The term operators to me conjurs up images of Delta Force guys....
And Special Forces are the guys who wear the green beret.
Every one else is a Special Operations Force. (Navy SEALs, Rangers, PJs, etc.)
As far as handguns go....I would keep it simple.
Every "cool guy", and by that I mean guys wearing American flag ball caps, non-uniform cargo pants, Merrell hiking boots etc. I saw in the sandbox had a Beretta, a Sig, or as much as it pains me to say it...a Glock.
However, as an aspiring writer myself, my protagonist carries either a P-228 in .357 Sig, a Kimber Desert Warrior, or a Colt Delta Elite.
"Growing up as both a Southern and the son of a child of the '50s, I was imprinted with several things that have long stuck with me. The F-86 Saber Jet was the finest fighter ever flown, the National League is always superior, and Leslie Coffelt
was the finest revovler shooter since Mr. Ed."