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Thread: The Most Important Error the FBI told the Warren Commission about the Rifle

  1. Default The Most Important Error SA Robert A. Frazier told the Warren Commission about the Rifle

    As we have discussed, SA Robert A. Frazier was the FBI's leading firearms expert, performed all of the FBI's tests on the alleged assassination weapon and presented his findings in testimony to the Warren Commission in 1964.

    It has been my experience that it is remarkably easy to find glaring mistakes in Mr. Frazier's testimony, to the point I have begun to suspect he almost wanted someone to see through the FBI's charade.

    What I am going to show you I have already presented in another thread. It is buried at the back of that thread, however, and the importance of it may not be readily apparent to a reader whose head is already swimming with other data.

    Anyways, here is the testimony:

    From Wikipedia:


    "FBI tests[edit]
    The FBI tests of the Carcano's accuracy showed:
    1) FBI firearms expert Robert A. Frazier testified that "It is a very accurate weapon. The targets we fired show that."[61] From 15 yards (14 m), all three bullets in a test firing landed approximately 2½ inches high, and 1-inch (25 mm) to the right, in the area about the size of a dime.[62] At 100 yards (91 m), the test shots landed 2½ to 5 inches (130 mm) high, within a 3 to 5-inch (130 mm) circle. Frazier testified that the scope's high variation would actually work in the shooter's favor: with a target moving away from the shooter, no lead correction would have been necessary to follow the target. "At that range, at that distance, 175 feet (53 m) to 265 feet (81 m),[63] with this rifle and that telescopic sight, I would not have allowed any lead — I would not have made any correction for lead merely to hit a target of that size."

    Can anyone spot the outrageous error in the above testimony?
    Last edited by Bob Prudhomme; 05-22-2014 at 01:30 PM.
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  2. Default

    Here is the longer piece of Mr. Frazier's testimony from which the paraphrased Wikipedia excerpts were taken:

    "Mr. EISENBERG - This test was performed at 15 yards, did you say, Mr. Frazier?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. And this series of shots we fired to determine actually the speed at which the rifle could be fired, not being overly familiar with this particular firearm, and also to determine the accuracy of the weapon under those conditions.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And could you give us the names of the three agents who participated?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. Charles Killion, Cortlandt Cunningham, and myself.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And the date?
    Mr. FRAZIER - November 27, 1963.
    Mr. EISENBERG - How many shots did each agent fire?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Killion fired three, Cunningham fired three, and I fired three.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And do you have the times within which each agent fired the three shots?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. Killion fired his three shots in nine seconds, and they are shown--the three shots are interlocking, shown on Commission Exhibit No. 549.
    Cunningham fired three shots--I know the approximate number of seconds was seven.
    Cunningham's time was approximately seven seconds.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Can you at a later date confirm the exact time?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And you will do that by letter to the Commission, or if you happen to come back by oral testimony?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And your time, Mr. Frazier?
    Mr. FRAZIER - For this series, was six seconds, for my three shots, which also were on the target at which Mr. Cunningham fired, which is Exhibit 548.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Could you characterize the dispersion of the shots on the two targets which you have been showing us, 548 and 549?
    Mr. FRAZIER - The bullets landed approximately--in Killion's target, No. 549, approximately 2 1/2 inches high, and 1 inch to the right, in the area about the size of a dime, interlocking in the paper, all three shots.

    On Commission Exhibit 548, Cunningham fired three shots. These shots were interlocking, or within an eighth of an inch of each other, and were located approximately 4 inches high and 1 inch to the right of the aiming point. The three shots which I fired were landed in a three-quarter inch circle, two of them interlocking with Cunningham's shots, 4 inches high, and approximately 1 inch to the right of the aiming point.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Can you describe the second series of tests?
    Mr. FRAZIER - The second test which was performed was two series of three shots at 25 yards, instead of 15 yards. I fired both of these tests, firing them at a cardboard target, in an effort to determine how fast the weapon could be fired primarily, with secondary purpose accuracy.
    We did not attempt- I did not attempt to maintain in that test an accurate rate of fire.
    This is the actual target which I fired.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And that target has all six holes in it?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir--two series of three holes, the first three holes being marked with the No. 1, and the second series being marked No. 2.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Mr. Chairman, I would like this introduced as 550.
    Mr. McCLOY - That will be admitted.
    (The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 550, and received in evidence.)
    Mr. EISENBERG - Could you describe for the record the dispersion on the two series?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. The first series of three shots were approximately--from 4 to 5 inches high and from 1 to 2 inches to the right of the aiming point, and landed within a 2-inch circle. These three shots were fired in 4.8 seconds. The second series of shots landed--one was about 1 inch high, and the other two about 4 or 5 inches high, and the maximum spread was 5 inches.
    That series was fired in 4.6 seconds.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And do you have the date?
    Mr. FRAZIER - That also was on the 27th of November.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Same date as the first tests?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir.
    Mr. EISENBERG - And you performed one more test, I believe?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir. We fired additional targets at 100 yards on the range at Quantico, Va., firing groups of three shots. And 1 have the four targets we fired here.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Mr. Chairman, I would like these admitted as 551, 552, 553, and 554.
    Mr. McCLOY - They may be admitted.
    (The documents referred to were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 551 through 554, and received in evidence.) Mr. EISENBERG - Who fired these shots, Mr. Frazier?
    Mr. FRAZIER - I fired them.
    Mr. EISENBERG - Can you characterize the dispersion on each of the four targets?
    Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir.
    On Commission Exhibit 551 the three shots landed approximately 5 inches high and within a 3 1/2-inch circle, almost on a line horizontally across the target. This target and the other targets were fired on March 16, 1964 at Quantico, Va. These three shots were fired in 5.9 seconds.
    The second target fired is Commission Exhibit 552, consisting of three shots fired in 6.2 seconds, which landed in approximately a 4 1/2 to 5-inch circle located 4 inches high and 3 or 4 inches to the right of the aiming point.
    Commission Exhibit No. 553 is the third target fired, consisting of three shots which landed in a 3-inch circle located about 2 1/2 inches high and 2 inches to the right of the aiming point.
    These three shots were fired in 5.6 seconds.
    And Commission Exhibit No. 554, consisting of three shots fired in 6.5 seconds, which landed approximately 5 inches high and 5 inches to the right of the aiming point, all within a 3 1/2-inch circle."
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  3. Default





    I hope Drew reads this. Any way of establishing how high the centreline of the scope is above the centreline of the barrel in these photos of C2766? I need this number to calculate a trajectory for this rifle.
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  4. Default

    I'll have it for you by this evening. A word of warning: digitalized pictures have a lower resolution (namely the size of the pixel) that introduce an error factor that gets higher the farther away from the camera the object is. With that in mind, I'll get on it after the end of family activities today.

    Since the pictures you have there don't have a handy yardstick in them, where exactly do I start measuring the barrel to get a benchmark 22 inches. Does that include the chamber?

    Never mind. I found the NARA photo which does have a yardstick

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Phipps View Post
    I'll have it for you by this evening. A word of warning: digitalized pictures have a lower resolution (namely the size of the pixel) that introduce an error factor that gets higher the farther away from the camera the object is. With that in mind, I'll get on it after the end of family activities today.

    Since the pictures you have there don't have a handy yardstick in them, where exactly do I start measuring the barrel to get a benchmark 22 inches. Does that include the chamber?

    Never mind. I found the NARA photo which does have a yardstick
    Good show, Drew. I didn't know there was an NARA photo of the rifle complete with yardstick. Awfully decent of the FBI to be so helpful, wouldn't you say?
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  6. Default

    I found 2 Photos from NARA one with the barrel left, and one right. The barrel right photo has the yardstick in it. ( Well, not a real yardstick, but some sort of paper with inch markings on it.) Made extra measurements to determine accuracy. Since the scope is mounted at an angle to the vertical, and since I have no guarantee that the rifle is lying on the ground there in such a way as to be perpendicular to the camera, I can't be sure that my measurements find the maximum distance from the barrel line. But you can use them in an "at least" manner.

    I also remember that there may have been more than one Oswald rifle in that photographs take of it differ from Warren Commission to Life Magazine...

    Barrel to right: barrel length 21'' scope length 10.5" sight line higher than barrel line 1.56"

    Barrel to left: barrel length 21" scope length 10.4" sight line higher than barrel line 1.65"

    With pixilation, and measurement uncertainty, and angle that the gun is positioned uncertainty, I think its safe for you to conclude that the sight line is at least 1.5" higher in elevation than the bore line.

  7. Default

    Thanks, Drew. That is about average for most scope mountings, and, in fact, a figure of 1.5" is used as a standard in many trajectory calculators. For some reason, the scope on C2766 looked to be mounted higher but I believe it is an illusion caused by the narrow diameter of the scope tube.

    Have you been able to figure out what is wrong with Frazier's testimony?
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  8. Default

    I'm not a shooter myself, but it sounds as if they're trying to imply that the fact that the gun shoots high and to the right works in his favor (as an automatic lead), but, as I remember my Dealey Plaza layout, and also Frazier testified that, no correction for lead would have been necessary, or helpful, in making the shot. The car wasn't really moving to the right at all from the perspective of the "sniper's nest" (in fact would have tracked a bit to the left from "magic bullet" to head shot) and not moving fast enough away to make much of a difference.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Phipps View Post
    I'm not a shooter myself, but it sounds as if they're trying to imply that the fact that the gun shoots high and to the right works in his favor (as an automatic lead), but, as I remember my Dealey Plaza layout, and also Frazier testified that, no correction for lead would have been necessary, or helpful, in making the shot. The car wasn't really moving to the right at all from the perspective of the "sniper's nest" (in fact would have tracked a bit to the left from "magic bullet" to head shot) and not moving fast enough away to make much of a difference.
    I agree that this is utter nonsense but, unfortunately, it is only Mr. Frazier's opinion and not what I was after.

    The outrageous thing in Mr. Frazier's testimony is that he tells us he and two colleagues each fired three shots, with the assassination rifle, at different targets at 15 yards, and each of these shots hit the 15 yard targets 2.5 - 4 inches high of the point of aim.

    He then further outrages any thinking person with even the slightest experience with shooting rifles by telling the WC that he and his two colleagues then each fired three shots, with the same rifle, at targets set up at 100 yards, and all bullets struck their 100 yard targets 2.5 - 5 inches high of the point of aim.

    What Mr. Frazier has testified to here is physically impossible, and tomorrow I will show you exactly why that is true. If there is any truth to Frazier's testimony about the rifle shooting 2.5 - 4 inches high at 15 yards, C2766 is disqualified as being the assassination weapon; at least as far as shooting with the scope is concerned. I will explain all of this tomorrow, as well.
    Mr. HILL. The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.

    Warren Commission testimony of Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, 1964

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Prudhomme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Phipps View Post
    I'm not a shooter myself, but it sounds as if they're trying to imply that the fact that the gun shoots high and to the right works in his favor (as an automatic lead), but, as I remember my Dealey Plaza layout, and also Frazier testified that, no correction for lead would have been necessary, or helpful, in making the shot. The car wasn't really moving to the right at all from the perspective of the "sniper's nest" (in fact would have tracked a bit to the left from "magic bullet" to head shot) and not moving fast enough away to make much of a difference.
    I agree that this is utter nonsense but, unfortunately, it is only Mr. Frazier's opinion and not what I was after.

    The outrageous thing in Mr. Frazier's testimony is that he tells us he and two colleagues each fired three shots, with the assassination rifle, at different targets at 15 yards, and each of these shots hit the 15 yard targets 2.5 - 4 inches high of the point of aim.

    He then further outrages any thinking person with even the slightest experience with shooting rifles by telling the WC that he and his two colleagues then each fired three shots, with the same rifle, at targets set up at 100 yards, and all bullets struck their 100 yard targets 2.5 - 5 inches high of the point of aim.

    What Mr. Frazier has testified to here is physically impossible, and tomorrow I will show you exactly why that is true. If there is any truth to Frazier's testimony about the rifle shooting 2.5 - 4 inches high at 15 yards, C2766 is disqualified as being the assassination weapon; at least as far as shooting with the scope is concerned. I will explain all of this tomorrow, as well.

    So until we get your awaiited explanation, Bob, is it right to assume that 2.5- 4 inches high of point of aim at 15 yards when converted to 100 yards would be 16-25 inches high of point of aim? (6.6 times the distance?)

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