Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Whitman and the Genesis of Gun Law

Me and the old man were discussing the most talented snipers of all time tonight. Of course, that always includes Hathcock, but inevitably turns into the "could Oswald work a bold 3 times in 7 1/2 seconds?" question. We both now agree that that is nearly impossible, and even if you could do it, you wouldn't hit shit.

The conversation seguewayed into naming the top 3 reasons the 60's gun restriction went into effect. The old man's position was that, in lieu of anyone else, Oswald ended the mail order rifle.

The other big donor to this effort was Whitman. He shot from a 400 ft. high tower at ranges out to 400 yards and killed 14 people while wounding dozens more. After reading about the man, it seems to me he could have operated for another 24 hours if would not have been stopped.

Needless to say, he was stopped and hadn't killed a president. Nonetheless, the era of the mail-order rifle had come to an end.

At this point in the conversation I got confused. Don't Brady Bunch types argue that they want to take everything but the "hunting rifles" away? Don't pusillanimous NRA types always argue that they're protecting "hunter's rights?" Well if a gun is suited to killing North American big game, it is also suitable for killing people (and some would argue moreso than an M-16 in the 5.56 caliber)?

The want handguns to be banned, but long rifles and shotguns would still be available. Would you rather have a Glock 17 or a Remington pump in the middle of the night?

The point being is that these people are liars and the dupes (hunting crowd) who swallow this swill have no idea what the agenda is.

Whitman committed an atrocity at long range with a 6mm rifle with a really shitty 60's scope on it. Today's deer rifle is capable of so much more.

Just to add fuel to the discussion, Oswald didn't have to work the bolt three times in 7.5 seconds (some say 8.4 seconds), rather only twice. The theory is that he fired, worked the bolt, fired again, worked the bolt a second time, then took a third shot. He could take his sweet time to work the bolt a third time since all the shooting was done.
Also, from what I've seen, some folks tested Carcanos and found they could be fired as quickly as 1.6 seconds per shot. The feds say that Lee's particular gun was only good for every 2.3 seconds, but you still only have to count two of those time periods for three shots.
You make a good point that the rifle would have been in battery when firing commenced.

Additionally though, I remain skeptical that the third shot of the group was the most accurate.

In most firing, and especially rapid firing, I find my first shot to be the most consistently accurate.

Tag! You're "it!"
I've got a carcano M38 in 7.35mm. Clunky bolt but not that much worse than pre-98 Mausers. I bought it to make it into a lamp for grins and then I shot it with some surplus pre WW2 factory Italian ammo and it grouped just under 3" from a rest at one hundred yards so I don't shoot it now but it seemed a waste to make a lamp out of it. Pretty nice rifle for a now frills military rifle though I wouldn't sporterize it because I like magnum elk calibers and the action wouldn't stand up. Was thinking about rebarreling but it's really kinda an ugly rifle but the Oswald shot could have been plausible. I don't believe history happened that way for other reasons but the rifle would have been capable.
Oh. 7.35 owner here again. That was with iron sights but not rushed for the just under 3" bit.
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