(PART 323)


[Quoting from Commission Exhibit No. 2562, p.15:] "Since many concerns were manufacturing the same weapon, THE SAME SERIAL NUMBER APPEARS ON WEAPONS MANUFACTURED BY MORE THAN ONE CONCERN. Some bear a letter prefix and some do not." .... Now, where did he say that no two weapons bore the same letter prefix?


Yes, you're correct here (in a way), Gil. I'll admit that.


The above passage which you quoted from CE2562 can, indeed, be interpreted this way:

The exact same 5-character serial number can appear on multiple Mannlicher-Carcano Model 91/38 rifles that were manufactured at different plants, which would include the same prefix letter as well as the same four numbers that follow the prefix letter.

But I also think the above quote from CE2562 can be interpreted another way, which is probably the correct way of interpreting it, especially when factoring in these two things as a prerequisite:

1.) J. Edgar Hoover's comments to J. Lee Rankin on Page 1 of that 20-page document that makes up Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2562, wherein Hoover is telling Rankin about two specific rifles of interest to the Commission, rifles which bear similar serial numbers, but not serial numbers that are exactly the same, because one of them doesn't bear the "C" letter prefix.


2.) The fact that nobody, to date, has produced a single example of another Model #91/38 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that bears the exact same 5-character serial number as the one that was shipped by Klein's to Hidell/Oswald in March 1963. And, as far as I am aware, nobody has ever come up with ANY two separate MC 91/38 rifles that bear the exact same 5-character serial number, regardless of whether the number is "C2766" or some other number.

Given the above two facts, I believe that the above quote that you cited from CE2562 could reasonably be interpreted in the following manner:

The exact same 4-digit serial NUMBER (i.e., the numerals 0 through 9) can appear on multiple Mannlicher-Carcano Model 91/38 rifles that were manufactured at different plants, but if the very same 4-digit number does appear on any two rifles, then one of these rifles will include a letter prefix in front of the 4-digit number, while the other rifle will not have this prefix.

In my opinion, the above explanation is a reasonable one, given the comments by J. Edgar Hoover on Page #1 of CE2562. And it's also a very reasonable explanation when factoring in the following comments regarding this topic of serial numbers that were made by the FBI's Robert A. Frazier to the Warren Commission in 1964:

MR. EISENBERG -- "Based on your experience with firearms, is the placement of a specific serial number on a weapon generally confined to one weapon of a given type?"

MR. FRAZIER -- "Yes, it is. Particularly--may I refer to foreign weapons particularly? The serial number consists of a series of numbers which normally will be repeated. However, a prefix is placed before the number, which actually must be part of the serial number, consisting of a letter."

MR. EISENBERG -- "Have you been able to confirm that the serial number on this weapon is the only such number on such a weapon?"

MR. FRAZIER -- "Yes, it is."


David Von Pein
September 9, 2008