I recently bought a revolver, and while trail use wasn't necessarily the primary purpose, it was one of them. I ended up with was a k-frame S&W 66, which shoots both .357 and 38 specials. I mostly shoot 38 specials, but I wanted the versatility of both cartridges.
The Ruger GP100 and S&W 686 are good revolvers, but they are almost 20% heavier than the 66 (40oz. vs 34oz.) and may be more cumbersome for hiking.
The newer Ruger SP101 .357 "kit gun" with the 4.2" barrel and adjustable sights could be a nice trail gun. If I was buying a gun solely for hiking purposes, that might be my choice. It's only got a 5-shot cylinder, but that keeps it trimmer (about 30 oz.). There's a variety of aftermarket grips available, and with the right grip, shooting 38 specials should be pleasant. 357s could feel lively in the gun, but it might be nice to have that option.
Last edited by idek; August 11, 2012 at 03:18 AM.