For a first revolver,a 4" barreled .357 is impossible to improve on,unless it's a .41 mag. With a .357 you can shoot lower power .38s for plinking/practice and a good full power 125-158 gr bullet will drop anybody on the planet with well 1 placed shot.
4" .357 is the basis of any good revolver collection. If you plan on hunting with it 6" is better suited to the task. Depending on the size of Jersey deer .357 with a good 180 gr hard cast flat point will do the job. If you gotta have the .44 go for it but be prepared to trade it for something less punishing. Both my .44's were bought from macho men who thought they could handle the recoil only to sell them after less than a box of ammo.
Yea, a 450 marlin can make the best of us flinch. My .45-70 guide gun loaded with 340 gr hard cast flat points at 2100 FPS can do it too! Not something you want to shoot a box through in one sitting. Even with a Decellerator reoil pad it is punishing. I can't imagine how punishing it would be on the recieving end.
Would recomand that you buy a Ruger or a Smith and Wesson. I have heard some real Horror stories about the Taurus customer service. 1 about a gun I almost bough but let a friend have, I`m glad I let him have it.
I've also heard bad things about Taurus customer service. I was talking to a local well known gun store around here and they said that taurus was not very friendly as far as reps coming out to give demonstrations or helping out with customers questions and things like that and other things.
I would say for deer, go with a ,44 Mag, I have a Model 629 and it is sweet. For self defense I would go with the ,357 Mag. However I am partial to my Kimber .45 acp. If you haven’t done much handgun shooting I would get a .22 rim fire to practice and get good with.