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The Misunderstood 6.5 Mannlicher Carcano Part II


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Okay, on with the 6.5 Carcano history.

We left off our history in 1938. The Italians had brought out an all new rifle with an all new cartridge. They were replacing their 6.5mm M91 long rifles with the 7.35mm M38 short rifle. This was a progressive move, as the short rifle was far easier to carry and manage than the long rifle and the new cartridge had ballistic properties giving it far more killing power than the 6.5mm cartridge. As we saw before, poor planning for war and resulting shortages of 7.35mm cartridges forced them to abandon the 7.35mm cartridge in 1940 and to fit their new short rifles with the old 6.5mm cartridge, re-designating the M38 as the M91/38. They had ample stores of 6.5mm cartridges although it was old ammunition by this time.

Now, here is something very interesting that happened in 1941. The 6.5mm M91/38 short rifle was only produced in 1940. Production records for all four Italian small arms factories show that no M91/38 short rifles were made after 1940, except for a handful made at the Turin factory in the early months of 1941. Coincidentally, Italy introduced a new long rifle in 1941, the M91/41, and this was the only rifle, aside from carbine versions of the M91/38, produced until the end of the war. The M91/41 was slightly shorter than the M91 long rifle with a 27" barrel as opposed to the M91's 31" barrel (the M91/38 short rifle had a 22" barrel).

This may all be a bit hard to follow but think of it this way: the new M38 short rifle in 7.35mm calibre was produced from 1938 to 1940. Production of the 6.5mm M91/38 short rifle (Oswald's alleged rifle) did not start until 1940, and ended at the end of 1940! What happened? Can anyone find another military rifle with such a short production history? What was so wrong with the 6.5mm M91/38 (the very rifle that Oswald supposedly assassinated JFK with) that it was replaced after only ONE YEAR of production???

I am going to try to answer these questions but I would like it understood that a lot of what I am going to say is assumption and, without access to vast stocks of M91/38 short rifles, impossible to prove. That being said, let us continue.

As I was able to show in my last post, the Italians seemed to have a knack for getting themselves into bad supply situations. It is interesting to see how they solved these problems. In WWI, they solved the M91 rifle shortage with a bizarre adaptation of obselete 10.35mm rifles to 6.5mm calibre. Carbines were made by simply cutting long rifles' barrels from 31" to 17" with complete disregard to what cutting off the tightest part of the progressive twist rifling would do to the carbines' accuracy. Even the all new 7.35mm M38 short rifle was to rely on hand-me-downs. Instead of making new 7.35mm barrels, the Italians planned to salvage worn out (make careful note of the words "worn out" for later reference) M91 long rifle barrels and cut them short to 22". This was not a bad plan as the shortened barrels would then be bored out to 7.35mm and re-rifled with a standard 1:10 twist, essentially making a new barrel.

As I have stated, lack of 7.35mm cartridges and a demanding war forced them to go back to the 6.5mm round for the short rifle. So, if the Italians had been unable to produce enough 7.35mm cartridges and were NEVER planning to make the short rifle in 6.5mm, where did they get all of the 6.5mm short rifle barrels to make the M91/38 in 1940?? I seriously doubt, with a barrel being far more complicated to make than a cartridge, that they were any better at stockpiling barrels than they were cartridges; especially a barrel they had never intended to make in the first place.

There was a readily available source of M91/38 short rifle barrels, though. These would have been the worn out M91 long rifle barrels they had planned to make short 7.35mm barrels from. It would have been a simple matter of cutting the barrels from 31" to 22". No re-rifling would have been done as the two rifles would be the same calibre and there would be nothing to work with. Once again, the progressive twist rifling (1:19 or one turn in 19" at the chamber and slowly tightening to 1:8 or one turn in 8" at the muzzle) of these M91 barrels would have lost the tightest part of rifling at the muzzle end and the short rifle's performance would have been severely compromised.

Italy was not alone in making compromises to their small arms production in WWII. Following the Battle of Dunkirk, where the majority of British weapons were abandoned on French shores during the subsequent evacuation of British troops, Britain faced a rather drastic shortage of their .303 Lee Enfield rifle, standard issue for the British Army. The Germans were knocking at the door and it was necessary to quickly produce vast quantities of rifles to fend off the imminent invasion. As stated, the barrel and its riflings are the most complex part of making a rifle and it was here the British made their compromises. A standard .303 Lee Enfield has five riflings in its barrel; left hand twist with a 1:10 pitch (one turn in ten inches). To speed up production, the five riflings were reduced to two. Accuracy suffered but it was felt that, as a man presented a 2' x 5.5' target, a bullet aimed at a man's stomach was likely to hit him somewhere on his body and, if not kill him outright, tie up many other men in retrieving the wonded soldier from the field and tending to his wounds. Lovely game, this war, eh?

I am by no means saying this would have been the case in 100% of M91/38 production. They may have begun the production of M91/38 short rifles with every intention of manufacturing new 6.5mm barrels. However, it must be remembered that this is a war Italy lost. Who can say what compromises they were forced to make in 1940? Try to imagine what it would have been like being the manager of a small arms factory in Italy in 1940 facing material shortages, machining equipment and associated parts shortages, unrealistic production demands from military procurement officers, aerial bombardment, loss of skilled workers from aerial bombardment, etc., etc., etc. It is not hard to understand the sloppy action and rough stock of the M91/38 when viewed in this context.

In my opinion, the final judgement on the M91/38 as a good or bad rifle lies with its one year production run and its replacement by the M91/41 in 1941. Who in their right mind would introduce an all new rifle (actually almost identical to the M91 long rifle) in the middle of a major war they just happen to be losing? The only reason I can see is that a large number (if not the majority) of M91/41 long rifles were cut down M91 long rifles and by cutting the M91 barrel to 27" (M91/41) instead of 22" (M91/38) they gained an extra 5" of progressive twist rifling. It is possible that, in this extra 5", the rifling tightened enough to give the 6.5mm bullet that much more spin that it would stabilise in flight and improve its performance. It is also possible that the M91/41 was never considered until their ability to make new 6.5mm short rifle barrels was eliminated and the resulting disaster in accuracy, from shortened M91 barrels, forced them to seek an alternative.

Records show that the M91/41 was to be manufactured with a 1:10 standard twist barrel. Once again, intentions and reality are seldom working together during a losing war and it is entirely possible many M91/41 long rifles were merely cut down versions of the M91 long rifles with progressive twist rifling.

As I stated earlier, these are only theories. The only way to prove them is to examine the barrels of great numbers of M91/38 and M91/41 rifles. The one I'd like to start with is Oswald's supposed rifle; a 6.5mm Carcano M91/38 made sometime in 1940 at the Turin small arms factory.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Interesting information, Robert.

For comparison, below is an extract from the WC Report on the rifle found in the TSBD:

http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-3.html#description

Description of Rifle

The bolt-action, clip-fed rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository, described more fully in appendix X, is inscribed with various markings, including "MADE ITALY," "CAL. 6.5," "1940" and the number C2766.126 (See Commission Exhibit Nos. 1303, 541(2) and 541 (3), pp. 82-83.) These markings have been explained as follows: "MADE ITALY" refers to its origin; "CAL. 6.5" refers to the rifle's caliber; "1940" refers to the year of manufacture; and the number C2766 is the serial number. This rifle is the only one of its type bearing that serial number.127 After review of standard reference works and the markings on the rifle, it was identified by the FBI as a 6.5-millimeter model 91/38 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.128 Experts from the FBI made an independent determination of the caliber by inserting a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter cartridge into the weapon for fit, and by making a sulfur cast of the inside of the weapon's barrel and measuring the cast with a micrometer.129 From outward appearance, the weapon would appear to be a 7.35-millimeter rifle, but its mechanism had been rebarreled with a 6.5-millimeter barrel.130 Constable Deputy Sheriff Weitzman, who only saw the rifle at a glance and did not handle it, thought the weapon looked like a 7.65 Mauser bolt-action rifle.131 (See chapter V, p. 235.)

The rifle is 40.2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds.132 The minimum length broken down is 34.8 inches, the length of the wooden stock.133

---------------
The purple highlighted areas highlight a couple questions:
First, would the sulphur cast have revealed the barrel twist information?
I did not find any discussion of the barrel twist in the two sections that deal with the rifle.
And second, the report claims that a 7.35 mm rifle had been re-barreled with a 6.5 mm barrel. Does that make sense to you?
More in depth discussion of the rifle is found in Appendix 10, Link below.
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Interesting information, Robert.

For comparison, below is an extract from the WC Report on the rifle found in the TSBD:

http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-3.html#description

Description of Rifle

The bolt-action, clip-fed rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository, described more fully in appendix X, is inscribed with various markings, including "MADE ITALY," "CAL. 6.5," "1940" and the number C2766.126 (See Commission Exhibit Nos. 1303, 541(2) and 541 (3), pp. 82-83.) These markings have been explained as follows: "MADE ITALY" refers to its origin; "CAL. 6.5" refers to the rifle's caliber; "1940" refers to the year of manufacture; and the number C2766 is the serial number. This rifle is the only one of its type bearing that serial number.127 After review of standard reference works and the markings on the rifle, it was identified by the FBI as a 6.5-millimeter model 91/38 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.128 Experts from the FBI made an independent determination of the caliber by inserting a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter cartridge into the weapon for fit, and by making a sulfur cast of the inside of the weapon's barrel and measuring the cast with a micrometer.129 From outward appearance, the weapon would appear to be a 7.35-millimeter rifle, but its mechanism had been rebarreled with a 6.5-millimeter barrel.130 Constable Deputy Sheriff Weitzman, who only saw the rifle at a glance and did not handle it, thought the weapon looked like a 7.65 Mauser bolt-action rifle.131 (See chapter V, p. 235.)

The rifle is 40.2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds.132 The minimum length broken down is 34.8 inches, the length of the wooden stock.133

---------------
The purple highlighted areas highlight a couple questions:
First, would the sulphur cast have revealed the barrel twist information?
I did not find any discussion of the barrel twist in the two sections that deal with the rifle.
And second, the report claims that a 7.35 mm rifle had been re-barreled with a 6.5 mm barrel. Does that make sense to you?
More in depth discussion of the rifle is found in Appendix 10, Link below.

Mr. Hocking

Yes, the sulphur chamber cast would very likely have revealed whether the C2766 rifle was progressive twist or standard twist, as long as the person making the cast allowed the sulphur casting to go out an inch or two past the freebore into the riflings. I'm not sure if you are familiar with how chamber casting is done but I will explain it for the other readers.

Sulphur chamber casting is usually done to obtain a 3D model of the chamber of a rifle (where the loaded brass cartridge sits) and usually an inch or so of the breech end of the barrel. It can be done to identify an unknown rifle, such as in the JFK assassination, or to measure wear in the chamber and throat of the barrel. The barrel is first removed from the rifle, by unscrewing it, and clamped in a vise. The barrel interior and chamber are then lightly oiled and a paper towel plug inserted a couple of inches into the riflings from the chamber end. Molten sulphur is then gently poured into the chamber until it fills the cavity made by the plug. Once cooled, the sulphur plug may be gently tapped out of the chamber by means of a wooden dowel inserted from the muzzle of the barrel, and a perfect model of the interior of the chamber and barrel throat is thus obtained. As the cartridge for the 7.35 mm M38 short rifle and the cartridge for the 6.5 mm M91/38 short rifle are identical, the investigators would have needed their cast to include a portion of the rifled barrel to determine the rifle's calibre, although the greater outer diameter of the 7.35's cartridge neck might have been helpful here.

I do not believe the investigators were particularly interested in whether or not C2766 had progressive twist rifling, or whether they were even aware that many Carcanos were made with this rifling. If one were simply checking out rifling, a simpler method would be to "slug" either end of the barrel. Slugging involves gently tapping in, with a brass or plastic drift and hammer, an unjacketed lead bullet slightly larger in diameter than the groove diameter of the barrel and, once inserted, removing it in the same manner as a sulphur cast. Comparing a slug from the muzzle to a slug from the throat would very quickly tell a person the type of rifling he had.

There is a great deal of confusion, often hotly debated, regarding the similarities and differences between the 7.35 mm M38 and the 6.5 mm M91/38. It must be remembered that, when the 7.35 mm M38 was introduced in 1938, it retained every single feature of the 6.5 mm M91 except for the barrel, sights and stock. The action, save for the turned down bolt, was essentially a 6.5 mm M91 action, and it is rumoured that the actions on a large number of 7.35 mm M38's were recycled actions from worn out M91's. It was their intention, and openly stated, to remove worn out 6.5 mm barrels from M91's, cut them short from 31" to 22", and re-bore them to 7.35 mm for installation into newly made 7.35 mm M38's. Along about 1940, this plan fell apart, ostensibly blamed on a lack of 7.35 mm ammunition, and a decision was made to keep the basic M38 short rifle design, but to manufacture the short rifle in 6.5 mm calibre; redesignating the short rifle as the M91/38. The M91/38 was only manufactured in 1940 and, in early 1941, it, too was scrapped and replaced with the new 6.5 mm M91/41 long rifle. Rather odd, wouldn't you say? That being said, NO records have ever been found of 7.35 mm M38's being re-barrelled with 6.5 mm barrels. The majority of the 7.35 mm M38's found their way into Finland where they were used in defense against Soviet armies.

This is not to say there were not some 7.35 mm M38's re-barrelled with 6.5 mm barrels; there just seems to be no record of it.There seems to be some amount of embarrassment on the part of the Italians about the war, and having to admit the entire 7.35 mm short rifle program had been abandoned, after only two years, due to a lack of 7.35 mm ammunition (or something else) may be more than they wished to do in 1963.

Outwardly, the only difference between the 7.35 mm M38 and the 6.5 mm M91/38 is the rear sight. The 7.35 mm M38 was fitted with a fixed, notched rear sight zeroed for 300 metres while the 6.5 mm M91/38 was fitted with the same rear sight, but zeroed for 200 metres. It seems the armourers were not as optimistic about the long range capabilities of the 6.5 mm as they were about those of the 7.35 mm. This is understandable, as the 7.35 mm bullet, though larger in diameter, was, at 130 grains, considerably lighter than the 6.5 mm at 162 grains. It achieved this reduction in weight from the aluminum tip concealed inside the pointed nose jacket of this bullet, intended to make the bullet topple on contact with a hard surface and cause great and grievous wounds. Also, the ballistic coefficients of the 7.35 mm, with its spire point, were much better than those of the roundnosed 6.5 mm, and it could be expected to perform better at greater ranges.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Interesting information, Robert.

For comparison, below is an extract from the WC Report on the rifle found in the TSBD:

http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-3.html#description

Description of Rifle

The bolt-action, clip-fed rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository, described more fully in appendix X, is inscribed with various markings, including "MADE ITALY," "CAL. 6.5," "1940" and the number C2766.126 (See Commission Exhibit Nos. 1303, 541(2) and 541 (3), pp. 82-83.) These markings have been explained as follows: "MADE ITALY" refers to its origin; "CAL. 6.5" refers to the rifle's caliber; "1940" refers to the year of manufacture; and the number C2766 is the serial number. This rifle is the only one of its type bearing that serial number.127 After review of standard reference works and the markings on the rifle, it was identified by the FBI as a 6.5-millimeter model 91/38 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.128 Experts from the FBI made an independent determination of the caliber by inserting a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter cartridge into the weapon for fit, and by making a sulfur cast of the inside of the weapon's barrel and measuring the cast with a micrometer.129 From outward appearance, the weapon would appear to be a 7.35-millimeter rifle, but its mechanism had been rebarreled with a 6.5-millimeter barrel.130 Constable Deputy Sheriff Weitzman, who only saw the rifle at a glance and did not handle it, thought the weapon looked like a 7.65 Mauser bolt-action rifle.131 (See chapter V, p. 235.)

The rifle is 40.2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds.132 The minimum length broken down is 34.8 inches, the length of the wooden stock.133

---------------
The purple highlighted areas highlight a couple questions:
First, would the sulphur cast have revealed the barrel twist information?
I did not find any discussion of the barrel twist in the two sections that deal with the rifle.
And second, the report claims that a 7.35 mm rifle had been re-barreled with a 6.5 mm barrel. Does that make sense to you?
More in depth discussion of the rifle is found in Appendix 10, Link below.

My comments in red.

Mr. Hocking

Yes, the sulphur chamber cast would very likely have revealed whether the C2766 rifle was progressive twist or standard twist, as long as the person making the cast allowed the sulphur casting to go out an inch or two past the freebore into the riflings. I'm not sure if you are familiar with how chamber casting is done but I will explain it for the other readers.

Sulphur chamber casting is usually done to obtain a 3D model of the chamber of a rifle (where the loaded brass cartridge sits) and usually an inch or so of the breech end of the barrel. It can be done to identify an unknown rifle, such as in the JFK assassination, or to measure wear in the chamber and throat of the barrel. The barrel is first removed from the rifle, by unscrewing it, and clamped in a vise. The barrel interior and chamber are then lightly oiled and a paper towel plug inserted a couple of inches into the riflings from the chamber end. Molten sulphur is then gently poured into the chamber until it fills the cavity made by the plug. Once cooled, the sulphur plug may be gently tapped out of the chamber by means of a wooden dowel inserted from the muzzle of the barrel, and a perfect model of the interior of the chamber and barrel throat is thus obtained. As the cartridge for the 7.35 mm M38 short rifle and the cartridge for the 6.5 mm M91/38 short rifle are identical, the investigators would have needed their cast to include a portion of the rifled barrel to determine the rifle's calibre, although the greater outer diameter of the 7.35's cartridge neck might have been helpful here.

I do not believe the investigators were particularly interested in whether or not C2766 had progressive twist rifling, or whether they were even aware that many Carcanos were made with this rifling. It seems like this would have been an appropriate topic of interest for the WR. The capabilities of the alleged assassination weapon is intrinsic to the conclusion that this was the murder weapon. We already know the bolt mechanism was difficult to operate, and the scope had to be shimmed to be able to come close to hitting a target. If the MC in the archives is simply a cut-off 91, with the original rifling, that would have been an additional strike against the reliability and accuracy of this weapon. Since C2766 is presently in the National Archives, it would still be possible to test the rifling .

If one were simply checking out rifling, a simpler method would be to "slug" either end of the barrel. Slugging involves gently tapping in, with a brass or plastic drift and hammer, an unjacketed lead bullet slightly larger in diameter than the groove diameter of the barrel and, once inserted, removing it in the same manner as a sulphur cast. Comparing a slug from the muzzle to a slug from the throat would very quickly tell a person the type of rifling he had.

There is a great deal of confusion, often hotly debated, regarding the similarities and differences between the 7.35 mm M38 and the 6.5 mm M91/38. It must be remembered that, when the 7.35 mm M38 was introduced in 1938, it retained every single feature of the 6.5 mm M91 except for the barrel, sights and stock. The action, save for the turned down bolt, was essentially a 6.5 mm M91 action, and it is rumoured that the actions on a large number of 7.35 mm M38's were recycled actions from worn out M91's. It was their intention, and openly stated, to remove worn out 6.5 mm barrels from M91's, cut them short from 31" to 22", and re-bore them to 7.35 mm for installation into newly made 7.35 mm M38's. Along about 1940, this plan fell apart, ostensibly blamed on a lack of 7.35 mm ammunition, and a decision was made to keep the basic M38 short rifle design, but to manufacture the short rifle in 6.5 mm calibre; edesignating the short rifle as the M91/38. The M91/38 was only manufactured in 1940 and, in early 1941, it, too was scrapped and replaced with the new 6.5 mm M91/41 long rifle. Rather odd, wouldn't you say? That being said, NO records have ever been found of 7.35 mm M38's being re-barrelled with 6.5 mm barrels. From 6.5, bored out to 7.35, and then re-modified back to a 6.5? Yes, I would agree that would be rather odd. The majority of the 7.35 mm M38's found their way into Finland where they were used in defense against Soviet armies.

This is not to say there were not some 7.35 mm M38's re-barrelled with 6.5 mm barrels; there just seems to be no record of it.

There seems to be some amount of embarrassment on the part of the Italians about the war, and having to admit the entire 7.35 mm short rifle program had been abandoned, after only two years, due to a lack of 7.35 mm ammunition (or something else) may be more than they wished to do in 1963.

Outwardly, the only difference between the 7.35 mm M38 and the 6.5 mm M91/38 is the rear sight. The WC Report does not give any reason Why the experts felt C2766 was originally thought to be a 7.35 model. Yet it is in the report. Can you see anything in the extant photos that justify that assertion? The 7.35 mm M38 was fitted with a fixed, notched rear sight zeroed for 300 metres while the 6.5 mm M91/38 was fitted with the same rear sight, but zeroed for 200 metres. It seems the armourers were not as optimistic about the long range capabilities of the 6.5 mm as they were about those of the 7.35 mm. This is understandable, as the 7.35 mm bullet, though larger in diameter, was, at 130 grains, considerably lighter than the 6.5 mm at 162 grains. It achieved this reduction in weight from the aluminum tip concealed inside the pointed nose jacket of this bullet, intended to make the bullet topple on contact with a hard surface and cause great and grievous wounds. Also, the ballistic coefficients of the 7.35 mm, with its spire point, were much better than those of the roundnosed 6.5 mm, and it could be expected to perform better at greater ranges.

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Mr. Hocking

Yes, it would be a great idea to do some serious examination and testing of C2766, plus the one unfired cartridge found in the chamber of C2766 on 22/11/63 (for reasons I will explain in another thread). The 6.5 mm M91/38, even with standard riflings, is the weak sister of the 7.35 mm M38, and cut off progressive twist rifling would have made it an even worse rifle. However, I do not think the authorities would allow us to examine C2766.

"From 6.5, bored out to 7.35, and then re-modified back to a 6.5? Yes, I would agree that would be rather odd."

I do not think most people appreciate just how odd this whole affair was. Prior to the M38 short rifle's introduction in 1938, there were no short rifles; only long rifles and carbines in 6.5 calibre. With the new 7.35 mm M38, they were finished with the 6.5 calibre and would drop it entirely once old stocks of 6.5 mm ammunition were used up, although there were huge inventories of 6.5 mm ammunition.

When the 7.35 mm rifle program was abandoned in 1940, the excuse given was they were unable to stockpile sufficient quantities of 7.35 mm ammunition. As any handloader will see immediately, this is highly suspect. As the 6.5 mm and the 7.35 mm share the same brass cartridge, what would be difficult in pulling the 6.5 mm bullet from a cartridge, resizing the cartridge neck in a die to 7.35 mm, and seating a bullet of 7.35 mm into the re-sized cartridge?

The alternative was to manufacture all new barrels for the 6.5 mm short rifle with standard twist riflings. As, in 1938, they had never intended to make the short rifle in 6.5 calibre, they would have had no 6.5 mm standard twist barrels to begin manufacturing 6.5 mm short rifles in 1940.

This is where I begin to smell something a bit fishy. New cartridges or re-sized cartridges are only about 100x easier to manufacture than new barrels. As stated, the two things they had, in great quantity, were worn out 6.5 mm M91 long rifles and 6.5x52 mm ammunition. I believe the rest is obvious.

For your last question, I can only repeat that there are no outward differences between the 6.5 mm M91/38 and the 7.35 mm M38. I believe the first communication they received from the Italian authorities identified C2766 as a 7.35 mm M38. Whether this was mere oversight on the part of Italian authorities, or C2766 was one of those unreported conversions from 7.35 mm to 6.5 mm and it was identified from its original serial number, is impossible to say. The WC investigators were not authorities on Italian milsurp weapons and were only repeating what they were told.

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mark,

Yes, and it's a good thing that he's covering it again because if he wasn't, I probably wouldn't be reading about it right now!

Sincerely,

--Tommy :sun

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mr. Knight

I see you have posted a link to a long-winded article by Thomas H. Purvis. Mr. Purvis is an interesting character. He seems to present himself as a conspiracy theorist but, in all the vast voluminous articles I have read by him, I have never quite deciphered just where or what he believes the conspiracy to be. Perhaps, it is just a lack of comprehension skills on my part, although I do notice he manages to interject several times that the 6.5 mm Carcano M91/38 is an accurate rifle and that JFK was killed as a result of three shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

If you read my posts carefully, it will be plain that I am going places with the Carcano that Mr. Purvis does not go. Mr. Purvis has also posted several misconceptions regarding the Carcano, and I shall be glad to reveal them, if you are at all interested.

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I had one just like Oswald's and the rifle is a POS with it's two stage trigger.

I know some here will disagree with me on this point

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mr. Knight

I see you have posted a link to a long-winded article by Thomas H. Purvis. Mr. Purvis is an interesting character. He seems to present himself as a conspiracy theorist but, in all the vast voluminous articles I have read by him, I have never quite deciphered just where or what he believes the conspiracy to be. Perhaps, it is just a lack of comprehension skills on my part, although I do notice he manages to interject several times that the 6.5 mm Carcano M91/38 is an accurate rifle and that JFK was killed as a result of three shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

If you read my posts carefully, it will be plain that I am going places with the Carcano that Mr. Purvis does not go. Mr. Purvis has also posted several misconceptions regarding the Carcano, and I shall be glad to reveal them, if you are at all interested.

Hello Robert:

I, for one, would be very interested in your revelations regarding Tom Purvis' misconceptions regarding "the Carcano" and I hope you will enlighten us further.

Gary Murr

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mr. Knight

I see you have posted a link to a long-winded article by Thomas H. Purvis. Mr. Purvis is an interesting character. He seems to present himself as a conspiracy theorist but, in all the vast voluminous articles I have read by him, I have never quite deciphered just where or what he believes the conspiracy to be. Perhaps, it is just a lack of comprehension skills on my part, although I do notice he manages to interject several times that the 6.5 mm Carcano M91/38 is an accurate rifle and that JFK was killed as a result of three shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

If you read my posts carefully, it will be plain that I am going places with the Carcano that Mr. Purvis does not go. Mr. Purvis has also posted several misconceptions regarding the Carcano, and I shall be glad to reveal them, if you are at all interested.

Hello Robert:

I, for one, would be very interested in your revelations regarding Tom Purvis' misconceptions regarding "the Carcano" and I hope you will enlighten us further.

Gary Murr

quote from Thomas H. Purvis*

Posted 26 August 2005 - 12:01 AM

Mr. Eisenberg: Can you give us your position, Mr. Simmons?

Mr. Simmons: I am the Chief of the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army.

Mr. Eisenberg: And how long have you held this position?

Mr. Simmons: This position, about four years, and previous employment has been in these laboratories.

Mr. Eisenberg: How long have you been working, Mr. Simmons, in the area of evaluation of weapons?

Mr. Simmons: Since 1951, in various classes of weapons. Since 1957, however, I have had the responsibility for the laboratories on small arms.

Mr. Simmons: Most of our evaluations have been associated with military rifles.

Mr. Eisenberg: How long altogether have you spent in this area?

Mr. Simmons: Some experience beginning from about 1953. I have been continously concerned with this since 1957.

Mr. Eisenberg: But your specialty is in the evaluation of weapons systems, including military rifles, and you have been engaged in this for 13 years, as to all weapons systems, and since 1953 as to--

Mr. Simmons: Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Simmons: Well, our examination of rifles is not the detailed engineering, design experiment which a gunsmith or a rifle expert as such would concern himself with. We are more concerned with establishing a framework by which we can put numbers to the performance of military rifles in tactical employment. And this means that for a specific--specific classes of weapons, we have had to establish, for example, round-to-round dispersion, the accuracy with which they can be employed and the wounding power of the projectiles.

Mr. Simmons: Yes, we fired this weapon from a machine rest for round-to-round dispersion. We fired exactly 20 rounds in the test, and the dispersion which we measured is of conventional magnitude, about the same that we get with our present military rifles, and the standard deviation of dispersion is .29 mil.

Mr. Eisenberg: Do I understand your testimony to be that this rifle is as accurate as the current American military rifles?

Mr. Simmons: Yes. As far as we can determine from bench-rest firing.

Mr. Eisenberg: Would you consider that to be a high degree of accuracy?

Mr. Simmons: Yes, the weapon is quite accurate. For most small arms, we discover that the round-to-round dispersion is on the order of three-tenths of a mil. We have run into some unusual ones, however, which give us higher values, but very few which give us smaller values, except in selected lots of ammunition.

Mr. McCloy: Your are talking about the present military rifle--will you designate it?

Mr. Simmons: The M-14.

____________________________________________________________________

WC Testimony of Ronald Simmons, Chief of the Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistic Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army.

My personal "military rifle" experience began with the old M1-Garand and progressed through the M-14 and to the M-16, and rest assured, this experience has demonstrated that the Carcano M91/38 6.5mm Short Rifle is as accurate as any of these weapons at the shorter ranges of less than 300 meters.

Weapon accuracy as relates to the Carcano and the JFK assassination, is a "non-issue" for anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the assassination rifle."

__ end quote __
This exchange between Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Simmons was a well orchestrated ploy to lead the members of the Warren Commission away from the simple fact that Oswald's purported 6.5 mm M91/38 Carcano did not have even a fraction of the accuracy the standard issue 7.62 mm M-14 had. If Mr. Purvis is the expert in firearms he claims to be, he should be able to see through this propaganda, yet he supports it wholeheartedly.
Let us examine the above testimony. A "mil", or "milliradian", is equivalent to .0573 degree of a circle, and is a measurement used by the military for many years. If you have a circle that is 100 yards in radius and measure outwards from the centre, a 1 mil arc will be 3.6" of the outer circumference of that circle. Twenty rounds fired through the 6.5 mm short rifle gave a dispersion of .29 mils.
.29 mils x 3.6" = 1.04
In other words, if a rifle produced a result of .29 mils dispersion in a bench test, it should be shooting just over a 1" group at 100 yards. This is not an unreasonable expectation of an M-14, still used as a sniper weapon today. A good marksman, using a bench rest, should have no difficulty putting bullets into a 1.5" group at 100 yards.
However, let us look at the results obtained by FBI SA Robert A. Frazier:
From Wikipedia:
"1) FBI firearms expert Robert A. Frazier testified that "It is a very accurate weapon. The targets we fired show that."[65] From 15 yards (14 m), all three bullets in a test firing landed approximately 2½ inches high, and 1-inch (25 mm) to the right, in the area about the size of a dime.[66] At 100 yards (91 m), the test shots landed 2½ to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle. Frazier testified that the scope's high variation would actually work in the shooter's favor: with a target moving away from the shooter, no "lead" correction would have been necessary to follow the target. "At that range, at that distance, 175 feet (53 m) to 265 feet (81 m),[67] with this rifle and that telescopic sight, I would not have allowed any lead — I would not have made any correction for lead merely to hit a target of that size."

I'm not sure if everyone can decipher all of this but, the one essential piece of information presented here is "At 100 yards (91 m), the test shots landed 2½ to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle."

Mr. Purvis dares to compare the 6.5 mm M91/38 shooting a 3 to 5 inch group at 100 yards to an M-14 shooting a 1 to 1.5 inch group at 100 yards? Indeed!

The question remains, though, if the dispersion test was accurate, how can there be such a discrepancy (from 1" to 3-5") when it goes to actual bench rest shooting at 100 yards? The obvious answer is quite clear; Mr. Simmons does not tell us how far from the muzzle of the rifle the target for the dispersion test actually was. It could have been no more than 3 or 4 inches. Placing the target at this point would only measure that deviation created by the barrel (or improperly sized bullet) and would not take into account the effects of an unstable bullet over 100 yards. To obtain results of .29 mils, at this close distance, would make the barrel and bullet quite suspect, as the M-14 can obtain the same .29 mils at 100 yards (plus shoot a 1" group).

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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I thank you for your informative reply, Robert; much appreciated. Though it is perhaps slightly off-topic, as an individual who obviously possesses expertise in matters ballistic, what is your opinion of the 6.5mm ammunition manufactured by the Western Cartridge Company?

Gary Murr

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mr. Knight

I see you have posted a link to a long-winded article by Thomas H. Purvis. Mr. Purvis is an interesting character. He seems to present himself as a conspiracy theorist but, in all the vast voluminous articles I have read by him, I have never quite deciphered just where or what he believes the conspiracy to be. Perhaps, it is just a lack of comprehension skills on my part, although I do notice he manages to interject several times that the 6.5 mm Carcano M91/38 is an accurate rifle and that JFK was killed as a result of three shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

If you read my posts carefully, it will be plain that I am going places with the Carcano that Mr. Purvis does not go. Mr. Purvis has also posted several misconceptions regarding the Carcano, and I shall be glad to reveal them, if you are at all interested.

Hello Robert:

I, for one, would be very interested in your revelations regarding Tom Purvis' misconceptions regarding "the Carcano" and I hope you will enlighten us further.

Gary Murr

quote from Thomas H. Purvis*

Posted 26 August 2005 - 12:01 AM

Mr. Eisenberg: Can you give us your position, Mr. Simmons?

Mr. Simmons: I am the Chief of the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army.

Mr. Eisenberg: And how long have you held this position?

Mr. Simmons: This position, about four years, and previous employment has been in these laboratories.

Mr. Eisenberg: How long have you been working, Mr. Simmons, in the area of evaluation of weapons?

Mr. Simmons: Since 1951, in various classes of weapons. Since 1957, however, I have had the responsibility for the laboratories on small arms.

Mr. Simmons: Most of our evaluations have been associated with military rifles.

Mr. Eisenberg: How long altogether have you spent in this area?

Mr. Simmons: Some experience beginning from about 1953. I have been continously concerned with this since 1957.

Mr. Eisenberg: But your specialty is in the evaluation of weapons systems, including military rifles, and you have been engaged in this for 13 years, as to all weapons systems, and since 1953 as to--

Mr. Simmons: Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Simmons: Well, our examination of rifles is not the detailed engineering, design experiment which a gunsmith or a rifle expert as such would concern himself with. We are more concerned with establishing a framework by which we can put numbers to the performance of military rifles in tactical employment. And this means that for a specific--specific classes of weapons, we have had to establish, for example, round-to-round dispersion, the accuracy with which they can be employed and the wounding power of the projectiles.

Mr. Simmons: Yes, we fired this weapon from a machine rest for round-to-round dispersion. We fired exactly 20 rounds in the test, and the dispersion which we measured is of conventional magnitude, about the same that we get with our present military rifles, and the standard deviation of dispersion is .29 mil.

Mr. Eisenberg: Do I understand your testimony to be that this rifle is as accurate as the current American military rifles?

Mr. Simmons: Yes. As far as we can determine from bench-rest firing.

Mr. Eisenberg: Would you consider that to be a high degree of accuracy?

Mr. Simmons: Yes, the weapon is quite accurate. For most small arms, we discover that the round-to-round dispersion is on the order of three-tenths of a mil. We have run into some unusual ones, however, which give us higher values, but very few which give us smaller values, except in selected lots of ammunition.

Mr. McCloy: Your are talking about the present military rifle--will you designate it?

Mr. Simmons: The M-14.

____________________________________________________________________

WC Testimony of Ronald Simmons, Chief of the Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistic Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army.

My personal "military rifle" experience began with the old M1-Garand and progressed through the M-14 and to the M-16, and rest assured, this experience has demonstrated that the Carcano M91/38 6.5mm Short Rifle is as accurate as any of these weapons at the shorter ranges of less than 300 meters.

Weapon accuracy as relates to the Carcano and the JFK assassination, is a "non-issue" for anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the assassination rifle."

__ end quote __
This exchange between Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Simmons was a well orchestrated ploy to lead the members of the Warren Commission away from the simple fact that Oswald's purported 6.5 mm M91/38 Carcano did not have even a fraction of the accuracy the standard issue 7.62 mm M-14 had. If Mr. Purvis is the expert in firearms he claims to be, he should be able to see through this propaganda, yet he supports it wholeheartedly.
Let us examine the above testimony. A "mil", or "milliradian", is equivalent to .0573 degree of a circle, and is a measurement used by the military for many years. If you have a circle that is 100 yards in radius and measure outwards from the centre, a 1 mil arc will be 3.6" of the outer circumference of that circle. Twenty rounds fired through the 6.5 mm short rifle gave a dispersion of .29 mils.
.29 mils x 3.6" = 1.04
In other words, if a rifle produced a result of .29 mils dispersion in a bench test, it should be shooting just over a 1" group at 100 yards. This is not an unreasonable expectation of an M-14, still used as a sniper weapon today. A good marksman, using a bench rest, should have no difficulty putting bullets into a 1.5" group at 100 yards.
However, let us look at the results obtained by FBI SA Robert A. Frazier:
From Wikipedia:
"1) FBI firearms expert Robert A. Frazier testified that "It is a very accurate weapon. The targets we fired show that."[65] From 15 yards (14 m), all three bullets in a test firing landed approximately 2½ inches high, and 1-inch (25 mm) to the right, in the area about the size of a dime.[66] At 100 yards (91 m), the test shots landed 2½ to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle. Frazier testified that the scope's high variation would actually work in the shooter's favor: with a target moving away from the shooter, no "lead" correction would have been necessary to follow the target. "At that range, at that distance, 175 feet (53 m) to 265 feet (81 m),[67] with this rifle and that telescopic sight, I would not have allowed any lead — I would not have made any correction for lead merely to hit a target of that size."

I'm not sure if everyone can decipher all of this but, the one essential piece of information presented here is "At 100 yards (91 m), the test shots landed 2½ to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle."

Mr. Purvis dares to compare the 6.5 mm M91/38 shooting a 3 to 5 inch group at 100 yards to an M-14 shooting a 1 to 1.5 inch group at 100 yards? Indeed!

The question remains, though, if the dispersion test was accurate, how can there be such a discrepancy (from 1" to 3-5") when it goes to actual bench rest shooting at 100 yards? The obvious answer is quite clear; Mr. Simmons does not tell us how far from the muzzle of the rifle the target for the dispersion test actually was. It could have been no more than 3 or 4 inches. Placing the target at this point would only measure that deviation created by the barrel (or improperly sized bullet) and would not take into account the effects of an unstable bullet over 100 yards. To obtain results of .29 mils, at this close distance, would make the barrel and bullet quite suspect, as the M-14 can obtain the same .29 mils at 100 yards (plus shoot a 1" group).

Personally,

Me thinks that someone does not understand the "bench test" which is merely a testing of the ability of the rifle to fie a close dispersion pattern, and which is determined with the weapon in an absolutely FIXED position, as compared with eactly how accurate FBI Agent Robert Frazier could fire the weapon from the shoulder fired position.

Tom Purvis

M1-Garand--------Mississippi Army National Guard

M-14 (expert rating)-----Enlisted/RA service, United States Army

M-16 (expert rating)-----Officer, United States Army Special Forces.

Personally, I would not believe anything that I had to say on the subject matter.

However, when Ronald Simmons and FBI Agent Frazier speaks, one just may want to pay atention to what they have to say regarding the weapon accuracy.

P

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Robert, I think you're covering some ground that has already been covered before, and in possibly greater detail:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4781

Mr. Knight

I see you have posted a link to a long-winded article by Thomas H. Purvis. Mr. Purvis is an interesting character. He seems to present himself as a conspiracy theorist but, in all the vast voluminous articles I have read by him, I have never quite deciphered just where or what he believes the conspiracy to be. Perhaps, it is just a lack of comprehension skills on my part, although I do notice he manages to interject several times that the 6.5 mm Carcano M91/38 is an accurate rifle and that JFK was killed as a result of three shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

In order to save on research time, let me again repeat: "Failure to understand the evidence has no bearing on the validity of that evidence. As a general rule it merely means that one does not understand the evidence.

Tom Purvis

If you read my posts carefully, it will be plain that I am going places with the Carcano that Mr. Purvis does not go. Mr. Purvis has also posted several misconceptions regarding the Carcano, and I shall be glad to reveal them, if you are at all interested.

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