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A rifle cartridge will beat a pistol cartridge.
Be aware of state laws regarding magazine capacity, definition of a "pistol", transportation laws, etc.

I prefer the .300 Blackout in a 10.5" barrel to the 5.56mm. The 7.62x39 is also worth considering. The 7.62x39 can use a folding brace (or folding stock in some states). There are folding buffer tubes for AR receivers. I don't know enough about that.

My conclusion is that I don't get pistol caliber carbine size guns over a rifle cartridge, unless local laws dictate.
 

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A 5.56 gives up about 20% of its velocity, and 40% of its energy, in an 8" barrel vs. an 18". Still considerably hotter than a 9mm, but not by as much as you might think.

For travel, you might consider the SUB2000 as suggested by @OldChap. I got one in 9mm that accepts S&W M&P mags, for compatibility with my M&P's. If you have a 9mm or .40 pistol in any of several popular brands (eg. Glock, S&W, Beretta, CZ), the SUB2000 is probably available to share mags with it. It's not the most ergonomically pleasant gun, but handy as heck.

I recently acquired an AR pistol in 9mm, which takes Glock mags. Looking to see if it can be converted to accept S&W mags as well.

There are always compromises in choosing a gun, but for most people's HD/SD or travel purposes, I believe the 9mm or .40 is a better choice than a 5.56 for several reasons as noted in previous posts. A 147 gr. Gold Dot, HST or Ranger at 1000+ fps is a formidable round at the distances we're likely to encounter, and the pistol caliber gun is going to be a lot more pleasant and manageable to shoot than a 5.56.

YMMV
 

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My only objection to ARs in pistol calibers is when the lower receiver must accept ONLY pistol mags. That means that lower is forever more tied to that pistol magazine.

I have started using the Mean Arms Endomag insert in a P-Mag 5.56 magazine.


Granted they only have it in 9mm at this time, but the thing is dead-on reliable and allows you to change the upper back and forth between 5.56 / 300 or whatever you desire, as long as it uses standard 5.56 size magazines. You just change the guts of a 5.56 P-Mag and you can run a 9mm upper with either Glock or Colt BCG.

Still @Kilowatt3 is right. The handiest go bag variety gun is a Sub-2000. Coupled with a ballistic plate in the bag and you have a very versatile go kit. I like the 40 because that thing is a screamer in the 16" barrel on the Sub-2000.
 
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A 9mm in a carbine length barrel is close to a .357 in a 4" bbl in ME and quieter than a .380 w/ very little muzzle blast! Win Win!
 

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Here is an even handier alternative.

View attachment 334426

Kel-Tec Gen 2 Sub-2000 I got mine in 40 S&W - Glock mags. The 40 out of a 16 inch barrel packs a pretty good wallop. This thing folds into a package that is about 16 inches overall. I carry mine in a laptop bag designed for a 17 inch screen. You can put an 11X15 ballistic plate in the bag and you have some portable cover.

They make a fold over mount for a red dot, but I just use a good quick release Picatinny mount and move it to the bottom of the forend.
I won mine in a gun raffle.
Love it.
Carry same way.
Have a ton of G22 mags and ample supply of stick mags.
Perfect trunk gun.
 

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When I wanted a "truck gun" for travelling I went through the same decision process. Really wanted to stick with a rifle caliber, for the effectiveness, plus a "truck gun" could see use around vehicles. As much as I love 5.56 as a defensive round IMHO it's too loud and looses too much in a short barrel, so I went with the 300AAC in a 9.5" barrel which is the length the cartridge was designed around. With a liner compensator, it's about as loud as a 16" barreled 5.56. Hits are doable out to 200yds if need be, and the terminal ballistics are superior to a 5,56 with a similar barrel length. About the only aspect that sucks, is the cost of ammo, but since I reload, it's only a little more than 5.56/.223. My "truck gun":

 

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Are there any legal restrictions on the type if gun (ie, no long guns)?

Mainly road trips to visit family inside Texas. It would be a combo truck/hotel/car-trip gun for when I may need more than my CCW pistol.

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Are there any legal restrictions on the type if gun (ie, no long guns)?
OP lives in Texas. We can carry just about ANYTHING WE WANT HERE. (CCL of course) A sword if he wants to, with NO licensing!
 
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Discussion Starter #30
Are there any legal restrictions on the type if gun (ie, no long guns)?
OP lives in Texas. We can carry just about ANYTHING WE WANT HERE. (CCL of course) A sword if he wants to, with NO licensing!
None....other than the laws of occupying physical space. That's why I'm leaning toward a PDW over a rifle......and a Mora knife ovet a sword.


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I have been that route and settled n the PCC. I would take a hard look at the Ruger PCC Charger.
 

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Okay, that being the case, I'm going to recommend the IWI X95 bullpup, in 5.56x45mm

Downside, it's pricey. Upside, In a gun shorter than a 10.5" AR, you get a full 16" barrel. Also, it's unquestionably a rifle from a legal standpoint, as opposed to a pistol with a "brace". At this point a brace used as a stock still seams legal enough, but do you want to be that the ATF won't flip flop again? And if you had to use it for self defense, do you want to be the legal guinea pig?

None....other than the laws of occupying physical space. That's why I'm leaning toward a PDW over a rifle......and a Mora knife ovet a sword.


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Of the OP’s two choices, I would pick 9mm. Personally, if not confined to these two, I would select neither, in an AR-ish platform, but, instead, 300 AAC/BLK. The .223/5.56 is too obnoxious, from pistol-length barrels, and a 9mm AR15 is a whole lot of metal, to be shooting the same thing that a concealed pistol can shoot.

I did buy a Daniel Defense DDM4 V7P, 300 AAC/BLK, and, someday, I may manage to find enough ammo to make it worth a trip to a range. (I have several 16” AR15 rifles.)

What do I actually tote, in a yoga mat bag? Well, either my old duty Remington 870P, now with a Pachmayr Vindicator grip, or, a Remington Tac-14 Marine Magnum.

Before private citizens could legally carry handguns, in Texas, In the Eighties, I did, on occasion, use an Uzi Carbine as a “bag gun.” After I became a police officer, I could then carry handguns, so, somewhere along the way, I traded the Uzi. (Had I kept it, it would have appreciated in value, considerably, as it was the version now known as the “A.”)
 

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Seeker_two Go read up on a SOPMOD Mk18 M4 and note that the military still has a need for a 1-3 or 10.5" Close Quarters Battle Weapon that has a effective range out to 325 yards scoped of course . Add a 1-4 or 1-6 scope and 300+ yards is more than practicle . If nato ammo seems hard to pick the best load for your needs ammo like Hornadys TAP SBR 75gr loads design just for short barrels in the 10.3 to 11.5" range and made for LE . No 10.5" 9mm can compete .

 
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