I am pretty recoil tolerant. However, my Contender with a 10" 357 max barrel and full power loads is in close running for most painful gun status. Last time I fired a dozen or so full power rounds, my wrist was sore for days. They were either my 1750 fps 180s, or my 2100 fps 160s.
In comparison, my 14" barrels in 30 Herrett, 30-30 and 357 max do kick quite a bit, but they do not seem to bother me.
My 357 Max Dan Wesson revolver has more muzzle blast but is not even on my list of heavy recoil guns.
For your gun, loading with a slightly faster powder (say blue dot) and going for a few hundred fps less will reduce recoil as will adding a scope.
I also have a 80-1/2" barrel in 45 LC that I used to shoot with Ruger / TC only loads. It is the other candidate for most painful gun.
I know that you said you already have the gun, but for anyone else considering a less than 14" 357 Max, here is my standard "soapbox" discussion of the better choice.
For a 10" or less, I have repeated recommended the 360 Dan Wesson as a better round than the max.
In a short gun, the Max is way more powerful than the 357 magnum primarily due to the higher allowed pressure. Although a 357 case can be loaded very hot and approach 357 maximum performance (look up 353 Casull), I will not do it as I worry that one of my rounds could end up is some wimpy 357 revolver.
The 357 Max is not good for shooting with 38 special or 357 magnum cases (the bullet is out of the case before it gets to the throat). The 357 max is not all that great when loaded down (too much free space in the case). The Max is not efficient in a 10" or less, a lot of powder just goes to a bigger muzzle flash.
The 360 Dan Wesson gives you close to optimum powder capacity and allows very high pressure loads. I would expect available velocity to be real close to the Max and possibly more than your wrist is happy with. These top velocity loads will cost you less given it will take a lot less powder for the same speed and they will produce less muzzle blast.
With medium and heavy weight bullets seated long in 357 mag cases, your accuracy and velocity should be equal to the same loads in 360 DW brass. Again, I do not recommend really hot loads in mag cases. Your chances of getting good accuracy with 38 special brass is much better in the 360 DW than in the max.
You will need to go to Starline to get brass for either the 360 or the max.
Last edited by P Flados; 12-01-2019 at 05:08 PM.