I personally have never shot a .357 lever but I do own a marlin .44 magnum lever action and it is wonderful!
If I had to choose between a 12ga and a lever action rifle I would choose a 12ga. Nothing against a lever action but you can just cover a larger area with a shotgun and in home defends that can mean less aiming and more blasting!!!
A statement that smack's of Hollywood, rather than the real world. You know, where the bartender fires his dbl. barrel and one bad guy is knocked out through the swinging doors, and the other is blown back through the window and lands in the horse trough.
When I patterned some Fed. Tac low recoil 00 buck--with FliteControl wad, the results were as follows.
10 yds. one hole
15yds. 4" pattern
25 yds. 7"
32 yds, fired yesterday when I was zeroing some slug loads, (one round) 8.5" pattern for 9 00 buck
Same precise sighting is required as if you were using a slug, though there is a narrow zone where the pattern is still effective, but big enough so that you have some margin for error. But that zone is small, just before the pattern is too big for an effective number of hits no matter how precise.
Hornady Tap uses same wad, and produces same results, though shot is lead rather than plated like Fed.
Even with traditional buckshot loads with larger patterns, the pattern at typical home SD ranges is so small as to make precicse sighting of the shotgun mandatory---same as if you were shooting your lever .357.