A controversial topic to some, this week we are going to talk about the truck gun concept. I have gotten some backlash over the years that a rifle under the seat doesn’t really count as “concealed carry” and no shortage of critics who tell me, “You will go straight to jail if you use an AR to defend yourself.”
Well, I say, to each his own. If I need a rifle to solve a problem, I firmly believe in the old saying, “Better judged by twelve than carried by six.”
Many things are debatable, but relative firepower is not. A duty-sized pistol beats a pocket pistol, and a rifle beats the pants off of both in terms of killing power. (Notice I didn’t say “knock down power.”) I almost always carry a rifle in the truck, just in case. Here’s why you might consider doing the same.
Check out all the episodes in this series:
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 1 Stop The Nonsense!
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 2 Revolver or Pistol for CCW?
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 3 Fighting with Edged Weapons
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 4 Lights and Lasers!
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 5 Holster Selection & Where to Carry
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 6 Red Dots vs Iron Sights
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 7 Truck Guns
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 8 Training Program
- 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 9 Ammo Selection
The first question at hand is geography. Where do you live? If you live out West, like I do, it is really easy to get into wide open spaces. It might not be likely, but it is entirely possible that I need to defend myself from afar.
In fact, it is highly probable that if SHTF, I would prefer to have a .308 to a 5.56 just for the increased range. There are some strange cats out here in the desert, and all it takes is one nut job to think my F-150 is a United Nation’s black helicopter for things to go pear-shaped. Wild animals big enough to actually hurt me also roam these parts and 9mm is a bad choice for an enraged moose or mountain lion.
Proximity to your house from work should also be a factor in your decision. On the worst of days, it is about 30 miles back to my house from where I work, through an area that is sparsely populated. If something catastrophic shut down the roads or my truck died, I would probably be able to avoid problems just by moving at night. If that 30 miles were across an urban area, I would want some heavier hardware.
The second point to consider is terrorism. Going all the way back to Charles Whitman at the University of Texas in 1966 to Pulse Night Club to Sandy Hook to San Bernadino to Aurora to the shooting in Dallas perpetrated by Micah Johnson, the worst of the worst have a tendency to bring long guns.
You never want to find yourself in a firefight holding a pistol when the other guy has a rifle. It doesn’t matter if their entire marksmanship program involved ninja rolls and monkey bars, you’re still likely to get your butt kicked.
The counter-argument to this given by many “professional” trainers is that in such a situation you should either hunker down or flee. If that is your mindset, please leave the rifle at home. Preferably next to your cardigan and pink fluffy slippers. I don’t know exactly what kind of man would flee the scene of a mass shooting if he had the means to stop it but that sounds like a coward to me.
Sure, police might confuse you with one of the bad guys. And you might get shot and killed saving innocents. But that is a better end than trying to live with yourself if you fled the scene of a massacre like a rat from a sinking ship. It’s a cold, hard world out there, and the sooner you come to terms with it, the better off you will be. It’s one man’s opinion, and I have the benefit of millions of dollars in training time. But it bears serious consideration.
There are a lot of concealment options for long guns on the market whether it be in the trunk of your car or in a dedicated carry pack (see video for more details on the backpacks). If you are of the means, you can also nab something ultra-compact. The Kel Tec SU-16 is a great truck gun, for example. You can also take a look at AR takedowns or something in a bullpup configuration.
I have space in my vehicle, so I carry a Barnes Precision AR-15 with a 16” barrel. The optic or lack thereof is dictated by need and space. When I did this for a living, I often used just iron sights, because it made the package smaller.
Now that I’m in retirement and live out West, I often use a Bushnell 1-6.5x-25mm for the increased ability to hit at range.
One additional accessory I have recently discovered is the Crimson Trace® LINQ. This is a flashlight and laser aiming module all in one, controlled wirelessly via an integrated pistol grip. I really like the redundancy of a backup aiming system that works in all light conditions. The flashlight is tiny but packs the same punch as a light three times its size. I round my system out with a VTAC sling, still the king of slings in my opinion.
A truck gun isn’t for everyone, but it is something you should consider. It’s like flood insurance. Don’t let the first time you think about it be the day you need it.