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Thread: The Rusted Rifle

  1. Default The Rusted Rifle

    By Gil Jesus ( 2008 )

    FBI firearms expert Robert Frazier testified that he observed that the inside of the barrel of the Oswald rifle was "roughened" from corrosion ( rust ), then commented that "if a barrel is allowed to rust, one round will remove that rust."

    So why did the barrel have surface rust after Oswald had fired THREE rounds ?


    Mr. McCLOY. When you examined the rifle the first time, you said that it showed signs of some corrosion and wear?

    Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. McCLOY. Was it what you would call pitted, were the lands in good shape?

    Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; the lands and the grooves were worn, the corners were worn, and the interior of the surface was roughened from corrosion or wear.

    Mr. McCLOY. Could you say roughly how many rounds you think had been fired since it left the factory, with the condition of the barrel as you found it?

    Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; I could not, because the number of rounds is not an indication of the condition of the barrel, since IF A BARREL IS ALLOWED TO RUST, ONE ROUND WILL REMOVE THAT RUST and wear the barrel to the same extent as 10 or 15 or 50 rounds just fired through a clean barrel.

    ( 3 H 395 )

    The visual examination of the barrel was so convincing that the rifle had NOT been fired, that Frazier never even bothered to examine it for fouling in the barrel:

    Mr. McCLOY. Was there metal fouling in the barrel?

    Mr. FRAZIER. I did not examine it for that.
    ( ibid.)


    Not only was there rust on the inside of the barrel, rust that should not have been there if the rifle had been fired ONCE ( never mind THREE times ), Ronald Simmons' testimony indicates that the bolt was also rusted:

    Mr. EISENBERG. Did they make any comments concerning the weapon?

    Mr. SIMMONS. Yes; there were several comments made particularly with respect to the amount of effort required to open the bolt. As a matter of fact, Mr. Staley had, difficulty in opening the bolt in his first firing exercise. He thought it was completely up and it was not, and he had to retrace his steps as he attempted to open the bolt after the first round.

    ( 3 H 447 )

    The obvious way of "getting the rust out", is by operating the bolt in a "dry run ". They unloaded the weapon and each shooter "worked" the bolt back and forth in a "practice exercise" for 2-3 minutes BEFORE he began firing. The firing pin was rusted so badly, that they were afraid it might break.

    Mr. EISENBERG. How much practice had they had with the weapon, Exhibit 139, before they began firing?

    Mr. SIMMONS. They had each attempted the exercise without the use of ammunition, and had worked the bolt as they tried the exercise. They had not pulled the trigger during the exercise, however, because we were a little concerned about breaking the firing pin.

    Mr. EISENBERG. Could you give us an estimate of how much time they used in this dry-run practice, each?

    Mr. SIMMONS. They used no more than 2 or 3 minutes each.

    They worked the bolt for a total of 6-9 minutes to free it from it's rust. Of course, the more you use the bolt, the freer from it becomes and the faster the elaspsed times are for the shooters.

    Mr. SIMMONS. .....the pressure to open the bolt was so great that we tended to move the rifle off the target, whereas with greater proficiency this might not have occurred.

    Mr. EISENBERG. Could this experience in operating the bolt be achieved in dry practice, Mr. Simmons?

    Mr. SIMMONS. Yes; it could be, if sufficient practice were used. There is some indication of the magnitude of change with one of our shooters who in his second attempt fired three-tenths of a second less time than he did in the first.

    ( 3 H 449 )


    Then there was enough rust on the firing pin and it's spring for someone to have oiled it:

    ".....the firing pin of this rifle has been used extensively as shown by wear on the nose or striking portion of the firing pin and, further, THE PRESENCE OF RUST ON THE FIRING PIN AND ITS SPRING....." ( CE 2974 )

    The rifle was so badly rusted, they had to oil it. CE 2974 also states that not only was "the firing pin and spring of this weapon well oiled", there just happened to be oil "residue" on the "interior surfaces" of the bolt as well. The FBI denied that it was the one who oiled the weapon, adding that "it is not known if it was oiled by any other person having this rifle in his possession". This document further states that the rust on the spring and the firing pin "must have formed prior to the oiling of these parts." ( ibid. )

    Although one might argue that the rust appeared on the rifle AFTER the assassination, Frazier testified that he examined it on the day after Kennedy was murdered, not enough time for rust to have settled in and "roughened" the surface of the barrel:

    Mr. McCLOY. How soon after the assassination did you examine this rifle?

    Mr. FRAZIER. We received the rifle the following morning.

    Mr. McCLOY. Received it in Washington?

    Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. McCLOY. And you immediately made your examination of it then?

    Mr. FRAZIER. We made an examination of it at that time, and kept it temporarily in the laboratory.

    ( 3 H 395 )


    Frazier testified that when he examined the rifle the FIRST TIME, on the day after the assassination, he found that the inside of the barrel had been "roughened" by corrosion and wear. Then he referenced the effect of what ONE SHOT would have on a rusted barrel. Why would he do this if the "roughened surface" he saw on the inside of the barrel wasn't rust ? What connection could there be between a rusted barrel and the "roughened" barrel of Oswald's rifle other than that the two were both rusted ?

    The significance of rust inside a barrel is described by Frazier :

    If the barrel of the rifle was rusted or had rust in it, then not even one round had been fired from it.

    Meaning that it had not been fired. Meaning that it wasn't the murder

    The testimony not only strongly suggests that the inside of the barrel was rusted, but also that the bolt was rusted so badly that in order to get it to move, they had to first work in in through a "dry-run practice exercise" and then oil it.

    The evidence indicates that both the firing pin and the spring contained rust and both had been "well oiled" at some point after the rust had formed and some oil "residue" was found on the bolt.

    So who oiled the weapon ?

    When the Warren Commission asked the FBI, the FBI replied that it was not responsible for the oiling and did not know if the weapon had been oiled by "any other person having this rifle in his possession".

    Couldn't they find out ? I mean wasn't this the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION ?

    Of course they could have. Only a few agencies possessed the weapon.

    On the Commission's question of whether or not the firing pin had been changed, the Bureau responded that it had " no record of any outlet where spare parts, including firing pins, can be obtained for rifles for such as Commission Exhibit 139".

    Talk about spare parts...... Didn't the FBI have in its possession the EXACT SAME RIFLE in CE 542 ?

    Robert Frazier's testimony suggests that the rifle he saw on November 23rd had rust in the barrel. When he saw that there was rust in the barrel, he knew that the rifle had not been fired. So he had no reason to check the barrel for metal fouling.

    They knew that this weapon had not been fired, so they sent it back to the Dallas Police.

    Ronald Simmons' testimony is even more compelling regarding the issue of rust, this time, with the bolt. Simmons testified that the bolt was so difficult to operate that the shooters had to take 2 or 3 minutes before shooting to work the bolt back and forth in a "dry-run exercise", exactly like one would use to loosen a rusted part.

    The ease of operation of the bolt was essential to obtain the elapsed time required for one gunman to have performed the killing. There is no way that one gunman, whether that was Oswald or anyone else, could have fired three shots from that rifle in the required time with the bolt in the condition as Simmons described it.

    Finally, when the Warren Commission asked the FBI in August 1964 to examine the rifle to see if the firing pin had been changed, the Bureau found that the firing pin and the spring were "well oiled" and that they and the bolt were all oiled by a person or persons unknown to it. The Bureau also found that the oil had been added to the weapon AFTER it had rusted.

    Oil evaporates. It goes from a thick liquid when first applied, to a thin film. The fact that the pin and spring were "well" oiled indicates that evaporation was not complete, i.e., that the oil had been applied rather recently. The point is, that if oil was added to the rifle AFTER it was rusted, it must have been rusted pretty badly.

    It all adds up to this: The condition of the rifle that the Dallas Police sent to the FBI on the night of the assassination was such that it was not capable of performing the assassination of President Kennedy and the wounding of Governor Connally. The FBI knew this and sent it back to the Dallas Police.

  2. Default The Rusted Rifle

    This argument points to the thread that I started on the Education forum about whether the rifle was fired on that day. I was referring to whether there was a powder smell in the barrel. Lt. Carl Day stated that there was no way to know if a gun had been shot today, last week, or last month. I think that at least one of the people there would have smelled the barrel. I know that I would have or suggested to whomever had it in their possession to do so.
    Your information obviously proves even more than the silence about the smell of gunpowder that the rusty barreled gun was not fired on November 22, 1963.IMO
    Never think that you do not make a difference!

  3. #3


    Gil, Terry,

    Your arguments are valid and eloquently expressed -- but they may be moot.

    If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read my posts of George Michael Evica's analyses of LHO's alleged ownership of the MC.

    I'd value your thoughts.

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