If you have a short shotgun and any center fire pistol you are pretty well armed. We travel in an RV, 5 th wheel, tiny trailers and in between sizes for decades. Bought my first 13 foot trailer in 1974. I have never wanted to be in a fight in some other state and look like Rambo. So I agree with you completely on that subject. And you are pretty darn well armed with a lever gun.
So I often carry a short shotgun like you, a big handgun, a Glock or a 357, and a third small 380 or 9mm or 38. The little one is for my wife. Depends on the states we are going to. I bought two J frame 38s just for our RV travels a few years ago. Two 38s and a shotgun is all we took.
We did buy the Keltec Sub 2000 a couple years ago, It takes the Glock 19 mags, and I have a Glock 19 , and if my wife takes her Ruger 9mm, all we need is 9mm ammo. Another thought about traveling with guns that worries me is getting far from your truck like when fishing, hunting or hiking. You come back to you truck and some guy is standing there
with your extra gun. Ouch.
I have a couple small safes in my truck and Jeep, I chain them to the back seat. I also have those heavy duty bike locks that will secure a long gun. The Keltec Sub 2000 is kind of an ugly gun. But, it folds to 16.5 inches and when hiking I just put it in a backpack. I do have one of those 33 round mags that stays in that backpack. It us just a novelty, except I put 30 rounds in it. In a SHTF it would be handy. A 9mm long gun and a 9 mm on the hip is pretty well armed. I am good with that package, anywhere except the NW where they have those beware the bears signs. They make them in 40 also.
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I know a guy who carried only a 44 mag lever gun, with a 16 inch barrel. He carried it in his Corvette. Tony was a Viet Nam vet and had AR 15s he used to hunt coyotes and hogs back in 1972, long before the current craze. He would ride around on family land and just rural roads where he was from. He was known for his ability to shoot coyotes on the run with his AR.,
Tony was single and had a good job and several guns and lived and worked in a big city with me, going home to the farm in weekends. . One day asked him why he did not carry a handgun in the vet. Instead of the lever gun. He laughed. He said big city cops do not like black men with handguns in their cars, but they did not care much if you have a lever action. So, the only gun he brought to the city was that trapper model 44 mag. Makes sense.
I have a 16 inch Rossi lever in 357. I may go back to it and a 357 pistol. Nothing shabby about a 357. With all the crazies shooting up places everyday. It only makes since to gave a gun around. Shotguns are actually looking better to me.
What ever works.