Survival Gear’s Top 10 Truck Guns


Choosing a truck gun might seem overwhelming, or it might appear simple. If you’re thinking you’ll simply use your daily carry pistol as a truck gun, though, you may want to reconsider. Trying to decide? We’re here to help. In this video, Survival Gear covers their Top 10 Best Truck Guns and explains why they prefer the specific platforms.

Survival Gear running a S&W M&P
Survival Gear runs through their top ten picks for best truck guns. (Photo credit: Survival Gear)

What is a Truck Gun

A truck gun is a firearm you use for self-defense purposes while in or immediately near your vehicle. This gun should be properly secured in your vehicle, not just left lying on the floor, so look into storage options for cars (they exist). It’s also important you know the laws that apply to having a gun in your vehicle, in your area as well as any area you intend to travel through. Every state is different and claiming ignorance of a law is not a valid legal defense. Know the laws.

What to Look for in a Truck Gun

Survival Gear makes the following suggestions for how to choose a truck gun:

  • Shotgun or rifle
  • Telescoping or folding stock
  • Takedown or otherwise collapsible to store in a small space
  • Effective chambering for the most likely self-defense scenarios

Top 10 Truck Guns

Here’s the list that Survival Gear offers as their top truck gun picks.

10. Mossberg 590A1 Tactical

Considered by many to be the gold standard of defensive shotguns, this 12-gauge has an 8 +1 capacity and eats whatever ammunition you feed it.

Mossberg 590A1 truck gun
The Mossberg 590A1 Tactical is wildly popular among shotgunners and home defenders alike. (Photo credit: Mossberg)
  • Gauge: 12
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Chamber 3″
  • Barrel Type: Heavy-Walled
  • Barrel Length 20″
  • Sight/Base: Ghost Ring
  • Choke: Cylinder Bore
  • LOP Type: Adjustable
  • LOP: 10.5″-14.25″
  • Barrel Finish: Parkerized
  • Stock Finish: 6-Pos Adjustable Stock, M-Lok forend (Black)
  • Weight: 7.75 lbs
  • Length: 36.12″

9. Mossberg Shockwave

The Shockwave is compact thanks in part to its bird’s head grip and is legally simply considered a “firearm” by the ATF. It takes some practice to master accuracy since it cannot be shouldered, but it’s small enough to conceal and store easily and its 12-gauge chambering makes it an effective defensive option.

Mossberg 590 Shockwave truck gun
The Mossberg 590 Shockwave is a small firearm chambered in 12-gauge. (Photo credit: Mossberg)
  • Gauge: 12
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Chamber: 3″
  • Barrel Type: Heavy-walled
  • Barrel Length: 14.375″
  • Sight/base: Bead
  • Choke: Cylinder Bore
  • Barrel Finish: Matte Blued
  • Stock Finish: Raptor Grip/Corn Cob forend w/strap
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs
  • Length: 26.37″

8. Mossberg Maverick 88

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly shotgun, the Maverick 88 is one possibility. There are multiple models within the Maverick 88 line with the Security/Field Combo being the design with an 18.5-inch barrel (all the better for truck gun use).

Mossberg Maverick 88
The Mossberg Maverick 88 is a budget-friendly option. (Photo credit: Mossberg)
  • Gauge: 12
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Chamber 3″
  • Barrel Type: VR (28″)
  • Barrel Length: 18.5, 28″
  • Sight/Base: Bead, Dual bead
  • Choke: Cylinder bore, modified tube
  • LOP Type: Fixed
  • LOP: 14.5″
  • Barrel Finish: Blue
  • Stock Finish: Synthetic (Black)
  • Weight: 6.25 lbs, 7 lbs
  • Length: 39.5″, 47.75″

7. BCM Recce MCMR

Prefer AR-platform rifles for self-defense? The BCM Recce MCMR is Survival Gear’s answer to a fantastic AR-15 carbine for your truck, describing it as “one of the finest rifles you could ever own.” It has a 16-inch barrel, an approximate overall weight of 6 pounds, and is built to last and perform to high expectations.

BCM Recce MCMR
BCM Recce MCMR. (Photo credit: BCM)
  • Upper Receiver
    • Machined from aluminum forgings 7075-T6 and hardcoat anodized per MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2
    • M4 feed ramp flat top with laser T-markings
    • Mid length gas system
  • BCM Bolt Carrier Group
    • Machined from MIL-Spec Carpenter No. 158 Steel 
    • HPT/MPI (High Presser Tested/Proof) (Magnetic Particle Inspected)
    • Shot peened
    • Tool steel extractor w/BCM extractor spring
    • Black extractor insert
    • Chrome-lined carrier (full auto profile)
    • Chrome-lined gas key hardened to USGI Specifications w/Staked Grade 8 Fasteners per MIL-SPEC
  • BCM Lower Receiver
    • Machined from aluminum forgings 7075-T6, hard coat anodized (per MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2)
    • Low Shelf for RDIAS installation – installation of a registered drop-in auto sear allows the weapon to fire on full automatic
    • Low shelf for accuwedge use
    • Fire Controls marked SAFE and SEMI
  • BCM barrel
    • Independently certified MIL-SPEC 11595E barrel steel, manganese phosphate barrel finish on entire barrel
    • 16″ Standard Government profile barrel 1/7 twist, M4 feed ramp extension
    • USGI 5.56mm NATO chrome-lined bore and chamber
    • HPT/MPI(High Pressure Test) (Magnetic Particle Inspected), per MIL-SPEC

6. Daniel Defense V11 SLW

Survival Gear lists this rifle as another high-end option for truck defense, saying they feel it and the BCM model listed above are of similar quality. Which one to get is going to depend on your personal preferences. It helps if you can spend some time hands-on with the guns before buying them. In the case of the V11 SLW, you’re going to have to search hard, because this specific model is no longer in production.

Daniel Defense V11 SLW
Daniel Defense V11 SLW. (Photo credit: Daniel Defense)
  • Mounting System: KeyMod
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2 x 28 TPI (Threads per Inch)
  • Gas System: Mid-length
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Barrel Profile: Government
  • Product Weight: 6.28 lbs
  • Length: 32 1/4″ – 35 7/8″
  • Magazine: DD Magazine
  • Case: Daniel Defense Full-Latch Impact Plastic Case

5. Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II

Smith & Wesson is a popular manufacturer for good reason. Their guns are well-made and have proven themselves time and again. The M&P 15 Sport is a great example of a modern sporting rifle made to be used. Survival Gear describes it as “the best budget gun on the planet.”

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport is a good option for a truck gun. (Photo credit: Smith & Wesson)
The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport is a good option for a truck gun. (Photo credit: Smith & Wesson)
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/.223
  • Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Optics: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Safety: Standard Safety
  • Length: 35″
  • Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Folding Magpul (MBUS)
  • Action: Gas Operated Semi-Auto
  • Stock: 6-Position CAR
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Frame Finish: Matte Black
  • Barrel Twist: 1 in 9, 6 groove
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Weight: 103.2 oz.

4.  Ruger 10/22 Takedown

The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is certainly the right gun if you’re looking for a model that can be disassembled as small as possible. It’s important to remember this rifle is chambered in 22LR, so you need to be familiar with the cartridge’s capabilities.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is a popular model due to the way it can be taken apart for storage. (Photo credit: Ruger)
  • Stock: Black Synthetic
  • Front Sight: Gold Bead
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Feature: Standard
  • Thread Pattern: N/A
  • Capacity: 10
  • Twist: 1:16″ RH
  • Barrel Finish: Clear Matte
  • Overall Length: h37″
  • Barrel Length: 18.50″
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs
  • Grooves: 6

3. Daniel Defense MK18 Pistol

There’s more than one model in Daniel Defense’s MK18 line, and Survival Gear recommends the AR pistol. This is a reliable, accurate gun that can be readily concealed in your vehicle.

Daniel Defense MK18 pistol
Daniel Defense MK18 Pistol. There is also an SBR model available. (Photo credit: Daniel Defense)
  • Mounting System: Picatinny
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2 x 28 TPI (Threads per Inch)
  • Gas System: Carbine
  • Barrel Length: 10.3″
  • Barrel Profile: Government
  • Product Weight: 5.85 lbs
  • Length: 28 5/8″
  • Magazine: DD Magazine (32 round)
  • Case: Daniel Defense Full-Latch Impact Plastic Case

2. Marlin Model 60

Rimfires are favored by some as truck guns because they’re lightweight and the ammo that goes with them is also light enough to be carried in larger quantities without weighing you down. Marlin is a respected name in the world of bolt-actions, and their Model 60 just might be their most loved model.

Marlin Model 60
The Marlin Model 60 is a popular rimfire rifle. (Photo credit: Sportsman Outdoor Store)
  • Caliber: .22LR
  • Magazine: 14 Round Tubular Magazine
  • Action: Semi-Automatic, Side Ejection, Last Shot Bolt Hold Open
  • Barrel: 19″ with Micro-Groove Rifling
  • Barrel Twist: 1 : 16 Right Hand Twist
  • Sights: Adjustable Open Rear Sights, Ramp Front Sight, Receiver Grooved for Scope Mount
  • Overall Length: 37.5″
  • Trigger Pull: Can be 3.75lbs with the M*CARBO Marlin 60 Trigger Spring Kit

1. Henry AR7

This is another 22LR from a venerable manufacturer. It was designed with survival in mind and is made with various finishes, so if you want a factory finish of camo, Henry has you covered. At just 3.5 pounds, the Henry AR7 is a lightweight option and can be topped with an optic if you so choose.

Henry AR7, at the top of the list as a best truck gun
The Henry AR7. (Photo credit: Henry USA)
  • Action Type: Semi-Auto
  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 8 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 16.125″
  • Barrel Type: Steel Covered with Coated ABS Plastic
  • Rate of Twist: 1:16
  • Overall Length: 35″
  • Weight: 3.50 lbs.
  • Receiver Finish: Black
  • Rear Sight: Peep
  • Front Sight: Blade
  • Scopeability: 3/8″ Grooved Receiver
  • Scope Mount Type: Ringmounts for 3/8″ Groove
  • Stock Material: ABS Plastic
  • Buttplate/Pad: Rubber
  • Length of Pull: 14″
  • Safety: Switch
  • Best Uses: Target/Hunting/Survival
  • Embellishments/Extras: Two 8-Round Magazines Included

Do you have a truck gun? What model do you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments below.



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Author: Joey Webster

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