The Truck Gun Concept
The internet is full of discussion concerning the “truck gun” concept.
A truck gun is simply a handy gun that you keep in your truck. Many believe the quintessential truck gun to be an old Marlin lever gun chambered in 35 Rem. or 30-30 Win. Others have modernized the concept using popular semi-auto guns.
Let me begin by saying that I see a place for AR pistols, AK pistols, and even pistol caliber carbines.
A stow-able sized gun that has more capability and velocity than your standard handgun is a valid idea. For some people’s lifestyle, it even has real world applications. I’ve spent time in areas where your average farmer had a lever gun, bolt gun, or shotgun on a gun rack behind him while at work. In addition, a shorter AR or AK is much easier to maneuver in a vehicle than a 20″, 18″, or even 16″ rifle or carbine.
Truck Gun Project, Phase 1
Though it’s questionable if that kind of truck gun is actually useful for my current lifestyle, I still wanted to try my hand at putting together a concept truck gun. First, I set up a Gen 1 Keltec Sub 2k with a Red Lion rotating rail. That was a cool gun, ultra-light, and super stow-able.
I also put together a Romanian Draco AK in .223 with a Sig brace. Then I settled in with a pistol length AR. I chose not to SBR due to budget, travel, and convenience considerations. Trying options that were likely viable for the broadest possible audience was deemed important. Though SBRs are super cool, I figured a fewer number of folks would end up jumping through the hoops (no matter how simple they may be) to purchase one.
Truck Gun Project, Phase 2
Here’s what I set up:
- A Spikes Tactical pistol lower. Reliable, well constructed; Spikes has a good reputation for a reason.
- An Adams Arms 7.5″ evolution upper. I really like the Samson hand guard they use. Its profile and weight suits me. Also, their newer gas block is nice. It extends the pic rail for longer sight radius.
- A Thordsen Customs AR Pistol cheek rest and BD-180 blast deflector. These are well made components that I’ll write a full review on soon.
- A single point sling with QD Mount, red dot, and light. By the way, I circled through several lights but ended up using the simple slim back up torch from Mission First Tactical for this application.
This was my favorite option for sure.
Truck Gun Project, Phase 3
With the gun all set up, I was ready to test the concept. I picked up a Jr. sized baseball bat bag for its case, made a place for it in under the back seat of my truck— I went through all the motions.
With the piston upper, the 7.5″ upper proved ultra reliable. Though on the heavier side, the weight served to make the little gun even more shootable. The cheek rest provides three points of contact and makes the short AR shootable and effective. You don’t give up much to an SBR.
The gun was handy, fun, and definitely worth having.
However, in the end it’s not the kind of gun that I’m going to keep in my truck often. If something were to go down, I’m not likely to go back to my truck to get a small AR. What’s on my person is what I’d have to work with. Also, a viable option to secure that kind of weapon is a bit cost prohibitive. I live in an urban context and have to park my truck in sketchy areas often. Let’s be real though; given the right circumstances anywhere can become a “sketchy area.” My truck has been broken into three times (electronics stolen) and two of them were in wealthy (high end), well patrolled areas of the city. Safety is an illusion.
A Situational Conclusion
So in the process of getting to a practical truck gun that actually works for me, here’s what I settled on. For me, I’m going to keep a gun on my person whenever possible. However, there are rare occasions when I have to take my firearm off (i.e. going into the courthouse through a metal detector and the like.) For those occasions, I have an electronic safe installed under the back seat of my truck. Having a gun that is in my truck whenever I am, is good enough to replace my carry gun if taken, forgotten, or I find myself in a situation where I need to arm a family member.
For my situation, it makes sense for my truck gun to fit in that existing safe and to be able to be carried concealed in a pinch. Still, I’d like it to have as much capability and familiarity as possible. So I settled on my old Gen 2 Glock 17.
It’s not fancy at all. It’s not exciting. But it’s ultra reliable, easy to become familiar with and fits my real world qualifications. There’s still plenty of room to secure my carry gun when needed. The G17, an extra mag, and a spare flashlight, suits me just fine.
It may be boring, but that’s my real truck gun. What’s yours?