I think the .357 mag recommendation above is the minimum I would be comfortable with. I know you said you did not like the recoil in the snubby you owned, but a large frame and a 6" barrel would help mitigate that. The longer barrel will help you get all the power the cartridge is capable of. Go to ballistics by the inch (http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com
) and compare for yourself.