Carcano Accuracy and THE Conspiracy Theory

Mountain

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So who's familiar with Carcano accuracy? Yeah, that subject again...

I try not to give too much credence to the JFK assassination conspiracy theories but one aspect that bugs me is the 88 yard head shot with a Carcano. I have not shot one, but I have shot many other milsurps and understand from others that the Carcano isn't known for its accuracy. Allow me to explain why the Carcano thing perplexes me:

Supposedly Oswald was a decent shot but qualifying 'Marksman' does not make him a remarkable shot. Time span between the shots was a few seconds, so compare this to a rapid fire stage in competition. SR1 targets have a black bull that is roughly head size, and unlike Oswald's target they don't move. Top milsurp match shooters rarely 'clean' a target in the rapid fire stage though they will generally hold the black with their match prepped rifles. Best rifles, best ammo, best shooters, target is not moving. None of that applies to Oswald and the Carcano. What were the odds of him making the shot? 50/50?

Chapter 4

To me, the Warren Commission report partly but not completely confirms plausibility that Oswald was the lone culprit. Experts under ideal conditions were getting 3" to 5" groups but they were not centered. Did Oswald adjust the scope for a lead, or was it simply off? Sort of a crappy scope too. There are theories that he didn't use the scope, which is possible because it was side mounted and gave a clear view of the iron sights. However, to put the required accuracy in perspective- at 88 yards a head size target viewed with iron sights will look like the "." dotting an "i" relative to the front sight post. Try keeping that dot centered or maintain the slight lead perfectly while it's moving!

I know there's no topic under the sun that has been beat to death as much as this one. I'm weighing in on this now after I have had several years shooting milsurp matches with reasonable success (lots of gold, silver, and bronze trinkets) plus I have had the chance to observe some of the nation's best military match and/or high power shooters with the best possible equipment and ammo. Based on my experience and observations, I would only conclude that Oswald's shots were possible but extremely difficult and not 'easy' as the Warren Commission alludes.

Anyone disagree and assert those shots were easy? Willing to test that theory via punching holes in targets under the pressure of a few seconds timing?

exhibit-Texas-School-Book-Depository-investigation-Warren.jpg
 

mibro

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Best theory I've heard is the third shot came from an M-16 loaded with frangible ammo fired by a Secret Service agent in the car behind JFK.

I forget the details but this theory explains just about every loose end in JFK's assassination, particularly the obvious cover-up and the post mortem monkey business with JFK's body.
 

mac1911

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i think the big problem with the carcano was the ammo. i was able to get mine down to 3 moa with out much effort.
Can someone make those shots with a carcano and the ammo of the time? Could just have been a lucky miss.
i grew up listening to my elders claiming inside job and the communist ...
I can tell you i had zero love for that rifle so i ditched it.
 

42!

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50/50 could have just gotten lucky. Maybe he was actually aiming at Jakie and missed completely.

I don't know about the Carcano but both my 1917 and 1903 straight off the rack at CMP south could do 3" groups at 100yd with their iron sights. I'm not saying it's an easy shot but it was definitely doable with average skills and some luck.
 

Mountain

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I seem to remember some show where they did a reenactment with like 3 military snipers and none of them could make the shots that he supposedly did.

I had not seen that one but would like to. Snipers would have had training and a skill set way beyond Oswald's unless he was some sort of undisclosed rare talent or had training nobody knew about.

Anyway, making multiple shots in rapid succession at such a small target and at that distance is more the stuff of Hollywood movies than realistic capability of semi-skilled shooters and still difficult for the most skilled shooters. Combination of a so-so rifle, very crappy scope, and a shooter without specialized skills adds up to doubt.

Another thing to put in modern context: If Trump had been assassinated in the same fashion, what if the FBI concluded the perp was some random crazy guy with an old Mosin M44 and surplus 54R? Those of us who know Mosins would call BS, especially for rapid shots with bolts that are typically a bit sticky. Guess what? Carcanos have similarly sticky bolts. I think Americans just assume bolts are easy to work based on how the Mauser bolt and its copy-cat cousin the Springfield will cycle as smooth as glass. My best Finnish Mosin doesn't cycle easier than my worst Springfield. Equipment matters and Oswald's was sub-par.



i think the big problem with the carcano was the ammo. i was able to get mine down to 3 moa with out much effort.
Can someone make those shots with a carcano and the ammo of the time? Could just have been a lucky miss.
i grew up listening to my elders claiming inside job and the communist ...
I can tell you i had zero love for that rifle so i ditched it.

What were you shooting? Modern HPBT's like you would use in 6.5 Creedmoor? Oswald had that domestic made 6.5 produced by WCC / Olin. Nothing special- it was your basic military contract set up. One oddity was that the lead was lacking antimony, which made it incredibly soft. That might explain the 'frangibility' of the third shot. So FBI's best could get 3" to 5" groups. Width of your average head is 6-6.5"?

Slightly related story- I've been to a couple of the Olin facilities. If you don't have the special static dissipating boots you have to walk around the plant dragging a brass cane. I guess wearing wool socks and rubbing your feet on carpeting or a rubber mat would be discouraged.
 

G Port

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I'm a long way away from anyone's idea of a good shot but every once in a while I hit one that would make Jerry Miculek smile
 

Woodstock

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It was no extraordinary feat of marksmanship. Between Oswald's window to JFK's head there was nothing but thin air. The bullet was going to hit something or someone, and Kennedy's luck ran out that day. One of the shots hit the pavement and the "magic bullet" was a relatively slow-moving FMJ slug that hit nothing but soft tissue and upholstery until it broke Connally's wrist and fell on the floor. Too easy, I know, but totally probable.
 

Mountain

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50/50 could have just gotten lucky. Maybe he was actually aiming at Jakie and missed completely.

I don't know about the Carcano but both my 1917 and 1903 straight off the rack at CMP south could do 3" groups at 100yd with their iron sights. I'm not saying it's an easy shot but it was definitely doable with average skills and some luck.

See my comment above regarding Mauser type bolts vs. the Carcanos and Mosins. Also, what would those groups look like under rapid fire pressure? Moving target? Yeah, maybe he got lucky but that last shot was luck? I won't go so far as to say that it was implausible, but for sure it's in doubt.
 
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I always thought that the problem wasn't accuracy of the guns, but rather the speed of the Carcano bolt, e.g. Oswald couldn't physically shoot a Carcano fast enough.

Oswald would've had a lot going for him. He was a former Marine so he would've have at least a minimal understanding of using a rifle. The rifle had something like a fixed 3x scope, which is plenty to make a headshot at less than 100 yards. He probably would've had access to surplus ammo, which would've shot better because Italian 6.5mm isn't the same bore diameter as what we usually think of as 6.5mm - 6.5 Carcano is 0.267", 6.5 Creedmoor or .264 Win Mag are 0.264". Plus, surplus ammo would've had the right, long bullets.

The cons were that he would've been shooting at a moving target and a brown haired-head in a black car. Most Carcanos also had progressive twist rifling and the sporterization process usually chopped off a large amount of barrel to turn Carcano long rifles into hunting carbines. I also don't think Oswald would've had much trigger time with the Carcano - let's been realistic, he was a flunkie and there isn't much evidence of him say being a competitive shooter or an otherwise avid shooter. Oswald initially rated as a Marine sharpshooter but was reduced to marksman later. Shooting is a perishable skill and we don't know how much Oswald got to know his Carcano.

One final thought is a paraphrase of something Hitler used to say about assassinations: a determined, lone assassin who has the single-minded goal of killing a target has a very good chance of succeeding. Considering Hitler was almost blown up or shot multiple times, I think there's some validity in the statement.

I think there will never be a clear statement about how JFK died and I also think that the JFK assassination is really a bad cloud on the history of the Carcano.
 

Mountain

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It was no extraordinary feat of marksmanship. Between Oswald's window to JFK's head there was nothing but thin air. The bullet was going to hit something or someone, and Kennedy's luck ran out that day. One of the shots hit the pavement and the "magic bullet" was a relatively slow-moving FMJ slug that hit nothing but soft tissue and upholstery until it broke Connally's wrist and fell on the floor. Too easy, I know, but totally probable.

All I'm saying is try a comparable shot with a milsurp rifle known to have at best so-so accuracy. Set a 6" target at 88 yards and first look at it over some iron sights. It's going to look like the dot above an "i", literally. 4X scope doesn't help much for a moving target. I'm not saying it's improbable but I am asserting that yes, it was an extraordinary feat of marksmanship. I'm basing this off of years of practice and competition with military rifles and knowing my humble capabilities plus also the capabilities of some great shooters I have competed against a few times, like guys in the AMU and USMC rifle team and overall winners at Perry.
 

Climbnsink

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Boomers will believe anything. The official story is always wrong. Oswald did not kill JFK and we did not land on the moon.
 
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All I'm saying is try a comparable shot with a milsurp rifle known to have at best so-so accuracy. Set a 6" target at 88 yards and first look at it over some iron sights. It's going to look like the dot above an "i", literally. 4X scope doesn't help much for a moving target. I'm not saying it's improbable but I am asserting that yes, it was an extraordinary feat of marksmanship. I'm basing this off of years of practice and competition with military rifles and knowing my humble capabilities plus also the capabilities of some great shooters I have competed against a few times, like guys in the AMU and USMC rifle team and overall winners at Perry.

I think you're focusing too much on the shooting itself and not enough on the assassination. Franz Ferdinand died because his driver took a wrong turn and wound up in front of a deli where Gavrilo Princip happened to be getting lunch after a failed bombing attempt earlier that day. If I remember right, Princip basically mag-dumped a .380 FN 1910 into the Archduke and his wife.
 

Behind Enemy Lines

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I seem to remember some show where they did a reenactment with like 3 military snipers and none of them could make the shots that he supposedly did.
Weird, I seem to remember watching a show on History or Discovery where they recreated the shot(s) - even going so far as to track down a box of ammo from the same lot Oswald supposedly used. I'll see if I can track it down.
 

Mountain

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I think you're focusing too much on the shooting itself and not enough on the assassination. Franz Ferdinand died because his driver took a wrong turn and wound up in front of a deli where Gavrilo Princip happened to be getting lunch after a failed bombing attempt earlier that day. If I remember right, Princip basically mag-dumped a .380 FN 1910 into the Archduke and his wife.

Actually all I'm really focusing on are the technical aspects of the shooting itself. All the other issues are a much bigger rabbit hole. The Secret Service Presidential Detail is a motivated and extremely well trained force, yet they will admit that there is a lot of reliance upon developed nations not making a well planned and supported assassination attempt. That I'm aware of, that is the the worst nightmare scenario for them. Even a whack job like Hinckley came close to getting the job done, so I'll agree that the other aspects are of huge importance. I'm just limiting the discussion to the technical aspects of hardware and shooter skills.
 

Sweeney

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There were at least 3 rounds fired, one hitting the pavement, the 'magic' bullet and the head shot. Though the target was moving it was moving 'mostly' away so there was little lateral compensation or lead required. From the bullet strikes (if they all came from the rear) they were adjusted upward... pavement, back, head. 88 yards isn't very far to be aiming at a torso sized target.
With Oswald's 'decent' marksmanship skills shooting from a (I assume) supported position with a rifle that can hit the side of a barn at relatively short range aimed at a relatively slow moving target I think it's very feasible that his third shot hit Kennedy's head... perhaps by 'luck'. The question of whether the rifle was sighted properly raises the question... was the scope knocked out of alignment afterwards by either Oswald or anyone who handled it after recovery? There are plenty of photos of it being raised and shown off like a trophy after recovery.
As too shooting under duress... who knows his state of mind. He may have had zero qualms or fear of repercussions about what he was doing and been completely calm.
I think what brings it all into question is the myriad of other events associated with the assassination.

My theory is that Kennedy was an alien plant like lifeform that reproduces by ejecting spores from the orb like structure people mistake for a head and there was actually no shooting or assassination what so ever. The spores that were released that day in Dallas drifted on the air currents and found their way back to Massachusetts. They were damaged in their journey high in the atmosphere due to exposure to UVC and Gama radiation resulting in mentally deranged 'offspring' that we now know as New England democrats or 'Moonbats', if you will.
 
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Actually all I'm really focusing on are the technical aspects of the shooting itself. All the other issues are a much bigger rabbit hole. The Secret Service Presidential Detail is a motivated and extremely well trained force, yet they will admit that there is a lot of reliance upon developed nations not making a well planned and supported assassination attempt. That I'm aware of, that is the the worst nightmare scenario for them. Even a whack job like Hinckley came close to getting the job done, so I'll agree that the other aspects are of huge importance. I'm just limiting the discussion to the technical aspects of hardware and shooter skills.

When you look at successful assassins, not say movie or TV stereotypes of hired, professional sniper-mercenaries, they mostly are lifelong losers and inexperienced with guns.

Gavrilo Princip had never fired a gun before embarking from Serbia to Bosnia to kill Franz Ferdinand; he shot a few rounds or mags at a tree on the way and did poorly.

John Wilkes Booth was an actor and I don't think had any prior military experience.

Balthasar Gerard was a lawyer who shot William of Orange; his Wiki page indicates no prior military experience, although he did haggle over what type of ammo he used to shoot William.

Leon Czolgosz killed William McKinley with an Iver Johnson .32 that he bought four days earlier; no noteworthy prior shooting or military experience.

While those other examples all used handguns, we should keep in mind that making an aimed kill with a handgun, especially flintlocks or matchlocks or crappy Iver Johnsons, is harder than making a killshot with a rifle from a relatively stable overwatch position like Oswald had. Oswald would've had more military and gun experience than all of them, probably combined.

I'd rate Oswald as fitting the profile of a successful assassin: nothing to live for, enough reason to want to kill, and zero ties or connections to someone else except for his wife. He simply was a loner. Whether he got the Marinus van der Lubbe treatment is another story.
 

mac1911

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Weird, I seem to remember watching a show on History or Discovery where they recreated the shot(s) - even going so far as to track down a box of ammo from the same lot Oswald supposedly used. I'll see if I can track it down.
Yeah and did they not come to the conclusion even a minimal trained person could at least get the shots off in time they say?
 

mac1911

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I had not seen that one but would like to. Snipers would have had training and a skill set way beyond Oswald's unless he was some sort of undisclosed rare talent or had training nobody knew about.

Anyway, making multiple shots in rapid succession at such a small target and at that distance is more the stuff of Hollywood movies than realistic capability of semi-skilled shooters and still difficult for the most skilled shooters. Combination of a so-so rifle, very crappy scope, and a shooter without specialized skills adds up to doubt.

Another thing to put in modern context: If Trump had been assassinated in the same fashion, what if the FBI concluded the perp was some random crazy guy with an old Mosin M44 and surplus 54R? Those of us who know Mosins would call BS, especially for rapid shots with bolts that are typically a bit sticky. Guess what? Carcanos have similarly sticky bolts. I think Americans just assume bolts are easy to work based on how the Mauser bolt and its copy-cat cousin the Springfield will cycle as smooth as glass. My best Finnish Mosin doesn't cycle easier than my worst Springfield. Equipment matters and Oswald's was sub-par.





What were you shooting? Modern HPBT's like you would use in 6.5 Creedmoor? Oswald had that domestic made 6.5 produced by WCC / Olin. Nothing special- it was your basic military contract set up. One oddity was that the lead was lacking antimony, which made it incredibly soft. That might explain the 'frangibility' of the third shot. So FBI's best could get 3" to 5" groups. Width of your average head is 6-6.5"?

Slightly related story- I've been to a couple of the Olin facilities. If you don't have the special static dissipating boots you have to walk around the plant dragging a brass cane. I guess wearing wool socks and rubbing your feet on carpeting or a rubber mat would be discouraged.
I used those long round nose and some FMJBT even ran some old as shit ammo.
For the most part brass was PPU, factory PPU was awful and used a undersized bullet
 

Mountain

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There were at least 3 rounds fired, one hitting the pavement, the 'magic' bullet and the head shot. Though the target was moving it was moving 'mostly' away so there was little lateral compensation or lead required. From the bullet strikes (if they all came from the rear) they were adjusted upward... pavement, back, head. 88 yards isn't very far to be aiming at a torso sized target.
With Oswald's 'decent' marksmanship skills shooting from a (I assume) supported position with a rifle that can hit the side of a barn at relatively short range aimed at a relatively slow moving target I think it's very feasible that his third shot hit Kennedy's head... perhaps by 'luck'. The question of whether the rifle was sighted properly raises the question... was the scope knocked out of alignment afterwards by either Oswald or anyone who handled it after recovery? There are plenty of photos of it being raised and shown off like a trophy after recovery.
As too shooting under duress... who knows his state of mind. He may have had zero qualms or fear of repercussions about what he was doing and been completely calm.
I think what brings it all into question is the myriad of other events associated with the assassination.

My theory is that Kennedy was an alien plant like lifeform that reproduces by ejecting spores from the orb like structure people mistake for a head and there was actually no shooting or assassination what so ever. The spores that were released that day in Dallas drifted on the air currents and found their way back to Massachusetts. They were damaged in their journey high in the atmosphere due to exposure to UVC and Gama radiation resulting in mentally deranged 'offspring' that we now know as New England democrats or 'Moonbats', if you will.

No, a torso size target at 88 yards isn't difficult. However, little of his torso was exposed as he sat in the car. The unquestionably fatal head shot is the shot that lends to the alternate shooter theories or perhaps the consideration that Oswald was more than a 'decent' shooter. Who knows, maybe luck was the factor. Regardless, it's a sad, dark stain on our history. Unlike his kin in later roles, perhaps Kennedy was the anti-swamp President of his day.
 

Climbnsink

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When you look at successful assassins, not say movie or TV stereotypes of hired, professional sniper-mercenaries, they mostly are lifelong losers and inexperienced with guns.

Gavrilo Princip had never fired a gun before embarking from Serbia to Bosnia to kill Franz Ferdinand; he shot a few rounds or mags at a tree on the way and did poorly.

John Wilkes Booth was an actor and I don't think had any prior military experience.

Balthasar Gerard was a lawyer who shot William of Orange; his Wiki page indicates no prior military experience, although he did haggle over what type of ammo he used to shoot William.

Leon Czolgosz killed William McKinley with an Iver Johnson .32 that he bought four days earlier; no noteworthy prior shooting or military experience.

While those other examples all used handguns, we should keep in mind that making an aimed kill with a handgun, especially flintlocks or matchlocks or crappy Iver Johnsons, is harder than making a killshot with a rifle from a relatively stable overwatch position like Oswald had. Oswald would've had more military and gun experience than all of them, probably combined.

I'd rate Oswald as fitting the profile of a successful assassin: nothing to live for, enough reason to want to kill, and zero ties or connections to someone else except for his wife. He simply was a loner. Whether he got the Marinus van der Lubbe treatment is another story.
Kinda supports the tinfoil theories behind all the assassinations used to push policy. All those sucky shots successfully taking out high profile targets. And often with handguns. Hmmm.
 

mac1911

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No, a torso size target at 88 yards isn't difficult. However, little of his torso was exposed as he sat in the car. The unquestionably fatal head shot is the shot that lends to the alternate shooter theories or perhaps the consideration that Oswald was more than a 'decent' shooter. Who knows, maybe luck was the factor. Regardless, it's a sad, dark stain on our history. Unlike his kin in later roles, perhaps Kennedy was the anti-swamp President of his day.
Kenedy for the most part from what I have seen, heard and was taught not .”Big Gov”
JFK would not get the Dem Party nomination if he ran in the past 15 years or so.
Those holding Democrat seats are far from Liberal or Democrat they just use those terms to get elected much like many Rep Rhinos

If Oswald acted alone , I think he probably practiced a bit and was going for accuracy by dispersal . Get some shots diwn range and see what happens.
If you ever played with pellet guns as a kid im sure you took a snap shot or 3 at birds or squirrels with no real intent on hitting it YET you do. I think thats what the shooter of JFK did.
The shot that hit the ground is the shot that put a hole in the traffic light!
 

Parker Duofold

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Near the end of the movie JFK, the point is made that if Oswald was the lone shooter why didn't he take the straight on shot after the motorcade turned onto the plaza and headed directly for the book depository building? Some of you are military vets or active military; isn't that the best and most logical kill shot? Even with the Carcano rifle it's a much easier shot than the shot or shots Oswald made as the car drove away from him.

I saw another video where they tried shots from the same distance, angle and time and were able to made those alleged shots with the Carcano rifle.
 

mac1911

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Near the end of the movie JFK, the point is made that if Oswald was the lone shooter why didn't he take the straight on shot after the motorcade turned onto the plaza and headed directly for the book depository building? Some of you are military vets or active military; isn't that the best and most logical kill shot? Even with the Carcano rifle it's a much easier shot than the shot or shots Oswald made as the car drove away from him.

I saw another video where they tried shots from the same distance, angle and time and were able to made those alleged shots with the Carcano rifle.
I am not a vet , but my dad told me its always easier and a higher chance of a hit when a target is moving away from you.
The thought behind it is much like trap shooting , try shooting a clay on the down side of its apex ,
Either way leading a moving target can be hard. Although at a steady speed its a bit “easier”
 
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