Firearms

It Ain’t a Party ‘Till the Trunk Guns Come Out: Top 10 Choices

AK-47 pistol

If your local laws allow it, having a dedicated weapon stashed in your trunk or behind the back seat of your vehicle can grant peace of mind if you have to bug-out or simply give you an added level of firepower if you’re on the road during an unexpected deadly situation.

The ideal truck gun is a relatively compact long gun or rifle caliber pistol. Why? Because daily life dictates there still needs to be room in your vehicle’s cargo space for things such as groceries and the kid’s sports gear. It also needs to be inexpensive, as it doesn’t make much sense to sink thousands of dollars into a gun that’s likely going to sit idle for most of its life. That being said, poor reliability isn’t an option: Your truck gun simply has to work when it counts.

We didn’t include any pistol caliber handguns on our list, as you should be carrying one concealed on a daily basis anyway (state and local laws permitting, of course). As a general rule of thumb, if your pants are on, your gun needs to be on. Your truck gun is simply a firearm with additional capabilities over your carry gun, and since you don’t have to worry about concealing it on your person, compact long guns simply make sense from a practical standpoint.

Here are our top 10 choices for “at-the-ready” vehicle weapons, in no particular order.

AK-47 pistol
The PAP M92 just might be the quintessential modern truck gun.

 1. PAP M92

The PAP M92 just might be the quintessential modern truck gun. Its 10-inch barrel and familiar set of controls (think AK-47) give users a fully featured, compact blaster chambered in the ever-popular 7.62×39 cartridge. Leave it like it comes, or send off $200 and a stack of paperwork to the federal government to convert it to a legal short-barreled rifle. Either way, the fact that it readily accepts standard AK magazines will make it a favorite choice for many daily drivers.

Price: $505.99

 2. Mossberg Maverick 88 Security

Maverick 88 pump-action shotgun with black finish
Dual extractors and action bars to match also mean that reliability is built in from the ground up

There are few problems that a solid 12-gauge shotgun can’t immediately rectify, and the Maverick 88 definitely matches that description. It’s a little longer than most of the guns on our list, but the slim overall profile makes up for it. Dual extractors and action bars to match also mean that reliability is built in from the ground up. If you’re the kind of gun owner that can get more done with less, the Maverick 88 needs to be behind your truck’s back seat. Click here to read more about the Maverick 88.

Price: $238.45

 3. Kel-Tec SU-16

Picture shows a Kel-Tec SU-16C rifle, with the buttstock partially folded.
The Kel-Tec SU-16C has a unique folding stock.

No list of truck guns is complete without at least mentioning the Kel-Tec SU-16. This little guy actually folds completely in half, and fits in the smallest of spaces. Even though you could (almost) put it in your back pocket, the SU-16 features a very clever integral bipod—perfect for picking off varmints on the ranch from the hood of your truck. The best parts? It accepts any AR-15 magazine, and features a hardy chrome-lined bore and chamber. Click here or here to read more about the Kel-Tec SU-16 rifle.

Price: $470.58

 4. Hi-Point 995TS Carbine

Hi Point Carbine chambered in .380 with tan digital camouflage
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more rugged little carbine to keep behind the spare tire.

Scoff if you will at the homely appearance and unpolished features of the Hi-Point 995TS, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more rugged little carbine to keep behind the spare tire. With the ability to accept all types of 9mm Luger ammo, up to +P pressures, the 995TS has the versatility needed to get you home when the chips are down. Plus, it’s made right here in the US of A. Click here to read more about the Hi-Point Carbine.

Price: $247.28

 5. Century Arms International M70

Century International Arms M70AB Underfolder Rifle
Century International Arms M70AB Underfolder Rifle

Slap open the under-folding stock on the Century Arms M70, and you’ll be wielding a full-sized carbine that brings everything positive about the AK-47 to your local gunfight. The M70 can go from a svelte car companion to a ready-for-business long gun in about the same amount of time it takes to say it. Stock up on a handful of 30-round magazines, and say hello to peace of mind. Click here to read about the AK-47.

Price: $496.81

 6. Standard Manufacturing DP-12

Double-barreled pump-action shotgun DP-12
Who can resist sixteen rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells in a package that isn’t even 30” long?

Ok, we know that this doesn’t exactly meet the “inexpensive” goal of our ideal truck gun, but who can resist sixteen rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells in a package that isn’t even 30 inches long? We’d advise keeping some spare shells handy, but if you need more than 16 shots you’d better hope your buddy brought his truck (complete with truck gun) along as well. Click here to read more about the DP-12.

Price $1,395

 7. Rossi Model 92

Wood stocked Rossi lever-action rifle
Guns like this have been riding along with their owners since before the motorized vehicle was invented.

Simple is good. And the Rossi Model 92 is about as simple as it gets! Guns such as these have been riding along with their owners since before the motorized vehicle was invented, and they can still get the job done today. As a major plus, the Rossi Model 92 is compatible with all .357 Magnum and .38 Special loads, which means you’re in luck if your EDC handgun is also chambered in one of these calibers.

Price: $513.46

 8. Henry U.S. Survival .22 LR

Henry Survival rifle packed in the buttstock
It also floats, when stashed in the stock… boat gun, anybody?

.22 Long Rifle is by no means an ideal choice for self-defense, but it’s a great selection for small game and survival situations. The Henry U.S. survival rifle is so compact once you slip the barreled action into the buttstock, it would serve well as a backup under-the-seat gun to your regular trunk gun. It also floats, when stashed in the stock… boat gun, anybody?

Price: $237.29

 9. Savage Hog Hunter

Savage Hog Hunter bolt-action rifle
The Savage Hog Hunter is a nearly perfect truck gun right out of the box.

Nearly as slim as a svelte lever action carbine, the Savage Hog Hunter is a nearly perfect truck gun right out of the box. In a move that’s sadly becoming rarer and rarer these days, Savage chose to equip the Hog Hunter with a rugged set of big-game style iron sights. Just add a sling (and maybe an inexpensive micro red dot) and you’ll be ready for anything.

Price: $487.59 for .223 and $489.14 for .308

10. Del-Ton Sport Lite AR-15

Black, AR-15 rifle made by Del-Ton
Keeping an AR for your trunk gun helps simplify training, parts compatibility, and familiarity.

It can be hard to get away from the AR-15 platform these days, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having a truck gun with the same sight picture and controls as your primary defensive rifle can greatly simplify things like training, parts compatibility and user familiarity. The lightweight profile barrel keeps the weight down, which is ideal for firing schedules that don’t call for regular magazine dumps.

Price: $482.94

Part of a Complete Preparedness Mindset

Stashed with a spare magazine or two, or bandolier of shells, the above guns can get you out of pretty much any sticky situation without breaking the bank (for the most part). Add a first-aid kit, water filtration system and a few days’ worth of pre-packaged food, and you’ll be set for the beginning of the apocalypse and most of whatever may come afterwards.

We know you’ve got a shotgun or rifle-caliber blaster stashed someplace handy in your vehicle. What’s your favorite “get out of dodge” gun? Let us know in the comment section.

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The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (102)

  1. The idea of a truck gun is fascinating but probably not recommended for most folks. Anybody ever see what happens to a rifle when left in a vehicle for extended periods through all types of weather such as we have in the Midwest? Driving on wet, snowy roads in winter with salty air and in humid summer weather can wreak havoc on a rifle. Of course, the rifle should be periodically removed and thoroughly cleaned but we know that many people probably won’t do that. How many drivers routinely check the air in their spare tire? If you’re not paying attention to vehicle maintenance, gun maintenance is probably slipping as well.

    When one finally needs the rifle, it may well be rusted, unreliable and unsafe. If there is ever a need to leave the vehicle unattended, the rifle is likely to be stolen. If the stolen rifle ends up in the hands of a minor, you could be liable for any damage or harm done by your rifle.

    I think it is far better to concentrate on carrying the best, most reliable pistol with spare ammo and magazines.

    Also, I would avoid stashing any short-barreled rifles or any weapon that does not meet the BATF definition of a rifle. That is, the barrel should not be less than 16 inches and overall length should not be less than 26 inches. If the weapon is not considered a rifle, then it should be registered as a pistol. That’s more paperwork and another thing to worry about.

    I think if one is going to keep a long gun in the trunk, then it should be something simple with minimal levers, switches. It should be wrapped in an oily towel or cased with dessicant. The gun should be low cost, probably used and it should have very low commercial or street value. The gun should not be stored loaded but it should be fast and easy to load with ammo that is hidden in the car.

    So what would I use for a truck gun? If I was so inclined, I would stash a used 12 gauge or 20 gauge Mossberg pump action shotgun that would cost no more than $150 at a pawn shop. As the writer pointed out, even a new Mossberg Maverick shotgun can be bought for less than $250. The shotgun barrel can be easily removed for storage and hiding. If a thief finds the shotgun, he won’t easily find the barrel if it is hidden separately. A used lever action .30-30 rifle can be had for $250 or less but it won’t easily break down. A Mosin Nagant surplus rifle can be had for as little as $100 and the bolt can be removed for safe storage. These are potent weapons that are low cost, reliable and hard hitting. Street value is low and these weapons are not as attractive to criminals as an AK-47 or AR-15.

    1. My point is that looking like a wolf gets wolves killed. They never see the rancher that shoots them. You won’t look helpless unless you are very very weak looking. Even then how you carry yourself makes more of a difference than anything else. There are plenty of people that won’t see you as dangerous just because you have a visible weapon. You have to be concerned about all of the people who see you but you don’t see them. Those people won’t shoot you just because.

  2. I think one thing to remember is in a shtf scenario, if you really need a gun to get home then things have gone very very badly in the world. At that point I don’t think it’s a good idea to walk around in public by yourself or in a small group with a visible weapon. The opportunities for someone to snipe you and take your weapon are endless. You can only succeed in making yourself a target or nontarget in that scenario. Being armed with a really cool rifle and a tactical pack would make many people want to shoot you and take your stuff. Even a guy with a 22 can kill you without you ever seeing him.

    1. You make a good point, David. So, in that SHTF scenario, initially having that concealed pistol and trained to use it comes first. That would be the case where “you use your pistol to get to your rifle” (trunk gun). Discretion is more important, especially in a SHTF scenario, than to look tacti-cool.

  3. All of this trunk-gun talk, reminded me of an old movie, in which the hero had the ultimate trunk-gun. The movie, Deal of the Century, with Chevy Chase. Chase’s character is in S.A. to make a gun sale, little punk comes up, holding a tiny revolver and robs Chase at gun point, wallet shoes. In the back of Chase’s station wagon is a large crate. The punk wants to know what’s in the crate, Chase opens the crate, pulls out an M-60, takes the punk’s gun, money and shoes. This would be the ultimate trunk-gun for any situation, at least I think so.

    1. @ RL Diehl.

      Well, the three you mentioned do have a way of “Reaching Out and Touching Someone”. Before they can get into range, of you!

  4. I carry my sidearm as well as my M92 PAP under the backseat in the Jeep. One 30 Round mag and one 75 round loaded, yet uncharged, drum is my get home weapon. Remember, this is for a sudden emergency, so not too likely to need hundreds and hundreds of rounds or multiple weapons/calibers to get home. If things are that bad we’ll have seen it coming. Jus’ my two cents.

  5. I have a Savage 24J .22LR/.410GA in my vehicle as well. I bought a buttstock cheek rest for it. It holds 10 shot shells and a pill bottle with .22 Long Rifle bullets. I also keep a few adapters in there, one that reduces .20 GA to .410GA/.45 LC and one for .38 SPL.

  6. I ordered the tactical conversion from cheaper than dirt, and now my Mossburg 88 is complete. Tried to upload a picture, but couldn’t. Does not even look like the same gun.

  7. The down-side of shotguns & full-power rifles too, is they and their ammo are HEAVY! If your vehicle is inoperable-say, EMD attack or just roads hopelessly clogged with everyone trying to escape at once, you want your load as light as possible.

    1. I don’t know about you but in event of emp I have to go home and get my wife and kids. Weight will matter more when we leave together. The gun that gets me home doesn’t need to be light or good for hunting.

  8. I have to second the utility and advantage of an AR Pistol. I home built one for under $700. It has a 7″ barrel and a folding buffer tube for storage. Overall length when folded is about 18″. It deploys really quickly and the controls are all standard AR. It’ll ring steel at 100yds all day long. Not a truly long range option but it beats a smaller pistol. For added versatility I added a CMMG drop-in 22 LR bolt and a couple of mags for plinking and small game.

  9. Good article. My truck gun is a Savage model 24 in 22LR over 20 ga. My EDC pistol is for defending myself, and my truck gun is for feeding myself on my walk home…

  10. I’m surprised that an AR pistol was not included. I carry one in my car with 5 30 round mags to go with it. Having a CHL and being able to carry a loaded AR anywhere in the car is a huge plus for me.

  11. Personally I like the 870. A police style electric/mechanical(key) lock mounted under the package shelf makes the gun invisible when you open the trunk unless you bend over and look up. It also keeps the trunk clear for anything else. Remember to set the electric lock so it only works with the key on, and due to most state game laws keep it unloaded.

  12. @ Carbine Barrel Proofing.

    A “Military” Carbine Barrel, is Proofed at Rifle Standards with a 130% Maximum Load Charge, Designed for that particular barrel. It start’s to get “Fuzzy” when it come’s to “Civilian” Carbines. Some Gun Manufacturer’s have been “Hedging Their Bet’s” by Proof Charging their Carbine Barrels at Pistol Load Charges at 125% of MINIMUM Design Loads. Be sure you Know What Your Actually Buying BEFORE you buy that “+P” or “+P+” Ammunition. It could SAVE YOUR or YOUR’S “LIVES”…

  13. Here’s some of mine to add to the list. I know it’s contentious.
    Ruger 10-22 take down
    Marlin 1894 Carbine in 38/357
    Folding stock AK series
    Ithaca Mdl 37
    Remington 870 Turkey Express
    Plus the Kel-tech folding carbines ( I really need to get hands on one of these)

  14. My choices in order:
    1) Ruger 10/22 .22LR or AR-type .22LR carbine
    2) Mossberg M590 w/ screw-in modified choke (need gunsmith to do this) and 1 Buck
    3) Marlin 9mm Camp Carbine or lever action in .357 Mag

  15. The article on Trunk Guns states that NO pistol caliber guns are included in Best Trunk Guns ?? If that is the case, how did the Hi Point 9mm Carbine get on the list ?????

    1. I made the same mistake (see my previous comments). He said no pistol caliber HANDGUNS, not carbines. I know . . . duh.

  16. Trucks keep changing and with that, the places to store a carbine or shotgun change too. Some trucks offer lots of options but unfortunately the Tundra 2003 does not, at least not in the cab. Now, next time I go shopping for a truck, small rifle or shotgun storage will be at the top of my desired options list. In the meantime, my Taurus 92 secure in a “Life Jacket” lock will have to do.

  17. I have an sbr’ed M92. A 75 round drum and an XPS2 and you have more firepower at your fingertips than your average perp. Fits in front of the back seat of my jeep with the rest of my crap. Accuracy past 100 yards isnt necessary for me in a truck gun package. I keep 2 drums under the rear seats.

  18. +1 on the Maverick. I’ve got a Hogue over molded short stock on mine and an 18 inch barrel with vent rib. I put a limb saver slip on pad(small) and it sure don’t hurt to shoot. Also a six round side saddle. Fully loaded it’s 12 rounds and the lack of the metal loading port guard like the 870 has makes it easier to reload. No spring is trying to push the shell you are loading back out of the gun the way the 870 does. I love the 870 but the 88 is easier to load. Shoulder fire or hip fire at close range. When holding it in hip fire position the barrel only extends about 5 inches past your left hand. Very compact. Slugs make for single death shots and no spray of pellets at long range though the accuracy is not as good as a rifle. But a truck gun, to me, is not a tack driver anyway. 12 gauge is the most versatile and lethal gun you can get and its cheap and reliable. What else?

  19. The funny thing is that a large percentage of vehicles these days don’t even have trunks. And I thought the purpose of a trunk gun was for quick access when you are in a jam, how can a rifle that you have to put together help?

  20. .300 blackout pistol is my truck gun. Fits in my level 3a bullet proof backpack, which I can also wear in front. Even have an ar500 plate for it. The pistol is with a 10 inch upper, phase 5 pistol buffer tube, maco tritium backup sights, and a vortex venom mini red dot. It is as accurate as any rifle, and 100% radical! ~1000 dollars

  21. Be sure to check your State regulations before you just throw a loaded firearm in your trunk or behind the seat in your pickup. I believe in a lot of States it may be illegal. Here in Michigan, there are very strict laws concerning this. They require it to be unloaded, in a case, in a locked trunk or out of reach of the driver, and the ammunition stored separate from the firearm. Having a CPL (Concealed Pistol License) makes no difference, as it is only for a “pistol”.

    1. I agree with the insight, however the papM92 “Cocked and Locked” is ok if you have a Michigan CPL in Michigan the pap is a ak47 pistol and is registered as such, and the trunk is considered a concealed location. But good luck to the owner of the pap ak47 pistol, CPL or not explaining to the “out of the academy yesterday” officer that finds it in your trunk at 2am for no apparent reason. LOL (Note: the PAP M92 is my get her done gun, she will rock and roll everytime)…..

  22. My opinions: PAP M92? I don’t get what these sawn-off rifles are good for. You lose the ability to hit at long range, a .45 better @ close range.
    12 ga. shotgun: good stopping pwr but again, only @ close range plus it & ammo is heavy-your vehicle may not be usable for various reasons & you may have to hoof it.
    Which brings us to the SU-16; Aaaah! Light wt., handy, reliable & good out to 300yds. plus! My choice.
    Hi-Point carbine: 2nd best IMHO; also available in .40 S&W & .45ACP. You give up range but gain interchangeability w/ pistol mags/ammo; low price a plus.
    Century Arms M70 AK-type rifle: fine if you like the AKs; personal preference. Super reliable but ugly & not very accurate. For a bargain-basement entry how about an SKS? I have seen them for 250$. not as light & handy as the rest but if strapped for cash get one & save for something better.
    DP 12; not my style but could be good for city-dweller. Stray pellets hitting innocents a negative.
    Rossi 92: Cool gun! excellent companion to revolver in .38/.357 also made in .44 mag. If your E&E area includes big game the .44 can handle it. Doesn’t cause as much panic in hoplophobes as an AK.
    Henry .22: A neat gun & I like Henry’s “made in America” but as the text says; only as back up to more serious weapon
    Savage Hog Hunter: good choice for rural area, w/good scope gives long-range potential. Alternate choice: Sporterized Enfield SMLE, Jungle Carbine Moisin 7.62X54R or sporterized Mauser. Advantage: might be cheaper & can be reloaded faster w/stripper clips, plenty reliable & proven to get the job done. Del-Tron AR-15: Not familiar w/it. If reliable would be a good choice but if you already have an AR why get another?
    Jeff Cooper once proposed the 30-30 lever gun w/scout scope as a fine low-cost assault weapon. 45-70 or .444/450 Marlin etc. in big bear country; why not? Core lesson here; whatever suits you, have SOMETHING!

    1. Hello, with all due respect the PAP AK47 pistol is a devastating up close and personal save you A$!, I carry a 1911 primarily, however in a firefight it is no match for the firepower and accuracy of the PAP AK47, it is a myth by people that have never owned or ran them that a 10″ barrel ak is inaccurate, that is 5″ more barrel than the 5″ pistol that you would say is accurate? Again my 9 rounds of .45acp is no match for 30 7.62x39mm rounds coming at cha’. Also with all do respect if the zombies come 300 yards is cool, but good luck justifying a “righteous shoot” 200 yards away, you life is in danger 10 yards or less, so I guess the ultimate “trunk weapon” depends on your geographic location and purpose for the gun. 30/30s in the city is a bit much. I’m just saying. And I agree 1000% have something and know how it works, don’t be the guy carrying a sidearm or trunk gun and never fired it, (its a Sig so it good right? WRONG! Every manufacturer puts out bad product and guess what it might be the pretty new sig you bought..but never shot, bad guys test thier guns as soon as the get them to know they “rock and roll”, law abiding folk should do the same. If its not tested and true, don’t TOTE IT!

    2. @Marcel:

      Yes I thought the earlier post comparing the PAP M92 pistol (which I own) to a 1911 was laughable. The 100 yard target is easy to hit with me standing up (no bench rest). And yes, your 10″ to 5″ barrel comparison is right on the money. So even though you’re a 1911 owner, thanks for observing that the prior poster was incorrect.

      Also, I totally agree with your “I guess the ultimate “trunk weapon” depends on your geographic location and purpose for the gun”.

      Thanks for your post!

    3. marcel, absolutely, 7.62×39 tops .45 ACP anytime. I too am a 1911 fan and it is a great little deterrent to those that wish you harm, but passed 50-60 yards, I want something with a little more ‘horse power’. Now, as for a ‘righteous shoot’ at 300 yards, in a SHTF situation, are you really going to worry about legalities? Especially if you are all that is between your family and ‘goblins’ that want what you have and are willing to kill you and all with you to get it.

  23. Don’t sell the Hi-Point because of the 10 round mag capacity yet. At least 3 companies, including Hi-point are supposed to be coming out with larger capacity mags. By the way-I disagree with the comment that the Hi-point carbine doesn’t add any additional “zip” to the pistol caliber ammo used in them. It is very apparent that mine does when I shoot .45ACP in it. I shot into ballistic gel with my Tisas 1911 with FMJ military ammo and then with the same ammo in my Hi-point, and the HI-point gave me about 3″ deeper penetration and an obvious increase in disruption of the gel. Granted, I ain’t no expert, but I ain’t blind either. I’d expect similar results with the 9mm and .40 carbines too. I wish somebody would do some “official” comparison testing and verify what seems obvious.

    1. Generally it’s been 100-300 fps faster out of a 16″ carbine than a pistol from what I’ve seen. It does give a little more “knock down” power and accuracy.

  24. My trunk gun is an SKS model M In 16″ barrel with a TAPCO collapsible stock with a custom slide fire.
    Short,Reliable,accurate and takes standard AK mags.
    I’m very surprised this inexpensive, accurate,and reliable little gem didn’t make the list.

  25. I really wish I had not sold my Hi-Point .45 Carbine. Yea, stupid, I know. That ugly duck was super reliable and tuff and the perfect trunkster.

  26. I travel a lot and it isn’t always in gun friendly states. My biggest problem is California. I also don’t like leaving a rifle, or handgun in my vehicle when I’m not going to be in it for a while. Too much of a chance for it to be stolen. When I do have a trunk gun it’s usually my CZ VZ58 with a few mags. When I go in at the end of my trip it goes with me. When traveling in California I end up carrying a bolt action rifle either in .308, or .25-06. Hardly anything I own is legal in Cali. The only handguns I can have in my motorhome are my Kahr PM9 and a pair of Model P 45LC SAA pistols. Even at that they have to be unloaded and stored in locked cases. Unless I’m visiting family I avoid California like the plague. The CZ VZ58 does make for an excellent trunk gun though.

  27. There’s a company that Specializes in making “Tricked Out” Vintage Combat Rifle’s in Pistol Configuration with M1-Carbine Type Folding Stocks called (www. BecauseWeLiveHere. com) that has .303 Lee-Enfields Mk. III’s and IV’s. I’m hoping they have them in M1 Garand or 98k Mauser as well…

    1. ATTN: BecauseWeLiveHere. com

      Forget it THEY DON’T EXIST. It was a Trick “Pinterest” Interest Site. At least it gave me a Working Interest, in doing the Modifications Myself…

  28. It isn’t the most modern and doesn’t pack the most firepower but my old Winchester 94 in 30-30 is my choice. Why? Because I’m comfortable with it and it’s a very reliable platform. Is it ideal? No, but it works for me!

    1. @ Andy.

      If you want to improve the Performance of the Rifle, Upgrade to an .30-30 Ackley Improved Cartridge. Approximately a 7% improvement in Muzzle Velocity and a 25% improvement in Range…

  29. Well I guess I’m going to be a little underequipped. I am going to stick my Little Badger singe shot .22 in my truck. It’s more of a survival thing than a self-defense weapon, but it brings a certain peace of mind that those on the above list do not: If someone steals it, it is highly unlikely I will be indirectly responsible for anyone’s death. It’s not a good rifle for a drive-by or bank robbery. 😀

  30. l carry ak47, usp45, colt xsp,4 ‘knife,machete,hammer,tire iron ,rope and hand tools . you try something stupid ill be nice and grant you one wish ,by what means do you want to die ! btw my ak shoots through truck doors we practice with junk cars sitting in the drivers that’s how we roll down in mississippi !

    1. Pretty much any center fire rifle caliber will penetrate a vehicle door. AKs have more power than a 5.56, but they’ll penetrate as well. We used to load our 5.56 mags with alternating Green Tip and AP rounds in Iraq so we could also have a better chance of taking out an engine if necessary.

    2. i feel you man i have 2 m4s and 1 ar rifle . when i’m roll n or working in memphis the 3rd deadlesr city in the u.s. my milled ak 63 un-fold shoots better from my lap . only difference is gang bangers love their rides so no suicide bombers but they do shoot all the time in traffic . firepower ,head on swivel and don’t get pinned down.

  31. I believe another good couple of choices for a trunk gun is a m-1 carbine and the paratrooper model . Both are very compact and have decent firepower.

    1. Mr. Anderson, I would be hesitant to commit a .30 Carbine of any configuration to being a ‘trunk gun’. I am not slamming the weapon. The .30 is a great little rifle. I should know, carried one as a ‘truck gun’ in that little dust-up in S.E.Asia. It was an M-2, great for ‘running firefights.’ Just stuck it out the door and hammered away,on full auto as I unassed the area, as fast as my truck would run.. But none, especially the paratrooper model should be left to bounce around in a trunk.

    2. I agree Tim. Sure wish I could find one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Loved that gun before the M-16 came out, and still love it. My Hi-Point 40 cal carbine will do the job, but you need a truck to carry it around because of the weight.

  32. Thanks to AL gun laws, I’ve got a handgun (and holster), box of ammo, 12GA & 00 buck shells in each vehicle. I hate the idea of being someplace and being caught without at least ability to protect myself and my family

    “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”

  33. Another great “Party gun!” for the family truckster would be a mini-14 or -30. Undeniable reliability. I have a stainless -14 with a folding ati stock that when folded I have carried in my back pack on a motorcycle. Stainless being better than a blued gun, moisture can cause havoc if the unit is left unattended in a vehicle through a couple midwestern seasons. A pitted blued Judge is my experience… Oops.

  34. My “trunk gun” is a KelTec Sub 2000 in 9mm for Glock magazines. I have three loaded 33 round 9mm magazines stored with it (rotated weekly to let springs rest) to compliment my (concealed carry) G22 with a full magazine and spare.

    1. Have to agree with you on this one. With the longer barrel the 124 grainers reach near .357 mag velocities and the accuracy is really surprising! I have a red dot sight on mine set up so I an co-witness the open sights, too. In a survival situation, and with bullets like the Hornady XTP, I wouldn’t hesitate to take game up to and including smaller white tails. And they’re just plain fun to shoot with those 33 round mags!!

  35. I am reluctant to put my “A” list in the vehicle. Not only do you open yourself up for theft, they may be tough to explain to an overzealous law enforcement officer. I am an advocate of have a firearm or two with me at all times. A few of my favorites: 1) Ruger 10-22 Takedown. 2) Henry AR-7. 3) Rossi Circuit Judge. I keep my “Trunk Guns” either packed in, or matched with a Get Home Bag.

  36. I agree with the above comment and would add that the Keltec KSG 12 gauge should replace the Keltec SU 16 on the list. The PAP 92 is a very sturdy and reliable AK pistol. I did SBR mine – legally. Number 1 choice for sure. I agree, great article.

  37. While waiting on my wife shopping, I read this article. We are out of town now while I’m committing and as I’m typing, I’m carrying the PAP M92. I’ve carried it on several trips with my handgun! It’s in a discreet case that doesn’t draw attention, if I need to take it in a hotel! Keep 4-30 round mags with it also! Highly recommend it!

  38. Well, My go to is the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1. Priced at $850, This 9mm little guy rocks, and With a few of the 30 rounders in tow, you can rock n roll for the duration of the confrontation…

  39. Excellent selection of guns. I have only one point of contention, the Kel-Tec. Perhaps it was just my impression of the first generation of these weapons, but those that I handled didn’t seem all that sturdy, and indeed to me and a few friends, they seemed downright flimsy and untrustworthy. Perhaps the newer ones are better. Anyway, great article. Next time you do an article on ‘stowaway’ guns, perhaps you could throw in a few that fit in to motorcycle saddlebags. Thanks.

    1. My truck weapon and survival weapon are one in the same the Springfield SOCOM 16 with a folding stock the.308 caliber is the best weapon platform and survival weapon that I know of

  40. I know it’s a Top 10 and you can’t make everyone happy but I’m surprised you left off the SKS and the Ruger Mini’s (14 or 30). The mini 14 was my trunk gun for many years and a reliable old beater can be had for pretty cheap.

    I also felt the High-Point and the Henry were out of place. The High-Point because it was a smaller pistol caliber not significantly enhanced by a longer barrel so, IMHO, not much of an improvement over your regular carry. The Henry because of the .22s modest power. The Henry would certainly be a contender in situations where taking small game is a consideration. In that vein, don’t forget the take down 10/22.

    Out of your list the one I’d like to get is the Rossi. A pistol caliber but one significantly enhanced by a carbine length barrel. Actually, I want the Henry too.

  41. Here is a couple more:
    Ruger 77-357, 18′ barrel, 5.5lbs, versatile ammo out to 100 yards, god companion to a host of reliable accurate revolvers.

    Kel Tec Sub2000., compact, storage, semi auto with large mag capacity, uses glock mags, great companion to glock pistols

  42. Unless one lives in high crime rate area “Bug out” not necessary. Targets on the move are more vulnerable that fixed. locations. ??which easier target a rolling Wells Fargo stagecoach or the Fort Knox Gold vault??

    1. USMC RET – What you say may be true, but none of us lives in Fort Knox. Most of us live in normal houses that can be burnt to ashes by a molotov cocktail or peppered into Swiss cheese from a distance with regular high-powered rifles. There ARE times when it’s best to heed the old adage of “When you have to turn and run away, you live to fight another day.” I believe this article is about those times.

  43. Keltec PLR-16. AR-15 functionality in a shorter-than AR pistol configuration, for very little money, and 100% reliable. Excellent truck gun. ‘Nuf said.

    1. +1. PLR16 is in my arsenal, and is my travel gun when I feel the need to “gun up” more than just a carry handgun. I think compactness is important for a truck gun, and some of the list selections weren’t anywhere near compact.

      I also have the Hi Point 995 carbine. This was a solid selection on the list.

    2. Someday, on the PLR-16. I’ve been looking at them for a long time. So many guns, so little money.

  44. “We didn’t include any pistol caliber handguns on our list, as you should be carrying one concealed on a daily basis anyway (state and local laws permitting, of course).”

    Sorry to point out the obvious, but the Hi Point carbine is a pistol caliber, as can be the Rossi Model 92 so you did include pistol calibers in your article.

    Consequently, I would like to submit the Kel Tec Sub2000 for this list. It folds to 16″, uses (in our case) the same mags as my wife’s and my Berettas, and works like the champ it is. Pistol rounds have a higher velocity out of a longer barrel, and better accuracy due to the longer sight radius. Couple this gun with a nice soft, padded case, and it can bounce around under the seat all day and be ready for action in under a minute.

    Yeah, a true rifle round in better, but the Sub2000 is reliable, accurate and surprisingly efficient as a SHTF vehicle gun.

    1. @Mikial:

      Nice to see you back. I thought you had disappeared.

      I went to the Keltec website and the Sub2000 looks REALLY COOL!! If it can be configured to a Glock magazine then I could buy one of those after-market 32 round mags!!

      Is it called “sub” because they also offer it as a sub-machine gun?

      The huge disadvantage of my Hi-Point 9mm is 10 round mags.. I need to really consider selling it and buying a Sub2000.

    2. Hey, ss1.

      Naw, you folks’ll never be rid of me. 😉

      With how inexpensive the Hi Point is, you probably won;t get enough from it to make much of a dent in the cost of a Sub2000, so I’d keep them both.

      I think they went with the “Sub” name because it’s small like a subgun. Anyway, ours is set up to take Beretta mags since my wife and i both have one, but Glocks are cool too.

      I have an M4 pattern gun in .45 that uses my Glock 21 mags. I fitted it out with a bump fire trigger adapter that we’re going to test out monday. Hopefully it’ll be fun.

      But in general, I like my Sub2000. It is very reliable and accurate, although you have to get used to the minimal stock. I have an older one, but the new ones have rails so you can do more with them.

    3. @Mikial:

      Thanks for filling me in more on the Sub2000. It’s now on my short list of guns to buy. You’re right about the Hi-Point having such low trade in value, so it’s definitely not a priority to sell. I have some more expensive guns that I want to replace that are higher priority to sell.

      Regarding your M4 pattern gun, is that a Kel-Tec too? Good luck with you bump fire adapter.

    4. Better put the sub 2k on your long list. They are really hard to find, unless you want to pay way over list price. I got lucky last year and found one at a LGS here right as they were unpacking it. In fact they had 2. I should have bought both. The other one was gone by the end of the day. I’ve still got my eyes open for one of the new gen2’s. They are a neat little carbine. By the way, the one I got takes Glock 17 mags. I haven’t done it yet but, I’m thinking about cutting down the handgrip so it will accept Glock 19 mags, since I have one.

    5. @indiana steve:

      Thanks for the tip on the Sub2000 scarcity. If I happen to find one at a local retail store on short notice, do I need to ask or verify which type of mags it’s set up for? I want one that comes from the factory that will take the 33 round Glock mags.

      I’m currently a Glock 20 and 29 owner, so I’m not familiar with the 17 and 19.

      Also, thanks for the tip on the Gen2’s. Just learning about the Sub2000 on this forum, I didn’t know about the Gen2.

    6. They will be cheaper if you can find one at a LGS. To bad they don’t make one in 10mm. They would go with your pistols and be really BA. They do make Glock versions in 9mm and .40 cal. The .40 cal is easier to find than the 9mm. For 9 mm they make them to accept either 15 or 17 round mags. Just like Glocks the 17 round mag will work with the 15 round model and both will accept the 33 round mags. They probably have the same deal in .40 cal. but I don’t know for sure. The Gen 2 has some really nice updates that would be worth a few extra dollars, but I personally wouldn’t pass up the Gen 1’s. It would be easier to google the gen1 and gen2 to see the difference but the easiest things to look for to distinguish them are the for end and the front site. Good luck finding them. They are a blast to shoot and there is a lot of aftermarket parts to deck them out if you want to. I kind of like keeping mine simple.

    7. ss1 I own both, the sub2000 in glock mags (got several 30 rnds) and the HI-Point, there are 15 round mags available for it from magpul I think. I like them both but the Kel-Tec is much lighter and fun to play with. It is my “Truck Gun”.

    8. @bhs:

      I believe the Magpul 15 rounder for the Hi-Point has horrible reviews. Do you own one that has worked for you?

    9. @Suzanne Wiley:

      Well I guess it’s ProMag, and I just now read several CTD reviews, and there are too many people saying they had problems, and posts from 2 people reminded me to re-read the info sheet that came with my Hi-Point 9mm Carbine, bought from CTD, and it clearly says “don’t use the ProMags because they damage the ramp and void the warranty”.

      Sorry……just sayin.

    10. @ss1, sorry it isn’t a magpul it is ProMag that made the 15 round mag for Hi-Point and I do think the first generation got bad reviews, I bought several of the HIP-A3 versions and have never had any problems with them, it looks and feels exactly like the original Hi-Point 10 rnd mag then gets wider and the steel is covered with plastic to match the contour of the pistol grip to hold the additional 5 rounds. I’m happy with them and probably paid too much since I got them at the height of the last boom. The package says lifetime warranty on it. I wish HI-Point would have made it a double stack but it is what it is.

    11. “Pistol caliber HANDGUNS”

      But I agree 100% about the Sub-2000. I have one in my truck box right now.

    12. They said pistol caliber handguns would not be included. Not pistol caliber carbines. You even included that quote in your comment and still missed it. When something seems amiss, read it again. Saves embarrassment.

  45. Back before they got so danged expensive, my brother and I both had $89 surplus SKS’s (WITH the folding bayonets) and a couple 10 round feeder clips thrown back there. Just in case….

  46. How about a Wild West Guns “Co-Pilot” in “Mare’s Leg” configuration. Approximately 24.12-inches in length with a 12.06-inch barrel. Chambered in ,45/70 (.458-caliber/11.6×53.5mmR). Pricey but DEADLY…

    1. @Secundius:

      Maybe for a wealthy rancher in grizzly bear country, your gun would be excellent at $3000. But for anyone else, it isn’t a good choice because it only holds 6 rounds, and you can buy at least 6 guns on this list with that money.

      I own #1, the PAP M92. It’s actually my favorite gun in my collection, but I have not been carrying it in my SUV and I’m not happy about that. That’s going to change because this article has motivated me to get over whatever has been stopping me from carrying it.

      I also own #4, the 9mm Hi-Point, and it is ALWAYS in my SUV. But to me, it’s only purpose is if you need a VERY ACCURATE shot with a pistol cartridge in a highly populated area where you’re concerned about it hurting innocent people.

    2. @ ss1/

      If I was a Wealthy Rancher, I’d probably go with the Rheinmetall BK.27, 1.063-inch/27x145mmR Impulse Revolver Autocannon. But considering I’m not, I’ll have to Satisfy myself with a 7.92x57mmR 98k Mauser Bolt-Action Rifle Instead…

    3. @Secundius:

      Yes many of us wish we had a cannon sometimes, and WHO KNOWS how many wealthy ranchers have heavy artillery. There’s a 3 day event that happens near Wikieup AZ twice a year that has heavy artillery and all kinds of firepower and machine guns. Some people actually have this stuff.

      Look up “big sandy shoot” or “mgshooters” dot c*o*m and go to the photo gallery, and you may be in shock at what you see. The photo gallery is large.

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