September 25, 2018
By Wheels Afield Magazine
You’ve outfitted your vehicle to carry everything needed for an overlanding adventure – including the kitchen sink. A rooftop tent is latched to your roof rack, ready to deploy when you find your ideal campsite. You’ve packed extra propane for your two-burner stove, and your fridge sits securely on its roll-out drawer, cooling your favorite libations. You have extra water, gas, food, an air compressor, shovel, and your favorite iTunes playlist ready to rock. But do you have a secure location to store your firearm?
Whether for personal security or stashing an elk rifle for a hunt in the farthest reaches of the wild, gun storage is of the utmost importance for overland adventurers. There are numerous products on the market to store guns in convenient locations in your truck or SUV. Close to your body for quick-draw situations or out of sight out of mind, these mounting systems and vehicle safes are worth a look to outfit your ride.
Alien Gear ShapeShift Holster Mount
For overlanders who carry concealed (or openly, if your state allows it), you know driving with a handgun in your waistband is not comfortable. It also rules out drawing quickly in an emergency. The ShapeShift Holster is one of the most universal holsters on the market, and lucky for us, it comes with a very affordable vehicle mount.
The proprietary mount is simple. The one-piece polymer plate features a peg-and-hole design that pairs with the ShapeShift Holster. Made of a tough polymer blend that is molded specifically for your preferred handgun, the universal holster can be changed to carry in four different ways on your body. A pushbutton releases the holster from its base, allowing you to connect it to the vehicle mount. Your holster is locked securely in place even while you’re driving over rough terrain, but a push of a button on the mount quickly releases it.
The mount secures to the interior of your vehicle with four ½-inch screws that are provided (as well as screws for wood, sheet metal, and drywall). We chose to mount the ShapeShift Mount under the steering column, but with 360 degrees of cant in 12-degree rotations, it’s easy to place anywhere in your vehicle.
ShapeShift Holster MSRP: $50-$100
ShapeShift Holster Mount MSRP: $10
Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe
The vertical-style safe from Hornady is made to conceal a handgun within reach against the center console. Rather than having to drill, adhere, or modify the interior of your vehicle, an inflatable bladder conforms to the space between your seat and console to secure the safe.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe is slim and has a foam-lined interior shelf that holds a handgun in an upright, ready position. The unique RAPiD door mechanism employs a keyless entry powered by either a 12-volt car adaptor or four AAA batteries. Hornady calls it RFiD Touch Free Access Technology, and it allows the spring-assist lid to open with the swipe of a wristband, key fob, or sticker. Up to five RFiD tags can be programmed. If you prefer old-fashioned ways, you can program a four- to six-digit security code on the keypad found on the top of the safe or use a barrel key.
If you’re worried about someone breaking in and stealing the safe and its precious cargo, don’t. An included cable allows you to secure the safe to your seat frame, and it’s made of 14-gauge steel with two internal locking lugs, making it pry, drop, pick, and saw resistant.
2015+ Ford F-Series SuperCrew Under Rear Seat Lockbox
Traveling with long guns is notoriously burdensome. Most states require them to be stored in a gun case, which takes up precious storage room in your vehicle. For 2015+ Ford F-Series SuperCrew drivers, Tuffy Security Products offers a long lockbox that installs directly under the rear seat.
Extending the full width of your backrow, the Under Rear Seat Lockbox is made of 16-gauge steel and has two locking lids and more than 4,500 cubic inches of storage. Users simply flip up either rear seat to access the box. The large drawer has enough space for a couple of long guns plus ammo or other valuables. When your seats are down, the lockbox is hidden from view – and sticky fingers.
No drilling is required for installation. Mounting brackets (included) secure to your seat mount, and carriage bolts protrude through the inside of the lockbox and are locked in place with wing knob nuts. The Under Rear Seat Lockbox is not only out of sight, out of mind, but also is only removable if you can get inside, past the pry-resistant lids.
The creators of the Mag-Bar mounting system created a product that allows for limitless mounting options throughout your vehicle. The strong neodymium magnet is paired with a metal mounting plate to create a holding dock wherever it’s placed. The magnet is covered in soft microfiber suede so as not to scratch the surface of your firearm when attaching/detaching or while your vehicle is moving. The mounting plate is locked in place with 3M Adhesive Tape or four screws. Both are included.
Luckily for overlanders, the system isn’t limited to handguns. It’s available in two sizes, so you have the option of a smaller Mag-Bar for mounting pistols (up to 15 pounds) or an extra-large version for rifles (up to 50 pounds). Rather than having to break down your AR, the Mag-Bar magnet is powerful enough to pull through the aluminum upper to secure it upright and in the ready position.
For concealed-carry drivers, the magnet is strong enough to hold your pistol in place through any material holster. When mounting a rifle or AR in your vehicle, Mag-Bar recommends using two Mag-Bar XLs to ensure they stay in place when you hit rough terrain.
Gum Creek Vehicle Handgun Mount
The space under your steering wheel is often underutilized. But it shouldn’t be: It’s an inconspicuous location for a handgun and secures your pistol up and out of the way when rolling over rocky obstacles.
The Vehicle Handgun Mount from Gum Creek is a holster/mount combo for those on a budget. The simple strap design hooks in the gap below your steering wheel and kick panel. A removeable soft-sided holster is included, but the mount also works with most other belt loop or clip holsters if you prefer to use your own. Although not the most innovative holster on the market, it still serves double-duty with its ambidextrous belt loops, making it easy to use as an OWB holster before attaching it to the Vehicle Handgun Mount.
The size of your vehicle and what size pistol you carry will alter the clearance between your legs and holster. The mount installed easily in my Toyota 4Runner, but even when holstered with a Kimber Micro, my legs bumped the holster while driving and when entering/exiting.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.