Top 5 Truck Guns

Whether you’re a hunter, rancher, farmer, or just someone who spends a lot of time on the road, you’ve probably considered having a truck gun. You might have a daily carry handgun, but that’s not the same as having a dedicated truck gun that’s useful for longer shots or other uses. A good truck gun is going to be versatile enough for personal defense and also defense against predators who are after your livestock. It might even come in handy for shooting the occasional feral hog if you live in a state where this is an issue. We have some ideas for truck guns that suit a variety of situations, and we’ve narrowed it down to our top 5 truck guns.

1. Mossberg 590 Shockwave

mossberg shockwave
The Mossberg 590 Shockwave is a pump-action 12 gauge that’s just the right size for use as a truck gun. (Photo credit: Mossberg)

It’s up to you whether you prefer a 12 gauge with or without a stock. The Mossberg 590 Shockwave is a 12 gauge firearm considered to be “any other weapon.” It has a bird’s head grip —not a brace or stock — but it’s easier to aim and accurately hit targets than you might think. With a little practice and trigger time, you’ll find you have no trouble at all. This is a 12 gauge that’s great for shooting from the hip but it can also be used to take shots more at eye level, the latter of which is recommended when you’re taking longer shots rather than up close and personal ones.

The 590 Shockwave has a 5 +1 capacity and a 3-inch chamber. It has a heavy barrel that measures 14.375 inches in length, an overall length of 26.37 inches, and an empty weight of 5.3 pounds. This is a pump-action gun that’s designed for defensive use. Its dimensions make it a good fit for use as a truck gun and the 12 gauge chambering makes it effective for a wide range of targets. You can run slugs or buckshot through this gun, just take the time to pattern it and familiarize yourself with what it can and cannot do. There are a number of different models of this gun, including some with options like a laser saddle, marine-resistant finish, and even a magazine-fed design. If you’d prefer a 12 gauge with a stock, the classic 590 is also a great pump-action shotgun.

2. Bushmaster Bravo Zulu

bushmaster bravo zulu
The Bushmaster Bravo Zulu is a 5.56 NATO carbine length AR-15 that’s a solid option. (Photo credit: Bushmaster)

Carbine-length AR-15s are a popular platform for truck guns. It makes sense when you consider their versatility, customization possibilities, and capability for longer shots. With a carbine-length AR-15 like the Bushmaster Bravo Zulu, you get a basic, reliable gun that can be used for closer-range defensive purposes or to stop predators from going after livestock. It might be tempting to go with the truly low-priced models from other manufacturers, but when you’re considering truck guns, you want one that’s going to be reliable and can withstand some wear and tear.

The Bushmaster Bravo Zulu is chambered in the classic 5.56 NATO, meaning you can run it with that or with 223 Remington. It has a 16-inch barrel made from 4150 CMV (chrome moly vanadium) and a nitride coating for durability. The Magpul MOE stock is adjustable for length which is great because it allows the user to quickly adjust the length of pull to their needs. Bushmaster offers this gun with a 10 or 30-round capacity depending on the state where the buyer resides. A full length Picatinny rail makes adding an optic easy and the M-LOK compatible handguard means you can put aftermarket lights or lasers on as needed. Overall, the Bravo Zulu is a nicely customizable, durable gun that checks all the boxes for an AR-15 truck gun.

3. CMMG Dissent

cmmg dissent - truck guns
The CMMG Dissent is an AR pistol without even a buffer tube. It’s truly compact and snag free. (Photo credit: CMMG)

If you don’t want an AR with a stock — folding or otherwise — and don’t want to go through the process of a tax stamp for an SBR (short-barreled rifle), check out the CMMG Dissent. It’s an AR pistol offered in a variety of calibers and barrel lengths. We like the Dissent in 300 Blackout with a 6.5-inch barrel because it offers an edge over the 9mm chambering while remaining manageable for felt recoil and muzzle rise. 300 Blackout was created specifically for close-quarters work but it can also be used for mid-range shots, even with a 6.5-inch barrel. It might not be much longer than a handgun, but it’s a capable firearm that makes a great truck gun.

The CMMG Dissent in 300 Blackout with a 6.5-inch barrel has a magazine capacity dependent on the state where it’s shipping. CMMG used their patent-pending Compact Action in this pistol so the recoil system is housed in the upper receiver with no need for a buffer tube. The Dissent has ambidextrous controls which is fantastic for left or right-handed shooters, or just those shooting mirror. It also has a forward non-reciprocating side charger that can be moved to the alternate side of the gun depending on user preference. Guns ship with a standard TriggerTech AR-D two-stage trigger that has a clean, crisp break and a four-pound trigger pull weight (set at the factory). The CMMG Dissent is portable, easy to maneuver, and accurate.

4. Savage Impulse Predator

savage impulse predator - truck guns
The Savage Impulse Predator is a straight-pull rifle. (Photo credit: Savage)

For those who prefer bolt-action rifles and are more focused on four-legged predators, there’s the Savage Impulse Predator. With its fixed stock and 20-inch barrel this isn’t a rifle you can easily tuck away in your truck, but it does make it a stellar choice for long-range coyotes and hogs. And it isn’t so large it’s impossible to store in the truck, especially since you’d likely be taking it with you only as needed.

The Savage Impulse Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor is a fantastic choice for dropping coyotes and other varmints. In a pinch, it could be used for personal defense, but you’d have to take its overall length into account. Now, while this is a bolt-action, it’s a straight-pull rifle which means there’s no rotating the bolt as you cycle it. That means conservation of motion which is a big benefit because, among other things, it allows for more rapid follow-up shots. This gun has an adjustable length of pull with spacers and an overall length of around 41.5 inches, depending on the length of pull. And while we’re mentioning the 6.5 Creedmoor model, there are other calibers such as 22-250 Remington and 308 Winchester. This rifle has a camouflage finish.

4. Colt Delta Elite

colt delta elite - truck guns
The Colt Delta Elite is chambered in 10mm and is a solid, well-built handgun. (Photo credit: Colt)

Speaking of truck guns, there needs to be at least one handgun mentioned. For a truck gun, we recommend considering something in 10mm. The Colt Delta Elite is a tried-and-true pistol in 10mm that’s comfortable to shoot, accurate on target, well made and extremely durable. This is a 1911 handgun in the classic style, meaning it’s a single-stack and only holds 8 +1 rounds. For a truck gun, that should be more than sufficient, and you can easily keep spare magazines around.

The Colt Delta Elite is a full-size 1911, meaning it’s a Government size, and has a five-inch barrel. It has a steel frame which means it weighs more but also that the overall construction helps mitigate felt recoil and muzzle rise. And if you choose the Delta Elite Rail model there’s an accessory rail in front of the trigger guard so you can add lights or lasers.

If you’re running something like the Colt Delta Elite, keep in mind you need a proper storage method. This could mean utilizing a secure truck gun holster — not a magnet, and not something loose — but a holster made for this purpose. A good truck gun holster will protect the trigger and keep the gun in the same spot with no sliding or breaking the rules of safety. Also consider a safe, because your truck is not a safe.

Do you have any truck guns to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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