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Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

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Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by 9K116 on Sat 29 May 2010, 3:37 am

While reading Education Forum, I learned Officer Tippit was shot with single action wheelgun. It seems strange to me, and I will explain why.

At first, difference between single action and double action/semi automatic weapon is essential. If you are using a single action weapon, you must cock or manually reload it after every single shot. But if you are you using double action or semi auto, you just have to pull trigger. As result, in the same amount of time you can fire only few rounds from single action gun, or burst a lot of bullets from double action or semi auto. For example, the period of time needed to fire 2 single action rounds will be enough to fire 5-6, or even more rounds.

At second, every single action or bolt action weapon makes shooter to place his shots carefully. Why? Because he need a time for repeated shot, if the first shot is missed. Again, in case of doble action or semi auto it is not so important - you can afford to miss first shot, because you can follow with next shot in decimals of second!

How does it relate to Tippit shooting? Let us reconstruct a possible scenario of Tippit shooting, just in terms of way how he was shot. Since distance of shooting was actually point blank, it is impossible to miss from few meters in the human chest sized target. Every hit from such distance in chest of human being is incapatiting - the person hit does nothing but falls on the ground (remember what happened with Oswald, when he was shot by Ruby!).

Now, here comes the difference: if single action weapon was used, Tippit was already lying on curb (or pavement) before second shot was fired. So, the next question is, why to shoot already incapatited target two more times in body? It is totally senseless. In this case it will be enough with one repeated control shot, aimed in the head (as it really was, but with the final - fourth - shot). So, why to shoot two middle shots in already incapatited target?

But, if we put double action or semi auto handgun in the hand of murderer, situation becomes more consistent and logic. Now the murder is able to shot 3 fast repeated shots within second before Tippit falls on curb dead, and then, for sure (like professional killers do), finish him by firing control shot in the head.


Conclusion of this sounds as follows: four shots, fired at Officer Tippit, most likely suggests double action or semi auto weapon was used to kill him. If murderer have been using single action handgun, there most likely will be enugh with two shots - first one in the chest, and the second - control shot in the head. So, if single action handgun was found (or planted) to be carried by Oswald, it couldn't be used to shot Officer Tippit.
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by greg parker on Sat 29 May 2010, 9:53 pm

What you say seems logical to me, but I am no expert on firearms or ballistics.

I hope someone can jump in here and help keep this discussion going. It's something that I do not recall being explored by anyone in the past.
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by greg parker on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 10:34 pm

bump

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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 1:28 am

Not speaking here as an expert, but I own both a revolver and a semi-auto pistol.
 
My revolver (Dan Wesson) is typical of most "wheel guns" in that is it both double action (DA) and single action (SA). When I cock the hammer back, the cylinder rotates to get a cartridge ready to fire. Shooting from this configuration is SA. Trigger pull is lighter (less force, measured in pounds) than in DA mode. DA occurs when trigger both cocks and releases (fires) the hammer. Trigger pull shooting this way is heavier because of the extra duty of cocking the hammer/rotating the cylinder.
 
When target shooting with my revolver, I generally use single action mode because I can be more accurate. Double action is for rapid firing. I can do it either way. Cock the hammer each time, aim and shoot (SA), or squeeze the trigger in rapid succession (DA).  
 
My semi-automatic pistol (Walther PPQ M2) has as internal striker in place of a hammer. This gets cocked when you rack the slide to chamber a round. The first time you pull the trigger, it's DA (a little more force is needed). After firing the first round, each subsequent pull of the trigger is SA—very light and crisp.
 
When target shooting with my Walther, I insert the magazine (which holds up to 15 cartridges), I rack the slide to insert a cartridge in the chamber, and from this point on, I simply squeeze the trigger to fire a round, and the pistol automatically ejects the spent round and inserts the next one from the magazine. The first squeeze is DA (again, a little stiffer on the pull) and each subsequent pull is SA. I can empty an entire magazine in seconds if I wish, as fast as I can pull the trigger.      
 
For safety reasons, I don't keep a cartridge chambered in my semi-auto until I'm ready to shoot. Eliminates mistakenly squeezing the trigger/discharging a round. Safety is everything.

Now, having said all of this, the handgun supposedly taken from Oswald looks like a Smith & Wesson .38. This gun looks to be typical of a lot of revolvers, both DA/SA. It doesn't look like a SA only weapon. Just off the top of my head. Of course, who really knows what gun(s) killed Tippit. I understand the spent cartridges found at the scene raised questions.
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by greg parker on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 4:21 am

Stan Dane wrote:Not speaking here as an expert, but I own both a revolver and a semi-auto pistol.
 
My revolver (Dan Wesson) is typical of most "wheel guns" in that is it both double action (DA) and single action (SA). When I cock the hammer back, the cylinder rotates to get a cartridge ready to fire. Shooting from this configuration is SA. Trigger pull is lighter (less force, measured in pounds) than in DA mode. DA occurs when trigger both cocks and releases (fires) the hammer. Trigger pull shooting this way is heavier because of the extra duty of cocking the hammer/rotating the cylinder.
 
When target shooting with my revolver, I generally use single action mode because I can be more accurate. Double action is for rapid firing. I can do it either way. Cock the hammer each time, aim and shoot (SA), or squeeze the trigger in rapid succession (DA).  
 
My semi-automatic pistol (Walther PPQ M2) has as internal striker in place of a hammer. This gets cocked when you rack the slide to chamber a round. The first time you pull the trigger, it's DA (a little more force is needed). After firing the first round, each subsequent pull of the trigger is SA—very light and crisp.
 
When target shooting with my Walther, I insert the magazine (which holds up to 15 cartridges), I rack the slide to insert a cartridge in the chamber, and from this point on, I simply squeeze the trigger to fire a round, and the pistol automatically ejects the spent round and inserts the next one from the magazine. The first squeeze is DA (again, a little stiffer on the pull) and each subsequent pull is SA. I can empty an entire magazine in seconds if I wish, as fast as I can pull the trigger.      
 
For safety reasons, I don't keep a cartridge chambered in my semi-auto until I'm ready to shoot. Eliminates mistakenly squeezing the trigger/discharging a round. Safety is everything.

Now, having said all of this, the handgun supposedly taken from Oswald looks like a Smith & Wesson .38. This gun looks to be typical of a lot of revolvers, both DA/SA. It doesn't look like a SA only weapon. Just off the top of my head. Of course, who really knows what gun(s) killed Tippit. I understand the spent cartridges found at the scene raised questions.
Thanks for that Stan,

Here is a bit about the weapon in the theater:


Some Lend-Lease Victory Model revolvers originally chambered for the British .38/200 were returned to the United States and rechambered to fire the more popular and more powerful .38 Special ammunition, and such revolvers are usually so marked on their barrels. Rechambering of .38-200 cylinders to .38 Special results in oversized chambers, which may cause problems. Lee Harvey Oswald was carrying a re-chambered Victory Model when he was apprehended on November 22, 1963.[9]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_10

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Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
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"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 6:47 am

The British .38/200 and the .38 S&W cartridges had the same shell casing but different weight bullets (the British was heavier, the S&W was lighter). You could shoot both of these rounds interchangeably in guns chambered for the .38 S&W round. The design for the .38 S&W dates back to the 1800s when black powder was used.

The Oswald revolver—which according to the Wiki article was double action—was originally designed for these older rounds (.38 S&W and the British .38/200). The .38 Special was a newer, smokeless powder design cartridge that had more power. The .38 S&W cartridge is shorter and slightly larger in diameter than the .38 Special round (the .38 S&W won't fit in a .38 Special).
 
The rechambering process for guns like Oswald's to accommodate the .38 Special meant that the chamber was lengthened. Since the .38 Special is smaller in diameter, the chamber is slightly oversized. Because of this, the .38 Special cartridge was a little loose and there is always the danger that a cartridge could split or rupture due to overpressure when fired.

In my opinion, rather than rechamber these revolvers to handle a .38 Special and accept the performance risks that go along with it (cartridge extraction problems, hot gasses due to cartridge splitting), I would have simply purchased a revolver designed for the .38 Special.

http://www.smithandwessonforums.com/forum/s-w-revolvers-1857-1945/28931-38-200-vs-38-special.html
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by greg parker on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 8:07 am

So in terms of the shots, this weapons does in fact make sense?

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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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The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 9:38 am

greg parker wrote:So in terms of the shots, this weapons does in fact make sense?

It makes sense from the standpoint of shooting a target at close range. That's pretty much what revolvers are for—hitting your intended target at close range. You don't need to go single action. Steady your aim, squeeze. Again and again if time is of the essence.  

The original poster said: "While reading Education Forum, I learned Officer Tippit was shot with single action wheelgun."

Is this true? Because the gun we've been talking about here is a double action, if this was indeed Oswald's gun. Was there another gun planted somewhere?

I know very little about the facts involving the Tippit shooting. But it seems like someone got relatively close to him and squeezed off some shots with a double action weapon. If there was a final "control shot" to the head, the killer could have took an extra second or two to make that a single action shot.
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 9:53 am

I'd be more interested in the spent cartridges found at the scene. Were they .38 Special? Or something else? Were they fired from the Smith & Wesson Victory Model that was supposedly Oswald's? Was there anything unusual about the cartridges, e.g. were they deformed, etc.?
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by greg parker on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 10:05 am

Here is an interesting bit on it. Can't vouch for the veracity of some f it, but the bit about the shells I think is accurate.
http://www.orwelltoday.com/jfkoswaldgunplanted.shtml

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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
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 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
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Re: Was Officer Tippit shot with single action weapon?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 10:58 am

greg parker wrote:Here is an interesting bit on it. Can't vouch for the veracity of some f it, but the bit about the shells I think is accurate.
http://www.orwelltoday.com/jfkoswaldgunplanted.shtml

Quoting from the reference:

Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theatre with, we are told, a revolver tucked away in the waistband of his slacks.... It was a Smith & Wesson .38 special two-inch Commando model revolver and cost $29.95. Connecting the weapon supposedly taken from Lee to the shooting of Tippit is problematic. A radio broadcast by Sergeant Gerald Hill, one of the first policemen to arrive at the scene of the Tippit murder, was transmitted as follows:
 
"The shell at the scene indicates that the suspect is armed with an automatic .38 rather than a pistol." The handgun allegedly taken from Oswald at the time of his arrest was a .38 revolver, not an automatic. Sergant Hill made his statement after Officer J. M. Poe, another officer on the scene, showed him a Winston cigarette package containing three empty bullet shells, which Domingo Benavides [witness in nearby truck] had turned over to him after the shooting. Ammunition for a revolver is not interchangeable with ammunition for an automatic, and the shells on either type of ammunition are clearly marked -- ".38 spl" (special for revolvers) or ".38 auto" (automatic)....After he was arrested, and accused of shooting president Kennedy and policeman Tippit, Oswald denied owning a Smith & Wesson handgun or a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle -- which were traced to him through a phony name and post-office box.
 
I browsed a Smith & Wesson forum thread ".38 Auto use in .38 Special."
 
Just like with JFK forums, there was no cut and dried answer. The general consensus is no, you can't use .38 Auto ammo in a .38 Special. The dimensions are close but not exactly the same, And even in the cases where you might try, apparently, the .38 Auto cartridges produce higher pressures than the .38 Special, so that is a risky proposition.  
 
However—and this is solely my take—we discussed above how the rechambering process lengthened the chamber of Oswald's S&W Victory Model to accommodate the longer .38 Special, but the chamber was a bit big, diameter-wise for the .38 Special cartridge. It seems the .38 Auto is slightly bigger (.006 diameter) than the .38 Special, so, who knows, it just might fit into Oswald's gun. Hypothetically speaking. But the higher pressures (if I understand what I'm reading correctly) associated with the .38 Auto would make shooting this cartridge in Oswald's gun…well, problematic, to say the least. Dangerous, even.
 
Bottom line: if there were spent .38 Auto cartridges found at the scene, then the odds are quite high that they were fired from a semi-automatic "pop pop pop" kind of weapon. I think the statement implying ammo for the .38 Auto is not interchangeable with .38 Special ammo is true.
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