About a year ago I sold all of my CAS guns, a brace of .44 revolvers and a matching .44 carbine, and replaced them with .38/.357 shootin' irons. My cost to shoot has come waaay down (I don't reload) and out to about 75-100 yards the .357 magnum is adequate for deer, which seems to be the more or less effective range of a .44 special, as well. Even if I hand loaded I don't think I'd go back to anything larger for CAS, and if I felt the need for something bigger in the hunting field, I'd take a different gun.
You shoot CAS and DON'T reload?!?!?
No wonder you switched to .38's!! Even at that, the least expensive .38 ammo I've seen was almost $20 per 50. I can handload .44's for for less than $2 a box...MUCH less as the brass pays for itself.
I don't quite agree with your comparison of the .357 and .44 in the field. My wifes .357 Rossi stays in the gun rack in the laundry room with the other "utility" rifles where it's convenient to grab on the way out the door, but when I head out to feed the calves or just piddle in the pasture, etc. I'll grab the .44 everytime knowing that bigger is always better!