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Your query invites the "Well, it depends." But I think I know what you're drivin' at, so...
I agree with just about all the other replies. I'm not familiar with the Dan Wesson, and this will tell you why. If I were in a remote location in the lower 48 and I had a situation that required a gun repair, I'd be very glad I had a S&W. And if I could have only one it'd be my S&W 19-5, 2.5 bbl, .357. I regret selling my 686s, and Colt Pythons. But I know that any gunsmith within 50 miles of a law enforcement agency will have most S&W parts.
Same reason I only have one truck. A Ford. I'd change to another 686, 3in bbl, if I could afford it. Stainless is more forgiving in certain climates and I just seem to try to protect the blue finished 19 too much. So...IMO...the "one" revolver you asked about is the S&W 686 in your choice of barrel.
 

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The best, French Manurhin MR73 .357 mag. Once you shoot one, you will not want to shoot any other. Ok or at least I didn’t...
 

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martin08 ---- My wife has the exact twin to your Ruger Bearcat. I bought it for her in 1959 for a grand price of $29.95. She still has the original Ruger box with instruction manual and sales slip still in the box. There hasn't been a bullet travel down its barrel in 60 years. It is almost unfired and retains 100% of its original finish. She has been offered out landish prices for it but she has told them thanks but no thanks. I bought a Bearcat holster for the piece but I believe the piece has never been in the holster. Both the Bearcat and holster are family heirlooms that will go to the kids or grandkids one day.
 

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The best, French Manurhin MR73 .357 mag. Once you shoot one, you will not want to shoot any other. Ok or at least I didn’t...
I'd add that one to my list of possibilities. I've sort of had my eye out for one, but they are very expensive and seldom seen at gun shows, at least in my part of the country.
 

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A Colt Trooper Mk3 .357. Not quite the show pony as a python. The kind of pistol you can keep in a holster for months and not worry about. Crazy accurate
 

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I was lucky enough to pick up a couple back when they first came in for $450 each. One is milled for Ruger rings. I would love to get the 9mm cylinder for them.
 

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I would say any 6" barreled .357 mag/.38 spcl. I like either a S&W, Ruger, or my Favorite a Colt Python. I also like a 6" or 8" barreled .44Mag, 45LC, .44-40,.454 Casull or .460 S&W. Mainly for hunting and wild animal defense (bears,mountain lion,etc.), But can be used for other purposes.
 

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Already have it: Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum, stainless, 5 1/2" barrel, hogue grip. I've been carrying it when I deer hunt for years. Between .44 Special and .44 Magnum loads it'll do any job I need a handgun to do.
 

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Fixed sights and a decent pair of grips

I'm afraid I'm being a more traditionalist/pragmatic shooter, but my favorite and first service revolver was a model 13 S&W heavy barrel from 1977 and still is. Can't knock the sights out of alignment, and the pachmayr finger groove grips make it as controllable as any revolver I've shot.
 

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--" shooting them was not comfortable -- they tore my thumb "--

-- " I sold my 3” magnums. Although I love them,
shooting them was not comfortable and they tore my thumb, even wearing gloves.
" --

EASY to fix, Hopdevil -- if i read your Thumb-tearing issue correctly.
Either file and/or wire wheel the hammer knurling a bit -AND/OR- Get some Auto Wire Heat Shrink Tubing, and shrink it over the hammer knurling area. trim the excess. I've done this on 6-7 revolvers, and it makes a hell of a difference when shooting a lot of single action.
Both Taurus and S&W (possibly others also) have notoriously *BLOOD-DRAWING SHARP* hammer knurling -- great, if you have masochistic tendencies...NO TYVM.
Hope this is helpful.

I'll also concur with a Charter Bulldog .44 Spl. w/Pachmayr grip -- smooth action and light SA trigger. Alternates are 2 - Taurus Titanium .38's. This older semi-arthritic Phart likes alloy frames. Wish Walther would bring out a PPK/S (.22 or .380) in an alloy frame -- they're 'rumored' to have it in the works.
 

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-Simple reason: Its cheap. I carry one; I used to carry a 9mm that was rather pricy but, if I ever have a confrontation with a instant socialist (wants to share MY wealth) well the next person I will talk to is Mr Policeman and he is going to want to take my weapon. It has been my experience (I worked IT support for a while in a metro cop shop) that fancy guns tend to mysteriously disappear from the evidence locker. a 85 is functional, it always works. It is not collectable, it is not pretty, but it is my constant companion.
I hear you on this point!
A neighbor of mine had an accidental shooting incident (poor storage and even poorer choice of friends), it took 12 years to get his meager collection back from the state.
No fatalities and he wasn't even the primary but it was his gun on his property so............
They did not disappear but they would not release them either.
And yes, I have heard of other, more valuable guns going missing.
In light of this, we converted our carry pieces to generic, plain Jane models that don't cost a lot.
If it vanishes into the bottomless storage locker we will not be crying!

As far as the original question, I'd select a .357 with a 3 or 4 inch barrel due to versatility in ammo choicees.
Probably a S&W but I'd be OK with a Taurus........
 

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Follow the guys who wrote Smith and Wesson 686 in .357 as you can also shoot 38 spl in these. Superb handgun and extremely accurate. The 686 Performance Custom Shop is point and shoot....yes they are THAT accurate....if $$$$ is an issue GP100....works just fine too.
 

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Really like this one. Smith & Wesson 627 Performance Center. 8 rounds, great trigger from the factory & cut for Moon Clips if you want quick load. Comes with wood grips and Hogues.

Paul, Ohio, USA
 

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With the 586/686. I just have the 586 with 6 inch barrel, factory stock and the thing is insanely accurate in my hand. A personal favorite thing to do is only put one round in the cylinder and nail a pop can at 30 yards and I can do it about 90% of the time. I don't get it out that often. Just shoots smooth and naturally for me.
 

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Smith and Wesson Model 19 4” Combat Magnum, they just don’t get any better.
+ many. My choice as well, balance between punch and size/weight. Second choice, Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt, 4".
 
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