Skip to comments.Oswald 'had no time to fire all Kennedy bullets'
Posted on 06/30/2007 4:36:50 PM PDT by 1066AD
Oswald 'had no time to fire all Kennedy bullets' By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:30am BST 01/07/2007
Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone in assassinating President John F Kennedy, according to a new study by Italian weapons experts of the type of rifle Oswald used in the shootings.
The new findings will encourage conspiracy theorists In fresh tests of the Mannlicher-Carcano bolt-action weapon, supervised by the Italian army, it was found to be impossible for even an accomplished marksman to fire the shots quickly enough.
The findings will fuel continuing theories that Oswald was part of a larger conspiracy to murder the 35th American president on 22 November 1963.
The official Warren Commission inquiry into the shooting concluded the following year that Oswald was a lone gunman who fired three shots with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle in 8.3 seconds.
But when the Italian team test-fired the identical model of gun, they were unable to load and fire three shots in less than 19 seconds - suggesting that a second gunman must have been present in Dealey Plaza, central Dallas, that day.
Two of the bullets hit Kennedy, with the first - the so called "magic bullet", ridiculed by conspiracy theorists - also wounding the governor of Texas, John B Connally, after it had struck the president.
In a further challenge to the official conclusions, the Italian team conducted two other tests at the former Carcano factory in Terni, north of Rome, where the murder weapon was made in 1940.
They fired bullets through two large pieces of meat, in an attempt to simulate the assumed path of the magic bullet. In their test, the bullet was deformed, unlike the first bullet in the Kennedy assassination, which remained largely intact.
The second bullet is thought to have missed its target. According to the commission, the third disintegrated when it hit Kennedy's head. The new research suggests, however, that this is incompatible with the fact that Oswald was only 80 yards away, in a book depository, when he fired. The Italian tests suggest that a bullet fired from that distance would have emerged intact from Kennedy's head, implying that the third shot must instead have come from a more distant location.
The findings will encourage conspiracy theorists who hold that Oswald could not have fired three shots in time. For each shot, he would have had to push up the gun's bolt handle, pull the bolt backwards to eject the spent cartridge case and then forward to slide the next round into the chamber, before turning down the bolt handle to lock it in place.
Nearly seven out of 10 Americans believe that Kennedy was murdered as a result of a plot. Depending on which theory they back, the participants supposedly included any or all of the CIA, the Mafia, the Cubans, the FBI chief J Edgar Hoover, the military-industrial complex and Vice-President Lyndon B Johnson.
It is the second challenge in two months to the view of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone. In May, researchers at Texas A&M University argued that the ballistics evidence used to rule out a second gunman had been misinterpreted.
The findings will be a frustration to Vincent Bugliosi, the author of a 1,600-page book, also published in May, which claimed to put to rest all the conspiracy theories of the past 44 years.
The Italian findings will be hotly contested by those who believe that Oswald was a lone gunman - not least because they contradict firing tests previously conducted, using Oswald's actual rifle, by the FBI and the US Marines, and another study by Washington police marksmen using an identical gun.
Oswald would only have needed to reload the weapon twice in the eight seconds to get off all three shots, since the time was measured only from the moment he fired the first shot. The FBI concluded that a marksman could have fired a shot at least every 2.3 seconds.
In his book, Mr Bugliosi details how after just two or three minutes' practice with the gun in 1979, three police marksmen aiming at three targets representing Kennedy at the same distance from Oswald, got away three shots in less than eight seconds.
One marksman hit the targets twice and missed the third shot by an inch. A second shooter scored a "kill" with his second shot.
Mr Bugliosi recounts three separate ballistics tests that found that the magic bullet could have wounded Kennedy and Connally and emerged in similar condition to the real bullet. But that is unlikely to stop the Italian research fuelling another generation of conspiracy writers.
Perhaps if they let the gun load from the magazine instead of inserting each round into the chamber by hand they might get that time down a bit.
I hate when I gotta splain ‘em.
On his first attempt, Oswald barely qualified for “sharpshooter” — the second of three levels (below it is marksman, above it is expert). The qualifying score was 210, and he shot a 212. The second time, he just missed, and qualified at the top end of the marksman class (195).
He was below average for a Marine. Thats still well beyond the average civilian.
I can’t swallow it either. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t know what happened... the problem for me has always been the entry and exit wounds of the neck shot... based on the Zapruder film and the photos of the body there is no way to line that shot up. All the recreations end up “twisting” or “leaning” his body to line it up, but that doesn’t square with Zapruder.
And too think Italy got their butts handed to them in WWII, how can this be! S/
Here’s what really happened based on the evidence and not an Oliver Stone movie.
Frame 133 - Presidant’s car is clearly visible.
Frame 160 - First shot (missed). Connally looking left,
hears shot, turns right.
Frame 222 - Connally emerges from behind sign.
Frame 223 - 224 - Connally’s jacket changes as bullet strikes him.
Frame 225 - Kennedy emerges from behind sign, hands moving to throat, already hit.
The bullet was moving considerably faster than “several hundred feet per second.” It was, in fact, fired from a gun with a muzzle velocity of over 2000 ft/sec. That bullet could easily have pierced both bodies within a fraction of a second.
Your use of the “Any reasonable person...” scenario is not valid. I am now questioning your conclusion that a conspiracy was obvious.
Well you're both right. The error at 80 yards was about 2", up and to the right (good enough for the job)
The only question was did Oswald know about the error.
1. He did and tried to compensate - which for the shot taken would actaully mean no effort to compensate at all - LHO just aims where he wants the bullet to hit and allows the movement of the limo "forward and to the right" (Sorry Kevin Costner momemt) to carry the aim point to the bullet impact.
2. He did not know and tried to compensate. If he aimed at the base of the skull, compensated perfectly and made the best shot of his life, then bullet three would have hit Kennedy in the exact point of the actual final shot.
Either way it's a non-issue
(Remember, you're the one saying it, not me).
3. The sheetmetal scope mount was bent when Oswald threw it between the boxes on his way to the stairwell.
Look at the photo showing the officers pointing toward the rifle as it lays between the boxes. They had to climb over some of the boxes to point out where the rifle was. I don’t believe Oswald took the time to carefully hide the rifle there. I believe he threw it there. After all, he wasn’t coming back for it.
Either way you are correct. It’s a non-issue.
Good webpage to show frames 222 thru 230 and what happened.
Some of the posters here have the exact character traits as the DU posters.
Bush’s fault becomes hillary’s fault or further back, LBJ.
AWESOME!!! Thanks for the link!
I've got a bolt action 20 gauge shotgun that's faster than that.
If he was by himself, why wouldn’t he have taken the shot as JFK was coming up the street AT him; its a far easier and logical course of action to ensure succuss for a single assailant.
It may have been. I think it has been proven doable several different ways from Sunday now.
Even the way the bullets behaved with ballistics gel bodies.
People just cant give up a good conspiricy, when they so much want to believe in it.
I’m not totally in the lone gunman camp but, even so, this report doesn’t pass the smell test. Eight seconds. 19 seconds. Quite a big difference there. Maybe the Italian stopwatches run too fast.
Ain't inflation a bitch? I think the S&W revolver Oswald used to kill Officer Tippet cost about half that. And a ticket to the movie where he was arrested -- a ticket he didn't buy -- I'd be shocked if it were more than 25¢ for a matinee.
Now, if I had evil intent at that time, I'd be shopping for an M1 Garand. A damn near perfect weapon, being phased out and surplussed by the military, and Oswald would have already trained on it. A steady hand with an M-1 could make the motorcade shot with iron sights; the scope is just insurance.
I hate to say it, but Mrs. Kennedy probably said it best A Shitty Little Communist.
Someone, I forget who, nailed the point that the Holocaust made an intuitive sort of sense -- history's greatest crime committed by history's greatest gang of criminals. The reason so many conspiracy theories surround the Kennedy assassination is that it doesn't make that kind of sense. How could a crime that affected so many people be carried off by this lonely little pissant loser? There must be more to it. We have an emotional need for a bigger villain.
I’ve followed this for at least 30 years now. Always thought the same as you about the head shot.
However, I found Mark Furhman’s book “A Simple Act of Murder” to be highly compelling. He approached it from the perspective of a homicide detective arriving at the scene. He concluded Oswald acted alone.
The key to his theory is a rebuttal of the Warren Commission’s finding, quoted in the original story above, that the second shot missed.
Furhman nails it: 3 shots, 3 hits. Shot one, Kennedy’s neck. Shot 2, Connally’s wounds. Shot 3, Kennedy head shot. All Oswald.
He had experts fire the weapon, and they could do it in time.
This article from the UK is off track, bigtime.
I encourage everyone to read Furhman’s excellent book. He make it very simple and clears it all up, for me anyway.
Are they aware that some bolt actions can actually hold a clip?
Exactly. So 2.3+2.3=4.6
Well within 8 seconds...
The windshield, the passenger and Governor Connelly were all blocking Kennedy on the approach.
See for yourself:
This is probably not PC at all, but....I don’t care now.
It happened when I was in the 6th grade.
You have NO IDEA what you are talking about!!!! Oswald’s Shooting range records are available. You have HEARD that he was a poor shot and that his weapon was not sighted in. These two myths are parroted over and over again by conspiracy theorists. They are total B.S. Watch the History Channel’s special on the Kennedy assasination and you will see his actual range records and interviews with the ballisics experts who actually test fired his rifle. Both of your assertions are false.
The clock starts with the first shot. After the first shot, he had 8.3 seconds to fire two shots.
Exactly-what I just said!
The target was esentially stationary since the limo was moving slowly away in-line with Oswalds line of fire.
That’s what’s been said all along. Oswald didn’t murder Kennedy.
At that distance, the impact of the final head shot would have been instantly seen in Oswald’s scope.
Then why would he have to eject the third shell if he did not need a fourth shot and every bone in his body said to beat feet.
It took them 19 seconds to fire off three rounds. What did they do, take a siesta between rounds. Hell, I am not a rifleman, but even I could fire off three rounds from a bolt action rifle in 19 seconds, especially if I had it all propped up and aimed. What they are saying is after he fired the first round at 0 seconds, he would need to take an additional 19 seconds to fire off the next two.
Makes me ashamed to admit I am half Italian ancestry.
“Thats whats been said all along. Oswald didnt murder Kennedy.”
Yeah! He “accidentally” shot him twice!
From a tree stand, I killed a running deer at about the same distance with 3 shots from a scoped WWII vintage Lee Enfield. Hit him twice; one hit was minor, the fatal shot entered about an inch from the tail and exited his chest.
I don't think Oswald engaged and disengaged the safety between shots either
That is from Posner writing in Case Closed.
It had a 6 shot clip. I’m guessing that they manually reloaded after each shot. Still, it’s not a musket.
No, no, no, you must be thinking of the French. Although, as you have probably figured out by now, the Eyetalians have just about the same sucess ratio as the Frenchies when it comes to won/lost war ratio.
Okay, free thinker, who killed Kennedy? Provide evidence.
If Oswald even had a real part in the slaying at all, he certainly did not act alone. I believe that he was indeed a Patsy.
I have no control over what you believe, and no way to align it with facts. Not my problem.
My recollection is that they used the vintage limo from a JFK tour outfit in Dallas. I don't know if they still operate the tour.
That is crap. There isn't a bolt action made, including single shots, that I can't fire three rounds accruately from in 9 seconds.
I once shot a large buck in a trot, he jumped in the air, and I shot him again as he was coming down with a Remington 700. Both shots hit within 1/2 inch of each other.
When asked by the Warren Commission, "Now, were there any people standing on the high side high ground between your tower and where Elm Street goes down under the underpass toward the mouth of the underpass?" Bowers testified that at the time the motorcade went by on Elm Street, two men were in the area, standing 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 m) apart near the Triple Underpass, and did not appear to know each other. One was "middle-aged, or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers" and the other was "younger man, about midtwenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or jacket." One or both were still there when the first police officer arrived "immediately" after the shooting. Many assumed that Bowers meant that these men were standing behind the stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll.
However, two years later when Bowers was interviewed by assassination researchers Mark Lane and Emile de Antonio for their documentary film Rush to Judgment, he clarified that these two men were on the opposite side of the fence, and that no one was behind the fence when the shots were fired. Photographs of the grassy knoll during the assassination show heavy-set, middle-aged Dealey Plaza groundskeeper Emmett Hudson and a younger man, whom Hudson estimated was in his late twenties, standing on the stairway leading from Elm Street up to the stockade fence (a third man stands a few steps below them). Bowers was not sure if he could see the older man after the shootings, and a photograph show Hudson sitting down on the steps at that time.
The switching tower as of last month looking from the corner of the picket fence.
Is that you Wild Bill Hickok?
I grew up shooting and learned to reload a bolt action without ever losing my sight picture. Most people dismount the weapon.
The first time I shot skeet with a pump shotgun I got a lot of stares too.
Truly, anyone that can't place a well aimed shot every two seconds with a bolt-action rifle isn't worth their salt.
The British Army's standard for the Enfield was an average of 10 aimed rounds per minute, and that's taking into account reloading.
Oswald’s range scores were 48/50 and 49/50 in rapid fire drills as a Marine. He obviously could have accomplished the deed.
Your feats are downright spooky! Count me as a friend.
By the way. I got to walk the sight in Dallas when I was 16. I remember thinking that the shooting involved was fairly simplistic stuff.
Above and behind w/ a target moving in a straight line slowly away from you. As a shooter, is there an easier shot?
“It’s the returning to aimpoint 3 times and hitting a moving target that would be the challenge.”
Yea - all these gun experts here have no experience with cheap vintage bolt actions that had incredible creep and pull in their triggers.
A marksman trained to squeeze these triggers for 4 or 5 minutes of accuracy would take 10 to 15 seconds for one shot.