The round is undeniably popular with a broad spectrum of handgun shooters and has been for many years. The .357 Magnum cartridge can be made to accomplish most any task ask of a handgun.
I tend to enjoy the round in larger revolvers. In my view the 6-inch barrel is a great all around length for balance and portability. I view the .357 Magnum more as a field cartridge or else a suitable "house" gun for the home owner's defense. I like to use it in its full power configuration and through hand loading can achieve some potent results.
Many do like the smaller specialized concealed carry revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum. The J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers abound these days. Personally a 2 1/2-inch Smith & Wesson Model 19 is about as small as I'd be interested in owning and using. I'd love to acquire a Model 19 both in 2 1/2-inch and 4-inch variations.
The Ruger SP 101 is a viable alternative to the now discontinued K-Frame S&W Model 19. My brother-in-law has one and I do like to shoot it. I think the factory provided grips are exceptionally well designed and it soaks up heavy .357 Magnum loads rather well.
Though I'm not personally very fond of the single action revolver the .357 Magnum is chambered in some classic models. I have to admit that some of the early Ruger Blackhawks are attractive and of course there's the Colt Single Action which has been made in .357 Magnum.
I used to shoot Hunter Pistol silhouette matches and the Thompson Center Contender was a force to be reckoned with on the firing line and many (perhaps most back then) were wearing their .357 Magnum barrels.
Then there's the .357 Magnum rifles which seem like such a good idea to me.
Let's see some .357 Magnum revolvers owned by Forum members and share our views on the round.
Here's the two .357 Magnum revolvers I have, a Smith & Wesson Model 27 and a Colt Python, both with six-inch barrel.