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I've got so far in the game that I have to use the pistol for training, however for some odd reason I can't use the HUD to change weapon types (it simply won't change the weapon when I release the button).

Has anyone ever had the same problem?

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The manual states that you can use the following keys to change weapons :

1 - Throwing Knives
2 - Hidden Blade
3 - Sword
4 - Fists

If that does not work you can use Q to get the weapon selector. If you have tried all this, then maybe you have run into some of the limitations for the pistol.

According to the wiki the pistol will not work when in Secret Locations levels.

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The thing is that when I use the Q, it simply won't swich. I just obtained the pistol and have to use it to get farther in the game, but I cant. I can't use any items Medicine (1); Hidden Blades (2); Sword (3) and Hands (4). The weapon selector simply won't work. – SnakeEd Jul 21 '11 at 6:10
"PISTOL: Select the pistol from the weapon wheel(Q) and lock(F) onto the target, then hold Left Click until the ray turns into a single sharp beam and release the button to shoot them." - Taken from AC2 FAQ, so it should work for you. I added keyboard shortcuts for reference. – Sharken Jul 21 '11 at 14:02

I know you've probably forgotten this question by now, and yes, I'm a bit behind in the "gaming world".. But I figured this out by accident while playing so I wanted to share.

When you press and hold Q, you can select any weapon by moving the freaking mouse and then releasing Q. I have no idea why this isn't clarified anywhere in the game...

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go to control and change the inventory wheel i.e button 0 to any other keyword like 'u'.then return to game and press and hold u to select the desired weapon

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