If you reload, get these: Speer .38 shot capsules
I ended up loading mine with #7 lead shot. That ends up being able to kill grouse at a reasonable distance, and disintigrate snakes at close range.
Read the Midway reviews.
Since the guy there says they don't include the load data on the box anymore, here it is (straight off the Speer box):
38 Special / .357 Magnum
6" barrel, .38 Special case, Small Pistol Primers
Powder Charge Muzzle Velocity
SR 7625 5.0 Gr. 1128 fps
Unique 5.5 Gr. 1058 fps
I use Unique. Adjust the crimp to just take the bell out of the case mouth, don't try and crimp into the shot capsule. They're brittle and will (probably) split at the crimp.
I've loaded them in .357 Mag. cases, too. No difference.
They make them for .44 Mag and 45 Long Colt, too, but I doubt your wife would want to pack that kind of hog leg around for snake defense.