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Benelli "trunk gun" (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Choosing a firearms for a specific task is relatively easy. Deciding the precise task you need the firearm for isn’t. For example, if you think you might need a trunk gun to fight your way home after an EMP, you want something small and portable that holds a lot of rounds. Something like an AR pistol with a SB Tactical brace in .300 Blackout. If you think you might break down in a bad neighborhood or on the side of a lonesome highway, a shotgun would be best for discouraging rapacious locals or lawless highwaymen. So . . . do you have a trunk gun? If not, why not? If so, which one and why?

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  1. Do I have a trunk gun? No. Why not? Because I live in PA and work in NJ. The border crossing is risky as it is without me adding a firearm to the mix.

    • Don’t think you can carry a long gun in the trunk gun in PA, anyway. Even with a license to carry firearms, a long gun would still need to be unloaded, and you would have to be either going directly to or coming directly from the range. Transport laws (including open carry counting as concealed once you step into a car) is one of the serious weaknesses in the otherwise generally reasonable PA gun laws (sorry, shouldn’t gripe in front of those from NY, NJ, CT, MD, CA, etc.).

      • Not arguing at all with you on what the States might ‘wish’ their anti-gun laws were ..

        But the Supreme Court (of all people, wow, right?) has ruled that RKBA is a personal right, and further that limiting it to ‘only the home’ is tantamount to banning it, and therefore illegal, ..

        so ..

        you can have guns …

        and you can have guns on you …

        .. but you can’t have them unloaded in your trunk?

        I think I’d call shenanigans on that.

      • Isn’t no loaded long guns in a vehicle a PA game law and not like a real law?

        I’ve always heard horror stories on the ole interwebz of PGC guys writing tickets for having a loaded gun laying on their tailgate while they got everything together. Never confirmed though.

        Me personally, I load right when I walk past the yellow gate…If its daylight….

        • Not a lawyer, going by what a cop said in a Q and A session in an NRA intermediate handgun course in PA. A license to carry firearms in PA lets you carry concealed in PA, including in a car. But according to PA law, a “firearm” basically means handgun. So, an AR pistol for instance would be OK, but not a full sized AR. Not sure about an SBR if you have one. Didn’t ask about that. But at the time, the cop suggested an AR or AK pistol with a brace as a trunk gun.

        • Possible correction:

          I never wanted a trunk gun, so didn’t look into it deeply, but I just looked at a couple of lawyer web pages.

          What still seems certain: You can’t carry a loaded long gun. The ammo has to be separate.

          What I’m not sure of anymore: Might not need to be just to and from the range if it’s unloaded, inaccessible, and the ammo is stored separately. Not clear on that

        • Ben: You can carry a rifle or shotgun in your car in PA, without any specific requirements as to where you are going. It must be unloaded. Legal ambiguities make it sensible to store the ammunition separately, not in the same secure container as the long gun (if you use one) or car compartment as the long gun (if you don’t).

      • Wow! PA is evidently more restrictive than CA:

        Pursuant to California Penal Code section 25610, a United States citizen over 18 years of age who is not prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, may transport by motor vehicle any handgun provided it is unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a locked container. Furthermore, the handgun must be carried directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while being carried must be contained within a locked container.

        Pursuant to California Penal Code section 16850, the term “locked container” means a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment.


        Nonconcealable firearms (shotguns and rifles) are not generally covered within the provisions of California Penal Code section 25400 and therefore are not required to be transported in a locked container. However, as with any firearm, nonconcealable firearms must be unloaded while they are being transported.


        California Penal Code section 30945, subdivision (g) provides that registered assault weapons may be transported only between specified locations and must be unloaded and stored in a locked container when transported.

        Pursuant to California Penal Code section 16850, the term “locked container” means a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment.

        • WHAT happens after Sept. 2015 , will the SHTF , WHO knows ? but you may need it and it does no good locked in a gun safe .. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ,, Amerika is almost over…

      • Actually as long as its Unloaded you can keep a rifle in your trunk in PA, no exception needed. the law only states Loaded Rifles are unlawful.

    • my thing is this, whether or not I have a rifle in my trunk or not. no cop is getting in my car without a warrant. And Im ALWAYS on my way home from the range or other lawful place.

    • Concealed carry yeah; but a trunk gun is a little risky, in terms of having it stolen. I live in Miami and work in Hialeah; so, I’m not trying to donate guns to the local gang community.

      But, if I “found” a nice AR pistol in 9mm, that uses Glock mags, and with a sigtac brace on it — sure, that’ll work.

  2. Not so far. Around 5 years ago, I totaled my car 4 states from home. FL cop was most helpful with what to do with the 3 handguns, all loaded, in my car at the time, while I called insurance company, arranged for transportation to the car rental and made arrangements there. What I would have done with a riot shotgun or shorty suppressed AR in .300 blk or whatever, I can’t imagine. And I think the likelihood of crashing my car is significantly higher than that of being beset by a zombie apocalypse. On a given day. Just sayin’!

    • As Larry & others point out, there are some very important considerations to ponder before deciding on keeping a long arm in a vehicle. Personally, I’ve got either a beat-up ranch rifle or shotgun, sometimes both, bouncing around in the truck – but only when I’m on the ranch.

    • If it’s a beat up Mossberg, take off the barrel and magazine tube and throw the parts in a cheap duffle bag or even a garbage bag. (Did I hear the new ones have the magazine tubes glued in place?) Even if you have to dispose of it locally at a loss (although I can’t imagine why), the gun is only worth about $150.

      I had a similar situation with a loaded pickup truck. The guns in the vehicle were some of the smallest items I had to secure and bring home.

      • Central,

        I like your idea of a disassembled, inexpensive shotgun in the trunk. The odds of someone stealing a disassembled shotgun are about nil. And even if they do, you are only out $150 to $200. Me likes!

      • They use a locktite type compound on the mag tube, use a propane torch to heat it up in a vise and a strap wrench to break it loose. Once that is done you can screw it on and off at will. Do it any way and replace the spring with a Wolf mag spring. The OEM spring deteriorates really quickly and looses tension.

    • My odds of being attacked by zombies are much higher than the odds of my leaving my state without knowing it ahead of time…

  3. Looks like a $1,500 Benelli. Think a $700 Rem. 870 might be a better choice considering the chance of theft and/or confiscation…

    • I’d be more inclined to downgrade even further to a Maverick 88. Aside from a Mosin, it’s one of the only sub $200 guns that I know will work all the time, everytime.

    • You REALLY need a new gun shop if you think a Remington 870 is worth $700. Unless you’re like a filthy rich billionaire and money has no meaning…

      • Exactly! I laughed when I read $700 Rem. 870. I might spend $700 on an AR. I won’t spend over about $300 for a shotgun. The proper answer for a trunk shotgun is a $150-175 Pardner Pump/Stevens/Maverick. Cheap .22 rifles also make sense (Marlin 60/795 etc.).

    • That little Benelli? That’s a Benelli Supernova Tactical, at my local Sportsman’s Warehouse they sell for about $400 bucks, mag extension would be about another $40 to $50. My Benelli Nova runs a hell of a lot smoother than any Remington 870 that I’ve handled too, about 1000 rounds in I took it apart and the only thing that was dirty was the barrel, the action was practically spotless and still had more than enough oil from the factory.

    • +1 for the SKS.

      A large percentage of folk where I live keep their truck guns mounted in visible racks, but mine resides under the small troop-seat of my pickup.
      The only time it goes into the house is when I’m headed within city-limits; the denizens who live there can easily spot a country truck (the dirt & trail pinstriping is a dead giveaway), and are definitely aware that such vehicles often contain goodies not usually found in the hood.

      • I don’t drive round with a trunk either , like other truck owners ( drivers ) have mentioned here , Trunk seems a little hard to get to . I usually don’t carry a rifle with me anyway , unless I’m doing field and fence work and then I’m usually on the Mule , but I will throw my Mini 14 in the seat sometimes for company . I always pack a pistol in my waste when I’m driving but just in case I would need it my truck never leaves my driveway with out my 5. 5 inch Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 magnum . my absolute favorite close quarters defense gun . I figure if I have to pull this Beast on someone they’ll be close enough to see it and should definitely go away .

      • When I was in high school a bunch of guys with their own trucks had rifles on a rack in plain sight. Back then they could park that way in the school lot and not worry about locking the truck.

        These days, thanks to meth, just having the rack without a gun means locking the truck.

        • I graduated high school in 1976 Raymond and I distinctly recall bringing my brand new LC Smith over under to school and proudly showing it to my HS principle in the parking lot in the morning while we had our pre class tobacco fix together and then laying it in the back seat of my 1965 dodge dart for it to unsurprising be there when I left to go home . This was not Dreams of my father , this was my adolescence . Good times .

  4. Ruger 10/22 TDSS, 3-9×32 scope, (2) BX-25 + (1) BX-10 + 1,110 rounds of ammo in waterproof Tupperware containers. Never leave home without it.

    • ^^^Yep. I live in N. Seattle; used to keep a Charter .38 in a gym bag in my trunk (part of my “oh shit-kit”). Long story short, one night my window got smashed, my trunk got popped and that bag was stolen…fortunately, I had sold that snubbie by that point, so no Aurora Avenue crackheads were able to tool up with my piece. Now my car gun is a G26 that only rides in the car when I do.

    • Right now it’s an M70AB2, but that will probably change to an AK-74 in either 5.45 or 5.56. Living in Bellevue (-ish) WA (AKA, “The Eastside”) definitely lowers my chances of some @$$hat trying to forcibly appropriate it from my trunk.

  5. I don’t have a trunk in my car (1st gen Insight). I might be able to hide a Serbu SS in that little compartment beneath the carpet in the back though:-) Actually, I am afraid to leave a gun in my car unattended. I park in no parking spots for medical deliveries a lot.

  6. Once upon a time there was always a shotgun AND a rifle in the rear window rack of my Dad’s PU. You know how long ago that was ! Today all of my travel is Texas and west of there…….where-ever the firearms laws are “friendly” I don’t find I worry about needing one. Where the aren’t I just don’t go anymore. Heck, it’s hard to get to Yellowstone from North Texas with a canister of bear spray, as I25 going through most of CO is simply a giant police trap for out-of-state motorists (I now use the old US 283 route).

    By the way, if you are fighting your way home after an EMP, you will be on foot as your car won’t work if it’s anything newer than a Model T Ford.

    • Not really. Anything that is carbureted and has a points based ignition will be fine. You may have to replace the starter solenoid though. Mechanical fuel pumps are a bonus.

  7. A 10/22 tactical takedown with a suppressor in a generic book bag. Fully loaded BX 25×2 magazine. Not ideal for a full on apocalypse I know but I believe it strikes a nice balance between not having one and some of the concerns expressed above. I don’t have a trunk (SUV) either so it fits nicely under the rear seat out of sight.

    • Spoken like another sad troll who has never worked with a group of like-minded people who will, on occasion, decide on an impromptu basis to go hunting or informal-target-shooting after work.

      Sux to be you.

        • Sorry to disappoint you (again), but we never imbibe until after the always-legal hunt. BTW, folks who drink prior-to, or aren’t completely legal, don’t get to hunt with me. I’m sad that you’ve never enjoyed the sound of your supervisor saying “All in favor of moving this meeting to the local pheasant fields? Motion seconded and approved, get your gear and let’s go!”

          Also, rednecks (by any generous description) are in pretty short supply up here in the central northern plains, a couple of hundred miles south of the Canadian border.

          But don’t let that stop you from (again) making more wild assumptions that clearly demonstrate your idiocy. Please continue.

        • Sadly, pun&gun, I don’t work there anymore either (I moved to another state), but it was a glorious 3-4 years while it lasted.

    • Interesting. The shotgun I kept in my truck (which I also parked in my high school parking lot without incident) is very likely the reason I am still alive.

      This was in the much disliked by both pro-gun and anti-gun mecca of Austin, Texas no less. You are right, very moronic and redneck to have used a shotgun in my vehicle to defend my life when I was not legally allowed to use an inferior handgun in its place. There are a lot of people that don’t live their life exactly as you do and have experiences that are in direct conflict with your assertion. Have a good day.

  8. To me, the best use for a long gun is to defend myself in a secure or semi secure static location, i.e. my home. Foreseeable circumstances might include a home invasion or wide scale riots. If I’m in a car, and I have to leave that car, give me a concealed pistol every time, unless I’m in the wilderness. When I’m mobile and vulnerable I don’t want to haul a long gun. It’s just going to slow me down and draw unwanted attention. I’ll gladly trade the fire power for the enhanced ability to evade and maintain a low profile.

    • “I’ll gladly trade the fire power for the enhanced ability to evade and maintain a low profile.”

      We may have a winner!!!!!

      If things really, REALLY go sideways, travelling on foot with a nicely visible long gun slung over your shoulder could be a huge liability. Why? Because it is something of immense value in that situation. Being of immense value, other people will want it. But how does someone go about relieving you of a rifle or shotgun slung over your shoulder? At best: a group of armed sojourners surrounds you, relieves you of your long gun, and lets you go on your way unarmed. At worst: someone snipes you and “pries it out of your cold dead hands”.

      Unless you are travelling in a large enough group that guarantees losses for any single person or group who engages you, you might very well be better off if you appear to have nothing of value.

  9. Right now a 22 marlin 75 I recently purchsed for under $50 which is a tack driver and a couple hundred rounds of 22. Keep a box of 9mm for my EDC pistol as well.

  10. 1) I have faraday’d my vehicle’s EC box and my major smart fuse blocks, and the vehicle itself.

    2) The EMP is mine, sorry, my bad.

    3) Keep an SKS in the trunk if you need .30 or better; P2000 in .40 because it’s “snappy”; or Kel-Tec SU16C in 5.56 if you need a threaded barrel for your suppressor, and your chest rig has lots of mags.

    • I don’t think shielding the fuse blocks will stop an EMP; the entering/exiting wires are the problem, as they will be the source of the induced current and also direct it into the various components that will be damaged by the surges. As I understand it, unless you disconnect every single wire from the shielded components (or surge-protect each wire with fast-response EMP-rated components), the potential problem will remain.

      • I would agree with the EMP advise and I would go even farther and recommend everyone , if it is practical , to get themselves a decent bicycle , like a 7 speed beach cruiser , for the likely hood that they would be at the office when TSHTF and just in case the only frying that gets done is with electronics , a pre 1975 auto that will run .
        I keep a Greenline in my storage closet in my office and a 89 Lincoln Town Car 58,000 original mileage and a 1963 Buick Special 51,000 OM in my driveway . I have a preplanned off road 40 mile trek to get from my house to my farm where I have two wells and bug out storage . I also have food , water , grains and all the bug out tools I need in my home , several water purification systems and I regularly grow , cultivate and store my own grains for seed .
        I know I am a prepper but I’m not paranoid . I prefer prepared .

      • NineShooter,

        You are correct. All of those wires are random length antennas. An EMP will induce a HUGE voltage on them and cause catastrophic failure of any electronics to which they are connected.

        In addition to a Faraday shield, you would need special shielded connectors with integrated surge-suppressed pins/sockets and those special connectors would have to be attached (and grounded) to the Faraday shield.

        • You can purchase/make ducting toroids, that snap on to wiring. Small voltages can create dampening magnetic fields that will protect against all but emp that would otherwise ‘melt’ your conductors.

          Further, modern vehicles can be made to run w/out the ecm, even without ‘gas’. Don’t go abandoning your nice new car. It’ll do just fine, just abandon your notion that no one’s going to kill you for it, and prepare for that.

  11. I currently have a Mossberg 590A1 with two 7-round shotgun cards and a 25-round Midway sling in my trunk in a green range bag. I’m cheap so I only have Winchester Military Buck with it. I didn’t have it there yesterday but I went to the range and figured it wouldn’t hurt to leave it in the car.

  12. Keltec Sub2000 in Glock 9mm with 1 17rd and 2 33rd mags. Should be sufficient firepower to make my way home from whatever situation I find myself in.

    • ^ This.

      Although I prefer .40 S&W which definitely packs more wallop than 9mm coming out of the long (16 inch) barrel.

      The 16 inch barrel bumps .40 S&W up to full-power .357 Magnum velocities with bullets between 135 and 155 grains. (Yes: a .357 Magnum revolver with a four inch barrel shoots a 125 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity around 1600 fps … as does the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 shooting a .40 S&W 135 grain bullet.) The bonus: the 16 inch barrel is MUCH quieter than shooting a .357 Magnum revolver with a four inch barrel!

      But wait, there’s more! You can fold the SUB-2000 in half and carry it in a pretty small backpack!

    • This is my vote for vehicle gun. Compact when you don’t need it, available when you do, and takes same mags as your carry. Good stuff.

  13. I have a few different trunk guns every time I drive to the range. Other than that I work on a Federal Reservation so carrying any bang stick in my trunk while travelling in-and-around is not a good idea. Like others a concealed hand gun (Px4 or PT145) when out and about outside of work.

  14. I have plenty of guns to use as a trunk gun, but decided it needed to be a cheap long gun since it would be confiscated by the police in an accident and I might ever see it again. I also needed something that would allow me to carry plenty of ammo easily, and I really wanted a long gun that would take the same ammo and magazines as my pistol, as that provide more options if my long gun fails for some reason. Also, I don’t think I will be shooting more than 100 yards with any trunk gun.

    So, with that reasoning, I decided on a Highpoint carbine in 45 ACP that I have converted to accept standard 1911 magazines (just had to make a new mag catch, so not a big deal). I have three 10 round magazines on the Highpoint, and always have at least 2 spares on my person for the 1911. My range bag lives in the back with the long gun, so I always have lots and lots of ammo for both the pistol and the rifle, and it contains another 12 magazines since I shoot local USPSA style matches.

    I considered my Mossberg tactical, but I just can’t carry enough ammo to make the 22 mile walk from my office to the house, so eliminated the 12 gauge from consideration. The AR is too expensive, and I want that once I arrive home. The Highpoint isn’t the perfect solution for all situation, but it’s accurate enough out to 100 yards to hit my target with 230 grains of happiness, which is really the only thing I need in my trunk gun.

    • +1 to the hipoint carbine. People may look askance of them, but they do the job. I myself have a IAC Hawk 982 for my trunk gun- It’s a chinese copy of a remington 870. Reliable and scary if I pull it out. Comes with ghost ring sights, so it’s pretty good using slugs or 00. Also, it only cost me $100 (black friday special 2 years ago) so if it walks, or is confiscated, I’m not out much.

  15. M92 PAP with Sig Brace.

    Why? (1) It cannot be killed 🙂 (2) ease of storage (3) ease of use (4) a bit of ‘size vs. role (5) I can keep ammo for it and swap it out regularly (read: desert heat) without going bankrupt.

    Used to use a VZ2008, but swapped it out for the M92 for a number of small reasons. Fiddled with using a M85 PAP (with AR mag adapter), but I was a bit worried about the poly adapter in the desert heat.

  16. No guns unattended in the car for me. I keep my CCW on me at all times, and do leave a spare mag in my car, but that’s it. The odds of needing a long gun (not just any gun because I have that covered, a long gun specifically) are so miniscule that I’d rather not chance the fairly reasonable odds of my car being burgled.

    I won’t judge anyone that does it but definitely not worth it for me.

    • Same here. I don’t have any place to hide a long gun in my car, so I don’t carry one daily. Now, for a road trip out of town, we’ll take take a couple shotguns and extra ammo, just in case.

      Day to day in the city, though, I just carry my two EDC pistols on me, plus two spare mags and an extra box of ammo in the car.

  17. I believe in being prepared, but I put “trunk gun” firmly in the category of “fantasy nonsense”. Sure, there are a few folks who live and work in rural situations who may have a need for a long gun, but for most people, the odds are vastly higher that your gun will be stolen from the trunk than that you’ll need it to “fight your way home”.

    I can’t think of a realistic scenario where a trunk gun would be useful to me. If shit goes down and I can make it to my car, I’m getting in and leaving the scene as quickly as possible, not arming up and heading back into the fray. On the tiny remote possibility that there’s an EMP or the like that disables all the cars, do you think it’s just going to devolve into Mad Max instantly, with running firefights in the streets? Ridiculous. I’d rather grab some supplies and a concealable handgun, and start walking home in full “gray man” mode, not be the guy with an AR slung at low-ready in a crowd of stressed commuters.

    If you want to carry a long gun in your vehicle, by all means do so. But just admit you’re doing it because you think it’s cool, not because you’re preparing to survive on hunted game in the woods for two weeks because your alternator belt broke.

    • you’re preparing to survive on hunted game in the woods for two weeks because your alternator belt broke

      That’s actually a realistic scenario for drivers who have AAA.

    • I agree completely with the gray man concept. I’m one of those guys who lives in a very rural environment, and I get keep a simple pump 410 for any wild encounters, but if the world ended I’m just taking my pistol.

    • Stinkeye,

      I hear what you are saying and agree with it to a great extent.

      I also see a new potential threat on the horizon, one that may be more likely to occur than you might realize. There are currently two ongoing investigations in the United States into an unknown person or people who appear to shoot random motorists driving on the highway. Those locations are near Loveland, Colorado and Battle Creek, Michigan. If a round disables your vehicle, you are stuck — presumably within range of the attacker. I would hate to be taking fire in/around my vehicle from someone using a rifle at 150 yards and have nothing other than my everyday carry handgun to return fire. In that scenario it would be really handy to have a rifle.

      A similar scenario could be a classic ambush of a motorist in a remote location. Clever attackers could use some ruse to get you to stop your vehicle and get out. Or they could even be blocking the road — both in front and behind. If they use rifles to engage you at 100+ yards, you will want a rifle. And even if you decide to make a run for it and leave the car behind, what if your attackers decide to hunt you down anyway ala Deliverance? A rifle would be invaluable in that situation.

      Finally, it is sad to say that any one of us could be facing a coordinated attack from terrorists at any place and time. While some people would make it a priority to escape, others would feel a duty to their community to do everything in their power to engage and stop the terrorists. In that scenario you will be in a much better tactical position with a rifle or even a shotgun over a handgun.

      Heck, you could even be simply visiting family or friends and a psycho could be on the loose triggering a “shelter in place” plea to everyone in the surrounding neighborhoods. I would much rather have a rifle or shotgun to fend off a psycho if he decides to try and hide in the home where I am visiting.

      In all four scenarios a long gun would be really handy. While those scenarios are uncommon, all of them have actually happened. And I fear they may become more commonplace.

      • When they start becoming commonplace, I’ll add a long firearm to my vehicle during my travels away from home, probably an AR, with an expanded bail-out bag and extra mags. It won’t be a safe queen, though; just a basic rifle with iron sights.

      • Certainly commonplace in Mexico.

        We seem to be in an anti-LEO phase in the US. Recent ambush in MA and murders in IL & TX. Copycat incidents do occur. I’d be surprised if cops don’t feel under siege. Good time to thank them for their service.

      • If such incidents become more than one-in-a-billion events, I’ll rethink my stance. For now, all of those scenarios are several orders of magnitude less likely than some lowlife breaking into my truck and stealing the gun.

  18. 9mm on my hip and Sub2000 folder and 3 Glock 33 round mags in the “Laptop Bag” complete with the IBM logo that came on it in the trunk. If I need more than that, then either I will be famous, or TV and radio news are no longer functioning.

  19. If I break down on the hiway chances are I’ll be walking to a point of help, hopefully someone will stop and give me a lift.. That hope goes right out the window if I have a long gun slung over my shoulder ( that I refuse to leave in the trunk if I’m broken down and need to leave my vehicle ) … Conceal carry is a little less in-your-face..

  20. No trunk = no trunk gun. Live in a large or small city = no trunk gun. Park on public streets = no trunk gun. Live in a state with restrictive firearms transportation rules = no trunk gun. Trying to get home after an EMP = non-working car.

    Handgun in holster = priceless.

    • I realize the odds of an EMP (while probably increasing) or a mass terror attack (coordinated, using NBC type weapons) are very very very low. That said, I keep insurance on my house and no one in my family in the last 6+ generations has had any of theirs burn down. I’ll keep in the insurance, thank you. 🙂

  21. No long guns in the vehicles unless going to and from the ranges, at least not until things get a lot worse, and I live in rural northern Vermont. Otherwise, the usual full-sized 9mm sidearm and a bail-out-bag w/extra mags, first aid kit, light, Lifestraw, firestarter, Baofeng radio w/spare whip and battery pack, map and compass. Couple of Cliff bars. I have a Leatherman on my belt with the cell phone. I’d like to be able to move fast and light.

    This changes somewhat if we’re all in a SHTF scenario, in which case I’d add the AR and chest rig. And travel anywhere as little as possible; the main concern is defending the home and family in-place here.

      • As you probably already saw, it’s about 30 bucks, or twice that for a more upscale model; I would put it that listening is more important than talking anyway, and you’ll be able to hear any ham bands that you program into it along with other frequencies, such as your local emergency response organizations. If you decide to go ahead and use its transmitting capabilities, then yeah, you need to get the ham license, first one being the Technician License, pretty easy with a bit of study. Lots of free or cheap online courses for it, and the General and Extra licenses, and the exams themselves are about $15. Battery pack and an extended Nagoya whip antenna or a longwire, and Bob’s yer uncle. Easily programmed via a USB cable to your computer and the free Chirp software, which is cross-platform.

        I also highly recommend these guys for more information and straight talk:

        Plus the ARRL handbook and other of their publications, not to mention membership.

      • The Baofeng is a small dual band HAM type radio.

        It’s not a high-quality radio.

        Much better radios like it are ICOM, Yaesu-Verex, Kenwood or AOR.

        In general, you get what you pay for.

        For SHTF, avoid rechargables and use quality alkaline AAs.

        • All true; for someone new to portable radios like this, and/or not having a ton of money to spend, this may be a way to go at first.

        • Appreciate the replies. I didn’t realize it was so easy (and cheap) to get started in the amateur radio world. Talking to folks, it sounded like a basic rig would run me $$, require antennas all over the house, etc.

        • It’s a start. If you decide to get more serious, you’ll find that antennas are pretty important and a whole other field of inquiry. The ARRL has a nice book just on them.

  22. In a more sensible world, I would stash a M3 Grease gun. Because in said sensible world, that stamped little pug would cost you slightly more than the materials it took to build it.
    The crappy world we live in, though? Spare full size 1911A1 clone with three mags.

    • I’d have to fight my way up north of Austin, so in a more sensible world, a pintle mounted Ma Duece in the bed and maybe a M240 or other .30 cal on a mount using the class 3 receiver…for unwanted tailgaters. Sort of a modern day LRDG truck set up. I’m sure I could find someone to carpool with me.

  23. My car gun is the gun I always carry on my hip.

    I did used to keep an SU-16 in a racquet case in my trunk. In truth, it was just an excuse to buy something.

    • I commend your honesty, sir! I think that’s probably true of 99% of “trunk guns” out there, if the owners really fessed up. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve almost given in to the temptation myself, looking at various folding/breakdown rifles and thinking about how neatly they would fit behind the seat in my truck. But so far, reason has prevailed, and I’ve forced myself to admit that the chances of my needing such a rifle in my truck are virtually zero, and that I really just want one because I think they’re pretty nifty.

      The SU-16 – how do you like it?

  24. I don’t. Mostly because I’m a one gun man currently. For many reasons.

    I would definitely think about, though. Maybe in a few years when I am raking in that master’s level cash (hopefully), and the wife and I get on the same page, and the kids are old enough to introduce to hunting (I’ll need to learn between now and then or else just learn right there with them). A good hunting ready shotgun (with hunting shells) would be good. Ready to go at a moments notice and all the various options present. Slugs, buckshot, and even bird shot if you really need some underkill for some reason.

  25. I generally roll with the windows up so I am not worried about EMP since the car is an intact Faraday cage.

    For the real world I generally don’t carry a trunk gun but if I did it would be either my Remington 750 or 1100.

    • Are you sure about that? I confess to not being all read up on the latest EMP research, but wouldn’t electromagnetic waves mostly just pass right through the glass windows? And wouldn’t the car need to be grounded to be considered a Faraday cage?

      In any case, I think the possibility of an EMP is so remote, it’s pointless to worry about when there are literally hundreds of more likely disasters to prepare for.

      • If it’s possible Siinkeye I thin should prepare for as many scenarios as possible , no matter how remote . I think the Titanic commuters could have positioned themselves a little better with some good old common sense and preparation . I know an EMP is low probability but that doesn’t keep me from preparing for one because of it being so devastating if it were to occur . I think there are lots of catastrophic events that could keep us from getting from point A to point B in an auto and if you can afford it prepare for it . I have never found myself in a position where I regretted being over prepared for anything .

    • A normal vehicle, unless specifically modified, is not an effective faraday cage. Can you make a phone call while inside of your car? If so, it’s not a faraday cage.

      • A normal vehicle is a kinda Faraday cage *IF* you’re talking about lightning strike or downed power lines.

        EMP or RF, zero protection.

        There is EMP glass on military aircraft, I believe. I highly doubt anyone here could afford it.

    • Do you know what a gasoline powered internal combustion engine is? An EMP generator. Every time the current runs through your spark plug wires it generates a stronger EM field than the a nuclear weapon in the relevant frequency band yet automobiles still manage to keep running

      • Whether or not a motor generates an emp is entirely separate from your statement that a car is an intact faraday cage. If you can make a phone call, if you can get wifi, if your phone’s gps works, inside your car, that is very solid proof that it is not a faraday cage.

        • Correct Mr. Taylor.

          And as I replied to another commenter, the wires running all over the place in your car are random length antennas. An EMP induces a HUGE voltage on those wires and they conduct that voltage to your car’s engine control module. That huge voltage will exceed the modest surge suppression that the designers incorporated into the engine control module and fry it.

        • The 1800’s Carrington event zapped the only wires in common use of the time, telegraph lines.

          Many miles long.

          Its doubtful the Carrington event today would zap car electronics with wires 15 feet long in your car.

          Besides, Carrington was a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) a huge blob of charged particles.

          EMP is a *completely* different critter. A very short, very hard spike.

      • Incorrect tdiinva. Current, not voltage, flowing along a conductor produces the electromagnetic field.

        When it comes to spark plugs, they are super high voltage (in the 50,000 to 100,000 volts range) and minuscule current (in the microamps to milliamps range). Hence they produce a very small magnitude electromagnetic field.

      • Yeah I don’t have data to disprove your statement, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that if nuclear EMPs were that weak, then the military wouldn’t have shit specifically hardened against them.

    • I run with a “Gun Show Special” Marlin .30-.30 I picked up a decade ago for under $200. Runs great, have 40 Hornady LeverEvolution rounds with it and it should be more than enough for anything that has to be put down.

      • Sometimes old school is the right option. At least we will win style points. And there is no rifle less threatening than a plain ole lever gun.

  26. Mags for the carry gun. If I can’t sneak home from work with that then I am unconvinced any other gun would make a enough difference to be worth the trouble of looking after it.

  27. I don’t go the route of the truck gun. I do have a get home back with survival gear in every vehicle. Each bag is heavy on the first aid gear along with a means to get warm if it is cold and to get hydrated (purify water) make fire, signal for rescue, etc. I’ve had the fortune of surviving a 24 hour scenario with improper gear. I will now always have the proper gear. To each of these bags I add two magazines with high quality self defense ammunition that couple to my concealed handgun. So, no truck gun, but truck (van) magazines.

  28. I keep a hatchet and shovel in my trunk. The hatchet is for clearing brush off the road and the shovel is for snow/dirt. Thinking of adding a machete but I too drive into NJ and not sure how well that would go over.

  29. I keep a cz scorpion under the seat of my pickup, although I would be pretty serious if my carry gun wasn’t enough (fnx-45 tac) 15 +1 in the gun and two 15 rnd mags of .45 is a lot of firepower already.

  30. It looks from the comments that people are unclear on what a Faraday cage is. It needs to be grounded, which means a conductor going to earth. It also means an enclosure that has wire mesh smaller than the wavelength you want to shield the contents from. So long wavelengths = large mesh, short wavelengths = small mesh.

    I’ve carried a “trunk gun” in my truck while traveling long distances through the desert southwest. It was an old M1 Carbine wrapped in an old blanket. Small and light enough to carry, not so menacing as an AR or AK.

  31. my truck gun is a Rossi 20GA./223 REM. a can of ammo. and my CCW weapon on my hip a Rossi 357 mag. six shots. and a box of 38 Special ammo, & tac. folder knife and full K-bar combat knife.. Ready at all times…come and get it…

  32. No long guns in the vehicle. I have 2 Mosin M38s – I might throw one of those and a tin of ammo in there if I ever felt the need.

  33. I drive a hatchback, so the biggest issue would be actually putting the gun somewhere. My old car had smallish compartments in the corners that could conceivably hold a full-size handgun or a disassembled rifle, but neither it nor my current car could really hold a long gun anywhere that isn’t easily seen from the outside.

    So, no. But I’ve decided to get a “truck gun” [despite not having a truck] eventually, though it’ll probably be something simple. And, again, not a long gun. Maybe if I had a car with a proper trunk.

    • If you’re handy with tools, it’s not too difficult to put a plywood false floor in the back seat or rearmost compartment of most autos, carpeted to match, or with a rubberized cargo mat on top to conceal it’s nature. It doesn’t have to have hinges or anything fancy, just block it up off the original surface far enough to lay a cased firearm, some zip-lock protected ammo and mags, and an empty day-pack and dufflebag to carry all your walk-away gear.

      • A fair option. I do keep a small hatchet that doubles as a crowbar under the mat in the trunk. I’m not particularly handy with tools in a construction sense, just basic motorcycle maintenance. But there are probably tutorials online that are simple enough to follow…you’ve given me the itch. The issue now becomes affording a trunk gun! Damn my lack of disposable income.

    • A couple of the writers here have a hard-on for the cartridge. It’s a nice concept, but is too expensive to buy loaded in any bulk, the powder and bullets are hard to find (to roll your own), it performs sub-par compared to the much cheaper 7.62×39 (for a 30cal comparison), and only really shines when suppressed and sub sonic loaded. The bullets used in it’s sub sonic form don’t expand as well as needed since they’re designed for 2000+fps impacts.

  34. My Ruger GSR. Why? Because there is a better chance of needing to wack a whitetail than fighting off armed invaders, and if it is the latter my little bolt gun will fit the bill nicesly. Shoot and move, shoot and mve.

  35. Not yet, but I think I might just keep my tokarev in it. The idea of something bigger than a pistol is good on paper, but that’s about it. At least with a pistol you can conceal carry it if no SHTF scenario.

  36. I’m surprised I haven’t seen a steel strap set-up that would go over the gun with a super heavy duty lock (integral, or separate) The unit would be bolted to the floor of your vehicle, with lock nuts on the under side.
    The strap of course, would be maybe 1/4″ thick or more, and 2 or 3 inches wide, and made from hardened steel. Wouldn’t stop an acetylene torch, but how many car thieves carry those around.

  37. PA law says the ammo must be in a separate compartment than the long gun. I’ve talked to several local LEO and they said it can be in the same case, as long as it’s in a separate compartment. I go with my 11.5″ AR. Although I do park in a highly secured parking lot so I’m not worried about thieves. Anywhere within 5 miles, I’ll carry my pistol. Further out gets the get home back treatment.

    I do wish I could backpack in my AR or shotgun without the PA game commission considering it poaching, due to the firearms being illegal to hunt with. News flash: Most PA gun owners aren’t hunters anymore.

  38. Got my 10.5″ AR Upper from PSA, just need a pistol lower and primary arms red dot. Going in my truck’s locked tool box. I don’t hear about many of those getting broken into.

  39. My truck was once described by the director of marketing at STI as “a damned firearm vending machine”. So everything. I carry EVERYTHING. It has nothing to do with an temporary apocalypse, but more to do with the horror of having an opportunity to hunt and not having the guns I need to hunt with. I’ve ensured that this will never be the case. I’ve also ensured that I have plenty for whoever might be in the truck. I figure if it seats 5 comfortably, it should arm 5 just as comfortably. I’m a people person?

  40. I don’t have a “trunk gun” because my automobile lacks a trunk and is a more effective self-defense tool than any long gun. It enables me to A) speed away from conflict and B) run over any succulent obstacles made of organic material. Plus, it’s legal in all 50 states.

  41. Interestingly, why do some folks carry so much ammo in the car? Rounds break down with the wild heat fluctuations in cars (summer vs winter) and the motion of the vehicle can break down powders within the cartridges themselves potentially creating an over-pressure problem.

    Do you folks shoot off the old ammo after a year or so and replace it with fresh? Strikes me as fairly expensive…

    • Oddly enough, no matter how many rounds I have, none seem to make it without being shot in a year. That said, rounds will remain perfectly serviceable after several years in a vehicle.

      • Yep, rotate and shoot it every year or so. The only ammo I’ve had a problem with, and it was only a small one, was certain .22LR loads. If they have a wax-based bullet lube, sometimes the lube will melt in the summer heat, run down the bullet to the tip, and then re-harden when it cools, leaving a half-dome drop of lube on the bullet, which makes the rounds a bit too long to feed through some detachable mags. A quick swipe of the bullet tip against your pants leg before loading mags will fix the problem, as long as you are aware of it ahead of time.

        And this is in an area where the temperatures fluctuate between -25F (static temp, not wind chill) and 100F almost every year. The ammo can handle it fine for a year or two, but I wouldn’t use it for competitions after that kind of roller-coaster exposure.

  42. No trunk (in my case truck) gun yet. Had my vehicle broken into twice. Not gonna give the thieves a firearm too. It’s usually my edc pistol I keep on my hip that I would rely on.

  43. I have one from time to time. An 870 in 20 gauge with an ATI top folding stock. I used the Lucy adaptor from Mesa Tactical. It allows you to use 12 gauge stocks on the 20 frame. An XS sight is my sighting arrangement. Easy to handle pistol wise or unfolded. Remington buckshot is usually on board with Remington high velocity slugs are spares. Lots of fun!

  44. Employer is gun free.
    Deer and idiotic drivers are a larger threat.
    Gun in trunk could be interesting in a rear end collision and unable to free it from the trunk, while the car is impounded for being totalled by the insurance company.

  45. Arsenal AK in 7.62×39 with a folding stock. Low profile when stowed, heavy hitting with lots of firepower. It wouldn’t be a complete set up without tac tec plate carrier with ar500 plates in it.

  46. I went on a trip a couple years ago and had my Subaru Outback. While I had a handgun, when I was getting ready to load the Outback, I had a space under the rear compartment where the cover for the compartment could be stowed. I thought that looks like a perfect place for my Beretta Cx4 9mm Storm. It fits perfectly under there so I decided to take it with me in case there was some outbreak when I might need it and with a Counterstrike Laser/red dot attached and a couple of 30 round mags. What more could you want?

  47. If all my guns and ammo hadn’t burned up in a tragic outhouse fire I would probably have an AK underfolder in a scabard with two 30’s in a double mag pouch in the trunk with a ten rounder in the center console. And maybe a lock box with an SR1911, 10 mags and a 100 rds of of boxed ammo for each shooting stick. Of course after that tragic outhouse fire there are no guns or ammo at my house.

  48. I’m in Canada, so a handgun is a no-go. So, for a trunk gun, I use a Keltec Sub2K in 9mm. It’s compact, it’s got some punch with +P ammo, and it’s got capacity, which is limited to 5 rounds centrefire…instead I’ve got 10 with pistol mags.

    It’s got to be either in a locked case, or have a trigger lock, and the mags kept in a separate location. Ideal? FAAR from it; will it work and remain inside the law? It’ll work for at least some situations, far better than nothing that’s certain. Legal? Yes, providing the carrying case/trigger lock is in place, and no ammo in the gun.

  49. Not including my EDC pistol:
    For local travel in the woods/boonies, a Henry AR-7 in .22LR with 500 rounds of ammo. Cheap enough that it’s no big deal if it gets stolen, accurate enough for potting small game, and with 3 mags it would at least discourage anyone with ill intent. Easy to stash out of sight behind the back seat.
    Travelling to or near a large (non-Calif) city: either a KelTec SU2000 in 9mm with high-cap Glock mags and an ammo can full of CorBon +P, or a KelTec 16C 5.56mm with a 1.5-4x illuminated reticle scope and a bunch of 69gr Sierra HPBT loads in 30-rnd mags. Both of these fit into carriers that do NOT say “gun!” – locking briefcase, laptop case, tennis racquet case.

  50. How long does it take you to slam a mag home and charge an AR? My trunk guns are detachable mags. Bolt and semi. Securing a weapon is problematic. But if you are away from the vehicle you can always secure the bolts separately so they cannot be used against you


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