Jeep TJ gun rack installation
Because the area in which I Jeep (southcentral Alaska) is heavily populated by brown and black bears, I don't like to leave the pavement without a firearm of appropriate stopping power. When I get to a place where I want to park the Jeep and continue on foot, I don't want to have to mess with getting my weapon out of a gun case or whatever, I want to grab it, load it, and go; this means I need a gun rack in which to carry it. Unfortunately there isn't any good place to mount one on a TJ wrangler. The plastic airbag dash pretty much rules out mounting the traditional Jeep type upright gunrack in the front passenger area, and the only other commercial rack that would work requires removing the rear seat, which I sometimes (however infrequently) need. There's no place to mount a pickup truck type horizontal rack and my wife was getting really sick of holding onto my rifle when we went for trail rides.
In a stroke of inspiration, I decided that the rear of a steel Tuffy console (which I wanted anyway) might provide a suitably strong mounting location for an upright rack. Measurements taken by another member of r.a.m.j+w confirmed that there was room behind the console for the buttstock holders, so I ordered a console from Bob Supplee and a 2 gun upright rack from Rosser Jeep. I had time to install everything this past weekend and after a day's testing I am happy to report that it works great and holds my rifle securely in place.
In the above image you can see the steel bracket I had to fabricate in order to place the rack with the correct position and angle to hold my rifle. After a couple of quick measurements I bent it up in the press brake I built for fabbing aircraft fittings following the TLAR method of engineering (that looks about right....). I then removed all sharp edges and corners, drilled the necessary holes in the bracket and console, and powdercoated it using the Eastwood Hotcoat system. All stainless hardware was used to attach the rack to the console and the butt holders to the floor. I think I achieved the professional looking installation which was my goal.
Here you can see my .450 Marlin lever rifle secured in the rack. Because of the way I set it up, anything other than a Marlin Guide Gun probably isn't going to fit as well, although my pump shotgun seems to fit okay with the 20" barrel (the longer duck barrel won't clear the top). Specifically, anything with a scope isn't going to fit because the console is in the way, but I can live with that. Ever since I got the .450 I'm using my scoped guns less and less.
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