We have all heard the analogy of the indian and the arrow. It is true, a skilled indian - or in this case "archer" - can do amazing things with less than optimal equipment...and we all hope to be that man. But the skilled archer with the best arrow and bow will be able to express his skills to a much higher level than if he was equipped with less optimal gear.
I have a S&W 686 in my safe. It is the epitome of the police service pistol circa 1985. It went with me into harm's way for many years, and if it is what I had in my belt when I faced a trio of terrorists, I would be very thankful for it and go into battle smiling knowing that I would accomplish my mission well and artfully. But if I had a choice, and of course we all do, I would opt for what I am carrying now - a Suarez modified Glock 17 - as it would afford me the ability to express my skills with greater ease, greater safety, and for a longer time than my old 686.