I think its an exciting possibility that Pistols in Syn 2 could be more than just starter items. Pistols in real life are the most varied of all firearm types probably, and full of gun nut energy and I think its a shame to let that potential go to waste on a gun you ever only accidentally switch to between your two mains.
Games like Destiny, Payday, and Borderlands and even recent Call of duty games allow specing into pistols and competing with full sized rifles. Hand cannons in Destiny are famous especially
Heres the long and short of it: Pistols could drop just like any other wep. They have rarities like any other wep, variants and specialist bonuses too if they still exist. Their balance would be on par with any other weapon.This causes obvious balancing non sense such as 9mm rounds dealing double or triple damage when fired from a pistol instead of say a Spectre or FMG, but I believe Synthetik wouldnt concern itself with this
There must always be trash weps you start the run with of course. These could be light blue or common rarity pistols. "Budget" pistols like a Hi point or a Liberator are candidates
(I know in fringe cases pistols like Coil pistol and Kaida-h can be perfectly "mained" but that is not what I mean, pistols in Syn 1 are obvious back up weapons before you pick up your first gun or when you run dry of ammo).