I picked .38 Special because even when shooting .357 loads here they are typically a lower powered load like Remington Golden Saber rounds that are loaded to 9mm style ballistics BUT in the L frame here full powered .357 is not too bad!
In my considered opinion (also very humble), the very best S&W revolver is the K-frame Model 19/66. I own and very much enjoy a number of S&W revolvers in K, L and N frame chambered for .22LR . 38 Special and .357 S&W Magnum. Back when my hands didn't hurt, I owned and enjoyed shooting the Model 29. I have shot the hound out of them. Day in and day out, I find that the four inch Model 19/66 is just about ideal in every possible way for any possible use to which I might put a .357 except perhaps shooting the heaviest hunting loads and perhaps if shooting very serious police type pistol matches. I have a 66 and a 19 lying to the right of me on the bed as I type this. Nearby is a 15. Any one of the three are just simply superb. Any one of them will hold the ten ring of a B-27 firing common range ammo out to 15 yds. shooting DA. Back when I was shooting a lot I could just about do that out to 25 yds. Alas, arthritis and a broken left hand in March have made things harder. Still, consider the 19/66 to be supreme. The first S&W I ever purchased was a used Model 19. Gave it to my father when I graduated seminary. Now I've come full circle. Sincerely. bruce.
My favorite is an N frame and the 27 and 28 are definitely my favorite. However, I also feel that any of the S&W models are excellent based on your preference and use. We are fortunate that S&W has made a wide variety to fit us all. The poll needs many more models.
All nice choices but they don’t approach what I consider the best one produced. I like the 45 ACP revolvers and am rapidly considering the 625-6 Mountain Gun my favorite. Accurate, light, easily carried and a hard hitter yet easy on recoil, what is not to like? Perfection!
This Pre Model 29 feels like a magic gun in the hand everything from the cylinder latch to the hammer and trigger feel soft and smooth yet precise. And it just doesn't miss. Also it's as much art as tool. Yes I'm smitten and no I wasn't the one to violate it with the drill and tap but I do take full advantage of it.