Space SMG or Vehicle PDW – Kriss Vector

The vehicle PDW or “Truck Gun” is not a new concept. They were popularized by the advent of the braced pistol (which is currently under fire from the ATF through Q) in that a conveniently sized and legal means to carry a more powerful firearm than a personally concealable pistol was made simple.

A vehicle PDW will generally encompass several aspects above your personal CCW pistol.

  • Larger Capacity
  • Able to be moved within confines of a vehicle seat in each lateral direction (front, sides, and rear)
  • Capable of being shoulder fired and fired folded (if applicable)
  • Light bearing (especially if your CCW pistol is not)

The firearms that serve me best in this role are my X95, my CZ Scorpion, my XCR, and my LWRC M6 PSD. They are all small enough to move around an interior with relative ease, higher capacity, and capable of firing with or without shoulder/body support. The SCAR16 and Rifle Dynamics RD NATO receive honorable mentions here but the longer barrels when the stocks are unfolded make them suboptimal when thinking of a dedicated gun fighting from a vehicle interior (start of the an engagement) and transitioning in and out of said vehicle under fire and at close distance.

All of these shorter guns give you an easy 100 yards of coverage so longer barrels are not a necessity in role.

9-Hole bring up an excellent point when talking about pistol calibers specifically, low concussion. Three of the firearms I list are 5.56 caliber and two of them have barrels that are under 12 inches in length. The concussion of a rifle round in a confined space is immense and it becomes more so as you shorten the barrel. If you’ve ever fired a rifle inside the confines of an indoor range lane (without hearing protection on) you have an idea what the experience will be in a car. If you’ve done so with a short barreled firearm you are crazier than I.

You mitigate this concussive contention by picking a pistol caliber. A 9mm chambered PDW with a barrel greater than 4″ is already longer than the burn space estimated by ammo manufacturers, unlike short barrel (under 14.5″) 5.56x45mm carbines. You aren’t going to experience extra concussive force from the barrel length, just the confined space, and pistol cartridges are already operating at significantly lower internal pressures, 35,000 PSI for maximum 9mm vs 62,000 PSI in some 5.56 loads.

This change will make concussing yourself from within the vehicle and causing natural flinching much less of a problem, especially with unprotected ears.

The one point I will conflict with Josh and Henry on here is the point to point on their ‘snag points’. While it is true that the Kriss runs flush when you’re using the 17 round Glock magazine, making the only potential issue the rear of the firearm, it was compared to everything else running a 30 round magazine. The Kriss with anything over 17 rounds adds the magazine snag point while all the comparative firearms with 20 round magazines mitigate that to a great degree by having the magazine shorter than the weapons grip. It doesn’t eliminate it as a possibility but if the hand and grip fit and then the shorter magazine is much less likely to hit something you didn’t already hit unless you significantly change the angle of your presentation before getting the gun clear.

I run 20’s in vehicle guns for this very reason, it makes the grip the longest point on the gun while being the point of direct control and easiest to fix should it snag. Snagging is also an valid argument for stashing a sling instead of leaving it on the rifle. While it necessitates grabbing the sling as an extra step on exiting to use it if/when you leave the vehicle[Hint: use QD’s], that may be a valid compromise for the immediate mobility gain on the presentation. The sling might not be the only thing you grab either, you might be grabbing a whole emergency bag and you can stash your sling in there for when you get a second to pause.

The MP5, AK, and AR all have smaller capacity magazines that bring the length of the magazine to less than that of the grip and in the cases of the AR and AK give it 3 more rounds. The traditional short magazine for the MP5 is 15 rounds but 20’s also exist now from a couple of sources. Firearms like the CZ Scorpion also have 20 rounders. Guns like the XCR, MCX Virtus and its Rattler variant, or the Brownells BRN-180 in 300 Blackout with their gas settings set to run subsonic will also not over pressure. The sectional density on the 220gr 300 BLK in an expanding cored projectile may also offer desirable characteristics.

While I agree the Kriss is certainly a choice with many merits, it isn’t the only one.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.