"Truck/Trunk Guns"

We’ve all heard the term, even used it. This topic isn’t going to be about legalities, rather practicality.

If you’re keeping one in your vehicle, say for extended amounts of time, how are you going to do it? Lets say you live where it can be -20F or colder in the winter. How do you prepare for frost/moisture? Storing the ammo that goes with it? How often do you clean and oil to keep storage issues from developing? How about the magazines? Optics?

A coworker and I got on the topic of patrol rifles kept in cruisers and we got to wondering how the police around here get around those things. The two we were able to ask so far are fanatical in keeping their firearms clean and oiled and will not store their patrol rifles in their cruisers. They have admitted that others do, but they won’t ask what they do for fear of being appalled by the answer. So we got to wondering if there are realistic ways to do just that.

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If, one was properly training to use that gun in an emergency, just clean it after a training session. Regular training=Regular cleaning schedule.


They don’t train all that often. I drive by their range on my way to work. Once every 3-6 months officially. The two i mentioned are there for a few hours every time their weekend rolls around. (I recognize their personal vehicles.)

In winter, a regular cleaning and oiling would prevent gun issues from potential frost even if kept in the vehicle full time?

What about ammo and optics?


Related to steel things stored inside a car…

I used to keep a nice set of pruners in my car for yard work. During the Spring and Fall in my area, the temps are warm in the days and cold at nights. The steel on the tool would get cold enough at night to condense water as the sun heated up the interior of the car in the late morning. The pruners would show significant rust after a week in the back seat.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t notice the same issue in things I stored in the trunk or glove compartment. However, I try not to store things in there except for some emergency tools (e.g. flashlight, spare tire jack, etc.).

Additionally, when I was younger living in an apartment, I would crack my windows at night to cool down the bedroom in the Spring and Fall, and close them when I left. The window was inaccessible from the outside. Steel items under my bed showed signs of rust after a year or so. I’m pretty sure it was the daily warming and cooling cycles, similar to the vehicle example.

Although most of these examples were not stainless steel, my Leatherman MT had a 420HC stainles steel blade that developed rust in those environments.


Hmmmmmmmm an interesting idea and one that should be considered. It would be unfortunate to build say an AR-15 and tuck it in your car as a bug out gun just to find the steel barrel has rusted shut or the steel bits inside the frame have done the same. I may need to find a test barrel to ride around in my truck for a year just to see.



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Lets say you were to bring it in, clean and oil it really well once a month regardless of how often you train with it. Would there be issues?

I’m going to be honest, I highly doubt any officers where I live train in the winter. We have no indoor ranges at all, let alone one that can handle rifle caliber ammunition.

MSP run a Colt with a vertical foregrip and WML. No optic. County, City (hah! City!) and Tribal PDs just need approval, but they run their own carbines due to funding issues, some use low power variable scopes, some red dots, a few with prior military service run Trijicon ACOGs.

The ones who run red dots tend towards Aimpoint PRO for the battery life.

With a good cleaning and oiling once a month, would there be issues? What about other than the rifle? Nobody has commented about optics or ammunition.

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If moisture from temperature change is the issue a case would help. The foam in the case slows the temperature changes that condense moisture on the metal parts of the gun. For example hunting shotguns are cased after being out in the cold. The cases are brought in to the warm house (or truck) but not opened until they have had time to equalize to the room temperature. There will not be condensation on the metal when allowed to gradually adjust.

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