I carry a 5-shot small frame .38 snubby (barrel just under 2") most of the time.
In the hands of a novice, it's a belly gun. Good for wildly inaccurate shooting across the card table.
A "get off me" gun.
I'm very experienced with it, and I used to train regularly with such small-frame revolvers. I've owned several of them over the last 30 years. I'm pretty good with it.
So for me, and people like me, it's not a bad choice. It certainly has a lot of power for its small size and weight. Its easy to conceal.
But they're hard to shoot.
I can grab just about any 9mm self-loading pistol, even a gun that I've never handled or shot before, and shoot faster and with tighter groups (yes, BOTH faster AND more accurately) with a subcompact (3.2" to 3.4" barrel) 9mm. The main disadvantage is the thickness and length of the grip on the autopistol; it's not as concealable as a frame-hugging "boot grip" on my snubby revolver.
The sights on small frame revolvers are awful and take a LOT of getting used to-- or a lot of practice to just learn to glance across the top of them without actually lining up the front sight post in the rear notch. You can get pretty good results with pointing, rather than aiming, if you put in the training time at the range and dry fire practice.
If you want a small-frame revolver that is suitable for carry AND still accurate enough to be satisfying at the range, consider the newest version of Ruger's popular LCR--
the LCR-X with a 3" barrel and adjustable sights. Because this is a polymer-frame gun, it's going to be lighter than other 3" barreled small frame revolvers like the Model 60.
The trigger is supposed to be better than most other small frame revolvers, and you can see the sights are big. That makes quick target acquisition easier.
It's not a .357 magnum, but there's nothing wrong with .38 special +P for defense. It's close enough to 9mm performance for me, which means with the right ammo, I'd trust my life with it.
Real .357 mag ammo fired from a small-frame, light weight gun is painful, and not conducive to accuracy. It can induce a serious flinch (squint your eyes, stiffen all the muscles in your upper body, and jerk the trigger suddenly while expecting the equivalent of a slap to the face). I have had .357 snubby revolvers before, and I normally carry them with .38 +P ammo anyway. Their ability to shoot magnums is just a bonus, in case I want to splatter an over-ripe watermelon out in the woods or something. Or in case I decide to pack that gun while hiking in bear country. (unlikely-- I usually bring a bigger .357 mag, or a .44 mag, or a high capacity 9mm or .40 pistol).