This article, one of the best ever, from the American Handgunner March-April 2002 by Massad Ayoob follows right along with this discussion and Lance Thomas is one of the United States' all-time heroes in my book.
Started with a J-Frame and "evolved" from there.
"It is not lost on him that he has expended 60 percent of his ammunition to neutralize 50 percent of his antagonists."
I still like five shot 38's as a general matter. I lived in Los Angeles Conunty at the time Mr Thomas was doing his fine work, and could not believe the politically correct cry-babies at the Los Angeles Times.