Oh God. Okay, if you wanna cap people breaking into your barn a rifle might work, but you usually can't shoot someone to defend property, so why would you need a distance weapon?
If you want to defend yourself while stopping someone from breaking into your barn, wouldn't a handgun or shotgun be a better idea? Much easier to tote, simpler to deal with while checking locks/whatever, easier to bring into action.
If you're worried about waking-up and finding an intruder in your house, an AR in either .223 or .308 has the power to penetrate walls (not, "a wall" but "walls") and hit a family member in another room. So can a handgun or a shotgun, but the risk is slightly lower.
If you want to pick-off those pesky neighbor kids riding their ATVs across your property, get the .223, and a good lawyer. If you want to deer hunt, get the .308, but preferably as a Springfield Armory M1. If you want to defend yourself from trespassers and home invasions, get a shotgun.