Whodunnit xiii: The Shootist (a)

The Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, from a 6th floor window in the Texas Book Depository, fired three shots from a Mannlicher-Carcanno rifle he had purchased through the mail for $12.78. The first shot missed; the second hit Kennedy in the back and, after exiting, struck Gov. Connolly, who was riding in the limo with him, fracturing one rib and wrist. The third and fatal shot struck the right rear of Kennedy’s head. From film of the motorcade shot by Abraham Zapruder, a spectator, the Warren Commission determined 5.6 seconds elapsed between the first and third shots. The conspiracists say this couldn’t’ve happened.
Salandria dismisses as a “myth” the claim that a single “junk rifle” could have been responsible for the “fusillade” that “inflicted…(this) carnage.” Talbot regards as worth repeating the claim that Oswald could not have gotten off three shots in under six seconds. Douglass says little about the actual mechanics of the shooting, except to agree with the others that someone (or “ones”), firing from the grassy knoll in front of the limousine fired a shot that entered the front of Kennedy’s throat and exited through the rear, causing the massive damage there. I’ll get to the knoll and entry wound later.
But first, the rifle wasn’t “junk.” It was Italian army surplus, manufactured in 1940, one of a hundred Oswald’s dealer had bought $8.50 apiece. Probably it had been used. (I will resist the temptation to demean the Italian army’s fighting spirit by adding “minimally.”) But FBI experts had test fired it 47 times and found it “quite accurate.” The same model was still being used by the Italian rifle team in international competition, and it was every bit as accurate as the U.S. Army’s M-14.