I 'm not a big fan of the .357 mag. I just never warmed up to it. I like calibers that start with .4 but........having said that, it's hard to beat the. 357 . You can look into the SP101 Rugers.
they come in 2 1/8", 3", and 4" barrel and hold five rounds.
If you want a little bigger you can step up to the Ruger GP100. It holds six rounds, and barrels start at 3" and go up from there. It will handle the .357 recoil a little better then the SP as it's heavier.
You can shoot. 38 Specials in a .357 but make sure you clean the cylinder well after shooting specials. The cartridge is a tenth of an inch shorter then the .357 and crud collects in the cylinder's head space. Get enough crud and you won't be able to insert a .357 cartridge.
Smith and Wesson is another good choice but someone else will have to chime in as I 'm not as familiar with the Smith models.
I personally stay away from Taurus I had one fail when I needed it.
And yes the .44 mag would be a good option. You already have reloading equipment for the .44, just load down to .44 Special velocities. The. 44 Special generally runs anywhere between 700 fps and 850 fps pretty much the same balistics as the .45ACP.
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Last edited by markallen; January 18, 2013 at 12:12 AM.