PPL say you can use a .357 Mag in a pinch for bear if its not a grizzly.
a really hot .357 can have as much energy as a low end 44 Mag.
The low end 44 mag are 700 lb ft and up.
a hotter .357 can easily to 700 even w/o sponeding lots of money.
The caliber only matters in the sense that the avg range of loads usually sold in it.
There are plenty of .41 loads that put less energy on target than a hot .357 load.
My GP100's have handled .357 east european factory loads that have as much energy as the avg .41 or a low end .44 Mag.
Compare the below:
This .357 Load shoots 688 ftlb! 158 gr at 1400 fps (!) , yes thats the 158 gr flying at the speed the 125 gr .357s usually do.(!)
This .41 Mag shoots a bit less energy that the .357 above, its 210 gr at 1200 fps so .41 Mag would not an upgrade with this basic ammo
This 44 Mag is less than 10 % more energy than the high end .357 I linked above:
Did I cherry pick a little bit?
Yes, but I hope it illustrated ,my point.
On this note I run GP100's generally considered the strongest frame and top strap .357 revolver currently sold in quantity.
Others may not have the freedom to run such hot loads of .357 thru their revolvers..but for a self defense role I think its ok since your not contantly shooting.
For a hunting role a 44 Mag would be better but even w/ 44 Mag I would examine the loads because whats the point of buying a 44 mag and then running a load thats basically the same energy on target as a hot .357?
PS: I voted Buffalo bore.. its more than one sixth faster, but only 5 % lighter than your other choice. So it will have more energy on target .