for target i would go with .44 special. simply because it will be more enjoyable to shoot. im a pissy when it comes to recoil and shot all over the place. I am sure that special would be just fine for home defense. i would be scared with mag that it would be over kill...literally. You are liable to where that bullet stops and mag have some amazing power behind them. I would want to get hit with a .22 so i can say its safe to say no one wants to get hit with a .44 special. For deer, im completely clueless. i would suppose that specials would be fine but i could be entirely wrong.