Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Request for real-world experience

I asked a few days ago about the Oshkosh above, several of you who have direct personal experience with the Oshkosh shared some of its weak spots.  I thank you all.

So now I'll ask a more general question.

The Mission: The ability to safely move between 4 and 12 fighters across seriously rough terrain (assuming even secondary roads are no-go).  The vehicle must be safe from small arms fire to .308, and if possible up to .50 BMG.  The vehicle does NOT need to be mine-resistant.  Once the vehicle gets clear of enemy operators, it must be able to hit highway speeds (I'll be able to settle for 55mph if necessary.)  Compatibility/inter-operability of parts is a major plus, but not a deal-breaker.  I'm assuming most options will be diesel, but dual fuel is cool.

A trusted friend advised the M1117
I don't care if the vehicle you most recommend seats 4 our up to 12 - juat tell me the best.  If a 4-man vehicle is best, I'll just make multiple trips.

Search your memories, don't hesitate to suggest a good vehicle from Europe if you think it satisfies the mission best.  List it's strengths as well as its weaknesses.

If I need to get down III Mountain, through possibly some small arms fire), hit the highway, pick you up, and get home safely using paved roads, dirt/gravel roads, old timber trails, perhaps making our own road here and there - what would you recommend?

Another solid Patriot suggests looking at up-armored M35A2's.

Any first-hand experience you have with the vehicles is a plus.




  1. This may be a dumb question but is it made by the same people that make Oshkosh clothes

    1. No, Oshkosh Corp. and Oshkosh B'Gosh are two ddifferent companies, named after the same town in Wisconsin.

  2. Hey Kerodin'


    In my humble opinion there are no civilian vehicles (that are off the shelf) that are bullet resistant.

    I do however recommend a vehicle that has been used world wide from every civil war, insurrection and conflict since the 1980's and that's the Toyota truck.
    I first saw pictures of Toyota trucks outfitted with old Soviet 12.7 mm machine guns back in Somalia racing down roads so fast that our Apache helicopter gunners had a hard time tracking them as I understand it.
    The favorite truck used in Afghanistan (on both sides) is the Toyota truck. The model that is used oversea's in rural area's is the 'Hi Lux" (in fact I mentioned that on Wirecutter's blog today)
    Toyota's are fast, lightweight, easy to fix and get great fuel mileage. They are small and easily hidden.
    Toyota's run forever with proper maintenance and tires can be as cheap as $250 for four tires.
    Now granted they are not "up armored" but driving really, really fast can also have great advantages in a really, really bad situation.

  3. Most of the HiLuxes you saw were diesels too, not gas. Gas explodes, diesel is hard to make burn at all outside of an engine. The HiLuxes get great mileage and last forever partially because they ARE diesels. Not the same truck you can get in the US.

  4. Unfortunately, it seems that getting an honest to goodness HiLux imported here in the States is virtually impossible.

  5. I'm looking for something built for combat, either on the surplus market or not yet on the surplus market.

  6. Look up "Vietnam Gun Trucks". Up armored M35A2's and five tons- cheap to buy, easy to fix, multifuel, parts aplenty, and go anywhere with 12 or more of your Tribe. Lewis Wetzel

  7. I've had two RG-31 trucks blown out from under me and have nothing except a bad back to show for it. Tough trucks. Driver, A-Driver, Gunner and you can squeeze in six pax. Storage bins outside, diesel engine and noisy, but good trucks. You won't sneak anywhere in one, but it will get you there and back.

  8. The M1117 in the pic you posted would be a no-go for me. They are FUN to drive, but have NO room inside. Cumbersome to get in and out of, and cramped once you're in. Lots of truck without much space.

  9. The M1117 ASV is a good vehicle for it's purpose, but that purpose is armored security. I spent most of my second tour in Iraq as a gunner in one of those. They are slow and heavy, not really maneuverable at speed and have a very long stopping distance. They also have a louvered top over the engine compartment, so aimed fire from above is a consideration. To be really effective you'd need a dedicated and well trained crew, and they don't have much pax capacity, so transporting folks would be kind of iffy. I believe most are '70s era leftovers that were scheduled for demil until someone decided they could be used to pull convoy security.

    My primary mission during that time frame was recovering vehicles that didn't make it, mechanical failure was far more common than disabling battle damage. And that from an organization with huge logistics and maintenance capability. I don't think it would be cost effective to get anything so specialized.

    All of the newer gen stuff is effective at keeping occupants alive (a PR thing above all) but aren't going to stay mobile if targets are set on them. Anything that will stay mobile after receiving fire is going to be slow, heavy, and expensive. Lighter vehicles may have the advantage in replacing their drive train with a more commercially available variety.

  10. Okay, I just spent 20 minutes tearing apart the M1117, the MATV, the RG-31, and the Caiman MRAP. I then hit the wrong button and immediately signed myself out and deleted the entire post. So, here we go again. M1117; too little space, crappy field of view, decent armor, crappy handling, terrible truck in Afghanistan, not bad for level flat security ops when you need to have an armored .50 cal someplace with a little 40mm backup.
    M-ATV; again, not bad, but there is no engine armor, the lines for the radio antennas and air brakes are exposed. There isn't much space, but in a pinch you could ride in the bed, hillbilly style. It's the lowest of the MRAPs, so it's less prone to roll overs, but they still happen.
    RG-31; I hated this truck so much in Afghanistan, the hydraulic doors were slow, it was top heavy, it had the off road abilities of a prius, lacked power, and the engine was exposed, again. Seeing a theme here? The armor was good, and it has nice big windows to see out, but it's a very large, slow truck, prone to getting stuck, and it's too heavy to self recover.
    Caiman; a decent truck, but poorly put together. The doors were all manual, which was good, but the gas tank and battery box were both exposed, both prone to catch fire, and both positioned under doors. Again, it's tall as hell, and prone to roll over. Not bad as far as speed went, we had them going 80 at least once, but they don't handle well at that speed. They don't handle well at any speed.
    I've got to hand it to the Scaracen. Decent speed, decent crew protection, the engine is behind armor, and there is a firewall between it and the crew. It has the capacity to carry all your buddies, (the specs say 11, but I swear the guy who writes the specs expects us all to be 5'2", 120lbs, naked and lubed up.) and has a reputable engine. Thats where I'd put my money. Even if it is a little bit out dated.

  11. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=427635706..I would go with something like that...Fast, Maneuverable,Roomy, and 30 cal bulletproof...

  12. My thoughts would be defender 110 or 95 landcruiser. Converted to diesel. Parts are easy and gear is tough and those rigs are reasonable price. Armor is easy to add and you have the ability to hide in plain sight.


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