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I have three “trunk guns.” An actual trunk gun (a B&T .45 pistol with an SB-Tactical Brace and two happy sticks), a Kahr PM-9 within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat and my everyday carry Commander-sized Wilson Combat X-TAC. My go-to self-defense technique against car jackers, rioters or some other low-probability automotive attack? Drive away.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallDespite my automotive “armory” — which pales in comparison to certain a TTAG writer — I don’t “plan” on being assaulted in my vehicle. But, as John Lennon opined (before he was shot to death), life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

Here in Texas, there are vast areas where there’s a whole lot of nothing. If you break down in the middle of nowhere, you’re on your own. At that point, you go from being just another driver on the road to somewhere to a sitting duck. That prospect has no appeal for me, so I’m prepared.

How about you? Got trunk gun(s)?

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  1. It varies. I load a gun(s) as I feel needed into the vehicle. Any trip out of city limits calls for at least 1 gun in the car.

    But i don’t have a gun that lives in the car.

  2. My trunk gun is a 10-inch 300blk pistol with Aimpoint, Diamondhead folding 45-degree sights, Sigbrace, Redi-mag and Corbon DPX. Since its a pistol its covered by my LTC. It can be next to me in car and be carried in all states that recognize my permit wich is about 42 (?).

    I transport it in a guitar gun case so I can carry it anywhere without hassle. There’s plenty of room to add a suppressor if desired

    That’s of course paired with several concealed handguns

      • Guns on boats (or canoes) seems to have a high degree of correlation with ‘accidents involving the loss of a gun’.

        We should obviously ban boats.

        • The things you guys will put on the Internets. I am regularly amazed at the detailed firearms inventories and the gory details of Cali-Zim and Illini-Zim and Ing-Zim and Cali-Cop-Zing’s lives.

        • gray man/matt. Yet you have no problem at all putting your mental illness front and center with every comment you make. Ironic, ain’t it?

        • What’s your problem with Zimmerman? Didn’t like the verdict?

          Or are you talking about someone from Zimbabwe?

        • B.O.AT = Bust Out Another Thousand (for the sweet AR pistol that just went overboard).

          Sorry I shouldn’t joke- that sucks.

        • “The things you guys will put on the Internets.”

          So apparently my detailed comment gives me away as a gun owner and gives away my “arsenal”, but the fact that I’m a reader and I’ve done detailed gun reviews for TTAG probably already did the trick. If you don’t get the running joke about boating accidents by now, I feel for you. Its a freakin’ joke.

          I have, however, mapped out all the locations where people had their “boating accidents”. When the SHTF, Ima gonna dredge those lakes and make a fortune!

  3. I have a Kimber that lives in one of my cars, with a spare mag, but that was because the car had such a nice spot for it that I couldn’t resist, otherwise I haven’t regularly left a gun in my car in several decades. I consider it very nice of Texas to have changed its laws to make such storage legal. I guess they’re watching out for me.

  4. I carry concealed every day, so if I need a gun, it’s already on my hip. So no, on a daily basis I do not have a trunk gun. If I’m going camping/off roading, I do take my X95 with me, but that’s mostly because I’ll likely be in a place where I can shoot it. Though it is nice to have a little extra firepower in case I run into hill people in the middle of nowhere.

    • “I carry concealed every day, so if I need a gun, it’s already on my hip”.

      That is what I do also. My CCW gun is with me while driving, so it is my “car gun”, and prevents me from being a “sitting duck on the side of the road”.

      I do frequently (but not always) keep a basic .22 rifle unloaded in the trunk (Marlin 60 or 795). Having it there gives me the option of going plinking, or sage rat shooting after work. The CCW is the defensive firearm. The .22 rifle is the fun gun.

      When at home, my car is kept locked in a locked garage. When at work, my car is located about 10 feet from where I sit, and is visible through the window (in a quiet little town). Therefore, I’m not terribly concerned about theft. It seems pretty unlikely.

  5. So far only my EDC pistol travels with me. My only rifle is an SBR and I cross state lines almost every day and at unexpected intervals.

      • Still feverishly working on my reloading ladders, accessorizing, and testing this one. Right now I am waiting on a custom seating stem that won’t deform the soft exposed noses of my likely super sonic bullet choice. I’ve got the subsonics all but taken care of. For me, it is a little more about the trip than the destination. Oh, and there is that tedious money issue. I should have been born rich instead of so damn good looking.

        • “Custom seating stem”? Hell, man, I quit handloading around 30 years ago, now, and back then there were seating stems for every bullet shape I could imagine. Has the business gone backwards?

        • Larry, when you (I, in this case) play with odd cartridges and unusual bullets, you get weird problems. I like to tinker and play “what if”.

  6. I hope that you realize that you need to notify ATF when u take your SBR across state lines and you have to wait for the acknowledgment letter before doing so.

    Not much point in going to jail for a NFA violation

    • As JWT mentioned, Robert’s pistol with a brace doesn’t count as an SBR. Also, one of the benefits of Robert living in Austin Texas is that he doesn’t need to regularly cross State lines. Austin is hundreds of miles from the borders of Texas.

      • That is exactly why my PAP M92 has an arm brace, rather than setup as an SBR. I make too many trips across the state line on any given week.

        I have to seek permission from uncle sam to take my SBRs over yonder…

        • HM. OK, let’s get the experts together, and I am not one. I’ve been thinking of buying another upper for my .300 SBR, figuring that would be easy, just call a supplier and order a pistol upper. Is that wrong? *BUT*, that would preclude carrying it out of state without lots of research and planning, maybe I should buy a pistol instead, and use it as an SBR upper while in the home regions. You can’t tell the difference looking at them or shooting them, but is there a difference I could be prosecuted for between using a pistol dedicated upper vs an SBR upper? If I want to order another upper, can I have my lgs get me a pistol upper, or do I have to go through a special NFA dealer since I would sometimes use it on an SBR?

          Some of this gets real stupid/confusing, since I had Silencer Shop sell me the complete SBR and handle the paperwork, all the convoluted laws leave me behind sometimes.

        • @LarryinTX

          Your SBR lower is the ‘registered’ component (unless they marked the barrel, instead. I don’t know how common that is, but it is a ‘legal’ marking place for your SBR). It is configured with an upper for caliber and reported overall length, however, you can temporarily put whatever upper you like on it (5.56, 458 socom, etc.), as long as it can be converted back to the registered configuration.

          If you want to take something shorter than 16″ across borders without your permission slip, you’ll need a different lower setup as a ‘pistol’ (i.e., plain tube, or arm brace of some kind…Sig, Shockwave, etc.). Then add whatever pistol upper you desire to that.

          That’s a very simplistic explanation, but hope that helps.

  7. Yup. First one was rather inexpensive, since I was advised to get a .38 that I wouldn’t care if it got stolen in a “smash and grab.” But, I do care if any gun gets stolen, and I didn’t particularly care for the .38, as opposed to a semi-automatic. The gun I carry now gets locked in the glove box, when I’m not in the car.

  8. Yes. Many, including a rifle and a shotgun. Most people jump to the conclusion that they are for some kind of end of the world as we know it/survival situation. In reality, I love to hunt, and I’m ready to hunt anytime, all year long, anything in the lower 48, with what’s in my truck. Plus, I shoot a lot of pigs from the truck.

  9. Always one on my hip.
    I don’t leave ANYTHING in my car, especially when I have to go into the big city.
    No, not Detroit, but close.

    • Another Axe man. I have a backpacker’s axe in my go bag along with a NATO standard shovel.

    • Gawd, I got freaky about knives a decade or three back, so I have a pot-full in a bucket upstairs, but NONE in any of my cars, WTF am I thinking? I’m pretty sure they don’t even get dull from sitting in a car for 10 years. I wouldn’t *buy* them for that, but I seem to have them. Thanx, I’ll get right on that.

  10. I thought you meant Truck-Gun, like ‘anti-material’ rifle (for “shoot the driver, burn the truck” ops).

    The click was still worth it, mind you, but I think I wanted to see some shoot the truck videos or stills.

    • “like ‘anti-material’ rifle (for “shoot the driver, burn the truck” ops).”
      I like the way you think.

      • STDBTT – “Shoot The Driver, Burn The Truck” was our ‘stress-reliever’ line in Iraq, when our 3rd-country-nationals that we were escorting seemed like they were working for the other side.

        Picture an extremely dusty old oil company road called URANIUM (coulda been the surface of Mars) 2AM +2 hours post moon-set, Zero Illumination, and the breaks lock on an escorted truck’s trailer because they’ve either sent their DOD hire-$ home to haji-mom, or they purchased some gay porn to post on the inside of the cabs of their truck.

        We gotta crawl through the dust (the nice easy spots to emplace I.E.D.’s) to pin their brakes back [’cause their good at pretending they don’t habla ‘mechanico’].

        We were tired, dirty, behind schedule, sitting ducks (and, in the beginning, kinda very scared; later, just tired of being scared and resigned to eat-it one night or another).

        SO YES. Feel free to use this phrase whenever life has your friends eating their last meal over and over.

        “SHOOT THE DRIVER, BURN THE TRUCK”, it gets peoples attention, gets them to move their asses, and stifles road rage.

  11. SU-16 +3 mags in a tennis racquet bag (real, not the overpriced Blackhawk! one). I always carry. The SU-16 is for my wife, who does not, but suddenly wants a gun when she travels by herself.

    • A, B, or C, Model? (hypothetically, and sorry for your previous firey boat loss).

      I dig the C gen 1 in 5.56. BUT LOVE the Gen 2 w/threaded barrel.

      • Owned a C mode for a while. It’s an excellent trunk gun. I sold it to pay bills, and regret it. A stubby suppressor out front tamed muzzle blast.

      • A (hypothetically). I used to have a C and sold it because I thought it was ugly. It is, but I shouldn’t have sold it. I really like the SU16s. They’re light, easily stored, and their manual of arms is easier for the uninitiated than an AR15’s.

        • + Yes.

          Kel-Tec really pulls out a win on a few seemingly crazy products and the SU-16 (in any caliber .22 or 5.56 [if there’s another I am unaware]).

          Love how they built firearms around other firearm’s magazines, they are crazy plastic things with some metal, and you go hunh? But they Energizer Bunny on ammo, and it’s fun to whip out a folded SU-16C at the range, open-her up (or don’t, the C will operate [and allow you to even change mags] folded!) and go to town very accurately and handle the recoil of a big-for-it’s-bantam-carbine-weight frame.

          Dig ’em.

  12. I have a safe that bolts down to the seat brackets in the rearmost row of seats (long since removed) and that’s where I store an extra pistol and an extra revolver and all relevant gear, including spare mags/loaders, flashlights, belts, holsters, and the whole nine yards. That will slow down the smash and grab artist.

    If I’m traveling, I’ve usually got an AR handy and sometimes a shotgun as well. Why? I prefer to shoot terrorists and violent criminal actors with my rifle than with the camera on my phone.


  13. No trunk on my truck, but my “console gun” is a well worn Ruger P85. A true “brick with a trigger”, but I could drag it from the rear bumper for the next 500 miles and it would probably function flawlessly.

  14. I carry a G26 9mm and a Taurus .380 every day, already, but for road trips to San Antonio, Austin, the DWF area, etc., I take a couple of extra loaded magazines and a Mav 88 12 gauge with a box of shells. I don’t regularly store any firearm in my vehicle, though.

  15. I’ve considered a dedicated “truck/trunk rifle” for many years, but have decided against it.

    I usually have two pistols with me at all times, G19 and LCP, which I figure will get my through all most any jam.

    I figure, by the time I get the rifle into play, from under my back seat/trunk, I probably could’ve been assholes and elbows down the road.

  16. My methodology is similar to others here. I carry a handgun concealed and/or openly every day and figure that is “enough gun” for an average day. If I am concerned about rioting or travelling more than an hour away, I usually take a rifle along … including plenty of ammunition.

  17. If I am on a road trip I carry my Mini-14 or Ruger American Ranch rifle in the trunk. If I am going out to grizzly country for a camping trip I will bring my 30-06 Browning X–bolt.

  18. all of the guns, all of the time, plus cell phone charger, short wave radio, air filtration, water filtration……

    underground gall-dern monsters

  19. What is the context of the photo before the video plays? It looks like a motorist is being badly muzzled by an officer with his AR-15, can’t see his trigger finger extended so am assuming it’s on the trigger. Can’t also see an inserted magazine but there may be a 5 or 10 round one in place. There’s also an overweight looking SWAT type operator behind the car.

    My question is, why is the driver (who doesn’t look to be posing a threat) having a rifle pointed at him?

    I’m sure that this is some sort of staged publicity shot but it would be interesting to know the back story.

    Re truck/trunk gun, for me, my concealed P938 is fine for day to day life. Everyone can choose what works for them though!

  20. I’m not an expert, but I look at the idea of a trunk/truck gun thusly.

    – I drive a coupe. The trunk is nigh-inaccessible in an emergency.

    – I have an H&K VP9 on my hip when I drive. My skill with that isn’t perfect, but enough to get me out of most immediate dangers.

    – My vehicle is 3000 lb chunk of Teutonic steel and plastic. If I have to run an assailant over to get out of a bind, he’s road pizza.

    – I’ll admit though that in times of increased risk, i.e. there’s been a police shooting and people are protesting (with the threat of violence), I’ll have a banger rifle (AK-pattern) in an accessible place within the car. In a discreet unassuming bag of course.

    • The idea of a trunk gun is not quick reaction. It is more about the radio telling you there is a guy in a tower, downtown, shooting people in the head from 250 yards away. After discovering that you have raced to the location, it strikes you that your edc 9mm ain’t gonna cut it. Is there something in the trunk that might be better, after you park the car, open the trunk, load up and go looking for trouble?

  21. Illinois’ Concealed Carry statute comes with over two dozen “prohibited areas” and a “parking lot exemption.”

    Which is to say, carrying on-body is a non-starter for a lot of people, depending on where they work and live. Our Concealed Carry law is, for more practical purposes, a “vehicle carry” law. The only places I can’t have a loaded gun in my vehicle are federal installations like a Post Office parking lot.

    So sadly, my Glock 26, which was intended for concealed carry, spends most of its life in the console of my truck, where it can be reached quickly and strapped on if allowed by law.

  22. Driving with guns on the right hip? Sounds like trouble? Seems like a shoulder holster would be a better choice? I’m lucky enough to shoot/carry left so it’s a non-issue, also door less jeep. 80% of the time. Heritage RR .22 mag in the tall center ammo can(40 mm) console. and broke down 12ga stoger coach gun depending on trip. 1 box of buckshot (25) Nice to have a double that comes apart in a small-ish package.

  23. Other than my EDC pistol, generally no. I live in a town where auto-break in’s committed by assholes from Denver/Aurora/Boulder are somewhat common. So tooling around town I don’t add anything to my trunk. I just keep all the stuff that’s usually in my car.

    Now, when I leave my little town, yes I do have trunk guns to go with my expansive medical kit that goes into the trunk. I’ve installed some holders (originally meant for an ATV I think) for a rifle to the trunk lid of my car so that when you open the trunk lid there’s the rifle right at the height to grab it just above the mounted fire extinguishers. What rifle that is will depend on where I’m going and what I’m doing. Often it’s a suppressed and scoped AR but if I’m going somewhere like Boulder where people wet themselves and call the cops when they see an SBR (scary black rifle) then it’s a .30-30 lever which has more than enough punch to drop some asshole out to 200 yards. In certain circumstances it will be a .243 Win bolt gun and in others it’s a Mossy M590A1 shotty.

    If you screw with me on the roadway, like Forrest Gump’s chocolate box, you never know what you’re gonna get [shot with].

  24. Moss berg 500 20 gauge with slugs and 00 buck. Having barrel cut down to 18.5 inches. Has anyone ever had a police officer give them a hard time over a truck or trunk gun? I will not be mentioning it unless asked directly by an officer, but I was curious if anyone has had trouble.

    • I’ve never had trouble when I said “There’s a rifle in the trunk”. When I’ve said “Yes, there’s a rifle in the range bag on the back seat” I’ve been pulled out of the car.

      Funnily enough when I said “Yes officer, there’s a rifle in the gun rack above my head (Jeep Wrangler) the guy looks up, doesn’t care about the rifle but gets into a conversation with me about the gun rack, how cool it is and how he wanted one for his Jeep.

      I think it depends more on the cop than the location of the gun, but it’s pretty hard to get upset about a rifle in the trunk of a car unless the cop is a straight-out pearl clutcher.

  25. Nope, nothing dedicated to the truck. Typically if we are going on a road trip, we have the dogs riding in the back seat. Plus where I live in NC, there seems to be an epidemic of dudes walking through parking lots and neighborhoods checking for unlocked doors or committing smash-n-grabs.

    However, I carry a G19 daily. If we are hitting the road, I make sure I have 2 of the 33-rounders in the truck, in addition to the mags I carry. That’s 112 rounds for those keeping score.

  26. .30-30 Winchester 94 in a headliner mount in the jeep. Unloaded, in a sleeve. One box of ammo in the console. Nothing lives in the truck yet – still thinking about it. Also carry concealed 7/24.

  27. A better question is why do you carry a trunk gun? I carry one only when I am going some place where I will be spending the night out of doors. I don’t normally carry anything other than a sidearm.

    If you carry a trunk gun on the off chance that you will attacked by Mexican drug traffickers and you have nothing to do with the drug trade then I suspect you just like the idea of carrying a gun around unsecured in your vehicle. But that is your business not mine.

  28. I really don’t get the common idea of a trunk gun. A traditional AR or AK seems like it would more often attract the wrong sort of attention (authorities and the lawless), and prevent you from getting the right sort of attention (hitching a ride, being allowed to use someone’s phone, countless similar etc…). Now weight those negatives against the positive of the unlikely scenario of an ISIS attack were you’re actually able to get to your trunk to access your rifle and engage.

    To me, the negatives STRONGLY outweigh the positives.

    What seems infinitely more useful is something concealable that can be stuffed in a get home bag. Whether that’s a full size pistol with mags, something like a Sub2K, or a really short SBR. This way you don’t attract any undue attention, can still get help from good Samaritans, and have a little more fire power should the SHTF.

    • “To me, the negatives STRONGLY outweigh the positives.”

      The key words here are “To me” not “STRONGLY”.

      For you and your situation you’ve weighed the options and come up with an answer. Not everyone has the same situation. If you drive the I-95 corridor on a regular basis your answer is going to be completely different from someone who lives out West.

      Personally, I spend time in places where if I break down and have to walk a goodly distance, a real possibility, there are things out there that consider me to be food. In that situation I’d like a long-gun please. Not every trunk gun is for “ISIS”.

      • You are absolutely right about the “to me” part. That said, I still question the logic. I too live out west, and frequent places that are hours from cell phone reception.

        Again comparing risks;
        I have predators like mountain lions, packs of coyotes, and now even packs of wolves. On the other hand, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are statistically far bigger dangers.

        Catching a ride from the one good Samaritan that passes by is far more important than the much more remote probability of a predator attack. By concealing the firearms, and appearing gray, you can have your cake and eat it too.

        But hey, if you want to hike out with your rifle slung over your shoulder and have the rare passerby likely choose to just keep driving, all the more power to you, this is America, and we should all have the right to do as we see best.

        • Wolves don’t worry me. I grew up around wolves. Mountain lions and brown bears the are a whole different kettle of fish.

          Will that jackass in a Prius pass me by when I have my .30-30 over my shoulder? Sure he will, but he would have passed me by anyway because he’s a liberal asshole with too many stickers on his car who doesn’t actually give a fuck about other people. However, I don’t need to worry about that because in between Prius drivers I get half a dozen jacked up trucks covered in NRA stickers that are more than welcome to let me ride with them. In fact, the gun tells them I’m not a “Denver f@g” which increases my chances of getting a ride.

  29. Nope…. Never needed one and not a item I want to drive over a border with. Being in driving distance of NJ,DE,MD & & Nyc having a gun in car is a major no no. Not to mention the issues with car theft. Trunk bat is the prefered item. Legal, less hassle, no cleaning or reloading with a Ron Cey Louisville Slugger.

  30. I have my EDCs that are either on me or within very easy reach when driving, but I do keep a truck gun that comes in with me at night but travels with me wherever I go, a 10.5″ 300bo pistol with red dot and 2 30rd mags. Not going to make a 1000yd shot with it but as I’m in a major metropolis in Texas 200+ yds of effective range should handle about anything I might get caught up in, and the occasional pig at the county place had met its wrath as well.

  31. Yup, got a trunk gun…or, in my particular case, a truck gun. It’s not really there for every-day self defense as much as it is in preparation for the event that I break down on some desolate stretch of road. My truck gun is a Chinese SKS accompanied by 200 rounds on stripper clips and a modest “get home” bag.

  32. Current trunk gun is an inexpensive Canik 9mm with a couple of 18 round mags in a plastic ammo box in the trunk and a couple of boxes of 9 mm. This is above my normal EDC.

    While the Canik is a reliable gun that isn’t bad to shoot at all, I am thinking of selling it and dropping a Glock its place since I already own it, and I can drop a couple of long happy sticks in with it. I can spend the money on ammo or what ever. Since I feel the need to thin the herd a bit.

  33. I keep a 10-22 takedown with two 25-round mags loaded in my trunk. Granted it’s a .22, but a handful of .22 center mass will to the trick. It’s a backup, though, to my EDC on my hip, just in case I need to reach out and touch someone.

  34. Not here in Cali. I keep a fresh box of donuts and flashy metal pieces in the car, in the trunk I keep t-shirts that read, “Gun Free Zone” and point to the crotch; I keep the donuts for any traffic stops or officer friendlies and the metal pieces are for when bad neighborhood types try to carjack me.

    They get startled by the shiny shiny metal and run into the street for it.

    Seriously though, here in Hell, I am forced to take chances with my life because scum head politicians have neutered us all. But, fear not, one last year and I can be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

    Just like Mrs. Tipton (hat tip to you ma’am).

  35. Truck guns are fantasy operator territory, same with bug out bags, and a lot of EDC gear.

    You don’t live in Siberia 2077. Roaming gangs of cyborg bears aren’t setting up roadblocks where you live.

    • It all depends where you live and what you might have to deal with. AK is a lot different than NY. CO is a lot different than NC. TX is a lot different than OH.

      If you had half a brain you’d know that.

  36. After seeing the rooftop video of the Charlie hebdo massacre and the French officer gunned down in the street, and all the other youtubes and news reports where the witnesses were armed with nothing but a cell phone camera, I decided to keep an inexpensive deer rifle in my truck at all times. I may not be able to stop an incident but I can detour one from cover a safe distance away, or if I’m a more personal distance from the situation I have 5 shots of 38spl and another 5 in a speed loader.

    I still take the oath to protect and defend seriously. I’ll be one of the rifles behind every blade of grass. I won’t be recording someone’s last moments with my cell phone.

    • I flew to DC for 9-11 and took my 10mm to cover this slightly greater than 0 threat of a terrorist event. Lugging my Pelican Case throug the airport made me reassess what and why I carry. I now understand why people carry pocket pistols. It is the equivalent of the kitchen fire extinguisher that you will probably never use. I won’t be replacing my carry pistol for an LC380 but the next time I travel by air I will be taking my 17 oz Browning 1911-380 in the smaller, lighter case. (I still prefer the ballistics of a long barrel and am now thinking about getting a long slide XD/s in 9mm.)

  37. I carry daily, so that means what I’m currently carrying is in the car within arms reach. Typically a Kahr P9 with a spare mag, but sometimes something else. Now if I’m traveling out in the boonies, a carbine goes in the back, in case of a breakdown. I keep a non-gun bag, towel or blanket to conceal the carbine while moving it.

  38. I have a visible center console gun, a concealed brief case gun and a tax stamped SBR in the trunk with 180rnds of ammo. What am I afraid of? Not a damn thing.

  39. I keep a full go bag in my car that includes a Walther PPQ a chest rig with extra mags, IFAK, smoke grenades, life straw and other assorted goodies. I also have a secret compartment that holds a suppressed Tavor SAR 21. I know that it might be overkill but like the saying goes “Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it”

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