I guess in retrospect... I grew up kind of in the country too. My personal choices now would be a .22 (probably my 10/22), probably a 30-30 lever action Marlin 336 (I want a guide gun but a used 336 is so economical and will kill any threat in PA) and a 3" SP-101 in .357. I still maintain that I could go without a shotgun and be well provided for by this three gun combo. Having said that, the guns that always got used by us to eliminate pests and that got the most meat were an old single barrel 12 gauge and a couple old bolt action .22's. My dad always had a .22 revolver around that was loaded but really, it wasn't necessary other than as a "snake" gun during fishing trips. Although centerfire rifles were always available, they were pretty much always cleaned and oiled and put away until deer season. Assorted high or low brass in number 4,5,or 6 shot were fine for the 12 gauge. Honestly, nothing ever seemed to notice what load it had been shot with. Shotgunners may call this a sacriledge but the meat always tasted the same. For the .22's, I'd suggest sticking to solids - they penetrate better and don't destroy as much meat on a squirrel or rabbit. HP's either tear a nasty hole and fill it with hair and bone fragments or they flatten out on something like a shoulder blade and don't make it to a vital. I have seen it happen. I once saw a feral cat (not a PET, which I wouldn't condone ever shooting, but a PEST) take a solid shouder hit with a HP and run away. I've also seen an aggressive wolf/husky mix put down with one round of .22 LRN to the brainpan. Lights out - quick, clean, and painless. So for anything other than aluminum cans, I stick with solid bullets exclusively. That worked for us circa 1980-1990 in rural central PA. However, the world isn't the same now. I WOULD NOT go without a reliable centerfire handgun with a good holster and a CCW permit. My personal preference, again, is the SP-101. Its compact, durable, powerful, and versatile. To me, it's just about the perfect handgun for MY uses. Other considerations - I'd also stick to common chamberings because that's what's the cheapest and most available at the gun stores and walmarts. But I wouldn't go with them because that's what the military or LE uses. If something bad does go down, I highly doubt that the local cops or national guard is going to come along and pass out ammuntion to anyone with an AR-15 or Glock 19. It's just not going to happen. If things are so bad that the military is passing out ammo, odds are good that they'll be passing out M-16's to go along with it. Still, for the common rural tool use or even aftermath of a disaster, I'd say that whatever ammo you have is whatever ammo you will have. I'd say a couple hundred rounds of centerfire handgun ammo, maybe the same amount or so for a rifle, and two or so bricks of .22 (1000 rounds) is a good amount to have on hand for short term insurance policy uses. Everyone would probably like more than that but realistically, lots of people have gotten through far worse than I can imagine with a lot less than that. Also, I don't think an AR or Glock is a bad thing to have. Just that for my uses, I'd prefer something firing a heavier round that can reliably anchor a black bear if necessary (I've been practically toe to toe with about five in my life and have NEVER felt threatened by one, but it could happen), which to me says 30-30 class or so at a minimum. But not everyone has that concern.