I agree with you completely LHB1. The .357 mag doesnt usually reach its full potential until about 18 inches of barrel, but that's obviously not really practical.
Jkwas, why don't you like to shoot the .357 snubbie? I'm only 16, but my father has a Smith & Wesson model 66. I love shooting that thing! Even with the 2.5 inch barrel it's more accurate then I will probably ever be. I think the recoil of the .357 with hydrashocks or some other nice warm loads is great fun! He let his friend shoot it once about 2 months ago. His friend tried holding it like he does with his Beretta, about 12 inches from his face. The hammer nearly tagged him in the forehead. Hehe! It's a gun you like to have a firm grip on.
I would love the chance to try out a .44 mag. THAT would be fun!