Seen on the Internet

From the “Yeah, that’s a really good point” department:

“What’s the point of a trunk gun? If you can make it to your car, why not just get in and drive away?”

I’ve never really kept a gun in my vehicle, mostly because I’m more concerned about theft than needing it. I get nervous when I go grocery shopping at Wegman’s and leave my 4 year old MacBook in my bag in the car, let alone leaving a $800 AR-15 in there.

Many thanks for the well wishes yesterday. This morning my temperature seems to be staying down, and my intestines no longer feel like they’ve been twisted up like a pretzel. The fortunate thing was I didn’t have to spend any quality time with the porcelain throne, though I had no appetite to eat much of anything yesterday.

56 thoughts on “Seen on the Internet”

    1. The only time I would carry a truck/trunk gun would be under similar circumstances – just not everyday.


  1. Add to the LA Riots, motorcycle mobs like that one in NY, that included 5 – 6 off duty cops.

    1. Thinking about how I’d transport a truck gun, which I generally take to mean a long gun, I’m not sure how I’d get it into the fight easier than I would get the gun I carry into the fight. I don’t think an angry crowd is going to wait for me to retrieve the AR, load the magazine and chamber a round.

      1. It need not be a longgun.

        If your carry gun is a compact or sub compact then a full size pistol would have advantages in caliber, capacity, and handiness.

        And unlike a long gun would have more options for where it could be secured in the vehicle.

        It’s still a subset incident given you have to both be able to get to the vehicle and be unable to leave with said vehicle.

    2. Good point.

      In NYC, it’s just about impossible to get a concealed carry handgun license.

      But you can transport an unloaded long gun in the back of your SUV, with the ammo separate.

      So as you’re driving away fleeing the biker gang, your passenger can reach over the back seat, unlock it, and load it up. Then when the biker thug smashes your window with his helmet, you respond by blowing his head off.

      Then you watch as his friends realize you’re not an easy target and drive away fearing for their lives.

  2. When I lived in California, and had that relative rarity, a California concealed carry permit, I kept an SKS and 200 rounds of ammo in stripper clips chained to a structural component of the car in the trunk. One of my nightmares was being present at mass murder, and not having a rifle with me to stop it.

    1. Unless something has changed during my times of inattention, in Pennsylvania there is NO legal way to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle. The definition of “firearm” as applied to concealed carry permits does not include long guns.

      If someone wants to raise the issue of Open Carry as applied to long guns in vehicles, I will listen and be on their side, wishing for them to be right, but the last I knew, in PA carry in vehicles was not regarded as “open” under the law.

        1. This.

          The law theoretically demands that rifles/shotguns be kept unloaded and out of reach. SBR/SBS/AOW on the other hand, meets the PA definition of “Firearm” as it appears in Title 18 Section 6102 of PA’s Consolidated Statutes, and as such an LTCF holder can keep one loaded and accessible.

        1. By my reading, *any* SBR/SBS qualifies as a “firearm” in relation to our Commonwealth’s carry licensing scheme. The relevant definition can be found in Title 18 Section 6102 of PA’s Consolidated Statutes:

          “”Firearm.” Any pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15 inches, any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or any rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches, or any pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches. The barrel length of a firearm shall be determined by measuring from the muzzle of the barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt or cylinder, whichever is applicable.”

    2. Exactly. Remember Beslan?
      If I can stop a school shooting, however improbable, I need the tools.

      1. I can see if maybe you live in a rural area where law enforcement is far away. Around here I’d be concerned that by the time I got the long gun out of the car, and then got back into the fight, I’m going to end up facing a SWAT team who won’t necessarily be able to sort me out from the terrorists. But then again, if it was my kid in there, I might not give a crap.

        1. The history of police response to random public mass murders is not good. Logsdon’s 2007 attack on a Kansas City mall had a low death count because the police were there within a couple of minutes of his opening fire — but this is very atypical. Obviously, before you go into a situation like this, you tell several bystanders to describe you and why you are going in armed to the police when they arrive.

        2. At this point, I can only recall a single instance of the “police will shoot you because they think you’re the threat” meme actually playing out in the real world. As I recall, that was in NY, and a cop ended up killing an off-duty officer from a different agency.

          That whole meme seems to grow out of the assumption that the only people with guns are either cops or criminals, which really only seems to be prevalent in large left-leaning urban centers.

          As such, I wouldn’t count on it being that big of an issue once you got about 30-45 minutes out of Philadelphia/Pittsburg, and out of the city limits of Reading/Allentown.

    3. An SKS or a Garand would be good choices if you are concerned about leaving magazines loaded for a long time. Strippers or M1 clips don’t go bad sitting around loaded.


      1. The reason for the SKS was that at least with the standard 10 round magazine, it doesn’t look like an assault rifle, but a hunting gun, and they were, at the time, cheap enough* that if it was destroyed in a traffic accident, it was not a big deal. They also were not an assault weapon as defined by Roberti-Roos at the time. By now, for all I know, California has defined anything that isn’t a muzzleloader as an assault weapon.

        *I think I was paying about $90 each for them as a dealer.

  3. In either of the above cases, donating a gun to a mob doesn’t sound like a good idea.
    If SHTF *and* you have enough standoff to deploy it *and* you can’t continue to get elsewhere for whatever reason, then yeah, it would be handy. That’s kind of a narrow window.
    I’ll continue to rely on the gun in my waistband for the other 99.9% of threats.

  4. Because sometimes you can’t drive away?

    ” Surveillance video from the club shows Rodriguez in a white shirt leaving the club, which has since closed. Then, a large group follows him. Moments later, there would be a shooting, and you will see people running back into the club.

    The defense for Rodriguez argued that he was beaten, surrounded by a large group and felt his life was in danger. Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew Rier said, “He had been beaten, he was bleeding from his mouth, nose and head. He was blocked in. His truck could not pull out. He has no criminal record.”

    Read more:

  5. Narrow window, yes, but still considered for the same reasons I have a bug-out bag in the trunk.

    1. In short, it gives the owner some peace of mind.

      Also, it makes it practical to go to the range on short notice.

  6. Truck guns are mostly useful for people who don’t or can’t carry a gun on them.

    (That said, say, a folding carbine in the trunk or secured in a lockbox in the passenger compartment might have utility.

    Enough to make it worthwhile? That’s always the question, innit?)

    1. I used to drive back and forth to Bend, Oregon every couple of weeks for the consulting job from hell (but better than being unemployed, which was the only available option). I carried a pistol on me (and yes, I have an Oregon CHL), but in the event that I ended up stranded by the side of the very lonely highway between here and there, I kept a Marlin Camp Carbine 9mm in the storage compartment of the Corvette. It turns out with the Ramline folding stock for the Camp Carbine, it fit so well into the storage space that it looked like Chevrolet’s engineers had measured it to fit. And with the Camp Carbine, I had 200 rounds immediately available.

    1. Am I reading this right? You can legally carry loaded mags, but not the gun they are for???

      1. No.

        In some states, loaded mag + totally unloaded gun (read: no magazine inserted, no chambered round) = loaded gun.

        He was saying that recent changes in Ohio’s statutes have rid them of the idiotic notion above. As a result, he can keep the magazines for his trunk gun loaded and still have a gun that is unloaded, and therefore legal to transport as such.

  7. The only way I can have a firearm with me the majority of my day is in a specific form of trunk gun. Otherwise, I face a 45 minute one-way commute without anything.

  8. I have one when I camp, which is a lot, since help is a long way away and there are hazards that are different than the city but otherwise the risk is greater than the payoff.

  9. This post clearly needs more SBRs. :-P

    I believe you’ve said before that rifles are for when the police are days away. Some people might find themselves in situations like that with cars fairly often.

    Another reason would be the “most dangerous” scenario of a Beslan, Mumbai, LA Riots, or other multiple-active-shooter type terrorist attack.

    Another reason would be the option to arm another individual, or to increase your posture. If for some reason you get advance warning that things are going squirrely, you can break out the long gun and give it to a passenger to literally ride shotgun for the ride home (or to a safe place).

    I personally don’t necessarily feel the need to have a trunk gun 100% of the time but it is comforting to have a rifle in the car on some occasions.

    1. Emergency medicine has lately popularized the notion of a “golden hour” for getting critical patients to appropriate care, and I believe that a similar concept applies to armed self-defense.

      In cases where police response/medical evac times are in excess of 30-60 minutes, the advantages of having an accessible long gun start to outweigh the disadvantages. From there, the benefits increase at a geometric rate as response times continue to rise.

  10. “What gun for trunk?”

    “Well, most trunks don’t move real fast and aren’t very strong, so pretty much anything will work.”

  11. Trunk guns also work well when one has a flat tire or other disabled car schenario. One person can be armed and standing off a bit, while another changes tires or repairs the car. If the group of young men dressed like gang members offers to help change the tire, great. If their intentions are less helpful, well, they are unlikely to proceed without really wanting to do so.

    An unlikely scenario, yet I have changed quite a few tires in my time and felt rather vulnerable during each one.

  12. “What’s the point of a trunk gun? If you can make it to your car, why not just get in and drive away?”

    I always figured that home (where rifles are normally kept) wasn’t an option anymore. You can get in the car and get out of dodge and still have the protection a rifle affords you. This is the primary reason I carry my rifle when I’m away from the home on travel.

  13. Secured to (not loose in) the vehicle (theft is far more likely than needing to speed-deploy a long gun) not for immediate use but for if you can’t leave with the vehicle and/or are in the one in a million scenario where you need the reach and/or firepower.

    Such as: Not SHTF but just Sudden Onset Urban Trouble, you’re at work when the riots start but still need to get home. Your usual route is clear… for now… but who knows what will change when you’re in traffic? Bug-out bag and “trunk gun” come up with the driver just in case.

    Assuming you aren’t on and off prohibited property every day, and you’re smart enough to lock the thing up since it isn’t on your person, there’s no real downside in most places to having a trunk gun.

    1. This is where a Discrete Case can earn it’s cost. Best to have the weapon in a case/bag that doesn’t scream “gun” to anyone who could see inside your vehicle, while trying to get to your destination. Folding/collapsing stocks really help in this type case. Helps, even when in the trunk, to fool the casual viewer when you have it open for groceries, spare tire, etc.

      1. And with a chain or cable through the receiver locked to a frame element.

        Most car break-ins are smash and grabs without tools, but in the off chance someone pops your trunk you don’t want them to just grab the thing and walk away, make them work for it.

      2. “This is where a Discrete Case can earn it’s cost. Best to have the weapon in a case/bag that doesn’t scream “gun” to anyone who could see inside your vehicle”

        The primary issue is that most of the “discrete” gun bags I’ve seen tend to be patterned on tennis racket or guitar bags, both being items that have value on the black market.

        What good does it do to disguise one high value target as another?

        1. The point was to have the gun not look like a gun to the casual observer in a temporarly open trunk, not to leave it in full view on the seat all day. Most car break ins are smash and grabs in the cab, trunks aren’t usually targeted.

          The other example was to have it with you in the cab during times of unrest. You can quickly deploy it but it won’t draw the attention a bare rifle would, likewise if you have to get out and walk but the situation isn’t full on urban combat. At that point you want to be low-profile to all and “guy with a non-descript bag” is less likely to attract law enforcement or criminal attention than “man with a rifle.”

    1. That is my current “Trunk Gun”. AR Pistol.

      Why have one- well, what if I can get to the car, but CAN’T drive away? Either roads are blocked, EMP, mass civil unrest, gas shortage, etc… and I have to walk the 30 miles home from work. Well- it sure would be nice to have an AR pistol in a tennis racquet bag to keep me company on the long walk.

      1. I see an advantage to pistols in this situation. Not visibly armed may be a plus, when you DON’T draw attention to yourself during that long walk home. But you are not helpless either.


    2. Pragmatically…

      You can fit your existing 16″ AR with collapsible stock in a discrete carry bag for the price of the bag.

      SBR’s would be ideal but take stamp money and approval time, and you have to buy “another gun”, as opposed to simply using the AR you already own.

      Pistol AR’s lose you the longer range “shootibility” and are “another gun” investment. At that point just get whatever extended cap mags for your normal pistol are available and save the dough.

  14. How about driving a deuce-and-half, and hanging claymores around the outside, “This side toward enemy,” like in ‘Nam? :-)

  15. “Your pistol is for fighting your way back to the rifle you should not have left behind.” Kinda hard to do when it’s miles away…

  16. You know, most of these scenario descriptions are urban in nature. There’s lots of reasons for those far outside metro areas to find a handy long gun to have more utility. Adjust flavor of long gun to the environment, of course. We kept shotguns near when growing up. Any opportunity to drop a pesky squirrel from the pecan orchard, or a number of other hazards, usually of 4 or no legged variety. Adjust ammunition as required.

    Probably why I still find a shotgun a more natural feel than an AR.

    1. That’s because having a long gun at hand in rural areas is a tradition based on any number of practical, daily-ish, uses.

      Trunk guns in urban areas, where there aren’t dangerous wild animals, tasty game animals, or varmints running around, and thus the only purpose to have one is for self-defense, are very different things. It’s really a completely distinct topic.

      1. Contrary to popular belief, dangerous wild animals are an increasing problem in many urban and suburban communities.

  17. I’ve always thought the Mosin-Nagant makes for a great trunk gun.

    It’s powerful, accurate, and a $100. Granted limited magazine. But hey, if you run out of ammo in a right. You’ve got a honking bayonet.

    It’s old…not very intimidating.

    Very slender…

    If stolen, unlikely to be used in a crime. And only a $100 loss.

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