A .357, with a 5 inch barrel, my S&W model 19-5 is heavy enough to absorb recoil well and accurate enough to put kill shots on target easily at 50 yards (if you're a good enough shot) or maybe more. The adjustable sights help, as does the light, predictable trigger (in single action). The only problem I've ever had was a weak round that jammed a bullet in the barrel. It was ancient ammo that my son-in-law got cheap and brought over for us to shoot up (he brought my daughter's .357 snubby and we shot a lot of .38 and .357 rounds up that day). Fortunately it was round 6 of 6, so I didn't accidentally fire another round behind it! This pistol just shoots accurately and without fuss. Only six shots, true, but how many times do you need to shoot someone with a .357 to convince them to leave you alone? OK, so it's not a concealed carry gun (unless you're maybe the size of Shaq), but it's a great home defense weapon. Plus you can practice with cheap .38 caliber wad cutters. Love this gun. Just make sure you wear earplugs.