In my last post, I mentioned that I carry an AR pistol in my vehicle when I make a road trip because it gives me lots of fire power and can legally be carried loaded and concealed when I cross state lines, assuming the state I am visiting has CCW reciprocity with my home state.
Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at the issue of carrying something in your car in addition to a compact, concealed pistol on your belt or in a pocket.
Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and gun laws vary from state to state and sometimes within a state. Research your local laws and/or consult an attorney before you follow my suggestions.
Why a Second Gun
We carry pistols because they are small, lightweight, and concealable. We hope they are enough to get us out of trouble and cause an assailant to stop their attack. But no one purposely goes to into battle armed only with a pistol. A long gun is more effective, more accurate, has better stopping power, and longer ranger than the pistol.
We may be approaching a time in society where the treat is so significant that a compact pistol may not be sufficient to provide the stopping power and level of protection you need. Hence the potential need to have a long gun close at hand.
For example, if you think you need extra fire power because your car could be stopped by a violent mob intent on attacking you, you might choose to carry an additional gun so that you can more effectively protect yourself. In that scenario, here are a few car gun suggestions that would go well with your standard concealed carry pistol.
Glock Pistol and Kel Tec Sub 2000
This powerful combination is available in in 9mm or .40 caliber. The obvious advantage here is that both weapons use the same magazine. That simplifies your logistics and means you can load up on full-size Glock magazines and feed them into either gun without worry.
The Kel Tec folds down into a compact package that can fit in many backpacks or briefcases. Carried discretely like this, no one will know you are carrying a long gun.
Which leads us to the disadvantage of the Sub-2000: It is not a pistol so your concealed carry permit will not allow you to carry it concealed. Of course, if you’ve just fought a running gun battle with black-clad thugs intent on ripping you from your car and beating you to death, how you carried the Kel Tec before deploying it is probably going to be a non-issue.
(Please note, when I mention Glock Pistol in this article, I am talking about their double-stack Glocks that can accept the 17-round G17 magazine or the 15-round G22 magazine.)
Glock Pistol and Ruger PC Carbine
Like the combination above, these guns also use standard Glock magazines and are available in either 9mm or .40 caliber. While the Ruger does not fold, it does break down into two pieces for discreet storage or carry. In fact, depending on your local laws, you might be able to carry a broken down carbine concealed without violating any laws.
I have never handled the Ruger PC, but I expect it probably takes a few seconds more to deploy from its broken down sate than it takes to unfold the Kel Tec Sub 2000. On the other hand, it’s easier and cheaper to mount a red dot or similar optic on the Ruger.
If you already own a Ruger pistol, your Ruger PC Carbine will accept its magazines, meaning you can have all the advantages we covered above with a Ruger pistol instead of a Glock.
Glock Pistol and a CMMG Banshee
Back on June 1, I mentioned that I own a CMMG Banshee that uses Glock magazines. This 9mm is an AR-style pistol. Being a pistol, it falls under my concealed carry permit, unlike the the Kel Tec and Ruger. That can be a significant advantage.
An obvious downside is that the Banshee is about twice the price of the other guns we mentioned, or at least it was when firearm prices were normal.
Another advantage of the Banshee is that anyone who has trained with an M4, AR-15 or similar weapon will be immediately familiar with the controls and gun handling of the Banshee.
This is the combination I am most likely to carry while driving in the city. On an interstate crossing rural areas, I prefer the longer range offered by an AR pistol using either the 5.56 cartridge or .300 Black Out.
Any Pistol and the Mossberg Shockwave or Remington Tac-14
Now here’s a departure from the carbines and Glocks mentioned above. The Shockwave and its competitors from Remington are non-shoulderable firearms that shoots shotgun shells and usually hold four or five rounds, more if you set your Mossberg up to fire MiniShells.
It can be fired single-handed from the car and would probably be easier to use at close quarters than the Ruger PC Carbine which is longer and more unwieldy. Plus, a shotgun shell is going do some serious damage at close range.
You could carry a full-size shotgun with 8 rounds in the tube, but that’s going to be much tougher to deploy in an emergency. For example, if you’re armed with a shotgun in the back seat of a vehicle, it’s hard to shift from the left window to the right or vice versa because you’re holding a 40-inch weapon in a confined space.
In Praise of Glock Magazines
My advice is to pick a combination of a concealed pistol and a larger gun that both use Glock magazines unless you foresee a need to engage targets and distances beyond 75 yards.
The Kel Tec, Ruger, and CMMG discussed above all accept standard Glock magazines, as do a number of other AR-style carbines and pistols. These weapon platforms also accept the higher capacity Glock magazines from Glock and aftermarket manufacturers. Glock magazines are widely available, usually competitively priced, and there is generally wide availability of replacement parts such as base plates, springs and followers. If you want to standardize, it’s a good option.
Increasing Your Options
While being well-armed gives you options if adversity finds you, but it’s even better to arrive home safely without ever having the need to draw your gun.
I’ve carried concealed since the 1990s and am blessed that I’ve never had to shoot someone. While I am prepared to do so, I minimize the chances by avoiding places where trouble is likely to be, like urban centers after dark.
I don’t think you should go out looking for trouble, but if trouble finds you, its important to be able to put a stop to it before they put a stop to you. A pistol Caliber Carbine may be just the tool you need.