We seem to be in a two-way conversation!
The length of the barrel should be comensurate with your needs. A .357 Magnum with a 4" barrel is fine for most general shooting, but as the range increases, the 6" offers a longer sight radius and better accuracy. But I've carried a 2 1/2" Model 19 S&W for protection at times. I loaded it with .38 Special +P ammunition to minimize the blast and flash of .357s, but there are those who would load it with full-power .357s.
Generally, for hunting, a 6" or 7 1/2" is usually preferred, while shorter barrels work for carry purposes.