Once in a while I head up to the local range run by the county Rod & Gun club. One gentleman allowed me to fire a few rounds with his Model 1873 Winchester, the rifle that won the West and was used by many John Wayne characters. When my grandfather passed away, I inherited his old M1903 bolt action Springfield rifle, chambered in .30-06. That round has enough power to drop virtually anything that moves. Grandpa used it for hunting way back when. My mother and uncles frequently enjoyed fresh venison in their youth.
There are many important factors to consider when purchasing a firearm. Personally, I love working with the cowboy style weapons. Semiauto pistols and the AR15 will get the job done, but man are they ugly. I make an exception for the M1911 pistol. I enjoy it for its power and its historical cachet as the official sidearm of the US military for seventy years. I feel like I'm going to break the modern weapons of plastic.
Revolvers are easier to clean and maintain. You can load it, stick it under your pillow for five years, and it will be in perfect working order when you fire it. Speaking for myself, I'm much more accurate with the revolver than the semi. The drawbacks include a smaller ammo capacity and much slower reload... but then you only need one shot to put a man down, right? A revolver chambered in .357 is a good choice for home defense. For concealed or open carry, I'd go with a semiauto. The .45 is a little big for concealed carry, but it's flatter shape makes it easier to hide than the cylindrical revolver.
This is purely subjective, but I prefer older rifles just for the aesthetics. Weapons of wood and steel just seem more real to me, so to speak. The slower reloading plus having to work a bolt or lever provides an incentive to make every shot count. In the upcoming socio-political collapse of the US, I'll probably grab whatever weapons are handy. Say what you will about American automobiles, but us Americans build our weapons to last.