There's a reason why the Taurus is less expensive...it's not of the same quality. Taurus has their fans, but you've never seen a professional whose life depended uoon his firearm carrying a Taurus. The S&W and the Ruger are both outstanding revolvers and the choice probably should be based upon how it feels in your hands. A .357 magnum is adequate for deer and certainly for self-defense. I'd probably opt for the 4" barrel because it's easier to carry, but that's just me.