Pistols are short-range secondary weapons chambered in 8mm. Their quick-draw and relative accuracy while moving is what makes them most useful. They can be useful for the increased mobility for players using heavy weapons such as a Machine Gun or Mortar.
Pistols are produced in a Factory or Mass Production Factory. There are two exceptions: the Ferro 879 and the Ahti Model 2 are the weapon players spawn with (in the Colonial and Warden faction respectively) and cannot be crafted.