I am fortunate to live where carry of a firearm in a vehicle is not a legal concern and therefore routinely have a carbine readily accessible in my car and home at all times.
Most defensive mined people who are serious about self-reliance have a handgun prepped and ready around the house, in the car or on their person. Many also keep a good shotgun at the ready. However, fewer folks seem to consider the carbine for home and vehicle defense.
There may of course be some legal issues to contend with these days (imagine that) while carrying any firearm in your car so know your state and local laws.
The following are a few considerations for readiness of your defensive carbine, and rapid availability:
- Zero the gun for you, with your preferred carry ammunition, and then carry that ammunition only. I personally prefer a 50 yard zero, which puts me back on at 200 yards and just a slightly elevated hold at 300 yards. Check your zero monthly if possible.
- Whether it be a magnified optic or a red dot system, any optic covers should be instantly removeable. I do not prefer flip-up lens covers because they are easy to forget in a critical moment and when in the pop-up position are always getting hung up. Get rid of them on a defensive rifle/carbine.
- Keep windage and elevation adjustments knobs covered. These adjustments should be set for you and you alone.
- Eye-relief. Magnified optics needs to be correct to my eye relief so that I’m instantly on-target the moment the rifle is shouldered. The adjustable stock should be set to accommodate this. Red dots of course give you some latitude and are not as worrisome.
- A simple and non-cluttered reticle is most suited for immediate action. For a defensive carbine all manner of added junk on the optic reticle tends to add hesitation on the shooters part. If you have a long-range precision rifle and wish/need to use it for that purpose, fine.
- Variable magnified optics should always be carried on the lowest setting, usually 1x or 1.5x. This allows for almost instant target acquisition and shooting with both eyes open.
- I prefer quick release bases on any magnified optic. By comparison I want any red dot to co witness with iron sights which live on my carbine always. In the case of magnified optic failing, quick release levers allow for immediate purging of optic and irons are now in use.
- Spare magazines should be carried one or two rounds short of full capacity to allow for easier magazine exchanges and seating in the event the bolt is forward. There must be about ½ inch of free depression on the top round for the magazine to seat properly.
- I believe in a sling on any shoulder fired gun. However, keep said sling rubber banded in place and out of the way when not in use. This prevents the sling from getting caught or hung up during immediate access. Once deployed all one need do is break the band(s) to utilize the sling.
- When carried in a vehicle, there is great discussion on chamber hot or cold. In some states your local laws may dictate this. Suffice to say, if I need to exit the car with a carbine there is a serious reason why. In this case chamber will be hot.
- Keep your defensive carbine clean and lubed … always.
If in doubt on proper procedures on any of the above, please get with a credible trainer.
Many folks carry a pistol every day. Why not have a carbine always at the ready? Some say this approach is a bit over the top.
But then again, a wise man once said, “Only a fool confuses preparedness with paranoia”.