After some considerable thought, I must update my previous “5 guns” post.
First, although I love the feel of a 1911, I have become skeptical of their reliability. I suggest that a reader should choose another, more modern handgun. From here, I am entering the realm of “heresy” because my 2nd pick would actually be a Glock.
Now, let me begin by saying that I hate everything about how a Glock feels and operates. However, they are reliable and customizable. If you can only have 1 handgun, then a Glock can be adapted to a variety of calibers by simply swapping parts. If you start with a 40 S&W Glock, then is is cheap & easy to convert to 9mm or 357 Sig. However, if you start with a 9mm Glock, you must buy a new slide to convert to convert to 40 S&W or 357 Sig. Hence, I actually recommend buying a Glock model 23, 22, or 35. After that, go check out Lone Wolf Distributors for a wide variety of barrels that can convert calibers.
My ideal “Glock” would have a short slide with a 9mm barrel and a long slide with 9mm and 357 Sig barrels. The barrels would be threaded for a suppressor whenever possible. The short barrel would have night sights, and the long barrel would have high-rise sights to aim over the suppressor. I’m also very interested in a red-dot type sight, such as the Trijicon RMR, but I haven’t tried one so I’m not completely convinced.
I am uncertain whether I would prefer a Glock 23 or a Glock 22 modified to have a Glock 23 grip. Choosing a G-23 gives you a shorter barrel for concealed carry, but it also means a shorter maximum barrel length for the shooting range. A G-22 means you could have a full 6-inch barrel for the shooting range, but it limits you to a 4.5-inch barrel for concealed-carry.
I would also replace the semi-auto shotgun with a pump-action model, like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 590. Semi-auto shotguns are not really less reliable than pump-action shotguns, but the pump-action is simpler & will shoot unconventional ammunition, like “lock busting” ammo. It is also far easier to modify a pump-action from home-defense to hunting styles, so a single shotgun can do more for you. I really doubt I will ever use a shotgun for defense (I like rifles), so it makes sense to get something that is less complicated and more versatile.