For carry, a 2" (or maybe 3") small-framed revolver. 38 special is fine. For HD, a 4"+ medium or large framed 38 or 357. For the range, a 6"+ medium or large framed 38 or 357. A good used revolver doesn't have to be expensive. My 2" Ruger LCR 38 special cost $300-something. I have gotten a number of good-quality 4" and 6" revolvers for $400-something. A good-quality handgun is hard to wear out. My preferred carry handgun: a Ruger LCR 38 special. Ruger LCR by Tallball posted Jul 22, 2018 at 11:42 PM A recent favorite for the range, and would be fine for HD: a S&W Model 28. Smith And Wesson Model 28 by Tallball posted Mar 14, 2019 at 11:51 PM As stated, the Ruger was $300-something, and the S&W was $400-something. They are useful for different purposes and don't overlap that well.