Jeeping it

Rock Island has this great Israeli M606A2 Jeep up for auction. A militarized version of the Willys CJ-5, it served in an anti-tank role through the 1960s and 70s using its Willys Hurricane I-4 engine along with an M70 106 mm recoilless rifle to zip around the desert Rat Patrol style and take pot-shots at T-55s.

The concept is similar in concept to U.S. Army and Marine light anti-tank vehicles common from WWII through the 1970s that basically amounted to a Jeep with a recoilless rifle.

The classic 1950s U.S. Army M38A1C Jeep with its own 106mm Recoilless Rifle. Note the infantryman with his M1 Garand and “handie talkie”

The final version of this was the M-825 Weapons Platform, which used the 1/4 ton Ford M-151A2 MUTT with an M40 106mm Recoilless Rifle on an M79 mount. Carrying a two-man crew and six rounds of ammunition for the M40, the RR was later swapped out for a TOW launcher, although overseas allies and some National Guard units kept the M-825 on inventory through the 1980s.

Members of the Combat Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry, prepare to fire an M581 106 mm antipersonnel-tracer (APERS-T) round from an M40A2 106 mm recoilless rifle during an ammunition stockpile reliability test at the Army Tropic Test Center. The rifle is mounted on an M825 1/4-ton weapons carrier version of the M151 light utility vehicle.

However, the Iranian Safir jeep equipped with their own locally-produced version of the M40-type is still going strong around the world, such as this one seen recently in Kirkuk in the hands of insurgents.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “Jeeping it”

  1. Kommando Kody says :

    A deceptively useful weapons system.

    Consider how useful something like this, with HE and antipersonnel flechette ammo, would have been in Baghdad ten years or so back.

    The Russians are exporting a 105mm recoilless rifle antitank weapon–they call it the RPG29, but it’s a true recoilless rifle, not a rocket launcher–that is supposedly capable of killing any MBT on Earth from any angle, explosive reactive armor tiles or no. One of the secrets is that it uses shells with dual shaped charges in them–one to destroy ERA, one to punch the hull behind it. We know SOMETHING using a shaped charge knocked out several M1A2s in Iraq around 2005, some from angles that they weren’t supposed to be vulnerable to any known antiarmor weapon–emphasis on the “known.”

    The Israelis are rumored to have captured a number of them, with ammo, in Lebanon not long back, and are supposedly copying the warhead as an ammunition type for 106mm recoilless rifles, likewise for export.

    With a thermal night vision sight and a laser rangefinder, I bet the old M40 could still make it’s gunner’s displeasure known on 21st Century battlefields, though it might get bolted on top of a HMMWV or an MATV these days.

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