Having been in the Air Force and carrying a S&W or Colt 38 special while on duty, I have to say the Tarus 38 special is at least as good if not better. Mine is a model 85 with a 3" barrel, all steel except for the rubber grips. I had larger rubber grips installed when I purchased it. I went to a range after not firing a gun for almost 45 years and shocked myself by firing 50 rounds and putting many rounds in the bulls eye. I remembered my traning and it served me well. Sight picture,Breath control & trigger squeeze. Before I got the 38 I had a Colt 45 1911, it was very heavy to carry around all day and it was probably worn out because I always had trouble qualifing with it. Not the 38, I shot expert with it the first time I took it to the range.