Over on Bushcraft USA, a member posted the following:
So, I've had this whole .357 magnum revolver idea stuck in my head about long enough now that it's kind of becoming a serious consideration.
I have no interest in concealed carry, this would be strictly a woods bumming gun.
I've owned very few handguns over the years. the two longest running are, a Contender in 7-30 Waters scoped bull barrel for about twenty years. It was fantastically accurate, but awkward to carry and shooting offhand was difficult at best. It was very barrel heavy. I traded it for a milling machine about ten years ago and as much as I enjoyed shooting it I don't miss it. It never really fit my hunting style. For deer I've always been a still hunter in very thick cover.
I have a Ruger Bearcat .22 that it's only redeeming quality is it is light weight. I hate the fixed sights, to me that ruins the whole gun package. Also we don't have grey squirrels or cotton tails around here except in town pretty much. We can't shoot grouse with anything other than a shotgun. So snowshoe hares are the only thing to shoot with a .22.
In comes the .357.
I seem to think it would be fine for the heavy cover thick brush highly mobile style of deer hunting that I like with shots of 40 yards or less.
Loaded with .38 special it would be enough for the odd coyote or even more rare fox.
Maybe some wadcutter for small game if I wanted or just plinking and fooling around.
And realistically fooling around would probably be its primary job.
I have most of my reloading stuff yet, so handloads are an option if I decided to go back down that rabbit hole again.
To which I replied:
My favorite handgun cartridge is .38 Special. It handles everything I need a pistol to do, with mild recoil, useful power, and excellent accuracy.
In my opinion, the most versatile handgun you can have is a medium frame .357 Magnum double action revolver with a 4" barrel. They a full sized guns but small enough for concealed carry with the right holster.
With the right ammo you can use them for target shooting, hunting game up to deer sized, training new shooters, and self defense.
Reloading .38 Special and .357 Magnum is relatively easy because they are straight walled, rimmed cases. Carbide sizing dies eliminate the need to lubricate cases. They are usable with a wide variety of powders (even black powder, since the .38 was originally designed for it). There is a huge variety of bullets available in cast, swaged, plated, powder coated, and jacketed flavors.
If you're OK with limiting yourself to single actions, Ruger makes the Blackhawk Convertible that comes with .357 and a 9mm cylinders, further increasing versatility. Taurus sells the 692 double action that comes with .357 and 9mm cylinders.
Check out the articles by Ed Harris about the .38 Special (among other things) hosted at https://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris/backcreekdiary.htm.
And of course, a .357 revolver makes a dandy companion to a lever action in the same caliber. Even full house .357s are mild to shoot in a carbine and firing .38s in a carbine is much like shooting a .22.