Featured Revisited – 2013 Dodge 3500 – Battering Ram John Schwartze December 8, 2016 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 Explore RECOILweb:Kimber just joined the striker-fired pistol marketInland M1 Scout CarbineCZ-USA at SHOT ShowPreview - SHTF ITS Tactical ETA Trauma Kit NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. 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