View Full Version : Shotgun For Your Vehicle?

February 5, 2001, 05:42 PM
I know by reading the posts that many people keep a shotgun in their house for home defense.

My question is does any keep a shotgun in their vehicle for defense as well.

If so, how would you store it, what type of shotgun (auto or pump/size of stock/barrel/etc.) and what type of rounds (buck shot, slugs, etc.) would you use?

Thanks for your opinion.

February 5, 2001, 07:17 PM
Allthough it probably isn't the best choice for defense, I almost always have my cut down 12 Ga NEF single shot in my car/truck/atv. I cut the barrel to 18.1", reamed and threaded for choke (mod), cut the stock to 11.5" pull and installed sling studs. It is a very handy and lightweight package and has been used for several varmits, snakes and walks in the woods. With it I carry a 25 round shotshell belt with #4s, 00s and a few slugs. It kicks real hard on both ends. A pump or auto will afford a higher rate or fire, but this one is much easier to store and carry and most varmits need only one well placed shot.

February 6, 2001, 12:25 AM
Would you kindly explain to this neophyte what the frigg is NEF...


San Francisquito Bill
February 6, 2001, 02:21 AM

NEF stands for "New England Firearms" and they make inexpensive single-barrel break open shotguns. They're simple, but simple simply works.

As for the original question,
In California, it is illegal to just carry a gun in the car unless you are going to or from a place where you can legally posess them. Fortunately, I am usually going to work (A gun shop=AOK)home (OK) or to a friends house (OK) If I am going anywhere else, It is just a short stop on my way to one of these places.
Under these circumstances, I have a Remington 870HD 12ga Pump in the trunk. It is in a Kolpin "Marshall" soft case that has a pouch holding accesories, etc. The gun itself is intended for "road situations" of all sorts, from being stuck, broken down in the middle of nowhere, to a hotel/motel defense weapon, to a backup weapon for work. Therefore, I have added some accesories, some of which are blatently practical, while others are more personal.
I figure that if I only have one gun, and this is it, I want to cover as many bases as I can. So I installed...

1. Speedfeed Pistolgrip Stock (I like the feel of this stock bettter than standard stocks and other PG stocks...Four extra rounds is just an added bonus.)

2. Extended Magazine tube. There are some practical applications to this, like being able to load five rounds in the mag, and still have room to put in a different type of shell if deemed necessary, whether the chamber is loaded or not. Quote frankly, however, I think it looks cool.

3. Mini-Sidesaddle. The full sidesaddle won't work with the standard forend, which I prefer. The mini-sidesaddle will work, and allows four more rounds. The more the merrier.

Planned Modifications and additions:

1. Tac-Sling--Great for Hiking/movement, etc. Something to have--May not need, but again, I want as versitile a platform as possible.

2. LPA Ghost Ring sights with Tritium front post. (These seem to work very well and allow much easier shoting with slugs)

3. Surefire Forend mounted light system. This would make the gun much more versitile, but I havent decided yet whether I'd rather just cary a dedicated light, like a 6P.

There are those who feel that all the bells and whistles are needed, while others think one is foolish to spend all that money when a stock shotgun is a perfectly good weapon. In a practical sense I tend to side with the latter, but If I can afford it, and I fell it might be advantageous, I see nothing wrong wiht accessories, as long as they don't affect basic function of the gun.

Arizona Fusilier
February 6, 2001, 02:57 AM
I carried an SKS as a "truck-gun" for several months, then said to myself, "how about a shotgun"?

Have a Winchester Model 1300, cruiser-grip, 7+1, in assault-case with a 25-round cartridge belt.

February 6, 2001, 03:47 AM
I'm auditioning a Norinco Ithaca 37 clone for that role. Base gun was $106 out the door new.

If it works out, it'll get a sling and a better sight setup. (A nice thing about the design is that the current forward base will allow a stronger drill-and-tap setup than simply going down through the thin barrel.)

Then I can get rid of my SKS, another step on the path to narrowing down my ammo needs to five calibers, eventually .22, 9mm, .223, 12ga, and .308 Win.

Dave McC
February 6, 2001, 08:22 AM
There's an old thread or two on "Truck Guns" that might hold some info y'all want to look at.

I don't keep a shotgun IN the truck anymore, haven't lost anything valuable but there's been some vehicle breakins in this otherwise fairly low crime 'burb. However, I oft take an 870 along when I hit the back country, just for GPs.

Back when I did keep one in the truck, the most often used as such was a Savage Model 24 22LR/ 20 ga combo gun, still a good choice for a survival/WIHTF gun. It fit nicely into a garage sale sax case, along with ammo, a good knife and some fire starting material.

February 6, 2001, 11:03 AM
Bad idea.

Lets examine the pro side:

1. If you get marooned in a desolate, rural area, you will be able to shoot your own food.

2. If you get caught in the location shooting for Deliverance II you will be able to defend yourself from homomaniacal hillbillies.

3. If a Red Dawn scenario erupts on your way home from work you will be good to go.

4. If a civil unrest scenario happens during your daily commute, you will be able to stop the car, open the trunk, load the shotgun and defend yourself and your car...assuming the mob is considerate enough to give you the time to prepare. Of course, if you had the time/foreknowledge to prepare, why did you not just drive away?

The con side:

1. People don't leave stereo equipment in cars for a reason...the same ought to apply to multi-hundred dollar firearms. Heck, whoever took an Alpine 10 disk changer and used it to murder someone? So this should apply even MORE to firearms. Its about responsibility, right?

2. Even though it *is* perfectly legal, imagine having to explain the presence of these things to cops or anti-gun friends without looking like a poster child for gun control.

Seriously? I can see darned few reasons to have a firearm in your car *OTHER* than a *legally* carried handgun which is readily accessible to the driver- and even then THAT is of utility only in scenarios where you cannot drive away or otherwise avoid a threat.


February 6, 2001, 03:47 PM
I do keep a mossberg 590 in the truck. Unloaded in an eagle case with a 52 round eagle bandaler. I have a surefire and sidesaddle on it along with a butler creek folder. While I am not a proponent of folding stocks in general and much less so on shotguns, it seams appropriate for a truck gun. I think I may replace it though with a winchester levergun in .44 mag (if only they made a surefire for it).

February 6, 2001, 04:53 PM
The con side:

1. People don't leave stereo equipment in cars for a reason...the same ought to apply to multi-hundred dollar firearms. Heck, whoever took an Alpine 10 disk changer and used it to murder someone? So this should apply even MORE to firearms. Its about responsibility, right?

Goodpoint. A method of securing it to the vehicle is a good idea. Something along the lines of a mossberg action clamp type setup. Problem solved.

2. Even though it *is* perfectly legal, imagine having to explain the presence of these things to cops or anti-gun friends without looking like a poster child for gun control.

Explaining to the cops:

It is legal... next.

Explaining to antigun friends:

1) Get better friends
2) If it is secured behind a seat or in the back of a trunk behind a blanket why is there a need for an explanation?

Poster child for gun control...? How does having a shotgun in your vehicle make you a PCFGC? I think you must have grown up near too many liberals my friend. I carried a .410/.22lr break open behind the seat of my truck for years. Now I use a NEF 12 guage bought new for $78 and worth ever penny. I don't keep it in there at the moment, because I park on a college campus everyday which would be illegal with it in there.

February 6, 2001, 06:19 PM
Good points, but I still have yet to hear a scenario that would justify the expense and effort...not to mention the bother of having to remember to remove it if, say, you were to intend to drive into a 'verboten' area, like a college campus.

And yeah, the day you forget to take it out WILL be the day you get rear-ended by a campus cop and your trunk will fly open. :D Oh my, plain view doctrine. Naughty boy. :P

I dunno. My main objection is the ease of theft from a car. If you can cover that, then I suppose it is an option, and its always good to have options. Far more preferable is a legally placed handgun, accessible to the driver- like on his person. Not everyone has that option, however.


PS Not to mention the possibility of getting the whole car taken. Though I suppose at that point $300 for a shotgun is the least of your worries.

February 6, 2001, 10:06 PM
You all should live in Idaho. Get yourself a hunting license and put your Guage or rifle in the rear window rack or in plain view in your vehicle. Nobody here blinks twice when seeing a P.U truck with a full rack of firearms (unless they are visiting from California or New York) If they are from one of the two states just mentioned, we all hope it scares them enough to head back home asap.
A CCW cost $50.00 here and is good for 4 years. Only requires a background check. Almost no gun crime here cause everyone knows everyone else is packin. Criminals don't like it here because they prefer the unarmed (wimps that they are). Ah Idaho, one of the last free states. We voted almost 75% for Bush. Am I getin your interest up?
Check it out for yourself- Tree huggin,bleeding heart liberals stay home, the rest of you come see what you are missing. John K

February 7, 2001, 02:17 AM
After reading the Coronach-Kilgor exchange (thank you both, gentlemen,) I've decided it's time to find a good shotgun for my vehicle. My choice is either a solid 870 express 12 ga. in operating condition, or a heretofore unused Mossberg in 20 ga. that would first have to go to the factory for a new bolt...But I've heard enough, I WILL keep a SG in my vehicle...

Moving to Idaho sounds quite enticing...if only I could convince my wife...

February 7, 2001, 10:40 AM
Just find a way to secure it is all I would advise. Seriously. Even if you are not concerned about losing it from a smash-n-grab, consider this _very_ plausible scenario:

You go shopping, park your truck in the lot and go inside. While you're busy buying cat litter and Fancy Feast for your wife/girlfriend's annoying Persian hairball, BG #1 pops your window and starts ransacking your truck.

Behind the seat he finds your shotgun and associated ammunition.

You come out, find some dude leaning in your truck, yell at him and go running up to righteously kick his scrawny little butt. He sees you coming, freaks out and instead of doing the natural thing (run like a muthaf***a), he racks in a round and aims your gun at you.

Game over, you lose.

I don't like leaving deadly weapons where others can get them. Especially if they can get them and use them on little old me.


PS Kilgoril, you have a link to that device you mentioned?

February 7, 2001, 11:03 AM
I couldn't find the unit produced by Mossberg, but if you will call them I'm sure they can help.

I did find this:



It's holding a red shotgun replica and uses a remote electronic release button. A handcuff key can release it as well or you can have it fitted with a regular key overide. It is aimed towards law enforcement, but it might be of use in this application.

Jeff Thomas
February 8, 2001, 03:10 AM
Here in central AZ, we have a lot of stolen cars. A lot. Securing the firearm certainly makes sense, but I don't care how secure it is ... I wouldn't regularly leave a fine firearm in any vehicle. I'd get a 'beater' 870, and secure it out of sight.

Still, I won't be doing that. A firearm on my person is a better bet for me. Personal choice.

A Springfield M6 Scout (.410 / .22 - http://www.springfield-armory.com/prod-m6-m6rifles.shtml ) in stainless might be a good alternative, no? Breaks down, and quite flexible in use. Relatively cheap, too, as I recall. About $200, I believe.

Regards from AZ

February 8, 2001, 05:52 AM
> Behind the seat he finds your shotgun and
> associated ammunition.

Jeepers, do ALL you guys drive pickups? Or is all this just wacky speculation? (My favorite was the "Campus Security Rear-Ender". Sheesh! Must be a lot of folks in your area hit by lightning.)

I go to the range as often as possible, and so refuse to purchase a vehicle lacking a lockable trunk. If I ever get an SUV -- after the fad dies, and prices come down -- it will get a big safe bolted into place.

Currently driving a Taurus. First thing I did was disable the automatic trunk opener by pulling the fuse and blocking the socket. Second was opening the trunk, looping a chain around the backs of the fold-down seats, and padlocking it.

Anyone "rooting around" in my trunk will already have a crowbar in his hand, so I doubt if I'd run up to make his acquaintance.

February 8, 2001, 10:03 AM
I don't drive a truck...the guy I was addressing stated that he drove one, so I was tailoring the scenario to him.

However, I will be getting a truck as soon as my faithful warhorse (91 chevy lumina) shuffles off the mortal coil. :D

I was mostly joking when I mention the campus cop rear-ender, but I was using it to highlight one aspect of Murphy's Law. Drive someplace you're not supposed to drive with a gun enough times and something WILL go wrong...some idiot with a small brain and a large mouth will see it, etc etc etc.

Trunks are in and of themselves notoriously unsecure. That trunk lock can be punched in about 10 seconds by a dirtbag who knows his trade. So if you're going to have a dedicated vehicle gun (I still don't see why, beyond 'becuase I can', but hey, to each their own) those mounts that KilgorII mentioned would be just the ticket. That or a safe...there are multiple handgun safes on the market that can be installed under the driver's seat.


February 8, 2001, 10:57 AM
With a factory Remington overfolder. It also comes out of the vehicle every evening even though the vehicle is secured, alarmed and inside a fenced and locked yard. The folder facilitates ease of exit and deploys fairly handily. Much easier than trying to pull out a full stock, anyway. I realize that the chances of having to use it are similar to those that it may be stolen. So, which is worse? Coming out to the parking lot to find your vehicle burglarized or gone or being without it when you need it? The answer is easy for me. Best thing is it is legal here, so no worries with regard running afoul of the law. It rests behind the passenger seat within easy reach under a towel. I would like to get a rack of sorts, but have found nothing suitable in my abbreviated search.

Got tired of banging around the full stocked configuration and went to something more compact. I am of the opinion that I would be hard pressed to find a firearm more suitable for encounters out to 100 or so feet. The folder offers the option of compact carry and easier deployment in most cases.

I spend much time out shooting in the desert/hills where some incidents have occured. The shotgun is always there with the addition of a high powered rifle. Bumping into a few dubious character types several miles from the main road made me a believer. Hard to use your handgun in the interim until you can move to a long gun if there is no long gun to go to!

Basic loadout is pretty simple. Load up with 12 pellet buck loads with 20 spares and five 1600 fps slugs on a bandolier. Sometimes take LBE rig set up with 48 additional shells, all 00 buck loads if I'm shooting it that day in additon to any of the fodder being sent downrange.

Local laws may prohibit this practice in some areas. Glad I don't live in any of those.

February 8, 2001, 12:38 PM
> So if you're going to have a dedicated vehicle gun
> (I still don't see why, beyond 'becuase I can',
> but hey, to each their own)

So, if you're deep in the Big City on the day that the Welfare Checks don't show up on time, or are far away from home when a hurricane hits, you'll have your trusty pea-shooter (AKA a pistol) to count on? Great. Good luck. Didn't realize that a CCW permit could also serve as a magic shield.

Personally, I'd rather stake my life on that $106 Ithaca clone mentioned previously. But hey, to each their own.

So it "might" get stolen. Golly. A whole hundred bucks. (Got more than that in TOOLS in my trunk at any one time.) And my NRA insurance would cover it.

>those mounts that KilgorII mentioned would be just
>the ticket.

Or stick the gun along with a few old blankets in an heavy plastic "Peat Moss" bag. Only a truly hard-up thief would go after that.

February 8, 2001, 01:00 PM
Arrive home, intruder alert.
"Hey, let's hit the range."
Car breakdown.

February 8, 2001, 04:56 PM
Thanks for reminding me:

> "Hey, let's hit the range."

That's why I also carry a small ammo can with a couple boxes of every caliber I shoot in the trunk. That way if I snag some guns on the way to the range BUT FORGET TO GRAB AMMO, the trip won't be wasted. (Happened to me exactly *one* time.)

> Road-not-quite-kill.

Where I live, dispatching a car-crippled deer would be the most likely actual use for the trunk shotgun. My CCW piece on any given day would probably be a Colt Pony in .380 ACP (it gets HOT around these here parts, so a big pistol is out), which might could make things even worse for the poor critter.

> Riots.

Don't know where Senor Coronach lives, but this one bears paying attention to. In NC, the General Statutes forbid carrying a gun during (IIRC, since I don't have the actual text in front of me) a riot, insurrection, or a declared State of Emergency (of course, if you don't have electricity to power your TV or radio, how will you know that one has been declared . . .).

A concealed-carry license WILL NOT cut you ANY slack here.

The last lawyer I talked to said the rule of thumb is to stay hunkered-down. Being on your own property, of course, would be best since the cops and National Guard will have been instructed not dick with you. But wearing a gun while marching down to the local QuickieMart is not a good idea.

If that sounds paranoid, well, guess you've never lived in a tornado/hurricane/flood/etc.-prone area.

February 8, 2001, 05:58 PM
I wish i had a pickup some days just to keep a shotgun behind the seat. ;)

But seriously the only time my 870 stays in the jeep is when I'm hunting anyway. if its in a backup role to my rifle (as in if i break my scope) It rised in a green plastic factory take down box (available from the sportsmans guide) with a 20 inch deer barrel with rifle sights and a rifled tube, Two five packs of 2 3/4 1 ounce maximum slugs hide in the box too. Its mounted with sling swivels so i can swap my carry strap (a leather sniper sling) from my rifle to my shotgun.

If I'm bird hunting i take a 26 inch vent rib barrel with a vest full of shotgun shells and a modified choke.

I've never messed around with side saddles and tac slings, but i have bought a mag extension for it.

February 8, 2001, 06:35 PM
Coronach wrote:

> I can see darned few reasons to have a firearm
> in your car *OTHER* than a *legally* carried
> handgun which is readily accessible to the driver

Believe it or not, your humorous "Campus Security" scenario really *was* a joke.

A CCW won't win you a pass on prohibitions against carrying a gun near college or school grounds. Better yet, you'd probably get a *stiffer* fine, since CCW folks are generally held to a stricter standard.

Officer Bumpkin Bob would be MUCH more likely to tag you for wearing a concealed piece than getting away with forcing you to open your trunk, since in many locales you are REQUIRED to announce your CCW status when approached by an LEO. Failure to do so triggers mandatory penalties, the least of which will be revocation.

February 8, 2001, 10:06 PM
"a hand cuff key can release it..."

So badguys with cuff keys can access it readily...

Remove that feature, and I like it.

February 8, 2001, 10:11 PM
They have addressed that problem.

...or you can have it fitted with a regular key overide.

February 9, 2001, 09:57 AM
Campus Security jokes...

Well, thats my point. You're far more likely to mindlessly do something hysterically illegal if you routinely leave a gun in, say, your trunk, than you do if you carry it on you. I kow quite well that CCW permits don't cover taking a gun onto a college campus. I mean, you're just a man looking for a bell tower at that point, right? :P


Road-not-quite-kill _is_ admittedly a good one. I had thought of it, but to me it doesn't justify the effort/expense. Others disagree.

Car breakdowns:

I don't see how this helps unless you're waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the boonies and would need to shoot possums to survive. I mean, what are you going to do? As soon as your vehicle breaks down you load up the shotgun and hunker down in the car? When the highway patrol shows up to lend you a hand you'll probably end up having an interesting conversation.

I *freely* admit that it is possible to be assaulted/robbed out of a breakdown. I'm not sure how having a long arm is useful since if you need a gun you need it RIGHT NOW and that means you're either sitting there 'brandishing' (to use that favourite media term) a SG or its still back in the trunk/behind the seat...where you won't have time to get it.

Would I rather have it than nothing? Yes. But I'd prefer to have a pistol.

Urban Unrest:

Plausible? Sure. But again...if you have time to get the SG ready to play, you probably have time to exit stage left as well. Probably. Again, would I rather have it than nothing? Certainly. Better that than a pistol? In this one, perhaps.

When faced with an angry crowd blocking your vehicle, remember the words of the Bond Villian from 1 or 2 films ago: "Use bumper. Thats what its there for."

My main, overriding concern is the possibility that the gun is unsecured. Lets face it, how many of you guys that actually have a dedicated 'trunk gun' actually secure it? I'm sure some do, but most I bet don't- and just locking the trunk doesn't cut it.

Survival is about playing the odds, right? Okay, lets take that scenario of mine where BG ransacks your car, finds your SG and turns it on you, and place it against an urban unrest scenario where you actually need a SG to get through. Which is more likely? If you haven't clamped that bad boy down, I think the first is FAR more likely.

However, as I said, secure it and its just another option. And options are good things.


February 10, 2001, 09:33 PM
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

February 14, 2001, 12:58 PM
> You're far more likely to mindlessly do something
> hysterically illegal if you routinely leave a gun
> in, say, your trunk, than you do if you carry it
> on you.

Since you have cooled-it on the blanket statements, I'll back off a bit. But even this one deserves a response:

1) So if you have to roll by the local college, you'll first make a detour home, lock the gun in your safe, do your business, drive home to get repacked, then continue on with your day? Always? Golly. You're well-trained.

2) Again, if you foul-up, in many places IF YOU HAVE A CCW, YOU *MUST* TURN YOURSELF IN TO THE COP. CCW folks MUST conduct themselves like Caesar's wife -- absolutely above reproach. That is FAR more hassle than it is worth for some thoughtful people. It is a privilege, not a right (except in Vermont, apparently).

If you want to rumble your tummy at night making up nightmare scenarios, fine, but the repercussions for CCWs will sometimes be much WORSE, and can cause a LOT of problems where having a gun in the trunk WON'T. You want to make it an either/or, but of course it can also be a both/neither depending on your destination/mindset.

3) Depends on the local treatment of the "hysterically illegal" offense, wouldn't it? Where I live, I'd bet at least a few of the people on the jury would have a gun in *their* trunk. They'd be the ones turning red as they slowly figure out that it might be a major no-no where they are currently parked, over by the courthouse.

February 14, 2001, 05:41 PM
So, this would have to be the first and only time I have EVER heard anyone on this board state that having an unloaded gun in your trunk is better than having a loaded one on you.

As far as never carrying concealed in a forbidden place, I would have to say "sure." Its not that hard to remember that you can't pack heat in the places where you can't pack heat. If recalling simple things like that is that much of a chore for anyone, they're likely to cap their buddy in the chest with a bunch of cigarette butts anyway, so there's just no helping them. :D

As far as me worrying myself with worst-case scenarios...LOL. Personally? I think its far easier to find situations where having a trunk gun is problematic than it is to find situations where it is useful. Now who is laying awake at night dreaming up 'nightmare scenarios?' ;)

If you want one, fine. Its a free country. It might come in handy. Mind the legality and safety issues.


Red Label
February 14, 2001, 06:37 PM
Gotta agree with Mike on this one. I live in Montana -- the home of the Free(men) and the land of the brave(Unibomber). Things are relatively lax up here as far as guns go. And crime ain't too bad. But I rarely carry any of my guns anywhere. Usually it's just when I leave town, and mainly for putting an injured dear out of it's misery (I travel most weekends). I sure as hell don't want to advertise like some of the other rednecks up here by putting a couple of my firearms up in the window for everyone to see. Is it legal? Sure! Would I like to carry my whole arsenal everywhere I go? Sure! Would the effort/liability be worth it? Not so sure. I hope I don't start a huge flame here, but I've noticed that there is some corellation between the carrying of firearms and paranoia. I'm actually a lot less paranoid and worried about what everyone else is up to in this rat race when I am NOT packing a firearm. I have a friend that wants me to go get a CCW with him. I'm considering it. But, up here at least, I'm not sure how beneficial it is. This is a guy with a lot of steam to blow off. I'm afraid that one day he'll have an altercation with another motorist over some road rage related minor thing, and someone will end-up dead, and the other on trial. Anyways... just MY OWN opinion. No flaming needed. To each his own. Just wanted to weigh in with another point of view.

February 15, 2001, 04:31 PM
>So, this would have to be the first and only time I
>have EVER heard anyone on this board state that having
>an unloaded gun in your trunk is better than having a
>loaded one on you.

Well, aside from having never said anything remotely resembling that, I'd have to guess that your repeated assertions that a gun in the trunk at ANY time other than when driving directly to or from the range is a crisis worth wetting your pants over might win a few more strange looks, all things considered.

To steal a line from the movie *Heathers*: "This is Ohio. If you don't have a brewski in your hand, you might as well be wearing a dress."

Al Thompson
February 15, 2001, 06:00 PM
This is a warning...

Keep it civil.


February 15, 2001, 10:48 PM
Pants wetting...nightmare scenarios...

Well, we're officially accomplishing nothing here.


Al Thompson
February 16, 2001, 05:38 AM
I agree. Thread closed.