An Assassination Rifle - the Fucile M 91/38 "C 2766"

An image of C2766 is supposed to be here.

For most American readers, the M 91/38 short rifle with the serial number C2766, produced in 1940 in the Terni Arsenal, and chambered for the 6.5x52 Carcano, would be the most famous Carcano, since it was supposedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Of special notice are the cheap Japanese made side-mounted 4x18 scope (imported by Ordnance Optics Inc., Hollywood, California, and installed by the mail-order distributor of the rifle, Klein's Sporting Goods) and the inappropriate sling (which originally belonged to a pistol shoulder holster, as many years later was found out).

This one rifle embodies the undeserved reputation that the Carcano is not an accurate, safe gun. The Warren Commission report is rife with the initial opinions of witnesses (i.e., FBI, ATF, etc.), indicating that they thought the Carcano was not capable of being the assassination weapon, basically repeating heresay. These witnesses found through their own testing (and by later independent recreations) that the Carcano was capable of being the assassination weapon. It is our opinion that not only was the Carcano capable of being the assassination weapon, any similar weapon could have been capable of this. This page has been added here mostly for completeness sake; much has been written about the rifle, most of it not worth the paper on which the words were printed. The two best books on "C2766" are by Howard Bloomgarden and John Lattimer.
Bonar Menninger's "Mortal Error" is also very diligent and worth checking out for its assembled material. Unfortunately, the very intelligent and well-researched main thesis of this book (brought up by the gunsmith and private researcher Howard Donahue), namely that the unlucky Secret Service agent George W. Hickey had actually killed JFK by accidentally discharging his AR-15 rifle after Lee Harvey Oswald's second shot, has been destroyed by the appearance of new film material (the "Bronson film") that showed that the agent's AR-15 barrel at the time of the second hit could not have pointed at JFK. The publisher of the (now out of print) book, St. Martin's Press in New York, was sued in August 1996 by the maligned Secret Service agent in a civil court (US District Court Baltimore) and allegedly lost the case.

Richard Hobbs' intriguing thesis that the C2766 would have a black (stained or varnished) stock, indicating that it probably be a rare variant once supplied to the Moschettieri del Duce (Mussolini's black-clad guard), does not yet seem to be corroborated by existing colour photographs, two of which are accessible directly via this website. Please judge for yourself when looking at this close-up (this sub-section of the well-known gopher site of Deanie Richards seems to be defunct ?) and this overall view - is the stock really black or just dark brown (when you compare it to the colour of the receiver and the scope) ? The second photograph (probably taken from "LIFE" magazine 1983) may have its colours slightly distorted due to graphic processing done by the former "PerfectVision" web scanners (now incorporated in the graphics division of Accent Design Studios); I would appreciate a better scan, if somebody can offer it.
It appears likely that the dark wood stain was added when the rifle was reworked in 1947 - a fact that most JFK sources seem to overlook, though it is indicated by the minuscule reworking stamp on the left side of the rear sight. An already existing ding in the forestock was also stained over at that time.

These are closeups of C2766 around the receiver.
A closeup of C2766 is supposed to be here.
This photo is taken from the left side showing the serial number on the barrel. The stock has been removed and the muzzle is towards the left for this particular photo. The protrusion below the receiver is the forward mounting lug. The front end of the scope is also visible. 
Another closeup of C2766 is supposed to be here
This photo is taken from the top with the bolt open, showing the offset scope and the magazine. The muzzle is towards the lower left corner of this photo. 

Here is a computer animation (MPEG or QuickTime) of the Assassination (as described by the Warren Commission) from Oswald's point of view.

A custody battle for C2766 in the courts after the JFK assassination:
U.S. v. One 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano Military rifle, 250 F.Supp. 410, (N.D.Tx. 1966), reversed, King v. U.S., 364 F.2d 235.
U.S. v. One 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano Military Rifle, 406 F.2d 1170 (5th Cir. 1969)


When offering a page, however superficial, on the involvement of a Carcano in the JFK assassination, we should at least offer a couple of additional links to specialized websites where you can find more information.
The following brief listing is highly selected for quality; I have felt obliged to include websites which support the "official" explanation (Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK with his Carcano, and he did so alone and on his own) as well as dissident sites (some of which believe in a conspiracy behind LHO, some of which postulate other shooters - whatever). My aim is not to promote a specific cause (I could care less who shot JFK and why), but to debunk the immense mass of dishonesty, lies and crass ignorance built around the Carcano in this context and repeated ever and ever anew.

Robert Harris does not believe in the WC and HCSA findings. Harris, former moderator of the Usenet newsgroup alt.conspiracy.jfk moderated, is an extraordinarily honest and diligent researcher, and has presented some of the best arguments against the "Case Closed" position. I do not agree with him, but think that you should at all means pay him a visit:
http://users.southeast.net/~bgoldman/jfk.html

Anthony Marsh's site: http://www.boston.quik.com/amarsh

Deanie Richards has, over the years, collected an impressive wealth of material (including precious photographs) in her gopher site. While it is not as easily accessible as a webserver, and requires some effort and searching, it is fully worth the endeavour. You will be amazed !
gopher://freenet.akron.oh.us/11/SIGS/JFK

Michael Beck gives a vivid and interesting personal account of his gradual change in JFK beliefs - very much worth a reading.

Jerrymac tries in one and other of his website pages to disprove the famous "backyard photographs" of Lee Harvey Oswald by directing our attention to a small structure at the lower forestock of the M 91/38 which he identifies as a bottom-mounted sling swivel. On the other hand, the small and blurred claw-like object may as well be a part of the brush visible in the background, which due to its apparent proximity to the rifle appears to be part of the latter.