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Driving with a gun in your truck is the equivalent of having a spare tire or keeping a fire extinguisher in your home. Ranchers, hunters, and those living in rural settings might need access to a firearm to deal with predators or vermin. There’s also the potential for getting stuck in your vehicle during a natural disaster or survival situation.

Whether you keep the gun in your vehicle full-time is another matter. Many believe the risk of theft is too great, while others recognize the potential increase in safety and utility is worth the gamble. There’s also the argument that if you’re going to carry concealed, the gun should be on your person at all times. This has merit too, but a holstered gun can become uncomfortable for those spending long hours in a vehicle. Placing it within easy access in the vehicle makes sense.

Obviously, you must pay attention to local laws as they pertain to firearms in vehicles, and the risk of theft will vary depending on your location and the areas you frequent. There’s no substitute for common sense, and common sense is the driving force behind a truck gun.

5 Types of Guns to Keep in Your Truck

1. The Extra Handgun

Ruger EC9 Handgun.
Ruger’s EC9 is an inexpensive and compact handgun to keep in a vehicle. Ruger

You might be a devoted concealed carrier, but what about your passengers? If you end up in a bad situation, it’s not wise to be the only one in your party who’s armed. Additionally, no matter how devoted you might be to carrying, there will be times you forget. Ideally, your truck gun would be a duplicate of your carry gun. However, any gun is better than no gun, and you can opt for an inexpensive option. Just don’t sacrifice reliability to save a few dollars. The Ruger EC9 is a reliable and compact 9mm pistol that retails for less than $300. Check availability here.

2. The Compact Shotgun

The Mossberg Maverick 88 is an affordable shotgun for a truck.
The Mossberg Maverick 88 is an affordable shotgun for a truck. Mossberg

Many consider a shotgun the ultimate defensive weapon, and police officers have carried shotguns in their vehicles for as long as police have had vehicles. A self-defense shotgun offers a lot of versatility and power to deal with bad guys and bad things. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a shotgun, but you still want one that will work, consider Mossberg’s Maverick 88. It is less than a meter long, has a 5+1 capacity, and retails for about $250. If you don’t mind a deeper investment, consider the Mossberg 590-Thunder Ranch for about $600. Behind the seat or in the trunk, both will provide peace of mind.

3. The Rimfire

A rimfire rifle might be the handiest firearm to have in your truck, especially for hunters who get the frequent urge to pull over and spend some time in the timber. The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have an accurate and reliable rimfire that’ll live in your truck. The Ruger American Rimfire Compact retails for only around $300. It’s dependable and accurate, and a .22 Magnum version is available for that little extra oomph. Check availability here.

4. The General Purpose Rifle

Ruger’s Scout rifle in .308 Win. is one of the most versatile rifles in existence.
Ruger’s Scout rifle in .308 Win. is one of the most versatile rifles in existence. Ruger

What kind of truck gun is right if you know you might need a gun but aren’t sure what you might need it for? Gunsite Academy founder, Jeff Cooper had a name for this type of firearm; he called it a general-purpose rifle. A general-purpose rifle is a rifle that is specialized for everything as opposed to one thing. It can work for self-defense, hunting, or survival, and it has enough power and reach to deal with any reasonable problem a rifle is suited for. Four great options for this type of rifle are a Ruger Scout Rifle in .308 Winchester, a Marlin 336 or Winchester 94 in .30/30 Winchester, or an AR-platform rifle like Springfield Armory’s Saint Victor in .308 Winchester. All are proven, reliable, and have the power to deal with most anything. But you’ll have to pay to play. Retail prices for all three are around a grand so consider the used market; these rifles will last forever.

Read Next: 10 Takedown Camp Guns for Hunting and Survival

How to Keep Your Truck Gun Safe, Locked Up, and In Good Condition

To circumvent the worries of a truck gun getting stolen and to comply with the law in various jurisdictions, you’d be prudent to consider some sort of in-vehicle security for whatever truck gun you might choose. For handguns, the Hornady RAPid RFID vehicle safe is an excellent option. It’s a less-than-300-dollar spend that will ease some worries about handgun access by a thief or even a youngster. For long guns, the Truck Vault Seat Vault is an ideal solution. It fits under the back truck seat and will secure just about any long gun while providing ease of access. If heaven forbid you don’t own a truck, Truck Vault also has a full line of security vaults for SUVs, vans, and even sedans.

Just as important as security is maintenance. A gun stored in a vehicle can be forgotten, and in humid climates, it only takes about a week for rust to set in. Regardless of the gun, storage method, or your location, make a weekly inspection of your firearm and wipe it down with a rust preventative. You can throw a pack of Hoppe’s Field Wipes in with your gun to make this easier.

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