Here in Part 2 of our Ballistic Bronco project, in conjunction with Recoil magazine, we are buttoning up some upgrades from 4Wheel Parts, Smittybilt, and Gibson exhaust as well as moving forward on new armor and armament. This is the Bronco that Recoil Editor Iain Harrison and his team will use for desert shooting sessions in the backcountry of Arizona. It's designed to give them a fun vehicle capable of hauling gear and ammo to their local ranges and as a magazine showcase machine for any gun events they may attend.
Recoil specializes in tactical weaponry but also the gun lifestyle for those people looking to be prepared for danger. This Bronco isn't a full-fledged bug-out truck but rather a normal weekend wheeler with additional emphasis on the ballistics side of things. Last month we added new wheels, tires, and lights. After a few more upgrades the Ballistic Bronco is finally ready to haul firepower to the dirt.
Inside the Bronco we added a set of Smittybilt seats. To protect the seats and give them more useful styling, we added a set of Smittybilt's G.E.A.R. tactical seat covers. These have a variety of pockets and even have options for water bladders. We added a plethora of Smittybilt tools and knives to the seat cover for easy access to gear.
On the floor of the Bronco a vinyl floor covering from LMC Truck was added to reduce noise and heat from below the body. Although the Bronco is now nicer to ride in, it will spend most of its time topless.
The engine needed a slight tune-up and some of the wiring cleaned up underhood as well. A fuse box from LMC was added and some leaks cleaned up on the big-block 460 to ensure that the old Bronco was ready to wheel.
Underneath the Bronco a new exhaust was installed from Gibson, which gave the Bronco a throatier exhaust note. To help bring the big-block to a stop, a rear disc brake upgrade from LMC Truck was performed on the 9-inch rearend.
Next the Bronco was hauled on over to Rob Bonney Fab for a pair of heavy-duty bumpers and a winch mount. Building bumpers started with the pulling off of the old parts. The guys at Rob Bonney Fab then trimmed a bit of sheetmetal front and rear to keep things high and tight to the bodylines.
Next the Smittybilt winch mount was mocked up before Rob Bonney himself started designing our one-off custom bumpers. The front bumper will house the winch, while the rear will hold a functional heavy-duty tire carrier.
Bonney takes a few measurements on the truck and then runs over to a computer where he punches up the designs (this stuff came right out of his head, no drawing necessary). Next thing you know plate steel is being cut on the plasma table. Add in a little work with a press brake and a few tack-welds, and the plate bumper begins to take shape.
The rear bumper and tire carrier came together for a stylish addition to our Ballistic Bronco. The final product stands above the rest because of the high attention to detail. With welds that look like stacked dimes and an overall modern look to the plate steel bumpers, the Bronco looks great.
Out back the Rob Bonney Fab Rear bumper sports a heavy-duty tire carrier with a bulletproof latch. The bumper also provides secure rear tow points and a receiver outlet in case someone needs to add on a zombie apocalypse mountain bike rack for that trip up to the mountains.
Adding a little extra attitude to a truck that has a minigun on the roof, the guys at Rob Bonney Fab added a pair of steel steer horns to the front bumper. With the three Explorer Pro Comp driving lights from 4Wheel Parts bolted in place and the Smittybilt winch, the Bronco is ready for almost any adventure—day, night, and just in case someone gets stuck.
11 The Recoil team has contacts at Dillon Aero, which specializes in the M-134 minigun, and was lucky enough to get one mounted on the Bronco for a media demonstration. A cage was built that will protect the driver and passenger as well as allow a pass-through to the rear turret area. We really like this clean useful cage design because it protects yet doesn't impede use.
The Dillon Aero M-134 minigun is a battery-powered Gatling gun mostly found on helicopters or protection agency vehicles for heads of state. They also are often in the hands of some of the top special military teams who need superior firepower against bad guys. No, you can't buy one at your local sporting goods stores. These are weapons of war and only sold to kings and presidents—we know because we asked.
The M-134 pumps out 3,000 rounds of 7.62mm per minute, and when it's running it roars like a buzz saw. Wouldn't you love to have one on your trail rig for knocking down tin cans? We got to see it run, and this amount of firepower turns metal targets into cheese graters. (You may notice that we removed the Defender roof rack and lights we installed last month from the cab top—we didn't want it riddled with bullets.)