Bogus Buff Ballistics
To make their case, the conspiracy authors have to invent a number of "principles" that sound plausible, but in fact are contrary to what real ballistics experts know to be true. Let's look at some of these.
In fact, the evidence indicates that the windshield was hit by a fragment from behind.
The bullet matched Oswald's rifle in "class characteristics," and therefore could well have been fired from his rifle. However the bullet was badly mangled, and no positive identification was possible.
The recovery of the rifle was filmed by Tom Alyea of WFAA-TV, and his footage shows the rifle to be a Mannlicher-Carcano. Here is one frame from his footage, and here is another. In fact, a Mannlisher-Carcano could easily be mistaken for a Mauser.
The rifle did not have a "hair-trigger," and could indeed be fired accurately.
There were in fact two smudged prints on the trigger guard of Oswald's rifle, and the wooden parts of the gun were too rough to take prints. It is not, in fact, very common to find usable fingerprints on firearms used in crimes.
There in fact is no such thing as a "scope mounted for a left-handed shooter."
The paraffin test was unreliable, and produced both false positives and false negatives. Its only real use was to intimidate naive suspects into confessing.
There was not, and still is not, any test that can determine whether a rifle has been "recently fired."
The casing was almost certainly dented when it was ejected from the rifle, since the Mannlicher-Carcano regularly dents ejected hulls.
Although poorly documented, the clip was with the rifle when it was recovered, and remained in evidence.
The rifle was the standard Italian Army issue for a half-century, and was an effective infantry weapon.
In a variety of tests, the firing pin proved perfectly functional.
Only the firing pin and sping were described as "well-oiled." Further, a "well-oiled" gun does not drip oil, but rather has a thin but uniform coating of oil on the working parts.
The ammunition was in fact recently manufactured by the Western-Cartridge Company, and was found to be highly reliable in Warren Commission tests, with no misfires in over 100 rounds (Warren Commission Report, pp. 193, 646). Further tests by Lattimer and Nichols confirmed its reliability.
Ronald Simmons, of the Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory, bench tested Oswald's rifle for the Warren Commission, and found the dispersion to be .29 mils — a figure typical for high-powered rifles — and described it as "quite accurate" (3H442-443).
In fact, the bullet is quite misshapen when viewed end-on.
Ballistics tests by Lattimer and Fackler showed that a bullet like Oswald's round could inflict damage similar to what the Warren Commission's "Single Bullet" inflicted and emerge in similar condition.
The surgeon who removed the lead explained that the fragments were tiny, and would have to be weighed on the same sort of scale used to weigh a postage stamp. House Select Committee experts felt they could have come from CE399.
Cops on the scene, finding hulls laying around, jumped to the conclusion that they must have been fired from an automatic, which automatically ejects spent cartridges. In fact, witnesses saw Oswald emptying hulls from the revolver.
They were perfectly consistent with Oswald's revolver, but because the revolver had been converted from a .38 into a .38 Special, no bullet fired from it could be positively matched to it.
Olivier (for the Warren Commission) and John Lattimer (a private researcher) shot skulls with rounds identical to those Oswald used, and the bullets fragmented.
This assertion is based on selective use of the testimony of the doctors who saw the wound, and who in fact gave varying estimates. However, it is possible for a bullet to pass through the skin and leave a defect smaller than the diameter of the bullet.