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The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Revisited – 2013 Dodge 3500 – Battering Ram

Spike’s Tactical’s Contemporary Take on a Classic Dodge

Photography by: Q Concepts

Having a vehicle to promote your business is never a bad idea. However, it seems that most promotional cars or trucks are all show and no business. Typically they’re nothing more than some blinged-out, lifted pickup with wild graphics and tinted windows that the owner uses to drive to nightclubs so he can get out and high-five his “yes” crowd. In other words, they proudly represent their company by driving something that looks like Pimp My Ride threw up on it.

For those of you familiar with Spike’s Tactical and its products, you’ll know the company is a no-nonsense brand with a fighting spirit and Second Amendment verbiage pumping through its veins. So when Spike himself was going to invest in a truck to tout his namesake business, we knew that any pretentious B.S. would take a backseat to practicality and style…literally. After all, how many trucks do you see out there with the bed removed for a 360-degree ring-mounted minigun? We thought so.

So how did all this come to pass? Rob Fife of Gunner Fabrications had become friends with Spike Register (owner of Spike’s Tactical) not only through being a customer, but also a fellow gearhead and gun enthusiast. After bumping into each other at SEMA and the SHOT Show, Rob continually hit up Spike about creating a promotional truck for him that’d do his company’s mission statement justice on four wheels. Rob sold Spike on the idea of doing a modern interpretation of the old Dodge Power Wagons and Carryalls popular in the ’40s and ’50s. If you’re unfamiliar with what these look like, take some time to Google them. They’re definitely fierce-looking trucks and way more off-road capable than their Ford and Chevy counterparts of the day.

The platform they ultimately agreed on was a Cummins-diesel-powered 2013 Dodge 3500. Spike bought the truck new and had it delivered to a dealership in Texas near Rob’s shop and off they went. Spike essentially gave Rob carte blanche on the theme for it. Other than knowing he wanted a machinegun on the back and some Rigid lights, it was essentially a blank canvas to strike a balance between cool and killer. Since Spike’s Tactical offers a lower called the Hellbreaker with engraving reminiscent of the A10 nose art — and Rob is also a fan of the aircraft — it was a natural choice to go with a Thunderbolt-themed truck.

Revisited   2013 Dodge 3500   Battering Ram photo

Spike wanted a 40-inch tire, and Rob likes to keep things low-slung, so it was tricky to find a way to incorporate both. A 3.5-inch long-arm Icon Suspension coilover replacement up front helps stabilize things, given the increased wheel size. Rob cut about 6 inches out of where the fenders were and added flares back on. The corners of the cab were also sliced into and replated to help with clearance issues. The tubing on the front was all custom made to protect the engine, and also folds down to be able to access it or serve as a nifty cowcatcher (or insurgent plow).

The truck was vinyl-wrapped in red, gray, and black to give it some distinctive menace instead of going with a predictable olive drab green paintjob. Rigid lights adorn the front and sides and a siren also provides some additional “out of the way, dumbass” decibels. Custom lockers were built into the sides and back to house some ARs and other goodies. The ring mount for the Vietnam-era minigun is an M66 unit off a 5-ton military truck, circa 1986.

The original 52-gallon gas tank was exchanged for a smaller 32-gallon cell in the rear to accommodate the platform that sits where the bed once was. It’s all protected by a custom-made ¼-inch skidplate. Running boards were added to the back and flushed out with rear hangers. The hitch assembly was moved to the outside so it can haul a fifth wheel and the bed could serve as a platform for a side-by-side if need be. Stainless hardware and aluminum on the deck plates helps keep everything corrosion resistant.

Inside this beast, things continue to get interesting. An A10 control stick operates the airhorn, forward-facing lights, and siren — and Spike can even toggle through the gears with it since the shift linkage was moved from the column to the center. A FLIR thermal camera system sits on top of the cab and complements the night vision accouterments Spike has inside the truck. Mastercraft Baja RS seats reside in place of the originals and straddle the custom switch panel for the lights. A GPS monitor and FLIR monitor sit in front of the passenger, and everyone, including the gunner, can communicate via a Rugged Radios RRP660 intercom with Vox operations and iPhone quick-connect.

This truck has already been on some long treks, and we think it’s a pretty healthy interpretation of a vintage battlefield hauler. Oh, and you may also see it sporting a paddleboard on the custom-made roof rack. After all, warfare often calls for watersports intermissions. Don’t laugh — Robert Duvall showed us this is in fact a practical activity to celebrate successful strafing runs.

Revisited   2013 Dodge 3500   Battering Ram photo

Transport
2013 Dodge 3500
6.7L Cummins Diesel
Six-speed automatic

1 Exo-skeleton
Make:
Custom
URL:
www.gunnerfabrication.com
2 Top Light Bar
Make:
Rigid Industries
Model:
50-inch
URL:
www.rigidindustries.com
3 Center Light Bar
Make:
Rigid Industries
Model:
20-inch
URL:
www.rigidindustries.com
4 Lower Lights
Make:
Rigid Industries
Model:
12-inch dual-stack
URL:
www.rigidindustries.com

Revisited   2013 Dodge 3500   Battering Ram photo
5 Headlights
Make:
Recon Accessories
Model:
Smoked Projector Headlights
URL:
www.gorecon.com
6 Winch
Make:
Smittybilt
Model:
XRC12 10,000-lb
URL:
www.smittybilt.com
7 Wheels
Make:
Stazworks
Model:
Cheyenne w/double bead lock
URL:
www.stazworks.com
8 Tires
Make:
Toyo
Model:
MT 40/15.5R20
URL:
www.toyotires.com
9 Storage Compartments
Make:
Custom
URL:
www.gunnerfabrication.com

Revisited   2013 Dodge 3500   Battering Ram photo
1 Ring Mount
Make:
U.S. Military M66
2 Minigun
Make:
General Electric
Model:
24-volt .308 caliber
5 Seats
Make:
Mastercraft
Model:
Baja RS
URL:
www.mastercraftsafety.com
3 Weapon Light
Make:
Surefire
Model:
Hellfire
URL:
www.surefire.com
6 Switch Console
Make:
Custom
URL:
www.gunnerfabrication.com

Revisited   2013 Dodge 3500   Battering Ram photo

7 Shifter/Controller
Make:
A10 Thunderbolt
4 Thermal Imaging
Make:
FLIR
URL:
www.flir.com
8 Rifle
Make:
Spike’s Tactical
Model:
ST Compressor SBR – 300BLK w/MRS-2 Suppressor, Spike’s Tactical billet micro sights, and Black Spider M0129 micro red dot
URL:
www.spikestactical.com

 


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