Granted it's likely single shot black-powder pistols, but that would have been the weapon of the time.
It still bugs me that Dynamite insists on ridiculously portraying Zorro without pistols. And I really hated the way he went out in that Lone Ranger crossover , like he wouldn't update his arsenal and ignore that guns had advanced. He's not Batman who refuses to carry a gun, he uses a lethal weapons, he can use them without killing, and he'd have access to the best!
McCulley's version routinely carried a gun (the infamous "Devil's weapon"),
Fairbanks' version carried a gun,
Tyrone Powers version carried a gun.
In the ZFL serials he used dual pistols.
It's like I get he prefers to force a sword duel, he's famous for the whip and sword, he'd rather humiliate and mark them than kill, that's his thing, but it was never implied that he wouldn't ever use or carry pistols. In fact he was proficient with both! It was never one or the other, that's ridiculous.
*"The first move from any of you, seņores, means that I fire. I am expert with this you have termed the devil's weapon..." - Johnston McCulley
Robinhood is most recognized and celebrated for the bow, does that mean he shouldn't have his sword. Tarzan's popular imagery is that he swings from a vine, does that mean he can't walk!? The image of Captain Midnight is flying a plane does that mean he can't drive!
One shouldn't make the other just illogically disappear, It's like people just blankly forgot he'd carry pistols, cause the sword imagery was so powerful, but it was never at the exclusion of the other, and it kills me that Dynamite who is steeped in the gritty pulps would perpetuate this ridiculous idea.
....rant! : p
Fairbanks as per McCulley-
Powers remake -
The Dell pre-Disney straight McCulley adaptations -
The pistol is part of his established arsenal, and why wouldn't it be. He is profisiant with it, he has the speed , dexterity and skill with a gun/pistola that rivals the likes of the Lone Ranger and Phantom's famous non lethal trick shots.
It's part of what he does, and he was doing it before them, why continue to rob him of this aspect, literally deny this other tool in his belt.