Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald with alleged Italian rifle used to shoot JFK. [Source: Britannica.com]

So maybe Oswald really did shoot JFK with an old Italian army rifle—that now-famous Carcano. But I seriously doubt it. I just can’t picture a Marine Corps-trained rifleman selecting such a weapon to shoot anybody.

That is because Italian weapons of the World War II era had a lousy reputation and most Marines would have been aware of that. Moreover, the marksmanship attributed to Oswald that November day in 1963 is beyond belief.

Lee Harvey Oswald spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, leaving it in September 1959. That was shortly after I enlisted, my time in the USMC overlapping his by a few days. I served for four years and received my discharge a few months before the assassination.

HARVEY Oswald in 1957
Lee Harvey Oswald when he was in the Marine Corps. [Source: harveyandlee.net]

That was more than half a century ago; nevertheless, Marine Corps training is pretty unforgettable. Having been in the USMC about the same time as the alleged assassin, I handled the same weapons and fired on the same type of rifle range as he did. In this essay I would like to say a bit about Marine Corps weapons training of that era and how those rifle-range realities conflict with the official narrative of the Warren Report.

“The most dangerous thing in the world is a Marine with his M1 rifle,” our Drill Instructors told us from day one. The M1 Garand was then the standard U.S. military rifle, and the Marine Corps took intense pride in training us to use it well. Whatever our military task might have been, whether truck driver, cook, office clerk, infantryman or radio operator, as Marines we were riflemen first of all.

M1 Garand - Wikipedia
M1 Garand rifle. [Source: wikipedia.org]

We were issued the M1 during our first week in boot camp, but before we ever got to the firing range, we spent many weeks learning to dismantle and reassemble it, memorizing the name of every part and understanding its function. Terms like “trigger-housing-group” or “bolt locking lug” still come to mind after all these years. We also spent a huge amount of time on the manual of arms, practicing “right shoulder arms,” “present arms,” all that parade ground stuff. So we all came to know that rifle very, very well. All that was down pat before they ever let us fire it.

Actually, weapons training did not generally start there. Most guys I knew in the USMC came from gun culture, typically starting out in early childhood with a BB gun, later a .22 caliber target rifle, and eventually deer rifles and shotguns.

So the USMC was kind of like advanced training in weaponry, where guys learned the fine points of marksmanship, and also fired light and heavy machine guns as well as pistols. These guys generally liked guns, visited gun shows, and would often spend hours talking about weapons, discussing which firearm they would choose for this or that task.

For long-range sniper shooting one needs a very accurate weapon, the first choice being unanimously the 1903 Springfield rifle. The second choice would’ve been a Mauser. The Carcano was not in the running.

Rifles That Changed Modern Warfare: M1903 Springfield — Steemit
Springfield rifle. [Source: steemit.com]


(Both the Springfield and the Mauser were ancient, but they were known to be accurate and reliable, and most importantly in the USMC gun culture of the early 1960s, those two rifles were considered legendary.)

Home
Mauser rifle. [Source: mauser.com]

Oswald apparently had some interest in guns. According to his brother, the two of them hunted rabbits with .22 caliber rifles. While in the Soviet Union, he reportedly joined a gun club. As for the Carcano that he allegedly owned, some gun buffs do acquire all sorts of antique and exotic firearms, and it would not surprise me to hear that he may have possessed a Carcano.

What I cannot believe is that he would have considered it a serviceable weapon for the crime of the century.

Italian Carcano M.91 Cavalry Carbine, 6.5x52, 17.7" Barrel, Folding Bayo,  C&R, G-VG, Used.
Italian Carcano. [Source: jgsales.com]

In dismissing the Carcano, I do not mean to say that Italian crafts people are not capable of making quality products. They indeed are. With all sorts of things, from clocks to cars, Italian artisans have a well-deserved reputation for excellence. They make good firearms too.

The 28-gauge shotgun with which then Vice President Dick Cheney blasted his friend Harry Whittington in the face and chest was a Perazzi shotgun made by Brescia, an Italian firm. It is a high-quality weapon, and not cheap. But that reputation did not extend to the equipment that was made for the Italian army during World War II.

Nevertheless, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy with a Carcano. Yes, a Carcano! It’s hard to imagine a more bizarre story. While it served to promote the image of Oswald as an unhinged nutcase, an important element of the official narrative, it clashes with rifle-range realities.

Warren Commission - HISTORY
Members of the Warren Commission with President Johnson. [Source: history.com]

Within the brief space of less than ten seconds, according to the Warren Commission, Oswald fired three shots, two of which hit the president.  That would have been phenomenal marksmanship. Your average Marine is a good shot, but not that good. According to records that were made public, Oswald was about average.

Autographs:U.S. Presidents, Lee Harvey Oswald Marine Corps Rifle Score Book....
Oswald Marine Corps marksmanship report. [Source: historical.ha.com]

Accurate shooting requires time and concentration; the faster one shoots, the less one hits. USMC marksmanship training included slow firing at 200 and 500 yards, and rapid fire at 300 yards. For rapid fire we were given sixty seconds to fire ten rounds. Our task also included reloading a clip since the magazine only held eight rounds.

Being semiautomatic, the M1 would fire as fast as we could pull the trigger—theoretically that is. In reality, the recoil knocks the rifle off target, so each time we fired we had to find the target and line up the sights all over again. That eats up time, precious seconds. Those are physical limitations on how fast anyone can shoot and expect to hit anything. With an average of six seconds for each of those ten shots, it might seem that we had plenty of time, but in reality, that one minute ran by very, very quickly, and accuracy was greatly diminished.

Unlike the semiautomatic M1 Garand, the Carcano has a bolt action, making it much slower to operate. That is true of any bolt-action rifle—they are not designed for rapid fire. And that particular Carcano was equipped with a telescopic sight, which makes rapid fire even more difficult. It takes much longer to re-sight a telescopic sight than an ordinary metal one.  (Consider also the report that the telescopic sight on Oswald’s Carcano was defectively mounted—which would render any sort of accuracy impossible.)

Rather than a single gunman firing multiple shots, I believe the assassination was carried out by a team of shooters, perhaps none of whom may have had time to fire more than a single shot. 

A Polaroid from Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, with arrow showing a theoretical bullet trajectory from the Grassy Knoll.
A Polaroid from November 22, 1963, in Dallas, with arrow showing a theoretical bullet trajectory from the Grassy Knoll. [Source: inquirer.com]

But multiple shooters implies a “conspiracy,” that forbidden, taboo word.  So we are supposed to believe that the establishment which routinely plots regime change and assassination around the world would not do such a thing here in the United States?  Really?

The marksmanship attributed to Oswald in that Texas town is like what we used to see on the silver screen. Shooting from the hip, Hollywood cowboys could knock a tin can out of the sky; many westerns had a scene like that. And so does the official story of what happened that November day in Dallas. Such are the mythical exploits of superheroes and arch-villains.


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About the Author

20 COMMENTS

  1. Doesn’t the CE399 test evidence from the Warren Commission aptly disprove the Magic Bullet Theory?

    If there’s any doubt on the matter, then surely the Emmy Award winning animation by Dale Myers and a later one shown on PBS from Haag should fully convice anyone.

    These two animations are pronounced as evidence in the Court Of Public Opinion as the Magic Bullet Theory proponents and LHO guilt.

    However if we take those ideas forward into the courtroom, we are now into the realms of Forensic Animation. I’m no lawer, but i would expect any defense to request a copy of the software and the data of the amination.

    So, ask away……and sit back and watch any multitude of reasons provided why such ‘cartoons’ cannot be released for scrutiny.

  2. On March 20, 1963 Oswald purchased the Carcano gun from Seaport Trading Inc. using the alias name A.J. Hidell. 21 days later he used this gun to make an unsuccessful attempt to kill General Edwin Wilson who he considered to be a very dangerous man. He fired one bullet from about 1000 feet away but it missed General Wilson. This event indicates that most probably the purpose of his purchase was to assassinate General Wilson. At that point is time Oswald would not have known that Kennedy would be coming to Dallas in November 1963, so his purchase had nothing to do with Kennedy which seems like a logical speculation for me to make. Oswald was an extremely impulsive and obsessive individual so he would not plan things far in advance.

  3. Note that no ID was required to buy guns at stores back then. Why didn’t Oswald buy one near his home in Dallas rather than mail order one? And I agree, he knew the M-1 well so would have bought one. A recent document release showed the FBI took that rifle and took fingerprints from it, but somehow lost the fingerprint card in its files. The most laughable part about Oswald is that he defected to the Soviets and lived there several years, denouncing the USA and telling the press he shared military secrets with them. But then he comes home and is not arrested, and his Russian wife is granted a green card!

  4. Let’s not forget that it was CBS News who was in on the ground floor of the cover-up when they had the young Dan Rather tell the nation he’d seen the Zapruder film and that it shows the President’s head being thrown “violently forward.” I suppose they were sure the public would never get to see the film.

    Just in passing, remember, folks that the permanent US state has been thoroughly convinced of the need to control information since the days leading up to WWI, and that “news” organizations all over the “‘free’ world” dance to the tune played by the “Mighty Wurlitzer.”

  5. Let’s also never forget that the Warren Commision, at Gerald Ford’s suggestion, deliberately misrepresented where one of the bullets passed through Kennedy’s body in its report, making the ridiculous single-bullet theory more plausible. Also note that for the bullet to enter from the back slightly below the shoulder and exit through the front of the neck it would have to have been fired from the same level Kennedy was on, not from high above in the book depository.

    Off topic, but of possible interest: Philip H. Melanson received documents from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office showing that they established that Sirhan Sirhan was not RFK’s assassin. The shooter was right up directly behind RFK and the LA DA’s office determined that Sirhan Sirhan was never in that position — but they prosecuted him anyway.

    • They did the same thing to James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.. A Mississippi court after reviewing the entire case against Ray completely exonerated him a number of years back. But the feds have refused to acknowledge the court’s verdict and he is still in prison…

  6. Yeah…maybe, but not with one with very difficult action, a poorly mounted scope, half-open window…and tree foliage in the way…and by someone with relatively poor shooting skill.

  7. Hospitals in USA and in first world countries are refusing life-saving Ivermectin treatment even with court orders. Big Pharma doing everything they can to jab us no matter what, while alternative COVID cures EXIST! There happens to be heavy censorship who are looking for these treatments. The Research Is Clear: Ivermectin Is a Safe, Effective Treatment for COVID. Get your Ivermectin while you still can! https://medicalfeedom.wiki/

  8. perhaps someone can recall the name of the tv documentary that aired about 5 years ago, in which popular mechanics or popular science or one such publication got a sharpshooter with a manlichher concaro to replicate what oswald did– number of shots, moving target, within the same amount of time. and according to this program, the guy did it. astounded me and i haven’t followed it up to see if it was legit.

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