I would go with the .44 special all day long. even in an "N" frame. My general .44 mag handload is much closer to what Elmer Keith wanted that the marketing coup Remington and S&W delivered.
In reality, a 240-250 gn .44 (.429) bullet @ 1,200 fps will accomplish as much as a 158 gn or 125 gn .357 diameter bullet pushed to it's max. I find no need to push a magnum to knockdown anything I can hit with a handgun. If I needed "more"in handgun that my 1,200 fps I'd put a heavier bullet in