I can only speak for myself but I frequently take my S & W 642 .38 Airweight, stick it in my front pocket and go. I feel well protected by 5 rounds of +P. I think I could put up a good enough defense to discourage most attackers.
Most of the human predators out there are looking for an easy mark. If they see that you are prepared to put up a potentially deadly defense they'll skeedadle.
Just my opinion.