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The Practicality of Truck Guns: A Blend of Tradition and Personal Safety


Anyone from a rural part of the country has seen it: a rifle in the back of a pickup truck. Whether it was a Model 94 .30-30, a pump shotgun, or a .22 rimfire casually tossed in the “window rack” of a Dodge, Chevy, or Ford, firearms and trucks were inseparable. Back then, nobody thought twice about it. 

While the world has evolved since the 70s and 80s, firearms are just as practical tools as they’ve always been. As always, it’s “better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.” The question, however, is whether you should have a firearm in your truck, SUV, or car is a decision that only you can make.

Legality Considerations: Knowing the Rules


If you’re intrigued by the idea, the first consideration is the legality of transporting or storing a rifle in your vehicle. It’s essential to recognize that firearm laws vary significantly from state to state, and even within different counties or cities. Therefore, the first step is to familiarize yourself with your local and state firearms regulations. Conduct thorough research, as this knowledge will not only inform you but also keep you out of legal trouble. Take your time and be diligent in understanding the rules that apply to your area.

State-Specific Regulations: Navigating the Varied Landscape

Some states permit loaded rifles during transport, while others require them to be cased with ammunition kept separately. The diversity in firearm laws emphasizes the importance of knowing and comprehending the regulations in your local and state jurisdiction and then adhering to them. What is legally acceptable in Kansas, for instance, might lead to arrest in other states, so it’s crucial to consider these factors when traveling out of state. Begin by conducting a web search on your state’s laws and those of any states you might travel through. Visit state government websites dealing with transporting firearms, rather than relying solely on forum or blog information. Being well-versed in the laws is fundamental before embarking on any decisions.

Two Schools of Thought: Tradition vs. Effectiveness

There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to truck guns. The traditional, blue-collar perspective sees a truck gun as simple, cheap, and utilitarian. These firearms are expected to endure rough treatment, getting tossed onto the floor with tools and trash. Often inexpensive and far from pristine, these guns are chosen for their functionality rather than their appearance. Examples include poorly sporterized military rifles, inexpensive .22 rimfires, older budget sporting rifles, police trade-in revolvers, and budget shotguns.

In recent years, even the popular Chinese Type 56 SKS carbine, once the king of truck guns, has seen an increase in value. Single-shot and inexpensive pump-action shotguns remain popular due to their versatility in firing various types of ammunition. A common 12-gauge can handle bird shots, buckshot, slugs, and even signaling flares. An excellent example of a traditional truck rifle was a colleague’s horribly sporterized Italian Modello 1938 Carcano carbine chambered in the oddball 7.35x51mm cartridge. Although visually unappealing, it served its purpose, proving that a truck gun doesn’t need to be a showpiece.

The second school of thought advocates for a quality rifle that the owner respects and likes. This perspective leans towards having a reliable firearm that one wouldn’t hesitate to reach for when the chips are down. While traditional truck guns are budget-friendly and endure a tough life, these firearms are chosen for their effectiveness and features. Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) like ARs and AKs, as well as high-end sporting rifles, fall into this category.

Caliber Choices: Tailoring to Specific Needs

Choosing a truck gun caliber depends on your specific needs. For self-protection, a 9mm Parabellum, 5.56x45mm, or 7.62x39mm may be more than adequate. If your concerns involve a big game, such as a bear or moose, you might prefer a caliber with more stopping power. Calibers like 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka, 6.5x52mm Carcano, 6.5x55mm, 7x57mm, 7.5x54mm French, .303 British, 7.62x54mmR, and 8x57mm offer reliable performance with the right bullet selection.

If leaving a rifle in your vehicle full-time, theft prevention should be a consideration. While firearm stickers on the exterior of your vehicle may attract attention, practical precautions such as window tint and avoiding leaving the firearm in plain view are advisable. Physical security measures, ranging from a steel cable secured with a padlock to more elaborate solutions, can further deter theft.

Despite varying opinions on the necessity of a truck gun, the experiences of those who have relied on them in critical situations speak to their value. 

Do you keep a gun in your truck? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Protect Your Second Amendment Rights: Oppose SB 1160 and SB 1253 in California


On Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:30am, the California Senate Public Safety Committee is slated to review two concerning bills that threaten the rights of firearm owners across the Golden State. As staunch advocates for the Second Amendment, it’s imperative for NRA Members and supporters of gun rights to take action. Senate Bill 1160 and Senate Bill 1253 pose significant threats, and it’s crucial to voice opposition to these proposed measures.

Senate Bill 1160: Annual Firearm Registration Requirement


Senate Bill 1160 represents a direct assault on the rights of law-abiding gun owners in California. This bill seeks to mandate an annual re-registration process for all firearms with the Department of Justice. If enacted, firearm owners would be compelled to navigate bureaucratic hurdles each year and pay undisclosed fees to maintain their registration status.

This onerous requirement not only burdens responsible gun owners with unnecessary red tape but also sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach into the fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment. Under SB 1160, failure to comply with the annual registration mandate could result in severe penalties, including fines of up to $1000 and the potential confiscation of unregistered firearms.

Upholding Second Amendment Freedoms: Take Action Against SB 1160

It’s imperative for Second Amendment supporters to stand united against Senate Bill 1160. This legislation threatens the core principles of individual liberty and firearm ownership rights. We urge all concerned citizens to contact members of the Senate Public Safety Committee and vehemently oppose SB 1160.

Senate Bill 1253: Restricting Firearm Possession without Firearm Safety Card

Another concerning proposal slated for review is Senate Bill 1253, which seeks to further restrict firearm ownership rights in California. Under existing law, individuals are required to obtain a Firearm Safety Card to purchase or receive a firearm. However, SB 1253 aims to extend this requirement to possession, effectively prohibiting law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms without a valid Firearm Safety Card.

This additional hurdle not only imposes unnecessary burdens on responsible gun owners but also fails to address the root causes of crime and violence. Criminals, by definition, do not adhere to firearm laws, rendering such measures ineffective at curbing illicit gun activities. Instead, SB 1253 unfairly penalizes law-abiding citizens and undermines their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Defending Second Amendment Liberties: Oppose SB 1253

Senate Bill 1253 represents yet another attempt to erode the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians. By imposing stringent requirements for firearm possession, this bill unfairly targets responsible gun owners while doing little to enhance public safety. It’s essential for proponents of gun rights to take a stand against SB 1253 and advocate for the preservation of constitutional liberties.

Take Action: Protect Second Amendment Rights in California


As the Senate Public Safety Committee prepares to review SB 1160 and SB 1253, it’s paramount for NRA Members and supporters of the Second Amendment to make their voices heard. Use the Take Action button below to contact committee members and urge them to oppose these egregious bills. Together, we can defend our cherished freedoms and safeguard the right to keep and bear arms in California.

Do you live in California? What do you do to oppose greater encroachment on your right to keep and bear arms? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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The AR-15: A Versatile Platform for Every Shooter


The AR pattern rifle, affectionately known as the “AR-15,” has become a staple in the firearms community, offering unparalleled versatility and customization options. From budget-friendly builds to high-end boutique rifles, there seems to be a configuration for every shooter’s preferences and needs. But with so many parts available, is there truly a rifle for everyone? And is there even a wrong answer to the AR question?

Diverse Builders, Diverse Builds

The AR-15 has evolved beyond just a firearm; it’s now a sport in itself, with enthusiasts eagerly assembling rifles tailored to their specific desires. Whether someone is aiming for the cheapest build, the most boutique setup, or a specialized rifle for a particular purpose like suppressor use, the AR platform offers endless possibilities. This diversity among builders reflects the platform’s adaptability and appeal to a wide range of shooters.

Navigating Budget Builds: A Personal Journey

Recently, there’s been a surge in interest in building affordable AR-style rifles, prompting many to explore budget-friendly options. One such endeavor involved sourcing parts directly from Bear Creek Arsenal (BCA), a company with a reputation for offering budget-friendly components. Despite initial reservations due to past controversies and quality concerns, the experience of assembling a rifle from BCA parts proved surprisingly positive.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Upon receiving the parts from BCA, there was a mix of anticipation and skepticism. However, upon inspection, there was a notable nod of approval for the quality of finish work, packaging, and overall presentation. While some parts lacked robust packaging, none arrived damaged, showcasing BCA’s attention to detail. Despite some vagueness regarding product specs, BCA’s use of 4150 CM-V and 416 Stainless barrels instilled confidence in the build.

Assembly Practices: Attention to Detail

Building the lower receiver proved relatively straightforward, but attention to detail was paramount. Proper torqueing of the castle nut, staking the end plate, and meticulous lubrication ensured adherence to factory specifications and optimal performance. The importance of using proper tools, lubricants, and assembly techniques cannot be overstated, particularly for critical components like the trigger and gas system.

Navigating Upper Receiver Assembly

While assembling the lower receiver was relatively straightforward, the upper receiver presented more complexity and significance. Attention to detail during barrel installation, gas system alignment, and muzzle device timing were crucial for ensuring accuracy, reliability, and safety. Thermal fitting techniques and proper torqueing procedures were employed to optimize barrel-to-receiver fit and gas system performance.

Range Testing and Final Thoughts

After meticulous assembly and function testing, the rifle was taken to the range for reliability and accuracy testing. Using a variety of ammunition types and optics configurations, the rifle performed admirably, showcasing respectable accuracy and reliability. While there were minor issues such as an over-gassed barrel, these were addressed with aftermarket solutions. Overall, Bear Creek Arsenal’s components proved to offer excellent value for budget-conscious builders, demonstrating that affordability doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality.

The AR-15 is a highly adaptable platform allowing builds for a wide array of preferences for all kinds of shooters. Whether building a budget-friendly rifle or investing in high-end components, the AR platform offers endless customization possibilities. While each builder may have their own priorities and preferences, the beauty of the AR-15 lies in its ability to accommodate them all, ensuring that there truly is a rifle for every shooter.

Do you own an AR-15? Have you ever built one? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Mack W. Gwinn Jr.: A Tribute to a Firearms Pioneer


Mack W. Gwinn Jr., a visionary in the firearms industry, passed away on March 11, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and dedication to his craft. Born in Florida, Gwinn’s journey into the world of firearms began with his service in the U.S. Army Special Forces, where he earned several Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star during seven deployments to Vietnam.

From Military Service to Firearms Innovation

Following his military service, Gwinn transitioned into the firearms industry, where he made significant contributions. One of his notable achievements was acquiring the rights to the Colt IMP-221, a stockless, gas-operated bullpup pistol initially developed for aircrew survival in the U.S. Air Force. Redesigning the concept to accept the 5.56 NATO caliber and standard AR magazines, Gwinn founded Gwinn Arms and introduced the Bushmaster Arm Pistol in the early 1970s.

Pioneering Personal Defense Weapons

The Bushmaster Arm Pistol, an innovative pistol-sized firearm utilizing an intermediate round, predated the concept of personal defense weapons (PDWs) by a generation. Although not a commercial blockbuster, the Arm Pistol laid the foundation for Bushmaster Firearms and left an indelible mark on the industry.

Legacy of Innovation

Beyond the Bushmaster Arm Pistol, Gwinn’s influence extended to various other firearms projects and inventions. He held patents for extended capacity magazines and developed concepts for firearms applications ranging from target pistols to recoil reduction systems. His ingenuity and curiosity led him to explore diverse projects, including vehicle design and accessory development.

Remembering a Trailblazer

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.’s passing marks the end of an era in the firearms community. His contributions to the industry will be remembered for years to come, serving as inspiration for future generations of innovators. In honoring his memory, donations can be made to the Maine Veterans Project, and condolences may be expressed to his family at BrookingsSmith.

Mack W. Gwinn Jr. leaves behind a legacy of excellence, marked by his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of firearms design and technology. His impact on the industry will continue to resonate, ensuring his place among the pantheon of firearms pioneers.

Do you know Mack W. Gwinn Jr? How about his famous firearms? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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