Pistols share the top slot of the weapon wheel with Revolvers. Pistols are powerful at short range, delivering a heavier punch than Revolvers and having a greater ammo capacity. They also have a shorter reload time than a Revolver, requiring only one new magazine rather than multiple separate rounds. Pistols use Pistol Ammo, which is harder to find and more expensive than Revolver Ammo in the early part of the game.
Many characters in Red Dead Redemption canonically carry specific weapons. Edgar Ross carries a High Power Pistol. Sometimes the types of pistol an NPC character will carry may change over time and encounters, and can only be referred to by the specific category of pistol that they carry.