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More on the Rifle Scope


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I started discussing the scope on C2766 a while back, prior to being offered a prolong leave of absence for references I was making toward a certain Scottish forum owner, and never seemed to pick up where I left off, once I returned.

I strongly maintain the scope on C2766 is the weak link in the conspiracy lie. It was basically a toy scope designed to be mounted on a pellet gun or .22 calibre rifle and, with its extremely limited field of vision, meant for shooting at very close ranges. As admitted by the FBI's SA Robert A. Frazier, it was of very poor quality and quite difficult to make adjustments on while sighting it in.

carcano-oswald-rifle-mount.jpg

4x18 Ordnance Optics scope mounted on C2766. Barrel is to left in photo, rifle butt stock is to right.

opplanet-tasco-4x15-rimfire.jpg

Tasco Rimfire 4x15 Riflescope from Walmart - $6.97. This would be the modern equivalent of the 4x18 Ordnance Optics scope on C2766 (.22 rifle cartridges are known as "rimfire" cartridges), although, in fairness, I must point out that Tasco makes a much better product and this scope has superior mounting rings.

Not only was this a cheap poorly made scope, the very mechanics of the 6.5mm Carcano rifle required it to be mounted in an awkward and unusual fashion. Even then, further modifications were required to allow the rifle to function properly. Each of these problems by themselves would make sighting this rifle in to a target very difficult. Together, they presented what I believe would be a scope so difficult to sight in, it is difficult to believe Oswald could have accomplished this feat.

What I intend to prove is that Oswald, who the records show owned or used no other scoped rifle in civilian life and who had no training with scopes in the USMC, would have had such difficulty sighting in this scope, it is probable the scope never was sighted in at all. Knowing this, Oswald would have been forced to use the open sights; an awkward and limiting practice if one has the scope in one's face while doing so. From this I draw the obvious conclusion; with such deficiencies in the scope, Oswald would have removed the scope and mount weeks before he brought the rifle to the assassination.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Hey Bob,

Thanks for returning to this.

I understand that part of the difficulty in sight adjustment was that when the scope is turned 90 degrees elevation becomes windage and visa versa. Is this still practical?

How does the sight mount interfere with the iron sights, does it protrude into the "line of sight"?

I also understand that the sight, because of the side mount, can only really be bore-sighted for one point in space and that any range adjustments would need to be horizontally and vertically corrected as opposed to a normal mount (almost like a "cant" adjustment). Would this mean that adjusting lead for distance, speed, wind direction and "scope angle" almost an impossible task?

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Riflery is not like riding a bike. It requires practice. To master the art requires a lot of practice. Throw in the complications: the weapon, the scope and the location and the feat steps way outside "very difficult" and enters the realm of "impossible".

Ok. There is some probability, just like there is some probability that Oswald could stand on a pitchers mound and throw a 90 mph fastball wearing flippers. How do we calculate that?

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Hey Bob,

Thanks for returning to this.

I understand that part of the difficulty in sight adjustment was that when the scope is turned 90 degrees elevation becomes windage and visa versa. Is this still practical?

How does the sight mount interfere with the iron sights, does it protrude into the "line of sight"?

I also understand that the sight, because of the side mount, can only really be bore-sighted for one point in space and that any range adjustments would need to be horizontally and vertically corrected as opposed to a normal mount (almost like a "cant" adjustment). Would this mean that adjusting lead for distance, speed, wind direction and "scope angle" almost an impossible task?

No it is not a practical thing. In fact, it may present problems that go beyond "practical", and the evidence of this may be provided by the FBI.

The scope is offset to the left far enough that it is possible for a shooter to see the iron sights. However, I can tell you from experience shooting a lever action Winchester Model 94 with a side mounted scope that it is extremely uncomfortable, with the scope poking you in the face as you try to crowd in close enough to use the iron sights. If C2766 was my rifle, and I couldn't get the scope sighted in, I would take two minutes with a flat bladed screwdriver and remove the scope by unscrewing the two screws holding the mount to the receiver.

Your last question, about sighting in a side mounted scope, is very involved and I will save it for a bit later. You are correct, though, in that, laterally, the scope can only be zeroed at one particular range. There is a way around this problem that is a bit of a compromise, but minimizes the problem nonetheless.

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As I said on another thread, there are two reasons the scope on the M91/38 Carcano C2766 (or any Carcano, for that matter) was mounted offset to the left side of the receiver.

1. The Carcano bolt handle (even the curved ones) stands vertically when retracting the bolt, and would run into a scope mounted directly over the receiver.

2. The Carcano magazine is loaded with a six cartridge "en bloc" clip that must be pushed down from the top of the magazine. Once again, a scope mounted directly above the receiver would interfere with this.

However, for the above reasons, it was necessary for the gunsmith at Klein's to make a further modification to the scope. Pictured below is a bolt action rifle with a scope mounted on it, in the normal fashion:

Nikon_Prostaff_Rifle_Scope_3-9x40_Nikopl

In the middle of the scope can be seen two knobs (actually protective caps over top of adjustment screws). This arrangement is almost universal, and is likely a concession to right handed shooters, as is having the bolt on the right hand side of most rifles. The knob or cap standing vertically conceals the "elevation" adjusting screw, and turning this screw will make your shots hit higher or lower on a target. The cap on the side conceals the "windage" adjusting screw, and turning this screw will make your shots hit further left or right on a target.

Unfortunately, the windage cap projects far enough out that even mounting the scope offset to the left on a Carcano is not enough to keep the windage cap out of the way. To solve this, Klein's turned the scope, in its mounting rings, 90° to the left, as seen from the view of the shooter.

carcano-oswald-rifle-mount.jpg

As seen in this photo of C2766, the windage cap is on the wrong side of the scope. Actually, it is not the windage cap at all. In this photo (barrel is on the left, remember) the elevation cap has become the windage cap, and the windage cap has become the elevation cap.

So now we have a rifle with a side mounted scope, a very difficult thing to sight in, and things are further complicated by the elevation and windage adjusting screws being swapped for each other. I wonder if Klein's included a note with this rifle to explain what they did. Many LN's have proposed that the gunsmith at Klein's would have boresighted the rifle prior to shipping, and that sighting it in would have been unnecessary. This is a myth, told by people who don't shoot and believed only by people who don't shoot. Any experienced shooter knows that boresighting only gets the rifle into the ballpark or "on the paper", and it is still necessary to sight it in further with live shooting.

Also noticeable in this photo is that the two screws holding the scope mount to the receiver are in screwholes that have been drilled and tapped horizontally into the receiver. This is very important to remember. The FBI was able to test fire this rifle as it was found at the assassination, but the Army, the next to test fire it, found it necessary to install shims under the scope mount, in order to bring the scope into closer alignment with the barrel, and make it possible to properly sight the rifle in. This was a very interesting thing for the Army people to say as, with the screwholes for the mount drilled horizontally into the receiver, the only adjustment of the scope possible by shimming would be laterally or side to side. This is the downfall of mounting the scope this way; if the gunsmith is off when he drills the two holes, there is nothing, not even shimming, that can be done to correct the mounting for elevation. If the elevation adjusting screw runs out of thread, and the scope is still not on target, it is just too bad, and the only solution is to get a gunsmith to drill two new holes; hopefully in the right location this time.

SA Robert Frazier of the FBI described a very peculiar thing he encountered while attempting to sight in C2766. According to him, each time he made an adjustment to the scope (elevation or windage), the results of this adjustment were not immediately apparent but, instead, required several more shots before the internal scope ring supporting the cross hairs would "settle into place". I have never heard of a scope doing this and when I first read it, I assumed either the scope was broken internally or Frazier was full of crap up to his eyeballs. While I still find it odd that Frazier seemed to accept this condition as if it were true of all rifle scopes, further thought on the subject brought another possible cause for this condition to mind; what if the Ordnance Optic 4x18 scope did not like being used while turned 90° from the vertical? I'm sure the makers of this scope never dreamed anyone would try to use it without having the elevation cap on top, in the normal fashion. Could it be the cross hair ring relied on gravity to assist it when being turned downward?

If this was the case, and the person sighting the rifle in did not know about it, there would be so many confusing and conflicting results, each time the shooter adjusted the scope and fired a couple of test shots, I seriously doubt anyone could successfully sight this rifle in. It would be interesting to see if any other customers of Klein's ever wrote to the company to complain about this. Is it possible that Klein's scope mounted Carcanos contributed to the reputation Carcanos had for being inaccurate rifles?

More to come....

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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From the Warren Commission testimony of FBI SA Robert A. Frazier:

"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."

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I like how Frazier says:

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.

It requires deciphering: "the point of impact" is where the missile hits. He should be saying they move away from the aiming point.

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I like how Frazier says:

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.

It requires deciphering: "the point of impact" is where the missile hits. He should be saying they move away from the aiming point.

LOL You caught that, eh? That is just the tip of the iceberg. Every time I go through his WC testimony, I find more more things that make me shake my head.

http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/frazr1.htm

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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I would be very interested to know if other Klein's customers ran into the same problems with the 4x18 Ordnance Optics scope as Frazier did. If it was 2015, and not 1963, that the assassination occurred, we could simply look up Product Reviews for the scope (or Klein's) on Amazon.com or something.

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I'm thoroughly convinced Frazier is an idiot or pretending to be. It took me a while to figure out what he was doing at the FBI re-creation with his scope-camera mounted on a tripod until I realized it was the best he could do because his tripod was too big. Everything about that picture was wrong.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QkzpOQUcOd0/UTZTmwYr0zI/AAAAAAAAtzo/-aFf_omMTEw/s1600/TSBD.jpg

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I'm thoroughly convinced Frazier is an idiot or pretending to be. It took me a while to figure out what he was doing at the FBI re-creation with his scope-camera mounted on a tripod until I realized it was the best he could do because his tripod was too big. Everything about that picture was wrong.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QkzpOQUcOd0/UTZTmwYr0zI/AAAAAAAAtzo/-aFf_omMTEw/s1600/TSBD.jpg

Chris,

His tripod was too big for what?

--Tommy :sun

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His tripod was too big for what?

The tripod legs are to long to allow for a realistic placement location down near the ledge of the window. My suspicion is that the low ledge had not been taken into account when the equipment needed for the re-creation was selected (or that suspect number #1 was a munchkin).

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