Humvee Upgrade – How to Make an Easy DIY HMMWV Rifle Rack
Here is an easy DIY $4 rifle rack made of barrel clamps that I mounted in the Project HMMWV Battlewagon this weekend.
Since the Project Humvee Battlewagon is used as our shooting range and hunting vehicle, I needed a way to secure a couple of rifles quickly and easily. One way that the US Army secures rifles in HMMWVs is via dash mounted HMMWV rifle rack to secure the barrel of a rifle. The army pairs the barrel holder with a rifle butt holder that is mounted on the floor of the HMMWV. I am 6’4″ tall and have enough legroom / footroom issues in the HMMWV already. So, I don’t plan to add the buttstock holder to the floor of the Humvee. All I want is the dash mounted barrel clamp… but some online searches turned up only a few folks selling NOS or even used Army rifle holders (just the clamp) for about $25 each. Well. I’m not about to pay $25 each for a simple clamp.
DIY barrel clamp rifle rack supplies and instructions:
- Instead of paying $25 for a NOS military single rifle rack, I bought a set of four “spring clip organizers” from Amazon for $7.99 shipped. That is about $2 per single rifle rack.
- I had some Liquid Tape (link) in the shop and brushed it on two of the clamps to keep the metal spring clip from scratching the rifle barrel. It worked, but this bottle of Liquid Tape was a couple of years old and starting to dry out. It left an uneven finish that I wasn’t happy with.
- Next I ordered some Plasti Dip (link) to coat the other two rifle barrel spring clips better. The Plasti Dip provided a much more uniform coating. Plasti Dip requires a few coats to build up a bit of thickness, but looks fantastic after being coated. I used two coats and it is holding up OK. But I recommend three or four coats, just to be sure.
- The Spring Clips are secured to the dash by two simple self tapping hex head screws (link).
- If I were to do it again I might have painted the Spring Clips with flat olive drab paint (link) before coating them in Plasti Dip. Although, I think they look pretty good with a coat of flat paint over the plasti dip also.
Another option that I may try is using electrical wire heat shrink tubing (link). That may be the easiest, quickest and cheapest solution. However, I think the Plasti Dip looks the best and offers just enough of a tacky feel to grab the rifle barrel and keep it from moving around.
How does the DIY HMMWV rifle rack work?
So far I have used the rifle rack a couple of times on hunting trips and it has worked perfectly.
What about the floor mounted buttstock holder?
I actually prefer NOT having the rifle buttsock holder on the floor, as it would mean the rifle has to go in the clip at only one angle. We review LOTS of rifles and not all will fit in the rifle rack at the same angle. Longer barreled rifles and rifles with silencers installed will hit the windshield frame if mounted vertically. For these I have to slide the buttstock forward on the floor a bit to tip the barrel or silencer back away from the windshield. Similarly, some of the rifles have large optics or sunshade tubes that interfere with the hard doors closing all the way. Sliding the buttstock forward or aft on the floor allows me to mount rifles with big optics and still be able to shut the door.
So far I have not seen the rifles move at all in the rifle rack, even when driving off road or over bumps. However, I can easily lean my left leg lightly against the rifle to keep it still if I think it might jar loose.
*The rifle in the pictures is our 2016 Gear Report Custom AR15 build (link).
Step by step instructions
Plasti Dip the spring clips
*You can paint the spring clips before installing, if you like.