Hav­ing guns and gear in your car can en­hance your de­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties when on the move. By Leroy Thomp­son

For most of us, au­to­mo­biles are an in­te­gral part of our ev­ery­day lives. So, it only makes sense that we in­te­grate our ve­hi­cles into our de­fense plan­ning. A car or truck can be used as a mo­bile ar­mory, pro­vid­ing more se­ri­ous armament be­yond that of a con­cealed-carry hand­gun.


Many who live and work in ur­ban or sub­ur­ban ar­eas, even when open carry is le­gal, choose to carry a com­pact con­ceal­able hand­gun in a side pocket, belt hol­ster, shoul­der hol­ster, an­kle hol­ster, purse, brief­case or else­where about their per­son. How­ever, busi­ness at­tire lim­its the size of the weapon, the accessories and the num­ber of mag­a­zines.

As a re­sult, the ve­hi­cle can serve as the “ar­mory” to aug­ment the ef­fec­tive­ness of the hand­gun car­ried about the per­son. Note that if weapons are kept in the ve­hi­cle, an alarm sys­tem and weapons safe are highly ad­vised.

For ex­am­ple, I of­ten carry an HK P30SK with one spare magazine. That gives me 21 rounds of Cor-Bon 125-grain

JHP ammo avail­able, enough to han­dle most emer­gen­cies. How­ever, I have also car­ried an ad­di­tional full-sized HK P30 with three mag­a­zines in my truck.

Those same mag­a­zines will work in my com­pact pis­tol but also give me a larger backup should I need it while in my ve­hi­cle. In fact, I keep it read­ily ac­ces­si­ble so I don’t have to fum­ble to draw my pocket pis­tol while seated with the seat belt fas­tened. Some of the time, I keep a weapons light mounted on the full-sized P30, in­creas­ing its use­ful­ness even more.

There are other ap­proaches to keeping a more typ­i­cal com­bat hand­gun in the ve­hi­cle. I have at times stowed my SIG P226 Black­wa­ter Tac­ti­cal Pis­tol in a Black­hawk Serpa hol­ster with a spare magazine and a flash­light. As the mag­a­zines for this pis­tol are 18+2, that gives me 41 rounds avail­able. Given a sce­nario when my ve­hi­cle is


dis­abled and trou­ble is around, I can just slip the Serpa onto my belt if I have to leave the area.


Weapons kept in the ve­hi­cle should also of­fer en­hanced range and stop­ping power over the hand­gun nor­mally car­ried on the per­son. This would seem to ap­ply, par­tic­u­larly, to some­one who car­ries a com­pact .380 or snub re­volver.

I have a cou­ple of friends who nor­mally stick a J-frame S&W re­volver in their pocket for ev­ery­day carry but keep a 1911 of some type in their ve­hi­cle. For hand­guns kept in the ve­hi­cle per­ma­nently, one made of stain­less steel—or maybe Scan­dium—seems to be a good choice.

One re­tired LE buddy of mine car­ries a LW S&W J-frame with him but has a much-used S&W M66 .357 Mag­num in his car. I also have a cou­ple of ac­quain­tances who have long drives home from work through some rough parts of the city. They keep their ve­hi­cle pis­tol in a cross­draw hol­ster and strap it on for the drive home to al­low easy ac­cess while seated.


In venues where it is le­gal to carry loaded long guns or “pis­tol” ver­sions of long guns in the ve­hi­cle, there are some ex­cel­lent choices, ei­ther to de­ploy from within the ve­hi­cle if fac­ing car­jack­ing or for re­mov­ing from the ve­hi­cle when fac­ing an en­hanced threat.

Def­i­nitely, if fac­ing ac­tive shoot­ers, car­jack­ers, ri­ot­ers, gang­bangers look­ing for an ini­ti­a­tion vic­tim or other lowlifes, hav­ing a shot­gun in the car is a game changer. In the past, to have a shot­gun that could eas­ily be de­ployed, op­er­ated and loaded in a ve­hi­cle, it was ad­van­ta­geous to have a reg­is­tered short-bar­reled shot­gun (SBS).

How­ever, the ad­vent of the Moss­berg 590 Shock­wave, Rem­ing­ton TAC-14 or Moss­berg Mav­er­ick Thun­der Ranch O/U of­fers le­gal shot­guns that de­ploy well in a ve­hi­cle. Over­all lengths of the three—26.4 inches for Moss­berg Shock­wave, 26.3 inches for the Rem­ing­ton 870 TAC-14 and 35.25 inches for the Mav­er­ick—make them handy in ve­hi­cles. The re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of the 20-gauge Shock­wave and TAC-14 makes them even eas­ier to han­dle within a ve­hi­cle, as re­coil is no­tice­ably less.

The Shock­wave of­fers the largest magazine ca­pac­ity: 5+1, com­pared

to 4+1 for the TAC-14 and 2 for the Mav­er­ick. Note that the Shock­wave and TAC-14 should be car­ried with a full magazine but with­out a round cham­bered.


Typ­i­cal sce­nar­ios for de­ploy­ing shot­guns from within the ve­hi­cle will not nor­mally re­quire fir­ing a lot of rounds. In fact, the shot­gun’s in­tim­i­da­tion fac­tor should dis­cour­age most at­tack­ers. But, if rounds are fired, both the Shock­wave and the TAC-14 are handy enough to be loaded eas­ily while seated in the ve­hi­cle.

The Mav­er­ick only holds two rounds, but that sec­ond round may be de­liv­ered with­out hav­ing to op­er­ate a pump action, and two 12-bore holes look even more in­tim­i­dat­ing than one!

I’ve done quite a bit of shoot­ing with the Shock­wave and have found that it works very well, ei­ther when used from the driver’s-side win­dow or by switch­ing to my left hand and lean­ing across through the pas­sen­ger’s-side win­dow. I found for en­gag­ing from the driver’s-side win­dow, it works best to rest the hand grasp­ing the fore­arm on the win­dowsill.

Then, to cham­ber a round, all that is nec­es­sary is to push forward with the shoot­ing hand, leav­ing the hand grasp­ing the fore­arm in place. With prac­tice, I was read­ily keeping buck­shot pat­terns in the ch­est cav­ity of at­tacker tar­gets at 5 and 7 yards. The 870 TAC-14 may be op­er­ated in a sim­i­lar fash­ion. I see an ad­van­tage of the Mav­er­ick for those liv­ing in ar­eas where the 14-inch bar­reled “firearms” might not be le­gal.


An­other cat­e­gory of firearm that lends it­self well to ve­hi­cle use is the ri­fle-cal­iber pis­tol with an arm brace. Some pis­tol-cal­iber weapons fall within this cat­e­gory as well. SIG Sauer makes es­pe­cially use­ful com­pact weapons with arm braces.

The SIG MPX K PSB of­fers a 9mm pis­tol with a 30-round magazine and a tele­scop­ing arm brace. Us­ing the arm brace, ac­cu­rate shoot­ing is pos­si­ble to 50 yards or more. With a red dot sight mounted, the MPX may be used quickly to counter mul­ti­ple tar­gets from a ve­hi­cle or if forced to leave the im­mo­bi­lized ve­hi­cle.

An even more ef­fec­tive weapon that may be de­ployed from within a ve­hi­cle or retrieved if fac­ing an at­tacker or at­tack­ers armed with ri­fle cal­iber weapons is the SIG P516 5.56 NATO 7.5-inch pis­tol with SB15 Pis­tol Sta­bi­liz­ing Brace.

The P516 7.5-inch han­dles well in close quarters but fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round and takes M4/M16 mag­a­zines. For hand­i­ness, carry it in the ve­hi­cle with 20-round magazine in place but have 30-round mags for reloads. It is com­pact enough to store with a red dot sight mounted in a ve­hi­cle safe along with mul­ti­ple loaded mag­a­zines. I have tested the P516 in var­i­ous ve­hi­cle counter-am­bush sce­nar­ios and found that it per­forms as well as a semi-auto M4 car­bine yet is more com­pact.

Two other pis­tols with arm braces that per­form very well in counter-am-

bush us­age are In­land Man­u­fac­tur­ing’s M30-P with a 12.5-inch bar­rel and the M30-IMP with a 7.5-inch bar­rel. These are pis­tols based on the tra­di­tional M1 car­bine. I have car­ried an M1 car­bine for my ve­hi­cle car­bine in the past and al­ways con­sid­ered its .30 M1 car­bine round a good com­pro­mise be­tween a ri­fle and pis­tol car­tridge for ur­ban us­age.

Ei­ther of the In­land pis­tols is avail­able with or with­out an arm brace. Even when used with­out the arm brace, the M30-P or M30-IMP han­dles eas­ily from within a ve­hi­cle. Us­ing a small red dot sight, I en­gaged tar­gets ar­ranged to sim­u­late mul­ti­ple car­jack­ers/am­bush­ers and found I could en­gage quickly and ac­cu­rately with them be­tween 5 and 15 yards.

Other man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer ri­fle-cal­iber pis­tols such as the M30-P or SIG P556, or pis­tol-cal­iber ones such as SIG’s MPX with an arm brace. These of­fer ad­van­tages in magazine ca­pac­ity as well as quick en­gage­ment ca­pa­bil­ity when mount­ing an op­ti­cal sight. Plus, in the ri­fle cal­iber ver­sions, they also of­fer greater stop­ping power.

Stan­dard AR-15 car­bines will per­form the same mis­sion as well or bet­ter, but they are also longer and will be far less handy if used from within the ve­hi­cle. If car­ried in the ve­hi­cle for use af­ter leav­ing the ve­hi­cle, they are an ex­cel­lent choice.


I’ve dis­cussed an ar­ray of op­tions for ad­junct con­cealed carry weapons. For many, just a hand­gun kept in the ve­hi­cle, prefer­ably in a lock box, will be the ex­tent of their ve­hi­cle guns. Others, how­ever, may per­ceive a greater threat or just pre­fer to have a shot­gun, car­bine or ri­fle-cal­iber pis­tol along as a JIC (Just in Case) gun.

Be­cause we don’t have crys­tal balls, though, we can’t al­ways an­tic­i­pate the threats we face. Some years ago, a friend of mine who is a judge in ru­ral county was driv­ing along when a shot hit his Mercedes. He wasn’t in­jured and drove away. Had the car been im­mo­bi­lized and he had to evac­u­ate, it would cer­tainly have been com­fort­ing to have some­thing with greater range and strik­ing power than the hand­gun he al­ways car­ries.


Above: A wide va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cle vaults/safes are avail­able to fit var­ied needs and many types of ve­hi­cle. Most common are the ones to con­tain a hand­gun such as this Gun­vault MV500.

Be­low: Some who like re­volvers carry a com­pact S&W J-frame re­volver in their pocket but keep a more pow­er­ful re­volver in their ve­hi­cle. In this case, it's a po­lice trade-in stain­less steel Model 66 .357 Mag­num.

Top Left: En­gag­ing a “jacker” tar­get at 7 yards from the driver's seat with the In­land M30-P. Top Right: The In­land M30-P with­out arm brace, which is very handy when de­ployed from within a ve­hi­cle.

Bottom Left: The Moss­berg Shock­wave is es­pe­cially well suited for han­dling within a ve­hi­cle. In 20-gauge it will be much more con­trol­lable. Moss­berg photo

Top: The Shock­wave may also be reloaded within the ve­hi­cle with­out hav­ing to per­form gym­nas­tics.

Bottom: Moss­berg's Shock­wave of­fers a handy shot­gun that can be de­ployed from within a ve­hi­cle if threat­ened by se­ri­ous at­tack­ers

Top: An­other op­tion to store a hand­gun in the ve­hi­cle is the Gun Cas­ket. Bottom: This vault con­tains an AK ri­fle and a S&W au­toloader, plus spare mag­a­zines. Note that the owner of the ve­hi­cle has the weapon po­si­tioned so he can grab them from his...

Top: The Ti­tan Gun Safe shown with the hard­ware to in­stall it. Bottom: To carry ri­fles or shot­guns as well as hand­guns, spe­cial­ized truck vaults are avail­able for pickup trucks and SUVs. Shown is the Truck Bunker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.