Lots of people in the gun community have a trunk or truck gun. For most people, it is some type of beater rifle or shotgun. The theory is, “Why beat up a good gun by bouncing it around in the trunk?” Just throw a beater in there and forget about it. I am not a fan of that technique.
Of all the guns you own, only your carry pistol is more likely to be used in earnest. The trunk gun needs to work when you grab it. I am not suggesting that you buy a new $2,500 Daniel Defense AR-15 with a $1,200 Trijicon ACOG, then do high speed off road driving with it loosely tossed in the trunk. That defies common sense and fiscal responsibility; but, there is a middle ground between grandpa’s worn out 870 Wingmaster and a high end AR with expensive optics.
I went through a stage where my truck gun was definitely closer to Grandpa’s worn out 870. Like many, my logic shaded heavily toward being cheap. Then, one day, I almost had to use my truck gun. As my hand slid up the stock of a Mosin Nagant M-44 (carbine), I had this sick feeling of why do I have this gun. I’d removed the folding bayonet as a precaution against weasel-like district attorneys, and it was loaded with soft point bullets. However, at that moment, I really didn’t think having an inexpensive, flame throwing brute of a bolt gun was my best idea. As things fortunately turned out, I didn’t need the rifle. It did however change my mind on what was important in a vehicle long gun. The price of the gun, versus potentially getting scratched, became much less of a concern.
The next day, I swapped it out for a Marlin 336, but that didn’t seem right either. Then, a newish Remington 870 pump with an 18” barrel. This was followed by a 5.56 AR carbine, but the wife vetoed that as it was her gun and she wanted it in her car. After some deep thought and practical tests deploying several choices, I ended up with both a truck gun and a trunk gun.
In my truck, I have a 9mm AR pistol with a Tailhook Mod 2 brace. The gun sits chambered (on safe) with a 33-round Glock magazine in it, down loaded to 31 rounds plus the one in the chamber. My theory is that if 32 rounds of 9mm HP haven’t gotten the job done… the missing two won’t have mattered. Downloading will help the spring will last quite a bit longer by not being maximally crushed for months at a time. I know I should swap out mags every other week; but I live in the real world and it happens about twice a year.
I also have two, standard capacity, (17-round) back up mags. The other thing with this set up, I live in Tennessee and it is illegal to have a chambered rifle in your vehicle. By running an AR pistol with a Tailhook brace, I avoid running afoul of that law and have a close approximation of a 9mm SBR. The setup is actually better than a SBR, as it can easily be run with one hand, without compromising accuracy.
This 9mm AR pistol was originally a replacement bedside gun for the AR carbine. When I upgraded to a suppressed .300 BLK for that purpose, the 9mm AR found a new home in the truck. I am very easily minute-of-chest one handed, using the brace and a Holosun red dot at 75 yards. Considering I am getting just over 1,300 fps out of the Speer Gold Dot short barrel 124-grain bullets, I am pretty sure whatever I hit will notice. The pistol is zeroed at 50 yards. At 75 yards, the bullet is still moving at roughly 1,100 fps and hitting with 346-foot pounds of energy, and my drop is only about 1 inch.
My gas sipping commuter car has a trunk gun. Perhaps I am compensating for the lack of horsepower in the car, but in this vehicle, I keep my back up 3 Gun AR. She is a strongly compensated 18” heavy barrel 5.56 with a 30-round PMAG filled with 28 77-grain OTM bullets with an empty chamber (Pesky Tennessee law raising its head). The gun has a Lucid Optics 1x6x24 primary scope and offset 45-degree iron sights.
There is also a quad mag pouch next to the gun. The front two mags are 20-round PMAGs downloaded to 18. One has 62-grain green tips and the other has 77-grain OTM bullets. The other two mags are 30-round PMAGs loaded to 28 rounds with the 77-grain OTMs. I like the option of the 20 rounders as they are much better if I need to go prone and with 120 rounds available, it isn’t like having the two short mags are limiting my capacity. If I run dry, it is a case of “I shouldn’t have been where I was, and I certainly should have brought friends with rifles.”
Do you have a dedicated long gun as a truck or trunk gun? What model and caliber? Does it have an optic? How many rounds of ammunition do you carry for it? Share your answers in the comment section.
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