Different strokes for different folks for sure. I have a S&W M&P 340. I load 158 grain JHP to about 990 fps. Buffalo Bore has their 38 SPL +P OUTDOORSMAN - 158 gr. Hard Cast Keith 989 fps in a 1-7/8 J-Frame. Buffalo Bore also has Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr. L.S.W.C.H.P. --G.C. (1,000fps/M.E. 351 ft.lbs.). Both of these I consider a heavy .38+P, or a light .357 magnum load and rounds I carry in my 340.
I practice with reloads using 7.0 grains of Unique. This is about the maximum I am comfortable shooting. When I carry I have 4 .38+P followed by a 158 grain .357 magnum in the 5th chamber. I do not need to count my shots, as I know when I fired the 5th, and it is time for a reload (NY style).
When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.