Now that I'm retired the half-unit and I are planning motor-homing around the CONUS. I habitually travel with a long gun, and was wondering if I should set aside something that I don't have to worry about being legal in all 49 States, let alone transiting thru Canada to get to Alaska. I'm guessing an AR is too evil for CA and some of the East Coast states like NJ and New York, so I'm leaning towards a Mini 14 or 12 gauge pump. I already have more guns than I need, with the exception of a lever gun which I think would be 49 State legal, and even cut it crossing the Canadian border.
Any input from anyone whose done it?
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I think your safest bet if only one gun would be a pump action 12gauge with a barrel lenght of at least 18". No pistol grip or tacticool stuff.
In the family camper is an old 870 Police with a side saddle and a butt cuff loaded up with 00 and slugs in the cuff. The shotgun is loaded cruiser ready (empty chamber).
There's also a Ruger MkII pistol and SuperBlackhawk which are unloaded and transported as recreational firearms. Everything is in a lockbox that only my brother & I can access, too many nephews to leave it accessible
ETA, unfortunately I can't answer your question on state to state legalities, this is just what we've chosen to do over the last 20yrs.
Canada is a whole big can of worms- I really cannot speak to current regulations, except I know that long guns can not be transported loaded and must be in a locked case.
As a former NY resident they also have a no loaded long gun in the car law, this at least no locked law , not sure what other states might also.
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A lever action in .44 mag or 45-70 (depending on what you want to defend against).
It's a win-win since you don't have.
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Most likely to be legal in every state you can reach by driving is a Shotgun. For defense a pump with a 18-20 inch barrel would be perfect. If you think you may want to bust some Clays take a 28 inch barrel along with you.
In regards to Canada, I suspect that you'll have to have a small safe for it and keep it unloaded within Canada. However a simple telephone call will provide truly accurate answers.
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I'd vote for the traditionally stocked 12ga pump as well. I even took one into Canada back in 2000 with no problems. I always told them about it at border crossings and nobody ever batted an eye. That said, I don't know what rule changes they may have made since then, so be sure and check before you head north.
I'd say a 12 ga,Pump Shotgun or a Level Action 444 or 45-70. Just my opinion.
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Take one of your existing long guns and try maneuvering inside your RV with it. If you have to have a long gun, a 16" barrel lever gun in 357 mag or 44 mag holding 8 to 10 rounds with easy to manage recoil is going to be hard to beat.
12ga is overkill. I can't imagine 9 .33 cal balls from a round of 12ga 00 buck flying around the RV park being a wise choice. I suppose you could use low recoil slugs, but again how many RVs in the RV park do you want punch holes through?
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Pretty much anything you shoot in an RV park, over penetration is gonna be an issue. Those thin-skinned motorhomes are typically stacked in there like cordwood, and I've personally seen a 9mm go through two trailers and various furniture inside, and only stop because it impacted a steel oven. If the plan is primarily RV parks, I'd say take what you can shoot well, and if you need it, make sure all your shots end up on target.
When we camp we typically boondock or use NFS campgrounds, which tend to be remote and less congested. I like a lever gun as a camp gun. It raises fewer eyebrows if you have to drive through communist states (I don't go to those places anyway except to drive through on the way to somewhere else, so the only way it would ever be an issue is if I got pulled over and searched), they're handy and reliable, and are available in some very potent chamberings. If we are going somewhere that has brown bears, I bring the 1895 Guide Gun in .45-70. If the critters are smaller, it's an 1894C in .357 mag or .45 Colt, to match whatever revolver I'm packing.
I vote pump shotgun too, not likely an AR if wanting most States.
I wouldn’t put off by a 20 ga either, short ‘youth’ model, used.
I like concept of a lever action in a large caliber for a travel firearm that you can take most anywhere. Pump shotgun works also, but there are limits on barrel length and even stock that may create issues.
Now, for going into Canada with a firearm in your vehicle. The last time I did that was in 2017 for the World F-Class competition. I had my bolt action match rifle and 500 rounds of handloaded ammunition.
For the paperwork, I had an official invitation to the match, describing the duration, location and so on.
Ahead of time, I downloaded the form 5589 from the RCMP website and had it filled out with three copies. It has all the instructions and the various restrictions. I suspect it has changed a bit since 2017, so I would urge you to get a recent one whenever you decide to enter Canada with a firearm.
I also filled out the form 4457 from the US Customs and Border Protection. This is the certificate of registration for personal effects take abroad. In it I listed my rifle, scopes, spotting scopes, cameras, computers and so on.
When I approached the border, I first stopped on the US side and got my form 4457 validated and signed. This took almost an hour and they did look at the rifle and stuff. They signed the form and then I drove over the border and stopped at the Canadian lines. There I presented my passport and the form 5589 already filled out. The customs officer directed me to park at the office and go inside without taking out the rifle, and he initialed the form.
I pulled into the parking lot, locked the vehicle and went inside with my form, my passport and my wallet.
There the officer looked at the paperwork, typed a few things in a computer and collected $25. (I think it was $25, it's been a while.) He then signed the form, stamped it and returned it to me. This was now my firearm permit for the duration of my stay in Canada. If I had needed to buy ammunition during my stay, I would have had to present this form at the store.
They never looked at my rifle or ammo, and the whole thing took about 15 minutes.
On my way out of Canada, I stopped at the US Customs where I showed my passport and Global Entry card and they just waved my through.
I do know of one person who was at the match and drove back into the US after the competition was over. For some reason, he decided to re-enter Canada a few days later at another location, going to visit something. They confiscated his match rifle because he was outside the timeframe in the invitation and he was trying to enter Canada with that firearm.
It took a few days, but he did get it back.This message has been edited. Last edited by: NikonUser,
Something semi auto that is 49 state legal would be ideal. However a pump shotgun would probably be enough firepower and there would be less chance of a stray bullet hitting an innocent.
I often think of Gary and Linda Haas, who were camping at a remote site in New Mexico. Escaped cons and a GF found them, sleeping in a trailer with no one else around. Gary had a .38 revolver, but did not use it. They were killed while inside their camper. If he had a semi-auto long gun, such as a Ruger Mini-14, most likely he could shot or scared off the killers. The Mini-14, with 10 round mags, is legal everywhere except maybe Canada. You would have to modify 20 round mags with epoxy glued-in 10 round limiters.
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How would a rifle being substituted for an unused revolver changed the victims' fates?
The first linked story has no mention of how the killers overwhelmed the victims. The second story says they were carjacked. Not sure how a rifle changes what happened.
I'll be the outlier here and suggest counting on just one weapon, seems short-sighted (pun intended ). Granted you probably won't find a weapon more widely accepted and reliable than a 12ga shotty, and if you only want one weapon, that'd be my choice.
Personally, I'd rather have options. Something like a 44 lever gun and pair it with a 44 revolver that's on the CA roster. That gives you more portability options with common ammo, ammo which can also give you a ton of options and various loads.
I lost all my weapons in a boating, umm, accident.
I don't know the laws in the states you are going to but I would also opt for a lever gun or even a Kel Tec Sub 2000 9mm.
A semi-auto pressed against the trailer sides, aimed approximately in the correct direction, and fire 10 rounds, reload, fire 10, etc. I bet the killers would leave very quickly.
I believe the campers were basically intimidated and did not put up a fight. They were then driven in a vehicle, probably the truck, to another location and forced to re-enter the trailer. Killed when they were back in the trailer, and the trailer then set on fire.
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The articles you linked say the couple was car jacked in their truck and they put up a fight. I can't figure out where you think they were going to shoot a rifle through the trailer and scare the killers off.
The first article said "Blood inside the couple's pickup — found days later in Albuquerque — makes the family certain of one thing: The 61-year-olds put up a fight."
The second said "The three are accused of killing Gary and Linda Haas, after carjacking the couple traveling in New Mexico on August 2."
I studied the situation when it first happened, note that different articles have the details mixed up.
I believe that the fight happened when the couple was put back in the trailer. If they had more firepower and used it at the beginning, most likely they would have prevailed.
Most likely they were told the usual "We just want some money". Never, ever believe this type of criminal. Once out of the truck the victims lost any advantage that they had.
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You should study the story again. From the FBI report and court recorded testimony of the killers, both victims had concealed carry licenses and yet neither was carrying when they we're car jacked at gunpoint from an interstate rest area. The husband told the killers that the couples' guns were in the trailer.
You could replace the couples' .38 and 9mm with any long guns of your choice and their fates would not have changed. The couple was surprised and attacked by 3 armed assailants. The husband was already in the driver's seat and the wife was approaching the passenger's door. One person slipped into the rear seat and put a gun to the husband's head while the other two put a gun to the wife and forced her into the front passenger's seat. The couple was in their early 60s and the assailants were in their early 40s.
Two things strike me as mistakes neither of which do I believe changed the outcome. First, not having your concealed carry firearms on your person. Second, telling people you have firearms and their location.
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