The plot to kill the Pope
This from he Catholic Education Resource Center:
(Discussing the assassination attempt similarities between Pope John Paul II and Ron Regan.)
...The bullets entered both bodies, moved toward the hearts, and either stopped or passed within a few millimetres of the central aorta...
I have no way to determine the veracity of this report but it seems like a legitimate resource.
One quote (and I paraphrase here because the link is giving me trouble) "there is barely room for the bullet to travel without hitting vital organs".
Perhaps the shooter was using FMJ ammo which would account for the apparently narrow wound cavity. You would expect far larger wounds with jacketed hollow points. (I'm reading between the lines here as the "barely room for a bullet" would indicate a very narrow wound cavity.
I have a Ruger sp 101 3 1/16th " revolver in 357. I shoot 38's at the range but always follow up with some 357's. It is more acurate with them but the sting after 20 or more is noticeably more than the 38's. It is quite a handful if you are not use to it. 357 in 110 grain are mild.and easy to handle. Get the 357 and shoot 38's if you need to. at least you will have the option of 357. when I carry CW I always have the hornaday 357 hollowpoints with the polymer filled tips. They are called critical defense. anyway it is like having 2 guns.
I would go with the .357 myself. I would use .38 Specials for most practice, then use the .357 for carry. JMHO.
My preference is for .38 Special non - +P. To me, .357 Magnum is too hot for any extended range time. It's also too expensive, and would be far too likely to go through a bad guy and hit my neighbor. I do my target shooting with 158 grain FMJ in my S&W Model 64, and 158 grain LRN in my S&W M&P (pre-Model 10) snubby. My home-defense rounds for both guns is Buffalo Bore 158 grain LSWCHP "Chicago loads".