The veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) team took their marketing efforts to another level by releasing a new video this week that features an M61 Vulcan Cannon mounted atop a Toyota Prius. Yes, you read that right.
The project was the brainchild of BRCC’s executive producer, Richard Ryan, who is the mastermind behind the YouTube channel FullMag, with more than 2.3 million subscribers.
Ryan has wanted to mount an M61 Vulcan to a Prius for more than a decade, according to an exclusive Coffee or Die Magazine feature published this month.
He teamed up with weapons restoration experts Hamilton & Sons, as well as shooting and rare equipment curators Battlefield Vegas, to make his vision a reality.
The Gatling-style M61 Vulcan was previously mounted to a demilitarized F-16 fighter jet, though it is also found in F-18 and F-22 jets. It fires 20mm rounds out of six barrels at a rate of approximately 6,600 rounds per minute.
With each round costing some $27, firing the Vulcan for just one minute costs approximately $180,000. The rounds were acquired directly from General Dynamics, who manufactures the Vulcan.
Ryan found a $2,000 Prius on Craigslist, but it needed a significant amount of work to prepare it for the Vulcan.
The Prius was completely gutted, and a roll cage built inside to strengthen its structure against the Vulcan’s energy output, along with a mounting system on the roof to support the gun’s heavy weight.
The gun was also modified from a hydraulic system to an electrical system, requiring new motors and electrical primers.
Along with more than 160 man-hours to complete the project over six months, the project also entailed extensive costs to acquire and manufacture the parts used, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) licensing.
The first test-firing of the gun resulted in significant overpressure blowing out the windshield. Ryan used leftover gym mats to protect the windshield for subsequent firing, allowing the windshield to be protected while the car remained street-legal.
The video fits in line with the rest of BRCC’s outlandish and often viral marketing campaign videos, each featuring a brief advertisement for BRCC and an accompanying coupon code. The videos often depict veteran life or otherwise resonate with the veteran community. Guns and heavy weaponry are no exception.
Ryan has amassed more than 334 million total views on his FullMag YouTube channel alone, while BRCC Vice President Mat Best has another 115 million on his YouTube channel.
Ryan is a digital media and marketing powerhouse, having worked previously with Google, YouTube, 20th Century Fox and Paramount, among others. He’s worked with BRCC since 2014, and joined the team full-time in 2017.