Phew! Another long one...
In the greater scheme of everything that may be encountered or the specific situations which may occur ... it's still just a handgun. It's still just a piece of equipment. Maybe some nuance or subtle quality of the individual piece of equipment (or ammunition) may be just enough to allow the user to prevail, or maybe the 'user qualities' may overcome any inherent superiority of design or performance capability of the equipment.
In the greater scheme of things and in the words of Fackler or Mcphearson. "The handgun must prevail". The mantra of "The handgun is to fight your way back to your long gun" is cute at best. 'Cause... no you won't, you're going to begin and end the fight with the handgun. The grey area of difference between short barreled metal or metal/plastic bullet launchers could be that step that puts it into a different, favorable category. A punch vs a knockout punch. One has a varied effect, depending on the recipients abilities, mindset, etc. -the other demands incapacitation regardless of it's recipients wishes or desire to maintain the fight. I think law enforcement agencies may finally be putting 2 and 2 together and getting .357 because of the cartrides ability to be a knockout show stopper more frequently than it's fellow service counterparts.