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.
LOL...where is the picture of the guy holding his head and saying “Not this S*** again...”
These "Experts" couldn't fire three shots in less than 19 seconds? Were they shooting with their toes? I've seen muzzle-loaders fired three times in less than 19 seconds.
Assume that the first shot is locked and loaded. The clock starts with the first shot. That's 9.5 seconds per shot to fire a bolt-action rifle with a multi-shot magazine. A chimp could do it. But maybe not an Italian "firearms expert." I think Oswald bought his rifle from a want ad -- "Italian army rifle,used, never fired, dropped once."
I know some bolt actions are faster than others, but I've never heard of one that takes ten seconds per shot. That's ridiculous.
The most convincing argument I've yet seen that Oswald did not act alone is the view from the shooter's nest in the book repository. During a recent worktrip to Dallas, I had a little time on my hands and walked to the scene of the crime. Went to the sixth floor and crouched at the window next to the Oswald window, which is now glassed in.
I'm not sniper material by a long shot, but I'm a pretty dang good shot through open sights. Crouching right there, the thought of making those shots with a pristine rifle, much less that clunker, looked WAY unlikely. WAY.
I also stood behind the fence on the grassy knoll. Hard to imagine an EASIER shot, and the trajectory to me matched PERFECTLY with what my impression has always been when viewing the Zapruder film.
BTW, a question for those more familiar than I with Dealey(sp?) Plaza: At the spot behind the fence on the grassy knoll, was that big storm drain in place in 1963? I'm assuming not, since I've never seen mention of it, but man oh man, talk about an escape route; the shooter could've made the shot, dropped into the hole, and scurried away underground.
Side commentary: What an awful thing that day turned out to be. First of all, such an assassination is cold-blooded unjustifiable murder any way you cut it. Second, IMHO a far sleazier man inherited the office. Third, a mediocre-at-best president became an idealized martyr.
MM (in TX, and not a conspiracy theorist)
You only load TWO cartridges; the first shot is pre-loaded.
I believe the conspiracy is real.
Italians can’t do the work that Oswald did.
Hmmmmmmm.....maybe HE shot Kennedy!
“Oswald” was not his real name. The US Government created that name for him. He was part of the Secret Service and his job was to protect the President that day and his gun had gone off accidentally. That’s my theory.
Any reasonable person looking at the Zapruder film can see that they were hit by separate shots. And that is where the most obvious evidence of conspiracy exists.
Yes, but he was a liberal, so he would have been cannonized anyway.
Well much is made that it cost “$12” or whatever. Not a “quality” weapon by any means. I hate to say it, but Mrs. Kennedy probably said it best “A Shitty Little Communist”.
actually, its on right now
Im with you... one look at the Zapruder film and it is obvious the head shot cam from right front, and no one will convince me otherwise.
Never will ... no one will convince me ... well, thanks for flying that flag up front. It spares the rest of us the effort of trying to present actual evidence to the proverbial brick wall. Have a nice day.
if someone can explain why his head exploded backwards, I might believe that Oswald acted alone.
while running away at the same time. /Dahl
....And the weapon was not perfectly sighted. When the FBI began its testing of the weapon for the Warren Commission in early 1964, none of their shooters could hit the target, until they adjusted the sights on the rifle.
The Italians actually fired their rifles? I heard they dropped them like the French. I seem to recall a historic conversation between Churchill and Von Ribbentrop where Von Ribbentrop commented to Churchill; “If war should come the Italians will be on our side.” Churchill replied;”We had them in the last war and its only fair that you should have them the next time.” The Italians used the same rifles in WWII as they used in WWI. The carbine that Oswald used was a factory cut down of the Italian Carcano (Manlicher style) bolt action rifle. I remember seeing them in Woolworth for $9.99 - $14.99 around 1960. I bought one, fired it 3 times and became terrified. Too loud, and if you couldn’t hit a deer with the bullet you could burn his tail with the ring of flame that came out of the barrel. Oswald must have had a lot of practice with that rifle. In the early 60’s you could have bought a Brit 303 No 4 rifle or a No.5 Mark I carbine for a couple of bucks more. Larger magazine and smoother action. I wonder what Oswald was thinking when he chose a Carcano carbine with a 6.5mm round? He had to be a super marksman. The SOB cost me my weekend pass too.
Illustrates the difference between Italians and Marines (Oswald).