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The JFK Single–Bullet Theory

The case against Lee Harvey Oswald required the creation of what became known as the single-bullet hypothesis or single-bullet theory.

(Oswald, of course, died within hours of the President's assassination and the case against him was developed in subsequent years; without the accused ever appearing to stand trial.)

Although objections were raised to all of the important parts of the Warren Commission's account, the most powerful objections were aimed at the most fundamental part, the idea that all of Kennedy's and Connally's non-fatal wounds were caused by one bullet.

If the single-bullet theory is false, at least one shot must have been fired by someone other than Oswald. In other words:

either Oswald had at least one accomplice,
or Oswald fired none of the shots himself.

Home › Did Oswald Kill President Kennedy? › The Warren Commission's Single-Bullet Theory

The JFK Single-Bullet Theory

The Single-Bullet Theory

The case against Lee Harvey Oswald required the creation of what became known as the single-bullet hypothesis or single-bullet theory.1

Developing the Single-Bullet Theory

The single-bullet theory was developed in three stages:

Stage 1: December 1963

The FBI's report into the assassination matched the wounds to the three bullets in the following way:

one bullet caused all of Governor Connally's wounds by passing through his torso and shattering his right wrist;
one bullet caused President Kennedy's fatal head wound;
and one bullet caused one of Kennedy's non-fatal wounds by entering his back, but did not cause his throat wound.2

Stage 2: March 1964

The Warren Commission modified this explanation by assuming that Kennedy's throat wound had been caused by the same bullet that had caused his back wound.

Stage 3: June 1964

When the wounding of the bystander, James Tague, was unexpectedly made public, the commission became obliged to use the only plausible explanation that would account for all of the wounds having been inflicted by just three bullets:

one bullet caused Tague's wound;
one bullet caused President Kennedy's fatal head wound;
and one bullet caused all of Kennedy's and Connally's non-fatal wounds by entering Kennedy's back, exiting through his throat, entering Connally's back, exiting his chest, passing through his right wrist, and lodging itself in his left thigh: the single-bullet theory.3

Evidence for the Single-Bullet Theory

Two aspects of the evidence suggested that the single-bullet theory was plausible:

No bullets or bullet fragments were discovered in President Kennedy's body, apart from the many small fragments associated with his head wound.

Although the photographic evidence does not allow the horizontal alignment of the president and Governor Connally to be accurately determined, it does not rule out the possibility that a bullet fired from the south-eastern corner of the Texas School Book Depository may have passed through both men.

Objections to the Single-Bullet Theory

Although objections were raised to all of the important parts of the Warren Commission's account, the most powerful objections were aimed at the most fundamental part, the idea that all of Kennedy's and Connally's non-fatal wounds were caused by one bullet.

If the single-bullet theory is false, at least one shot must have been fired by someone other than Oswald. In other words:

either Oswald had at least one accomplice,
or Oswald fired none of the shots himself.

Objection 1: John Connally's Back Wound

Governor Connally testified to the Warren Commission that the bullet which struck him in the back was fired later than the bullet which caused at least one of President Kennedy's non-fatal wounds. Connally maintained for the rest of his life that he was struck by a separate bullet, after Kennedy had already been wounded.4

Two Eye-Witnesses to a Second Bullet

Two of the closest eye-witnesses were Governor Connally's wife, who was sitting to his left, and James Chaney, the police motorcyclist who was riding to President Kennedy's right. Both independently claimed that Connally's back wound was caused by a separate bullet.5

The Zapruder Film and Evidence of a Later Bullet

This was consistent with the evidence provided by the Zapruder film. The film shows President Kennedy emerging from behind a road sign at about frame 225, with his hands reaching to his throat. He has clearly been shot by this point. Indeed, the single-bullet theory demands that he has been shot by this point. The Warren Commission claimed that Kennedy had in fact been shot two-thirds of a second earlier, at frame 210, the instant at which he became visible from the easternmost sixth-floor window after being hidden behind an oak tree. Connally, however, shows no sign of being shot in the back until two-thirds of a second later, at about frame 238, when he starts to twist and fall to his left.6

This bullet arrived much too late to have been the one which wounded Kennedy, and much too early for both to have been fired from the rifle attributed to Oswald.

Objection 2: Connally's Cowboy Hat and Shirt Cuff

The governor of Texas was holding a cowboy hat in his right hand. Both the hat and the hand are visible in the Zapruder film intermittently for several seconds after Kennedy comes into view while clutching at his throat. As late as frame 268, more than two seconds after frame 225, Connally's hand is gripping his hat tightly, his shirt cuff white and free of blood. Clearly, he has not yet been hit by the bullet which clipped the end of his jacket sleeve, passed through his shirt cuff, then shattered the radius bone in his wrist and severed the tendon by his thumb.7

Objection 3: The Locations of President Kennedy's Non-Fatal Wounds

President Kennedy was sitting upright until he was shot. His throat wound was far too high, or his back wound far too low, for them both to have been caused by one bullet from the Texas School Book Depository's sixth floor, which was sixty feet above the road.8

The Location of JFK's Throat Wound

The throat wound was located just below the Adam's apple and just above the knot of the tie. Dr Charles Carrico, who saw Kennedy's throat wound before it was distorted during a tracheotomy and before the president's shirt and tie were removed, was asked to point to the location on his own throat. His questioner clarified the location for the record:

Mr Dulles :
And you put your hand right above where your tie is?

Dr Carrico :
Yes, sir.9

The Warren Commission preferred to place the bullet wound about one inch lower, just below the level of Kennedy's collar button. This location is contradicted by:

the lack of an obvious bullet hole in the front of Kennedy's shirt,
and by the absence of bullet damage to his tie.

There were several slits in the president's jacket, tie and shirt, but all of them are consistent with having been made in the hospital's emergency room by nurses using scalpels or scissors to free the patient's clothing. The two cuts close to the collar of the shirt did not match each other, as those caused by a bullet would have done.10

The cuts in the president's shirt lay directly underneath the knot of the tie, but there was no damage to the knot of the tie apart from a tiny nick on the front of the knot, to the wearer's left. Material surrounding the nick was removed in order to obtain a sample for testing, to see whether a bullet had deposited traces of copper. Although there were traces of copper around the bullet hole in the back of the shirt, there were none on the tie or on the front of the shirt.11 The damage to the tie, just like the damage to the front of the shirt, was evidently made by a surgical instrument, not by a bullet.
JFK's Back Wound was too Low

It makes no practical difference whether President Kennedy's throat wound was located at or just above the knot of his tie. The balance of the evidence places his back wound several inches lower than either location.12

The death certificate signed by Dr George Burkley, the president's personal doctor, who was present both in the emergency room at the hospital in Dallas and at the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, located the back wound "at about the level of the third thoracic vertebra," which is typically four to six inches, or 10 to 15 centimetres, below the top of the shirt collar.13

The only surviving contemporary report of the autopsy supported this location.14

The autopsy descriptive sheet, made by one of the pathologists during the autopsy, was the official diagram of the wounds to the body. It, too, placed the back wound in this location.15

The backs of Kennedy's jacket and shirt each contained a bullet hole located between five and six inches below the top of the collar, which matched this location.16 Although the jacket had bunched up slightly from time to time during the motorcade as Kennedy waved to the crowd, it had never bunched up sufficiently to allow a bullet to enter at the required angle. In a photograph taken no more than 1.2 seconds before any non-fatal shot from the sixth floor could have been fired, the jacket can clearly be seen to be at or very close to its normal position.17 Buttoned-up shirts tend to be much less flexible than jackets. President Kennedy's shirt in particular could not have bunched up significantly: it had been made to measure; it was held in place by a belt; it had a long tail, on which Kennedy was sitting; and the hot weather would have caused the shirt to stick to the president's back. The hole in the shirt lined up almost exactly with the hole in the jacket.

The Back Wound was Lower than the Throat Wound

Because bullets can sometimes veer off in unexpected directions on striking an internal object after entering a body, it is conceivable, though unlikely, that a bullet from the sixth floor of the TSBD hit President Kennedy in the back, veered upward, and passed out of his throat.

Unfortunately, a bullet following an upward trajectory could not have caused any of Governor Connally's injuries, as the single-bullet theory demanded. The unavoidable implication is that Kennedy's back and throat wounds were caused:

either by separate bullets
or by one bullet fired from somewhere other than the sixth-floor window.

It also follows that at least one further bullet is required in order to account for Connally's wounds.

The Status of the Single-Bullet Theory

Although some of the incontrovertible facts of the case appeared to implicate Oswald, other incontrovertible facts appeared to exculpate him:

the time available for the shooting,
the capabilities of the alleged weapon,
and the nature of the injuries.

These three factors came together to suggest strongly that the essential part of the Warren Commission's case, the single-bullet hypothesis or theory, was not only unsupported by the evidence but was actively contradicted by the evidence.

The failure of the single-bullet theory proved that Oswald could not have committed the crime alone.


1. It is debatable whether the Warren Commission's construction should be referred to as the single-bullet hypothesis or the single-bullet theory. The terms 'hypothesis' and 'theory' are largely interchangeable in popular usage. If there is a difference, it is that a hypothesis is supported by a weaker basis of evidence and argument than a theory. In this case, uncharitable sceptics have often preferred the term 'magic bullet theory'. For the development of the single-bullet hypothesis, see Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why, University Press of Kansas, 2005, pp.181-212. The theory is generally credited to Arlen Specter, one of the Commission's assistant counsel.

2. The FBI Summary Report states only that "two bullets struck President Kennedy, and one wounded Governor Connally" (p.1), and that "one of the bullets [that struck Kennedy] had entered just below his shoulder to the right of his spinal column at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees downward ... there was no point of exit" (p.18). The report gave no description of Connally's injuries, and entirely failed to mention Kennedy's throat wound and James Tague's wound. It implies that at least one more bullet was fired, making at least four in total.

3. Warren Report, p.117. James Tague's wound demanded its own bullet because he was too far away for his injury plausibly to have been caused by a fragment of a bullet which had struck Kennedy or Connally. President Kennedy's head wound demanded its own bullet because it clearly occurred later than at least some of his and Connally's non-fatal wounds. That left a single bullet to create all the other wounds. The single-bullet theory had been proposed by Arlen Specter a few weeks earlier, but it was the publicity attached to Tague's wounding that forced the Commission to adopt the theory.

4. Connally's testimony: Warren Commission Hearings, vol.4, pp.135f. He was quoted in the Washington Post, 21 November 1966, saying that "there is my absolute knowledge that ... one bullet caused the president's first wound and that an entirely separate shot struck me. It is a certainty. I will never change my mind." It was Connally's testimony that persuaded one of the Warren Commissioners, Senator Richard Russell, that the single-bullet theory was untenable; see Richard Russell and the Warren Report.

5. Nellie Connally: "I turned over my right shoulder and looked back, and saw the President as he had both hands at his neck. ... Then very soon there was the second shot that hit John" (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.4, p.147). James Chaney was one of four police motorcyclists who had a close-up view of the shooting. None of the four was invited to testify before the Warren Commission. Chaney's opinion is known from the testimony of another policeman, Marrion Baker: "I talked to Jim Chaney, and he made the statement that the two shots hit Kennedy first and then the other one hit the Governor" (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.3, p.266). Chaney, incidentally, was filmed on the afternoon of 22 November stating to a reporter that the fatal shot had "hit him [Kennedy] in the face;" see David Wrone, The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination, University Press of Kansas, 2003, p.184.

6. Frame 224 of the Zapruder film shows the right lapel of Connally's jacket flapping outward. This movement cannot have been caused by the same bullet that caused President Kennedy's throat wound, for two reasons. Firstly, the bullet that passed through the front of Connally's jacket did so several inches from the lapel. Secondly, too much time elapsed between Kennedy's throat wound and Connally's lapel flap. The minimum time for a neurological reaction to an external stimulus is 200 milliseconds, or between three and four frames of the Zapruder film. Because frame 224 shows Kennedy's hands already moving toward his throat, the wound to which he is responding cannot have occurred any later than frame 221. A hypothetical bullet fired from the rifle found on the sixth floor would have travelled at least 400 feet between the time of Kennedy's throat wound and the time of Connally's lapel flap. The distance between Kennedy and Connally was about three feet. For details, see G. Paul Chambers, Head Shot: The Science Behind the JFK Assassination, Prometheus Books, 2010, pp.155-8. The flapping of Connally's lapel was probably caused by nothing more sinister than a gust of wind.

7. For the location of the damage to Governor Connally's shirt and jacket, see the Warren Report, p.94. For the surgeon's description of Connally's shattered wrist, see Warren Commission Hearings, vol.4, pp.118ff. For the severed tendon, see ibid., p.124. Nellie Connally later claimed that her husband was still holding onto his hat while laying across the car seat on arrival at Parkland hospital.

8. This objection applies not only to the single-bullet theory but almost certainly to the FBI's four-shot scenario as well.

9. Dr Carrico's testimony: Warren Commission Hearings, vol.3, pp.361f.

10. The Warren Report asserted that "these two holes fell into alinement on overlapping positions when the shirt was buttoned. Each hole was a vertical, ragged slit." (Warren Report, p.92) The FBI's exhibit 60 includes a photograph of the two slits in the collar, which shows that they do not line up completely: the slits are of different shapes, and the one below the button-hole extends higher than the one below the button. This exhibit was withheld from official publication, but is reproduced at: Gerald D. McKnight, op.cit., p.241; Harold Weisberg, Never Again, Carroll and Graf, 1995, p.245; and Robert Groden, The Killing of a President, Viking Studio Press, 1993, p.77. A close-up of the slits in the collar is available online at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website. The photographs of Kennedy's shirt in the Warren Commission Hearings, vol.17, pp.25f are insufficiently detailed to show the cuts in the front or the bullet hole in the back.

11. The traces of copper on the back, but not the front, of Kennedy's shirt: FBI HQ JFK Assassination File, 62-109060-14.

12. The documentary record of President Kennedy's autopsy is severely and inexcusably deficient. Consequently, the locations of none of his wounds are known with any precision. The back wound, for example, was not measured against a standard anatomical feature, and was photographed with the body in a distorted position. The fundamental question, of whether or not the back and throat wounds were caused by the same bullet, could have been answered by dissecting the wounds and the connecting tissue, but the pathologists were ordered not to do this; see Clay Shaw Trial Transcript, pp.115-8. For detailed discussions of the medical evidence, see the sources listed in the Medical Evidence section.

13. Dr Burkley's death certificate: ARRB MD6, p.2. Two other death certificates exist, but neither mentions the location of the back wound with any precision. For the location of the third thoracic vertebra, see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orientation.PNG, on which the third thoracic vertebra is marked 'T3'.

14. The report (ARRB MD44) by James Sibert and Francis O'Neill, the two FBI agents who attended the autopsy, describes "a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column". In private, the Warren Commission was aware of the problem: "the bullet entered below the shoulder blade to the right of the backbone, which is below the place where the picture shows the bullet came out" (Warren Commission Executive Session, 27 January 1963, p.193). The FBI report goes on to contradict two other essential elements of the single-bullet theory: "it was determined that the trajectory of the missile entering at this point had entered at a downward position of 45 to 60 degrees. Further probing determined that the distance travelled by this missile was a short distance inasmuch as the end of the opening could be felt with the finger."

15. The autopsy descriptive sheet was endorsed as correct ("Verified") by Dr Burkley. His endorsement and signature were missing from the version published by the Commission (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.27, p.45 [Commission Exhibit 397]); the complete version was only made public three decades later, by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB MD1). Burkley was the only medical professional to have been present at both Dallas and Bethesda, which would have given him a unique knowledge of Kennedy's wounds. Whether despite or because of this, he was largely ignored by the Warren Commission, and was not even called as a witness. In 1977, Burkley appears to have attempted to offer information about a possible conspiracy to the House Select Committee on Assassinations; see Richard Sprague: Memo re Dr George Burkley.

16. For the location of the holes in President Kennedy's jacket and shirt, see the Warren Report, p. 92 and FBI HQ JFK Assassination File, 62-109060-14. The photographs in FBI exhibit 60 show the locations; see note 10 above.

17. Photograph no. 5 by Phil Willis corresponds to frame 202 of the Zapruder film, and is the photograph that was taken closest in time to the hypothetical shot from the sixth floor. For the timing of Willis's photograph, see David Wrone, op.cit., pp.119f. Frame 202 occurs just under half a second before frame 210, the first point at which Kennedy would have become visible to a sixth-floor gunman, and 1.2 seconds before frame 224, the last frame before Kennedy is seen reacting to his throat wound. For a clear reproduction of Willis's photograph, see Robert Groden, op.cit., p.24 and Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination, Bernard Geis Associates, 1967, p.223. Willis himself claimed that he took the photograph in immediate response to hearing the first shot, which, if true, would by itself disprove the single-bullet theory. For more about the contradiction between the holes in the shirt and jacket and the Warren Commission's single-bullet theory, see The Single-Bullet Theory and the Holes in JFK's Shirt and Jacket.

18. The distance and angle from the sixth-floor window to Kennedy: Warren Report, p.106. The Warren Commission was obliged to line up not only Kennedy's back and throat wounds, but also Connally's back wound. The Commission's own reconstruction demonstrated that the only way this could be done was by placing Kennedy's back wound too high and his throat wound too low: Warren Commission Hearings, vol.18, p.96 (Commission Exhibit 903).

19. See note 17 for details of Phil Willis's photograph.

See Also —

Oswald's Rifle and Paraffin Tests  http://22november1963.org.uk/oswald-rifle-and-paraffin-tests
How Did Oswald Kill President Kennedy?  http://22november1963.org.uk/how-did-oswald-kill-kennedy
Was Oswald an Expert Marksman?  http://22november1963.org.uk/lee-harvey-oswald-marksman-sharpshooter

homepage: homepage: http://22november1963.org.uk/single-bullet-theory-jfk-assassination

jump seat? 07.Mar.2015 07:51


another fact that doesn't fit the agenda so its omitted.

the jump seat Kennedy was sitting in was a few inches higher than Connolly's seat. This accounts for the single bullet. but you won't find that fact in any conspiracy blogs because they have an agenda to run with.

RE: " jump seat Kennedy was sitting in " 07.Mar.2015 11:51

Nice Try

WRONG — It was Governor Connolly (not JFK) who sat in the limousine's jump seat that day.

But You Won't Find That In Any Troll Comments Because They Have An Agenda Of Disinformation To Run With.

JFK was sitting higher than the gov. 07.Mar.2015 13:06


naturally when you are riding with the president, the governor sits higher than the president, the driver sits higher than all of them, and the hobo on the side of the road is in a throne..

"JFK was sitting higher than the gov" / "Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14" 07.Mar.2015 13:15

we believe you

Hey "i" —

maybe JFK was sitting about 7.62 inches higher than Connolly on an M-14 jump seat ?

7.62 07.Mar.2015 17:19


millimeters. but who cares about accuracy in alternate media..

RE: " millimeters " 07.Mar.2015 19:40

Nice Try

don't worry, "i"...

We wouldn't expect the USMC Stolen Valor clown who professes that:

"Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14"

to be conversant with either the Imperial or metric systems.

Stolen Valor 08.Mar.2015 07:36



you have no concept what valor is. none.

you live your life wiping your ass with the freedom others provided you.

I believe you are living the life you deserve. Proud parents, bragging to the neighbors and friends as to what you have become and all of your accomplishments.

And that pleases me more than you can imagine.

have a wonderful day.

What migtht not be relevant 08.Mar.2015 07:56

Mike Novack

I remember where I was at the time, but that's not what I want to talk about.

Shortly after I had the opportunity to talk with somebody "in the trade" (protection side at the time; but who had worked the other side too). He told me a few things.

a)Low quality rifle: Off the shelf maybe, but easily "tightened up" by a gunsmith and very suited for fast shooting work. One of the ones he himself would have considered for a job like that.

b)Impossible shot: Nonsense.

c) Oswald's records not indicating the ability: Discount this totally. Do not trust the records. Expect a professional "in the trade" to have managed to get his records fudged with.

Oh, and relevant to what somebody posted about the comparable records of the "tower" shooting not meaning much because so many targets about. You'd be a sucker for the "penny toss" game (and other carnival games where the real odds are a "relative surface area matter"). Maybe lots of people, but if their total "cross section area" relative to the "ground area" were 20% (and that is surely MUCH denser than what was there) then 4 out of 5 shots would have missed according to your idea that wasn't hitting the person aimed (good shooting) but hit somebody else.

Mike 08.Mar.2015 09:26


I haven't studied the subject that much but I've seen a theory that the reason Oswald picked this Italian bolt action rifle was because it was the cheapest one. I don't know if that is true or not. Oh, and the other reason is the name of the rifle did not contain a Dash.. Not have a dash in the name would throw off the Warren commission and allow right wing bloggers to steal valor.. DoH!

Its been proven multiple times the shot could be made, but that info doesn't sell books or DVDs..

A little ugly disillusioned commie kook took a shot at a right wing judge and missed, and then took a shot at the President and scored?


A vast conspiracy involving hundreds of people in the FBI, CIA, Dallas police dept. Texas Rangers, Army Special Forces out of San Antonio, Doctors at Parkland Hospital, Doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Secret Service and the Vice President all agreed that Kennedy would win reelection and Bell Helicopter and General Dynamics wouldn't be awarded lucrative defense contracts? A grand tale, right up there with Gone with the Wind I think.

There are those who will always believe the worst, the most incredible, the biggest steaming pile, because of their own deficiencies.

" you live your life wiping your ass with the freedom others provided " 08.Mar.2015 11:17

Nice Try

I lived in other nations (as an American civilian) for years at a time,

Dodging ordnance provided / funded by :

" the freedom others provided "

aka the U.S. military industrial complex.

fortunately enough for me (not others though) I was able to come through it intact.

So ***K OFF.

Anyway "I" you little ugly disillusioned statist kook, take your steaming piles BS and lies about —

"Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14"

and go shove it where the sun don't shine.

You have polluted this online community quite enough with your sewage.

Nice Try 08.Mar.2015 11:34


oooohhh.. direct hit. I sunk your ego ship..

So 08.Mar.2015 11:47


Are we now to assume that not only is i the same as Erasmus, but Mike Novack too? It seems the easiest way to explain away these rational thoughts.

I saw the smoke from the grassy knoll 08.Mar.2015 11:49


Because they shot JFK with a civil war musket since smokeless gun powder has been around for over a century.


easiest way to explain away these rational thoughts 08.Mar.2015 11:53



its all about the easiest explanations isn't it?

Mike — RE: your 'in the trade' friend's remarks, rifle gunsmithing 08.Mar.2015 12:05

Nice Try

Please refer to the thread and discussion posts regarding the type of rifle Oswald selected :


RE: 'cheapness' (low cost, less $$$$ etc.) of the rifle :

This makes no sense, as most military surplus rifles particularly in the U.S. market of 1962-63 (and still some models today in a relative/adjusted-for-inflation sense) were exceedingly cheap and affordable to average, working-class citizens.

The difference in purchase price between an Italian-made Carcano and other military surplus bolt-action rifles such as (various make/caliber) Mausers, 1903 Springfield, Swiss K11 / K31, Lee-Enfield .303 was negligible, and in some cases the Carcano was more expensive.

These pricing options apply to the very same vendor from which he supposedly procured the Carcano. Repros of their catalog (at the time Oswald purchased his rifle) with prices are available online.

So anyone stating :

"Oswald picked this Italian bolt action rifle was because it was the cheapest one"

is pointing out an irrelevance.

The other milsurp rifles, higher quality, faster firing, more accurate and reliable etc. were comparable within less than $5 (five dollars) in price. And in some instances may have been cheaper.

See the thread discussion posts regarding the cost / purchase price issue, specifically :


Regarding the other remarks made by your friend —
a)Low quality rifle: easily "tightened up" by a gunsmith and very suited for fast shooting work
One of the ones he himself would have considered for a job like that.

Yes the Carcano is generally lower manufacturing quality compared with its contemporary military issue bolt actions.

"Very suited for fast shooting work" —

Perhaps only in a 'wishful thinking' / 'creative embellishment' way.

The Carcano is/could ?? be "suited" for "fast shooting", if by such remarks one means to imply that the rifle is able to be handled and pointed easily in rapid fire sequence.

This is due to the fact that the Carcano fires a 6.5mm cartridge, slightly smaller in size than a 7.65mm or 7.92mm Mauser, .30-06 Springfield (1903 rifle), .303 Lee Enfield etc.

Due to the smaller cartridge size, the rifle design itself is less bulky, lighter, and slightly shorter.

Considered __by itself__ this characteristic of the Carcano (carbine) makes it relatively easier to handle and move/point to successive targets. (Than a Lee-Enfield, 1903 Springfield etc.)

Also, Oswald had the Carbine version of the Carcano which is actually about a full 1 foot shorter than the full-length Carcano long rifle. More concealable (for all same reasons mentioned above) as well.

i.e. if your friend was remarking about potential "fast shooting" aspects of the rifle and he meant these then he was right.

The action of Carcano is not an ideal one, compared with for example a Mauser-based design. Even with "gunsmith modifications" as your friend was presumably alluding to.

.303 Lee Enfield bolt action for example was world reknowned for its rapid-fire ability, and would have made a far better choice right off the rack as to rapid-fire capability.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald even have a gunsmith? Apparently there is an Irving, Texas  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dial_D._Ryder sporting goods store who claim that 'OSWALD' [signature on receipt tag] had a rifle drilled for telescopic sights there.

Problem is the Carcano carbine that Oswald purchased by mail order, was apparently pre-fitted with a scope. i.e. if that was in fact the 'culprit' rifle, he wouldn't have required the gunsmith's services to mount optics.

( Just thinking out loud.... could this perhaps have been part of the 'paper trail setup' for making it "seem as though" Oswald had external work done to set up the/a rifle for telescopic sights ?? ..... )

See above^^ : there is some plausibility in your friend's assertion that a Carcano carbine is relatively more able to be handled and sighted by a rifleman on to successive targets, due to its comparative size/weight advantage vs. a typical Mauser, etc.

But the notion, as seemingly proposed by your friend, that a Carcano — specifically its bolt action — can be 'set up' by a gunsmith for efficient rapid fire (as compared with Mauser, Lee Enfield) is tenuous at best.

There are many other (noted above) bolt action military issue rifles and carbines far more suited to having their actions modified/optimized for rapid fire; and furthermore have more robust, reliable, higher quality and easily-manipulated bolt actions to begin with.

i.e. the Carcano, regarding bolt action modification for rapid fire, ain't the best place to start.
(And indeed wasn't, in either purchase price or availability,on the U.S. market in 1963.)

All of this discussion, btw about "which rifle LHO chose" of course pre-supposes that he himself picked the Carcano out, and not someone else (did it for him).

b)Impossible shot: Nonsense.

Yeah it may not have been "Impossible" but, not even the most dedicated 'debunkers' are really claiming that.

It is simply __extremely unlikely__ and implausible given the following factors :

- Geographic circumstances (trees, angle of shot)
- Moving limousine target
- Type/quality of rifle employed
- Time interval for shots fired
- Total number of shots fired was disputed
- 'Kill' delivered by a sole, sinuous trajectory "magic bullet"

Please note that none of the above factors, mentions LHO's own inherent shooting ability (irrespective of rifle/circumstance)

c) Oswald's records not indicating the ability: Discount this totally. Do not trust the records.
Expect a professional "in the trade" to have managed to get his records fudged with.

Here is where your friend (/ you too?) start to sound like a "conspiracy theorist".

Yes it is possible (?) but I happen to think unlikely that LHO's USMC marksmanship records may have been fudged with.

But this (even if it did happen) would not really matter that much. He sounds like a middling to barely-proficient rifle marksman by USMC standards, and further by all the non-USMC information available both prior and subsequent to his service in the Marine Corps.

The more troubling aspects of all records of Lee Harvey Oswald provided by the U.S. government are the ones of the FBI and CIA, regarding for example his appearance at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. And his presence in/around/to-and-from New Orleans. et cetera.

RE: " direct hit " 08.Mar.2015 12:14

Nice Try

With your 7.62 M-14[sic] ?

no chance.

"Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14"

btw in addition to your myriad delusions ("Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14" being only tip of the iceberg) about what function your own — purported — USMC service obtained for others (Translation: you weren't drafted you volunteered, therefore nobody gives a fuck) (assuming it ever even occurred in the first place),

lecturing persons at-large here about " the freedom others provided you " Lol. r o t f l m a o.

you are also severely handicapped in what function the U.S. military performs both domestically and overseas. But your lack of understanding of mass media and its cumulative effect own upbringing/brainwashing (inclusive of your own personal choice to enlist) keeps you in that prison.

I believe you are living the life you deserve though. Especially since Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14.

Lee-Enfield 08.Mar.2015 12:16


clearly you are a CONINTELPRO because you used a dash between Lee and Enfield.

Watched a documentary a few years ago, and they said he picked the rifle due to the cost (from the magazine). your argument is with the expert in the documentary, not me.

Those surplus Italian rifles could have been used ones. I really don't know or don't care. Just know the shot was consistent with his training, skillset, and the weapon's capability.

Rifles haven't smoked that much since battle of Antietam (except in Oliver Stone movies).



annual qualificaton 08.Mar.2015 12:21


all marines are required to qualify annually with a rifle. Dashes are optional.

Mike — Further to Oswald's marksmanship (USMC) scores/skill 08.Mar.2015 12:30

Nice Try

Your friend's last remark had addressed whether the U.S.-gov provided marksmanship evaluation results can be "trusted",

and I discussed that somewhat ^above  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2015/03/429314.shtml#441661

But another thing to remember — even if we are 'devil's advocate' pre-supposing that the records were somehow (?) "faked" —

is that all USMC recruits of his era qualified on the rifle range with the semi-automatic M1 Garand.

(Getting back again here, to the type and mechanical characteristics of rifle discussion.)

In terms of manipulating the rifle's self-loading action, the M1 Garand, for military recruits is a much easier rifle to keep on target in successive shots than the manually operated bolt action designs it replaced.

Therefore, any marksmanship trial scores achieved using the semi-auto Garand would have to take that mechanism into account,

vs. for example LHO's own riflemanship experience/skills outside the USMC with other types of rifles; particularly older military surplus, bolt-action designs such as the Carcano (or Mauser, Lee Enfield etc.)

i.e. Oswald's Marine-Corps-measured riflemanship, with the semi-auto M1 Garand would have been even further challenged — in Dealey Plaza — by his use of a relatively sub-standard WWI-era bolt action design such as the Carcano.

More of these aspects discussed in my thread comment here :

Oswald had qualified twice at Marksman level in the Marines. 08.Mar.2015 12:32


found this. don't know where he got his info, but its interesting.

BTW, Marksmen is a lower grade than Sharpshooter.


" CONINTELPRO [sic] because you used a dash between Lee and Enfield " 08.Mar.2015 12:44

Nice Try

Actually we're both wrong.

Wikipedia has its entry with a dash between the two words.

(Many historical references use both conventions, it's not hard and fast rules)

The name of that rifle, by the way is an abbreviation.

There are many other formal, and informal names (applied by its myriad users around the world) and designations for the basic design and its many subsequent variations.

The Lee-Enfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle's bolt system—James Paris Lee—and the factory in which it was designed—the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Southern Africa and India the rifle became known simply as the "three-oh-three".[9]

Magazine Lee-Enfield

The Lee-Enfield rifle was introduced in November 1895 as the .303 calibre, Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Enfield,[3] or more commonly Magazine Lee-Enfield, or MLE (sometimes spoken as "emily" instead of M, L, E). The next year a shorter version was introduced as the Lee-Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch (540 mm) barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch (770 mm) one in the "long" version.[3] Both underwent a minor upgrade series in 1899 (the omission of the cleaning / clearing rod), becoming the Mk I*.[13] Many LECs (and LMCs in smaller numbers) were converted to special patterns, namely the New Zealand Carbine and the Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine, or NZ and RIC carbines, respectively.[14] Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were converted to load from chargers, and designated Charger Loading Lee-Enfields, or CLLEs.[15]
Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk I

A shorter and lighter version of the original MLE—the famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as "Smellie", rather than S, M, L, E)[7]—was introduced on 1 January 1904.[16] The barrel was now halfway in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm).[16]

The SMLE's visual trademark was its blunt nose, with only the bayonet boss protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap, being modeled on the Swedish Model 1894 Cavalry Carbine. The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system,[17] another innovation borrowed from the Mauser rifle;[18] notably the charger system is different from the fixed "bridge" that later became the standard, being a charger clip (stripper clip) guide on the face of the bolt head. The shorter length was controversial at the time: many Rifle Association members and gunsmiths were concerned that the shorter barrel would not be as accurate as the longer MLE barrels, that the recoil would be much greater, and the sighting radius would be too short.[19]

there's also the :

Pattern 1913 Enfield
Pattern 1914/US M1917
Rifle No. 4 Mk I
"Jungle Carbine" Rifle No. 5 Mk I
7.62mm Ishapore 2A
SMLE No. 1 Mk. III* (HT) HT — Heavy Barrel, Telescopic Sight



Over 17 million of these rifles were built. Some are still being used on battlefields today.

Wikipedia has its entry with a dash between the two words. 08.Mar.2015 12:52



I cleverly placed that dash on the Wikipedia page to discredit you..

You have now fallen prey to my evil plan...

RE: " Oswald had qualified twice at Marksman level " 08.Mar.2015 12:52

Nice Try

I've already seen the GunsAmerica article you linked, at the time of its publication in November 2013.

All that article says is a single, unreferenced sentence :
" because Oswald had qualified twice at Marksman level in the Marines. "

Perhaps this is intended to imply his __minimum__ score? (i.e. he 'at least' achieved 'Marksman', both times...)

The official Warren Commission Exhibit 239, which displayed Oswald's USMC score card, states that in late 1956 (around time of LHO's initial boot camp) he — barely — qualified as 'Sharpshooter', and subsequently 1959 he — again, barely — qualified as 'Marksman'.

Here it is again from the originally posted Newswire article :


In the late 1950s, US Marines were categorised at three levels of shooting ability, according to the scores they achieved at a standardised test of their accuracy:

Expert: a score of 220 to 250.
Sharpshooter: 210 to 219.
Marksman: 190 to 209.

According to his Marine score card (Commission Exhibit 239), Oswald was tested twice:

In December 1956, after "a very intensive 3 weeks' training period" (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.11, p.302), Oswald scored 212: two marks above the minimum for a 'sharpshooter'.

In May 1959, he scored 191: one mark above the minimum for a 'marksman'.

RE: Wikipedia Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory 08.Mar.2015 13:06

Nice Try

" I cleverly placed that dash on the Wikipedia page to discredit you. "

Did you also place the dash on the Lee-Metford page ?

(Last time Wiki Lee-Enfield page had an edit, was Tuesday March 3rd... 2 days prior to my posting of the LHO Marksman article to PDX IMC newswire)

what is it with you WingNuts and your distrust of Wiki / Wikipedia = Discredit, Unreliable ?

Wikipedia isn't black helicopters. Or the U.N. Or global warming.

you paranoid WingNut freaks.

Anyway I do know/understand that was your attempt at a 'joke'.

but (srsly) you need a hobby. Or at least, a girlfriend.

you need a hobby. 08.Mar.2015 17:42


I have a hobby. I'm flypaper............... and your stuck.

Keep Posting, You've Severely Degraded Over The Past 2 Weeks 08.Mar.2015 17:47


"Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14"

r o t f l m a o

It's telling JFK cts have a new lease on life..... 08.Mar.2015 19:00


...now the inventor of the worst JFK theory(driver shot Kennedy) is in deep kimchee spreading lies about the Sandy Hook Shooting victims. It's like a JFK foil hat renaissance....

RE: " miami " — Guess what else happened there. 08.Mar.2015 19:13


Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14.

Guess what else happened there 08.Mar.2015 19:19


he used a dash between Miami and Guess. oh no.. That's a dead give away here.

I meant an M1, but... 09.Mar.2015 09:08


But, Because I said M-14 with a dash, that seems to drive Mr. Nice Try nuts, so lets stick with that.

I know how hard it is to hit a target at 500 meters consistently, or how easy it is at 82 meters, moving or otherwise. In Oswald's day, it was easier because he qualified with a 7.62 M-14, and I had to qualify in the 1970s with a 5.56 M-16A1. The maximum effective range of that weapon was 460 meters, 40 meters shy of the target you had to hit. The Marine Corps was forced to use the M-16 during Vietnam but the refused to lower their standards, hence required qualification at the same distances with a smaller caliber.

I'm not here for daily affirmations or an ego bath.. Not really focused on it, but when someone starts trying to tie 9-11 hologram remote control planes to Oswald (previous post), I just can't help but jump in and call "bullshit". actually at one time i was rather convinced that Oliver Stone was right. However i started to research it and found out how much of that movie was pure fiction (much of it was). It was very entertaining, and its a grand tale, but that doesn't mean most of it happened that way.

Anyway, you have been one of the few people here to engage in a thoughtful discussion of the topic instead of loony-toon type rants. I assume those people are incapable of any other type of dialog when their beliefs are challenged.

" I'm not here for daily affirmations or an ego bath " 09.Mar.2015 09:57

That's Not What You Said, And We Don't Care

" In Oswald's day, it was easier because he qualified with a 7.62 M-14 "

" You must have been a marine or a cop, "

Sack Of Nice Try 09.Mar.2015 17:00


Oswald could make the shot.

Oswald could make the shot with a Carcano.

Oswald Could make the shot with an M1 or an M-1 or an M---------------------------------------------------1

Oswald could make the shot with an M-14, or an M14.

If you are looking for something that is 7.62mm, look between your legs Mr. Nice Try.


What "i" Looks Like When He Posts On Portland IMC 09.Mar.2015 17:35

Nice Try

He's a toddler who just took a big dump in his diaper,

then reaches back there with his hand to take it and smear all over the walls of this house (PDX IMC).

After that he walks to the center of the living room and piddles all over the rug.

^ That's your sole contribution in a few months presence on this site.

" incapable of any other type of dialog[sic] "

You're not here to provide, or foster "dialogue". You are here to prevent, inhibit, monkeywrench and sabotage it.


Be aware though, your credibility with each new keystroke on this site sinks ever lower.

You need to be replaced by your handlers. Field evaluator is coming to town. "i"'s Days are numbered.

" I know how hard it is / had to qualify in the 1970s with a 5.56 M-16A1 "

blah blah blah.....

Nobody cares about your beyond-pathetic ineptitude with firearms. Do you hear me (or others) talking about my own rifle marksmanship proficiency, regarding the JFK assassination sharpshooting?

No relevance whatsoever to Oswald's 1957-59 USMC service, or the testimony provide by one of his fellow servicemen here:

Testimony Of USMC Vet Nelson Delgado On Oswald's Marksmanship

Furthermore —

" Oswald qualified with a 7.62 M-14 "

Prior to assuming you have anything relevant to offer a "discussion" (even though your actual role is Disinformation)

at least have the courtesy to bring the remotest Clue
(no, not the board game.... Oswald in the TSBD window with Carcano. NOPE NOPE NOPE)

of what in the ***K you are talking about.

introduced to USMC, 1964
introduced in small numbers only to US _Army_, July 1959

May 1959 final marksmanship qualification in USMC
October 1959 defected to USSR
Died November 1963

Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of rifle did you use?
Mr. DELGADO - He had an M1. We all had M1s.
Mr. LIEBELER - Carbine or rifle?
Mr. DELGADO - The M1 rifle.

( M1 = .30-06 )

Oh wait.................

"i" = too much of a pansy (unlike Oswald) to even handle a .30-06

The Hidden Fascist Mafia Master Class Killed 13.Mar.2015 19:17


....Killed JFK.

What more do you need to know?

Neocon scum.