As has already been mentioned there are several loads that take the 38Spl out of the so-called "marginal" category into serious self-defense territory even when shot from a 2" snubbie.
# of people shot - 199
# of hits - 373
% of hits that were fatal - 29%
Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.87
% of people who were not incapacitated - 17%
One-shot-stop % - 39%
Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 76%
% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 55%
.357 (both magnum and Sig)
# of people shot - 105
# of hits - 179
% of hits that were fatal - 34%
Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.7
% of people who were not incapacitated - 9%
One-shot-stop % - 44%
Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 81%
% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 61%
You may not think that such a small percentage matters, but when bad people are doing bad things I want every advantage I can get.
A long proven cartridge in an easily concealed, simple to operate and ultra-reliable platform that every novice I have introduced to the snubbie has been able to shoot accurately enough at common self-defense distances...well, I most certainly disagree with your notion that the "snubbie is an expert's gun".
Define "common self-defense distances
" and "shoot accurately enough
". That is probably where we differ on opinion. I consider that minimum proficiency with any gun is to be able complete and pass an LE type qualification course. I do not feel that a 10" group at 10 yards under no stress to be proficient.