The lowliest of rifles is more powerful than most any handgun that most of us would carry on a daily basis.
I really can't think of a rifle that I "would not trust" for self-defense.
If I had my Ruger 10/22 I'd be satisfied that I could do the job.
In terms of platform, I'd much prefer a semi-auto to a bolt action but about any cartridge would do the job.
No doubt, there's some esoteric cartridges out there that most people have never heard of but, in relatively common use, they'll all do the job.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
You do not HAVE a soul. You ARE a soul. You HAVE a body.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.