Image Image

  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

From a Shooter's Perspective — The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Part two of three)

Date: 01 Novermber, 2017

By: Chief

To read part one.

Imageello folks. Continuing on our journey —

We will assume, for the sake of argument, that the rifle was fully sighted in and the shooter was very familiar with the rifle.

The rifle which was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building, where Oswald allegedly fired three shots at the president, was a 6.5 x 52mm M91/38 Italian Carcano bolt-action rifle. The rifle was equipped with a telescopic sight which has a magnification of somewhere between 2.5 to 4 power. The weapon had a magazine capable of holding between five and six rounds of ammunition. A sling was also attached to the weapon. As an aside, the accuracy of this type of rifle is extraordinarily dubious.

At sometime prior to the Presidential Motorcade arriving within Oswald's field of fire, Oswald allegedly setup two stacks of cardboard boxes, side by side, behind an open corner window (this may have limited his field of view and fire). The stack of boxes on the left was taller than the stack on the right. From this we can assume the following the:

By the way contained within the book "Four Days" is a photograph of the two stacks of boxes behind an open window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Now that all the preparatory work is completed, here we go. The motorcade is approaching. The shooter:

Once the target has been reacquired the shooter then begins the entire process I just described, starting at "once acquired, commences tracking the target" all over again.

To give you some perspective it is time to do some very simple math:

Why that? Please remember the time frame was less than ten seconds and the total number of rounds fired were three, according to various reports. I'm just using 10 seconds for the math, which is 'giving' an edge to the shooter.

Three point three (3.3) seconds to accomplish that whole long list. And then have to repeat it — twice more. Against a moving target. It cannot be done.

Back in 2007 the Italian army did some tests with the same type of rifle as Oswald purportedly used. Quoting UPI:

"The Warren Commission report concluded that Oswald fired three shots with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle in 7 seconds to kill Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. However, tests supervised by the Italian Army showed it would take 19 seconds to get off three shots with that type of gun, the Italian news agency ANSA reported."

A good target shooter, as I was, during the two hundred yard "rapid fire" segment of competition (standing to sitting, firing ten rounds — you must reload once within a total time of sixty seconds) could work the rifle's bolt in a single second. However, because of the rifle's recoil, we had to reacquire the stationary target which was larger than a human skull. This could take upwards of two to three seconds. Then check our sight alignment and sight picture and only then squeeze off another round.

My average time for that specific event was between 56 and 58 seconds. Or one round every 5.6 to 5.8 seconds — that is including the reloading which took, on average, two to four seconds (using a five round stripper clip). Okay, then to be more on point, the first five rounds took approximately 25 to 28 seconds to fire. That is one round every five seconds (25 seconds) or one round every 5.6 seconds (28 seconds).

There was no way possible for me to fire any faster and hit the target well and consistently. The same held true with the other competitors. We all would finish at about the same time. Nobody would be finished in 33.3 seconds (one round every 3.3 seconds as Oswald allegedly did). Because it could not be done. Newton's third law came into play — the law of reciprocal action. Recoil taking me, or anyone else for that matter, off target.

Bear in mind that we were shooting at targets that were:

In short, Oswald could not accomplish what he has been alleged to accomplish. All because of Newton's third law of motion — the law of reciprocal action.


Alrighty then I believe it is time to converge on the second linchpin, Newton's first law of motion — the law of inertia.

First off thank you Mr. Abraham Zapruder, wherever you may be, for your fantastic film of a very horrific and tragic event — the assassination.

The Zapruder film was shot (no pun intended) by Mr. Abraham Zapruder, during the actual motorcade through Dallas on that horrid day in 1963. The footage shows the assassination, live and in deathly color. Within a very few hours of the heinous crime taking place Mr. Zapruder's film was being studied by every law enforcement agency in anyway connected with the multitude of investigations taking place. Indeed, I believe it is safe to say that the Zapruder film may very well be one of the most, if not the most, studied pieces of film in history. It is only 26 or 27 seconds in duration.

Zapruder's film captures, in all its gory detail:

If you choose to watch the You Tube video, let me warn you now, should you have a weak stomach the impact of the final shot just might make you lose your lunch. So eat peanut butter — it tastes the same coming up as it does going down (Thank you Bill Engvall).

Continue on to part three.

(Return to the top)