Gamma Goat

Military vehicles other than M-151s that might be of interest to our members

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12Bravo
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Re: Gama Goat

Post by 12Bravo » September 2nd, 2020, 3:44 am

IMG0233B.jpg
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Here is one of my old Goat holes It is over 150 feet long and you have to have your mind made up your going through it. This is not for a new Goat driver. It was low range hit it in 3rd ,get 4th and to the floor and bump that Detroit on top of the governor and let her scream.This hole is why I put a 1/4"grade 8 bolt in the PTO.You don't want to be rear pocket deep in this frog hole trying to replace a brass shear pin when you and Mr. Miller are in this at 2 AM .bottom picture ,I backed in this area to turn around 20 years ago and buried my 2nd Goat. I call this pu--y mud. There was a tree on the other side to winch off of. This is on the same road. The Goat was the only thing to make it through the hole for years. To this day no one can make it.Just looking at the picture I can see where someone didn't make it but about 10 feet, see the pushed up mud on the right side. This was taken Tuesday in TJ's old A2 . Was out checking old trails.
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m3a1
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 2nd, 2020, 4:48 am

Good heavens! Looks like an open sewer!

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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by rickf » September 2nd, 2020, 9:34 am

Like a lot of the roads in Vietnam, Which, by the way, WERE open sewers!
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 2nd, 2020, 12:26 pm

Yeah. We had a creek that went right past our man-camp in Afghanistan. In fact, we had a small bridge that went over it. We called it, The Perfume River... kind of a tipping our hats to Vietnam. I've never seen water that thick before, or after. Gumbo, actually.

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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 7th, 2020, 4:04 pm

I'm on my way down to San Antonio today in order to pick up another critical component for my M561 mg mount and naturally, this billboard caught my eye....
soldier_goat_billboard_-_copy.jpg
It may be true that goats may make lousy soldiers, but they are a very capable truck! :D

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 7th, 2020, 10:15 pm

Today turned out to be kinda fun. Unlike, Rick, I paraded the Gama Goat around town this evening with no difficulty at all...with two big flags...our National flag and the Texas flag. Turns out the Goat has two ready-made spots for flags and they look terrific there.
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Everybody else is running around with the flags of certain presidential hopefuls. Tis the season. I figure I'll just show my support for the good ol' USA and the Great State of Texas. Nobody really needs a guy in a Gama Goat telling them how to vote, anyway.

Anyhoo, the weather and temperature and lack of humidity was lovely and despite the calamitous noise that ol' Detroit 2-stroke was making, it was just really nice to be out running around in something large and green. There were certainly lots of people pointing at us as we buzzed by. I'm sure the question was - WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!! And, by sheer good luck, I ended up at a red light, sitting directly across from a Pontiac GTO. Goat vs Goat! :lol:

Earlier today, I received the second of the two major components for my MG mount (For the guy who supplied it, you know who you are and...THANK YOU!) and I immediately started looking around for a suitable heavy-gauge pipe with which I will create the base mount for all this martial goodness.

Well, you'll never guess what I came up with....or where I found it. But, I'm going to do a special little reveal on the Gama Goat M60 mount, of which there is very little known and perhaps even less documentation. Hopefully, we'll turn that all around tomorrow, or the next day.... if all goes well.

Tomorrow I will be doing some cutting, drilling and welding. I did some work today, because I was so fully inspired by the two major components finally coming together. I finally got to use the big stand-up Rigid drill press I bought almost a year ago. OMG that thing drills holes like nobody's business. Easy peasy. Nice, capable tools are such a pleasure to have.

More to come, soon!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 8th, 2020, 2:37 pm

The business of having an M60 mounted on a Gama Goat in the proscribed fashion is really an exercise in trying to make the best of a bad situation, as we shall soon see. So little is published about it in any great detail so, I thought well, why not do it here?

Why am I pursuing it at all? Well, there is ample evidence that my Gama Goat did indeed have a weapon mounted to it. God bless 'em, the USMC really loves their guns. This will NOT be a wonderful arrangement in terms of gun-mounting but it will be a wonderful opportunity to discuss the growing pains that the M561 had to endure.

I'm going to open this particular bag of worms with a couple of photos to provide you with a sense of this whacky mount and how it all comes together on the Goat. Along the way, I'll be providing applicable part numbers as well, just in case some stray Goat herders happen to find their way to this article, looking for a little help.

Take note of the plate that appears beneath the Base in the diagram. This plate lives under the aluminum plating that forms the top of the fender. As a reenforcing plate it is really just miserably thin. Installation kits came with a far thicker plate, constructed of 3/16" steel (thank you 12Bravo for that info) that tied the Base to the bolts that attach the fender to the side wall of the carrier.

This arrangement would have been far better than using just the upper plate for the Base. We'll go a little bit deeper into the issue of reenforcing the whole thing later on.
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Corresponding part numbers from the -20P follow...
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Oaky, now that you've had a peek, let's get to the major components of the machine gun mount installation.

The Base (that bit that bolts to to the fender), consists of Base, 7.62 Machine Gun (11595560) which is little more than a 4"x6" flat plate with holes for four mounting bolts and a piece of heavy gauge pipe welded to it, which is all constructed of steel. Later, I'll be going into this particular piece a bit more in-depth because, as simple as the part looks....there is (or should be) a lot more to it, IMHO.

Now is as good a time as any to point out that every bit of the gun mount assembly is steel and much of it is being mated to the Gama Goat which is..aluminum! At this point, does anyone see any trouble on the horizon?

I'm making my own Base, which will incorporate some small changes & minor improvements, basically because there are some problems I want to address and, I don't want mine to be mistaken for the real thing just in case somebody decides they want to shoot off of it at a later date. My kit is for display only. I have a very nice Airsoft M60 supplied by one of our longtime members (you know who you are and Thank You, again!). I am constructing my mount components of mild steel and truthfully, I have no idea what the metallurgy of the original piece is. Probably far better than mild steel.

Anyway, the average observer probably won't know the difference if my kit is a bit different. Why not go with original stuff? Well first, I'm not inclined to shell out the kind of money certain suppliers think they can get for their original parts. Those prices may be what the market will bear but they certainly aren't in line with the limitations of my wallet! Second, original parts only represent the direction the whole gun mount assembly was taking as problems were discovered, addressed and corrections were made.

Mounted to the Base is the Mount (11595560) which is essentially an arm constructed of pipe with two sockets at either end; one socket for the Base and the other socket for the gun mount. In order to avoid confusion I will hereinafter refer to the "Mount" as the "Arm" so as to distinguish it from the "Gun Mount".

The smaller of the two sockets fits over the Base and pins in place in only two positions; deployed (outboard at 90 degrees to direction of vehicle travel), or stowed (somewhat in line with direction of travel but in actuality it is just a bit tighter toward the centerline of the vehicle. This stowed position creates some difficulties in terms of its spacial relationship to all the other things mounted to the carrier. The main thing I want you to understand here is that the Arm doesn't swing at all, other than moving from one position to the other.

Stowed, or deployed, it is always pinned in place and not permitted to swing which, if allowed to happen, would reduce the weapon's accuracy to just about nothing. You'd end up with a beaten zone about the length of a city block, I reckon. If you have no actual experience with firing a machine gun, allow me to provide you with an illustration that will help you gain a better understanding. Take a sleeping wildcat, sew it up in a burlap bag, put it to your shoulder, Then wade into the water up to your chin. The gyrations of that animal in the bag as it tries to escape are rather close to that of having taken up a machine gun and firing it, unsupported. There you have it. Not an easy thing to do with accuracy.

I will try to solve some of these space and support issues in the way that I build my Base but, I will make no changes to the vehicle itself. With the changes to the Base, it won't be "original" but I think it will be an interesting exercise in 'what might have been' if the Gama Goat had continued to remain in service. I know. It sounds weird but once I start getting into it (and bringing you along for the ride) it will make more sense so try to bear with me.

The second difficulty is that the traverse of the gun mounted in this position is extremely limited; limited primarily by the cowling of the Gama Goat which is of course, immovable and always present. All the other bits that interfere with the movement of the gun are things that any good gunner would take steps to remove beforehand, such as the right side mirror supports, cab and windshield components and so on.

As I begin to put this all together I will get some good photos of where the problems are so you can get a better sense of it. The comments I've heard or read about the gun being rather useless with the cab installed and things like that are made by people who have no real experience with vehicle-mounted weapons. Either you have your weapon mounted with an ability to put it into immediate action or you don't mount the the weapon at all (unless that just happens to be the best place to stow it). If you are in 'Indian Country', an area where having a M60 mounted and ready to go is necessary, you surely don't want a cab or a windshield up. Simple as that.

At the present time I think the fellow sitting in a Gama Goat with the M60 would have done far better with no mount at all and perhaps just a few sandbags or an Alice pack to shoot off of. I'm guessing the military eventually came to the same conclusion. Alas, I have yet to find photographic evidence of it. Either way, the right front seat is surprisingly generous in terms of space to work (shoot) from but, as has been said so many times, the Gama Goat, being constructed of aluminum, affords absolutely NO protection from small arms. It is really not the best place to fight a war from.

I know someone will observe that it would be better then, to shoot it out with the enemy from outside the vehicle. That idea does have merit but, the reality is, that isn't such a good idea when the rest of your mates are doing their level best to drive out of the ambush and get over the next hill or around the next bend in the road....which would mean leaving you and your little pop gun behind! EVERYTHING in life is based on compromise, so having a weapon mounted (whatever the limitations of that mount might be) is more for the purpose of shooting AND scooting than anything else. It's just as simple as that.

The photo above happens to be a still shot, taken from the following video. Do watch the video because the owner makes some interesting observations about his mount. He explains that he doesn't have the reenforcing panel in place below the mount. He also observes that his mount has a tendency to sway which of course means his mount doesn't have adequate support and definitely not the sort of platform you'd want to fight for your life from.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNODnp ... e=youtu.be

Several other takeaways from the video are that his Arm differs from mine in a few very important ways. First, is his claim that his base is 2 1/4" diameter which is smaller than mine, which is 2 5/16". The sidewall thickness appears to be proportionately the same but his is cast. (Iron? Aluminum?) Very hard to say. Keep in mind that his Arm is also entirely different so hopefully his measurement is legitimate. I measured mine with calipers and I can say mine is an absolutely correct measurement for my particular style of Arm.

I cannot say with any certainty that his Mount is an earlier or later model, although the diagram in the -20P of the 1970 publication shows an exact drawing of the style of Arm I have. The largest, most visible difference between his Arm and mine is that his is designed to accept the long-post M142 Gun Mount and mine, the short post. (Author's note: I will discover, later, that statement is factually incorrect. Mine is a long post as well) Longer post means more weight, of course...and right where you wouldn't want it so it may well be his predates mine and somebody finally wised up and decided to make a lighter, more compact set-up.

And this brings us to the matter of M142 Gun Mounts themselves. I won't go into great detail about the M142s. I will just say that I have found a large number of variations of this particular mount, some more spartan than others but all are a variation of the same design. They all have one thing in common and that is they are an unusually HEAVY mount (for their size) and to put one on an extended Arm is an invitation for trouble as we shall soon see.

Cheers,
TJ

"This is my Gama Goat. There are many like it, but this one is mine."
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12Bravo
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by 12Bravo » September 8th, 2020, 3:38 pm

Bottom reinforcement plate was 3/16" thick. The early mount had a bronze bushing also.

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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 8:54 pm

(Click on photos to automatically enlarge and reorient them.)

Thank you, 12Bravo. 12Bravo is the former owner of my Gama Goat and very knowledgable about these things. I'm looking forward to anything he might have to add.

Now we'll back up a little bit so that you can have a look at the right front fender where the gun mount assembly goes, above and below. (click on photos to enlarge and level them automatically)

Here, we see the shadow of the original 4"x 6" Base plate. Rather tiny, don't you think? And somebody thought that was going to be just fine? Good grief!
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And here is my first attempt; a slightly larger Base, laid alongside the shadow of the original. The slightly larger size was following the idea that more plate would do much to lessen the mount's wobble (if it remained unreinforced). Try to remember, at this point in time, I'm not looking to follow the original development precisely; a development that, one might argue, stopped just short of what may have been the final design of the Base (owing to the retirement of the M561 from service).
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Laid in place.
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Here we see the plate below the fender and, more importantly, take a look at the massive fender lip (by the way, the photo doesn't do it justice)...fully boxed and in conjunction with the fender top, strong enough to support a man's weight with ease. Yes, this fender is constructed in such a manner because it IS meant to be walked on.
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And what are these original holes for? I'm not sure, but I think I know. Could it be for a passive support for the Arm when it is extended? That would make a great deal of sense....and I may make use of them for just that purpose.
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Here's the raw piece of pipe I'm going to be using for my Base. See if you can guess what it's from...
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IMG_3243.jpeg
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 9:01 pm

Here's a hint....
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Yeah, I cut a section out of that. I have a small pile of these laying around (and not happy about it).

Don't judge me! :lol:
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 9:20 pm

Assuming all is correct with the Base plate the next step is correctly locating the pipe to the proper spot on the mounting plate and getting the hole I've drilled through it dialed in to the correct position but, there is a fly in the ointment; the Splash Guard.
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The problem to be resolved is the proximity of the Arm to the Splash Guard when the Arm is stowed and that brings the whole thing (with gun fully mounted) uncomfortably close to pretty much everything. So clearance comes down to correct placement of the pipe. If I dial it in wrong, I also change the clearance. So many opportunities to fail! There are certainly a few things I need to keep my eye on before welding that pipe in place.
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With the pipe placed precisely as it would be found on the original 4" x 6" Base and with the Arm stowed, is nearly up against the Splash Guard. If I get it wrong, I have a lot of work ahead of me to get it sorted out.
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But if I err just a bit on the side of 'Good Judgement'...I pick up some additional clearance.
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 9:46 pm

But before I weld anything to anything I want to make sure my Base plate is as good as it can be, design wise. So I sat down with my slide rule and my calculator... (Oh wait.. that's the controller for the TV) ...Has anyone seen my CALCULATOR? Aw the heck with it...I was never good at math anyway. There's also a lot of science involved in getting this right. Naturally, I'll completely ignore that as well.

Here's the thing. First they start out with this ridiculously small Base and I'm rather sure metal fatigue was setting in to many a fender. :roll:

Then they add a great big heavy plate below the fender. That added more weight because there is still that Base on top and we know adding weight to your boat unnecessarily is considered...*ahem*... 'Bad'. :oops:

Arguably, from the perspective of solving the wobble (and eliminating metal fatigue) that would have been a reasonable answer EXCEPT there is this little problem with putting steel plate up against Aluminum plate, particularly in harsh environments that would routinely get those cohabitating, dissimilar pieces of metal wet, covered in filth and then overlooked from a maintenance perspective. A harsh environment like, oh I don't know...maybe the underside of a fender! :shock:

So, I climbed into bed, watched Youtube, played Minecraft and cogitated on the matter....and woke up at 2AM with the answer. I don't need a small, or a medium sized Base plate on top of the fender and I sure as heck don't need, or want, a big reenforcement plate below the fender. All I need is a reasonably large Base plate that spans the entire width of the fender and terminates at a spot where it is resting upon that big bulky box channel at the extreme outer edge of the fender. With that, all wobble should disappear completely and, if I work a sort of landing pad for the Arm to rest neatly upon when it is extended, life will be a chair of bowlies.

So this is where I am at the moment. Note the outline of my first effort at making a Base plate. The original sized plate is even smaller!
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My Base plate rests upon about 1/4" of the boxed outer edge and that's more than enough. Six bolts hold this to the fender top and there will be large washers below to distribute the weight each bolt imparts to the aluminum panel below. More than enough to get the job done. Supported all the way across, this Base plate isn't going anywhere. Maintenance-wise, it's a snap to remove with every bit of it completely accessible, and best of all, not one single change to the original structure of the Goat.

This is the direction I feel the Gama Goat's gun mount was destined to go, if it had continued to remain on anyone's TO&E. Altogether lighter than what predated it. Far stronger, overall. Far easier to maintain. Less likely to grab dirt, moisture and eventually, promote corrosion.

More to come!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by m3a1 » September 9th, 2020, 10:31 pm

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my buddy and I were getting rained out of any possibility of doing anything useful, today. So, when the going gets tough...

...the tough go shopping!

Our travels took us a surplus store that we had long neglected visiting.

Lo and behold, look what I found! WHOOT WHOOT! The perfect kit for anyone wishing to display his Gama Goat more throughly and more correctly! And not one....but TWO....in a store that usually only carries things no older than 1990! I'm here to tell ya, you just don't get this kind of satisfaction by staying at home on rainy days and running the vacuum cleaner!
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Yes, I freely admit it. Mrs. Doubtfire is my alter ego when I'm not wrenching.
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Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Gamma Goat

Post by 12Bravo » September 10th, 2020, 12:03 am

The bottom plate had one cutout that was for the hat channel on the tub ,you can still see the outline of the old plate still in the paint. One end also extended into the headlight splash panel just a tad. The three long bolts ,two used for the door stop went through the plate and the one in front . The two outer holes to the edge of the fender were also used for the bottom plate. There is no support for the arm ,what you have is it, it has gussets on it and not going anywhere. If a Devil dog can't tear it up it's fine.

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