Mount Up: Securing Weapons With Adapt-a-panel and

If the world goes to s#!t, you want to be prepared. That’s why many feel that weapons and self-defense are at the top of the list. While we deliberately chose a Jeep JL Unlimited as a bug-out vehicle (BOV) for this project, this platform has a drawback. Sure, Jeeps are versatile and easily customized, but the issue is space. Once we started packing in Springfield Armory firearms and cargo in Project Bug Out, it was an obvious problem. After searching the internet for a solution to our lack of space, we found two companies specializing in mounting solutions. Adapt-a-panel and out of Mesa, Arizona, are sister companies that offer unique mounting and storage solutions. From a first responder to a hunting enthusiast or an all-out zombie apocalypse, these companies have everything you need to secure equipment in a vehicle. 

Bug Out Jeep

Project Bug Out is looking good with a Maxtrac lift, 17-inch Black Rhino wheels, and Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP 35-inch tires. Now we need to get some hardware on the interior.

The Loadout:

In our last installment for Project Bug Out, we picked up six new weapons from Springfield Armory Inc. For our long guns, we chose the Saint AR-15, Hellion, and SOCOM 16. For our side arms, we went with the Operator 1911, Prodigy, and the sub-compact Hellcat. Now, we just need to secure all of the firearms in our Jeep.

We selected firearms from Springfield Armory including the 1911 Operator, Prodigy, Hellcat sub-compact, Hellion, The Saint, and the SOCOM 16 for our loadout.

Gun Mounts and Adapt-A-Panel To The Rescue:

While searching the internet for weapons and accessory mounting solutions, we found Adapt-a-panel from, and their owner, Greg Foutz. Foutz Motorsports was founded in 1997, and its core was the foundation from which everything grew. Foutz started the gun mount product line in 2016. Foutz said, “I was approached to build custom rifle carriers and gear to be mounted in trucks for high-speed off-road chases. Adapt-a-panel was added in 2020 to fill a need for easily configured gear organizers that work with the Gun Mount products and other off-road and overlanding gear.” 

The team identified a unique need to be able to adapt your mounts for gear to work with all kinds of bolt patterns and mounting types, and from that, the Adapt-a-panel grid system was invented. The Grid insert provided the flexibility to mount just about anything where and when we needed to with ease. 

grid system

Adapt-a-panel grid system makes quick work of securing gear with limitless mounting options.

“This patent-pending product has provided amazing flexibility for gear organization in seat back panels, roof panels, bed wall panels, and even backpack inserts, allowing the end user to mount their gear in any orientation needed,” Foutz explained. “The inserts allow you to rotate the grid insert in several orientations, which moves the bolt pattern or slot to different positions to match the required gear bolt patterns or strap patterns for MOLLE-style gear.” 

Grid Panels

The company offers grid panels with a distinct main hole shape, providing each grid insert plug with twice as many index locations for increased flexibility. In short, if you can dream up a layout, this panel quickly makes it a reality. This highly customizable seat-back organizer allows creativity to blend seamlessly with functionality. The patent-pending Adapt-a-grid design will enable you to configure your gear in nearly any way imaginable. 

Adapt-a-panel offers several different mounting options for firearms. tools. equipment, and even backpacks.

Utilizing a combination of slots and grid inserts, you can attach various accessories and secure them for your journey. The system accommodates 1/4-inch bolt hardware in all slot areas, and the grid insert parts are adaptable for multiple modifications. The grid layout also pairs well with MOLLE-strap accessories, allowing you to fill open spots as needed. 

We are constantly developing new products for both Adapt-a-panel and Gun Mount. The platforms lend well to being creative, and sometimes, just a simple new strap mount to hold a rifle hand guard can open up many new options for our customers. – Greg Foutz

The Layout

With the two panels on the table, we began planning what would go where. This process took way longer than the actual installation. We would lay it out, and after some discussion, we would think of a better layout. We added the grid inserts once we were finally happy with the position. Choosing various inserts for the panel allows you to alter the configuration swiftly to suit your current adventure.

In this set of images you can see how we secured the hex pieces in the panel, added a drop base for the SOCOM 16, and mounted our five-pound sledge hammer.

The panel behind the driver’s seat secures the Hellion rifle and SOG hatchet, and we still have room for a flashlight, gloves, and PMAG magazines for the long gun. On the back of the passenger’s seat, we decided to mount the SOCOM 16 rifle. The issue here is the gun is long, and the barrel hit the top of the Jeep. However, Adapt-a-panel offers a plate and base that lowers the weapon on the grid, thus freeing up the room we needed to make it work. We also added a set of SOG knives, a five-pound sledgehammer, and the 1911 Operator pistol. The 1911 is mounted so the driver or rear passenger can pull the gun when needed. The Safariland holster does a great job securing the 1911, ensuring the weapon will not move until required. We plan to add some more magazines and a few other survival necessities down the road. 

With Adapt-a-panel's grid system, customizing is the name of the game. Due to the Springfield Hellion's unique design, we adapted a U-shaped mount to the panel. We also used Velcro straps to secure the SOG throwing knives and utilized Safariland's holster to hole the 1911.

Panel Installation

Installing the Adapt-a-panels is quick and easy. The upper strap attaches to the headrest while the lower wraps around the seat frame. This design lets you take the panels in and out with just a second’s notice. So, if you’re on a trip with all your gear and don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the vehicle, you can remove it and then reinstall it in a matter of minutes before you hit the road. 

Attaching the panel is too easy. Simply attach the strap at the headrest and around the seat frame and the bottom.

Another great feature of the panels is that Adapt-a-panel offers all kinds of mounts to secure just about anything you want. And if they don’t have exactly what you need, if you can find it elsewhere, the odds are it will bolt onto the panel. The Springfield Hellion is a great example. Due to the thickness of the rifle, it was too wide for the mounts we had. So, we found a gun mount online that would work, which mounted to the panel effortlessly. 

Front Seat Weapon Solutions

With the seat back finished, we turned our attention to the front of the Jeep. Having a pistol just arm’s length from the driver makes sense. We used the Gun Mount understeering column pistol mount and another Safariland holster to house the Prodigy 1911. This mount clips onto the plastic panel below the steering wheel and takes less than five minutes to install. It does an excellent job securing the firearm and is concealed much better than we initially thought. 

We used the Gun Mount understeering column pistol mount and another Safariland holster to house the Prodigy 1911. We used a left side mount so that the the pistol could be removed with the right hand of the driver. If the driver were left handed, you would need a right hand holster.

At this point, we have all firearms secured in the Jeep except the Saint AR-15. After some careful thought, we knew the weapon needed to be accessible by both the driver and passenger. With minimal options for this in a Jeep, we found the solution on The company offers a front-seat AR rifle mount that secures and locks in an AR-15. Foutz said, “For the Gun Mount product, our most popular item is a hard split between our front seat AR rifle mount and our understeering column pistol mount.” The only question was, will the AR mount work in a Jeep?

Gun Mount offers a versatile front-seat AR rifle mount that secures and locks in an AR-15. We made a change to the base of the unit which allowed us to bolt it up under the seat bracket. This meant no punching holes in the floorboard of the Jeep.

Space Issues: It’s A Jeep Thing

We repositioned and moved the AR mount several times, trying to figure out where and how this unit would best work. Fortunately, this product is very versatile and allows for modification. The unit can be bolted to the floor, but in this case, it wouldn’t work for a couple of reasons. First, the transmission tunnel in the JL is wide, pushing the mount into the passenger’s space and moving the gun too close to the dash to the point that you could not remove the AR with the attached magazine. Secondly, we would need to remove the factory skid plate, and who knows what else would be in the way. So, instead of mounting through the floor, we welded a tab to the lower bracket and used the seat bolt to secure the mount.

Here is the Gun Mount AR-15 Mount with the Saint locked and loaded, literally.

With the mount secured in the Jeep, we were still unhappy with how much it protruded in the passenger’s space. However, due to the AR mount’s versatile design, we used the pre-drilled holes in the upper part of the bracket and angled the bottom of the rifle toward the driver’s side. This position did two things for us. One, it allowed the driver better access to the weapon. Two, it freed up the passenger’s side so the firearm was not encroaching if someone was riding a “shotgun.” The best part is that the console still opens, and the Saint can be removed without hitting the dash with the magazine installed. 

By changing the angle of the mount, the Saint can now be removed by the driver or passenger in seconds. We love the fact that the mount securely holds the firearm and locks for safety.

With all the Springfield Armory weapons secured and some of our accessories (more to come), we will wrap this story up. Adapt-a-panel and Gun Mount made getting everything in our Jeep possible, even with limited space. These products are highly flexible and a great addition to any vehicle, whether you need added storage space or are getting ready to bug out. 

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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