I agree 100% on the 3". Its about as easy to conceal as a 2 or 2.5" and does give slightly better velocity. Since I'm a 3" freak and have about a dozen, I have done a lot of testing with SD rounds. While not as scientific as luckygunner, etc. I have come to basically the same conclusions. The ammo available today for the short barrel revolver performs mostly as advertised. I see no reason to use full bore .357 rounds for SD. The +P .38 does just as good in most cases and with a whole lot less recoil which would make follow up shots much quicker and more accurate. While barrel length does play a part in the velocity and performance, the bullet weight and type of powder is just as important. I spent several months testing the most popular short barrel loads and also loaded a lot of different bullets and powders just for my own satisfaction. Using water jugs and soaked newspaper I found that there is a critical balance in SD ammo. You sacrifice penetration for expansion or expansion for penetration. It is almost impossible to improve on the factory loadings for self defense. You can get plenty of velocity out of a 2.5" or 3" barrel to make many different bullets perform for self defense and even a bear if needed.