So, it went down – hard and fast. The situation at hand has descended into chaos. The storm has come, the power is out, and it’s getting worse. It’s time to bug out. You need to hit the road. You’ve established your need for bugging out in terms of food, water, clothing, shelter, etc. You know how to survive, and now you must make it from point A to point bug out. You have supplies, a vehicle, a route, and hopefully, a means to defend yourself on the road. A means to protect yourself is an absolute must-have when you hit the road and bug out.
The Purpose of a Truck Gun
I’m not just talking about a full-sized rifle or shotgun, but a weapon solely dedicated for use inside and around your vehicle. In this role, you want something small, light, and easy to handle — something you can use inside the vehicle, as well as moving in and out of the vehicle. You want to be able to get in and out quickly without fumbling with a full-sized long gun.
These guns are niche weapons for close quarter’s use and will not replace a full-sized rifle. A full-sized rifle should be part of your bug out gear for the longer-range it offers as well as the increased accuracy and ballistic performance. This is our truck gun, or car gun, or Jeep gun. The phrase truck gun is a colloquial term we’ll use to refer to these weapons.
A Word of Warning
A truck gun is never a gun that you should leave unsecured in your vehicle. A quick search of online forums shows gun after gun is stolen from vehicles when left unsecured for long periods. In a bug-out situation, you’ll be in or around the vehicle, so your presence secures the gun. If you choose to leave a gun in your vehicle, you need to invest in a vehicle safe of some kind to prevent theft.
Also, as a general disclaimer, you need to ensure you are in your compliance with your state’s laws as well as any Federal laws. You are responsible for following all applicable laws.
My Picks for Truck Guns
There are a wide variety of guns out there that can be used effectively for truck guns, and I’ve chosen four I know are reliable and effective that fulfill the role of the truck gun. They cover a variety of different types of firearms and gives you a wide range in price and style.
The Glock 20 is a 10mm, double-stack handgun that contains 15 rounds. As a handgun, this weapon is very light, compact, and easy to carry. It’s also easy to use inside and outside of a vehicle and can be used with a single hand. The 10mm round is stout and potent and does a relatively good job at defeating barriers, at least as far as handguns go. It is exceptionally well suited against vehicle glass as well as thin metal and wood barriers.
The Glock 20 is easy to conceal and may be a better choice when bugging out of a large city due to how easy it is to hide. On the way out, you may be passing police, National Guard, and other emergency forces. Having a larger weapon visible may draw in undesired attention.
As a 10mm it’s also a good choice when facing down wildlife. With the right full-powered loads, a 10mm can kill animals as big as bears. It should have no issues with other dangerous game like hogs, wolves, and two-legged vermin.
The downside is that as a handgun without a brace or stock, it is more challenging to shoot. The 10mm round has some recoil to it, and it’s not as controllable as 9mm or 40 S&W handguns. It requires more practice than most, and the ammunition is more expensive.
Glock pistols can be customized to an extreme degree, and you won’t have issues with finding spare parts, magazines, sights, and more. The same goes for holsters and ammo. The Glock 20 is one of the rare, modern production 10mms in a modern polymer frame. It can accommodate a weapon light or laser, as well as a threaded barrel and compensator to make up for the recoil of a 10mm.
- Lightweight and compact
- As a pistol, it’s a short-range weapon
- Snaps hard with full-powered 10mm loads
An AR pistol is an excellent choice for a truck gun as well. An AR with a 7.5 or 10.3-inch barrel gives you a compact powerhouse in 5.56 or even 300 Blackout. It’s barely a pistol, and only a pistol by American gun laws. I will heavily advocate for a pistol brace on these guns to add an additional point of contact. This will aid in aiming and stabilizing these types of weapons.
Since the gun shoots a rifle caliber, it beats the handgun for range and penetration all around. It is, however much bigger and impossible to conceal without a bag or looking like Neo from the Matrix. The gun is still small enough to use in and out of vehicles easily. While it is a pistol, it is still large, and this does make it easier to handle when firing rapidly or over longer ranges. The brace adds a third point of contact at the wrist or shoulder.
You can also easily mount an optic for faster engagement, and red dots do rule this space. Speaking of mounting, a modern AR will allow the easy mounting of lights, lasers, and other accessories. AR pistols are very affordable, and you can even build your own at home. The level of customization you can apply to an AR is absurd, and the number of different parts available will allow you to customize the gun endlessly.
An AR pistol is an excellent choice for a truck gun and magazines, ammo, optics, and other accessories are widely available.
- Easy to shoot and control
- Accurate over extended ranges
- Compliments your standard rifle well
- Extremely loud
- The shorter barrel will not offer the same range or ballistics of a standard rifle.
The CZ Scorpion
The CZ Scorpion is another gun that is only a pistol by law. The Scorpion comes in a few different configurations, and two are perfect for a truck gun. The first is the standard EVO S1 pistol and the second is the more compact EVO S2. Both are pistols, and both should be equipped with some form of pistol brace. These are 9mm guns that combine some of the benefits of both a rifle and a pistol.
When equipped with a brace these guns are as intuitive to shoot as a rifle and just as accurate at short ranges. They are much shorter than rifles as well. The standard EVO S1 Scorpion is about half the overall size of an AR pistol. Additionally, you can have braces that collapse or side fold to make the gun even smaller. They feature minimal recoil and muzzle rise and are nowhere near as loud as a 5.56 round from a short barrel.
Overall when it comes to close-quarter use, they are much easier to use and can even be used with one hand to a limited degree. The CZ Scorpion is light and weighs about 5.5 pounds when equipped with a pistol brace. It’s superbly maneuverable and can be concealed in a small backpack or large laptop bag.
It does come in 9mm only, and magazine sizes vary from 10 to 30 rounds with 35 rounds magazines being introduced sometime this year by Magpul. The round is the gun’s weak point compared to others. The 9mm is an excellent self-defense round against two-legged vermin but a poor choice on bigger and meaner animals. 9mm also won’t penetrate through barriers as well as the 10mm, but this gun offers faster and more accurate follow up shots.
- Concealable and easy to handle
- Easy to control and shoot accurate
- Lightweight and compact
- 9mm isn’t as potent as any rifle round.
Short Barreled Firearm (Shockwave, TAC 14 or 13)
This is a class of weapons that have become popular recently. These are not shotguns, but 12-gauge, pump-action firearms. These guns can have short barrels but must maintain an overall length of 26 inches to prevent being NFA weapons. You can add a brace, and by doing so, you have a much easier-to-use weapon, especially where aiming is concerned.
I’d advise adding a brace before using as a truck gun. Without the brace, these guns are a handful, but with a brace, they are very compact. Both Remington and Mossberg make variants, and I own both. I prefer the Mossberg Shockwave, it offers one more round of ammo and is lighter in weight.
12-gauge weapons are very versatile and allow you to utilize a wide variety of different load types. This includes buckshot, slugs, and birdshot. You can dispatch any animal or two-legged varmint in North America with a 12 gauge and the right load. These guns also make it very easy to hit a moving target and to hit targets in low light. Spread is determined by ammo and choke and it’s wise to carry multiple types of loads.
These guns are also very affordable, and they are the most affordable guns on this list by a long shot. They are easy to use and very powerful. At the same time the recoil can turn some off, and so can the low capacity these weapons have.
- Versatile and compact
- Extremely powerful
- Affordable and easy to find
- Low capacity
- Vicious recoil
- Limited range
Keep on Trucking
A truck gun is often a weapon designed to complement your everyday carry gun. It offers you a distinct advantage over a standard concealed carry handgun. It can be used in defense of life and property and even to hunt with. They are lighter and handier than a standard long gun, but still potent enough to give their user a useful fighting tool. When choosing a truck gun, evaluate your needs, as well as your ability to employ a weapon in or around your vehicle. What works for me may not work for you, but hopefully, you have a good starting point on what a truck gun is and what they can do. Stay safe, work hard, and remember knowledge weighs nothing.