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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. III - Page 443« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Ronald Simmons)

Mr. Eisenberg.
Do I understand your testimony to be that this rifle is as accurate as the current American military rifles?
Mr. Simmons.
Yes. As far as we can determine from bench-rest firing.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Would you consider that to be a high degree of accuracy?
Mr. Simmons.
Yes, the weapon is quite accurate. For most small arms, we discover that the round- to-round dispersion is of the order of three-tenths of a mil. We have run into some unusual ones, however, which give us higher values, but very few which give us smaller values, except in selected lots of ammunition.
Mr. Mccloy.
You are talking about the present military rifle--will you designate it?
Mr. Simmons.
The M-14.
Mr. Mccloy.
Is it as accurate as the Springfield 1906 ammunition?
Mr. Simmons.
I am not familiar with the difference between the M-14 in its accuracy and the 1906 Springfield. These are very similar in their dispersion.
Mr. Mccloy.
At a hundred yards, what does that amount to? What is the dispersion?
Mr. Simmons.
Well, at a hundred yards, one mil is 3.6 inches, and 0.3 of that is a little more than an inch.
Mr. Eisenberg.
You tested this with what type of ammunition, Mr. Simmons?
Mr. Simmons.
The ammunition was labeled Type Ball, and it was made by the Western Cartridge Co., Division of Olin Industries.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Was that a 6.5 mm.?
Mr. Simmons.
6.5 mm. Mannlicher-Carcano.
Mr. Eisenberg.
In the course of this test from a machine rest, Mr. Simmons, did you also attempt to determine the muzzle velocity?
Mr. Simmons.
Yes; we also measured muzzle velocities for approximately 10 rounds of the ammunition. We gather from these measurements that the nominal velocity, the nominal muzzle velocity is of the order of 2,200 feet per second, and the velocity at about 200 feet from the muzzle is approximately 2,000 feet per second. And there is some variation in velocity from round to round as there is with all small-arms ammunition. But the variation is relatively small, and within the same order of magnitude as for conventional ammunition.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Did you test the bullets for yaw?
Mr. Simmons.
Yes; we measured yaw also, and all measurements of yaw were also small. We had no values in excess of 2 degrees, and many values were less than 1 degree in yaw, indicating that the round is quite stable.
Mr. Eisenberg.
How did you test for yaw?
Mr. Simmons.
We took spark shadowgraph pictures at various stations down range from the muzzle, so that we actually have pictures of the position of the bullet relative to the top and bottom of our range.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Did you bring those pictures with you?
Mr. Simmons.
No; I do not have them with me.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Could you furnish those to the Commission at a later date?
Mr. Simmons.
They could be made available later. I would like to point out these are not pictures, however. They are on large pieces of glass, and they are not photos.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Can they be read by a layman?
Mr. Simmons.
That I do not know. I do not read them.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Well, I wonder whether you can send them up, and we could take a look at them.
Mr. Simmons.
Yes; we can have them forwarded.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Was it reported to you by the persons who ran the machine-rest tests whether they had any difficulties with sighting the weapon
Mr. Simmons.
Well, they could not sight the weapon in using the telescope, and no attempt was made to sight it in using the iron sight. We did adjust the telescopic sight by the addition of two shims, one which tended to adjust the azimuth, and one which adjusted an elevation. The azimuth correction could have been made without the addition of the shim, but it would have meant that we would have used all of the adjustment possible, and the shim was a more
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