Again, I refer to the days when combat action shooters were using K-Framed Smiths of various models, in .38 Special or .357 Magnum, some sporting barrels of 1" in diameter, using target sighted Smiths or fixed sighted with outlandish full ribs mounting both front and rear sights.
You say a lot of effort for small gain, but apparently the shooters and 'smiths of the day didn't think so. As to popularity, both Smythons and Smolts did a fair amount of exposure on the firing lines.
And what about those short cylindered .45 ACP Colt M1917s? Again a lot of effort, but done non the less.