I carry my 3” 65-3 from time to time.
All three are excellent choices. For the duty that you have listed, I would personally want a 4-6" barrel. Full house .357 magnum loads have always "spoken" to my ear drums very loudly, and the longer barrels seem to help some. Also, I would want adjustable sights to take advantage of the potential accuracy of some of the revolvers that are available....Or a similar-sized revolver, on occasion?
I'm looking to add a 357 Magnum revolver to the kit, and am looking for something with potential as a trail gun, truck gun, and occasional range gun. I know the larger L-Frames and GP100's handle magnums like a boss, because I've had a couple. I'm now looking for something smaller, but that can still manage full magnum loads. I'm considering the Ruger SP101, S&W M66, or Colt King Cobra. Wondering who has experience with any of these as an occasional carry piece, and whether the low capacity (especially the 5-shot SP) is a huge concern.
That would make a hell of a nice woods gun, with a bit of social service from time to time. As for general purpose, if I could only ever have one gun.....you might have struck it right there.Just to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, I checked out a 4" 686+ yesterday, and was really impressed. I'd have thought it would be way too much, but then I sometimes pack a 4506-1 IWB, so the major concern for concealment would be the width of the cylinder. Not that I'd CCW it that often, but keep it as a truck/woods piece.