You wanna talk more about the .38 S&W Special or other cartridges?
Mind you, if we talk about the .38 special, we're talking about revolvers, usually. There have been some good .38 special target autos, though I don't think any are in production now. But that's something a .38 special is good for: target shooting. I realize target shooting isn't particularly exciting, which is why people go skateboarding, skydiving and driving. But it is a lot of fun, sort of relaxing if you aren't competing and somehow there seems to be a lot more to it than doing the same with a .22. A .22 is for plinking, you know, to keep yourself in good form for shooting .38s.
There are other things the .38 special is good at (or for). It is a handloader's delight. Of course, once you start reloading, it quickly becomes a case of shooting justify the reloading. The late Dean Grennell must have written more about the .38 special than any other cartridge but that's just a guess. There's more that you can do with a .38 special, I think, and still have fun with than just about any other cartridge, unless you are looking to invent a load that surpasses the .44 magnum but that's in a different class. But you might have a lot of fun fooling around with 200-grain bullets, if you can find a mold to make them with.
Another thing the .38 special still has a use for is in small frame revolvers. Oh, I know the .357 can be had in a J-frame but if you thought a Colt Officer's ACP was a handful in .45 ACP, what must a J-frame be like? Even a 4-inch barrel K-frame has more blast than I care to experience on a regular basis, although to be honest, the "kick" isn't bad. I also know that M&S stated that the .38 wasn't as effective when fired from a 2-inch barrel but I doubt anyone would expect it to be. But would you choose a .22 over a .38 in a pocket revolver? For some reason lots of people seem to have more faith in a .22 than anything else. With faith you can move mountains.
Speaking of cartridges, why do the major cartridge companies not produce loads like the famous Buffalo Bore company?
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.