At any given moment, I am roughly 3 minutes from my truck. 3 minutes might not seem like much, but that’s a lifetime during a gunfight! I’m not one to say “My handgun is there for fighting my way to my rifle”; if the fight happens with zero notice, you will be fighting with what you have on your belt. The gear in your truck comes into play for an entirely different reason. Most of the time, if we are even remotely self-aware, large-scale events develop over minutes or hours, versus seconds. We have to have a pre-emptive plan in place for responding to potential large-scale, non-personal events that will inevitably impact our lives, travel plans and get-home routes.
I want to talk about two events that caused me to develop a sense of urgency towards developing response plans like these. Both of these events were real, and drastically affected peoples’ ability to get home and escape very real threats.
First: September 11th, 2001. Following the attacks, we saw all non-military air travel come to an abrupt halt, leaving thousands of people stranded with no alternative. While I wasn’t on that end of Manhattan, I was close enough–and fr from home. All of the rental cars in the area were almost immediately called-for. I was working as Director of Sales for a large company at the time, and resorted to renting U-Haul trucks to get my people home. Had social unrest escalated further, even keeping a personal vehicle in its owner’s possession could have become… problematic. This scenario makes it quite clear that normal transportation can be completely cut off with very little notice.
The second event was the recent unrest in Ferguson, MO following the one year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown. A gathering of protesters blocked the freeway–entirely, for almost an hour. Thankfully, this did not erupt into a full scale riot, but it could have with just one spark. Imagine being one of the thousands of people stranded on the interstate in that scenario with no response plan. What would you do?
What I carry–The Rifle:
Smith & Wesson AR15 Viking Tactics in .223. Targeting is handled by Magpul MBUS sights along with an Aimpoint® CompM4. I choose a Surefire X300 Ultra to let me see in the dark.
Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=smith%20ar%2015
What I carry–The Shotgun:
Remington 870 12 GA. This gun was special-made by Vang Comp Systems and Robar.
Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=870
- Ammunition: I carry 7 MAGPUL PMAG 30 GEN M3 window-loaded with 28 rounds in each. I also carry roughly 30 rounds of shotgun ammunition, both on and in the gun, along with a carrier.
- Medical Kit: Basic field surgery tools, a crash kit, and basic first aid supplies. I have an IBD with quick-clotting agent imbedded in it.
- Go Bag: This is where everything else goes. I have tools for repairing gun malfunctions. I also have tools for removing brush and limbs, and building shelter. 24 hours’ worth of food and water round out my Go Bag.
- Slings: I have Magpul slings that can work in either 2 or 3-Point configurations. I have a low-profile case from Comp Tac that makes my long gun look like a racket sport accessory.
How to store
Storage can be easy, but you pay the price in usability of your vehicle. I have chosen to keep my gear under the rear seat in a DU-HA under-seat storage unit. This allows me to keep everything secure, but easily-accessible. Because of this, my truck can fulfill everyday needs.
How to carry
While all of this gear allows us to establish very thorough response plans, keep in mind that you will only have what you carry on your person if you are forced to abandon your vehicle. With that in mind, I have a series of bags that I can choose to deploy based on function. I have a Blackhawk magazine carrier that stores AR-15 magazines. All of my medical kits fit in a bag that can be carried over my shoulder. The Go Bag can also be carried over my shoulder, and can absorb the magazines or shotgun ammunition.
Only what you can use or share
I have chosen my gear based on this mentality: if the SHTF and I have some company, I can quickly draft them to my cause with minimal training, and without giving up my gear, as part of my response plan. Sure, I could make them a beast of burden, but arming them with a shotgun does wonders for our survivability rating.