Cross country trip rifle?


Getting ready to hit the road...Colorado to Michigan. Definitely bringing a handgun, not sure which one...G19 or HK45...? How many of you take a rifle while traveling the interstates? Worried about Illinois! Only rifle I can fit in my bag is a SCAR-H. Thought about a shotgun too, but I would need a bigger duffle. Let's hear your words of wisdom. Thanks


Gentleman Adventurer
I would opt for a shotgun. Just get a folding stock. If the only rifle you can fit then take the SCAR. As for the handgun take the one you are most proficient with and can conceal the best .

The issue with a long gun is the risk of having in your vehicle all time.


There is a 410 pump action that is really small (less than 29 inches) and with PDX1 defender shells it seems to be a rather formidable weapon, easier to conceal than a full size 12 GA.

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I’m pro gun and never leave home without something. What’s all the fuss about though? Bring what you like. Don’t speed, don’t text and drive and please use your turn signals.

I carry a Marlin 45-70 SBL and Ruger Alaskan .454 when I travel. And maybe a baby Glock 9mm for the rest areas. Whatever you are comfortable with. Bring it.


Let me be "Debbie Downer" for a minute.

Are you sleeping with your vehicle or in motel rooms? Overpenetration of your chosen defense rounds needs to be considered.

Do you have a way to secure a long gun in your vehicle while its unattended? If not, you should consider if it's best to bring one.

Do you know all the local laws about firearms, such as maximum magazine capacity, whether it can be loaded, etc. for all the places you'll be travelling?

Overall, I think you should take whatever you want. But consider what is practical. I think the pistol carried on your body will be more effective than the long gun stowed somewhere in the vehicle, every time. I would just take the pistol.


No fuss...just curious. For years a .357 was my copilot. But things are a little different now out in the world. I was curious after going through the "truck gun" topic, didn't realize how many people traveled with a long gun. Thanks
Yes..sleeping in hotels, have a locking system for my truck and don't plan on leaving anything inside.


Expedition Leader
When my grandfather was still alive and traveling all over in his RV he carried a 16" Rossi 92 .357. Quick and easy handling, no legal issues and .357 out of a rifle barrel is moving. Pretty sure he had his Colt Trooper with him too as I know he had some "hidin' spots", as he called them, in his camper. I've carried a Winchester 94 30-30 on several trips (was hoping to get a javelina on my cousin's property in Arizona). At the risk of having another post deleted :eek:, Illinois has some pretty draconian laws and I'd be worried about bringing something like the SCAR. Other than a lever gun, something like a cheap Mossberg 500 would probably be a safer bet; it's easy enough to lock it in a Pelican case or run a cable through the open action to secure it.


Thanks again everyone...Trip is postponed because of weather, so that gives me some time to get a folder for the shotgun. Safe travels


Expedition Leader
Try before you buy- most of the folding shotgun stocks I've seen suck. Some of them are heavy, ex. the metal side folders like Butler Creek, and change the balance of the gun. I have/had* one of the ATI side folders that came on a Mosserg 500 I picked up cheap. While somewhat functional, it wasn't as sturdy as you'd want on a 12ga. The old school metal top folders are probably the sturdiest but obviously make it harder to aim if fired while folded. if you're looking for compact, maybe consider a youth stock.

* Not sure if I still have it stuck in a box somewhere. If you have a Mossberg 500 and want it I'll see if I can find it and you could have it for the cost of shipping.
I personally would only take a concealed pistol. If something crazy happens I'd rather abandon the vehicle and hoof it with my pistol than have to worry about some long gun in a bag or left behind in the truck.

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Thanks Robert! Very kind gesture, it's a Remington.
Grizzlyblake- That's always been my thought in the past....I just started thinking about long guns while traveling last night after going through the "truck gun" posts.
Thanks again


Well the rules in Canada and the US are very different, in Canada handguns and almost everything AR based are a no go for you needs. For wildlife defense I carry a short 12 gauge, as I am often a few 100Km from cell service it is a nice all round choice.

My go to is this little guy 14 inch barrel - 5 x 2 3/4 or 4 x 3 inch. Out to 75 - 100yds it is a solid performer with slugs or rubber balls. It might be a option, but I do not know US firearms laws well enough to know if it is a valid option.

Mine sits behind the drivers seat, in a scabbard when I hit gravel, and I have a concealed secure storage if I am out of truck or in national parks and can not carry it.