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U.S.M.C gun trucks?

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
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I found the reference for modern day gun trucks. It’s a multi service document and applies to the four services. The Coasties and Space Force are not included (when they need gunners on the space shuttle or space station, I’m volunteering for that!).
The reference for the Marine Corps is: MCRP 4-11.3H. It’s available on the web: https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/fm4-01.45(05).pdf.
 

Sgt C

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I found the reference for modern day gun trucks. It’s a multi service document and applies to the four services. The Coasties and Space Force are not included (when they need gunners on the space shuttle or space station, I’m volunteering for that!).
The reference for the Marine Corps is: MCRP 4-11.3H. It’s available on the web: https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/fm4-01.45(05).pdf.
Thanks! More, as my wife calls it, "truck porn" to look at tonight!
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
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After much searching, I found two photos of Marine Corps “war wagon” gun trucks. One is in “Have Guns will travel” be James Lyles and the other is in David Doyle’s book called “Gun Trucks”. On page 71 of “Gun Trucks”, there’s an excellent photo of one of the Marine Corps war wagon gun trucks. Looks fairly standard with one exception; the grey GI arm chair. I’ve been looking for a couple of those for awhile.
 

Sgt C

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After much searching, I found two photos of Marine Corps “war wagon” gun trucks. One is in “Have Guns will travel” be James Lyles and the other is in David Doyle’s book called “Gun Trucks”. On page 71 of “Gun Trucks”, there’s an excellent photo of one of the Marine Corps war wagon gun trucks. Looks fairly standard with one exception; the grey GI arm chair. I’ve been looking for a couple of those for awhile.
Funny? I've looked through that book dozens of times and never noticed it was a USMC truck.
 

Sgt C

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N

I didn’t notice that. It’s good you have shots of both sides. Every bit of info is priceless especially when you want to recreate one of these trucks.
Again, I want to thank you guys for all the invaluable information. I've learned so much on this subject.

So now the conundrum... How do I turn my deuce into a reasonable representation of a Vietnam Era USMC War Wagon using 2 pics of one 5-ton and not offend the purists out there (too much)? As SgtMajHarper pointed out, I have to fix my hood markings, and I should change the unit designation over to a transportation company for starters. My initial thought is to copy the basic layout of the 5-ton from the pics, but put two .50's in the forward corners of the gunbox. No armor on the doors unless I can figure out how to still keep it street legal. The ring and .50 stay on the cab because I put too much time and effort into mounting it. The gun box armor will be two-layer, but most likely aluminum to save weight. I could go with the wooden planking instead of armor if the cost of aluminum is too much? It's historically accurate, but I think it lacks the "cool factor". Sandbags in between the armor would be filled with foam or plastic pellets for weight savings as well. Radio would be a non-functioning unit mounted in the gun box. And what radio?

I'd make sure to label it as a representation at shows. Probably put up a display board with pics of actual gun trucks with data and other historical info.

Thoughts? Opinions? Remember, be gentle. I'm a Marine so I'm sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt...;)
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Again, I want to thank you guys for all the invaluable information. I've learned so much on this subject.

So now the conundrum... How do I turn my deuce into a reasonable representation of a Vietnam Era USMC War Wagon using 2 pics of one 5-ton and not offend the purists out there (too much)? As SgtMajHarper pointed out, I have to fix my hood markings, and I should change the unit designation over to a transportation company for starters. My initial thought is to copy the basic layout of the 5-ton from the pics, but put two .50's in the forward corners of the gunbox. No armor on the doors unless I can figure out how to still keep it street legal. The ring and .50 stay on the cab because I put too much time and effort into mounting it. The gun box armor will be two-layer, but most likely aluminum to save weight. I could go with the wooden planking instead of armor if the cost of aluminum is too much? It's historically accurate, but I think it lacks the "cool factor". Sandbags in between the armor would be filled with foam or plastic pellets for weight savings as well. Radio would be a non-functioning unit mounted in the gun box. And what radio?

I'd make sure to label it as a representation at shows. Probably put up a display board with pics of actual gun trucks with data and other historical info.

Thoughts? Opinions? Remember, be gentle. I'm a Marine so I'm sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt...;)
I’m a Marine as well. The beautiful thing about gun trucks is no two are exactly alike. Each truck NCOIC made adjustments, added armor and weapons as they saw fit. For my armor I used 1/16th (IIRC) thick steel plates. I backed them up with 1/2 outdoor plywood. I painted everything black which added to the impression of much thicker steel plates. Ammo cans is a big item. The floors on many of the trucks were covered in .50 Ammo cans. I lucked out and found 144 .50 size Ammo cans. The gun box is set up as you want. If you go with two .50 mounts, there’s the fore and aft mount, both mounted forward and/or any combination you can dream up. The radio is pretty specific. The various books have pictures of the radios and mounts. I have a FM radio, can’t remember which one. The antenna is very specific as well. The antenna mount should be a rectangular box shape. The antenna is specific to to that antenna mount. That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try and pick up on this again once I get home.
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
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Laramie County, Wyoming
Jeff, finally found picks of your build. Looks awesome! Would love to see more pics. Is your side armor double walled? One of the pics shows the boarding ladder and what looks like planks in between your steel, or am I misinterpreting the picture?
For now it’s single walled. I have sections of PSP that I plan on installing as the inner wall. Some of the pictures in various trucks, especially the earlier ones, show PSP being used.
The side wall is layered. Outer layer is thin sheet steel, it’s backed up with 1/2” plywood. All around the top inner side of the box is 2x12 timbers. Just looking at the truck, you’ll think I’ve got 1/2” thick steel plates. My truck is a 1970. I don’t want to put that much strain on the drive train. Some folks have built their tribute/replica trucks using the steel plates because that was what was done during the War. The boarding ladder I picked up off eBay IIRC. It’s how people can come up in the box and check things out. The one plate on the RH aft corner is hinged to make it easier getting into the box as well. I added a locking mechanism to keep the panel closed during parades. I have two radios. One is the truck mounted one. I’ll have to go out and check which model it is. The other is the backpack radio. Again, I’ll have to see which one. The truck mounted one is for show, the other is supposed to be FMC. I’ve posted most every picture I’ve taken of the truck. If you need a photo of a specific part or area, let me know and I’ll go take a picture of it.
 

Sgt C

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Hudson/new Hampshire
For now it’s single walled. I have sections of PSP that I plan on installing as the inner wall. Some of the pictures in various trucks, especially the earlier ones, show PSP being used.
The side wall is layered. Outer layer is thin sheet steel, it’s backed up with 1/2” plywood. All around the top inner side of the box is 2x12 timbers. Just looking at the truck, you’ll think I’ve got 1/2” thick steel plates. My truck is a 1970. I don’t want to put that much strain on the drive train. Some folks have built their tribute/replica trucks using the steel plates because that was what was done during the War. The boarding ladder I picked up off eBay IIRC. It’s how people can come up in the box and check things out. The one plate on the RH aft corner is hinged to make it easier getting into the box as well. I added a locking mechanism to keep the panel closed during parades. I have two radios. One is the truck mounted one. I’ll have to go out and check which model it is. The other is the backpack radio. Again, I’ll have to see which one. The truck mounted one is for show, the other is supposed to be FMC. I’ve posted most every picture I’ve taken of the truck. If you need a photo of a specific part or area, let me know and I’ll go take a picture of it.
Ok, now I see the hinge. Now for the stupid question... I'm unfamiliar with "PSP? What is it?
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,803
1,226
113
Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
Ok, now I see the hinge. Now for the stupid question... I'm unfamiliar with "PSP? What is it?
Perforated steel plating. It is/was used to quickly create aircraft runways and parking ramps. Very handy stuff. It can be used in a bunch of different applications. When used in the context of the gun trucks, they were added as reinforcement to sand bags.
 

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Sgt C

Well-known member
122
380
63
Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
Perforated steel plating. It is/was used to quickly create aircraft runways and parking ramps. Very handy stuff. It can be used in a bunch of different applications. When used in the context of the gun trucks, they were added as reinforcement to sand bags.
Ok. I use this stuff in varying sizes all the time. Just never heard it called PSP.
 

M813rc

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Near Austin, Texas
Two common vehicle-mounted radios during Vietnam were the RT-524 and the RT-246. They are very similar in size and appearance, the -524 has dial tuned frequencies, the -246 has push buttons for pre-selected frequencies. A lot of vehicles (for instance the V100) had a second receiver, the R-442, mounted next to the receive-transmit unit.
All three are pretty easy to find now, and if you are not wanting functioning ones, even easier.

Both big radios use the same mount. If someone doesn't chime in with the designation for the mount and antennae, I'll look those up when I get home this evening.

Cheers

RT-524 R-442 4.jpg RT-246 2.jpg
 
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