The search for the perfect truck gun never ends, and for many of us the definition of what a truck gun should be able to do can vary. For some, a .22LR can fit that bill. For others, maybe a .243 laser gun for predators or for farm management.
The set of requirements for my truck is a bit different. While longer shots may be needed, I’m not on the farm enough anymore that a 200+ yard shot is something that the “truck gun” will need to make – if I’m predator hunting, I’ll have the Tikka with me. Close-in work would be a priority, but so would discrimination of target, and overall bullet energy. From my perspective, if I wouldn’t take a .223/5.56 out to ethically hunt a 140 lb. deer – not that it can’t be done, simply that it’s not what I would choose - then the round wouldn’t be my choice for a personal or family protection setup either.
So what then, would be the priorities for my truck gun? This line of thought leaves me looking for something small and mobile but powerful, forsaking nice-but-heavy luxuries like long barrels and suppressors in favor of short pistols in heavier calibers.
This had been in my mind for some time, and when Springfield Armory released the SAINT Victor in a 10.3” .308, it fit the description close enough in a brand reputable for quality that it warranted consideration for the job.
- From a mobility standpoint, it’s definitely there. Short barrel and SBA3 brace reduce the profile of this gun considerably.
- Short barrels can be obnoxious, and with a .308 this one is loud, but the blast diverter helps here quite a bit.
- The M-Lok rail is slick and ensures that I’ll have a powerful light on the end of it. And though the brace has a single-point attachment, I don’t run single-points, so another swivel attachment will be needed here too.
- The flat trigger has a much nicer feel to it than a standard GI trigger.
- 25-round PMAGs.
- Might have to try a couple different rounds to see what it likes best – the 168gr AMAX Hornady Black rounds I demo’d the gun with grouped a little over 3” at 100 yards; however, this was with a 6x optic and I wasn’t trying that hard. I still believe that something closer to 150gr, as well as a soft point, might be more appropriate for the application.
- The flat trigger, while nicer than a GI in feel, is still too stiff for me. This will get swapped out for a Geissele or Trigger Tech at some point.
I considered and tested two optics for this setup, and I’ll talk a bit about both.
Due to the considerations for mobility, I first considered an Aimpoint CompM5 for this task. The profile on this is super-slick, small, and I like the AAA battery for the CompM5.
Having run Micro T2’s for years, the 2 MOA dot and Aimpoint quality were like seeing an old friend. This is a good option, and one that could work – but I still find myself running into the old problem of target discrimination that I’ve always had with running reflex as a primary optic. Namely, that as my eyes start to deteriorate, many times I can see stuff good enough to shoot it, but I can’t see it well enough to make good decisions about shooting it.
For that reason I swapped the CompM5 out for a Kahles K16i 1-6x24 for this setup. This added a bit more weight and increased the profile of the gun, but added the ability to use magnification if needed, up to 6x. If I hadn’t have already had the 1-6 available for this purpose, I would have opted for the new Kahles K18i, which is an absolutely phenomenal optic, or a Nightforce NX8. The Nightforce ATACR 1-8x24 also came to mind, but decided against in favor of sticking with a 30mm tube over the ATACR’s heavier 34mm.
The bottom line is, this is a lot of gun for the money. It comes in two versions, a standard with 20 round magazine and a low-capacity version – pretty much the same thing but with a state-compliant mag. Definitely worth consideration if you have interest in a heavy-caliber, low-profile pistol.