Originally Posted by user
Definitely a .38 special, of those choices. 9mm in semiautomatic is pretty much the equivalent. Anything smaller is likely to make your attacker angrier. Anything more powerful is just more flash/bang/recoil. You can get some really nice, used S&W 4" K frame revolvers chambered in .38 from about three hundred bucks, and that would be my suggestion. They're not the smallest and lightest possible, but I've never had a problem with CC'ing them. I do not recommend a gun chambered in .357 unless you really want to shoot .357 - the use of .38's in such a gun will eventually erode the end of the chamber where the plasma shoots out around the end of the .38's case, which is shorter than the .357's case. Not a problem for occasional use, but a steady diet of .38's will eventually damage the cylinder. Much better to get a gun chambered in .38 to begin with.
"Likely to make your attacker angrier" is a very irresponsible statement! Smaller calibers are deadly, too.
I have never seen a .357 cylinder damaged or eroded from shooting .38 Specials-even after thousands of rounds.
Buy the gun you shoot best.