Mention the term EDC firearm, and most people think of a handgun. While sidearms are the most convenient to carry, sometimes you need the increased range of a long gun, or you have to deal with misguided laws. For these situations, a compact (generally folding) rifle or shotgun is a welcome addition to your EDC.
An EDC long gun is not something carried under your coat. The concept is similar to having a truck gun, but the weapon will spend most of its time in a backpack, trunk, or get-home bag.
Keeping a long gun in the get-home bag can be handy if your state has dumb laws. In Michigan, for example, my wife could not be in possession of my pistol since it was registered to me, and Michigan prohibits sharing unless both individuals have a carry permit (which we did not). However, anybody in the home could share the long guns. Putting a folding long gun in the go bag would have made it possible to leave the weapon in the trunk on a permanent basis, regardless of who was driving.
The long guns of this variety are folding carbines, folding shotguns, and compact repeaters like a Rossi 92, Winchester 94, some bolt guns, and the various AR and AK variants. We will discuss a few of these below.
Called the Sport Utility, the KelTec SU-16 is a unique rifle. It is a gas piston-operated .223/5.56mm rifle that accepts AR pattern magazines. The weapon weighs less than five pounds, and the buttstock, plus the trigger assembly, folds forward with the press of a button. The stock is hollow and can hold two 10-round or one 30-round magazine for storage. As another unique feature the foreend hinges down and splits into a bipod.
KelTec Sub 2000
The KelTec Sub 2K has been around for a while and has built a good reputation as a reliable pistol-caliber carbine. Folding completely in half, it can accept a variety of pistol magazines, depending on the model purchased. The one compatible with Glock magazines is the most popular of course. I know several individuals who keep one of these in every vehicle they own because they can fit anywhere.
If you need a more compact weapon than the Sub 2K, grab a KelTec CMR30. This little .22 Magnum carbine carries thirty rounds of ammo in the magazine, and with the stock collapsed it measures just 22.5”. long It should fit almost anywhere, and the .22 magnum chambering gives you enough power and reach to handle all but the largest predators without making as much noise as a heavier caliber.
If you want more oomph than a .22 can provide, set aside the takedown 10/22 and pick up the takedown PCC. This tough little carbine comes with interchangeable magazine wells for either Glock or Ruger American magazines. Several stock configurations and colors are available, including the Magpul Backpacker stock. Aside from the magazine release, the controls are the same as a 10/22, so most of us should have a short learning curve on the weapon.
If you have a Ruger 5.7 pistol, the firm also makes the LC carbine chambered in 5.7×28. It uses the grip frame, controls, and magazines from the 5.7 pistols. A side-folding stock is standard, along with a threaded barrel, M-LOK handguard, and flip-up sights.
Folding single-shot shotgun
Sold by Midland Arms, Iver Johnson, and others, the folding single-shot shotguns produced in Turkey are the absolute cheapest way to get an EDC long gun. The average MSRP is under $200, and most models come with sling swivels and accept choke tubes. While not a rapid-fire weapon, they are better than no weapon and may be better than a pistol-caliber carbine if you are in bear country. The models with 18” barrels will fold up small enough to fit inside most day packs. Recoil will be fierce in a 12-gauge, so you may want to go with the 20-gauge if that will be a problem.
Braced AR or AK Pistol
While the pistol brace has drawn the ire of the ATF, there is no denying that a brace-equipped pistol is the best full-power compact weapon short of an SBR. These are not technically long guns, but the brace turns these pistols into a steady and accurate platform that gets you the best of both worlds.
The FoldAR is a unique weapon. The barrel can be unlatched and swung away to the side, halving the length of the rifle. If you feel like doing the paperwork for an NFA item, they also make a double-folding SBR. On this rifle, both the barrel and stock fold, reducing the total length to about the same as the receiver. You could probably keep it in a regular purse, and no one would be the wiser.
The run-what-you-got category. While less ideal than the previous guns, what you have is better than what you don’t. Most of these will still easily fit in a trunk or a duffle bag to carry into your hotel room. Rifles like standard Ars or AKs, lever guns with barrels 20 inches or less, and bolt-actions like the Ruger American Ranch or the ancient Carcano carbines. The key here is compact and reliable, with a quick reload.
The EDC long gun can mean many things to many people. For some, it is way around burdensome laws. For others, it is a way to arm an additional family member should things go awry. And for another, it may be a peace of mind that they have something other than a compact pistol at their disposal should shit hit the fan while they are out and about. Whatever the reason, having a long gun as part of your EDC adds an extra level of redundancy and reassurance. As always, don’t buy it and leave it forgotten in the trunk. Practice and build proficiency. Hopefully, you will never need it, but as they say, it is better to have and not need than need and not have.