(NOT the modern AR-15 rifle clone, you ninnies!)
The classic, later known as the Model 10 .38 Special revolver.
I’ve never owned one. I’ve shot a bazillion of ‘em, and carried some. With the exception of those without the strength to pull the trigger, I’ve recommended these (or similar models) for self protection, CCW, and general home/business carry for years.
Why? Not everyone likes the semiautomatic, even those with minimal levers and buttons (e.g. Glock). And the .38 Special cartridge is street-proven, but not so full of blast and flash to scare the new shooter more than the shootee! Good for a beginner.
Barrel length? That’s a matter of personal choice, although a 4″ barrel is fairly ubiquitous and inexpensive (used) at gun shows and pawn shops.
And they come with a fixed sight – nothing to hang up, break or misalign on a coat or in a purse. One could ‘bob’ the hammer and remove the single action function if one were moved to do so.
Disadvantages? Medium caliber and six rounds; slow to reload. Although I’ve known a few folks who could reload from belt loops two-rounds-at-a-time faster shot-to-shot than some folks using a pistol with a magazine!
And, I’m old-school, so there!