Lee Harvey Oswald’s Marksmanship

Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK…or did he? Was his marksmanship good enough to pull this off?

Facts – You Decide

No one has ever duplicated the marksmanship attributed to Oswald.

The CBS Reenactment Test

CBS news did a reenactment in 1967 involving several expert riflemen firing from a 60 foot tower at a moving sled using a similar Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

None of these expert riflemen hit the target twice on their first try and 7 of them failed to do so on any try.

They also were able to fire several practice rounds before the test.

Warren Commission Tests

The Warren Commission’s tests were equally bad. The WC paid 3 expert riflemen to duplicate Oswald’s alleged feat. These shooters fired 18 rounds using Oswald’s gun and scope.

They fired 3 rounds with just the iron sites. These shooters missed the head and neck area of the target 18 out of 18 times using the telescopic sight and 2 out of 3 times when they used the iron sites.

Some of the shots missed the target completely. They were able to take as long as they wanted for the first shot. They were firing from a height of only 30 feet. Oswald fired from a height of 60 feet. They were also shooting at stationary targets instead of a moving limousine.

Oswald’s Marine Background

Former Marines recall that Oswald was a poor shot.

Nelson Delgado said Oswald on the firing line was “a pretty big joke” because he got a lot of complete misses.

Delgado told researcher Mark Lane that Oswald just was not that interested in guns. He was always being penalized for not taking proper care of his rifle or cleaning it regularly.

Sherman Cooley, another Marine, said “If I had to pick one man in the entire United States to shoot me, I’d pick Oswald. I saw the man shoot. There’s no way he could have ever learned to shoot well enough to do what they accused him of doing in Dallas.”


Henry Hurt, author of “Reasonable Doubt” interviewed many of Oswald’s fellow Marines. Hurt said “On the subject of Oswald’s shooting ability, there was virtually no exception to Delgado’s opinion that it was laughable.

Many of the Marines said that Oswald had a certain lack of coordination that they felt was responsible for the fact that he had difficulty learning to shoot.”

More Facts

When he was a member of a hunting club in Minsk, Russia Oswald’s fellow members considered him a bad marksman.

Craig Roberts was a former Marine sniper who later wrote a book on the JFK assassination called “Kill Zone.” Roberts visited the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and instantly realized that Oswald could not have performed the shooting feat because he knew that he himself could not. And he was a professional.

Roberts interviewed Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, the former senior instructor at the Marines Corps Sniper Instruction School at Quantico, Virginia. Roberts asked Hathcock if he thought Oswald could have done what the Warren Commission said he did. Hathcock said no.

Hathcock reconstructed the assassination at Quantico: the angle, moving target, time limit etc. he told Roberts, “I don’t know how many times we tried it, but we couldn’t duplicate what the Warren Commission said Oswald did.

Again, we are talking about professionals. Men who completely outclass Oswald in raw shooting ability. But further, these are professional assassins who practice their skills almost daily.”

Dean Andrews, an attorney in New Orleans who met Oswald testified before the Warren Commission.

Andrews said “I know good and well Oswald did not kill the President. With that weapon, he couldn’t have been capable of making 3 controlled shots in that short time. I am basing my opinion on 5 years as an ordnance man in the Navy.


You just don’t pick up a rifle or a pistol or whatever weapon you are using and stay proficient with it. You have to know what you are doing. This boy could have connived the deal, but I think he is a patsy.”

What do you think? Could Oswald have pulled off this feat of marksmanship? Leave me a comment below.

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