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Old March 3, 2024, 05:13 AM   #76
stagpanther
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I watched the whole thing--I might have missed it--did he ever suggest WHY the FBI deliberately altered the revolver; since that was his essential conclusion as far as I could tell?
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Old March 3, 2024, 08:53 AM   #77
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I watched the whole thing--I might have missed it--did he ever suggest WHY the FBI deliberately altered the revolver; since that was his essential conclusion as far as I could tell?
He didn't explain it directly, but he referred to the explanation in the FBI report. There's other video out there of testimony by the FBI technician who tested the gun. The gun functioned as designed when received by the FBI. The lab then attempted to see if the revolver would fire without a finger on the trigger when subjected to impacts. They finally were able to make it do so -- by striking the spur of the hammer with a mallet so hard that it rounded off the cocking shelf on the hammer and shattered the sear and bolt.
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Old March 3, 2024, 09:20 AM   #78
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Yeah they basically tested it to failure . Its not that the gun was in such bad repair that it failed . It’s that the tech abused it so much that it failed. Which ultimately proved the gun would not have gone off without pulling the trigger or a hard smack with a mallet to the hammer, which I think we all can safely assume Mr. Baldwin didn’t do.

It’s interesting, how most people think the FBI somehow broke it on accident, and somehow are incompetent or brought into question the safety of the firearm . It’s really the exact opposite. They proved there’s no way that hammer fell without pulling the trigger.

On cross, the defense asked if the tech inspected the internals of the firearm prior to testing . The tech explained that he did not open the gun to its internals or really mess with it in anyway because he needed to test it as he received it . This lead the questioning on cross in the direction that maybe all of those parts were broken prior to him, hitting the hammer with a mallet . Seeing how I did my own test on very similar Firarms. I believe it would be less likely that the parts were broken prior to the testing, but it is an interesting theory that I think people with no Firarms knowledge could conclude there iscreasonable doubt to the condition of the firearm at the time of the incident
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Old March 3, 2024, 10:59 AM   #79
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But why would they do that with the actual evidence gun? Personally I think that opens up the possibility of "tampering with evidence" without thorough recording of every step of the way of what they did. On the one hand I see that it is easy to conclude that this kinda sinks any defense Baldwin might have that the gun somehow malfunctioned--but it works both ways; if establishing it's a fully functional revolver--others involved in the chain of control become potentially more culpable as well. I find the destructive testing of actual evidence highly questionable, but that's just me.
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Old March 3, 2024, 11:32 AM   #80
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Personally I think that opens up the possibility of "tampering with evidence" without thorough recording of every step of the way of what they did.
But they DID record every step of the way. That's the report the older firearms forensic engineer referred to. I'm sure the FBI report documented each and every incremental step they took in attempting to induce a malfunction -- up to and including whacking the hammer hard enough to damage the hammer and break the sear.
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Old March 3, 2024, 11:39 AM   #81
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It was my understanding from the testimony that the tech was given the OK to destroy the gun in order to determine if it was faulty or not . They generally would not do that unless they needed to find out when and if the firearm would break and I think that’s the very thing they were trying to figure out since he could not get it malfunction in the course of normal operations .

I don’t know maybe if that point you take it apart and check the internals, then put it back together and see if you can break it ???
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Old March 3, 2024, 12:43 PM   #82
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The FBI were not trying to break the firearm. They were trying to determine what level and type of impact would cause it to fire without pulling the trigger. The result was that it would not fire until there was breakage of the internal parts. This clearly shows that Baldwin's statement that he didn't pull the trigger was false. Maybe not intentionally false, because he may choose to believe that he didn't pull the trigger -- but his other films and video clips leaked from Rust clearly demonstrate that Baldwin has always exhibited poor trigger finger discipline.
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Old March 3, 2024, 01:03 PM   #83
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I dunno--my intuition tells me a good defense lawyer might figure some reason why destroying parts of the gun in the process precluded them from fair examination maybe.
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Old March 3, 2024, 02:39 PM   #84
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The FBI were not trying to break the firearm. They were trying to determine what level and type of impact would cause it to fire without pulling the trigger. The result was that it would not fire until there was breakage of the internal parts.
What I question is WHY they went to that extreme. It has been common knowledge for a century and a half that a hard enough blow on the fully cocked hammer will fire the gun, and that nearly always happens because of part(s) breakage from the force of the blow.

So I wonder why they went that far, and what moron authorized it?? I wonder if there was anyone at the FBI who was involved in the testing that had ever tested a single action Colt pattern revolver before.?? when was the last time the FBI lab worked with a SAA revolver?? It hasn't exactly been a common crime gun for a LONG time.

They "weren't allowed" to disassemble the gun and check the parts for wear or breakage before they started testing (so, no baseline data there) and yet they were allowed to beat on the gun until it failed?? Something there just doesn't seem right to me.
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Old March 3, 2024, 03:18 PM   #85
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common knowledge....
...does not expert testimony make.

Now they have both testimony, and admissible evidence of a report on that gun.
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Old March 3, 2024, 07:15 PM   #86
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Something else that bothered me about the expert's testimony. I'm not familiar with the particular revolver that was used--but I have a rough idea of how single actions in general work. What he calls the cylinder latch bolt--what I would call the timing pawl a la Ruger--times the rotation of the cylinder and it is only at the very end of the dialogue that he mentions it times the cylinder to the bore of the barrel. He says if that were out of time the revolver could have a catastrophic failure--which is true--but if the the latch was already broken, how could a live round be lined up so that the hammer pin get a centered hit on a primer? In the discussion of the ammo itself he mentioned the consistency of cartridges within a box--both the nickle-plated primers and headstamps--as being such that it would be impossible there would be variation among the cartridges within the box. I know from my experience buying factory ammo this is not always true, I've encountered mixed cartridges in the same box which in the case of the stores I bought it from they mixed lots, possibly from ammo that was purchased from estates or going out of business purchases. Shady--but does happen. HSM is a "custom boutique" hand-load manufacturer IIRC. I'm not familiar with blanks in general--but I always figured a blank would not under any circumstances have an actual projectile that for all intents and purposes is nearly identical to a "live" round. The notion of "they wanted the rounds to look as close to the real thing as possible" right there indicates yet another easy path for the real thing to be mixed in with the dummy/blank rounds.
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Old March 3, 2024, 07:38 PM   #87
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What he was describing in that part of his testimony was what would have happen if the hammer slipped out of the half-cock notch, when the cylinder is halfway between one chamber leaving alignment with the barrel and the next chamber coming into alignment with the barrel. I don't recall if he said it would or wouldn't have been possible for the firing pin to stroke a primer at that stage of the action but, if anything were to set off a round at that stage, the bullet would slam into the frame rather than enter the barrel.
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Old March 3, 2024, 08:57 PM   #88
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I would offer that the radius of a large pistol primer is only ~ 1/10th of an inch.
Cylinder rotation out of time by only 1/2 of that (50-thou) would cause the firing pin
to completely miss any element of the anvil -- no ignition.

Any less than that where the cartridge could fire would only result in shaved lead splatter
-- maybe not even that since the forcing cone flare could easily accommodate.
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Old March 3, 2024, 10:04 PM   #89
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What he calls the cylinder latch bolt--
I would question the expertise of an "expert" that doesn't know, or doesn't use the general standard terminology for various parts.

The actual correct terms, per the manufacturer are available and not difficult to get. Generally speaking the part that rotates the cylinder is called the hand or the pawl, and the part that locks the cylinder into place is called the bolt.

There is no "latch" anything in a single action revolver, that I am aware of.

Nor can I see any justification for an "expert" using non standard terminology, especially if they are trying to explain things to "non-experts".

The gun used in the RUST shooting was an Italian made copy of a Colt SAA, I believe the maker is still in business, their parts list (with their names for the parts) should be easily available via a phone call or e mail, or just an internet search. There is NO reason, other than ignorance or just sloppiness to use the wrong (and possibly misleading) terms.

No expert worthy of the title of expert would do that.
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Old March 3, 2024, 11:41 PM   #90
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The gun used in the RUST shooting was an Italian made copy of a Colt SAA, I believe the maker is still in business, their parts list (with their names for the parts) should be easily available via a phone call or e mail, or just an internet search. There is NO reason, other than ignorance or just sloppiness to use the wrong (and possibly misleading) terms.

No expert worthy of the title of expert would do that.
He stated specifically that the manufacturer calls that part the "bolt." He also said that he prefers to call it something else. Nonetheless, it was made quite clear what purpose the part serves, and where it is located.
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Old March 4, 2024, 04:49 AM   #91
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I have hunted with lead cast bullets but never recovered one--I am a bit vague on performance of lead bullets--but I found myself wondering--how does a lead wad cutter go through one body and into another--going through both flesh and bone in the process--and be recovered with 90 percent weight and smaller diameter (as reported by the expert)?
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Old March 4, 2024, 07:28 AM   #92
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Because lead -- particularly soft lead in a rounded monolithic block without any significant edges -- will simply deform rather than shatter/break apart.
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Old March 4, 2024, 09:47 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by stagpanther
I have hunted with lead cast bullets but never recovered one--I am a bit vague on performance of lead bullets--but I found myself wondering--how does a lead wad cutter go through one body and into another--going through both flesh and bone in the process--and be recovered with 90 percent weight and smaller diameter (as reported by the expert)?
When did any of the witnesses mention wadcutters?

There was discussion of the difference between round nose, round nose-flat point, and SEMI-wadcutter bullets, but not wadcutters.

And I believe the testimony was that the bullet recovered from Joel Souza was a round nose-flat point that weighed approximately 240 grains after recovery, suggesting that it had probably started out as a 250-grain projectile. There was no testimony that the bullet went through bone, either. But it very likely glanced off a bone or two.
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Old March 4, 2024, 11:36 AM   #94
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And I believe the testimony was that the bullet recovered from Joel Souza was a round nose-flat point that weighed approximately 240 grains after recovery, suggesting that it had probably started out as a 250-grain projectile. There was no testimony that the bullet went through bone, either. But it very likely glanced off a bone or two.
Between 42:51 and 43:05 he specifically says the recovered bullet from the shooting went through two people and "suffered a lot of impact damage" as a result of hitting bone and measured around 240 grs. I never got the impression that he was certain beyond a doubt (i.e supporting proof) what the actual cartridge/bullet used was--just his belief that it was most likely a "classic" 250 gr Colt cowboy action type cartridge. He also mentions significant bore fouling--kinda curious how that one was arrived at.

Yes semi-wadcutter--or flat "meplat" round nose. Or whatever you want to call it; honestly I had trouble following what he actually meant.
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Old March 4, 2024, 11:53 AM   #95
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Day 8
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ESalidO515g

Here is the bullet pulled from ....

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Old March 4, 2024, 12:26 PM   #96
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Yes semi-wadcutter--or flat "meplat" round nose. Or whatever you want to call it;
They are not at all the same thing -- as the expert made clear in his testimony.

Semi-wadcutter: https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-y060...504239.jpg?c=2

Round-nose, flat point: https://cjncasting.com/image/cache/c...in-500x638.jpg
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Old March 4, 2024, 12:40 PM   #97
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They are not at all the same thing -- as the expert made clear in his testimony.

Semi-wadcutter: https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-y060...504239.jpg?c=2

Round-nose, flat point: https://cjncasting.com/image/cache/c...in-500x638.jpg
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I know what they are--the expert's description was a bit confusing--just like the latch bolt was a bit oblique reference was.
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Old March 4, 2024, 12:52 PM   #98
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Day 8
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ESalidO515g

Here is the bullet pulled from ....
That one is fascinating. One Branca is enough--4 is over the top.
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Old March 4, 2024, 01:45 PM   #99
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Yeah He can be interesting but court tv was/is making there replays private so anyone watching later can’t from the links . I figure Branca’s videos will still play in the future when people want to watch the trial . You can always mute when court is on a break
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Old March 4, 2024, 02:42 PM   #100
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He's great--I'm talking about when he was having streaming difficulty and refreshed his browser--and each time he did so another Branca within a Branca popped up.
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