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Greetings All:

Here are some more technical details demonstrating the intrinsic absurdity of the Warren Commission Shooting Scenerio.

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I thought I'd give a little lesson in internal ballistics for the readers so that they may perhaps gain an understanding as to just how poorly the WWII M38 Carcano performs. During the course of my little disertation I will be addressing the last (cough) assertion that has been tendered by some critics.

When all firearms are discharged, their barrels vibrate in the same manner as the tine of a tuning fork. These vibrations will cause the barrel to move conciderably and with violence.

Accuracy is absolutely dependent upon the uniformity of these vibrations and a fundemental requirement of a good gunsmith is the ability to forge and work steel in such a manner as to maximise the barrel's capability of ringing true with each and every shot.

Barrel vibrations are divided into two parts: One, "Fundamental" and Two, "Secondary" vibrations. With fundamental vibration the entire barrel vibrates as a single unit from one fixed node (the point at which the barrel is calm) which is at the breech where the barrel is fixed to the reciever. Secondary vibration is a series of overtones in which the barrel is divided longitudinally into a number of vibrating sections each terminating in a node at the end of a particular section nearest the breech.

Some of the things which if not done just right, which will adversely effect the true ring of a barrel are headspace, screws, crowning, throat, bore and bedding. Bedding screws that are not perfectly true,improper bedding, and bolt lugs and barrel bands that are not uniform, and note this: *SET-SCREWS IN THE RECIEVER-RING WHICH APPLY A POINT OF FORCE AT A SINGLE NODE ON THE BARREL-BREECH* can and will cause conflicting stresses when the rifle is fired, altering the barrel vibrations to the point of irregularity, thus destroying any hope of uniform downrange accuracy. [Note:] Many of these enumerated defects are known to be present in WWII M38 Carcanos.

Fundamental vibration is set in motion by the shock of discharge.The breech end of the barrel when it is properly melded to the reciever, remains relatively calm and is the single node. The muzzle oscillates in a circular path and can move in any direction through 360 degrees. The position of the muzzle at the instant of bullet exit greatly influences the point of impact on the target.

When fundamental vibration is extream and when the muzzle position (at the instant of bullet exit) varies from shot to shot, all hope of down range accuracy is lost. Secondary vibration occures at the same instant as, but independently of, fundamental vibration. In it are a series of nodes and overtones traveling along the length of the barrel producing oscillations similar to that of a snapping whip. Any factor, such as the condition of thefirearm, heat of the barrel, powder charge variation, support of the firearm, etc., which introduce small variations in vibration will effect down range accuracy.

Almost every aspect of a rifle-cartridge combination will have some effect on barrel vibration. A heavy load will set up a more violent vibration than a light load. On the other hand, when the velocity is low, (such as the light loaded Carcano) vibrations have more time to develop before the bullet leaves the muzzle. Now note this::* THE TOTAL DISTURBANCE FROM A LIGHT LOAD, THOUGH LESS VIOLENT AND RAPID, WILL BE GREATER THAN THAT OF A HEAVY LOAD.*

A properly sized bullet fits the barrel and forms a nearly perfect gas seal. thus expanding gas is trapped behind the bullet and is pushing equally in all directions. The force of the gas actually expands the barrel behind the bullet. Note again: *ANY CHANGE IN THIS FORCE NOT ONLY CREATES A CHANGE IN MUZZLE VELOCITY DUE TO A CHANGE INFRICTION, BUT ALSO CHANGES THE BARREL STRESSES WHICH EFFECTS VIBRATION.

To give the readers a sense of the real-world impact of barrel vibration on a bullet's terminal ballistic point of impact: Tests conducted by the US Army on the venerable old M1903 Springfield Rifle which is superior to any M38 Carcano by several orders of magnitude, using standard military ammunition, the angular movement of the muzzle due to vibration equal to more than 40 ft. at 1,000 yards. This is the reason why the M38 Carcano is generally concidered a piece of crap to members of my trade.

Respectfully:

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To give the readers a sense of the real-world impact of barrel vibration on a bullet's terminal ballistic point of impact: Tests conducted by the US Army on the venerable old M1903 Springfield Rifle which is superior to any M38 Carcano by several orders of magnitude, using standard military ammunition, the angular movement of the muzzle due to vibration equal to more than 40 ft. at 1,000 yards. This is the reason why the M38 Carcano is generally concidered a piece of crap to members of my trade.

John,

First and foremost excellent post and dead on, second your last sentence had me laughing so hard I just about fell out of my chair, I couldnt agree more.

I have been beating a dead horse with Lners about why the Carcano is the biggest piece of crap to ever had its trigger pulled and released.

Its good to see you mention the good ol M1903, a rifle that would shoot clover leafs compared to the Carcano, Im a Garand man myself :rolleyes:

Folks just dont realize that with the Carcano, Oswalds lack of ability, firing from a elevated position, on a moving away target under heavy "buck fever", It just isnt going to happen. When I look at the situation, the tool used, and the bone head that was suppose to be behind the trigger, I cant help but laugh as it seems like someone playing a sick joke on the American public. Non shooters just wont see it like we see it.

The question I always ask to folks who believe the Oswald scenerio is, Where did Oswald learn to shoot from a elevated position, let alone a moving target. The answer I always get is, it was under 100 yards how hard can it be.........I ask "have you ever tried to take a lead shot under 100, let alone pan with that piece of crap."......That question is never answerd LOL.

Excellent post, and I enjoyed reading your post on the "The Moschettieri Del Duce Carcano".

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John and Ryan,

Given the obvious inadequacies of the Mannlicher Carcano, I would be interested in some educated speculation by you gentlemen as to the rifles used in Dealey Plaza. I realize this is difficult, but given what we know re distances etc, what weapons do you consider as sniper's choice?

James

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Hi James,

I will try my best at answering your question.

Which rifles used that day is a difficult question to answer as there can be many, and who was pulling the triggers that day has alot to do with it.

Rifles that were used in that era for sniping ranged, I think the M1 Garand in its sniper set up was on its way out in the military, along with the m1903 in its set up as a sniper rifle, but both rifles could do the job without a problem, Another rifle that was known at that time was the Johnson rifle, as many know this type of rifle was owned by Hemming and later vanished right before the assassination, this rifle is also semi auto, and I believe the one Hemming owned was mounted with a scope.

As for bolt rifles that were not "military surplus" I think the Winchester Mod 70 was a very popular choice, then following was the Rem 700, The Winchester Mod 70 in a not so basic form but nothing advanced as what our military uses today, was used mainly by Gunny Carlos Hathcock for most of his confirms and probables, then later the Rem 700 was introduced on his 2nd tour.

The only problem I have with the Garand/Johnson being used is collecting its empties, thats unless they had a second individual with each shooter to spot for them and police up the brass when the job was done, givin that numerous witnesses said they heard close shots together could mean semi auto, but it also can mean shots being fired from numerous locations simultaneously.

The M1903 which is more accurate then either rifle the Garand or Johnson, especially at longer ranges would have been a ideal choice as it was a popular rifle, accurate and easy to come by at that time.

I have always believed that a grassy knoll shooter would have greater success with open sights at this close of range, due to his FOV and trying to pan and make a lead shot makes it very difficult with a scoped rifle, especially if a follow up shot was needed.

I think what it boils down to is, who you believe were shooters that day, and what they had access to, and were trained/comfortable with.

Trying to figure which rifles were used is VERY difficult because any good deer hunting rifle could have pulled this off, but what we do know is, it wasnt a mediocre shot and a Carcano that pulled the trigger that day LOL, so we can eliminate that rifle from the list and Oswald as a shooter :D

I will try to be more of a help later on, but 3 hours sleep and the flu has been kickin my sorry butt all day. Sorry for any mis spelled words, and confusing things more with that post :)

Ryan

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Assuming that Oswald was framed, why would they frame him with such a crappy weapon, instead of something that the shooters would actually use?

It would seem the conspirators only complicated things for themselves, in terms of framing Oswald, by having Oswald use a type of weapon not actually used in the killing.

If Oswald was being manipulated, I imagine he was told to order a rifle when he did. Why have him order the MC of all weapons? Or why would they have him order whatever he wanted, then worry about the ballistic evidence later?

Why, in short, would the conspirators want or allow their fall guy to have such an absurd weapon, instead of something he might believably use?

Ron

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Assuming that Oswald was framed, why would they frame him with such a crappy weapon, instead of something that the shooters would actually use?

It would seem the conspirators only complicated things for themselves, in terms of framing Oswald, by having Oswald use a type of weapon not actually used in the killing.

If Oswald was being manipulated, I imagine he was told to order a rifle when he did. Why have him order the MC of all weapons? Or why would they have him order whatever he wanted, then worry about the ballistic evidence later?

Why, in short, would the conspirators want or allow their fall guy to have such an absurd weapon, instead of something he might believably use?

Ron

Hi Ron,

I know very little about weapons but maybe the plotters felt that Oswald, given his history of lowly paid employment, would not have been able to afford anything more.

James

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Good question Ron - although the problem of the rifle doesn't really have seem to raised any press reaction to the WC report and even the HSCA didn't make an issue of it. I'd say the photo of Oswald on the Life cover with the weapons and papers pretty much carried the day in terms of making Oswald look armed and dangerous.

But it is a good question, and it may have two answers. Really the Carcano was more important to the cover-up than the conspiracy. Important because of the need to tie Oswald to the weapon. Of course it Oswald were an unwilling or minor participant the conspirators may have had no choice but to use his weapon since they were unable to involve him more actively with one of better quaility. If I were really paranoid I might speculate that other, more believable weapons were found or should have been found by a really through CSI investigations but were either covered up or never actually located since the investigation narrowed down so quickly.

-- Larry

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Hi Ron,

You raise a good point in questioning the logic behind selecting a M-C 6.5mm instead of a more viable weapon.

I don't pretend to have answers, only thoughts that popped in to my mind.

1) The general public is terribly uneducated about firearms. Many simply have no exposure to firearms. Others have been fed years and years of misinformation/disinformation by the media (who, in my opinion, clearly have an agenda when it relates to guns). They simply fall in line with what they're told... Convincing images of police discovering and holding aloft a rifle (which, at first glance looks menacing and powerful) blocks out the questions from the pundits.

2) A 6.5mm of *any* variety could be considered a plausible choice in painting the portrait of an eccentric, lone nut assassin. The "nut" picked some oddball foreign rifle rather than a tried-and-true Garand or Springfield.

3) 6.5mm rifles never really caught on in this country as a hunting rifle. This would reduce the pool of people even more who had direct, timely information about the possible performance limitations of this particular flavor of 6.5mm.

Mix all this together with an agressive "we've got the lone assassin" campaign (which plays strongly to the public's emotional desire to know who and why) and only us "fringe lunatics" start to ask questions.

Just some thoughts...

Frank

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If I were really paranoid I might

speculate that other, more believable weapons were found or should have

been found by a really through CSI investigations but were either covered up

or never actually located since the investigation narrowed down so quickly. (Larry Hancock)

Of course we do have the reports of the Mauser being found on the 6th floor which motivates some interesting thoughts. Oswald the lone nut uses a Mannlicher Carcano; Oswald the co-conspirator sponsored by Castro uses a Mauser? Were the plotters hedging their bets?

Don't worry, Larry. I think I'm the paranoid one. :)

James

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The choice of the M/C as always puzzled me, as well.....my other interest is Military History.....I know my weapons fairly well for someone who is an "armchair historian"...and have had the privilege of firing a few....my questions..

1. An odd caliber for the Western Hemisphere, as has been pointed out, 6.5mm never "caught on" in the States....

2. Outside of a few Beretta or special made weapons, WW2 era Italian weapons are crap....right across the board.....why would anyone use such an odd duck weapon when I'm sure there were any number of low cost options.

3. Mauser actually made a 6.5mm for the Swiss, Model1895 I believe...I would have to check on numbers and world distribution....it does resemble the M/C in that it has a magazine that is similar....don't be fooled by the age of the design.....10x better than that piece of garbage now in the Archives...it provides 6.5mm 'evidence" and allows for the initial rifle ID...a Mauser.

just putting it out there as an alternative weapon.

Thanks to John R., Al C. and Ryan C....I always enjoy the benefits of your insight.

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3. Mauser actually made a 6.5mm for the Swiss, Model1895 I believe...I would have to check on numbers and world distribution....it does resemble the M/C in that it has a magazine that is similar....don't be fooled by the age of the design.....10x better than that piece of garbage now in the Archives...it provides 6.5mm 'evidence" and allows for the initial rifle ID...a Mauser. (Tom Kutzer)

Hi Tom,

Interesting to note that KBOX Dallas TV reported a Mauser that was found in the stairwell of the fifth floor of the TSBD. WBAP-TV reported an Enfield 303 which was found in the TSBD. And later in the evening of the 22nd in a televised press conference, Henry Wade claimed the rifle found was a 7.65 Mauser.

FWIW.

James

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Greetings All:

All of you have made very good points and I appreciate the comments.

What few people have concidered as one of the possible weapons actually used in the shooting was the 6.5x54mm Mannlicher Schoenauer sniper rifle equiped with a barrel rifled with six lands and grooves, and a 1 turn in 7" twist which is as highly prized for it's action and performance at combat ranges as the 6.5x52mm WWII era Terni made Mannlicher Carcano is despised. [Note:] Because of the length of the cartridge and the angle of it's shoulder slope, such a cartridge cannot be chambered or loaded into any Carcano rifle.

Up until WWII, Western Cartridge commercially manufactored 6.5X54mm Mannlicher Schoenauer Ammunition loaded with a soft tip round nosed bullet and head stamped [Western 6.5mm].

If I were intending to employ such a rifle and cartridge combination I would use a bullet extractor to remove the bullet, dump out the original powder load, cook off and remove the primer cap and resize, and reload the cartridge/s to the exact specifications consistant with the prosecution of my mission.

The reason that I am raising this as a possibility is that my critical scientific evaluation of the WC CE399, [The Magic Bullet], as opposed to HSCA399, and of two of the spent cartridges alledgedly recovered from the 6th floor sniper's nest, show beyond any reasonal doubt to have been fired from just such a weapon.

This analysis has been verified by two eminently qualified forensic ballisticians and a highly skilled mechanical engineer, none of whom had any agenda or personal opinion of the JFK case at all. [Note:] This issue was first raised by reseacher Walt Cakebread back in the mid-90s after he noticed some decrepencies when examining the various photos of the physical evidence.

When circumstances permit, I will scan and post the report in it's entirety.

As a personal note to Gary Mack who I know is following this thread:

Gary, I'm not at all attempting to denigrate Carcano rifles in general, just the WWII era Terni made M38 model, even with those models, if one can find one with a good barrel and action it can be made into a fairly accurate one-shot deer rifle.

But as the gunsmith and Mauser Action specialist Alan Horst declares, " One could spend several thousand dollars reworking a Terni M38 Carcano and still be left with a hundred dollar gun."

On the other hand there are several models of Carcano rifles which are well made and far superior to the M38 model.

Respectfully:

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