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I think on the mechanical side they are a bit weak, all ranged weapons are, and they suffer from not working well with the highest optimal dpr of attacking twice per round. It's very strange even at lower levels of hitting for 9 damage one round then critting for 32 the next.
As for the theme, we don't actually have cowboys at all. Maybe in a future book, but Alkenstar is all steampunk/clockwork and has no wild West themes. Otherwise I think they fit in, we perhaps have too much guy with gun takes on an army in modern media and not enough guy gets shot and cleaves the shooter with a greatsword. Because nearly everyone seems to think one bullet will always take someone out. That should only be true if your making one of those bad action flicks where one kick takes someone out of a fight for a minute so you can take on the rest of the goon horde.
Skalgrim recently did a video on guns in fantasy and part of his conclusion was he would rather be hit by a lever action rifle then a battleax. In that regard I agree, but considering how much movement everyone in PF2 has to make the best of ranged weapons you need to actually fight at long range, 100+ feet at least.
Longer engagements and more flying/wall crawling enemies would help. Ranged combat is situational and having your whole shtick be a situation that doesn't shine often can be a drag.