such as lead cores and copper jackets?

The lead core bullet fragments in the attached photo seems to differ from each other and do not match.

Don

#22 Mike Williams

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 10:17 AM

Interesting subject and responses…

Question: Are these two different manufactures of the 6.5mm ammunition capable of producing two different metal materials such as lead cores and copper jackets?

The lead core bullet fragments in the attached photo seems to differ from each other and do not match.

Don


Unless they were made of different metals, such as copper and steel, there would be no way to know without testing them.



Mike

#23 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 01:43 PM


I'd think it's highly unlikely that the Paines dumped the boxes in question anywhere, if only inasmuch as the pair seemed more than willing to aid in providing anything to the authorities that wouldn't help Oswald. Instead, I'd think they'd have walked them downtown if that's what it took to get them to the FBI; I don't for a moment envision either of them hiding anything that would incriminate Lee.


Duke, I agree that they were'nt solicitous of Lee's interest, but, how would Italian cartridges incriminate Lee, since it was determined that the cartridges he used were made by the Western Cartridge Company?
Roy


I think Duke is correct that If ANY TYPE of ammo for the Mannlicher had been found at the Paine address that fact WOULD HAVE BEEN TRUMPETED to the world by the police, the FBI and the Warren Commission. Ruth Paine would certainly have been asked about it in her Warren Commission testimony. The FACT that no evidence exists that Lee Oswald ever bought, begged, borrowed or stole ammo. for the rifle has always been -- and still remains -- one of the glaring ANOMALIES in the official account of the assassination.

At the very least, the Warren Commission would have used this evidence to argue that Lee Oswald had the MEANS to PRACTICE his marksmanship with the weapon

Some wise man once said (I forget the source) that in figuring out an assassination one should not ask who pulled the trigger, but WHO PAID FOR THE BULLETS?

#24 Mike Williams

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:07 PM


I'd think it's highly unlikely that the Paines dumped the boxes in question anywhere, if only inasmuch as the pair seemed more than willing to aid in providing anything to the authorities that wouldn't help Oswald. Instead, I'd think they'd have walked them downtown if that's what it took to get them to the FBI; I don't for a moment envision either of them hiding anything that would incriminate Lee.


Duke, I agree that they were'nt solicitous of Lee's interest, but, how would Italian cartridges incriminate Lee, since it was determined that the cartridges he used were made by the Western Cartridge Company?
Roy


I think Duke is correct that If ANY TYPE of ammo for the Mannlicher had been found at the Paine address that fact WOULD HAVE BEEN TRUMPETED to the world by the police, the FBI and the Warren Commission. Ruth Paine would certainly have been asked about it in her Warren Commission testimony. The FACT that no evidence exists that Lee Oswald ever bought, begged, borrowed or stole ammo. for the rifle has always been -- and still remains -- one of the glaring ANOMALIES in the official account of the assassination.

At the very least, the Warren Commission would have used this evidence to argue that Lee Oswald had the MEANS to PRACTICE his marksmanship with the weapon

Some wise man once said (I forget the source) that in figuring out an assassination one should not ask who pulled the trigger, but WHO PAID FOR THE BULLETS?


Raymond,

I would agree. Had these boxes been found at the Paines they would have been made prime evidence. Now having said that, it takes us no closer to where they were found....and by whom.....and why did we NOT hear about them?

I believe that by learning who pulled the trigger, it may lead to who bought the bullets. You have to start someplace.



Mike

#25 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:31 PM

I believe that by learning who pulled the trigger, it may lead to who bought the bullets. You have to start someplace.
Mike


Since we have failed to prove the identity of the triggerman after nearly 45 years, perhaps the ammo is now a good place to begin anew.

It has been pointed out on this thread that we do know SOMETHING about the chain of ownership of the ammo found on the Sixth Floor, and that further information about the chain of ownership of said ammo is still concealed in Government archives and WITHHELD from researchers and the public.

I would agree. Had these boxes been found at the Paines they would have been made prime evidence. Now having said that, it takes us no closer to where they were found....and by whom.....and why did we NOT hear about them?


I think Duke Lane has already answered that question in post No. 8 on this thread:

There is a typewritten list containing these items as well: CD1554/75. This lists a series of "FBI Exhibits" without indicating their origin. The 5/28/64 Gemberling Report (CD1066/96) is a similar list. Their origin seems to be indicated in CD205/97, which says that Irving resident William J. Honea found them "in the vicinity of an abandoned gravel pit" and contacted the Dallas Sheriff's Office about them. The report says that the boxes "apparently at one time contained 6.5 caliber [sic] Italian ammunition." It does not specifically state that Deputy Sheriff B.J. Courson, to whom Honea "furnished" the empty boxes, in turn furnished them to the FBI or whether he was simply reporting that someone had furnished them to him, but the coincidence of the FBI being informed of two empty cardboard boxes "apparently" (whatever made that "apparent" is not indicated either) containing the ammo at one time, and then having two empty cardboard boxes marked as 6.5 "Italian ammunition" seems too unlikely to think that they were not the same items.



#26 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 03:59 PM

http://personal.stev...ry.html#1939box



Non-Italian Military Loads
The Austrian firm Hirtenberger fulfilled a major contract for the Italian ^M government after 1934. Some of those cartridges still show up today, mixed in^M with other Italian military rounds. They can be distinguished easily because they have a flat case bottom (no annular groove around the primer) and only have a star (*) as manufacturer's symbol. Also, their bullets are segment crimped, not triangular crimped like the contemporary Italian cartridges at this date still.

===============================================================================

For those who know what to look for, these rounds can occassionally be found at various gun shows.

I have located several, and they are extremely good quality rounds.

In fact, visually, the round looks almost identical to the WCC ammo (excluding the headstamp at the cartridge base), and when one lays the actuall bullet alongside a WCC bullet, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them as they are both fully copper jacketed rounds with the exact same secure crimp marks.

Have never counted the number of crimp marks on the Austrian rounds as comparison with the WCC ammo.

But! It almost appears as if WCC has the Austrian dies for production of the bullets.

#27 Duke Lane

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 04:17 PM

... I'd think it's highly unlikely that the Paines dumped the boxes in question anywhere, if only inasmuch as the pair seemed more than willing to aid in providing anything to the authorities that wouldn't help Oswald. Instead, I'd think they'd have walked them downtown if that's what it took to get them to the FBI; I don't for a moment envision either of them hiding anything that would incriminate Lee.

Duke, I agree that they were'nt solicitous of Lee's interest, but, how would Italian cartridges incriminate Lee, since it was determined that the cartridges he used were made by the Western Cartridge Company? Western was a clearinghouse for American surplus ammo while SMI, not SIM, was a clearinghouse for Italian-made ammo.


I wouldn't think that they'd be aware of the distinction, either as Quakers who foreswore firearms as instruments of violence, or as members of the general public who were unaware of the fine details of the investigations of the FBI and WC before the Report came out.

Ruth: Oh, Michael, here's a box that says "6.5 Italian ammunition" on it. It must've been Lee's, dear, I think we should turn it in, don't you?

Michael
: Oh, no, honey, these are clearly not the Western Cartridge Company rounds that he used to kill the President; I'm sure nobody would be interested in these. I'll tell you what, my sweet pookums, why don't I just take these down to the old gravel pit and leave them there for someone else to find? It'll be our little secret, the least we can do for poor Lee ....

... NOT!

#28 Duke Lane

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 08:28 PM

... Some wise man once said (I forget the source) that in figuring out an assassination one should not ask who pulled the trigger, but WHO PAID FOR THE BULLETS?

... I believe that by learning who pulled the trigger, it may lead to who bought the bullets. You have to start someplace.

OK, start at Klein's: they didn't ship the ammo with the gun; I'm not sure they even carried it. Then there's Green's in Dallas and elsewhere, who also carried MC rifles, and may have handled some of the Italian ammo (that came already in clips [see CD778] ... which could answer how the MC ended up with a clip, no?) but not the WCC ammo. Two of the salespeople who worked in the gun department there were interviewed and said the same things, including that neither recognized LHO as having been a customer (but then, it was a big place as evidenced by the fact that the gun department was on the fourth floor, so who knows?); they were not asked, apparently, if they could recall anyone to whom they'd sold the 6.5 Italian ammo.

The FBI canvassed all of the locations listed in the yellow pages for "ammunition, guns, hardware stores, pawn shops, department stores, discount stores, sporting goods stores, and Army and Navy surplus stores" (a pretty varied lot, seems to cover all the bases) and asked if they "had ever handled the 6.5 M/M Mannlicher-Carcano, Western Cartridge Company, ammunition, and if he knew of any source handling this type ammunition" (again, no question about the 6.5 Italian loads, which as noted could have been a source for the clip, or to whom it may have been sold).

There were only two sources in the Dallas area for WCC 6.5 ammo, one having sold some to the other. Both store owners were questioned, and both denied selling to Oswald or having him in the store as a customer. One denied knowing the identity of any individual to whom he'd sold any to, although, he said, if someone had bought a lot of it - more than a box or two - then he'd surely have remembered him; the other was apparently not asked.

In effect, they said that they hadn't sold the ammo used in the shooting, but if they had, they didn't know who they might've sold it to except that it wasn't Oswald. If someone bought it for Oswald - which would also indicate some sort of accomplice, assuming that Oswald ever had anything to do with the rifle or ammo - we'd have no way of knowing because these guys didn't know their customers and apparently didn't keep any kind of receipt system.

Just to do that math, WCC 6.5 bullets came in boxes of 20. John Brinegar bought a case of this ammo at a cost of "$45 per 1000 rounds." If that means that a case consisted of 1000 rounds, then he had 50 boxes. He sold 20 to John Masen, leaving 30 to himself. At the time of the interview with the FBI, he had six boxes remaining, meaning he'd retailed a total of 24 boxes. Masen had two boxes remaining after having retailed 18 of them, for a total of 42 boxes sold.

There were a total of eight boxes of ammo between the two stores at the time, and the FBI apparently bought two of them to send in to the lab in DC. (No indication of which of the two they got 'em from, or if one from each ... or if they were acquired elsewhere.)

That's a total of somewhere between 21 and 42 people who bought the ammo - 9 to 18 at one store, 12 to 24 at the other - at not "more than a box or two" ... and not a one of them with an identity either proprietor could recall! Case closed ... unsolved.

How or to what extent it was able to be determined that the ammo wasn't mail-ordered (did postal regulations permit such a thing?), I don't know (maybe someone can elucidate?), but presuming that to be so and presuming that Fort Worth was also included in the inquiry at least to some extent, there were but two sources of 6.5 WCC rounds in Dallas to be considered, and the ammo had to come from one of them.

The WC and FBI's focus on Lee Oswald acting alone and unaided prevented investigators' consideration of the possibility that another of either Masen or Brineger's customers could have bought - or even Masen or Brinegar having provided - the ammunition used in the assassination, whether or not it eventually ended up in Oswald's hands.

It also illustrates both what I have elsewhere termed "inter-service rivalry" - where information was not shared between government agencies - and the WC and FBI's "ostrich-like" collection and examination of evidence for, had neither existed, the consideration of John Masen's apparent involvement in illegal gun-running would have come to the fore, and his easy and off-handed denial of having sold the ammo to Oswald or another perpetrator might not have been so quickly and summarily accepted.

(At the time, Masen was still under investigation if not indictment for his supposed part in the theft of weaponry from Fort Hood and area armories, for which he'd been arrested in early November. In that light, his resemblance to Lee Oswald might have become more conspicuous and curious. Frank Ellsworth, the BATF agent assigned to armory case, had been at DPD HQ that afternoon, and upon seeing Oswald in custody, had supposedly wondered what Masen had done to get arrested by the locals so soon.)

If, as has been purported, bullets tested by the FBI materially matched the composition of the bullets and fragments found following the shooting, and those bullets indeed were acquired from either or both of these two men, does that not increase the likelihood that the bullets fired on Elm Street came from one or both of these men or their stores? If the Elm Street bullets came from a Dallas store but were not purchased by Lee Oswald, does that not lead to the conclusion that either someone else bought them for Oswald - thereby becoming an accomplice, wittingly or not - or that someone else bought them and used them?

The FBI did not consider or investigate the former possibility, and much less the latter.

None of this proves anything except that it wasn't investigated and the FBI wasn't interested. But it nevertheless remains a fact that no purchase of ammunition of any sort - not for the rifle or for the revolver - was ever connected with Oswald, and that no other shells or bullets other than those found at the murder scenes or (supposedly) on his person were ever found to have ever been in his possession. In describing this anomaly, I'm reminded of the accident report to the insurance company: "the car came out of nowhere, hit me, and disappeared," for certainly all other traces of their existence seems to not exist other than which came about as a result of their being there.

#29 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:50 PM

But it nevertheless remains a fact that no purchase of ammunition of any sort - not for the rifle or for the revolver - was ever connected with Oswald,


There are important distinctions between the rifle evidence and the revolver evidence. Lee Oswald did not dispute owning and possessing a fully loaded revolver in the Texas theatre. It is true that we have no sales receipt for his revolver ammo purchases, but since .38 Special ammo must have had fairly high-volume sales (I think the .38 Special was the favorite handgun) in America at the time, such a sale to a young man like Lee Oswald might have gone unremembered. The fact that he had ammo on his person when he was arrested proves he either bought, begged borrowed or stole the .38 Special ammo. Since he was neither a thief nor a begger I think we have to conclude that he bought the revolver ammo himself.

The situation regarding rifle ammo, I think we all agree, is entirely of a different order.

#30 Mike Williams

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 12:22 AM

But it nevertheless remains a fact that no purchase of ammunition of any sort - not for the rifle or for the revolver - was ever connected with Oswald,


There are important distinctions between the rifle evidence and the revolver evidence. Lee Oswald did not dispute owning and possessing a fully loaded revolver in the Texas theatre. It is true that we have no sales receipt for his revolver ammo purchases, but since .38 Special ammo must have had fairly high-volume sales (I think the .38 Special was the favorite handgun) in America at the time, such a sale to a young man like Lee Oswald might have gone unremembered. The fact that he had ammo on his person when he was arrested proves he either bought, begged borrowed or stole the .38 Special ammo. Since he was neither a thief nor a begger I think we have to conclude that he bought the revolver ammo himself.

The situation regarding rifle ammo, I think we all agree, is entirely of a different order.



The one thing that we know for sure is that Oswald did in fact obtain pistol cartridges, of two different brands to boot, in an undetected manner. There is no reason to believe that he could not have done the same regarding rifle cartridges.

I would think that in 1963 Dallas, if that is in fact when and where he obtained them, ammunition purchases would be about as common as chewing gum.




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