Friday, November 12, 2010

Trunk Gun in the Zed Drei: Paranoia or Preparedness?

For some reason, as winter comes around again, the idea of tossing a long gun in the trunk of the car has resurfaced in my head. I'm not entirely sure why, either.

I mean, it's not like the car's going to slide into a snow bank here in Broad Ripple and I'll be forced to live off squirrels and fend off feral hippies until a search party can find me after the first snow melt of spring. The largest patch of woods around here is barely a good pistol shot across and even then you're likely to hit some guy huddled behind a tree, trying to get out of the wind so his doob won't burn down too fast.

Still, I'm back-and-forth between Lafayette or Knoxville fairly often... But even then it's by relatively well-traveled interstate highways; again, I'm having trouble imagining a scenario that would both A) require a long gun, and B) allow me to retrieve one from the trunk.

I'll probably wind up putting something in there, but it'll honestly be for no better reason than "Because I can..."

76 comments:

Mulliga said...

If we're talking disaster-type preparedness, it's probably better to pack a really good first aid kit, portable water purifier, and a tent/sleeping bag in your trunk.

I find trunk guns handy for impromptu range trips, though.

Anonymous said...

If you follow that thinking, why need a gun at all, ever?

It's better to have a rifle and not need one than to need a rifle and not have one...

Just do it if its secure there.

Marko said...

The list of long guns that fit into the Zed Three's little trunkette is a rather short one. Maybe an M1A1 with the airborne folding stock, or an SBR-ed Uzi Carbine...

JimB said...

Or maybe that Marlin Papoose

Tam said...

Marko,

It'll hold anything up to about a 98k easily. An original Gew. 98 would have to ride up front.


Anon. 7:55,

"If you follow that thinking, why need a gun at all, ever?"

Not so.

I can envision plenty of scenarios where a gun might come in handy. That's why there's one on my hip. Scenarios where I NEED a long gun, and yet have time to go get it from the trunk? I'm still tryin'...

I've got a shovel and a tool kit and a first aid kit back there already...

og said...

I can think of any number of excellent reasons to have a trunk monkey-err, gun, but I can't think of many good reasons not to. Maybe an MP40 in a molded insert on the inside of the decklid- if anyone asks you can say "oh, the Z-3's come with those"

McVee said...

Its not as if you'll need to take down a horse in the event you were stranded and wanted to crawl into the carcass so to stay warm...
tho the .45s got that covered.
Hmm. Maybe a para AR with a folding stock.

McVee said...

Oh. I would totally go with og's suggestion. I think the only thing better would be if you could have a springed compartment in the end of the door, like they do with the Rolls for an umbrella, and have a sawed off ala Mad Max pop out!

Stuart the Viking said...

Hey, don't knock "because I can". It' the ultimate excuse for ANYTHING! My gun-shy friends didn't get the whole CC thing until I stumbled upon "because I can". A while back, an anti guested on my radio show (it was a surprise, I had no idea he was an anti) and when guns came up, like they often do, hw started giving me the usual crap, like "why?" and "do you really think people want to kill you?" Like only a crazy paranoid person would carry a gun. Before I could answer, Kate (the gun-shy friend I do the show with) shut the anti down by saying "he carrys a gun because he can". It shut the anti up because there was no arguing the logic.

s

Tam said...

Stuart,

Truth be told, it's the main reason I CCW, too. :)

GreatBlueWhale said...

There's always the "a pistol is what you use to fight your way to your rifle" argument.
My traveling long gun, a relative term given its actual length, rides right behind the passenger seat, and is secured in the trunk otherwise. That isn't a problem in Kentucky, and I doubt it is in TN either. Can't speak to the Hoosier state.

Anonymous said...

Not paranoia, preparedness. For the same reason that you carry on your hip, you should carry your AR when you travel. Given a choice, I always grab my AR first, regardless of the distance.
GaryR

staghounds said...

Have you ever SEEN a Rolls Royce tool? I had to change the tire on one once, the jack was made and finished to about the standards of a 1970s Winchester.

Standard Mischief said...

>The list of long guns that fit into the Zed Three's little trunkette is a rather short one. Maybe an M1A1 with the airborne folding stock, or an SBR-ed Uzi Carbine...

Or maybe one of those totally impractical, silly, expensive bullpup conversions for the Mosin–Nagant?

Anonymous said...

If your "gut" is telling you to do it, you'd better do it.
It will either save your little patootie one day, help you avoid a problem, or lead you to a fun adventure.
Remember, your genes are the ones that survived; listen to them.

Fred said...

What about zombies?

Anonymous said...

I built a compartment in my Saturn that had a Ruger 10/22, a BOB and other gear. It was great. I ended up using the 10/22 for a lot of fun stuff. And it was there with 500 rounds for the unexpected.

I think it's a good idea. Long gun, carbine, any, all!

Ancient Woodsman said...

Given your already-present centerfire sidearm, go with a scoped rimfire rifle. Handy & fun.

Anonymous said...

Fred, zombies are tough enough to carry in my 4x4 truck. Tam would have to get a midget zombie for her car. :)

I've always liked the idea of a NEF Pardner shotgun disassembled for storage. With a cross-tip screwdriver, the barrel and fore-end can be easily separated from the receiver. Add in 25 rounds of buck and slugs and your set for a long weekend in the sticks.

B.S. philosopher said...

However you decide the rifle issue, you should probably avoid trying to live off of the meat of feral hippies.

It's usually badly tainted with the stench of patchouli and smugness. Besides, most hippie meat is full of parasites.

I suggest something more healthy and palatable, like a mangy coyote.

Tam said...

Anon. 0900,

"Tam would have to get a midget zombie for her car. :)"

Great. Now I can't get the image of a zombie Hervé Villechaize muttering "De brainz! De brainz!" out of my head...

Noah D said...

Maybe an MP40 in a molded insert on the inside of the decklid- if anyone asks you can say "oh, the Z-3's come with those"

This.

And to echo Anon above, listen to the gut feeling. Moisin-Nagant carbines make excellent trunk guns.

WV: moping. What, Skynet's having a bad day?

Anonymous said...

Kel-Tec SU-16C. Ugly,rough,but it goes bang.

d said...

Sounds like an ideal place for a pistol-caliber carbine that shares ammo with your sidearm. Triple bonus points if you can get it sharing magazines, too.

Otherwise, something in .22LR or .22WMR set up with at least a peep sight.

I can't think up a scenario where:
* you'd be needing a long gun
* your handgun wouldn't cut it
* you would actually have time to get something from your vehicle

So you may as well make it an ammo dump for your sidearm or have a plinking setup for impromptu range time.
A folded Kel Tec sub2000 fits into a 16" wide pistol case with three-four mags and a few 50x boxes of ammo ... if I were to put a "long" gun in my trunk, that would be the one, it is already cased up and ready to go anyway.

OrangeNeck said...

It's better the have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Oh, and because you can.

Orygunmike said...

You do get snow and ice there in your geography, right?

Traction...you can't have enough traction. A big-ole heavy rifle and a few hundred rounds will do wonders for keeping the Zed Drei on the road when others are huddled inside.

So when people ask why you "need" a rifle in your car....just smirk and tell 'em...."traction"

ParatrooperJJ said...

Keep in mind that if you ever cross into Ohio that you can not have the magizine loaded even if it is seperate from the rifle.

amcljr said...

Here in the sticks (SEVT) it's not really an issue for me but suppose you have to ditch the Z3 (or any vehicle for whatever reason) and take off on hoof and say you're on one of those busy urban thoroughfares... do you trust that the long gun will stay safe in your absence or do you carry it along too (with all the attendant hassle THAT will create)?

CCW seems to me to be a much simpler and safer solution.

Jay G said...

For under $100 you can get a Mosin Nagant M44 and 100 rounds of ammunition for it. $100 and you have a powerful centerfire rifle easily good to 200 yards with iron sights, ammunition that can knock down anything you're likely - or unlikely - to encounter, and an integral bayonet upon which you can roast weenies with the muzzle flash.

What's not to love?

Tam said...

Jay G,

"For under $100 you can get a Mosin Nagant M44 and 100 rounds of ammunition for it."

It's so cute that you think I don't already have an M44. ;)

Buzz said...

Because the next time you're in Lafayette, we can shoot the hell out of something just for the heck of it.
My brother and I used to have limb-busting contests to see who could sever a branch first with a bolt-action 22LR.

Buzz said...

Because the next time you're in Lafayette, we can shoot the hell out of something just for the heck of it.
My brother and I used to have limb-busting contests to see who could sever a branch first with a bolt-action 22LR.

Wolfwood said...

I actually tried this in my crew-cab pickup truck a while back with a Glock 26 and a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 behind the back row of seats. I had the flush-fit 10-rd mag loaded (but not chambered) in the SUB-2000 along with two 33-rd mags. I had the idea of installing a holster near my left knee for the Glock but never got around to it.

One further advantage to this is that while there are states that effectively ban handguns (for now!), you can usually have a rifle. The SUB-2000 can be fired one-handed, if necessary.

I wound up giving the guns to my sister and her husband as wedding gifts, but I might try it again (possibly in .40).

Jay G said...

Tam,

*Sigh* okay, *ANOTHER* M44 for trunk duty.

Sheesh. I try to give you a reason to buy another gun and you turn it down... ;)

Tam said...

JayG,

Actually, I was thinking about using my Steyr-Mannlicher M95 carbine; I got it from Marko years ago and he used to keep it in the trunk of his car along with a bandoleer of ammo.

Since it loads from en bloc clips, like a Garand, it's easy to toss one in and be up and running, and 8x56R has plenty of thump...

Desertrat said...

Why have it? Well, my favorite military officer is General Principles.

Anonymous said...

Take a couple mins and have a good look under the HOOD of your car. Often there is space where gear can be stashed safely, that is cool enough, clean enough, via a box installed.

Inside a case. Pickups especially.

Matt G said...

I'm with Anon and AncientWoodsman-- a handy semiauto .22 and 500 rounds can turn a pic-nic into a treat. Also, with a couple of spare magazines for a semi-auto .22 rifle, you pretty well own your domain, within 50 yards. Sounds silly? Gimme a semi-auto .22 over a centerfire handgun in a fight, every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. There's the extra bonus of them usually being less expensive, which makes you feel less bad about them riding around in a rust-prone, burglary-prone trunk.

Don Meaker said...

I like of like the M44 with a box 'o ammo in the metal box on the back of the pickup. Another option is the M-1 Carbine with a box o' ammo, but that gives an excuse for a revolver chambered in .30 carbine.

Mr.B said...

Su-16 (pick yer version) for a centerfire rifle OR, for rimfire, try a Henry survival rifle. It all fits into the stock.

While not the perfect rifles, these will always go bang, and are accurate enough for your "get home" needs.

THe Marlin Papoose is another idea for a rimfire rifle. THat is what is in the prius. Midwest Chick carries a Henry. The truck has a folding stock AK, just for fun.....

Dwight Brown said...

This reminds me of something else that's been in the back of my mind for a while, so I'm going to toss out the idea of a Winchester 94 or Marlin 336.

What's been in the back of my mind that makes me bring this up: I went through volume 2 of the *Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip* a few months ago. One thing that Col. Cooper kept bringing up was the idea of the lever-action rifles as ideal police patrol carbines (though I don't recall him using the phrase "patrol rifle", as I don't think it'd been coined yet).

Superficially, this doesn't seem to me like a bad idea; Joaquin Jackson in *One Ranger* describes carrying a Model 94 (cut back to 16") pretty much his entire career as a Texas Ranger.

I don't figure the trunk of the Z3 is quite as big as that of Jackson's patrol vehicles, but I expect you could probably fit in one of those, and maybe a small .22 rifle as well.

(I'm kind of conflicted about this, but if the Texas Legislature passes a guns in parking lots bill next year, I'll be looking for a trunk gun as well.)

Ed Rasimus said...

A blanket. A jacket. Jumper cables. A small shovel. Bag of sand. Some MREs.

You'll never need a rifle if you are CCW. If things escalate to DEFCON 2 or higher, then reconsider.

We had an October blizzard a couple of years ago in Colorado. In Colorado Springs we were shut down for a week. Ten people died because they went out to dinner that night without a jacket. It wasn't lack of a rifle.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Of course, you could always go Olde Skool and get a Winter 4x4 Pickup and put in the Rifle Rack with a 30/30 Lever gun and a 12 gauge. Boy, I miss seeing those Country Caddies with that set up parked on Main Street when I visited my kin down in Southern Ohio. Just something that says "Welcome to the Land of the Free" and "Tyrants Beware!" about that picture.

But I'd probably go for an SKS with an extended mag and spare ammo. Enough stopping power for most of the Critters east of the Mississippi (excepting those New England Mooses and those Gators down in Florida, and even then 5 rounds in the head should work). Cheap, ugly, designed to fight in Snow and Ice, ammo's cheap right now, and if some one breaks in and steals it, you wouldn't be beating your breast for 20 years on how you lost your Expensive (fill in the Blank) Firearm to some troll. YMMV, of course.

tanksoldier said...

I keep a shotgun in my truck for the same reason I have one in my house. The chances of NEEDING a long gun are slim, but if you do need one you'll really need it. Better to have one in the truck than all the way back at the house.

Anonymous said...

"Someone with a good car,
needs no justification,
fate is in her hands
and in the..."
Okay, the gender-based changes went without a hitch, but trunk (trunk gun, trunk gat, gun in the trunk, etc) just refuses to scan anything like transmission did in the original lyrics. ;^)

Getting away from lame efforts to tie things to the current blog header tagline, if you're feeling an urge to stow one in there, go ahead and knock yourself out. After all, it's a free country (Fine print: free country void where prohibited, blah, blah).


ThoreMo

Montie said...

Wow, 45 comments in a little over 4hours. I think you've struck a chord. Personally, my question would tend more to "why not" rather than "why".

Wolfwood said...

Although I'd add that if it's going to be in your trunk, maybe a cheap case with a few moisture-absorbing packs would be a good idea.

Sarah said...

"Because I can" is a good reason 'n all, but I'm fond of, "Because it makes hippies cry."

(I get most of my recommended daily allowance of salt from hippie tears. It's almost as satisfying as eating half a bag of pretzels during Sunday football games.)

Kristopher said...

If you need to use a firearm defensively, you should use the biggest one you can have available.

If you got a trunk to carry one around in, then a shotgun or a rifle makes sense.

I suggest a pre-1899 Mauser or Mosin-Nagant in a sealed polybag.

Technically a non-firearm according to the feds, and in many states. More than enough ommph to avoid becoming a statistic if you feel the need to put a period on some nutter's new violence career.

I keep an tsarist receiver Finn in my SUV for just those reasons.

Stuart the Viking said...

You could always go with an AK. An aquaintence of mine keeps an underfold-stocked AK in his truck in a ratty pink tennis racket cover. It fits in nicely with the stock folded and he never has to worry about someone looking in and seeing it. Nobody pays any attention to a ratty old tennis racket. Then, if you have to exit your vehicle and walk you can take it with you and nobody would even notice.

s

Anonymous said...

Can't improve on the original armored Z3...

http://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/index_cars.php?m=au&g=au017

And I'm sure it'll work on your car 'cause it's the same year and everything, right?

" So, um, why do you have Stinger missles behind your headlights?"

"Because I can..."

AT

Blackwing1 said...

A stainless 10/22 with:
- A couple of 500-round bricks of HP ammo
- A couple of standard Ruger 10-round mags
- A couple of 25-round mags
reside in my truck, sealed in a ZeeRust poly bag. I just shoot up the ammo once a year and replace it with new, clean the rifle, and back it goes.

That's along with the usual gear in the toolbox...winter parka, 4-ton come-along, sleeping bag, candles & candle-lantern, small camping pot, power bars, granola bars, a couple MRE's, jumper cables, small tool kit, fire extinguisher, bungies, tie-down straps, rope, tow strap, a couple quarts of oil, a gallon of anti-freeze, a gallon of gas...you know, the stuff everybody carries all the time.

Wow, I love having a truck...

Jason said...

The only problem with the M95 is that I couldn't carry it down Halsted Street in Chicago.

"Crap! Zombies! Sit tight while I get my Hungarian Mannlicher from the truck!"

"Is he cute?"

"Hell, I'll name it Herr Johann Feuerhosen if it kills zombies dead!"

WV: matows. The anti-tank missile for the Bay Staters.

Tam said...

Jason,

"Mr. John Flamingpants?" ;)

rremington said...

I can't stand having a vehicle without a rifle in it. Makes me nervous.

Back when I had a bigger discretionary budget, I picked you a Steyr Scout in .308. To me it's the ideal truck (trunk) gun. Handiest thing since the call phone. Should be able to handle anything that pops up....

rremington said...

Stupid fingers!! I picked UP a Scout.

Tam said...

Dammit, I was hoping you'd picked me a Steyr Scout! ;)

Ritchie said...

The spare tire in my Plymouth station wagon used to share the tire well with the World's Ugliest .22. Marlin M60 shortened in barrel and mag tube, new model feed block, old model front sight/barrel band, brass hinges on the stock, everything legal. Still have the rifle.

Anonymous said...

I decided to pick a "do everything" long gun 15 or so years ago, and wound up with a Stoeger Coach Gun. Takes down and re-assembles without tools. Overall length 22" cased (fits in a document case or a big computer bag). It also fit into the luggage bag on my BMW R100GS.

I usually carry 5 rds buck, 5 rds slug, 5 rds 3" BB (Coyote/predator loads), 25 rds "Dove and Quail" ammo. Choked IC & Mod, nickel plated, with a solid rib and single bead front sight. I keep a 5 rd nylon butt stock ammo carrier that goes on in about a minute. I added sling swivel studs to the butt stock and under the barrel in front of the fore-grip, and keep a cheap nylon strap on Q.D. swivels. I also shortened the stock and added a very squishy recoil pad to make it more comfortable to shoot.

It Groups slugs into about 3-4" at 50 yards from alternating barrels, about 5 inches at 100 yards from the "Sweet" right side barrel with the better trigger that also lines up with the bead sight.

I've used that setup for hunting deer, boar and coyote with slugs and buckshot. I've hunted quail, dove, ducks, geese, and turkeys with appropriate shot. I use it for primary bear defense in S.E. Alaska with 3" Breneke slugs. My thinking is if 2 fast shots were good enough on my cape buffalo hunt, why wouldn't they be adequate in brown bear country? Same setup in S.E. Alaska, just switch to steel or unobtanium shot for waterfowl hunting. It's become my "always have it along" hunting companion, and has accounted for more game than all of my other guns combined. Works on the skeet and sporting clays field, but not really comfortable for long shooting strings.

It's not so scary that it makes the uninitiated nervous if they see it because it doesn't have a "shoulder thing that goes up" or a "big clip." I keep a hunting photo album in the case (20 photos printed on normal paper in a folder) showing me using it all around the country on game in case anyone questions why I have a shotgun in my trunk. And I don't feel under-protected with it as a primary long arm. As one of the Gunsite instructors pointed out years ago when he saw it, "if you know what you're doing with that setup, then nothing survives within 50 yards of you without your permission."

My hunting partner called it my "Pimp gun" years ago when I first got it because of the nickel finish. 15 years later, he fondly calls it "The Crumpler."

FormerFlyer

Robin said...

SKS is the answer.

But no extended magazines, no folding stocks, nothing but the original as-issued gun.

And a bandolier of loaded stripper clips to toss over a shoulder.

og said...

I've always liked the Savage combo guns, like the 24F with the 20 gauge and 223. You can put slugs in the 20 gauge, too. Seems like it'd be an ideal "Survival" rifle.

hey- shotshells, bullets, you know what'd be GREAT? A Taurus Ju..mmffmfmlllffmm!!

WV: Uncest. The Judge is the bastard offspring of an uncestual relationship.

David said...

A trainer in a class I just took said that he had once heard that there were three things you'll never catch yourself saying in a gunfight:

"I wish I had a smaller gun."

"I wish I had less ammunition."

"I wish I hadn't trained so much."

So yeah, more often than not I have my AR and about 5 or 6 mags in my trunk.

And also...because I can.

Les Jones said...

I figure two requirements for a car gun whether short or long are:

- Relatively cheap, because it could get stolen and because it's going to live a hard life. I haven't even sprung for an AR-15 for safe queen duty. I'm sure not going to toss one in the boot.

- Corrosion-resistant, because in Tennessee and other places in the east there's plenty of humidity.
So for me it's stainless, aluminum, and polymer for the main parts. (Functionally, wood's actually OK for stocks and grips, though I've got a couple guns with nice walnut I wouldn't think of keeping in a trunk, just because I like the wood too much).

- A nice optional feature is to be able to easily carry the thing away from the car without drawing attention if you should need to. So a handgun that's concealable, and for long guns it would be nice if you could easily break it down and toss it into a daypack or suitcase.

I've got lots of handguns that meet all three criteria. The only long gun I have that does all three is a Ruger 10/22 with a stainless barrel and aluminum receiver. I'm just not sure it's worth carrying when I have handguns that are more powerful.

Jason said...

"Mr. John Flamingpants?" ;)

If it keeps the zombies away should I ever find myself fighting a zombie horde on Halsted Street, I'll call it whatever it wants. I've still got a few friends who live around that area of Chicago, so why should all of Chicago fall to the zombie horde?

Blackwing1 said...

If compact and cheap are the main criteria, I'd seriously look at a Rossi combo-package. They break down into a nice little set of stock/receiver, fore-end, and barrels. It all packs into a VERY discreet black nylon case that doesn't scream, 'firearm". Maybe the .22/20-gauge combo...there's little a 20-ga slug won't stop in either a rural or urban area, and the .22 is, well, a .22.

They're only single-shot break-action, but dog-reliable, and I picked up one at Fleet-Farm on sale for right around $100.

Rauðbjorn said...

To eliminate the accessibility part of your complaint, don't keep the long gun in the trunk. Keep it in the cabin where you can get to it. There are some very nice gun racks that fit "over the seat back" as well as ceiling-mount racks to keep her out of the way.

Tango said...

Trust your gut. Is it going to HURT anything to keep one in there? Do it.

Ross said...

If there's a little voice in the back of your head telling you to do it, Tam, I'd listen to it... the little voices in your head usually know what they're talking about.

Unless they're telling you to vote liberal, that is. Then you terminate them with great prejudice.

global village idiot said...

Plain Truth and Full Disclosure...

I've got a relatively well-stocked car to include rifle (Win Mod94 for those interested). But one thing no one seems to have mentioned is the one thing you really ought to have in your car (and in abundance in your home).

Fire extinguisher.

My rifle rides in the "way back" of my Cherokee, but the little fire extinguisher rides up in front just under my seat.

Just keepin' it real.

gvi

Tam said...

Rauðbjorn,

"There are some very nice gun racks that fit "over the seat back" as well as ceiling-mount racks to keep her out of the way."

Not many long gun racks are 2-seat roadster compatible. (And I don't want to store a long gun where anybody with a boxcutter can get to it.)

Will said...

Seems to me the reasons to carry a long gun in an urban vehicle fall into two areas. One would be self defense in a riot scenario, such as the Rodney King/LA situation.

Second would be for offensive use in an active mass shooter situation. This could be driving past a schoolyard and seeing/hearing a person(s) shooting at the kids, which, so far, is the most common type of mass shooting in the US.

I suspect that the majority of gunnies would consider the first reason to be valid, but few would entertain the second as being appropriate for them. In fact, I would further posit that most would not carry a long gun, so if they happen to be in the position of being early on the scene, they can excuse themselves by claiming to be unequiped for the job, even if ccw'ing. Just human nature at work.

markm said...

Here's your scenario: The mad sniper in the clock tower:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman#Sniper_fire_commences

It was cops that finally climbed the tower and nailed him, but some of them were carrying rifles borrowed from "civilians", and several civilian riflemen helped keep Whitman occupied while the cops moved in.

OTOH, today's cops might not be able to comprehend that armed "civilians" were there to help...

Beaumont said...

How about an SKS dropped into a polymer folder, along with a coach gun?

I've just decided I need one of each, and this thread provides some great excuses (sorry, "reasons") to buy them.

wv: hesse. Hmm -- does that mean my trunk guns would be mercenaries?

sobriant74 said...

Tam, There is nothing wrong with doing something "just because you can".
This is still America.

Dan said...

I live in earthquake country and we're perpetually waiting for the proverbial "big one". I kept a Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag in my truck in case road damage cut me off from home and all hell broke out a la New Orleans during Katrina. At least that's the reason I gave people who asked why I kept a gun in my truck; the real reason was because I could.

I chose the Marlin because it was the only gun I owned that fit in the narrow storage space under my rear seats. I stopped keeping it there because I decided to go back to school and no guns are allowed, even in the parking lot.

MJM said...

Before the fun stuff, a quick legal warning:
Some states start with making it a crime to "possess a weapon with the intent to go armed." Then they created an exception for handguns in possession of permit holders. However, it may remain illegal to be in possession of any other firearm "with the intent to go armed." So, you may be in lawful possession of your carry pistol, but in commission of a felony with a rifle in your trunk, on in the proverbial "shotgun rack" that used to decorate the back window of every truck I saw where I grew up.

Now, though, with that wet blanket comment out of the way, I guess the starting point is the purpose for the trunk-gun:
Mission: I can foresee attending a sport event where a sniper-murderer starts shooting. Will pointed out above that the best thing might be just to leave, but what if your kids are on the field? Weapon #1 is the cell phone but the scenario might demand immediate response.
Another consideration is the likelihood of getting shot by the arriving first-responder law enforcers.
Mission: Traveling through isolated, flat, relatively bare country--I am thinking much of the American West here. We vacationed out west one summer when the news was warning of a band of highwaymen stopping vacationers and robbing them. I could have seen them backing off if you shot back, just standing off in the distance, and dropping rifle rounds on you. Your .380 just wouldn't be enough.
My conclusion:
Don't carry a trunk-gun if it's a felony.
Older, rugged, non-collector's item, such as the Enfield .303, or the Mosin-Nagant someone else mentioned. Also, as an "antique" it might not raise the ire of local law enforcement like an M1A or super-sniper rifle would.
M-1 carbine,perhaps, although the values have gone up ascending it beyond trunk-gun status probably. Also, 300yds would be good.
There are lots of lever-actions for sale out there. Cheap, rugged, got some power and some range.