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Old November 19, 2013, 10:51 AM   #1
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On the Road: Best car/hotel SD weapon?

My CCW, of course, but I’d also like to take along a more substantial defense weapon for the car and the hotel room. Obviously, ease of deployment/use are more important than long-range accuracy, but not sure what else would be important.

Among the contestants (I will be running a paired-comparison decision process):

Rossi SxS 20 ga. coach gun

Mossberg 510 mini-20

Winchester 94 in .44magnum

Marlin 94 in .357 magnum

Ruger Mini-14


So, first choosing among this half-dozen, which one would likely be all-around best for the hotel room/back seat of the car? Then, if you have one and only one better suggestion, please offer.


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Old November 19, 2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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For the hotel, I'd want the one with the least amount of potential wall penetration if I miss; that's going to be the Mini-14 loaded with .223 defensive rounds.

But for the car I'd want something shorter and easier to maneuver so I'd pick the 510 Mini or even the Rossi coach gun. I like model 94s for self-defense, and if they have 16" barrels they're pretty short, but not as short as those two shotguns. Besides, I'd worry about having issues with short-stroking a lever-action in the tight confines of a car.

And as far as keeping a loaded long gun in your backseat, you may want to review the applicable laws in the states you'll be driving through.
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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Out of your listed, I'd take the Mini-14. If by some chance, you were stranded at night and had to walk, it'd make me feel better than a handgun. You can also carry a decent number of rounds easily in a spare mag or two.

Also, on a side note, the Mini may look less harmless to people than an SKS or short shotgun.
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Old November 19, 2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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I'd want something that didn't telegraph me as being armed

Concealed handgun would be my first choice. If I was traveling and camping out of my car then I'd go for something in carbine or rifle.
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Old November 19, 2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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Why wouldn't you just use what you already carry? If you don't cc, i'd pick whatever pistol you keep in your car.
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:19 PM   #6
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On the Road: Best car/hotel SD weapon?

I stick with my ccw for carry, home defense, hotel defense, car defense, restaurant defense, grocery store defense, mall defense, SHTL (S-H-T-Lawn, taking the dog out to potty), Starbucks defense, gym defense, etc.
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:40 PM   #7
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As a long gun kept as a supplement to your CCW, I think the first question is "What is your CCW"

If your CCW is a small revolver (5-6 shots) with speed strips/loaders, then I think the added capacity of the rifles supplement your CCW best. As others have suggested, I throw my vote in with the Mini 14.

If your CCW is a higher capacity semi-automatic, then I lean towards power, and I am a fan of a pump action shotgun, so my vote would go to the Mossberg, especially when loaded with buckshot.

Personally, when I travel out of town, I am more likely to carry a back up handgun, either a 4"-6" revolver in 357 or a FS 9mm/45. If I were to pick my perfect travel long gun, I would pick a pistol caliber carbine chambered in the same caliber as your EDC (and if they used the same magazines, all the better).
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:04 AM   #8
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Inside a hotel? I'd have a good edged weapon at the ready. I'd suggest a Tomahawk, as that's what keep in my car. I don't think a rifle in a hotel is a good idea by any means. Neither is a handgun. In a vehicle I worry more about tools and utility than weapons. You're more likely to die in an accident anyway. That being said, the Mossberg 510 leaves the most in survival options as a tool.
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BlackFeather
I don't think a rifle in a hotel is a good idea by any means.
A rifle is a better option than any of the other weapons he mentioned. At least a rifle chambered in .223 like a Mini 14.
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Old November 20, 2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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Mini-14. If by some chance, you were stranded at night and had to walk, it'd make me feel better than a handgun.
Unless you're hoping that someone's going to give you a ride.

Depending on the state/city walking along the road at night with a loaded rifle could create more problems than it would solve.

I'd change my CC to something service sized, and maybe stay at nicer hotels?

If I had to choose I'd go with the coach gun because it's short enough to fit into an inconspicuous duffel-bag, and looks scary when it's pointed at you.
Plus, if you're worried about penetration, there are lots of exotic options out there that would fit most any need.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:53 AM   #11
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Id choose a pistol

You will get a LOT of attention if you are walking down the road with a rifle

(Unless a lot of attention is what you are seeking )

There are a great deal of things that can happen when you are traveling and going in and out of hotels and cars.

Things get stolen in hotel rooms and cars.

Do you leave the rifle in the hotel room when you go to a restaurant?
Do you carry it with you?

I travel in state (fellow texan) and out of state ...... When in Texas, My Shield 40 is enough gun for me
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Old November 22, 2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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I very seldom travel much any more, . . . if I did, . . . my AR would be my long gun I would take with me.

Punch two pins and lift, . . . my AR is really short, . . . fits in a standard suitcase, . . . doesn't look like a rifle, . . . take it into the motel, . . . re-assemble in about 10 seconds, . . . ready for the zombies, ruskies, chicoms, or whoever wants to be a pain.

I mostly rely on my 1911, . . . but if I got stuck in a place I didn't like, . . . it would be, . . . uhhh, . . . comforting to know I have a full 120 rounds above and beyond my 1911, . . . or in case it hiccups.

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Old November 22, 2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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Just use your handgun that you normally carry.

Don't leave a rifle in your room unattended.

Having said that, I vote for the Mini-14 or SKS, short, light, quick.

Might consider staying at a better hotel, though.

Last edited by kilimanjaro; November 22, 2013 at 08:12 PM.
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Old November 22, 2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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For long, overnight trips I like the security of having a Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag with me.

That includes handgun, longgun, and ample ammo.

I think that a shotgun with say #4 buck would be okay. I'd be worried about anything larger due to overpenetration.

I'd also think that the Mini14 with frangible 5.56 ammo would be good.

I like the idea of an AR15 for reasons mentioned. You can make it compact by popping out two pins.

With the violent uncertainty in our modern era (riots, terrorist siege on hotel, racial tensions, etc), and the relatively little effort and space to carry a longgun, absent a law preventing it, I see no reason to NOT...

Terrorists are picking 'soft' targets around the world, like hotels, malls, etc. Racial riots can and do occur. I just watched the footage from the LA Riots. The police fled the scene and chaos ensued. Imagine being in the middle of that!

Last edited by leadcounsel; November 22, 2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old November 22, 2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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Wow......just use your EDC and stop worrying about it

You REALLY think you are going to let off a Mini 14 inside your car?

I set a Glock on the nightstand in the hotel or it sits in my car door map pocket - easy to reach, easy to use
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Old November 23, 2013, 02:07 PM   #16
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I use my Sig 226 357Sig when I travel. If it is an extended trip I will take my M-4 type Delton Echo or a mossy 500. My wife has her Sig 228 9mm.
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Old November 24, 2013, 11:36 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I'm on the road tonight with a frequent CCW, a Kahr PM9. Because of a rushed departure both an SKS and the mini-20 are in my now disabled truck. Looking to buy a new GMC on the road tomorrow.
Best, Will
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Old November 25, 2013, 07:15 AM   #18
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I would put more emphasis on being discrete than trying to guess what level of firepower I might need for unknown sets of circumstances. Checking into a hotel with long gun slung over your shoulder is likely to result in an unpleasant visit with the local PD. Carry a good service pistol and if you really feel the need for more fire power, look at something you can fold or break down and put inside your regular lugage. The Keltec Sub 2000 or a short but legal pistol grip shotgun works for me.
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Old November 25, 2013, 07:25 AM   #19
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so i guess ya'll ain't stayin at a holiday inn express or disney world? expectin an alien invasion, hoodie invasion? are ya'll travelin with the kiddies? cc with handgun of choice.
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Old November 26, 2013, 08:59 AM   #20
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Truck, hotel, home, on foot or horseback, I don't change my method of carrying nor my CC revolver.

The only exception is when I'm hunting I carry something else, some sort of rifle,


I still have my 642 in my pocket even then.
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Old November 26, 2013, 10:23 AM   #21
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How about the Keltec SU16... takes AR mags, folds in half, lightweight, cheap'ish... fits in a small suitcase, large capacity, good aftermarket.

You could also make a good case for the Keltec Sub2000... .40cal 180gr Hydrashok out of a 16" barrel is no joke. Carry a G23 as a primary and only need one kind of mag.
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Old November 26, 2013, 11:12 AM   #22
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If I take more than one gun somewhere, they'e going to both be on me at all times.

I usually just take my Glock 19 but if I feel the need, the 26 can come too. Haven't taken more than 1 gun on vacation before. It's usually the Glock 19 with 4 mags.
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Old November 28, 2013, 02:25 AM   #23
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I have a travel bag for hotels and road trips. I have rotated a number of different guns through it but right now It consists of the following :

The bag itself is a tennis racket bag which fits two or three rackets plus shoes and other gear. I picked this up used so it looks a bit worn - not likely to raise any eyebrows checking in or carrying it across the parking lot. I doubt many people would even think it looks worth stealing.

Inside the bag are 1) an MKA-1919 semi-auto 12 gauge with a folding stock and 18" barrel, and 2) and AR handgun in 6.8X43mm with an 11.5 inch barrel. The shotgun has a 5 round magazine in it with two 10 round magazines in the bag. There are two 25 round AR magazines clipped together in the bag too. This is in addition to the handgun I have with me - usually an HK USP45.

In the hotel the shotgun would be the first weapon deployed - with #4 shot. On the road, depending on the situation, the AR would give better range (for ranges in the open desert where shooting might be defensible) and penetration.
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Old November 28, 2013, 05:03 AM   #24
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On the Road: Best car/hotel SD weapon?

Honestly, I don't fully understand the logic of carting a long gun on trips. I CCW, but the fact remains that if you're smart and avoid bad places and bad people the odds of ever being in an armed confrontation are statistically almost nil. For me that's just too much inconvenience for a protracted conflict that is almost certainly not going to happen. I know a lot of folks say, "Well where do you draw the line?" I guess for me I draw it at taking a rifle to the Holiday Inn.

For home/car/hotel I take a service pistol in any of the standard service pistol calibers, with one extra mag. For me that's always my Beretta PX4 .40 or Beretta 92FS 9mm.

On my own homestead I like having an AR-15 and 870 available, it just seems odd away from home.
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Old November 28, 2013, 07:54 AM   #25
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First of all, thanks to all, and here's hoping y'all have as much to be thankful about as I do today. Happy Thanksgiving.

For those who believe that a handgun (CCW) is plenty, because the odds are so small, I hope you are always right.

For me, "it ain't about the odds, it's about the outcome", which can be unacceptably bad if things go wrong.

Since it's pretty easy to be prepared for even those very rare events, I can't talk myself out of "why not?" (for example, either of (or both) the mini-20 and the mini-14 fit easily in a soft side guitar case).

At my age and stage of life, I fully expect to live out my life without ever having to confront a seriously violent situation.

However, it doesn't escape my notice that I have been known to be wrong.


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