Cheap Truck Guns

Running around the deer lease in your pickup truck is about as American as it gets. Running around said property in your truck with a gun behind the seat is even more so. The theory behind the truck gun is one of necessity. The rural population sometimes has a need to put down a wandering animal hit by a car, to take care of nuisance predators, or to cut down the bothersome hog population. City dwellers also have a need, although theirs is more along the lines of self-preservation, and that’s a whole other article.

Our Choices for Truck Guns

Truck guns have to be tough, accurate and dependable. They also have to be expendable, since theft is an all too common event these days. You shouldn’t care if your precious firearm get knocked around, dented or scratched. For the purposes of this article, they also have to be fairly inexpensive and available to the masses. So what’s the ideal truck gun? There isn’t a single answer, since not everyone has the same needs. However, there are a few contenders that many people tend to gravitate towards.

Savage Axis

It’s cheap, reliable and comes with Savage’s exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy. Available in just about all the major calibers, you’d be hard pressed to find something in that price point that can touch it. The stock isn’t pretty, the trigger could be better, but throw on an inexpensive optic and you’re on your way. If someone steals it, you’re only out about $300 bucks.



Yea. They’re ugly, but who cares? They fit the bill from top to bottom. Even though the days of the $75 Mosin are long gone, the lower-than-most cost and robust design makes these a top contender for the budget conscious truck gun enthusiast. I mean, are you really going to care if your already scratched to hell 91/30 gets a few more love bumps on it? Chambered in the massively powerful 7.62x54R, these guns served the Russian Tsarist and subsequent Soviet armies for more than 120 years and just about everyone who owns guns has one stashed in a corner somewhere. If you don’t, you can still pick one up at most mil-surp shops.



Normally, I would say this is too expensive of a firearm to throw in the back of your truck to get knocked around. However, in today’s post Obama gun market you could put a basic AR on the street corner with a sign that says, “Will exchange for canned food” and you might not get any takers. Still, we’re talking about a semi-auto 5.56mm rock star that almost every gun owner already has at his or her disposal. It’s not shy on versatility and has a well-documented history of getting the job done. It belongs on this list many others.


Hi-Point Carbine

I know. It’s a Hi-Point, but hear me out. These things run. They’re not pretty but they’ll toss 9mm kibble downrange with surprising accuracy and you’ll forget you’re shooting such an unattractive looking hunk of alloy and polymer. You can mount optics on them if you want, but the irons do just fine. Hi-Point sells a ton of these things and you can get one in just about any color you’d ever want. Put me down for two.


Marlin 336

What’s this? A lever action you can actually afford? Neat. Marlin has been producing this firearm since 1948, but it’s now manufactured by Remington Arms. There’s plenty of new and used ones available, and it has a reputation for being an icon of the quintessential American hunter. Often chambered in the ever-useful .30-30 Winchester, the Marlin seats itself onto our list because shooters have been using lever actions for truck guns since day one. Why mess with a good thing?


Runners Up:

These guns are worth a mention, but didn’t quite make our list due to poor availability and/or cost effectiveness.

H&R Handi Rifle:

This used to be a great go-to option, but in case you haven’t heard. The Handi rifle is dead. They apparently got sucked up into Freedom Group and nothing came out the other end. I’ll miss the simplicity of this firearm.

Kel-Tec SU-16

Like other models by Kel-Tec, high demand and low production numbers kept this firearm out of the running. We should all be grateful to the Florida based manufacturer though. While many companies just print copies of each other’s designs, these guys continue to captivate us with new and innovative ideas. The SU-16 is a unique folding 5.56mm NATO rifle that was pretty much designed to be a backpacker’s rifle. If you can find one, get it!


AK and its Variants

The only reason this Soviet legend didn’t make the list is the current inflated price. If you haven’t shopped for AKs in a while, buckle up. You can get a AR for much cheaper than your average AK at this point. I’m not saying you shouldn’t own one. The historical significance alone is enough to shell out some dough, but maybe just take a bit better care of it. My AK just sits in the safe, next to some of my nicer guns I rarely shoot.


What’s your idea for a truck gun? Let us know in the comments below.

45 Comments On This Article

  1. I have a Hi-Point 9 mm carbine. I bought it simply because it was cheap. The little ugly gun shot reliably every time and is ACCURATE. You not going to cry if your $300.00 Hi-Point gets dinged or scratched. They come in a multitude of colors or your order a replacement stock kit and customize your own!! Do forget Hi-Point are warranted forever, but you’ll need to work at to break it.


      • Google “Redball magazine” (minus the quotes) and you’ll get many links to a factory authorized 20 round magazine for your 995ts that works well and doesn’t void any warranties. CheaperThanDirt currently has them for $21.97.

        Looks like somebody took two 10 round magazines and stacked one on top of the other, so forget lying prone to fire with one of these sticking down out of the pistol grip, but by all reports these work very well (search for redball magazines over on YouTube and see countless user review videos) and they are approved by Hi-Point…

    • I have a dozen guns but the Hi Point 995 is my favorite to shoot. Accurate, its always fun to hit what your aiming at, cheap to shoot, very smooth easy on the shoulder, I love it. My AR usually stays in the case.


    I bought a High Point 4595 (according to me) for plinking. This gun is as ugly as a weapon can get, as heavy as a horse, but very accurate as any high priced guns have. I recommend it to anyone who is on a budget and want to kill all the targets (or zombies) they can get your hands on.

    • People need to stop calling the Hi-Point’s ugly and stop calling them rifles…they are carbines! I think they are a cool looking tactical Carbine and they just don’t stop working. My 995 (9mm) can hit a 5 inch target area (from the bulls-eye) at 200 yards with a 3x Mag scope I purchased at Amazon for $39. The Hi -Point 995 only cost me $219, what a deal. I also have a Hi-Point C9 9mm handgun and this thing is a work horse and it only cost me $139 and the C9 can hit within 3 inches of the bulls-eye at 20 yards. I get tired of people putting down Hi-Point firearms, they are solid firearms that just plain work and work very well. Better then many of the Glocks, S&W, Rugers I have fired (jams of one form or another). Also another very good handgun and is only around $269 is the EAA B6P 9mm. It’s used by Police and Militeries around the world and the EAA B6P is a solid handgun and very accurate and has a great trigger.

    • Ditto on the Kel-Tec Sub 2000. I’ve got a 1st gen in .40 S&W that uses Glock mags. A folder, it fits just about anywhere in my truck or car for that matter. And with the 32 round extended mags, nice firepower.

  3. I think you did a good job. You might have a little police trouble with the AK and AR variants in some places. I live in the country and survey for a living so I’m in the outdoors all the time and need a little more oomph than a 9mm. My first truck gun was a Marlin 336T with the straight stock. Then I got a Remington Mohawk 600 (talk about ugly) in .243. Finally I bought a Norinco SKS back when you could get one and a case of ammo for $110.00. I put a 5 round mag to keep it relatively low profile, a recoil pad to get it to fit me, and an aperture sight. I killed my 2 biggest bucks with it. Right now I’m building a lowball AR. It’s pretty easy to carry anything in Alabama

  4. My favorite is the Ruger mini 14 stainless steel ranch rifle, cal 223, buy xtra clips, scope and good iron sights, many accessories are available, for your personal upgrades

    • I was going to mention the Mini-14, but you beat me to it. Of course, a new one is pretty pricey so maybe not a truck gun based on that. I had an old 5.56 Mini that I used to strap across the handlebars of my dirt bike when I went into the desert. Wonderful guns.

  5. I bought the HiPoint 4095 because I have .40 cal sidearms. Put a inexpensive TruGlo red dot on it and was literally driving tacks at 50 yards, each bullet touching adjacent holes! The group opened up some at 100 yards, but hey we are talking about a pistol caliber.

  6. I bought a Hi Point carbine two weeks ago and took it out to shoot it last weekend…Ugly ?-yes…accurate-?- yes…I was amazed at how it ate everything I put in it with no FTF’s , nor FTE…the first 20 rounds and I got 14 in the red…might order another for my son…

  7. For my money, Hi-Point is a real force to reckon with. If you think it is an ugly gun now, you should have seen it before they refined the lines of the old stock. The gun shoots and shoots and shoots. It will take any ammo and get the lead downrange where it needs to be. I bought my first one for under $200 and my second one for slightly over 200. Dollar for dollar, it is the best investment you’ll ever make for a truck gun or a home defense weapon.

  8. I have a 4595 HI point and we need to quit talking about how good they are or we will drive the price way up. Yes it is a great gun for the price. I also have a Sagia before the price went way up on this AK.

  9. Don’t forget the trusty SKS. They fire the same 30 Cal round as the AK and can be purchased for $300 or less. Many of them accept the AK magazines but the toploaders hold five rounds which is fine for a truck gun.

  10. Don’t consider a 9mm carbine for any use other than close range fire. It’s near worthless for “down range” knock down. For long range, don’t get anything less than an AK (or variant) in .762/.308 cal for distance and knock down power.
    If you want a “deer” gun then nothing less than a .243 cal bolt action because you don’t need rapid fire.

    • What? Ever heard of shot placement? You have any idea how many people have died due to 5.56/.223 wounds? ARs are accurate, AK not so much. The AK design is to put rounds down range, sure not for sniper work. ARs on the other hand are used for many types of duty, including sniper work. The AK variant you speak of is nothing more than different counties/manufacturers, where as with the AR platform, there are multiple calibers, such as the 300 Whisper/Blackout, .223 Wylde, and the excellent 6.5 Grendel to name a few. One final note, with the right bullet configuration Whitetail deer can be taken with the AR in the venerable .223, just ask Winchester who makes a Whitetail round.

  11. This whole retired farmer carried a savage combination gun for 40 years. Shotgun (20g) over rifle (222) never had to make a choice which one I needed from day to day

  12. Ruger Scout Rifle in 308w, stout enough to knock down most anything but small enough to carry behind any seat. With a decent optic or open sights good out to 200 yds.

  13. Great article, and I own four of the basic five listed, plus several of the runner ups. Of all of them, I think my old Marlin 30-30 is one of the best choices. Solid, reliable, a good powerful round, and easy to handle in a crunch.

  14. Have to agree with the Hi-Point people. She’s not the one you’re gonna show off at the prom but she’s devoted to getting the job done! I’ve had the 9mm carbine for a few years and may try the 45 soon. We can roll around in the dirt and have fun! If I want to show off, I have other weapons to dazzle.

  15. I bought a 9mm and was so impressed with it, I bought a 45 caliber also. I put red dot scopes and tactical lights on them and at 50 yards they can drive tacks. They grow on you !

  16. I have a Hi-Point carbine in 9mm. Not much to look at, but it goes bang every time and is not real picky on ammo and is more accurate than I expected. Cheap, too. Picked one up because I had read nothing but good reviews on Hi-Point’s carbines. Pistols, though, are another story. It also serves as my ‘throw away’ gun…just in case of a sudden crack down. I mean they can have it…I “sold” all my others. Steel cased ammo? From what I’ve read Hi-Point uses steel cased when they test out their carbines so cheap steel cased ammo should not be a problem. Mine likes Tula very much.

  17. My knock-around of choice is the Ruger Mini-30. The 7.62X39 will handle anything you want, including a big hog. With polymer stock and in stainless, it is a low-maintenance truck gun. Only downside is cost of magazines, and a very bad trigger. I would recommend having the trigger reworked. After that, it is fast, accurate, and dependable.

  18. The HI Point Carbine is like a crescent wrench. Might not be the perfect tool for every job but every toolbox should have one.

  19. I have a Hi-Point 9mm, love it and call it my ‘Planet of the Apes’ gun. People laugh at it until they feel it and shoot it, then welcome to the ugly gun club.