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Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

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Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by greg parker on Fri 21 Aug 2009, 4:18 pm

I first came across the name Ray Acker when doing some research on William Blanton Acker, Jr. WBA had given information to the FBI about Roy Hargraves. Any blood relationship between Ray and William is unknown.

Ray Acker worked for Bell Telephone and was alleged to have given the Dallas Police Department a list of calls made by Ruby to Oswald. The police are then alleged to have ignored this evidence. The original source of the allegation has proven to be somewhat elusive, and that seems to have been the case too for Larry Hancock who cautiously mentions it in endnote 8 to chapter 13 of Someone Would Have Talked. [1]
That the allegation was made at all is less surprising than that the only mention of Acker within the 26 volumes produced by the Warren Commission appears in the testimony of The Irving Sports Shop proprietor, Charles W Greener. Greener had been called to testify on April 1, 1964 in relation to allegations his shop had done some work on a rifle for Oswald.

Having finally disposed of that allegation, Liebeler moved on to ammunition. The commission had been frustrated as to the source of the bullets, and that frustration probably led to the contemplation of reloads being used, producing the following exchanges:

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any 6.5 ammunition in your shop?
Mr. GREENER. Not 6.5 Italian.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you ever had?
Mr. GREENER. We have a 6.5 Swedish and 6.5 Jap, and I believe that is all of these 6.5's.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you do reloading of casings?
Mr. GREENER. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. The fellow has to do that himself?
Mr. GREENER. We sell the components and the loading equipment but we don't do any loading. The only one that I have been able to find out so far that hand loads 6.5 Italian--I don't think this is a possibility, but Ray Acker with Bell
Telephone is the only one I know that does any hand loading on 6.5 Italians.
Mr. LIEBELER. He works for Bell Telephone Co.?
Mr. GREENER. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. He does this as a part-time occupation?
Mr. GREENER. Hobby; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you talked to him about this case at all?
Mr. GREENER. No; I don't guess I have ever called him. How I came to know that he reloads, and I don't know to what extent that he reloads, but 1 called one of my suppliers as to the availability of 6.5 Italian, and he gave me his name, so that is the reason but I can't say, but as far as I know, he is the only one that loads 6.5. There may be others that buy their own dies and hand loading, more especially since there are more guns coming out, but that would be, oh, a year and a half ago when I was told that he hand loaded 6.5 Italians.


The Ruby - Oswald phone calls allegation did have another component to it – Acker had moved soon after the assassination due to a promotion within Bell. At least that much of it has been verified thanks to Dallas researcher Robert Howard who found in the Dallas Morning News archives confirmation of both the promotion and the move having occurred. [2]

Without knowing the background to the allegations regarding the Ruby-Oswald phone calls, and therefore having no evidence linking it to his promotion, I cannot regard it as any more than an unsubstantiated rumor.

The real concern should be whether he had supplied the ammunition for the M-C rifle.

The name Ray Acker does not appear anywhere in the Kennedy Assassination NARA Records. Sitting uncomfortably alongside that is the fact that the provenance of the ammunition in evidence remains unknown.

The only other information found may actually help dispel the rumor. In 1978, Acker was accused by Bell of being the "principle figure" in a federal grand jury investigation into contracts and "commissions".[3] If the promotion was to buy silence (as seems to be the suggestion), Bell would hardly later accuse him of white collar crime.


ENDNOTES
[1] Hancock framed it this way; "Ruby to Oswald calls were also supposedly reported to Dallas police by telephone company [employee] Ray Acker."

[2] Someone Would Have Talked by Larry Hancock, p 550

[3] Dallas Times Herald, July 21, 1978 p 1-B


Last edited by greg parker on Tue 25 Aug 2009, 11:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Additional thoughts

Post by James K. Olmstead on Sat 22 Aug 2009, 10:41 pm

It's been awhile since I looked at Acker, I think I
looked into the phone calls before and not the MC
ammo issue.

Does the testimony cover Western Ammo? The questions
indicate concern over Italian ammo, not used in this
case and not Western. There is a "apples to oranges"
aspect of the line of questioning.

Another thought...Does any of the FBI lab reports on
the shells deal with "tool marks" as indicators of
"reloading"?

good luck with the forum.....jko

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Re: Additional thoughts

Post by greg parker on Sat 22 Aug 2009, 11:07 pm

James K. Olmstead wrote:It's been awhile since I looked at Acker, I think I
looked into the phone calls before and not the MC
ammo issue.

Does the testimony cover Western Ammo? The questions
indicate concern over Italian ammo, not used in this
case and not Western. There is a "apples to oranges"
aspect of the line of questioning.

Good pick up, Jim. I'd have to double check, but off the top, I don't think it does cover Western.

Another thought...Does any of the FBI lab reports on
the shells deal with "tool marks" as indicators of
"reloading"?

I definitely need to check that out.

good luck with the forum.....jko

Thanks. Lots of work needed...

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by James K. Olmstead on Sun 23 Aug 2009, 2:00 am

John Hunt might know...about tool marks
it's a cloudy area.

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tool marks on reloads

Post by greg parker on Sun 23 Aug 2009, 11:03 pm

James K. Olmstead wrote:John Hunt might know...about tool marks
it's a cloudy area.

Jim,

as far as I can ascertain, tool marks are indeed left on the brass. I will certainly look into this further, but if I cannot find anything, JH sounds like a good alternative source.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by James K. Olmstead on Mon 24 Aug 2009, 2:15 am

Keep me posted. When I get the chance I will expand
on the phone call issues, dealing with Acker. Right now I'm in the process of cross checking some new "numbers" of concern dealing with the "Green Gang" of Dallas, that are associated with the actions of R.D. Mathews, Meadows and others with Ruby.

As you know both Ruby and his sister were "dealers" in
their background history...and thru my "poker" playing
I've been tracking gamblers, murders and other operations dealing with Cuba/Casinos...gun running and
drugs in Dallas, during the 50's/60's. During my last
stay in Texas (2 months) I did manage to actually do
some research....and not just play poker.

R.D. Mathews has become of greater interest to me over the last 4 months.....jko

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the FBI investigation of the ammo

Post by greg parker on Tue 25 Aug 2009, 11:28 pm

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=95643&relPageId=39

William Schoeder was shown the casings found on the 6th floor and said they were not reloads.

A quick skim through of the entire document seems to indicate it's got some good info in it.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 3:38 pm

Handloading cartridges for the 6.5 Carcano would be a rather pointless venture, as the only 6.5mm/.257 bullets available for handloading at that point in time measured .264" in diameter. Many people did reload these cartridges with .264" bullets and the resulting loss of accuracy contributed greatly to the reputation of the 6.5 Carcano as an inaccurate rifle. The 6.5 Carcano was an odd duck, and unique amongst 6.5mm calibre rifles in that its designers made it with overly deep rifling grooves, requiring it to utilize a bullet .268" in diameter. This also required the jacket walls to be thicker, making it an extremely tough bullet capable of deep penetration and highly unlikely to fragment if fired into a human skull.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by greg parker on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 9:06 pm

Traveller11 wrote:Handloading cartridges for the 6.5 Carcano would be a rather pointless venture, as the only 6.5mm/.257 bullets available for handloading at that point in time measured .264" in diameter. Many people did reload these cartridges with .264" bullets and the resulting loss of accuracy contributed greatly to the reputation of the 6.5 Carcano as an inaccurate rifle. The 6.5 Carcano was an odd duck, and unique amongst 6.5mm calibre rifles in that its designers made it with overly deep rifling grooves, requiring it to utilize a bullet .268" in diameter. This also required the jacket walls to be thicker, making it an extremely tough bullet capable of deep penetration and highly unlikely to fragment if fired into a human skull.
Thanks. At least some of that resonates as having entered my neuron circuits previously.

Given the above, and the fact they had been advised these weren't reloads, the real question is why they're even asking about them.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 3:01 am

I believe Dallas gun dealer John Masen told the FBI that he did partial reloading of 6.5 Carcano cartridges for some of his customers. As the milsurp Carcano cartridges were loaded with FMJ bullets, they were useless for hunting. He admitted to extracting the FMJ bullets and reseating soft tipped 6.5 mm hunting bullets in the Carcano cartridges. This would have required resizing of the brass cartridge necks as, once again, we have the .268" bullets being replaced with .264" bullets. With the resulting loss in accuracy, the hunters would have done better by filing the copper tip of the full metal jacket bullet back to expose the lead tip. On the other hand, there is still debate over whether the Western Cartridge Co. loaded their 6.5 Carcano cartridges with .264" or .268" bullets.

BTW, in a fired cartridge, you would not be able to see any "tool marks" that would give the cartridge away as being a reload. The cartridges found on the 6th floor would have been identified as WCC factory loads by the distinctive red colour of the sealant used to seat the primers in the bases of the cartridges. Reloaded cartridges would have new primers and this red would be absent.

P.S. I tried to post a link to a photo of the base of a WCC 6.5 Carcano cartridge but was told I am a new member and must wait seven days before posting external links.


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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by greg parker on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 7:13 am

P.S. I tried to post a link to a photo of the base of a WCC 6.5 Carcano cartridge but was told I am a new member and must wait seven days before posting external links.
A slight annoyance for genuine new members - but a fairly effective means of discouraging spammers.


Yes, Masen is an interesting character. And thanks for all the additional details. I don't think we're exactly over-run with people with any great knowledge in this area (though there may be one or two). And I'm certainly not one of them.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 7:59 am

How very strange, the FBI report does not actually tell us if Schroder actually reloaded the empty 6.5 Carcano cartridges or not, although he does describe the man who was supposed to pick up the reloaded cartridges "in a few days". I would be interested to know if these two men actually received these reloaded cartridges. It might help to explain the obvious inaccuracy of some of the shots, plus the suspected "tumbling" of the bullet that struck John Connally in the right wrist.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 4:41 am

"Yes, Masen is an interesting character. And thanks for all the additional details. I don't think we're exactly over-run with people with any great knowledge in this area (though there may be one or two). And I'm certainly not one of them."

You're welcome. I am not exactly what you would call an expert, either, though I do know enough about firearms, handloading and ballistics to realize the events on 22/11/63, as presented by the WC, may have transpired otherwise.

If anyone would like to discuss these matters, I would be delighted to enter into such a discussion on this forum.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by ianlloyd on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 5:38 am

Do you have any thoughts on the "dented lip" cartridge?

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 7:04 am

Yes, I do. And I do not believe any of the "short stroke" explanations offered up by WC supporters and WC supporters masquerading as CT's.

In order to dent an empty brass rifle cartridge in the fashion of CE 543, load the empty cartridge into the magazine of the bolt action rifle it was fired from. Close the bolt with as much force as you can muster. Nine times out of ten, the sharp edge of the empty cartridge neck will catch on the shoulder inside the barrel chamber and put a dent in the cartridge neck. With a live cartridge, the cartridge is guided past this shoulder by the sloping shape of the bullet itself.

Of course, having an empty cartridge in the Sniper's Nest with such a dent in its neck would mean that Oswald had never chambered that cartridge in this rifle unless, of course, he had, while wiping the rifle for fingerprints, put one of the empty cartridges back into the magazine and attempted to re-chamber it, just for a joke. Why he would do such a thing is beyond me.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by greg parker on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 7:22 am

The person known here as 9k116 hopefully can jump in on these types of issues. He seems to have some knowledge in these areas. (If I'm not mistaken, "9k116" is a Russian missile system...)

_________________
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I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
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I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

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             Lachie Hulme            
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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by ianlloyd on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 7:30 am

I guess a dent like that couldn't be made in the cartridge whilst the bullet is in the cartridge? Would it be possible after firing during ejection?

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 9:46 am

ianlloyd wrote:I guess a dent like that couldn't be made in the cartridge whilst the bullet is in the cartridge? Would it be possible after firing during ejection?
If, during extraction of an empty cartridge, the bolt is pulled back a fraction of the distance normally required to bring the bolt to the fully open position, the neck of the empty cartridge will clear the shoulder where the face of the bolt sits, when closed. At this point, the cartridge ejecting mechanism, on the face of the bolt, will pull the front end of the cartridge to the side, in preparation of ejecting the cartridge once the neck of the cartridge clears the chamber altogether. The distance from the point where the cartridge neck clears the shoulder to where the cartridge neck clears the chamber and ejects is not much more than 1/2".

To dent the cartridge neck in this method, one would have to pull the bolt back just until the neck cleared the shoulder, being very careful not to eject the cartridge, and then ram the bolt back in, striking the cartridge neck against the inner corner of the chamber.

If Oswald was experienced shooting this rifle, he would be familiar with the distance required to retract the bolt to eject an empty cartridge and chamber another cartridge. I am 57 years old and have never seen anyone do this with a bolt action rifle, and I have seen many novices in my time. Making it even more unlikely is that someone shooting at the POTUS is likely to have a good deal of adrenalin coursing through his system and, if anything, will be pulling back harder on the bolt than he would be if he were merely target shooting.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 1:09 pm

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon cycling empty .223 calibre cartridges through a .223 calibre bolt action rifle, both from the magazine and from the chamber (imitating a fired round).

While I was able to dent many empty cartridges, I was a little disturbed that the dents I made did not particularly resemble the dent seen on CE 543. The dents I made definitely looked as if something had struck the empty neck of the cartridge end on, giving an almost curled over look, while examination of photos of CE 543 gives one the impression that the empty neck cartridge was struck from the side, leaving an altogether different looking dent.

I am at a loss to explain how the dent seen in CE 543 could have been made by a rifle.


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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Albert Rossi on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 1:12 pm

Gee, I wonder why the Haags didn't conduct this kind of test for PBS's Cold Case. Wink

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Stan Dane on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 3:30 pm

Traveller11 wrote:
ianlloyd wrote:I guess a dent like that couldn't be made in the cartridge whilst the bullet is in the cartridge? Would it be possible after firing during ejection?
If, during extraction of an empty cartridge, the bolt is pulled back a fraction of the distance normally required to bring the bolt to the fully open position, the neck of the empty cartridge will clear the shoulder where the face of the bolt sits, when closed. At this point, the cartridge ejecting mechanism, on the face of the bolt, will pull the front end of the cartridge to the side, in preparation of ejecting the cartridge once the neck of the cartridge clears the chamber altogether. The distance from the point where the cartridge neck clears the shoulder to where the cartridge neck clears the chamber and ejects is not much more than 1/2".

To dent the cartridge neck in this method, one would have to pull the bolt back just until the neck cleared the shoulder, being very careful not to eject the cartridge, and then ram the bolt back in, striking the cartridge neck against the inner corner of the chamber.

If Oswald was experienced shooting this rifle, he would be familiar with the distance required to retract the bolt to eject an empty cartridge and chamber another cartridge. I am 57 years old and have never seen anyone do this with a bolt action rifle, and I have seen many novices in my time. Making it even more unlikely is that someone shooting at the POTUS is likely to have a good deal of adrenalin coursing through his system and, if anything, will be pulling back harder on the bolt than he would be if he were merely target shooting.
Is Robert Prudhomme over at the ED Forum in post #20 "An unfired cartridge?" thread saying the same thing you are here?
 
http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=9276&page=2

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 3:44 pm

Stan Dane wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:
ianlloyd wrote:I guess a dent like that couldn't be made in the cartridge whilst the bullet is in the cartridge? Would it be possible after firing during ejection?
If, during extraction of an empty cartridge, the bolt is pulled back a fraction of the distance normally required to bring the bolt to the fully open position, the neck of the empty cartridge will clear the shoulder where the face of the bolt sits, when closed. At this point, the cartridge ejecting mechanism, on the face of the bolt, will pull the front end of the cartridge to the side, in preparation of ejecting the cartridge once the neck of the cartridge clears the chamber altogether. The distance from the point where the cartridge neck clears the shoulder to where the cartridge neck clears the chamber and ejects is not much more than 1/2".

To dent the cartridge neck in this method, one would have to pull the bolt back just until the neck cleared the shoulder, being very careful not to eject the cartridge, and then ram the bolt back in, striking the cartridge neck against the inner corner of the chamber.

If Oswald was experienced shooting this rifle, he would be familiar with the distance required to retract the bolt to eject an empty cartridge and chamber another cartridge. I am 57 years old and have never seen anyone do this with a bolt action rifle, and I have seen many novices in my time. Making it even more unlikely is that someone shooting at the POTUS is likely to have a good deal of adrenalin coursing through his system and, if anything, will be pulling back harder on the bolt than he would be if he were merely target shooting.
Is Robert Prudhomme over at the ED Forum in post #20 "An unfired cartridge?" thread saying the same thing you are here?
 


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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Stan Dane on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 3:53 pm

Traveller11 wrote:I confess. I am Robert Prudhomme. Traveller is the name of one of my horses and it is a name I use often on forums.
D'oh!
 
Pleased to meet you, sir.

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 3:56 pm

Stan Dane wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:I confess. I am Robert Prudhomme. Traveller is the name of one of my horses and it is a name I use often on forums.
D'oh!
 
Pleased to meet you, sir.
And pleased to meet you, sir. Smile

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Re: Ray Acker and the MC Ammo

Post by Guest on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 5:13 am

Here is an example of incorrect information being stated as fact. It is unknown if this person is a disinformation agent or simply does not know what he is talking about. However, at the Education Forum, where this excerpt is taken from, this man is considered to be a firearms authority, as evidenced by the great Josiah Thompson seeking wisdom from him. Read this passage and see if you can tell me what he got wrong and how what he is saying is physically impossible.


Thomas H. Purvis, on Apr 1 2009, 03:47 PM, said:
Thomas H. Purvis wrote:I have been told by others that in such a "short-stroking" situation the short-stroked cartridge case rides over the next bullet in the clip and lodges in the breech of the weapon where it has to be removed by shoving a cleaning rod down the barrel. If this happened, the weapon would have been found with a stuck cartridge case in the breech. Is this true about short-stroking?

Josiah Thompson



YES, but!

The Carcano operating mechanism (clip) is quite diffferent than, say the M-1 Garand.

The Carcano clip holds ONLY the base of the cartridge in place. Thusly, when the bolt is pulled back, the magazine follower spring pressure exerted against the bottom round in the clip causes/allows the bullet nose of the top (next in line to be loaded) round to rise at an angle and thereafter "point" upwards toward the weapon chamber.

During normal operation, when the bolt comes forward, it catches the top edge of the cartridge rim and then drives the round forward and "upwards" which drives the round into the chamber.
When the round is sufficiently driven into the chamber, and the round becomes sufficiently horizontal in plane, then the cartridge rim is forced up into the bolt face and becomes fully seated in the bolt.

Therefore, when a "short stroke" occurs and the bolt still holds an empty casing, it is driven forward, the lower edge of the bolt will frequently still pick up the cartridge rim of the full round still in the clip and, dependent on a variety of factors either carry this round forward (along with the empty cartridge casing), or actually scrape over the top of the round, which can cause bottom edge of the bolt face as well as the seated empty cartridge casing to scrape over the top of the live round below it.

In eather case, we have a full bullet attempting to enter the weapon chamber with the bullet nose on a slightly elevated plane as well as an expended round casing attempting to enter the chamber on a horizontal plane, which DON'T FIT!

Therefore, it is not unusual for the forward area of the expended/empty cartridge casing to come into contact with the forward area (nose) of the live round which is attempting to enter the chamber. All of which seldom will result in a jammed round in the chamber and which usually results in a dent becoming formed in the empty/driven forward casing nose.

All based on the force of the forward thrust of the bolt.

Hope that is more clear than mud.

Tom

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