Pistols are a family of small one-handed guns.
Pistols comprise two distinct families.
- Repeater Pistols (including machine pistols) have a higher rate of fire and greater magazine capacity, but inflict less damage per shot.
- Revolvers have a lower rate of fire and much smaller magazine capacity, but inflict greater damage per shot, and are generally more accurate.
The compact nature of pistols differentiates them from other kinds of weapon loot. Pistols are small enough to be swallowed whole by skags and hungry zombies, thus they can appear as loot in a skag pile, or regurgitated by a certain talkative zombie as a possible reward for his missions. Weapon chests (either red, white, or Crimson Lance) can contain up to four pistols per shelf, whereas other weapons are limited to one or two per shelf. Pistols can also be found in lockers.
The small size of pistols allows Lance Defenders to fire them with one hand, their other hand being occupied by their riot shield. Pistols are also very common among bandits, especially Thugs.
Pistols are also present as a basic armament in Borderlands 2. The three pistol sub-classes from the first game have been united under one name and ammo type, though Jakobs, Torgue and Maliwan pistols are revolver-style, while Vladof continues the machine pistol line. Unlike any other weapon type, they are made by all manufacturers. This gives them a wide variety of styles ranging from the almost sniper-like Iron to the hard-hitting Slapper to the bullet-hose Anarchist.
|Body Manufacturer||Barrel Manufacturer|
| Heavy (Bandit)|
|Critical (Hyperion)||Duel (Jakobs)||Magnum (Torgue)||Rapid-fire (Vladof)|
|Bandit||Pistal||Hed Shoter!||Ass Beeter!||Magamum!||Ratatater!|
|Torgue||Hand Cannon||Hole Puncher||Rod||Slapper||Injector|
Only Green or higher rarity pistols may have a Hyperion, Jakobs, or Vladof barrel.
- Bandit: Bandit pistols boast large magazine sizes; however, their lackluster stats overall make them the worst manufacturer in most situations.
- Dahl: Dahl pistols are semi-automatic when fired from the hip, putting them in direct competition with Jakobs pistols. Jakobs tends to be more effective due to their much higher damage per shot. When sighted, Dahl pistols fire bursts.
- Hyperion: Hyperion pistols are ideal for run-and-gun gameplay due to their excellent accuracy when fired continuously. The Vladof-barreled Synergy is unequaled among common weapons at laying down accurate, rapid-fire damage.
- Jakobs: Jakobs pistols are double action, which fire like semi-automatics in game, but may be fired very rapidly at the cost of recoil. They also offer a higher critical hit bonus than other pistols.
- Maliwan: Maliwan pistols deal bonus elemental damage in addition to what is listed on their item cards, which compensates for their increased ammunition consumption.
- Tediore: Tediore pistols have mediocre stats overall, but their quick reload and throw speed makes them decent throwing weapons.
- Torgue: Torgue pistol bullets deal more damage than any other due to their hidden explosive damage bonus, without the additional ammunition cost of Maliwan pistols. However, the gyrojets they fire travel slower than conventional bullets.
- Vladof: Vladof's machine pistols offer great rates of fire, often exceeding even those of SMGs.
- All of the legendary pistols use the manufacturers unique barrel.