Ideal Gun Portfolio


What do you think makes for the ideal set of guns, and why? Please keep in mind cost to build such a portfolio of guns, as well as availability of the guns to buyers at their local gun stores. Thanks for your input.


Ideal set of guns for ? that could be a big list if you include hunting, self defense, competition, SHTF…a lot of guns could serve multi roles, but ideal guns for each would be an expensive portfolio…I’m game, this is what I have to use.

Ruger Charger with Copper Custom adapter, SB arm brace, Burris QD scope mount with a Nikon M223 1x4 scope. Gemtech Outback IID Suppressor
10.5 AR15 SBR I built with a 80% Lower and serialized, Surefire QD SOCOM Suppressor, Bushnell Red Dot, scope and mount from Ruger Charger can also be used on this rifle.
Ruger American 308, Nikon 4.5x14 BDC scope
Polymer 80 full size with a Lone Wolf G35 upper
Tri-Star Magnum semiauto 12 ga. Mainly a Duck and Goose gun, probably the best value 3.5 semiauto made…with 2 3/4 shells it is also a good small game shotgun…

the above would be a minimum that you could use for almost anything…not the best for everything though…that would be a big list…


Thx for the feedback, rjburk. You are right - trying to cover everything IS an expensive endeavor. I am still working on mine after years and many dollars invested already. Looks like you have some pretty slick stuff. It must have taken a bit of thinking and creativity to get to what you described.


Wow. Good topic. I’m going to have to think about that and get back to you.


In general I’d say the average gun safe content breaks down as follows;

9mm semi auto pistol
5.56 AR
7.62 AK or derivative
12 gauge pump shotgun
308 bolt action hunting rifle

Most commonly available, largest market share, most practical use, most affordable. Parts/supportlLogistics and ammo cost are key.


Thx, Mister_Torgue. For those who might want some of my own ideas: for concealed carry - Ruger LCR and Walther PPS M2; for home defense - Walther Creed and Kimber K6S (3 inch barrel); for hunting - Ruger GP100, Ruger Super Redhawk (.44 mag), Ruger Single Nine (.22 mag), Marlin 1895 Guide Gun (.45-70), Marlin 336 (.30-30), Browning Bolt Action Rifle (.30-06), Benelli Nova pump (12 gauge).


Thx, Minuteman. Clearly, with your choices, you would be well defended, as well as hunt ready.


Ok John. I’ll be typing on my cell so forgive being short. I chose these also with cost considerations so no crazy oddball stuff no matter how much I would personally want them.

Bare minimums:
.22LR rifle
.22LR pistol
A revolver of some kind (.38sp / .357 for best versatility)
A semi-auto pistol in 9mm
A 9mm pistol caliber carbine (keep same ammo choice as the 9mm pistol)
A shotgun (20ga or 12ga)
A bolt action rifle (can be mil surp)
A semi-auto rifle

To go in to greater detail, the individual choices for brand/etc on those above will depend on the owners confident and comfort level of operation in an emergency.

The 9mm is a very versatile round so having a semi-auto pistol and carbine in that caliber will serve you well. Plus you’ll get more rounds generally in a mag in a double stack polymer handgun with 9mm over .40 or .45.

The .22LR should be obvious.

The shotgun can be either 20ga or 12ga, in my opinion doesn’t really matter. 20ga loads have come a long way and really provide some good stopping power while managing recoil for those who are sensitive or if you are injured.

For the bolt-action you need a man bear pig stopper. :wink:

The semi-auto rifle choice like the .22LR is also pretty obvious.


Thx for your input, Mister_Torgue. Nice collection, reasonable cost and yet effective.


Sure thing. You can really get some good stuff in each category for not much money. Especially if you’re ok buying used. For example I bought a surplus Star BM 9mm for $250 and it works every bit as good if not better than most steel 9mm pistols new with almost everything but ammo capacity because it’s single stack. A shotgun and basic bolt action are pretty inexpensive these days–more so if you get gently used or old. For example I have a bolt action 20ga shotgun from 1949 and it works perfectly. And it could be had on gunbroker for less than $120.

I could go on but I’m at a doctors office. Haha.


Really great suggestions, love the lists. I was thinking long range would be a bolt action in .270 to 30-06, the an AR-15 for close to mid-range, and a full sized handgun in .45 caliber, and a concealed 9mm. Lets not forget to have the .22lr and 12 gauge.
For long range the .270 is pretty flat and great for hunting but if you need to put something big down you want the 30-06, I personally get better accuracy from the bolt action rifles. The AR-15 can do about anything you decide you want to do, plus you have a great home defense platform. The .22lr is great for it’s cost savings and fun factor. Then you have to have a shotgun for hunting or sports.


Depends on the purposes of that collection.
When I started I had all military weapons that I was trained and proficient with as that’s where my interests were (1911’s, M1As, 870s). Then I branched out into collectible US military weapons adding M1903s, M1 Garands, 1941 Johnson, M1Cs, Colt .45 revolver, Colt 1903 SA, etc.).
Today, like those in the 1880’s, I like commonality - Those in the late 1800s often chose handguns & long guns using the same cartridges (1873 Winchester, 1897 Colt Peacemakers both in 44-40 or 45 Long Colt.
For a primary battery today if I were just starting out, I would start with Glocks in 9MM, AR-15s in .5.56, 12 gauge shotguns. My reasoning is that my purpose would be primarily for personal protection and those are the most commonly supported and available guns, ammo, parts, accessories. If you look at the professionals, many who are former military including door kickers such as Clay Martin, John Lovel, etc., they do the same. With the exception of the Glock 43, all 9MM Glocks can use the same magazines and ammo, all ARs can use the same magazines and ammo and all 12 GA can use the same ammo.
I love my 1911s but the capacity is limited, they aren’t made to a standard like the ARs and changing ammo let alone calibers holds lots of incompatibility problems. My first personal 9MM was achieved by taking one of the earliest G27 in .40 S&W and swapping in a 9MM barrel so my wife could have a gun with more manageable recoil and muzzle blast to carry. It works flawlessly, the part #s of many parts are the same as the G26 9MM. I can even use the G27 mags if I want. They’re not optimal but I’ve never had a failure to feed while doing so.
I load/reload and have even started standardizing my load data instead of constantly experimenting with different data like a pipe smoker on the never-ending quest for the coolest smoke. I carry nothing but Federal HST in my handguns (#1 choice of many LE & Federal agencies) and all my hand loads are now developed ot mimic that as closely as possible for practice. Same with my ARs. Two family members are ICE agents and are issued Speer LE ammo for their M4s (as well as handguns). So, I build my home and personal defense ARs to match their ICE guns and keep the HD/PD mags loaded with Speer LE 223/556 ammo, the same as theirs.
Even my hunting loads are now becoming standardized. Before I had too many calibers in too many variations and it was driving me crazy trying to stay proficient with each one. Now all my varmint/predator guns are in 223/556, all my big game (that I still hunt) is .308 and all using the same bullets and data. There is some compromise involved but nothing that doesn’t work. Makes things simpler and easier.
As someone else said recently, stop buying guns and become proficient with the ones you have.
Now if you are buying strictly for hunting a wide variety of game or into collecting many different periods or types, that’s a whole different story. I did a task analysis of what I needed for my life at my age and what was really important to me and structured everything accordingly. It works for me, maybe you can use some part of that to isolate what your immediate needs are as opposed to likes and wants. Maybe that will save you some money and grief along the way. Good luck.


I think I’m there…
Glock 22. Its my carry weapon. We are literally attached at the hip.
460 S&W magnum. Makes really big holes.
300 WinMag… reach out and kill something
AR10… If it gets closer than you’re comfortable with.
Leader Arms AR12 “custom” … It’s in the house!!!


Thanks for the additional feedback, Mister_Torgue. I have bought used guns many times with mixed luck. Nowadays, I tend to stick with lower-cost, good quality, new guns and have had great luck with them. But if you know how to judge the wear and tear on used guns, you will surely do better than me when buying used guns. I have never tried bolt action shotguns, but am curious as to how well they do in the field relative to other forms of shotguns.


Thanks for your feedback, SecondRight. I agree with your suggestions - especially the way you break down the usage of each caliber.


Thanks for your input, BRASS6591. You hit upon some good points - such as using common calibers, using HST ammo (from what I have seen, it is particularly good even in shorter barrels), mimicking what military and law enforcement use, standardization of calibers (using one caliber for multiple purposes), and using reasonable compromises to help limit the challenge of gaining proficiency in your guns and ammo.

I generally agree with your approach, though use some calibers as backups to my primary calibers. Thus, I only try to get really proficient with my primary calibers while being just okay with my backup calibers. I can’t predict the next ammo shortage, so I try to be ready for whatever may come. Unfortunately, my approach is costing me a lot of time and money to achieve and maintain. This is why I started this discussion - to see how other people are achieving their guns and ammo goals, hopefully with less cost and same or better effect.


Thanks for your input, KeithP. You carry a G22? That’s a big carry gun, but congrats on figuring out how to manage concealing it. Love the 460 S&W - so flexible (.45 Colt Cowboy loads up to .460 S&W rounds capable of bringing down anything in North America). .300 WinMag - a great round for big animals up close, or medium animals further away, and so very accurate! The AR10 - not sure which caliber you are referring to there (.308 ?). Not familiar with the AR12. Still, it looks like your focus is mostly long arms, so more about hunting than defense. Makes an excellent point about design of gun portfolio - where your focus is (hunting, target shooting, defense, etc), drives the types of guns and the calibers you get/use.


Well put, while a .45-70 is something I personally put on my must have list, it isn’t going to be a must have for everyone. That is an important consideration and you have a good point when choosing .308 rather than a 30-06 if things get out of hand, you want a caliber that is readily available and commonly used, unless you are reloading.


The bolt action shotgun is good for hunting and target shooting. I would absolutely not rely on this for self/home defense. It was more of an example of what sort of thing you can get for the money on the used market.

Good to see you’ve been down the used road before. It is definitely a case by case basis sort of thing.


Like that 460 ,460sw,casull,45colt,45scofield,4 cartriges outta one gun
The last gun on my list? Id like to reach out and touch something,in a galaxy far far away