Last night, thanks to my friends, I tried to shoot a S&W .357 Magnum 2 inch barrel, scandium frame 5 shot revolver… It is a great light gun, fun to shoot, and an excellent choice for a backup or a primary firearm while hiking/biking/camping.
Upsides: it’s small, light, and the organic shape makes it concealable. The double action trigger is heavy enough that you are very unlikely to ND it. As a revolver, you can shoot it from inside a coat and not get a FTF.
Downsides: Trying to shoot anything more than a few yards away with it sucks. The double action trigger is heavy enough that you are likely to break a wrist shooting it (kidding, but seriously… loooong heavy DA). Only has 5 rounds. Revolver, so when your five rounds are spent, it’s likely you’re done. During rapid fire, it’s pretty easy to short stroke and get a light primer strike.
As we were told later by an experienced sales guy a .357 Magnum round has a good stopping power even for a decent size black bear… something to think about! Here is a 5 shot group from a distance at about 10 feet: