Originally Posted by ninjatoth
If you are going to be getting a snub then I would really consider thinking about a .38+p snub instead of a .357,the advantage of that .357 round's knockdown power over a .38+p isn't all that superior in a revolver with a barrel under 4",plus .357 revolvers cost alot more.
I agree with you Ninjatoth. Just last week we bought my girlfriend a brand new Ruger LCR in 38 Special for $399. IMHO, a 38 Special is all ya really need for home defense. I can just about guarantee that I can get off 2 taps quicker with a 38 Special than most can with their 357 Mag. And both my hits will be center mass. I've proved it time and again. Don't rely on power. Skill is what counts. I've been shooting competitively for 45 years and have won my share of IPSC matches and bowling pin shoots. I wouldn't feel under-gunned with a 22 revolver for home defense. There is a place for the 357, but its power is not a substitute for skill.
I use to think like you Lucznik and wouldn't ever consider a 38 over a 357 for the very reasons you stated. But after shooting my girlfriends gun, I've changed my mind. The 38 is cheaper and lighter. A LOT lighter ! I have a Redhawk and GP100 but I'm seriously considering the LCR in 38 Special. It's light as a feather, reliable as dirt, has a silky smooth trigger pull, and accurate as all heck. I cut one ragged hole at 21 feet from a bench rest. When I put it in my front pocket, it quite literally disappears. I don't even know it's there.
Having praised the LCR in 38 Special, the OP should get whatever he's comfortable shooting reasonably well, and can afford. Taraus make some nice guns and I've had a few of them. Their lifetime warranty (not just to the original purchaser, but to anyone who owns a Taraus) is really something. And I'm sure there are other less costly brands and models which would also fit the OP's needs. But for $399, the LCR in 38 Special is hard to beat.
As for home defense rounds, I'm not a fan of special purpose home defense rounds. They have their place, but I just don't need them. At night, my GP100 is loaded with what I shot all day, wad cutters. 3.5 grains of Winchester 231 and a 148 grain wad cutter will get around 850 FPS. I can pepper a target pretty fast with that load. And all my hits will be center mass, even when its almost totally dark. I shoot a bow instinctively (without sights). Your mind and vision learn how to point without sights. Now if I'm mountain biking through the forest, I'll have my GP100 loaded with full power 357 mags. There are black bears and wolves around here (Nicolet National Forest in Northeast Wisconsin).