I tend to obsessively overthink these things, so feel free to tell me so. Setup: I'm a revolver guy Problem: I'm really good with 38's, not nearly as good with 357 (and my already damaged ears can't take much more). I wonder about the stopping power of the 38 loads, but I worry about my competence after the first shot with 357 loads. Possible Answers: 1) High level of skill with 38 +P is sufficient. Several quick and accurate shots will suffice. 2) One good shot w/357 should do the job, no need to be as concerned with follow up shots. 3) Find a good middle ground with a 44 special or 45 acp revolver (less noise and recoil than 357 but more stopping power than 38) Anyone ever use a revolver chambered in 45 acp? S&W makes some, but I've never tried one out. p.s. I'm reconsidering the 38's stopping power because I just read about the killing of John Lennon. He took 4 shots..... 2 in the shoulder area, 2 in the back, one of wich hit his aorta, and he still managed to climb 6 steps and say something before expiring. And he was just a wimpy little hippy.