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U.S.M.C gun trucks?

Sgt C

Well-known member
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Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
Here’s the pics of my back bulkhead. Each sheet of steel is 3ft wide by 4 ft tall. They are backed up with 1/2 inch (IIRC) thick plywood. All around the top of the gun box is 2x12” boards. Those serve two functions. 1st, safety. If you are riding in the back and loose your balance, it’s better to smack into wood than 1/16 inch steel. The other function is proving support for the walls. Without support, the outer bulkheads kinda wobble back and forth. With the 2x12’s, the walls are pretty solid.
Now to the aft bulkhead. Starting on the drivers side, install a sheet metal/plywood panel across the back. You’ll need some support to hold it in place. Then go to the passenger side and do the same thing. Finally, install a third panel in the very center of the aft bulkhead. It’s important to get it as close to center as possible. Attach the left and center panels and brace up the center panel with 2x12 at the top and a section of angle iron at the bottom. You don’t want a section of 2x12 on the right hand panel. Add one more section of 2x12 vertically on the right hand wall. You need at least two fence type hinges attached to that vertical 2x12 and the top section. Two seemed best. As long as everything balances out, it’ll be solid once you close it up. Last details: figure out a locking mechanism so you can secure the door while you are in the box.

that’s the way I did it. It was much simpler than writing it all out. You’re indicating you’ll have secondary bulkheads internally. The aft bulkhead is relatively easy to change where you want the door. One of the pics shows the two fold up seats I got from a guy who wrecked his boat. I need to mount them, just got to figure out the details. Pics below:
Thank you! While I plan to use 2x12's as well, my inner bulkhead with reinforcing braces that keep the inner and outer bulkheads connected and spaced evenly should help keep things from wobbling. Your rear hatch design is based on no inner bulkheads. I'll need to modify it to fit my layout but your photos and description have given me plenty to think about. I think I can adapt your design for my truck. Again, thank you!
 

Sgt C

Well-known member
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Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
Didn't get as far as I had hoped today. 11 out of 18 panels installed along with the pedestal mounts. For fake armor, these panels are not light. My 62 year old bones are hurting! The goal is to be painting by next weekend. I need to test the epoxy on the edges to make sure its paintable, too. I dont want the panels to show wood. I want people to think their real armor.20230507_170246.jpg20230507_170242.jpg20230507_170156.jpg20230507_170208.jpg
 

Sgt C

Well-known member
122
380
63
Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
Getting there... Still undecided on how to do the rear hatch. The problem is my bed isn't even close to square. I've shimmed and adjusted as much as possible but the 2 rear panels are off parallel by about 1/4". The problem is the hatch is perfectly square . I'll focus on the rest and hope for an epiphany on what to do with the hatch.20230511_160041.jpg20230511_160016.jpg20230511_160010.jpg20230511_155959.jpg
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
If I may be so bold, you are recreating a gun truck originally built by 18 and 19 year olds with what ever materials they could find. They took trucks out of service, slapped some made up armor on it, stole, borrowed, black marketed automatic weapons by whatever means were necessary to arm their trucks. You are doing a fantastic job and when you are done it will be gorgeous. But, maybe, a little rough around the edges might be a bit more accurate? Regardless, I hope you will solve your dilemma and I can’t wait for the finished project.
 

Sgt C

Well-known member
122
380
63
Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
If I may be so bold, you are recreating a gun truck originally built by 18 and 19 year olds with what ever materials they could find. They took trucks out of service, slapped some made up armor on it, stole, borrowed, black marketed automatic weapons by whatever means were necessary to arm their trucks. You are doing a fantastic job and when you are done it will be gorgeous. But, maybe, a little rough around the edges might be a bit more accurate? Regardless, I hope you will solve your dilemma and I can’t wait for the finished project.
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! Don't worry, there will be plenty of "rough around the edges". I will still try to hide the wood inside the armor panels as much as possible. Probably nobody would notice, but my OCD will notice.

I was able to fit the hatch up today. Even though the opening for the hatch wasn't square, I was able to rig up a makeshift guide for my angle grinder to cut away the 18ga sheet metal, then used a jig saw to remove the wood. I was surprised how easy it was, and how well it came out. It won't be as unobtrusive as yours, but given the amount of foot20230513_162231.jpg traffic in the truck at shows, I think this is a necessary evil. Still need to add a padlock hasp and door stop, though

Was also able to get some painting done inside the box. Mainly focused on the areas in-between the inner and outer armor.

Also test fit the radio shelf. It's a modified HMMWV shelf so not period correct, but works well for my layout, and it won't really be seen once the radio is mounted to it.

Hope to finish painting during the week so I can start adding all the bling next weekend.
20230514_162542.jpg20230514_162452.jpg20230514_162410.jpg
 

SgtMajHarper

Well-known member
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Location
Falcon, CO
To steal a little bit of jeffhuey's thunder.....this is looking probably lots better than it should / would have under the conditions of the day. You Sir need a time machine, go back to "the day" and get a gov't contract designing these things and get rich. Yours is looking better than anything we had already.
 

Sgt C

Well-known member
122
380
63
Location
Hudson/new Hampshire
To steal a little bit of jeffhuey's thunder.....this is looking probably lots better than it should / would have under the conditions of the day. You Sir need a time machine, go back to "the day" and get a gov't contract designing these things and get rich. Yours is looking better than anything we had already.
So, the rail gun I built for it is probably a little over the top?
Seriously, it looks rougher than the pictures show. I did use old school glazing putty on the exposed panel edges both for weather protection and to hide the wood. I purposely left it somewhat rough to give the appearance of torch cut panels. Final coat of paint went on this afternoon. I'll give the paint until Tuesday to fully cure before adding the bling. Pictures will now have to wait until she's done... which will be by next weekend.
 

SgtMajHarper

Well-known member
297
574
93
Location
Falcon, CO
So, the rail gun I built for it is probably a little over the top?
Seriously, it looks rougher than the pictures show. I did use old school glazing putty on the exposed panel edges both for weather protection and to hide the wood. I purposely left it somewhat rough to give the appearance of torch cut panels. Final coat of paint went on this afternoon. I'll give the paint until Tuesday to fully cure before adding the bling. Pictures will now have to wait until she's done... which will be by next weekend.
A rail gun would be a nice touch to be sure. I'm impressed with what they can do; but I've always wanted to have a flamethrower to hang in the back to go along with my 3.5" bazooka.
 

wiggall

Active member
658
149
43
Location
Lenore, Id.
Yes, according to James Lyles books, the Marine Corps had war wagons, as they called them. If you can find copies of his books, you should find lots of general gun truck information. The Army, Air Force and Marine Corps all had gun trucks. The Navy had battleships.
I was on a Destroyer USS EDSON DD 946 off the coast of Vietnam 1970, and 1971 Aimed a lot of 5"/54 inland call sign FAIRBANKS!
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,806
1,237
113
Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
Well, I did manage to get the truck parade ready, but I didn't get all the bling done inside the gun box. Radio and VIC-1 are installed except for cab crew box. Somehow I'm a cable short? Anyways, pics inside the gun box will have to wait. These pics are from the staging area before the 1st parade today.View attachment 898381View attachment 898382
Nice! I bet the kids loved the truck! Looks like I need to get busy on my truck. No parades until July but it’s never good to wait till the last minute.
You did an awesome job!
When you set up your VIC 1, please get some pictures. It’s high time I got mine working.
 
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