Have posted on this before. See the archive. Mel Tappan was a genius who saw the situation clearly. You NEED Defensive weapons most essentially and you need to differentiate between guns for day-to-day working/hunting situations and those for Defense.
Really IS Time To Have Your Defensive Weapons, Spare Parts, Ammunition, and Handloading Components & Tools Ready and Situated. NOW...
A defensive weapon can serve you in the field, but a working gun can't really do the job if that job entails a long defensive situation where much ammunition is expended in a short time or over extended hours or days. Many reasons... See The Archived Article. But in brief, only defensive pistols and rifles are made to hold up to sustained fire situations. Most hunting rifles don't have 10rd magazines with quick release levers and magazine wells designed for fast reloading. Revolvers are less capable of serving your defensive needs.
I endorse only those semi-auto pistols chambered for 10mm Auto or .45acp ammunition. Glock and Springfield XD and other variants like S&W may be excellent, but what I KNOW and Trust is the Colt 1911 pistol in .45acp. Have owned a 1911 since the mid-70s and found the pistol and ammunition capable of exceptional accuracy (series 70 Colt) and the ammunition available in bullet weights from 185 to 230 grains or heavier.
If purchasing a 1911, I recommend only Colt, Kimber, Springfield Armory, and S&W manufactured pistols in full-size Government Model or Match configuration. Each handgun should have at least 3 spare magazines for a total of 4. Six would be better. For ammunition, any USA made generic 230gr Ball, roundnose ammunition like Winchester, Remington, Federal, or CCI will be fine. For concealed carry, maybe you want some 230gr Federal Hydra-shok or Winchester premium hollowpoints...
I endorse the 10mm Auto only if using 180gr or heavier ammunition. 200gr is better. Diameter, Weight, and Velocity are the major factors in STOPPING POWER. Heavy Bullets of Large Diameter at moderate velocity 850fps up to 1000fps is the ticket for control and stopping power.
You'll need cleaning gear, especially bronze brushes and quality handgun cleaning rod like the Dewey fixed 12" rod and correctly sized patch jag, and cleaners. Walmart carburetor cleaner in aersol can is good for brushing out lead and copper. Barnes C110 is best for copper removal. You want some decent oil like hoppes #9 bore solvent to clean bluing. Lots of homemade cleaner & oil recipes on the net...Why pay $3-$5 for a 2oz bottle of 10wt oil worth a dime???
Holsters. You need a couple. The newer military flap holster convertible L-R made of ballistic nylon is excellent for belt wear and protecting your weapon from abuse. It ain't a defense or concealment holster, for those, take your gun to the shop and try several.
Rifles. Your rifle is your life. If you handload for .223 the AR-15 loaded with 75/77gr match bullets is a superb Defense Weapon. The bullets are tougher than nails and never break apart. They penetrate or bend, but don't break apart. These match bullets also deliver more energy at 500yds than a 158gr .357mag bullet started at 1400fps will at 25yds. They are also capable of match accuracy at that distance and have been used in competition by the Army Marksmanship Unit for all Service Rifle distances. 200, 300 & 600yds. The AMU routinely wins their matches. The 77gr loaded to magazine length gives you 30rds of longrange or close-in power well in excess of the 55 or 62gr that most use in their .223 rifles.
Don't handload? Live in Alaska where Brown Bear grow extra large? Then you likely want a .308win chambered rifle. Figure to be elk hunting or killing cattle? While the 77gr .224 bullet will serve, it likely won't serve as well as the .308win loaded with 180gr or maybe a 200gr premium hunting bullet. The 5.56 has practical range of 600-700yds when loaded correctly. The 7.62x51 has an 800-1000 yd practical range with match ammunition.
I am a match ammunition devotee. Better bullets and precision loaded ammunition produce more hits at distance. Most .308win semi-auto battlerifles are 1:11 twist barreled. They will shoot 150 to 180gr bullets most optimally. To get best accuracy with 77gr match bullets in the AR-15, you need a 1:8 Or 1:7 twist barrel.
I do not advise any handloader use an H-K 91 or 93 rifle because the chambers are dimensioned such that they ruin brass upon firing. Maybe this special neck chambering technique is better? No other mfr does it. If you want to reuse your brass, buy other than Heckler-Koch rifles...
Best 5.56/.223 rifles: Mini-14 ranch rifle is good for its small size and Garand mechanism.
For AR-15 the names to consider are Colt, ArmaLite, Rock River Arms, Older Bushmaster, and Lewis Machine & Tool
Best 7.62/.308 rifles: Springfield M1a full-size basic, Armalite AR-10, DPMS AR-10
Need 5 or more spare magazines per rifle. Quality scope mount gear like TPS, Leupold mk4, Warne Maxima, Badger Ord, Burris Tactical. 30mm tube scope will need a high height ring set with a 40mm objective. Larger objective will need extra-high. I use TPS and Leupold mk4.
I am NOT a fan of quick release risers or one piece mount gear. I have seen these units be made off-axis of the bore. A scope sighted-in using one particular brand was 8moa shifted to the right at muzzle. Too great an inaccuracy for me to tolerate. Might not worry you, but my ARs are longrange and setup to swap scopes. Scopes that are so far-off from bore are useless to me.
For spare parts for any weapon you want: firing pin, extractor, ejector, springs for each along with maybe a spare buffer spring and other parts to build or renew your lower and upper receiver. AR-10 and AR-15 share many common parts, only takedown pins and firing pin groups being different.
For every rifle you want to own a good sling for carrying the weapon and to use as a aid to aiming. 1.25" match slings, type 1917 are very good.
The A-2 rifles with carryhandle sights are excellent, even if not as popular as flat-tops. If you've shot an aperture sight equipped rifle before, an AR A-2 will be very fast and can be tuned front and rear sight for elevation to serve out to 500/600yds.
Scopes for AR rifles ought be fast reacting, light, and relatively compact. Leupold VX-II 1.25 to 4x is excellent for use in an A-2 carry handle mount or on a flat-top AR. These scopes are now offered with mil-dot reticle and tactical elevation/windage knobs. Very light & compact.
Scopes with long rear objectives, very wide turret housings and long tube lengths are not generally satisfactory on AR rifles. The leupold 3-9, 3.5-10, 4.5-14 are among the lightest and most compact scopes available. Burris compact scopes, Zeiss Conquest, and others are worth evaluating. Those that are too heavy, bulky, long, tall or have minimal rear tube mount area for ring location will severely limit your ability to employ them on an AR flat top and many other rifles.
I do not consider shotguns to be defensive weapons.
NOW is the time to be sure you have met all your goals and are well established in your defensive abilities. Got a digital rangefinder? Might want to plot the distances of objects and places an enemy might hide from your house. Write down those distances and memorize them. Make a range-card, a drawing and plot the distances on the drawing. That way you know it is 175yds to your neighbors gate or that sign down the street...
As one final note, be sure that you do not have flamable or combustible materials around your home or outbuildings. Your enemy may employ fire against you. A gravel perimeter won't burn, an enemy can't hide in ambush if you take away the hiding place(s). and make them carry whatever they might use to attempt to burn you and yours out of your home. Presumably, whoever carries tinder and flammables will be an easier target...
Practice dry firing your weapons and taking a variety of shooting stances. Always clear all weapons and magazines. Check them several times before commencing. Make sure that all members of your household expect and Know that every gun is always loaded. You may need a firearm in a heartbeat... When you reach for it, it better be loaded and ready to go.