AR 15's and AR10's are the 'Transformer Toy' for us adults..
I bought my first AR 15 in '99, it's a 24" heavy stainless barrel 'long range' varmitt killer I took it out to Wyoming on my annual Prarie Dog and Coyote 'hunt' it was the most fun you can have with your clothes on..
It currently has an 8x32 Burris scope with balistic compensator reticle, and a Jewel Trigger, the best trigger out there,
but there are several almost as good AR triggers for less money..
The AR trigger usually needs some help, and it's easy to do.
I since have aquired several more AR' of various barrel lenths, grips, sights etc. Not sure of the actual count right now.
i have a dedicated .22LR version AR for 'plinking' real cheap to play with, and easy on my ears and keeps my place from sounding like a war zone.
I really like the AR10, I'm not a big fan of large calibers, I basicly go up to 6mm and 6.5mm then jump to .50BMG, but this AR10 really shoots nice, it's an Armalite. The recoil from the .308 [7.62 nato] is not any more than a light AR15. Accuracy is quite amazing, and the Armalite trigger is pretty good.
AS for the home defense,, that Mossberg 500 is the way to go. long magazine, night sights and you are set.
You can get mounts to add laser sights and lights, you can outfit a Mossberg 500 with just about as much as you can
More toys for us who were deprived as kids
Walmart has sales on Federal .22LR often, the 550 round Federal 'Value Pack' is a good way to go, and I like this ammo
because the lead bullets have a think copper coating,, I found that OLD .22lr can end up having some white 'fuzz' grow
on the lead projectile, and this 'fuzz' makes the round not feed well in pistols and semi-autos..
But the Copper clad projectiles don't corrode, so they will 'keep' much longer.
I've had a 9mm version of the AR, but it's a bit underpowered, but fun, and a light recoil.
I currently have an AR chambered in 6BR, and it's a shooter, If I were still going to Wyoming for PD's and Coyotes,
this rifle would definitely go with me..
NOW, i would like to aquire a Dillon 650 for reloading my .223. It's so much faster.
OK, writting this has got my 'itch' going,, I may have to send a few rounds downrange today..