Item One  The Hardware is the first page of several more to come. Composed using Firefox. If links don't work try Copy and Paste. Your comments are welcome. --D. Phillips  Updated 16 February 2014


ITEM 1 The Hardware    Smaller type size indicates that the text comes from a cited source.

November of 1963 and in the army, I was often firing rifles and pistols. Although I had owned guns from the age of ten--common to small-town Texas--my military target scores rarely exceeded the average. Fellow infantrymen were mostly draftees from cities and their rifle range scores were laughable but even us “country” soldiers seldom hit the bull’s eye.
     From the beginning days of the cover-up of the JFK assassination my firearms knowledge made very dubious the official pronouncement that "a lone gunman" shot the president. Oswald's almost silly olden rifle shooting at a moving target and scoring a hit even one time within a few seconds was immediately questionable. A bolt-action rifle with a defective scope and firing antique bullets? I have a bridge for sale.

                                                                                                                                                             --D. Phillips
Oswald may have possessed two pistols.
In a famous Life Magazine photo he is shown with a revolver in a cowboy-style side holster. That pistol would not have been his snub-nose .38 but more likely a .22 with a standard six-inch length barrel. A Saturday night special such as the .38 will fall out of a side holster too easily.

Oswald's Smith & Wesson .38
When he was arrested this is the pistol that the police say he had and that he shot twice but neither round fired. Later, the FBI expert said that he could not fire a test round until he had repaired the firing pin.


"Oswald's .38 S&W was a "special" model. He did not order the special version (from Seaport Traders). The purchases of the rifle and pistol were were a set-up. Oswald ordered the 36" model rifle but the 40" model was found in the TSBD building."
                                                                                   --George Bailey

Was Oswald the world's best shot?
Not according to his military record using a semi-automatic M-1 rifle. As a civilian was Oswald an avid target shooter at any time in his life or did he practice much? No. After returning from Russia he would not have had money for such a hobby nor for developingthe skills to become a rapid-fire super sniper--with a cumbersome bolt-action. If you believe the Warren Omission's three-shots-only fibs then here is an indication that Oswald (or whoever was firing) was not such a good shot after all and that more than three bullets were flying around:
     "Soon after the shots were fired, Tague (a spectator at Dealey Plaza -DP) was approached by Dallas sheriff detective Buddy Walthers, who had noticed that Tague had specks of blood on his right facial cheek. The detective asked Tague where he had been standing. The two men then examined the area and discovered--on the upper part of the Main Street south curb--a ''very fresh scar'' impact that, to each of them, looked like a bullet had struck there and taken a small chip out of the curb's concrete. They came to the conclusion that one bullet ricocheted off the curb  and the debris hit Tague. This curb surrounding the scar chip was not cut out until August 1964, and is now in the National Archives. The scar chip was 23 feet 6 inches (7.2 m) east of the east edge of the triple underpass railroad bridge, about 20 (6.1 m) feet from where Tague stood during the attack. The detective told Tague it looked like a bullet had been fired from one of the Houston and Elm Streets intersection buildings and had hit the curb."
     The FBI wanted to test the rifle's accuracy and unexpectedly found that the scope was impossibly out of alignment and they had to use several shims to get it into condition.

Oswald's Easier Target
Purportedly, Oswald had tried and failed to shoot Dallas' ex-general Walker before the JFK killing. Even though he was concealed at a short distance and under less time pressure than that of November 22, Oswald fired only once (and no more shots were fired). This odd event tends to make rifle-expert Oswald just a part-time expert.

Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig and the 7.5 caliber Mauser Rifle
In this video you see that three experienced lawmen identified Oswald's rifle as Mauser--not the 6.5 "Oswald Rifle"; at 4 minutes and 27 seconds: 
       One of the officers promptly wrote and signed an affidavit verifying a Mauser but after thinking it over later he decided he had made a mistake about both the caliber and maker name.             


The "Oswald" rifle was not fired
"Normally, an investigator examining a weapon to determine if it has been fired, will look first at the outside of the weapon. A visual examination of the condition of the weapon, including an examination of the condition of the firing pin. Next, he examines the inside of the weapon, checking the inside of the barrel and examining the inside of the operating mechanism, the bolt and its parts.
     In his testimony, FBI firearms expert Robert Frazier testified that he observed that the inside of the barrel of the Depository rifle was "roughened from corrosion", then connected the "corrosion" to rust with his comment that "if a barrel is allowed to rust, one round will remove that rust."
     So how could the barrel have surface rust after THREE rounds had been fired through it?"

Two rifles shown on the 6th floor
If a second rifle or shotgun belonged to a lawman why was it placed in such an awkward manner?
There were plenty of stacked boxes that would have made suitable platforms on which to lay an "official" weapon.


Yet another rifle found--on the fourth floor
“Adding a new wrinkle is the obscure testimony of Frank Ellsworth, an agent for the ATF who was in the Texas School Book Depository building and participated in later searches... claimed the Italian rifle was found on the fourth floor and not the sixth. He theorized that Oswald, after shooting, ran down the stairs and dumped the Mannlicher-Carcano behind the boxes there on the fourth floor. That would imply another shooter with Oswald on the sixth floor. Ellsworth stuck by this story years later in a 1993 interview with authors Ray and Mary LaFontaine. I note this account here only as a possible explanation in finding a different model of rifle on the sixth floor. Regardless, Frank ElIsworth remains the only witness to this event. It's an odd side trip to say the least.”


Two more rifles found in the Texas School Book Depository
Two days before the assassination Warren was showing off his Mauser and a .22 rifles in the Texas School Book Depository.


Mr. Ball: On November 20, 1963, you saw two guns owned by Mr. Warren Caster, can you tell me where and when and the circumstances under which you saw these guns?

Mr. Truly: It was during the lunch period or right at the end of the lunch period on November 20. Mr. Caster came in the door from the first floor and spoke to me and showed me two rifles that he had just purchased. I looked at these and picked up the larger one of the two and examined it and handed it back to Mr. Caster, with the remark that it was really a handsome rifle or words to that effect, at which time Mr. Caster explained to me that he had bought himself a rifle to go deer hunting with, and he hadn't had one and he had been intending to buy one for a long time, and that he had also bought a .22 rifle for his boy.

Mr. Ball: Did you handle the .22 rifle?

Mr. Truly: Not that I recall.

Mr. Ball: You did see it, though?

Mr. Truly: I did see it.


Action on the Roof
Oswald's 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano was not the only weapon seen in Dealey Plaza that day. At 1 p.m. Dallas police officers were filmed by Ernest Charles Mentesana removing a rifle from the roof of the Depository. Unlike the Oswald rifle, the rifle Mentesana filmed had no sling, no scope, and protruded at least 7-8 inches past the stock, where Oswald's extended only 4-5 inches. [17] In the film two police officers are standing on a fire escape at the seventh floor of the Depository gesturing to the roof. In the next sequence the rifle is being examined.
     Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Thayer Waldo watched a group of high-ranking Dallas police officers huddle together for a conference just a few minutes after 1 p.m. on the day of the shooting. When he spoke to a secretary who was privy to the officers' conversations, she told Waldo that police officers had found a rifle on the "roof of the School Book Depository." [18]
     W. Anthony Marsh believes the rifle shown in the film is very likely a Dallas Police Department Remington 870 shotgun. Marsh notes that the Dallas Police Department used Remington 870 shotguns. One of the officers escorting three men in the railyards after the shooting was carrying a Remington 870 shotgun. [19] 


Exploding Bullets
William Newman was one of the spectators positioned closest to JFK when the shot hit his head. Newman saw a flash and then a spray of blood and tissue. In the Zapruder film it clear to me that there is a flaring, white explosion at the instant of the bullet hitting the head. At 5 minutes and 15 seconds into the following video link you can see a hint of smoke in the air. This explosion could lend credence to James Files' assertion that he was one of the assassins and that he used an exploding bullet to do the job. There has been mention of the "Oswald” head-shot bullet fragmenting but why did his other bullets not fragment? In this exploding-bullet video I believe there are similarities to the target and to the head shot in the Zapruder film: (If the link does not work, Copy and Paste it into your browser window.)

At the instant of the bullet hitting JFK's head there is a puff of white smoke. The first photo below is from JFK's right side, the Zapruder film. The second photo is from JFK's left side, the Muchmore film.




An example of an exploding bullet. 
I am not suggesting that this is the type that was used in the assassination.

That amazing pristine bullet found at Parkland Hospital
It had to have come from John Connally's body. Right? It could not have been "dropped" or planted by any number of people including Jack Ruby. Right? The bullet proved that Oswald was the shooter. Right? Well... if the Warren Omission declared that the pristine bullet had fallen out of John Connally's thigh then by god that would be the truth of it. But Nightclub Jack was probably the lad who planted the bullet since he was at Parkland and could have easily brought it to the scene:

Secret Serviceman Planted the Pristine Bullet?

A very close friend and neighbor of US Secret Service Samuel A. Kinney (driver of the follow-up car) says he found the bullet in the car and placed it and a piece of skull on the stretcher. Also Kinney supposedly said he had seen smoke and heard the shot from the Grassy Knoll.
Interview with Kinney:

More than three bullets means conspiracy. The FBI says No.
Two additional items, unavailable to the Warren Commission, were considered by the committee as possibly relevant to its inquiry. The first was a bullet fragment found in 1974 near the triple overpass in Dealey Plaza by Richard Lester. (52) Lester turned it over to the FBI on December l, 1976, requesting that an analysis be conducted to determine if it might be connected with the assassination. (53) The FBI laboratory obtained from the National Archives the bullets test-fired in the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in 1963, and on July 28, 1977, examined the bullet fragment and compared it to the Mannlicher-Carcano test-fired bullets. (54) The laboratory determined that both the Lester bullet and the test-fired bullets were 6.5 millimeter caliber, but the Lester bullet was found to be a jacketed, soft-point or jacketed, hollow-point sporting bullet, whereas the Mannlicher-Carcano bullet was to be a full metal jacketed, soft-point or jacketed, hollow-point sporting bullet, whereas the Marmlicher-Carcano bullet was to be a full metal jacketed, military type soft-point sporting bullet, whereas the Mannlicher-Carcano bullet was to be a full metal jacketed, military type. Although the rifling impressions were similar, four lands and grooves, right twist, the widths of the land and groove impressions were found to vary by about 0.01 inch. The individual identifying characteristics were found to be different. Thus, the laboratory concluded that there was no indication the Lester bullet had been fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. (55) The laboratory returned the test-fired bullets to the Archives (56) and the fragment to Lester at the completion of its examination. (57) The select committee obtained the bullet from Lester on November 10, 1977. (58) The second item of evidence was a bullet fragment found in 1967 by Rich Haythorne, who was working as a roofer on top of the Massey Roofing Co. building in the 1200 block of Elm Street, about eight blocks from the Texas School Book Depository (59) (the building is no longer there). It had remained in the possession of Haythorne's attorney, Bill Mason, until he sent it to the committee on April 20, 1977. (60)

The Oswald Rifle “Hulls” 
There is evidence that as many as five cartridges were found in the “sniper nest”, not just three.

Why Three Hulls?
The so-called shooter did not have to eject the third shell. If he did then the rifle should have had a live round in the chamber when discovered.
     Witnesses said, and photographs show, that the three hulls were found in at least two different configurations: one was that they were scattered randomly and two that they were only a few inches apart in a neat row. Either way the cartridges were intended to be discovered and used as evidence against Oswald.
     Researcher Joseph P. Farrell says that one of the cartridges was in such poor condition that it could never have been fired from any rifle.

If the bullets were not antiques was this the source?
"But the FBI proved remarkably incurious about one clue that led straight to the Minutemen. After the assassination, the FBI contacted all gun shops in the Dallas-Irving area, and found that only two had carried the type of Mannlicher Carcano 6.5 millimeter ammunition believed to have struck President Kennedy. Of these, only one gun dealer had reloaded bullets with the same kind of hunting load used in the shooting of the president. This dealer was John Masen." (The FBI interviewed him but did not ask about the Minutemen of Dallas. --DP)

Shooting Tippet
"Oswald" shoots Tippit four times, three hits in the chest area and one in the head. He then takes time to eject the shells from his revolver and leave  them at the scene. Thus the Tippit shooter not only took time to discard the empty shells before fleeing but then waited to insert new bullets into the cylinder. Oswald had five live bullets in his pocket when arrested and five in the cylinder of the .38 according to the Dallas police. Some reports claim the Tippet hulls were from an automatic, not a revolver. But Oswald's pistol could not fire anyway!

Strange Evidence
The empty shells obtained and initialed by Officer Poe at the scene of Tippit's murder were apparently not the same shells the Warren Commission held as evidence. When the Commission's shells were shown to Poe months later, he could not find and identify the marks he remembered making. Two .38 Remington-Peters and two .38 Winchester-Western hulls were found. But only one Remington-Peters slug and three Winchester-Western slugs were removed from Tippit's body. The .38 revolver taken from Oswald had been rechambered (slightly enlarged) to accept .38 Special cartridges. When discharged through a rechambered weapon, .38 Special cartridges "bulge" in the middle and are noticeably "fatter" than cartridges fired in an unchambered revolver. The empty cartridges, found in the National Archives, appear normal in size, indicating that they were fired in an original .38 revolver-not in a rechambered revolver such as the one taken from Harvey Oswald at the Texas Theater. The revolver taken from Oswald at the Texas Theater was not the gun used to kill Tippit. The Warren Commission tells us that Oswald ordered the .38 pistol from Seaport Traders in Los Angeles, via REA Express. But they have never explained how REA Express delivered the pistol C.O.D. to P.O. Box 2915 in Dallas. Who would deliver a gun C.O.D. to a post office box? Who paid REA? How were they paid? Who signed for the delivery? These riddles have yet to be answered.

The Photograph
Supposedly taken by Marina Oswald and then doctored by Life Magazine. Two professional photoanalysts, one British and another Canadian, both conclude this photo not to be of LHO and that the series is fake.


A Take-apart Sniper Rifle
Ed Hoffman's power of observation is unusually good because he is a deaf mute and is much more aware of his surroundings than most people. He saw a shooter behind the fence at the grassy knoll and after the assassination the man gave the rifle to a "railroad workman". The workman disassembled the rifle, put it in a tool box and walked away.

Example of a rifle that can be taken apart quickly:


An In-Front Shooter
This photo is so vague that the weapon type and design is hard to ascertain. I believe that one cause of the the blur is that the sniper has not yet fired and that he is moving to his right following JFK in the car and aiming for the right eye of the president. James Files claimed to be the shooter and that a head shot from the rear hit the president “one-thousandth of a second” before he himself fired and therefore his exploding bullet missed hitting the president in the eye as intended.

The man in the image below seems to be rather big or his weapon is unusually short.


The Remington Fireball
James Files claimed that this is the model and type weapon he used to shoot JFK.


At least two researchers mention that the front shot(s) was fired from a Mauser pistol. An example: 

One bang...second bang...then bang-bang
"If Oswald were the only shooter there would have to be at least 2.3 seconds between shots, assuming he used the telescopic sight found on the Mannlicher-Carcano. The three shots that the Warren Commission claimed were fired from Oswald's rifle could not have been shot faster than 6.9 seconds. Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman described the shots as a "flurry." Two of the shots were often described by witnesses as so closely spaced that they seemed "simultaneous" and had "practically no time element between them." Additionally, there is a substantial amount of testimony, presented in this article, that describes the later shots as sounding different from the first shot. Governor Connally's initial reaction to the gunfire was "that there were either two or three people involved or more in this or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle." [65]
     A double sound, or bang, is described by three Secret Service agents. Two of these agents sat within feet of Kennedy as occupants of the limousine. A double shot was reported by one of the witnesses standing on the overpass.
     Special Agent William Greer, the limousine driver, testified that "the last two shots seemed to be just simultaneously, one behind the other." [66]
     The other Secret Serviceman in the limousine was Roy Kellerman. Agent Kellerman sat next to Greer and was intimately familiar with the sound of weapons. He described the first shot like many others had, as sounding like a firecracker. But the other two shots, which he officially reported as a "flurry," sounded different than the first shot. Asked by Mr. Specter if Kellerman could describe the sound of the flurry of shots by way of distinction of the first shot, Kellerman replied " ... if I recall correctly these were two sharp reports, sir." Did they sound different from the first shot, asked Specter. "Yes. Definitely. Very much so." Kellerman added: "Let me give you an illustration ... You have heard the sound barrier, of a plane breaking the sound barrier, bang, bang? That is it. It was like a double bang --- bang, bang." [67]
     In Warren Commission testimony Special Agent Hickey described "two reports which I thought were shots ... that there seemed to be practically no time element between them." [68]




End of Item 1 Hardware  (Website began 13 December 2013)

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