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The Most Important Error the FBI told the Warren Commission about the Rifle


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Robert,

http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/VZuGmnxT/file.html

I tend to pay closer attention to the information, anytime specific physical features are mentioned by the authorities.

chris

Interesting for Graves to have come up with such an accurate figure as that, rather than something like "it's around 50" in length". Stating 50¾" seems to be a pretty specific, actual measured length (and obviously doesn't even come close to the C2766 length).

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Ian

These specifications are readily available on any Carcano web site.

C2766 was an M91/38 Carcano short rifle. We were comparing the Japanese Type "I" rifle to an M91 Carcano long rifle.

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Pat

Did it specifically say "wooden" shims? Considering that wood expands and contracts with varying humidity in the air, wood would be the last thing I would make a shim for a scope mount from. Most shims are made from brass, and shimstock can be purchased in varying thicknesses, such as the .015" and .020" shims mentioned in Eisenberg's memo.

Looking at the scope mount on C2766, I have a bit of trouble with the observations made, supposedly, by the BRL gunsmith.

The first observation, that a .020" shim was added to the scope mount and "placed as to point the scope leftward with respect to the gun" does not make any sense. The scope would have already been looking too far to the left. That would be why the shots were landing so far to the right. The proper thing to do would be to shim the scope so as to make the scope look more to the right, and to attempt to bring the line of sight and the bullet path on converging courses, somewhere down range. As the saying goes, "you adjust the scope to follow the point of impact, not the point of impact to follow the scope".

The second observation is that two shims, each .015" thick (I am assuming this) were added in order to elevate the front end of the scope, in relation to the barrel. I can understand the desire to do so, considering that Frazier, if he was being honest, reported this rifle to be shooting a few inches high of the point of aim at 15 yards. This, of course, would have made the rifle shoot high, at 100 yards, by about 22-32 inches.

What I do not understand is HOW the scope mount on C2766 could have been shimmed to elevate the front (or the back) end of the scope. You see, the two mounting holes for the scope mount are drilled horizontally into the side of the receiver on C2766, and while a shim may move the mount horizontally, the only way to elevate either end of the mount is to drill new holes. The holes that attach the scope to the mount, by means of the scope rings visible in photos of C2766, are also drilled horizontally, and any shim added here would, once again, alter the mount horizontally, but not vertically.

carcano-oswald-rifle-mount-150x84.jpg

carcano-oswald-rifle-scope21-324x300.jpg

For these reasons, I find it hard to believe the source of the info in Eisenberg's memo was, in fact, a BRL gunsmith. This would also explain the ridiculous observation "The gunsmith observed that the scope as we received it was installed as if for a left-handed man." The reason the scope was mounted on the left side was because there was nowhere else to mount it, as the six round clip had to be fed from the top of the Carcano AND the bolt handle stood vertically during opening of the bolt, and would have hit a scope mounted in the normal fashion. Even an apprentice gunsmith would have seen this the second he opened the bolt.

I have been around sporting rifles for many years, and have never heard any experts refer to a side mounted scope as being mounted for a left handed (or right handed) shooter. However, I have heard side mounted scopes referred to as a pain in the rear end, as they are a devil to sight in.

P.S.

Not sure you picked up on it or not but, what I am trying to say is I believe the amateurish of the statements in the memo is far below the calibre of a gunsmith employed by the Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory, and, for this reason, the contents of the memo did not originate with a gunsmith of this calibre.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Ian

These specifications are readily available on any Carcano web site.

C2766 was an M91/38 Carcano short rifle. We were comparing the Japanese Type "I" rifle to an M91 Carcano long rifle.

Robert,

The point I was making was the same point that Chris was probably making:

Robert,

http://www6.zippysha...GmnxT/file.html

I tend to pay closer attention to the information, anytime specific physical features are mentioned by the authorities.

chris

i.e. the overall length of the weapon stated by Graves is nowhere near the length of C2766 and Graves seems to give a very specific figure, not just an estimate or guess or approximation. Where did Graves get such an accurate figure from? Did he pluck it out of thin air? Guess?...

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If interested: http://www.chuckhawks.com/arisaka_sporter.htm

Although I thought the whole article was interesting, this paragraph starts the info about the Type 1 rifle:

And that's where it stayed for some months, until I came across a reference to a little-known Italian rifle built around the 6.5 Japanese cartridge, a rifle generally known as the Type I. In 1937, Germany, Japan and Italy signed a treaty known as the Anti-Comintern Pact, the first of many mutual aid agreements the three Axis powers would enter into during the run-up to the Second World War.

chris

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Ian

These specifications are readily available on any Carcano web site.

C2766 was an M91/38 Carcano short rifle. We were comparing the Japanese Type "I" rifle to an M91 Carcano long rifle.

Robert,

The point I was making was the same point that Chris was probably making:

Robert,

http://www6.zippysha...GmnxT/file.html

I tend to pay closer attention to the information, anytime specific physical features are mentioned by the authorities.

chris

i.e. the overall length of the weapon stated by Graves is nowhere near the length of C2766 and Graves seems to give a very specific figure, not just an estimate or guess or approximation. Where did Graves get such an accurate figure from? Did he pluck it out of thin air? Guess?...

Ian

If you stop to think about it, Graves was not likely actually involved in the direct handling of C2766. However, as Carcano rifles were very common in surplus stores in 1963, someone probably measured (mistakenly) a long rifle for him and gave the specs to Graves. If he heard the power of the scope as 4x and that its origin was Japanese, through the grapevine, he would sound like even more of an authority.

Or, he or a fellow detective simply went to the Dallas Library and looked up the specs for the wrong model in a textbook.

He is nowhere close on his muzzle velocity of 2500-2800 fps, though. The long rifle has a muzzle velocity of 2400 fps, shooting Italian ammunition.

When big events occur, everyone wants to be "in the know" and have all of the information.

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Thanks, Chris; I actually found the article, or reference to it, in numerous newspapers published on November 24th, 1963. What I was interested in ascertaining was just when Graves was alleged to have made this statement with its very specific "measurements". Fourteen of the newspapers I have found have this article as a separate news piece with headings such as ""Italian Made Rifle Used" and "Weapon Popular With Sportsmen Killed Kennedy." In every instance where these Graves quotes are the body of the smaller article, the story is merely attributed, not unexpectedly, to "UPI." However two of the articles begin with slightly different opening sentences, both of which identify just when Graves was alleged to have given out this information, to wit: - "The rifle used by the assassin to murder President Kennedy was an out-moded Italian made 6.5 Carcano, popular now among sportsmen, a Dallas police officer said Saturday." This same Dallas police officer is then identified in these articles as "Homicide Inspector L. C. Graves." Obviously the measurements given by Graves to the press on Saturday regarding the "out-moded Italian made 6.5 Carcano" rifle/weapon are wrong, not attributable to C2766 as pointed out elsewhere in this thread. So too the caliber of bullet this same longer Carcano is said to have utilized and its velocity - ".270-.280 ammunition at speeds of 2,500 - 2,800 feet per second" are no where near the specs for 6.5mm ammunition manufactured by the Western Cartridge Company or for that matter 6.5mm Mannlicher Carcano ammunition manufactured by a variety of Italian concerns.

I would also like to make comment that you appear to be on the right track in associating the Graves measurements for "his" weapon with the specifications of the little known Italian manufactured Japanese weapon. I actually have photographs of the Japanese representatives at the Terni plant in 1938, which I acquired during my research for the forthcoming work, "Forgotten."

FWIW

Gary

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Did everyone miss that I pointed out that the M91 Carcano and the Japanese Type "I" have identical barrel and overall length measurements?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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No one is saying an M91 Carcano was found in the TSBD. What I am saying is, after the rifle was identified as a Carcano, a hurried search was likely made for info on Carcano rifles. As the M91 long rifle was the main infantry weapon, and more of them were made than any other model of Carcano, the specs for it were what they probably found first.

This source should be seen as suspect, not only because they were way off with the muzzle velocity of an M91, but because they stated, as you pointed out, the calibre as being between .270" and .280", much larger than the Carcano calibre of .256".

I hate to say it but, the coincidence of the M91 Carcano and the Japanese Type "I" rifles both having identical barrel and overall lengths has started everyone on a wild goose chase that I do not believe will lead anywhere. Remember, the rifle was also identified early on as a Lee Enfield .303.

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