Issue 17 1979 Ford Bronco – Blue Oval Blitzkrieg John Schwartze Join the Conversation Say Hello to RECOIL's Ballistic Bronco Photography by: Kenda Lenseige If you've been a longtime reader of RECOIL, you've seen this Transport column run the gamut from mild to wild, practical to outrageous. We get asked periodically, though, what kinds of firearms us staff guys have in our safes or in the vehicles we drive. Well, this month we're answering one of those questions. Our Grand Poobah Iain Harrison wanted his own tactical vehicle that could be had on an editor's budget, but still have some semblance of practicality, versatility, and style. Since Iain is about as subtle as a Sam Peckinpah movie, you can bet that his mode of transportation would follow suit. That's right, just good ol' fashioned American iron. The Ford Bronco has been a staple of the 4×4 community since its unveiling in 1966, and many consider the solid-axle '78-'79s as the best of the bunch. If you saw this story and experienced an eight-track flashback, you might be asking if this old horse is even practical. Seriously? That's like asking if Dirty Harry's S&W Model 29 was a sensible choice for stopping criminals. Of course it was. These trucks were made when things were meant to last for decades if maintained properly, instead of the planned obsolescence inherent to many of today's vehicles. Old-School Is New Again The aftermarket industry for classic trucks is booming. Though they have the usual hitches older vehicles are known for, go look up the price of a few Broncos or F-100s that have aged some 20-plus years. You might be surprised. Their value continues to climb. Finding replacement parts from companies like LMC Truck is easy, and on many components, the variety of upgrades has boosted the lifespan of these old haulers considerably. Does this thing guzzle gas? Now that Iain dumped the factory 351 in favor of a 460 that's been topped with a Holley intake and 650-cfm carb, it's as thirsty as a sailor on a liberty pass. Since Iain is a desert dweller familiar with the damage that floods can create, staying above the waterline in a GTFO situation is a must, hence the large 17-inch Pro Comp wheels, black nitrided by H&M Metal Processing. Gibson Performance handled the custom 3.5-inch exhaust, complete with a removable center section to service the factory C6 trans. New Rancho shocks all around, along with a rear disc brake conversion from LMC Truck, help keep this ride stable and stoppable. An LMC Truck fuse block also resides in the engine compartment, at the ready for future electrical accessory updates. Exterior appointments were kept pretty true to stock, but that didn't stop Iain from making things a bit more interesting. Since this was more go than show, it made sense to pass on a shiny paintjob, so the body was wrapped in beige with some camo components by Fast-Trac Designs in Phoenix. Custom armored bumpers by Rob Bonney Fabrication adorn the stem and stern, along with a Smittybilt XRC winch in front and a light bar with three 8-inch 130-watt halogen spots mounted, courtesy of 4 Wheel Parts. For the inside, you'll find a pair of Smittybilt bucket seats with G.E.A.R. MOLLE covers. An LMC Truck soundproofing kit and vinyl carpet help keep decibels down (or perhaps up, when Iain is blaring Motörhead). A pair of TNVC PVS-14 optics for driver and passenger will also make night excursions a bit more exciting. If this is boring you, and you're asking yourself, “Where are all the guns?” — just look up top, and you'll be pleased to find a muthaf#¢king Dillon Aero minigun mounted atop the cage of the same make. Don't tell us you've never had the urge to put one on your daily driver. A custom BCM rifle also resides in the truck, for when Iain gets bored of going through pallets of ammunition and switches to something smaller. A FLIR marine gimbal is also in the works to sit on the roof for some thermal goodness and additional nocturnal peace of mind. If you think it all stops here, nothing could be further from the truth. Monthly updates can be seen at RECOILweb.com and at the Dirt Every Daychannel on YouTube. Look for future additions — including weapons storage, a recovery kit, integrated fuel and water tanks, IR lights, a rooftop tent system, and much more. Yes, it's a work in progress, but with Iain's “this one goes to 11” type of British swagger we really didn't expect anything less. 1979 Ford Bronco 460ci V-8 C6 automatic 1 Light Bar Make: 4 Wheel Parts Model: Three 8-inch 130-watt halogen URL: www.4wheelparts.com 2 Bumpers Make: Rob Bonney Fabrication Model: Custom Phone: (602) 370-7955 3 Nitriding Make: H&M Metal Processing Model: Custom BLACKNITRIDE ferritic nitrocarburizing treatment URL: www.blacknitride.com 4 Wheels Make: Pro Comp Model: 17-inch URL: www.procompusa.com 5 Tires Make: Pro Comp Model: Xtreme MT2 315/70/17 URL: www.procompusa.com 6 Exterior cover wrap Make: Fast-Trac Designs URL: www.fast-tracdesigns.com 1 Minigun Make: Dillon Aero Model: M134 URL: www.dillonaero.com 2 Roll cage Make: Dillon Aero Model: Custom URL: www.dillonaero.com 3 Exhaust Make: Gibson Performance Model: Custom URL: www.gibsonperformance.com 4 Rear Brakes Make: LMC Truck Model: Disc conversion URL: www.LMCTruck.com 1 Rifle Make: BCM Model: Custom 5.56mm: 14.5-inch enhanced upper receiver, 13-inch handguard, Mod4 charging handle, auto bolt carrier group. Mod 1 compensator, Mod 1 grip, folding sights, Geissele Super Dynamic 3 Gun trigger, Magpul enhanced trigger guard, VLTOR A5 system, BCM Gunfigther Stock Mod 0, FLIR RS64 URL: www.bravocompanymfg.com 2 Sound Deadening/Carpet Make: LMC Truck URL: www.LMCTruck.com 4 Clothing Make: 5.11 URL: www.511tactical.com 3 Seats Make: Smittybilt Model: Bucket with G.E.A.R. MOLLE cover URL: www.smittybilt.com 5 Winch Make: Smittybilt Model: XRC 12,000-lb URL: www.smittybilt.com (not yet installed) 6 Thermal Imaging Make: FLIR Model: Marine gimbal URL: www.tnvc.com (not yet installed) Explore RECOILweb:RECOILtv SHOT Show 2019: ZEISS Range Finding BinocularsGet RECOIL on Your Smartphone or TabletPreview - Rouge Precision R-ClampCrimson Trace M&P Shield Laserguard 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. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.