For home defense, I prefer 12 gauge. That said, I can understand that if you have a problem with recoil (like my dad) then a 38/357 lever action may fit the bill perfectly. I have never had a problem loading 38's in my Marlin 1894c. I would expect that the Rossi would perform similarly as Rossi also has a good reputation for fit and finish (possibly better than post-Remington Marlin).
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