I have to agree with RSSZ's comments. No kind of 38 Special ++BOOM is going to equal a 357 from the same gun.
Gunthorp, you have the correct idea here. Low pressure, no big BOOM, (Folks if you've never shot a full house 357 light bullet round without hearing protection, keep up the good work. It is quite painful.:-(
I think that the ideal round for a revolver, for self-defense, is a 45 Colt. I think it's the S&W MOD 25? If I'm wrong it will be corrected quickly by my fellow board members. Again low pressure, big heavy bullet.
Now your Python is a great gun. I've had both a 6" stainless and a 4" 1970's make blued one. They performed very well with the Hornady XTP HP's i tested in them. If I were you and I insisted on carrying the Python I would load it with the hottest +P 125gr HP load I could find. If you hit your target properly, they will do the job as advertised.