Thursday, December 09, 2004

Oswald's Weapon of Choice

A Mannlicher-Carcano rifle similar to Lee Harvey Oswald's weapon is on display at the Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis

The Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis, which was dedicated in 1938 to the "war to end all wars," houses a permanent exhibit of various firearms, including an Italian-made 1938 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, a weapon similar to the one Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly used to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The background information on the displayed rifle, however, doesn't mention this fact. Instead, the information explains that the bore of the rifle was enlarged more than once to increase its lethal capacity, the last alteration being done by the Germans towards the end of World War II. Mannlicher-Carcanos became rare by the 1950s, but were used in conflicts in the Mideast, including Syria and Israel, according to the display.

Perhaps the rifle has been sitting in the same display case so long that it predates the Kennedy assassination.