What length barrel? I am absolutely no expert but I was told the lighter weight J frame S&W have more felt recoil than the heavier steel versions and heavier still stainless versions. I have a SS .38 snubbie and I do feel it. I changed to a Hogue grip and it's better.
The .357 SP101 had about the same felt recoil to me when shooting .38 ammo. I did a side by side comparison.
If you can do a rental or try out someone's gun first, I would suggest it.