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Warren Commission Report: Page 558« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX X - Expert Testimony)

character of the markings it bore. 44 The lighter fragment consisted of bullet's base portion, as shown by its shape and by the presence of a cannelure. 45 The two fragments were both mutilated, and it was not possible to determine from the fragments themselves whether they comprised the base and nose of one bullet or of two separate bullets. 46 However, each had sufficient unmutilated area to provide the basis of an identification. 47 Based on a comparison with test bullets fired from the C2766 rifle, the stretcher bullet and both bullet fragments were identified as having been fired from the C2766 rifle. 48

The Revolver

The revolver taken from Oswald at the time of his arrest was a .38 Special S. & W. Victory Model revolver. 49 It bore the serial No. V510210, and is the only such revolver with that serial number, since S. & W. does not repeat, serial numbers. 50 The revolver was originally made in the United States, but was shipped to England, as shown by the English inspection or proof marks on the chambers. 51 The revolver showed definite signs of use but was in good operating condition. 52 The revolver was originally designed to fire a .38 S. & W. cartridge, whose bullet is approximately 12 or 13 grains lighter than the .38 Special, and approximately .12 inches shorter, but has a somewhat larger diameter. 53 In the United States, the .38 Special is considered to be a better bullet than the .38 S. & W.,54 and the revolver was rechambered for a .38 Special prior to being sold in the United States. 55 The weapon was not rebarreled, although the barrel was shortened by cutting off approximately 2 3/4 of its original 5 inches. 56 The shortening of the barrel had no functional value, except to facilitate concealment. 57


The weapon is a conventional revolver, with a rotating cylinder holding one to six cartridges. It is loaded by swinging out the cylinder and inserting cartridges into the cylinder's chambers. If all six chambers are loaded, the weapon can be fired six consecutive times without reloading. 58 To extract empty cartridge cases, the cylinder is swung out and an ejector rod attached to the cylinder is pushed, simultaneously ejecting all the cartridge cases (and cartridges) in the cylinder. If both live cartridges and expended cartridge cases are in the cylinder, before pushing the ejection rod one can tip the cylinder and dump the live cartridges into his hand. 59 The cartridge cases will not fall out, because they are lighter than the cartridges, and when fired they will have expanded so as to tightly fit the chamber walls. 60


In a crouched stance a person can fire five shots with the revolver in 3-4 seconds with no trouble, and would need no training to hit a human body four times in four or five shots at a range of 8 feet. 61 A person who had any training with the weapon would not find its recoil noticeable. 62

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