most handguns leave alot to be desired, its why i believe it took so long to get straight walled pistol cartridges put into lever guns.
however most handgun hunting is done if you read the gun rags with hard cast bullets that have no option or possibility of expanding regardless of how you push them. with that issue ive always read a 200-240 grain hardcast bullet at 1000 is the minimum. all 357s 44 specials and 45 colts can do that.
so is it just the world of expanding bullets that puts a limit on the 357 for handgun use? sure i read the ammo descriptions in catalogs and some of the specialty companies are making handgun hunting loads in 357 that they word will penetrate like the 45 colt