The French national police’s special tactical unit, Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale or GIGN, is their equivalent of the FBI’s Hostage and Rescue Team. As a special unit, they are allowed free rein in picking firearms suited to the various missions they carry out.
They are unique in that in their early days they went with a double action revolver instead of a semi-auto pistol. They chose the highly accurate Manurhin MR73 in .357 Magnum as their basic handgun. From what I understand, it still remains in their arsenal.
However, the GIGN went a step further and created a version to be used by their snipers for shorter range work.
From Ian McCollum:
The MR73 was purchased and used mostly with 4″ and 5″ barrels, but a small number were also purchased by GIGN with 8″ barrels, to be made into scoped sniper models. These were fitted with a Harris bipod on custom mount, and a Bushnell 2.5x pistol scope. Outfitted this way, they were capable of pinpoint precise shots in very tight quarters where a rifle would not be a practical option. They were not meant to replace rifles in all situations; GIGN is one of those elite agencies with great latitude in arms procurement. This scoped revolver was one of many options available in their arsenal, for particular situations calling for it.
Ian goes into much more detail about the sniper version of the MR73 in his Forgotten Weapons video below.