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Driving with a Handgun: Best Practices

Jimbo

Elite
[ And before folks jump in here to say this is the reason why their older vehicles are superior, we should all remember that our chances of being in a motor-vehicle-collision due to everyday driving is much, much higher than our need to use the vehicle to escape any "threat," here, CONUS. Underplaying a modern vehicle's drastically increased occupant-safety capabilities is disingenuous, at-best. ].
Unfortunately, if you live in certain cities, your need to use your vehicle to escape any threat is growing by the day, it seems. I would never want a vehicle that would shut off the fuel system if I had to escape an ANTIFA checkpoint, for example, and the thugs were surrounding my car on all sides.
 

bigx5murf

Elite
[ And before folks jump in here to say this is the reason why their older vehicles are superior, we should all remember that our chances of being in a motor-vehicle-collision due to everyday driving is much, much higher than our need to use the vehicle to escape any "threat," here, CONUS. Underplaying a modern vehicle's drastically increased occupant-safety capabilities is disingenuous, at-best. ].

Bringing up something from my motorsports days. Most cars campaigned by amateur racers tend to have all the electronic safety devices removed, or disabled (airbags and traction control were commonly removed/disabled), and likely had thousands of dollars invested in mechanical safety equipment (roll cages, bucket seats, 4-5 point harnesses, hans device, fire suppression, etc). This extends to most semi pro, and pro motorsports as well. Modern road going vehicle safety features, have to also contend with being convenient and comfortable as well. If occupant safety were prioritized above all else, we'd by mandating at least a 4 point harness and hans device + helmet when driving.
 

TSiWRX

Professional
^ Oh, absolutely!

What I was trying to convey in that part of my post is that for unmodified road-legal vehicles, as-purchased/leased, modern safety features will tend to make the vehicle much more crashworthy - again in an everyday motor vehicle "accident" manner - versus their counterparts from previous eras.

Certainly, with enough expertise, we can modify our "doomsday vehicle" to increase either its capabilities in adverse conditions (be that driving off-road or in its durability/survivability against threats), but as you so astutely noted, the compromises in everyday driveability, overall livability - or even simply expense - may make that ideal setup all but unreachable for many, if not most.
 

KillerFord1977

Ronin
Founding Member
^ Oh, absolutely!

What I was trying to convey in that part of my post is that for unmodified road-legal vehicles, as-purchased/leased, modern safety features will tend to make the vehicle much more crashworthy - again in an everyday motor vehicle "accident" manner - versus their counterparts from previous eras.

Certainly, with enough expertise, we can modify our "doomsday vehicle" to increase either its capabilities in adverse conditions (be that driving off-road or in its durability/survivability against threats), but as you so astutely noted, the compromises in everyday driveability, overall livability - or even simply expense - may make that ideal setup all but unreachable for many, if not most.
A ‘77 F250 with reinforced front end with snow plow mount ought to be enough to “tackle” some folks trying ill will while I’m driving 😉

i think only safety feature added was a lap belt from the factory 😆
 

BrewIt

Operator
For round town trips, I just deal with a little discomfort with my EDC IWB holster. For all day trips, I use an ankle holster. Comfortable enough and easier to access than my IWB and seatbelt.
 

fordag

Operator
I'm thinking that I should carry my gun in my lap, between my legs, in a pocket holster, while I drive. Then back in the pocket before I exit the vehicle. The only problem I can see with doing it this way is if I eat while driving - I don't want any food or drink to get on my gun.

The way I do it now - in the pocket at all times - makes it largely unavailable while I am driving.
1986 FBI Miami shootout

"...The initial collision that forced the suspects off the road caused some unforeseen problems for the agents, as the FBI vehicles sustained damage from the heavier, older car driven by Matix. Just prior to ramming the Monte Carlo, Manauzzi had pulled out his service revolver and placed it on the seat in anticipation of a shootout, but the force of the collision flung open his door, and according to reports, his weapon either went flying out the door or was thrown to floor. Hanlon lost his .357 Magnum service revolver during the initial collision, though he was still able to fight with his Smith & Wesson Model 36 backup weapon..."

Lap carry or anything along those lines in a vehicle is a recipe for losing your gun when you need it most.

Your weapon must be secured at all times, in a holster or something designed specifically for securing the weapon.

Those "Gun Magnets" are an absolute joke for vehicle use, they will do nothing but let your gun go flying in a collision. If they were strong enough to keep your gun in place during an accident then you would not be able to remove your weapon from it without a pry bar.

Shoulder holsters are good for vehicle use.

The CarJacker Crossdraw from Andrews leather is an excellent choice as well.

Practice whatever bend you need to accomplish to draw from the holster you normally use. I can easily draw from my holster at 4 o'clock by bending left and forward.

Imagine every single way that your vehicle can be hit, front end, rear end, T bone, etc, etc. Your weapon must be 100% secure in every one of those scenarios.
 

Bassbob

Ronin
55lb, etc.. magnetic car holsters, of which there are many, including the Phantom Quick Draw, are going to hold it as well as anything else, possibly including the holster on your hip it's in. The fact is way too much importance is placed on the car accident argument. If you're in a car accident violent enough to shake one out of one of these holsters you have way bigger problems than your gun being thrown into the back floorboard or whatever.
 

fordag

Operator
55lb, etc.. magnetic car holsters, of which there are many, including the Phantom Quick Draw, are going to hold it as well as anything else, possibly including the holster on your hip it's in.
The M1911A1 pistol fully loaded with 8+1 rounds weighs approximately 2.86 lbs.
In a 20 mph single vehicle collision with an object the pistol will incur an impact force of 116.6 lbs.

116.6 pounds of force.
Already double what your magnet is "rated" to hold. That rating is bare magnet to metal. However all of the "gun magnets" I've seen have a coating on them to protect the firearm's finish, so it's no longer 55 lbs. Also that measurement is a straight off pull, it's not a side load. As you probably know the way to separate two powerful magnet is to slide them apart or angle them apart. So that drops the rating of your magnet down even more dramatically from "55 lbs." Go to Home Depot, in the the landscaping section, find the 50 lb. bags of sand. Now pick one up using only one hand, not your back or your legs just your hand and tell me that's the same amount of force you have to use every time you pull your pistol off of your "gun magnet".

Last time I was in a car accident I was rear ended at a stop light. The driver behind me was not paying any attention and hit me at about 30mph, while I was at a complete stop, foot on brake. Now that would have been 262.4 lbs of force on the gun. No "gun magnet" is going to hold that pistol. However my 1911 stayed right in my holster nice and snug, and didn't budge.

I had whiplash, which I didn't feel until the next morning. My right arm likewise had nerve damage, but again I did not know until the next day. I was able to get out check on the other driver and his pregnant wife, interact with the state trooper, take some photos, make a couple of calls. Finally I was able to drive home that night, unholster and put away my gun without any hindrance. I would have had no issues with engaging a threat. Because I would have had my gun. It wouldn't have been who knows where because it flew off a "gun magnet."

We carry guns for the teeny tiny chance we might need them to defend ourselves. Now if someone wants to get at you while you're in your car, ramming you is a great way to disorient you and put you off your game. A gun magnet in that situation is only going to lose your gun for you.

Force calculations:
 

Bassbob

Ronin
For the record I don't use any of that in a vehicle. I keep my pistol on me. I am not opposed to it though.

For long guns I like this, though I haven't installed it yet.

3Bv3eqy.jpg
 

fordag

Operator
I think maybe you are thinking about these.

Not these.
I'm familiar with both and what I said equally applies to both. The Vulcan mounts you link to are sold under various names. I would not trust any magnet mount in a car. Physics will win every time.
 

Ranger715

Elite
I think it's funny to have all this discussion over something I never considered to be an issue. I put on my gun (strong side OWB). I get in the car and drive. I can still draw it when seated, although not as easily as standing, but that's to be expected.

The practice of removing/replacing the gun with every entry and exit just creates opportunities for accidents and/or forgetting the gun at the wrong time. "Keep the gun on you" should be the rule.

If I am stopped for some routine traffic violation, I am not going to tell the officer I'm armed. I say this as a former officer of many years. Some cops will handle it calmly and be cool, others won't. I know my gun is not a threat to the police. He/she doesn't need to know. In some states, I guess you are required by law to disclose it, in which case you have no choice. But if you have a choice, there is no reason to do so. Just offer your license, registration and insurance, keep your hands on the wheel, and don't make a fuss.

What if the officer just straight up asks if there are any weapons in the car? You have to understand, many police are aggressive in their pursuit of making busts. They may ask all manner of intrusive questions, and may even ask to search your car. It is not unconstitutional for them to ask permission. But you DON"T have to answer, or give permission. Do not lie, but do not answer. My canned response to this situation is, "Officer, I'm happy to provide you the required documents, but I don't care to answer any fishing expedition questions." This may irk them. Tough. Just politely assert your rights, without being combative. If the officer oversteps, then you have an issue to resolve in court. Don't try to resolve it on the side of the road. You will lose.
 

BobM

Hellcat
I think it's funny to have all this discussion over something I never considered to be an issue. I put on my gun (strong side OWB). I get in the car and drive. I can still draw it when seated, although not as easily as standing, but that's to be expected.

The practice of removing/replacing the gun with every entry and exit just creates opportunities for accidents and/or forgetting the gun at the wrong time. "Keep the gun on you" should be the rule.

If I am stopped for some routine traffic violation, I am not going to tell the officer I'm armed. I say this as a former officer of many years. Some cops will handle it calmly and be cool, others won't. I know my gun is not a threat to the police. He/she doesn't need to know. In some states, I guess you are required by law to disclose it, in which case you have no choice. But if you have a choice, there is no reason to do so. Just offer your license, registration and insurance, keep your hands on the wheel, and don't make a fuss.

What if the officer just straight up asks if there are any weapons in the car? You have to understand, many police are aggressive in their pursuit of making busts. They may ask all manner of intrusive questions, and may even ask to search your car. It is not unconstitutional for them to ask permission. But you DON"T have to answer, or give permission. Do not lie, but do not answer. My canned response to this situation is, "Officer, I'm happy to provide you the required documents, but I don't care to answer any fishing expedition questions." This may irk them. Tough. Just politely assert your rights, without being combative. If the officer oversteps, then you have an issue to resolve in court. Don't try to resolve it on the side of the road. You will lose.

Thing is though and simply put, the law of the land and personal experience isn't always the same everywhere. So, results can vary even with good intent on either or both positions. The one size fit's all scenarios don't always work. Keep calm, keep respectful and in many cases keep quiet.
 
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