A .38 caliber revolver features a rotating cylinder with six chambers per barrel. The pistol allows rapid bullet discharge and comes with either a 2-inch or a 4-inch barrel. The pistol fires in single and double action modes. It also comes with either a fixed or an adjustable sight, with the latter featuring a blade insert that is replaceable.
The .38 revolver is cylinder-loaded and has an exposed hammer. Users can fire six rounds in succession without reloading. When a user cocks the revolver, its cylinder rotates, aligning the next chamber with the barrel. A user can choose to fully cock the pistol and fire a single shot by squeezing on the trigger lightly or use the double action mode by making a heavier, prolonged squeeze.
Manufactured by companies such as Smith and Wesson and Ruger, the revolver has a frame made of steel, scandium or aluminum alloy, which reduces the weight of the pistol. A revolver with a scandium alloy frame tends to have a titanium cylinder.
The revolver weighs about 1.9 pounds and has a maximum effective range of roughly 82 feet. Without a speed loader, the firearm can fire between 12 and 18 rounds of ammunition in a minute. Counterintelligence personnel use the 2-inch barrel revolvers, while aviators and individuals in the Marine Corps tend to use the 4-inch model.