1940 X

And the Case for a 7.35mm Carcano



In the FBI photo of the barrel mount markings, someone has attached a note that reads Letter "X" follows inscription "1940". However, the letter "X" is not visible in the photograph.

Carcanos of this vintage typically had TWO dates engraved on the rifle. The year it was manufactured, plus the Fascist year in Roman Numerals. The Fascist year marked the anniversary of the Fascist takeover in autumn of 1922. So a MC manufactured in 1932 would be marked 1932 X (for the 10th year of the Fascist reign). If the rifle was manufactured late in the year (after the date of the anniversary), it would be marked 1932 XI. This practice first began in 1929.

A 1940 Carcano should be marked 1940 XVIII or 1940 XIX (see insert of the marking from a different rifle), the 18th or 19th year of Mussolini's regime. A rifle marked 1940 X as described by the FBI is a contradiction.

However, there might be a explanation. When Italy switched to 7.35mm ammo in 1938, they converted some remaining 6.5mm barrels and receivers to 7.35mm. Although the old markings were removed, faint traces of some of the lettering could sometimes still be seen on the new rifle. To quote from the Carcano Home Page, "But a number of M 38 guns in 7,35 mms were made using older 6,5 mms barrels and receivers, the markings of which may still be found partially visible e.g. on the barrel base." This might explain why we can't see the "X" following the date in the FBI photo of the barrel base.

Evidence exists that at least one 7.35mm Carcano was used in the assassination of President Kennedy. Robert Morrow's account of how he unknowingly provided three 7.35mm Carcanos which were later used in Dallas can be found in his book First Hand Knowledge. In addition, three witnesses who saw the stretcher bullet at Parkland Hospital cast doubt that is the same 6.5mm bullet now in evidence (CE-399).

Darrell Tomlinson, Nathan Pool and O. P. Wright could not identify CE-399 as the bullet they saw at Parkland Hospital. Both Pool and Wright claimed that the stretcher bullet was pointed, and did not have a rounded nose like CE-399. Tomlinson, who has been quoted as saying that he did not think CE-399 was the bullet he saw, has indicated that the bullet might have been pointed although he was not as certain as Pool and Wright. Unlike the round-nose 6.5mm Carcano bullets, the 7.35mm ammo is in fact pointed.

But the most persuasive evidence that a 7.35mm Carcano was used in the assassination comes from the Italian government. As noted in George Michael Evica's And We Are All Mortal, Italian Armed Forces Intelligence Service (S.I.F.A.R.) prepared a report for Italian Defense Minister Giulio Andreotti on November 28, 1963. A copy of the report was made available to the FBI representative in Rome, but somehow the CIA also managed to obtain a copy as well. According to the CIA translation of the document, "The weapon which appears to have been employed in this criminal attack is a Model 91 rifle, 7.35 caliber, 1938 modification." This determination was made by examining "...photographs from American sources appearing in the Italian press..."

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