Shotshells for snake, .45 Colt for bigger stuff. The buck and slugs are apparently pretty worthless. Not surprising, since the burn rate of the powder is too slow for a handgun.
I've been looking at the 2 1/2" version as a hiking gun because I like the idea of loading a round of birdshot for snakes and some .45 Colt hard cast for bigger creatures. My opinion, I wouldn't bother with the 3" version.
I used to carry my Ruger .357 snubby with shot shells for snakes when walking into some remote areas to fish creeks, and did shoot one snake. After I shot it, I figured out it was not poisonous and probably didn't need to be shoot. But I was walking along a skinny path though fairly thick woods, and in an instance, there it was hanging from a tree about four feet from my head and looked like it had bad intentions. About 7 foot long. It dropped with one head shoot at about 6 feet
The "Judge" is a blast to shoot and mine is very accurate with the .45LC loads. The #4 shot load is generally considered to be the best combination for personal protection, from what I have heard. I can completely cover a 4X8 sheet of plywood with a load of #9's at 15 yards. The grips are comfortable and absorb recoil. Get one, you'll enjoy it.