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The Side Mounted Scope on the 6.5mm Carcano


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I have begun a thread under this title on the Reopen Kennedy Case Forum and, rather than copy and paste three pages to post it here, I thought it better to just post a link to the thread on the other forum.

I believe this material to be well worth reading, as I believe I have clearly demonstrated the inadequacies of this scope and the difficulties it would present to a shooter, even one attempting to use the open sights.

I also deal with the FBI's Special Agent Robert Frazier (firearms expert), who test fired the 6.5mm Carcano found on the 6th floor and presented his findings in testimony to the WC. In this analysis, I discuss the data he presented, and ask whether he simply made "mistakes" or whether he presented impossible test results.

http://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t578-the-side-mounted-scope-on-the-65-carcano#6386

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I have begun a thread under this title on the Reopen Kennedy Case Forum and, rather than copy and paste three pages to post it here, I thought it better to just post a link to the thread on the other forum.

I believe this material to be well worth reading, as I believe I have clearly demonstrated the inadequacies of this scope and the difficulties it would present to a shooter, even one attempting to use the open sights.

I also deal with the FBI's Special Agent Robert Frazier (firearms expert), who test fired the 6.5mm Carcano found on the 6th floor and presented his findings in testimony to the WC. In this analysis, I discuss the data he presented, and ask whether he simply made "mistakes" or whether he presented impossible test results.

http://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t578-the-side-mounted-scope-on-the-65-carcano#6386

Great job on this issue, Robert. Side-mounting the scope certainly adds another level of complexity to hitting a moving target.

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Thank you Richard. While I point out many deficiencies and weaknesses in the scope, I cannot overemphasize the importance of the section dealing with FBI SA Robert Frazier's testimony to the WC regarding the test firings he did with the 6.5mm Carcano found on the 6th floor.

The results he gives the WC for test shots at 15 yards and at 100 yards are completely impossible. If anyone desires, I can give a brief summary of my research here.

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Thanks Robert for you're insight.

I think this is a key part of Frazier's testimony:

Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. When we attempted to sight in this rifle at Quantico, we found that the elevation adjustment in the telescopic sight was not sufficient to bring the point of impact to the aiming point.

LOL He could have then added that the defiecencies of the rifle itself precluded Oswald from hitting any targets regardless of whether he used the iron sights or the telescopic.

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From the Wikipedia article "John F. Kennedy assassination rifle":

"FBI tests

The FBI tests of the Carcano's accuracy showed:

1)FBI firearms expert Robert A. Frazier testified that "It is a very accurate weapon. The targets we fired show that." From 15 yards (14 m.), all three bullets in a test firing landed approximately 2.5 inches high and 1-inch (25 mm) to the right, in the area about the size of a dime. At 100 yards (91 m.), the test shots landed 2.5 to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle."

Sounds impressive, doesn't it, especially if you do not know that much about shooting.

Straight away, I have no idea what a "3 to 5 inch" circle is, and I'll bet Frazier doesn't, either. Groupings of bullets on a target are usually defined by the diameter of a circle, not an oval, such as Frazier's first reference to a circular group "about the size of a dime". Perhaps Frazier thinks a 5 inch group simply makes the Carcano sound inaccurate. I know that if I had a rifle that shot 5 inch groups or "3 to 5 inch" groups at 100 yards, I would not call it an accurate rifle; rather, I would be taking it to a gunsmith to find out what is wrong with it. A good quality, well maintained bolt action rifle should have no problem putting three shots inside a 1-inch circle at 100 yards. More later regarding what I believe the defect was with the Carcano.

As is obvious by looking at one, a rifle scope is a tube that is mounted above the barrel of a rifle (another tube), usually 1.5-3 inches higher than the barrel. The view through the scope to the target is a straight line, and is called the Line of Sight. As the bullet is affected by gravity as soon as it leaves the muzzle, it cannot follow a straight line to the target but must be delivered in a curving parabolic trajectory that, for most of its journey to the target, is higher than the Line of Sight. This curved path is called the Bullet Trajectory.

As the barrel is lower than the scope and is angled upwards to "lob" the bullet in a parabola to the target, the bullet will cross the Line of Sight shortly after leaving the muzzle of the barrel; usually at a distance of 10-15 yards. If the rifle and scope are zeroed to hit a target at 100 yards, the bullet will cross the line of sight at 10-15 yards, on the ascending leg of the parabola, and cross the line of sight again at 100 yards, on the descending leg of the parabola. In other words, the rifle is accurate at two ranges, 10-15 yards and 100 yards.

With this in mind, let us examine Frazier's claim of the Carcano being 2.5 inches high at 15 yards, and 2.5 to 5 inches high at 100 yards. See anything wrong with these claims? I think they are lies, and I will tell you why.

If 10-15 yards is the range at which the bullet trajectory crosses the line of sight, it goes without saying that a scope should be adjusted to hit a bullseye centre at this range. In fact, this is the range gunsmiths will use to "bore sight" a rifle scope. Watch this excellent brief video about boresighting a rifle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgB9J9Bt_Rs

It is clear, after watching this video, that if the Carcano had been placed in this gun vise, the crosshairs of the scope would have been looking 2.5 inches below the bullseye, with the rifle bore lined up on the bullseye. I must point out that a 2.5 inch difference between bore and scope at 15 yards is a VERY large difference. As they say, being a tiny bit out up close equates to being a LOT out far away.

If the bullet hits high at 15 yards, it should be a simple exercise in algebra to determine how high it should hit at 100 yards. Remember, as well, that if the barrel is elevated high enough, the descending leg of the parabola may not begin until well after 100 or 200 yards, giving us almost a straight line from muzzle to where the bullet hits at 100 yards.

15 yards = 540 inches

100 yards = 3600 inches

2.5 is to 540, what "x" is to 3600 or, 3600 x 2.5 over 540 = "x" = 16.67

I do not know if the enormity of what I have shown is apparent to all of you, so I will try to explain. If the rifle shoots 2.5 inches high at 15 yards, the barrel is so drastically elevated, the bullet will land 16.67 inches high of the point of aim at 100 yards, NOT the 2.5 to 5 inches claimed by Frazier.

Frazier (and the FBI) have either told a monstrous lie to the WC, or Frazier was not the expert he claimed to be.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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From the Wikipedia article "John F. Kennedy assassination rifle":

"FBI tests

The FBI tests of the Carcano's accuracy showed:

1)FBI firearms expert Robert A. Frazier testified that "It is a very accurate weapon. The targets we fired show that." From 15 yards (14 m.), all three bullets in a test firing landed approximately 2.5 inches high and 1-inch (25 mm) to the right, in the area about the size of a dime. At 100 yards (91 m.), the test shots landed 2.5 to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle."

Sounds impressive, doesn't it, especially if you do not know that much about shooting.

Straight away, I have no idea what a "3 to 5 inch" circle is, and I'll bet Frazier doesn't, either. Groupings of bullets on a target are usually defined by the diameter of a circle, not an oval, such as Frazier's first reference to a circular group "about the size of a dime". Perhaps Frazier thinks a 5 inch group simply makes the Carcano sound inaccurate. I know that if I had a rifle that shot 5 inch groups or "3 to 5 inch" groups at 100 yards, I would not call it an accurate rifle; rather, I would be taking it to a gunsmith to find out what is wrong with it. A good quality, well maintained bolt action rifle should have no problem putting three shots inside a 1-inch circle at 100 yards. More later regarding what I believe the defect was with the Carcano.

As is obvious by looking at one, a rifle scope is a tube that is mounted above the barrel of a rifle (another tube), usually 1.5-3 inches higher than the barrel. The view through the scope to the target is a straight line, and is called the Line of Sight. As the bullet is affected by gravity as soon as it leaves the muzzle, it cannot follow a straight line to the target but must be delivered in a curving parabolic trajectory that, for most of its journey to the target, is higher than the Line of Sight. This curved path is called the Bullet Trajectory.

As the barrel is lower than the scope and is angled upwards to "lob" the bullet in a parabola to the target, the bullet will cross the line of slightly shortly after leaving the muzzle of the barrel; usually at a distance of 10-15 yards. If the rifle and scope are zeroed to hit a target at 100 yards, the bullet will cross the line of sight at 10-15 yards, on the ascending leg of the parabola, and cross the line of sight again at 100 yards, on the descending leg of the parabola. In other words, the rifle is accurate at two ranges, 10-15 yards and 100 yards.

With this in mind, let us examine Frazier's claim of the Carcano being 2.5 inches high at 15 yards, and 2.5 to 5 inches high at 100 yards. See anything wrong with these claims? I think they are lies, and I will tell you why.

If 10-15 yards is the range at which the bullet trajectory crosses the line of sight, it goes without saying that a scope should be adjusted to hit a bullseye centre at this range. In fact, this is the range gunsmiths will use to "bore sight" a rifle scope. Watch this excellent brief video about boresighting a rifle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgB9J9Bt_Rs

It is clear, after watching this video, that if the Carcano had been placed in this gun vise, the crosshairs of the scope would have been looking 2.5 inches below the bullseye, with the rifle bore lined up on the bullseye. I must point out that a 2.5 inch difference between bore and scope at 15 yards is a VERY large difference. As they say, being a tiny bit out up close equates to being a LOT out far away.

If the bullet hits high at 15 yards, it should be a simple exercise in algebra to determine how high it should hit at 100 yards. Remember, as well, that if the barrel is elevated high enough, the descending leg of the parabola may not begin until well after 100 or 200 yards, giving us almost a straight line from muzzle to where the bullet hits at 100 yards.

15 yards = 540 inches

100 yards = 3600 inches

2.5 is to 540, what "x" is to 3600 or, 3600 x 2.5 over 540 = "x" = 16.67

I do not know if the enormity of what I have shown is apparent to all of you, so I will try to explain. If the rifle shoots 2.5 inches high at 15 yards, the barrel is so drastically elevated, the bullet will land 16.67 inches high of the point of aim at 100 yards, NOT the 2.5 to 5 inches claimed by Frazier.

Frazier (and the FBI) have either told a monstrous lie to the WC, or Frazier was not the expert he claimed to be.

It's apples to oranges, Robert. The 2.5 inches high at 15 yards was the rifle as received. The 2.5 inches high at 100 yards was the rifle after being sighted in as best as possible without the addition of shims.

LNs usually push that the 2.5 inches high at 15 came as a result of the scope being jostled after the shooting. Frazier's testimony, however, suggests this isn't true. The rifle took 5-6 shots to settle in after an adjustment. And yet it consistently fired high and to the right when first tested by the FBI. It follows, then, that the scope had not recently been adjusted, via a jostle.

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Would you show us where Frazier testified that there were any adjustments made to the scope between the test shots at 15 yards, and the test shots at 100 yards, Pat?

If you read the thread I referred to on the other forum, you'll see that this scope that required 5 or 6 shots to "settle in" after an adjustment was made to it is a piece of fiction created by Frazier for the benefit of the sheep on the Warren Commission. I have never seen a scope that needed 5 or 6 shots to "settle in" after adjustments were made to it. I have consulted with several gunsmiths about this and they all find Frazier's explanation rather humourous, and are quite surprised that the public actually fell for it.

If you read the thread on the other forum, you will have seen how I explained the real reason for the shots Frazier fired at 100 yards "walking away" to the right and high of the bullseye. It has more to do with a defective rifle than a defective scope.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Hello Richard

As I related in the other thread, I helped a friend sight in a Winchester Model 94 30-30 lever action rifle that had a side mounted scope on the left side of the receiver, similar to the Carcano. Sighting in a side mounted scope is very difficult and we went through a lot of cartridges getting this one onto a bullseye at 100 yards.

During this exercise, I tried several shots using the Model 94 open sights. When using open sights, I like to get up close and personal to the back end of the receiver because it helps me to focus rear sight, front sight and target together. I found, with the rear end of the scope sticking out, I could not get anywhere near to what I found a comfortable shooting position. I also found it very uncomfortable and distracting to have the scope poking me in the forehead as I tried to look at the open sights.

If Oswald did any practice shooting with this rifle at all, the deficiencies of the scope would have made themselves apparent very quickly. If he knew this scope was junk, why did he not remove the scope prior to the assassination (or bringing it from Irving) and just go with the open sights? All three shots were at less than 100 yards; ideal range for using open sights.

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Would you show us where Frazier testified that there were any adjustments made to the scope between the test at 15 yards, and the test at 100 yards, Pat?

If you read the thread I referred to on the other forum, you'll see that this scope that required 5 or 6 shots to "settle in" after an adjustment was made to it is a piece of fiction created by Frazier for the benefit of the sheep on the Warren Commission. I have never seen a scope that needed 5 or 6 shots to "settle in" after adjustments were made to it. I have consulted with several gunsmiths about this and they all find Frazier's explanation rather humourous, and are quite surprised that the public actually fell for it.

If you read the thread on the other forum, you will have seen how I explained the real reason for the shots Frazier fired at 100 yards "walking away" to the right and high of the bullseye. It has more to do with a defective rifle than a defective scope.

Mr. EISENBERG - Mr. Frazier, could you tell us why, in your opinion, all the shots, virtually all the shots, are grouped high and to the right of the aiming point?

Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. When we attempted to sight in this rifle at Quantico, we found that the elevation adjustment in the telescopic sight was not sufficient to bring the point of impact to the aiming point. In attempting to adjust and sight-in the rifle, every time we changed the adjusting screws to move the crosshairs in the telescopic sight in one direction-it also affected the movement of the impact or the point of impact in the other direction. That is, if we moved the crosshairs in the telescope to the left it would also affect the elevation setting of the telescope. And when we had sighted-in the rifle approximately, we fired several shots and found that the shots were not all landing in the same place, but were gradually moving away from the point of impact. This was apparently due to the construction of the telescope, which apparently did not stabilize itself--that is, the spring mounting in the crosshair ring did not stabilize until we had fired five or six shots.

Mr. FRAZIER - Commission Exhibit No. 555 is a diagrammatic drawing of the manner in which the crosshair ring is mounted in Exhibit 139, showing on the right-hand side of the diagram a circular drawing indicating the outer part of the tube, with an inner circle with a crossed line in it representing the crosshairs in the telescope.

There is an elevation-adjusting screw at the top, which pushes the crosshair ring down against a spring located in the lower left-hand portion of the circle, or which allows the crosshair ring to come up, being pushed by the spring on the opposite side of the ring. There is a windage screw on the right-hand side of the scope tube circle which adjusts the crosshair ring laterally for windage adjustments.

The diagram at the left side of Commission's Exhibit 555 shows diagrammatically the blade spring mounted in the telescope tube which causes the ring to be pressed against the adjusting screws.

We found in this telescopic sight on this rifle that this ring was shifting in the telescope tube 80 that the gun could not be sighted-in merely by changing the screws. It was necessary to adjust it, and then fire several shots to stabilize the crosshair ring by causing this spring to press tightly against the screws, to the point that we decided it would not be feasible to completely sight the weapon inasfar as windage goes, and in addition found that the elevation screw could not be adjusted sufficiently to bring the point of impact on the targets down to the sighting point.

And, therefore, we left the rifle as soon as it became stabilized and fired all of our shots with the point of impact actually high and to the right.

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"And, therefore, we left the rifle as soon as it became stabilized and fired all of our shots with the point of impact actually high and to the right."

Would "all of our shots" include the shots at 15 yards and the shots at 100 yards, Pat?

As usual, you did not answer my question from two posts back. Just for you, as you may have trouble seeing or have genuine comprehension deficits, I will repeat it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WOULD YOU SHOW US WHERE FRAZIER TESTIFIED THAT THERE WERE ANY ADJUSTMENTS MADE TO THE SCOPE BETWEEN THE TEST SHOTS AT 15 YARDS, AND THE TEST SHOTS AT 100 YARDS, PAT SPEER??

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Hey, Pat, hate to keep pestering you but, you seem a bit reluctant to answer questions.

Once again, would you show us where, in FBI SA Robert Frazier's testimony to the Warren Commission, he testified that any adjustments were made to the scope on the 6.5mm Carcano found on the 6th floor of the TSBD, between the test shots he made at 15 yards and the test shots he made at 100 yards?

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When and where did Oswald sight in the scope for shots that day - AFTER reassembling the rifle with a dime and building the sniper's nest AND leaving no fingerprints...

Mr. BELIN. Could you tell whether or not it had any kind of a scope on it?
Mr. BRENNAN. I did not observe a scope.

Mr. BELIN. How much of the gun do you believe that you saw?
Mr. BRENNAN. I calculate 70 to 85 percent of the gun.

Brennanseesrifle.jpg

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