Clarifications about close combat


I noticed that my ganger with a shotgun does more damages when punching someone than my ganger with a knuckle. On the gangers profiles you can see that when they get equiped with any gun they get their full strengh back while with the basic contact weapons (knuckle, shiv, chain and bottle) they get maluses.
Does that mean that carrying a close combat weapon is useless as far a as you carry a gun ? It just seems so illogical to me. What is the point for the secondary weapon slot then ?
In close combat you only use your currently equipped weapon and a rifle etc is basically a maul with Strength As User and critical 0, armour modifier 0. This is better than most of the cheap improvised weapons. If you have a two handed weapon you can switch during the battle, for instance slinging the rifle and drawing an axe/whip/chainsword etc.

If you carry a pistol and a CCW, it will strike with the best weapon ( which could still mean pistol whipping someone if the second weapon is particularly poor)


Or possibly crit chance / armour reduction is applying? I have seen one of my gangers get poisoned too when getting 'whacked' with an Escher splinter/poison rifle