Truck gun trouble? Lucid Optics has a solution
Eve Flanigan 09.26.18
Frustrated with figuring out where to best carry your truck gun? Tired of the time and effort required to access your long gun in the vehicle when on varmint patrol? From a rather unexpected source—an optics company—comes the solution. The Snap Rack by Lucid Optics is easy to use and makes short work of deploying your long gun while in the truck or car.
The Snap Rack is a simply an elastic-supported, plastic hook that, when secured around the barrel, holds a long gun tight against the back of the car seat.
When the Snap Rack is in use, the butt of the gun rests on the floorboard of a back seat, and the hook faces away from the operator. Releasing the firearm requires only grasping the forend or barrel with fingers while using the thumb to flick the hook off the barrel. The firearm is always supported and in a safe muzzle-up position until the user deploys or removes it.
Installing the Snap Rack
A headrest that has posts going into the seat back is required. Easiest to install is the kind of headrest that lifts all the way off the seat, which mine doesn’t. If that’s the case, you’ll need to thread the provided elastic into the second insertion point after wrapping it around the headrest.
Gauge the length of elastic needed to go around the headrest post and into the hook and cut it. There’s plenty of extra in case you miscalculate or want to move the Snap Rack to a different vehicle.
The open side of the hook faces the intended user. So for the driver’s use, the hook is on the inner post of the passenger seat, open end toward the center of the car.
Word to the wise: if your headrest is non-removable, it’s better to thread the elastic into the tighter, or convex, side of the hook first. I did it the hard way, and it was doable, but took some extra effort—a flat screwdriver was needed to squish the elastic end into the teeth. Following instructions from the Lucid Optics founder/owner, I burnt the ends of the elastic after installation to seal the nylon sheath around the stretchy core.
After securing the elastic band onto the hook, the plastic brace snaps into place around it. It’s a really tight fit, and as the package directions indicated, I had to use pliers to get enough leverage to anchor it down. It’s a tight fit! I had second thoughts about the ease of moving the device to another vehicle after this step.
With the Snap Rack installed, the long gun (an AR15 in this case) is set with the butt on the floor at an angle as tight as possible to the seat back. The barrel is then secured into the hook. Or reverse the process; that works too. This angled resting position of the gun isn’t covered In the printed directions, but makes all the difference in fit.
The sling mount on my AR prevents it from being completely flush with the seat, but also likely prevents it from rattling on rough roads. It’s still secure.
It may be necessary to extend the stock of the long gun to reach the hook. On the next-to-maximum length position, my AR fits well in the hook while protruding only about an inch above the seat back.
Using the Snap Rack
I drove around for a weekend with the Snap Rack in place, doing all the usual errands and using a private place on my own property to deploy the rifle from the Snap Rack. Of concern at first was how visible the gun would be through my non-tinted rear windows. That problem was easily solved by hanging a jacket over the gun, tucking it lightly around the AR here and there to keep it from swinging and exposing it. This worked well and gives no indication there’s a gun under there—it simply looks like a jacket hanging from the seat.
It was easy to drop the jacket away when deploying the rifle. A quick rearward flick of the thumb, and the rifle settled securely into my palm. Even with a shoulder that’s tricky, I find it easy to bring the rifle into the driver’s seat where it can be used—surprising, especially considering the stock’s extended. A 20-round magazine is a little easier to maneuver with, but the 30-rounder fits fine too, only requiring a little conscious effort when guiding it in the confines of the car’s interior.
Keeping the muzzle in a safe direction is also easier than I’d anticipated. The muzzle-up orientation and ease of both grasping and releasing the rifle keep it securely under my control throughout the process.
In addition to keeping the rifle hidden in easy reach, the jacket keeps dust away and quells any would-be rattling.
Get your own
The Snap Rack is a US-made product and carries a lifetime warranty that excludes user-induced damage. Order direct from the Lucid Optics website for $13.95. A $7.00 shipping fee covers up to three Snap Racks.
Common sense advisory: This information should not be construed as advice to carry a long gun illegally if that applies in your jurisdiction. For the best combination of safety and quick access, carry with the bolt forward on an empty chamber and magazine inserted/full, as applicable to the firearm