What is the felt recoil on say, a 36-40oz gun in each caliber? Any tips on how to shoot in order to manage the kick and effectively handle the gun? In general, what is it like shooting each one?
With a full sized gun the recoil of the .357 is manageable. If you're comfortable with the recoil of a .38 special out of a K frame then .357 in a larger model won't hurt you.
Recoil with the .45 Colt depends on how it's loaded. I find the standard 250gr bullet at 850fps to be pleasurable in a full sized revolver. Some of the stronger +p rounds can be a bit much.
Of the two imho the Colt is a more comfortable round to shoot.
You manage recoil in any gun by getting one that fits your hand well. A rubber grip helps for some people. The heavier the gun the less felt recoil. Learning to hold the gun properly and practicing a lot.
For me shooting either cartridge is fun out of a full sized gun. I don't like the sharp bark of the .357, but I also wear double ear protection, what ever I shoot.
Imho the .45 Colt is the most enjoyable cartridge to shoot.