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Did AP Alter the Cruz "Gun Photo?"

Yesterday the AP published a photo of Ted Cruz with a large gun pointed directly at his forehead. The AP claims the positioning of the gun to Cruz's head was inadvertent and no ill will was intended.

The AP image looks out of proportion. It appears that there is more than just angle and positioning involved. It seems that the image of Cruz has been cut and pasted over a background picture of the gun image.

In a photo from the Des Moines Register, the gun poster seems relatively modest in size, 16:9 format, and mounted at what would appear to be about eye level. A good guess would be the actual image dimension to be something around 32" x 18".  In the AP photo, the gun image is huge - something like a full wall mural - yet the distance of the camera from Cruz appears to be about the same as the Register photo. 

Below are comparisons of the two images. It seems impossible to me that the AP image was created without "photo-shopping" two distinct images to create one. 

Perhaps there are some better photo experts out there to explain why I'm wrong, but to me, this looks bogus.