%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1304764518008656500
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[[quoteright:345:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FF7_weapons_9147.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:345:Yeah, a freakin' ''[[ImprobableWeapon hairclip]]'' is more \\
powerful than the Gatling gun.]]

->''"The gun won't help you."''
-->-- '''Raizo''', ''Film/NinjaAssassin''

Firearms are the best personal weapons humanity has developed to date. Their cost-efficiency, lethality, range, and passable ease of use is unmatched.

However, such ruthless efficiency doesn't usually serve fictional plots very well. For [[RuleOfDrama the sake of drama]], if a hero's access to guns is unavoidable in a fictional milieu, writers will tend to use the plot to defang their effectiveness. Perhaps the enemy is supernatural or has an alien physiology, and thus [[ImmuneToBullets resistant to projectile weapons]]. Perhaps your shots always miss because the enemy is just too [[SuperSpeed fast]] or [[DodgeTheBullet nimble]]. Perhaps they have superior technology, either in [[DeflectorShields shielding]], [[BiggerStick wielding even better projectile weapons than the protagonists,]] or both. Perhaps there's an ammo shortage, making every firing precious. Perhaps the heroes simply [[ATeamFiring aren't trained]] [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy in effective gun use.]] Perhaps said enemy is magically shielded and just can sip a drink as you waste bullets. Perhaps it's a mental enemy. Other than shooting yourself in the head, guns do not help here. Whatever the method, there will be some reason why the problem can't be solved with a few judicious [[BoomHeadshot headshots]]. For these reasons, this trope is especially ubiquitous in the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres.

In games, especially in settings where firearms would be {{Game Breaker}}s but the [[RuleOfCool "neato" factor is too great to ignore]], this trope is often reflected in a reduction of firearm effectiveness and power compared to "standard" melee weapons, sometimes to the point where [[PistolWhipping bludgeoning an enemy with a gun]] will do significantly more damage than actually shooting them with it. Again, ammunition also tends to be used as a limiting factor; swords don't need to be reloaded, after all (at worst, they need the occasional sharpening). Or, the designers can make a preference for melee weapons a matter of practicality, as in "hack and slash" games, where being able to [[HerdHittingAttack attack many foes around you in one quick motion]] would often be better than being able to only fire at a single enemy in front. It doesn't help that many games fail to model the possibility of overpenetration and OneHitPolykill on the guns' end.

Compare ArbitraryGunPower, NeverBringAKnifeToAFistfight, and contrast TheLethalConnotationOfGunsAndOthers, MugglesDoItBetter. See also ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge and FantasyGunControl. This trope is often an attempt to avert WhyDontYouJustShootHim.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Elie, the main female in ''Manga/RaveMaster'', wields two guns with exploding ammo. They win her all of one fight and are only of notable aid once. They hammer this home by having the BigBad catch one of her bullets in his teeth when fired from too short a range to dodge.
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' - Despite Levin being very successful with his rifle on the first few floors, almost nobody uses them and much rather prefers [[JavelinThrower throwing spears]] as ranged weapons. The reasoning goes as follows: Air surrogate and AppliedPhlebotinum Shinsoo has weird physical properties… such as getting denser and more viscose the higher you climb the Tower. Living beings can adapt to these change, build a natural resistance against Shinsoo and get stronger, so that their spears are more powerful. It needs to be mentioned that people get [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower REALLY]] powerful while climbing the Tower. The power of guns, however, is limited, also they are quite expensive. And then there is that idiot that showed up for a death match with a [[TooDumbToLive literal marble shooter.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' occasionally has the Evangelions fight the angels with firearms, ranging from pistols to multi-shot bazookas and ''really'' huge sniper rifles. The shell casings from the Evangelions' weapons can crush cars, but the actual rounds do nearly nothing against the Angels. The Evas' [[VibroWeapon Progressive Knives]] have killed more Angels than the skyscraper-sized rifles.
** Granted, Shinji uses a rifle to great effect against Matariel, and the positron cannon works extremely well...but requires all the electricity in Japan to fire.
** This makes some sense as close range is required to dissolve an angel's AT Field.
*** Lampshaded in ''WebVideo/EvangelionAbridged''.
---> '''Asuka''': "Why am I armed with a spear?"\\
'''Shinji''': "Believe me. ''Any'' pointy object is more effective than a gun. Especially a Gatling gun."
* ''Manga/OnePiece:''
** The manga is an odd case where guns aren't worthless, in and of themselves. The times we see bullets actually connect they ''do'' cause damage. The problem is that everyone in the series that gets guns used against them can either [[{{Determinator}} power through the injury]], DodgeTheBullet, or are just flat out ImmuneToBullets by virtue of a Devil Fruit power or other factor. Just as frequently, the bullets just whiz by them, even when they appear to be going right through them.
** Played with in regards with a fishman pirate named [[spoiler: Fisher Tiger]], who died after getting shot repeatedly. The character was able to withstand the bullet wounds themselves just fine but eventually succumbed to blood loss.
** There are some characters that manage to make more or less regular bullet-firing guns work as very effective weapons, for instance Van Auger and several members of the Red-Hair Pirates. So it's not that guns specifically are poor weapons, just that personal strength is more important than weapon strength and guns aren't an especially common WeaponOfChoice.
** Donquixote Rocinante dies this way, from a combination of blood loss from multiple shots to the back coupled with later being shot point blank by his brother Doflamingo.
* Very much played straight in ''Manga/DragonBall''. In fact, this trope was used as early as the first chapter, where Goku cries out in annoyance from all the bullets shot at him by Bulma.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar:''
** Guns are useless for the simple reason that there's no ammo left. Jagi carries a shotgun for the intimidation value, but he prefers PistolWhipping with it rather than shooting - he may not actually ''have'' shells. In fact, he manages to pull the trigger ''once''. It misfires.
** Played ''completely'' straight in an earlier arc, where Jackal takes a ''headshot,'' while running full tilt on a motorcycle, no less, which does little more than infuriate him.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'':
** Guns are used by many characters in the series but can seem ineffective, mostly because they're being used against [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]], who are all but immune to normal bullets or, more specifically, against Alucard, who has an extremely powerful HealingFactor. Weapons loaded with [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells silver or blessed ammunition]] have more effect. Speaking generally, except for [[BayonetYa Anderson]] (whose blades ''are'' silver and blessed), [[RazorFloss Walter]] and [[DeathDealer Alhambra]] ([[spoiler:all of whom were defeated by the gun-welding Alucard]]), any character who does ''not'' fight using guns might as well not bother.
** Averted by Alucard's pair of absolutely ''[[HandCannon massive]]'' handguns, which are devastatingly effective against more or less anything. Justified, as one is loaded with .454 Casull rounds made from melted-down silver crosses, and the other weighs sixteen kilograms and fires explosive rounds that can demolish ''walls''.
* The ''Anime/BlackRockShooter'' TV anime. Characters routinely shrug off getting hit by dozens of bullets. Sure, everyone is MadeOfIron, but melee attacks are shown to hurt, and even kill.
* This could explain why many Nations in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' seem to prefer melee over firearms (with the likes of Switzerland more of the exception). Especially since they could apparently withstand headshots with little to no permanent side-effects.
* In the first chapter of his titular series, Manga/{{Toriko}} tells his sidekick Komatsu that the beast they're hunting, or anything else in the hunting ground, can't be harmed by a gun.
* Averted in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. Homura [[CombatPragmatist fights exclusively with non-magical guns and explosives]], and is easily the most effective witch-killer. [[spoiler:Though it still isn't enough to single-handedly beat Walpurgisnacht.]] Mami's magical guns are also very powerful. Sayaka does pretty well with just swords, but she mentions how dangerous it is to be so close to her opponent, especially when Homura is setting off bombs in its face.
** FridgeBrilliance suggests that [[spoiler: Walpurgisnacht is just flat-out immune to non-magical attacks, which is why she doesn't have to hide inside a barrier like other witches. The idea that Homura simply had absolutely no chance of winning no matter what she did is rather in-theme for the series]].
* Played with in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''. While huge cannons rip through Titans easily due to Titans being MadeOfPlasticine, the Titan's HealingFactor doesn't let it keep them down for more than a few minutes, and while the have more than enough power to blow away [[AttackItsWeakPoint the back of the Titans' necks]], they're too heavy and inaccurate to do so outside of a lucky hit. However it is somewhat downplayed in that cannons are used effectively to slow down Titans and give civilians time to evacuate. Also, high-explosive shells are used to wipe out Titans in during the end of the Battle of Trost. And when [[spoiler:Titans are sighted within Wall Rose]], the Garrison used cannons to bring down Titans and let elite soldiers like Rico finish them off. Rifles, on the other hand, while light and accurate enough to hit the weak point, do not have enough power behind them to deal the fatal blow needed. As with cannons, however, they have shown to be useful in supporting those with 3DMG, and dealing damage to Titan's weaker parts, such as the eyes.
** It should also be mentioned that ballistic technology in this series is fairly archaic; probably about an 18th-to-early-19th century level (think Flintlock muskets and Smoothbore Cannons). [[spoiler: Later revealed that the Central Branch of the Military Police has been suppressing technological development among the general populace as a means to maintain order within the walls. But they've got no qualms about using it themselves; their hit-squads are armed with revolvers and shell-cased bullets.]]
** Played straight with the Armored Titan whose armor plating is so strong that cannon shots do nothing to slow it down.
** [[spoiler:The outside world averts this, though, especially after the 3-year TimeSkip. The Union's field guns with armor piercing ammo managed to put some hurt into Armored Titan, they have access railway-mounted anti-Titan artillery, and their warships' guns ripped apart Armored Titan when he tried to shield Beast Titan.]]
* {{Justified}} in the anime adaptation of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'': while guns ''can'' harm the weaker Cosmo users and even some that aren't weaker (indeed at one point a soldier from the Sanctuary, who knows exactly what a Saint can do, tries to shoot Seiya from behind with an assault rifle) as long as they don't hit their armor, most Cosmo users are way too fast to be hit (in the incident above Seiya easily dodged the burst and punched his attacker out), and Saints, Mariners, God Warriors and Specters hit way harder anyway.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This trope is a given in the vast majority of {{Superhero}} comics, where many super-powered characters can often use their abilities to avoid being hit, can fight back with much more effective weapons and powers or are just plain ImmuneToBullets. ShootingSuperman is the frequent result, and nine out of every attempt by ordinary criminals to attack superheroes and ordinary police officers and security guards to attack supervillains end up with the {{Muggles}} getting their asses kicked.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/HalfLifeFullLifeConsequences'': "I have to kill fast and bullets too slow!"
* Zig-zagged in ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated''. It is pointed out that guns have comparatively less power than the Himes' abilities. [[SubvertedTrope On the other hand]], when faced with a [[ParodySue SUE]] who has the ability to drastically reduce the effectiveness of everyone else's powers, and completely cut off one person's power, Natsuki obtains a pistol and [[spoiler:kills the SUE in one shot]]. Then [[spoiler:double subverted when Natsuki tries to kill [[AuthorAvatar the Avatar]] with the same gun, only for him to make all the bullets disappear, but he points out that [[NighInvulnerability nothing she could bring to bear would have any effect on him anyway]]]].
* Zig-zagged in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-8064-5/Anubis+Zeppo+Halo.htm Zeppo: Halo]]''. According to [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Faith's]] Watcher, guns are mostly useless against vampires (unless using specialty rounds) but are considered the best weapon for killing demons.

* For the most part in the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' movies, dinosaurs are either impervious or just plain lucky when it comes to firearms.
** In ''Film/JurassicPark'', Alan Grant's SPAS-12 loaded with slugs proved unable to even hit ''Velociraptors'' behind glass, and the weapon suffered a stovepipe jam in the end.
** In ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'', the hunters pretty much killed nothing with their automatic rifles, and Ronald Tembo's double rifle was unable to take down a ''T. rex'', because [[SarcasmMode good guy]] [[DesignatedHero Nick]] stole the bullets.
** The mercenaries in ''Film/JurassicParkIII'' open fire with Barrett M82s into the jungle, but drop them and run when confronted by a ''Spinosaurus''.
** The leading character Owen Grady in ''Film/JurassicWorld'' uses a formidable .45-70 lever-action rifle, but it could not even tickle the ''Indominus rex'' during the last battle.
* The effectiveness of ranged weapons in ''Franchise/StarWars'' vary depending on the target and the kind of weapon:
** Against most of the universe, the commonality and power of blasters makes guns very useful to have at your side, since the only defense against them is some good armor (that may well fail against the stronger blaster pistols and rifles. Heavier mounted weapons are too powerful even for the strongest body armor) or solid cover.
** Against Jedi, Sith and other Force users, blasters are ''almost'' worthless, as such individuals can deflect blaster bolts with their lightsabers (and even send them back at the shooter), or, in some cases just plain block them ''bare-handed''. It takes a lot of blasters, or a few fast-firing ones, to overwhelm a Force user via MoreDakka blasters are useless unless present in large amounts.
** The much rarer real guns, called ''slugthrowers'' in-universe, are an excellent anti-Force user weapon: they can sense them, but the lightsaber can't deflect it as it can a blaster bolt. Lightsabers cut through stuff by melting it apart, and while a bullet would also be melted by a lightsaber that wouldn't make it any less aimed at your face. Instead of a blocked bullet, you get a superheated blob of liquid metal, ''retaining the same amount of kinetic energy'', that probably still hits hard enough to get into your flesh. Where it's still liquid metal. Really, it's just a bad idea.
** Slugthrowers are worthless against ''{{Mooks}}'': soldiers such as Stormtroopers wear [[BulletproofVest body armour that can easily shrug off bullets even from heavy machine guns without injury to the wearer]], making slugthrowers completely ineffective against such opponents unless they're both large-calibre and use explosive rounds (and it takes lots of explosive, hence the necessity for large calibre weapons). After all, there's a reason blasters are the most common weapon of choice, and even Force users can wear bulletproof armour.
** Finally, bowcasters (a strange mating of blaster and crossbow technology) are effective against almost anyone: they fire a large shell coated in blaster energy, allowing them to penetrate bulletproof armour ''before'' exploding with enough strength to kill the target even without penetrating, and against Jedi it's still a powerful ''explosive'' shell that sends out a powerful shockwave and high-velocity fragments that can penetrate bulletproof armour. We see it in action in ''Film/TheForceAwakens'': Stormtroopers in bulletproof armour are sent ''flying with their armour shattered'' when killed by Chewbacca's bowcaster, and Kylo Ren, a Force user, is heavily wounded by a ''near miss''.
* The "dishonorable" guns prove inadequate against the "honorable" samurai during the first battle in ''Film/TheLastSamurai.'' The first battle was {{justified|Trope}} since the soldiers at that point were barely-trained rookies fighting with slow, muzzle-loading guns in a forest with poor lighting. The climactic battle in the movie, however, has better trained and equipped soldiers (with bolt-action rifles) up against the Samurai, and Algren and Katsumoto have to lure the soldiers into a close-quarters confrontation to stand a chance, and even though the initial skirmish ends in the Samurai's favor, their numbers are severely depleted. Then their final charge is only ''completely'' wiped out by {{Gatling g|ood}}uns.
* In both the comics and [[Film/{{Spawn}} the movie]], Comicbook/{{Spawn}} uses guns against some his adversaries (Overtkill in the comic, Violator in the movie). While Overtkill is easily defeated, Violator just shrugs off bullets. Cogliostro points this out later on, even saying "guns are useless", and shows Spawn how to use his own powers properly.
* Mostly true in ''Film/NinjaAssassin'', at least until the FinalBattle, when Europol commandos arrive ''en masse'' with spotlights, body armor (mostly useless), and heavy artillery. Apparently, shooting a ninja lord in the back several times does absolutely nothing. The armor being useless is justified in that non-ballistic weapons like knives (and by extension, swords, shuriken, arrows, etc.) tend to go right through Kevlar weave. The ninjas' advantage of speed and hiding in the shadows is negated by spotlights and [[MoreDakka filling the area with lead]].
* Toyed with in the ''Film/BladeTrilogy''; normal guns will hurt a vampire, maybe even knock it off its feet, but then it'll be back up, complaining about the pain and biting your throat out. Now, if your gun happens to fire silver bullets or launch stakes, you'll have a pile of ashes that used to be a vampire.
* Partly played straight in ''Film/TheOne'', as [[Creator/JetLi Yulaw]]'s SuperSpeed abilities mean he can easily dodge bullets or block them with an object. When Creator/JasonStatham's character Funch shows his futuristic gun (actually, from a more advanced alternate reality) which he plans to use against Yulaw, Yulaw's good double Gabe tells him that guns haven't really worked on Yulaw before. Funch explains that his orders up until now were to take Yulaw alive. Now he doesn't care about orders. Naturally, in the end, Funch's gun proves nearly useless, and only Gabe is able to stop Yulaw with hand-to-hand combat.
* In ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'', the unnamed hero defends himself from a gun using his sword.
* ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'': Jack Burton's stolen TEC-9 proves fairly effective against the bad guy's {{Mooks}} early on in the film, but when he confronts one of Lo Pan's CoDragons in the grand melee near the end, Thunder simply grabs his gun and smashes it.

* ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' goes out of its way to make ranged weapons useless through personal shields, which make the wearer immune to all damage (except lasers, but that ends with both laser and shield going nuclear)--except, in order to allow air through, the shields have to be set to allow anything moving below a certain speed threshold to pass through. This means that soldiers and assassins are trained to slow their strike at the precise moment just enough to get through the shield. [[note]] if you calculate the average speed of an oxygen molecule at room temperature, you'll find it's in the vicinity of 1000 MPH, which is well ''over'' the muzzle velocity of most firearms (the reason we're not in a constant supersonic wind is that they run into each other and change direction frequently). The novel mentions that carbon dioxide tends to build up in the shields if the wearer is exerting themselves, but the effect should be a lot more pronounced than it's described as being (and occur even when they're just sitting around). [[/note]]
** Averted in the open desert on the planet Arrakis (Dune) itself, however: shields are one of the surest ways to call a sandworm. Consequently, the Fremen do not wear shields, and battles in the desert use traditional artillery and firearms.
* In the ''Literature/ALordFromPlanetEarth'' trilogy, guns, as well as all forms of explosive, nuclear, and energy weapons, are generally disabled through the use of [[AppliedPhlebotinum neutralizing fields]]. Somehow, the field generators are able to prevent the chemical reactions that cause a gun to go off from occurring. This leaves only one form of combat (apparently, nobody in that [[TheVerse Verse]] believes in [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours unarmed combat]]) - sword-fighting. The swords almost exclusively used in combat are {{Absurdly Sharp Blade}}s, which requires a different style of sword-fighting than with normal bladed weapons.
** In the second novel, the protagonist creates a gun that works despite the use of neutralizing fields. It uses compressed air to launch a small disc whose edges are also {{Absurdly Sharp Blade}}s. These projectiles also act as hollow-point bullets and bounce around in the target's body, shredding his organs.
** Since air guns work fine, one wonders why nobody is using bows and crossbows, with ammo tipped with an AbsurdlySharpBlade.
* In ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', this trope is subverted by the gonne, a Discworld rifle. It's so deadly and terrifying that upon its invention the Assassins take it and lock it away because it makes killing way too easy and Vetinari orders it destroyed because it's so damn scary. The only person to survive a direct hit from it is Detritus, and that's because he's basically a living rock. It helps that due to Leonard of Quirm's particular genius the first gun came out not inaccurate and slow, but deadly from long distances and with an efficient loading mechanism. [[spoiler:The gonne itself]] had other plans, though.
* ''The Trigger'' invokes an accidental invention of a device that sets off all explosives within its radius, allowing for creating zones where it is impossible to bring in guns and where incoming explosives would blow up before reaching the target at the center. Criminals quickly find ways to exploit this behavior, so further scientific developments create a field where the explosive reactions cannot happen at all. Criminals proceed to use conventional missile weapons. [[spoiler:Then, the scientists realize that they've been misunderstanding how the device works the entire time, and it can be used to prevent any specific chemical reaction including the metabolism of a target with specific DNA. The book closes on their horror at realizing they've created the ultimate murder weapon.]]
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novel ''Proven Guilty'', Harry advises against bringing guns on their expedition into Faerie because there are [[EldritchLocation parts of Faerie]] where gunpowder is inert. Murphy and Thomas both bring guns into Faerie anyway and also carry melee weapons as well, and it turns out that firearms work just fine around Arctis Tor.
** For the most part though, this trope is averted. This is because of two main reasons. First several types of magic and creatures, like Faeries, are severely weak to iron, which is found in steel. Second in most cases a physical object has more power than magic (unless the magic is meant to block physical attacks) and any physical object breaking a Wizard or Warlock's magic circle stops the magic. Even characters with very powerful supernatural abilities will often carry guns and use them to good effect, and the main character points out that in some situations a gun is actually better than magic.
*** There's also a more pragmatic reason: the very first Law of Magic is that ThouShaltNotKill a mortal with magic, and doing so earns you the wrath of the Wardens, relentless wizard "cops" who enforce the Laws with AntiMagic {{Cool Sword}}s. Of course, as long as you're not killing ''with magic,'' the Wardens don't give a crap; hence guns.
** Wizards on Harry's level and above have what is called a Death Curse, used in the last moments of life and drawing all their power into one strike is something even the youngest Queens of Faerie are wary of dealing with. One hitman named Kincaid, who Harry has a business relationship with, tells Harry if he reneges on paying Kincaid's bill, he will avoid the Death Curse by sniping Harry from over 1000 yards away. Such a swift and unexpected death would make it impossible to cast his Death Curse back.
** The [[TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles RPG]] goes on at some length about how guns will get the attention of even the supernaturals when they're brought out. While it might not have the flash of a fireball, or the power of a troll's fists, the description notes that few things convey the idea that someone is deadly serious like pulling out a gun.
** It is also because guns are so effective, drawing mortal forces, like the cops or military, is considered a NuclearOption to the supernatural world. A clueless mortal with a pistol is an annoyance to, say, a Red Court vampire... But a squad of Army Rangers with assault rifles, machine-guns and grenades, who know what they're upp against and have time to plan, would quite likely kill the vampire and walk away without casualties.
* In Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', it's not so much that guns don't work as gunpowder doesn't ignite in Amber. Corwin gets around this by finding a powder which does ignite, after which the weapons work just fine.
* L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s ''Literature/TheSagaOfRecluce'' novels have fairly good reasons why any weapon using gunpowder is useless. Chaos mages can set off gunpowder from a distance (typically somewhere outside the maximum effective range of the average firearm), or else make themselves invisible so as to get close enough otherwise. It isn't until late in the series chronology that we see firearms deployed to any great effect by any considerable force, and then it's essentially because shell casings have been invented (the shells prevent a chaos mage from tampering with the powder). Until this happens, arrows (particularly iron arrows, because chaos mages have a rough time with iron) are nearly the only reliable projectile weapons in the series.
* Clockpunk in "Literature/ClockpunkAndTheVitalizer" has what's basically a BB gun; it's non-lethal and doesn't do much more than irritate The Vitalizer whenever she shoots him. Halfway through the story, she doesn't even bring it with her when they meet again.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' novels the Martians have absurdly powerful firearms, but a nearly unbreakable cultural taboo against fighting a foe with "unequal weapons." So when an army of troops with radium rifles face swordsman John Carter, they instantly draw their own blades instead of gunning him down.
* In Literature/AlcatrazSeries, guns are not particularly effective against Smedry Talents, while daggers are. Justified, in that the more parts of the weapon that are there to be affected by a Talent, the more likely it's going to break on you.
* ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices'': So it's best to just bring your seraph blade with you. Although a few times, guns did come in handy... they just aren't ''magic''.
* How effective guns are overall in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series is never really established, but in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' Vernon Dursley tries to scare Hagrid off with a shotgun. In this showdown, Vernon is standing close enough for Hagrid to reach over and tie the gun's barrel in a knot. (In [[Film/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone the movie version]], Hagrid just bends the barrel so it's pointing up). Moral? Guns are worthless if your target is ''near and strong enough to bend metal.''
* Guns are notoriously unreliable weapons in the world of ''Literature/TheColdfireTrilogy'' because the BackgroundMagicField has YourMindMakesItReal qualities even for {{muggles}}. Attempt any technological procedure too complex for the naked eye to follow every step (like say, firing a gun) and your doubts and fears will infect the process and have a high chance of causing something to go wrong. Consequently, most people in this world go for simpler weapons and only use guns if they've been heavily enchanted to work right. The exception is [[VillainProtagonist Gerald Tarrant]], who always carries a perfectly mundane pistol as a show of self-confidence and power, since it means that his will is so strong and disciplined he can use it without fear.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Everyone ([[TrappedInAnotherWorld Except Eric]]) has no respect for guns because their projectiles can't kill anyone. The only exception is in Ceiha, because the "fantasy" part of FantasyGunControl does not apply there.
* The ''Literature/{{Emberverse}}'' book series of Creator/SMStirling has the AlienSpaceBats alter the laws of physics to render gunpowder functionally inert and thus tipping the balance of power towards anybody who'd spent any meaningful amount of time at a Renaissance fair.
* ''Literature/MartinFierro'' At song III of this NarrativePoem, Fierro, a {{Gaucho}} recruited to fight the Indians at the frontier, denounces that the Colonel did not gave fire arms to the new recruits, pretexting he will give them when the Indians will attack them. When the Indians attack, the army gave the soldiers spears, because the firearms are useless without ammunition. Then a sergeant tells Fierro that the argentinian army is ''invoking'' this trope because they really have ammunition, but [[ArmsDealer they sell it to hunt ostrichs]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is a definite example of this. One episode even has Buffy picking up a gun and saying "These things. Never useful."
** That's about fighting vampires, 'cause bullets hurt but don't kill them. Against Buffy herself... There is an early episode where Buffy was HELPLESS against a gun-wielding vampire, and survived only because Angel, shot early by the same vampire, rose and staked the attacker. In another episode, Buffy faced a powerful demon named The Judge that no weapon forged could destroy. Her usual arsenal of blade weapons wouldn't harm him; she eventually blows him up with a rocket launcher.
** Supplemental material suggests that a number of factors, such as vampires getting the idea to use guns and the noise they make, make guns a somewhat unwise choice in hurting vampires. One ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode suggests vampires are quite apt at dodging bullets, as Wesley tried to gun down Angelus. [[WildMassGuessing He may have been missing intentionally]] because at the time he was attempting a BatmanGambit, but he would also know that it wouldn't kill him and Angelus could quite likely have been captured after a shotgun slowed him down.
** By season ten some of this has gone out the window where some Slayers have gone full commando and effortlessly gun down superpowered vamps with headshots.
* {{Discussed|Trope}} in the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Inside Out" by the demon Skip. [[spoiler: He's the worst example yet, as he's a demon with a metallic hide... but once his horn is lopped off, Wesley opens fire on the gaping hole.]] Whoops.
* In an early ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode, as UNIT fires uselessly at a super-robot, the Brigadier says "Just once, it'd be nice to be up against something that isn't immune to bullets." Over time they adapt by developing specialized bullets designed to combat just about any conceivable threat they may encounter. The Seventh Doctor serial "Battlefield" has the Brigadier putting silver bullets to good use.
** And then in a later 10th Doctor episode, UNIT was able to adapt their bullets to work against the Sontarans after they were rendered non-functional.
* Guns are useless in ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' as well… unless they're fitted with wooden bullets, which pretty much completely disable a vampire. And yes, [[TruthInTelevision both wooden bullets and silver bullets are possible IRL,]] just less effective than the usual lead. Wooden bullets will have very short range, and silver bullets have poor accuracy since silver is a much harder metal than either lead or copper and thus does a poor job of engaging the barrel's rifling.[[note]]If there were ever a real-world need for silver bullets, an easy solution would be a copper-jacketed, silver-core hollowpoint, which would expand inside the target to ensure they actually come into direct contact with the silver. But don't expect many fictional vampire or werewolf stories to go into that level of technical detail.[[/note]]
* Possibly averted in ''Series/StarTrek'' in that the Borg can adapt to energy weapons, but are seemingly vulnerable to bullets and blades. Ranged weapons in general in later Treks don't pack the punch you'd expect them to. Whether it's energy weapons or actual bullets, PlotArmor is in full effect.
* Shows up in some of the ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series. Especially the ones where the hero is allies with the police, like ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'' and ''Series/KamenRiderWizard''. Wizard even took it so far that hitting a mook with traffic cone had more effect than the gun one of the officers was carrying.
* In ''Series/EarthFinalConflict'', it's eventually revealed that the Taelons, being EnergyBeings, cannot be hurt by bullets (which begs the question of [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness why Da'an seemed afraid of the sniper in the pilot]]). In the final season, the Atavus, their more savage ancestors, are part-energy and are likewise unhurt by ballistic weaponry. Only energy weapons can hurt them, and it typically takes several shots from those (unless they're [[VampiricDraining low on energy]]). But it's not until the GrandFinale that humans come up with {{Hand Cannon}}s powerful enough to OneHitKill an Atavus.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', [[TheAssimilator the Replicators]] are initially able to be hurt by regular guns, but not by energy weapons, since they can absorb any kind of energy (except kinetic), although [[BoomStick staff]] blasts are effective too, since they also carry kinetic energy, but it takes skill to hit a Replicator with one. Unfortunately, when the Replicators start creating humanoid versions of themselves, they turn out to be immune to gunfire, since they're actually made up of tiny Replicator pieces, which can be replenished faster than any gun can shoot. The bullets just go through them with no visible effect. The Asurans, their [[Series/StargateAtlantis Pegasus Galaxy cousins]], are the same way, except they only have humanoid forms.
* Played very straight in both seasons of ''Series/StrangerThings''. Close-range assault rifle fire seems to do no damage at all to either the demigorgon or the demidogs. But somehow [[spoiler:a nail-studded baseball bat wielded by a teenager]] is highly effective.
** [[spoiler:Averted in the Season 2 finale, when Hopper fends off the demidogs while Eleven closes the gate. Although maybe those bullets were just knocking the demidogs down and not actually wounding them.]]
* A frequent problem on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', as the characters often face supernatural enemies who are ImmuneToBullets or at least quite resistant to them, such as angels and demons. When the heroes go up against monsters who ''are'' affected by bullets, the type of ammo generally matters -- often silver is required to kill the MonsterOfTheWeek, although occasionally the requirement will be different, like blessed iron or something. One {{MacGuffin}} of the series is the Colt, a special gun with special bullets ([[spoiler:at first]]) which is apparently able to kill ''anything'' ([[spoiler:with the exception of Lucifer and four other beings]]), and it is the only projectile weapon the heroes acquire that's that effective. Strangely, a demon actually invented an ''angel-killing gun'' at one point... fired it twice, and [[ReedRichardsIsUseless then promptly forgot about it]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'': A Tommy SMG or a 12-gauge shotgun will reliably mince human cultists and low-level Mythos monsters like ghouls and Deep Ones, but larger entities like shoggoths, star vampires, dholes and Cthonians will shrug off firepower and slaughter the players several times over unless they happen to be marvelously well-equipped ''and'' lucky. Nothing you could possibly lift is high-caliber enough to even scratch Cthulhu himself, and not even artillery pieces will deter him for long. Cthugha meanwhile is a sentient ball of intense fire, and flying soon-to-be-molten metal blobs don't do much to him besides tickle. And of course, the human cultists can use all the same weapons and equipment the human player characters can (and also have roughly the same stats).
* Guns in ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' are funny things. Because of the rules, a single bullet can put down a {{mook|s}} with little problem, but named heroes and villains alike get the benefit of AlmostLethalWeapons when dealing with guns -- against named characters, your average pistol is only going to cause as much damage as a kung fu warrior's punch or kick, and when fighting a high-Toughness character like a Big Bruiser, something like a dinky .38 snub revolver isn't going to do much to him except piss him off unless it's a signature weapon. Still, heroes and villains alike in the HeroicBloodshed movies that the gun rules try to emulate are known for [[MadeOfIron taking serious amounts of punishment]], sometimes to NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow levels, so this is reflective of genre: It is explicitly stated that the game tries to capture the atmosphere of Hong Kong action movies and doesn't even try to imitate reality.
* Played with in ''TabletopGame/SLAIndustries'', in which guns do massive amounts of damage, and are often the only way to penetrate the better armour suits in the game--but the 'bullet tax' levied by the government even on its own operatives (who are expected to lease all their equipment from said government) means that buying even one clip of ammunition often costs more than the players will earn in several missions.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' does this to a degree. While guns are still very effective weapons, they did want a way to use their chainswords, power swords, etc, and so despite guns being effective in Warhammer 40,000, somehow melee charges manage to be effective as well. ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon resulted, to the n-th degree.
** Helps that most close combat troopers are either a) MadeOfIron, b) can get into combat fast, c) the units just has so many troops they can take a few hits or a combination of the three.
*** Generally, a unit is considered a close combat troop if 1.) it has a movement modifier and 2.) if it has more than 1 attack (either by a innate stat boost, close combat weapons, some special rule, or all of the above). The ability to negate enemy toughness, weapon skill and/or armor are also indicators of a good close combat troop (although there are instances where a unit does indeed have poison or power weapons, but lack the necessary numbers or attacks to actually use them).
** The new edition changed the rules so that melee fighters can no longer jump straight from combat to combat with no chance to shoot them. This made shooty armies much more powerful, as previously small groups of elite melee units could easily roll up an entire flank of Guards or Firewarriors if they got into close combat.
** This is also partly why Kroot are considered inferior close combat troops. They lack the MadeOfIron-ness of other dedicated close combat troops (having literally no armor and mediocre toughness) combined with crappy close combat weapons that can't deal with other MadeOfIron troops. The only reason they're still being used is because they're the only troops in the Tau Army that actually has any close combat prowess (which is not saying much).
** In the modern world, personal armour is generally inferior to offensive weaponry - 40k is the other way round.
** In-universe, the description given for the Lasgun states that it can take off limbs and cause fatal burns against most conventional targets (i.e: other humans) and its destructive force is comparable to that of a modern-day AK-47. The Bolt Pistol, standard sidearm to any Space Marine, is a one-handed RPG launcher. The problem is though, the targets are usually monsters with shells thicker than most structurally sound bunkers, supersoldiers clad in power armor surrounded by a forcefield/daemonic energies, undead skeletal machines that can regenerate their steel, and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that defy reality with every breath.
** In ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'' (a squad-sized game derived from the [=WH40K=] rules), close combat has a slight edge because when you take someone down with a sword, they stay down. Victims of gunfire may suddenly realise that it was OnlyAFleshWound, and make a partial recovery during the game or after the end. People taken out in close combat have a larger chance of developing long term injuries rather than making a full recovery.
* Averted in ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution''. Guns do substantial damage, even to espers.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' has a blanket rule on the effectiveness of guns and explosives against supernatural entities--magical beasts and ghosts exist literally because YourMindMakesItReal, thus only an attack that carries the wielder's intent can harm one--GoodOldFisticuffs, [[SwordFight melee weapons]], arrows, [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks thrown objects]] or, of course, MagicAndPowers. And a {{Cyborg}} will have a ''lot'' of trouble with them because CyberneticsEatYourSoul. In other words, though it is a CyberPunk game and every party must include at least one Street Samurai, [[BadassDriver Rigger]] and [[PlayfulHacker Decker]], [[CompetitiveBalance you also need at least one]] Wizboy because [[WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures "Magic Must Defeat Magic!"]]
** Outside of spirits, however, the trope is inverted. While it is, technically speaking, almost impossible to actually OneHitKill anyone in ''Shadowrun'' with a firearm, two to three good hits with a bullet usually does the job. Any player who thinks a "Street Samurai" is obligated to go into battle with nothing but a katana and the spirit of the warrior is bound to end up a punctured red mess on the pavement: In nine times out of ten (the tenth usually being a mage) firearms are generally the quickest and easiest way to go when you want someone dead.
** As of 5th edition this is even backpedalled a little for spirits. Spirits do have "immunity to normal weapons" but if you want to check what that means in game terms then after running down the references (it is not a well organised book) you'll find that nonmagical weapons can hurt spirits, the spirits just get hardened armour (which is better than normal armour) against them. Crunching the numbers it turns out that, assuming average rolls on both sides, a good assault rifle used by a well trained shooter (specifically a shooter the 6 ranks which is the cap at character creation) could be expected to wound a force 6 spirit (the maximum a starting mage is likely to risk summoning). This is assuming the gunman is sensible enough to fire full auto and goes for 1 hit, the optimum tactic for this situation as it gives the spirit such a hefty penalty they can't make a defence roll and guarantees the shooter will roll enough successes (a five or six on one of the dice they roll) to increase the damage a little. However this tactic does mean the shooter will want to spend their next action settling their gun as recoil penalties in shadowrun are cumulative. So the bottom line is a squad of well trained and well equipped soldiers could take down an average type spirit. The amount of hardened armour spirits get does increase rapidly with force however, high force spirits are unlikely to be even scratched by anything short of very heavy weaponry.
* In ''TabletopGame/SpiritOfTheCentury'' guns, fists, and melee weapons do all the same amount of damage. Because it's a [[RuleOfCool Pulp World]] it's assumed that someone with a 3 in Guns is just as lethal with those guns as someone with a 3 in Fists.
** Guns do retain an edge in range, for which the Fists skill notionally compensates by not needing a gun in the first place -- genre-appropriately, it's expected that characters will be deprived of their weapons or at least opportunities to casually use them at least some of the time. And of course most pulp-style combat scenarios will be spending at least some amount of time at fisticuff range in any event.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3.5'' falls squarely into this. While most settings don't really use them, the Dungeon Master's guide has rules for some modern weapons. Notably, they're treated as being harder to master than standard medieval weapons (exotic rather than simple, suggesting the difficulty is due to lack of familiarity), they don't do much if any more base damage than standard projectiles (and can't be modded to factor in ability score modifiers, but also don't suffer penalties for low strength), and there aren't any special rules for how they interact with armor or shields suggesting that they don't penetrate (which goes down to how abstract Armor Class works in the first place). They can still be enchanted, though.
** This is due to the fact that characters gain hit points as they progress while weapon damage remains constant. This means that an experienced SWAT member is way more bulletproof ([[{{Handwave}} or can dodge more]]) than a rookie beat cop (who can die after one lucky shot from a 9mm pistol).
** When players try and homebrew firearms, they either make them even weaker (taking minutes to reload in a game where a round is six seconds) or make them an absolute GameBreaker that ignores all armor, magical or otherwise, and always hits for massive damage.
** Of course, there are enemies in D&D that are simply immune to bullets for one reason or another. They'll pass straight through Oozes or other liquid creatures without doing anything, they're another physical attack for spirits to ignore, and against gigantic things like titans and the Tarrasque, you may as well be throwing pebbles.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' addresses most of these in the ''Ultimate Combat'' supplement. "Early" firearms (roughly equivalent to 16th-18th century real-world firearms) are rare, expensive, require an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, slow, prone to misfires, and have much poorer range compared to bows and crossbows. However they inflict significant damage and basically ignore armour (but not other defenses) at short range. "Advanced" firearms (roughly 19th-century equivalent) are reliable, faster, still do good damage, have better range, and ignore armour at much longer distances.
* 5th addition zigzags this. In a typical setting firearms will be patterned of off muskets and will be pretty weak. However in settings that allow for modern guns they are almost comically overpowered. This especially true of machine guns since they are just as powerful as semi automatic and single shot weapons if they use the same bullet.
*** They are also more popular in regions such as the Mana Wastes, where magic is less reliable. While guns can be enchanted like any other weapon, they lose some of their inherent appeal in a world where a magic wand can do most of the same things, and be less prone to exploding.
* Both ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' and ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' rely on this. As vampires don't really have working circulatory systems, and everything else is functional solely because of ThePowerOfBlood, guns will, for the most part, do bashing damage rather than lethal (comparative with being hit with a sledgehammer). Enough bullets will still screw them up (as will headshots, in some cases), but as guns mainly do damage by causing bleedout, vampires don't really have much to worry about. Averted when shooting at mortals, however. Guns do lethal damage to living targets, which most mortals cannot soak (try to ignore damage from), and deal more damage -- and faster -- than all but the most optimized melee builds. One to three hits from even the weakest pistol in the game will kill or incapacitate a human.
* Played straight in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' where guns can are significantly less effective on the demi-gods characters than they are on mortals. Also, a gun will kill a mortal human but the game presents so many more effective ways to do so, like crossbows, which have a range and accuracy rating superior to a 9mm.
** Guns are also the only weapons whose damage output isn't linked to a character's Attributes, so a gun fired by a God of War does exactly the same amount of damage as the same gun fired by a street punk. This makes guns severely underpowered compared to melee weapons or archery, once the [=PC=]s start accumulating dots in Epic Strength and Epic Dexterity.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'' exhibits this, much to the frustration of many of the players. Standard guns top out a 2-5 ranks of damage, equivalent to a good hard punch by a trained baseline human. Most PC heroes begin at a 10 Toughness bonus, meaning that, when hit by an assault rifle, they're going to avoid any injury half of the time. The addition of Impervious removes the save entirely. Which is actually {{justified|Trope}} by the [[ComicBookTropes Four-Color]] superhero setting (and characters) assumed by default. When your {{Player Character}}s are essentially {{expy}}s of the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} or ComicBook/TheAvengers, most of them are gonna be unfazed by a street-thug's gat, or even a soldier's assault rifle. On the other hand, the more down-to-earth, [[BadassNormal human characters]] in supplements like Agents of Freedom (characters at power-level 5) have a mere 3 to 5 Toughness save, so guns are ''not'' useless against them.
* Played unbelievably straight in Mind's Eye Theater's LARP rules, to the point where grappling is more effective than shooting someone in the face.
** Extremely debatable depending on what game you are playing and what ammunition is in the gun - in fact, in many cases, this is entirely inaccurate. For Garou, a Combat Shotgun loaded with [[AbnormalAmmo silver ammunition]] can unload four aggravated wound levels per attack against werewolves because of the bonus damage effect of both shotguns and fully automatic weapons, plus you can hit basically everything in a room with it at once. Put that in the hands of a Glass Walker armed with [[BottomlessMagazines magical knickknacks]] or Gifts that give him unlimited ammunition and watch him expend [[UnstoppableRage Rage]] to turn entire packs of [[EvilCounterpart Black Spiral Dancers]] into [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill salsa.]] That's not even bringing up chainguns...
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' RPG, guns do only one-fifth damage to vampires, in line with TV show continuity. Similarly, guns are still perfectly effective on humans and most demons.
* A deliberate stylistic choice in Burn Legend from ''Shards of the TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} Dream''. Because BL is about martial arts, firearms are incredibly weak and interact poorly with your ki, rendering you unable to use martial arts beyond Basic techniques while you hold them...and, if you take a hit while wielding a gun, you automatically lose a health stock. To make matters worse for gun-toting mooks, range is divided quite neatly into "near" and "distant", and the main projectile-trumping techniques, Aerial moves, are a) available to everyone and b) allow you to move from distant to near. The net result is that no-one in their right mind picks up a gun. Ever.
* TabletopGame/InNomine deliberately downplays the effectiveness of guns as compared to blades, hand-to-hand, and supernatural powers, because it's more thematically appropriate to a game involving angels and demons. Still, many characters will carry a gun anyway.
* Sanguine Production's ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' and its expansion ''Jadeclaw'' allow characters to purchase and use firearms. While a gun in ''Ironclaw'' is appropriately powerful, it's also ridiculously expensive, horribly inaccurate, slow to reload, and requires a reliability roll with each shot. If the roll fails, guns suffer from the unnerving tendency to fail in the worst possible way at the worst possible time, such as a dud fuse not firing or, even worse, a spontaneous powder explosion. With such issues only applying to firearm weapons, this means bows and melee weapons are much more practical to their users and much less likely to cause them to accidentally kill themselves.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation'' sets itself apart from every other ''Alien'' franchise video game by being a survival-horror game with an emphasis on avoiding combat as much as possible. There ''are'' guns, and they ''can'' kill, but you will quickly learn that using them often carries more risk than reward. While organizations like the [[SpaceMarines Colonial Marines]] are equipped with automatic and heavy weapons that are specifically designed to take out light-armored enemies, Sevastapol is a civilian-owned facility and it's marshals use weapons and ammunition with the lowest possible risk of causing a hull breach, which is unfortunately exactly the kind of firepower needed to kill a xenomorph. At best, Ripley gets a 6-cylinder revolver, a 4-shell shotgun, and a jury-rigged bolt gun- none of which deal any damage to the xenomorph (who will kill you the moment it touches you), and all of which will alert it to your presence. There are only 2 uses for the guns- killing hostile civilians and destroying hostile Working Joes. In either case, distracting them is better, while sneaking past them is the best option. At best, the flamethrower shines as the only weapon (besides explosives) that will scare the xenomorph off... as long as you have fuel.
* In ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'', guns are useless against agents, so Neo is forced to take a more hands on approach with them. Unless said gun is a grenade launcher. Or the Gatling Gun. Or the send-them-flying-with-a-kick-then-shoot-them-in-the-air combo.
* ''{{VideoGame/Prototype}}'' played this trope in a rather realistic way. Guns are actually very powerful against what you'd expect them to work on. Walkers, the basic mutated humans that you face in droves, usually die after a few rounds to the face, same with the soldiers. Problem is, over time you get giant mutants that are more than capable of shrugging off small arms fire, which quickly makes guns useless in favor of your powers.
* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' notably had firearms be severely underpowered compared to melee weaponry. This was especially odd given that the background mentioned a war between two of the kingdoms of Arcanum in which the elite knights of the more backward one had been easily slaughtered by volley fire from poorly trained Tarantian conscripts.
** Guns do have advantages over tech melee weapons, such as range and higher accuracy for more damaging criticals. But thrown weapons of either tech or magick have major advantages over guns; they're faster, magick doesn't cause them to fail and the uberweapon for the type becomes available much earlier in the game. The Aerial Decapitator does make guns look worthless.
** Additionally the game suffered from a bug causing damage being calculated per shot, not per bullet. This caused mechanized rifles to consume several bullets per 'burst' but still dealing the damage only slightly higher than damage of a simple pistol.
** However the elite knights were slaughtered by huge volleys, one on one an elite warrior is better than a lone soldier with a gun, or rifle; unless that soldier has exceptional gear, armour and the like, it's the peasant armies that beat the few knights.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' is, as always, the seminal example.
** To start us off: Barret from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has a gun stuck on his arm that can practically shoot cannon balls, and Vincent uses pistols as his weapon of choice, but they only cause as much damage as Tifa's fists or Cloud's [[{{BFS}} oversized sword]].
*** It's even worse for the enemies; their guns are lucky to do a tenth of the damage that Cloud's [[{{BFS}} detached]] [[ImprobableWeaponUser helicopter rotor]] does.
*** The very first enemy you meet in the game punches for ''more damage'' than when they shoot you.
** In ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]'', Cloud gets shot at point blank range directly between his eyes. It breaks his sunglasses and gives him a tiny scratch. Then, at the end he gets shot in the back and is seriously wounded, but only because Yazoo and Loz upgraded their weapons with loads of materia.
** Both played straight ''and'' averted by ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''. Though the game itself states that melee weapons deal more damage than guns, it also points out that modern technology allows for greater weapons yields than magic. Also, Irvine, the gun-wielding party member, is capable of doing incredible damage with his rifle, and the specialist ammunition he carries can amplify that damage to ridiculous levels, and Laguna, who carries a machine gun, does most of his damage through the use of raw firepower and grenades.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' the Gunner's rapid shot technique is one of the weakest in the game until combined with the catnip accessory, whereupon it becomes one of the two most powerful attacks in the game. The rapid shot technique is also useful in starting up a combo, giving a boost to damage for a follow up attack.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' makes use of the first generation of handheld firearms such as flintlocks and blunderbusses, fitting their real-life counterparts in use delay, but not so much their effectiveness against small rabbits at close range, although these bunnies can [[KillerRabbit destroy anyone,]] so it's not ''that'' bad.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' uses guns, but they have low attack power compared to swords or other weapons for balance reasons. The quirk here is that guns [[ArmorPiercingAttack ignore defense]], so a weak character can do a decent amount of damage to enemies if you get guns early in the game and you can do even more damage if you use elemental bullets on enemies that are weak to it. By the halfway point to the end of the game, your other characters will be strong enough to outclass gunners and attack faster since guns have a slow wait time. Not only that, but most enemies and bosses by this point will have a passive resistance to guns, making gunners do only a few hundred points in damage compared to the 2000 damage they were doing earlier in the game.
** This trope is all over the place in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII''. One of your party members, Sazh, uses guns and has the weakest stats, but compensates for it by being able to hit twice on every attack AND having better bonuses on his crafted weapons. His Blitz attack is a textbook example of MoreDakka. Late in the game there are human mooks carrying bazookas that are potential game-enders if they are not dealt with first.
** For balance purposes; guns have the highest range in the ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics Tactics]]'' series but are also very weak. (After all what'd be the point of having melee weapons at ''all'' if you can just slaughter enemies before you even get in their range?) However, you can actually use abilities that have weapon range with them - Gunners and Cannoneers with Ultima. ''OUCH''.
** Guns in ''Tactics'' have just about the best attack range in the game, but rarely do as much damage as a solid sword... unless you find one of the rare varieties that shoot ''magic'' at the enemies instead of bullets, anyway.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''. Guns do have long range, but the strongest gun has an attack of 35, as compared to mid 50s for other ranged weapons, about 60-80 for melee weapons that are actually intended to be used as such, and a whooping 92 for the strongest weapon (Knightswords). Even staves and rods are stronger than guns for heaven's sake. Add in that Fusiliers have terrible growths across the board...
*** But if you add in that Fusiliers learn loads of attacks that cost no MP and have decent chances of causing StandardStatusEffects while still causing regular damage to their enormous range then you still have a great supporting unit.
*** If you give Gunners/Fusiliers Onslaught as their secondary ability set, they can use Ultima at a ridiculous range, and if you have them level up as Moogle Knights they'll have much better attack [[ArbitraryGunPower (somehow).]]
** This is averted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' where guns are exactly as effective as you'd think in a setting that holds somewhat close to reality, mostly held away by FantasyGunControl. Admiral Merlwyb is a crack shot with her dual pistols, and her bullets are treated as a OneHitKill when we see her fight, and if a boss uses a gun odds are it will be attached to one of their deadliest attacks (Captain Madison for example, will focus on a party member and shoot them until he takes enough damage or they die). Player Machinists are also expert marksmen with a slight tinting of TheEngineer, though their bullets are mentioned to be ether compressed into physical form by their tool kits to justify BottomlessMagazines.
* Several of the newer ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games have guns (one with silver bullets!) but they are generally 75% as strong as the weapons you already have at that point. To rub it in, the bullets only go about five steps forward before vanishing!
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' the character can get a gun as a special attack that deals double the damage of the normal attack, however it's incredibly slow to load.
** In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia Order of Ecclesia]]'', there's Albus, who is quite effective with his gun, firing both regular shots, a light/dark spiralling shot and a giant ball of darkness the game describes as using the power of ''spite''!
*** In Hard Mode, he can even shoot [[FireIceLightning Ignis, Grando, and Fulgur]] out of his gun. In other words, ''he can use magic fireballs, icicles, and ball lightning as bullets''. Not so worthless now, is it? And yet, one of his best attacks is a flaming kick.
** ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' subverts this trope with the skeletal 'Bone Musket' enemy. They appear in groups of three and stagger while they're reloading to lay down about one shot every two seconds, and they ''really'' hurt! About the only advantage you have is that most of the time you're above or below them, and they can only shoot straight ahead. Not surprisingly, the highly powerful Shield Rod is guarded by a group of Bone Muskets inside a thin corridor.
** In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'' a high tech rifle was the BraggingRightsReward.
*** There was also the pistol, which could be useful if not for the fact that you could get [[InfinityPlusOneSword Claiomh Solais]] at the same time, if not a little earlier.
** In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]'' guns are fine weapons (and actually gain quite a rate of fire with a LagCancel), but there are only 2 in the game (outside of the [[BraggingRightsReward rocket launcher]]) and they quickly get outclassed by the (still progressing) melee and throwing weapons.
* In ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', the pistol is very powerful, but ammunition is the most expensive purchase in the game and the character can only carry six bullets at a time.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'': in the levels set from UsefulNotes/WorldWarI onwards, guns do considerable damage; however, bladed weapons have the advantage of allowing the player to hack the heads and limbs off zombies and, being a horror game, have no ammo concerns.
** The first time you can actually use a rifle on a boss, [[ImmuneToBullets it laughs at you]]:
--->'''Black Guardian''': "The tools of your puerile civilization are of no use against the Power of the Planes."
** Then it ends up averted in the next to last level where the game drops an OICW on you along with enough ammo and grenades to spam everything.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' is the virtual epitome of this trope; blasters are piss-weak and have [[ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon barely more range than your arm]] (and level design often fails to give ranges higher than your elbow half the time).[[note]]You can see the maximum ranges given in the weapons' descriptions in the menu. Pistols get a max range of 23 meters, and rifles get a max of 28. This range is set in stone, and better blasters do not increase that range, even if they are explicitly described as a '''''sniper rifle'''''.[[/note]] This all the more insulting because ranged weapons are actually highly useful in the ''TabletopGame/StarWarsD20'' ruleset the game is supposedly based on. The lesson? It's all about the lightsabers, baby.
** The relative uselessness of blasters and the prevalence of melee weapons is explained by the recent proliferation of personal shields - which kind of falls flat given that there's no GameplayAndStorySegregation about this; if an enemy has a personal shield, ''they will actually use it''. And most of them are damn near useless anyway, only protecting you from about two rounds' worth of attacks per charge.
** For that matter, lightsabers in ''KOTOR'' are ridiculously weak compared to what's seen in the movies and other non-game media. "Realistic" lightsabers should not bounce off your enemies like a nerf bat, and allow you to cut through that pesky InsurmountableWaistHeightFence.
** While this trope is usually played straight, it is possible to make a highly effective blaster scoundrel Jedi by focusing on maximizing your number of attacks and using force powers to stun enemies for sneak attacks.
** ''Knights of the Old Republic II'', on the other hand, introduces powerful weapon upgrades and character combat feats that make long range weapons perfectly comfortable for finishing the whole game with, enough that the LetsPlay [[http://lparchive.org/Knights-of-the-Old-Republic-II/ by Scorchy]] ''did'' play the whole game giving the PC nothing but dual pistols as soon as they were available. In fact, one of the most fun things to do is to recruit Mira on Nar Shaddaa, build her a nice rifle at the workbench, develop her into a good gunslinger char [[spoiler:with good Force abilities for that kind of a thing]], and go nuts. You can park your other team members, including "you" aka the almighty PC, somewhere safe, and knock yourself out cleaning up the two major gangs in the area in solo mode, at the hardest difficulty level.
** Averted in ''[[VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic The Old Republic]]'': Troopers, Smugglers, Imperial Agents and Bounty Hunters all use guns, and they hit just as hard as melee weapons, even lightsabers. In fact, Troopers using Mortar Barrage and Bounty Hunters using Death From Above can inflict more damage in five seconds than most classes in a minute.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' - it's even lampshaded in the tutorial. {{Justified|Trope}} when firing at vampires (who are essentially walking balls of dust--the bullets have very little actual tissue to rupture or tear apart), not so much when dealing with juicebags. Your character's ''fists'' are usually more effective against mortals for the first half of the game, even if you play a low-physical stat clan like Tremere or Ventrue. Guns ''are'' the most effective weapon if you can get your firearms to 10 and start wielding a Desert Eagle, Uzi, or Steyr AUG as your primary weapon, but that means that you have to get world-class aiming skills and military hardware before you start to get realistic performance from your firearms.
** To top it off, the scope drift at low to moderate levels is truly terrible. Your sight drifts beyond even a 45 degree cone when trying to look straight ahead.
** This is of course carried over from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', where bullets only do bashing damage to vampires since, being dead, they don't experience the same tissue trauma as mortals. Bladed weapons still do lethal damage, however, because they can take a huge chunk out of the vampire.
** A lot more extreme in ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeRedemption''. Upon coming into the modern world, you'll find that a medieval sword is going to be a hell of a lot more effective than any weapon short of a rocket launcher, killing many a vampire opponent with a single strike. Somewhat justified in that a) body armor in the modern world is specifically designed to protect against guns rather than blades, and b) your characters are super-strong vampires and so absurdly fast that their opponents can fire at most one shot before you've closed in on them. That doesn't excuse the fact that one of the best weapons in the game is a unique dagger you get about two-thirds of the way through the medieval era. If you hang on to it for the first dungeon of the modern age, you'll have no problem taking apart the vampire hunter cult.
* Due to various gameplay balance concepts, the developers of ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' made ranged attacks somewhat weaker than melee attacks. This has the upshot of player characters with range preferring to get shot for less damage than being punched. Powers such as Rise To The Challenge, however, offer a defensive bonus based on the number of enemies within melee range. This makes the character more vulnerable to groups of gunfighters, since they tend to be spread out, although bowmen are just as deadly.
* The Howling Voice Guild in the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series uses guns when everyone else is using swords and magic. Cathari, a member of the Howling Voice Guild in ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' subverts this trope in two ways: she is one of the best physical damage dealers in the game, and she {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it in the following exchange:
-->'''Cathari''': You think guns are scary? Elven arrows are worse by a long shot, if you ask me.\\
'''Urda''': How can you say that?\\
'''Cathari''': There's only a handful of guns in the world, let alone on the battlefield, so they haven't killed many people. Now, how many people do you think have died from arrow fire? Hundreds? Thousands? Is that not horrible?\\
'''Urda''': You're just splitting hairs!\\
'''Cathari''': Then tell me. What about guns makes them "horrible" to you?\\
'''Urda''': Wh-What about them? They make inexplicable sounds and belch fire and shoot iron bullets! What could be worse?\\
'''Cathari''': Technically, it's lead, not iron. But, basically, she's right.\\
'''Hazuki''': Wait -- pardon?\\
'''Cathari''': Simply put, guns are "inexplicable." They're an unknown. People fear that, especially in a weapon.\\
'''Hazuki''': You're saying guns are merely a... bluff tactic?\\
'''Cathari''': Pretty much, so far. Guns are still under development. They don't fire as quickly as arrows, or as accurately... Once you know that, they're not all that difficult to deal with.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia''. Most gun-wielding enemies are not a serious threat, and while Gilder, the resident BadassLongcoat [[TheGunslinger gunslinger]] in your party, is ''a'' powerful fighter, he is not ''the'' most powerful -- both Vyse, who uses swords, and Drachma, who uses a mechanical arm, are more powerful physically. Mind you, ''Skies of Arcadia'''s handguns are of the flintlock kind.
** Dyne, the player character's father, [[CutscenePowerToTheMax averts this in a cutscene]] early on:
--->'''Dyne:''' That's funny, I only count four of you.
* In the original ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'', all characters could equip a firearm in addition to their usual non-gun weapon. Certain enemies are weak to firearms, but outside of that they aren't treated any differently from the other weapons.
** Though they're actually incredibly useful despite their unimpressive attack power due to things like charm bullets. A decent chance to cause charm on every hit with a gun that hits six or more times can cripple a lot of enemies very quickly.
** Which was lifted from the first ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' game by the same company. While magic powers and ancient magical swords could outpace firearms in raw damage before too long, getting to choose which status effects your multi-hit firearms put on your foes is invaluable. Especially since [[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI SMT1]] averts UselessUsefulSpell even more than other games in the series, because charm works very well even on boss monsters.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' guns that appear in cutscenes are treated realistically and even [[PlotlineDeath kill party members]] with one or two shots. Aegis and Takaya both use guns in combat, however, where they are rather pathetic (all considered) standard attacks that deal about as much damage as the assorted swords, bows, and boxing gloves the rest of the party use and have no improved range to speak of. Heck, one boss character (Jin) throws ''grenades'' at people that hardly do any damage. Aside from that, the main characters use gun-shaped Evokers to call their Persona out in a way all-too-reminiscent of suicide, so while it is debatable whether they count as guns or not, they are still vital for your success.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' carries on this fine tradition in-game: [[spoiler:Naoto and Adachi]] both use guns, and neither are particularly dangerous physically.
*** Firearms return as a separate option in ''VideoGame/Persona5''. Here, each team-member has their own gun-class weapon (ranging from modern pistols, revolvers and shotguns to slingshots, assault rifles and '''Grenade Launchers!'''), and they can be used to exploit enemy weaknesses. They are explicitly stated to have higher attack strength than melee weapons, but at the cost of limited ammo. There are also Gun-type physical skills, and a certain Confidant Link will make your gun-usage much more efficient, giving you extra ammo, a maneuver to down any foe, and eventually the ability to [[ArmorPiercingAttack ignore Gun-resistances on enemy foes.]]
* Certain enemies in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' are in fact weak to firearms, but using them requires wasting a turn to switch back to human form (unless you're ambushed, whereas the battle starts with your characters in human form) along with the loss of all skills you'd be able to use while transformed. It is averted in the sense that [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer firearms are the only option available as a human]].
* In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', the characters' HitPoints and stats are {{justified|Trope}} by the harmonizer tech in their demon summoning [=PDAs=], which allows PunyEarthlings to 'roll with it' when attacked by a demon and avoid getting instant-pulped. For some reason this also works against human guns, who are a very rare enemy-only physical attack that is quite underwhelming. Although they do deal triple damage to humans, that triple damage still usually isn't enough to simulate the RealLife effects of burst-firing an assault rifle point blank at an unarmoured teenager with intent to kill.
* In the ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'' and ''Warriors Orochi'' games, it depends on the particular game; Saika Magoichi in ''Samurai Warriors'' uses this instead of a bow for his first-person shooting, it in fact being needed to unlock part of his story and final weapon, while Ishikawa Goemon uses a back-mounted cannon. In ''Samurai Warriors 2'' the first-person aspect is gone, but Magoichi, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Date Masamune have on-command shots -- individually little damage and hard to aim but semiautomatic, able to interrupt enemies, and eventually able to go through enemies (potentially hitting other enemies). In ''Warriors Orochi'' the on-command shots are traded for Magoichi's close-range "shotgun" blast attack, Ieyasu's energy beam (which doesn't really subvert the trope by not being a 'proper' shot), and Masamune's pair of attacks where he goes airborne and fires a barrage all around. Unfortunately, these (like all on-command projectiles) are nerfed in ''Warriors Orochi'' by losing the ability to interrupt or knock down enemies, so in that game the trope is partly played straight. However, in all of these games and their spin-offs the shots that are part of the characters' normal, charge, and Musou attacks depend on the character's level and (ranged) attack power.
** The rifles wielded by common {{mooks}} in ''Samurai Warriors'' and even in ''Warriors Orochi'' fire slowly and do negligible damage. However, their shots ''will'' knock you down/off your horse if they hit you, and have a long near-infinite range, making them very annoying enemies if nothing else. They also will always inflict a guard break with their shots.
* TheGunslinger class in the MMORPG ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' is, for the most part, arguably one of the weakest classes in the game unless extensive care is taken to ensure they do decent damage, and even at that they still tend to fall far behind other classes (notably the Sniper).
* Another MMORPG example is ''VideoGame/MapleStory'', whose Gunslinger class -- one of the two Second Job options for a Pirate -- carries flintlock pistols that [[BottomlessMagazines never need to be reloaded]], [[ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon have a range of about 6 feet]], and are pathetically weak (at least initially). The Gunslinger is considered so weak by most players that the other job branch for Pirate, the Brawler, who wields increasingly elaborate BRASS KNUCKLES, is the more popular choice by a landslide.
** Arguably averted in later levels, as the Gunslinger is a MagikarpPower class that becomes one of the highest damaging classes in the game. The "arguably" part comes from the fact that a lot of that damage comes from summoning a personal battleship, but the gun's stats still factor in.
* Present in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''. Lucca's guns are basically your standard "magic user weapon", which deal damage just high enough to be occasionally useful, but far less than the guys with swords. To make things worse, as a projectile weapon it's boosted by the Hit/Accuracy stat, rather than the Power/Strength stat. Not only are there far more accessories that boost Power/Strength, but there are no [[RareCandy Tabs/Capsules]] that boost Hit/Accuracy as well. Plus, for comparison, Chrono has about 70 base Power/Strength by the end of the game (at about level 48 or so). Lucca has only 49 Hit/Accuracy ''at level 99''.
** Guns use the attack stat and are thus more powerful in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', but they are still no more powerful than other weapons of their rank.
* Played so straight in ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy'' that weapons like gatling guns, grenade launchers and missiles are comparable to pistols or ''weaker''. None of which are more powerful than swords or a kick to the face, of course. The machine gun-toting mobsters you fight a couple of times are probably the least threatening enemies in the game.
** Surprisingly [[ZigZaggingTrope both played straight and averted]] by the game's resident ThatOneBoss - he'll tear you apart with his [[GunsAkimbo pistols]], but it would take forever to try and drop him with your own gun; you need to block his bullets to survive long enough to get into [[AnAxeToGrind melee range]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' series, Umpani has some firearms, which the PC can obtain and use, even [[GunsAkimbo as a secondary weapon]]. Guns do considerable damage, but unlike other ranged weapons have no AbnormalAmmo. And you need to spend actions to manually reload them after every shot -- a valid requirement, but somehow isn't applied to any ''crossbows'' -- so in average you get half of that damage and it sucks.
** The Umpani flamethrower and rocket launcher from ''Wizardry 8'', on the other hand, are quite useful in the right situations, and one of the two main gimmicks of the player Gadgeteer class is their self-built Omnigun, which starts out as a pathetic sling-equivalent, and ends being able to fire just about anything you stick into it, including swords, to great effect.
* ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'' plays this trope relatively realistically. Early firearms, such as arquebuses, are good for little more than scattering poor-morale peasants at an arm's length, but late-game musketmen will fell their worth in knights before the latter can get anywhere within melee range.
** Even the latest-game musketmen get vastly outranged by archers, though, resulting in unobservant or unlucky players seeing their fancy-pants musket army getting shredded by a few longbows or American tribesmen doing hit-and-run tactics (also true in ''VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar''). While [[TruthInTelevision having some historical basis]], ''Total War'' gives this trope a corollary of Guns Are Worthless ''when the enemy has bows and arrows''.
** Played even more straight in the original ''VideoGame/ShogunTotalWar''. Guns could not be obtained until pretty late in the game, the troops took a long time to set them up, they were useless at close quarters and they were completely inoperable if it rained as this caused the powder to get wet. If your opponent attacked you then they got to choose the weather conditions, and would inevitably end up with a rainy option to cripple your gunners. If you attacked an opponent then they would get to choose their initial position, normally picking a tall hill to force gunners to get fairly close so that they could easily be charged or peppered with arrows before they were ready.
*** In ''VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2'', matchlock-armed footsoldiers are fairly balanced, and the one gunner cavalry unit has to go through a ''very'' long reload time before they can fire at anything. The [[DownloadableContent Otomo clan]]'s Donderbuss Cavalry does not have this limitation, although the Otomo in general practically have disagreeing with this trope's name as their [[PlanetOfHats hat]] - if the Otomo somehow manage to hold off the two clans they start at war with, as well as the aggressive and expansionist Shimazu, then their armies and ships bristling with matchlocks become a formidable force indeed.
* ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope'' at least tries to explain this. Soldiers realistically use railguns to try to kill the giant bugs that attack them, but apparently the eletromagnetic signature emitted by the railgun when fired allows the bugs to block the shots with some kind of shield. Protagonist Edge only gives up on his railgun when he drops it, and then grabs the first weapon he can, which just happens to be a sword-like cutting tool, which, of course, works perfectly. It does not at any point however explain how every single example of wildlife on every planet in the universe ''except'' Earth somehow evolved with the ability to generate these shields.
** Further explained in that Edge's special ability makes it harder for him to use a gun; it causes him to lead his shots too much and miss more often than not.
** FridgeBrilliance: Star Ocean's setting is an MMORPG that somehow came to life. The game designers in charge of the Star Ocean universe are ''mocking'' the use of guns to make players use medieval / abnormal weapons. Which includes plasma cannons.
* Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients Defense Of The Ancients: All-Stars]]'': The only gunslinger, the Dwarven Sniper, is for various good reasons considered a low-tier character. However, none of these are innately because he uses a gun.
* In ''VideoGame/LostOdyssey'', Sed's rifle does less damage than the other character's swords. Even Tolten's sword, the weak pretty boy. Even Mack's fists, and he's 10 years old! Though, on the plus side, he never misses and he can shoot through the barrier to the enemy's back row with no penalty.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Nostalgia}}'', guns do less damage than swords, only compensated by higher accuracy.
** Pad's "Dead Shot" skill turns out to be your best weapon against the ridiculously strong mobs in the bonus dungeons, since they have huge amounts of HP but no instant death immunity.
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege'' your dungeon crawls take you to a lair of goblins that use gatling guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, and also drop these weapons for the player. They are acceptable, but when you move on in the story, the enemies will be dropping bows again, which will invariably be stronger, in terms of range and damage. However, guns have special abilities that bows and crossbows simply do not have. The Gatling gun and Flamethrower both can hit/pierce multiple enemies and containers; useful for crowd control. The grenade launcher deals lots of area damage, and its projectile has physics in the normally static game (it will bounce until detonation, can be exploited for distance). Also, the grenade itself sheds light; which can be used for scouting dark corridors (particularly the Pit of Despair dungeon).
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'''s Noel Vermillion is the only gun-user among the player characters, and while she's not low-tier, she doesn't exactly do killer damage easily. Her guns can't even reach across the whole screen except with the [[LimitBreak Distortion Drives]].
** Somewhat averted as Noel's guns in-story are Nox Nyctores class weapons; one of ten of the most powerful weapons in the lore. They are also not ordinary guns and are designed to be close/melee ranged. In-story, these guns have the ability to shoot targets behind walls and barriers, although this isn't really executed in game.
** In addition, characters in the VideoGame/BlazBlue universe do not use regular guns or gunpowder. The in-story explanation being that conventional weapons had no effect on the Black Beast, and the only way to damage the beast was through seither-powered Ars Armagus (which essentially allowed mankind to use Magic). Since seither came from the Black Beast, concentrations were highest in proximity to the beast and allowed for more efficient usage of Armagus. This lead to weapons being designed for close- or melee-ranged, and after the Dark War, the population just continued to use Ars.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' series, Guns are largely equal to Bows and other ranged weapons. They aren't as powerful as melee weapons, but can attack from a long distance away, possibly protected by a cliff or other obstacles.
** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', guns are exactly as useful as crossbows and bows. Which is to say, incredibly useful for hunters, practically harmless in the hands of anyone else.
*** However several classes were able to make use of them for stat boosts, if nothing else, at least until the third weapon slot was removed in ''Mists of Pandaria''.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Shepard's ''punches'' deal more damage than bullets. However, it should be noted that the guns are in no way weak, and Shepard is at that point essentially an indestructible cyborg.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda''. Contrary to most of its predecessor titles, damage-focused powers in ''ME:A'' are almost completely useless even on low difficulty settings while guns start out as very powerful against anything and only get better from there. Trying to beat the game with a power-heavy built and no rebalancing mods installed is a nightmare. Playing it like any generic third-person shooter is a cakewalk.
* On the subject of the guns in ''VideoGame/TooHuman'':
--> '''[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee:]]''' Baldur, it seems, buys his guns from the same shop as [[Franchise/DevilMayCry Dante]], where the only available ammo is peas and bits of tissue paper.
* Guns in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' do pathetic amounts of damage, and aside from a few special attacks (and cut scenes), are generally pretty useless.
** Apart from extending combos. A cushion of handgun bullets might not have the raw DPS of a sword, but if the enemy is in the air then they're not hitting you. Shotguns deal fantastic knockback and have a great chance of interrupting an enemy's attack. Simply, melee weapons will deal great damage, but the firearms have utility.
** Most titles also feature an enemy type or two whose defenses favour melee attacks, such as the Bloodgoyles in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening'' who are intangible and immune to attack until you use Ebony and Ivory to fill them with lead.
** The ranking system also doesn't favour gun attacks as it rates you for speed of victory and combo variety, whereas guns tend to lack power and versatility compared to melee attacks. Using the Gunslinger style gives guns more options, but that choosing that means you aren't using a different style to enhance your dodging, blocking or melee attacks.
* In ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'', arquebusier-wielding {{Mooks}} are frequent enemies; their bullets are visible, travel slow enough to dodge or even parry, and deal only slightly more damage than a mook sword. Magoichi and Nouhime are both gun users, and their guns are no more fatal than the assorted swords, bows, hammers, spears, rocks, fists and associated whatnots everyone else uses (they do have a range advantage though). Their bullets are also visible to the eye and dodge/blockable by enemies (except Magoichi's shotgun, [[ShortRangeShotgun which is practically a melee weapon anyway]]).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}'' War gets a HandCannon that is a [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment four barrelled]], repeating {{revolver|sAreJustBetter}} custom made by an UltimateBlacksmith, with [[BottomlessMagazines infinite ammo]], and [[NamedWeapons named Mercy]]. It takes about twenty shots from it to down most mooks that can be {{Action Command|s}} auto killed with a single button. While functionally pointless against even average mooks, it comes in ''so'' handy when fighting [[GoddamnedBats flying demons]], or picking off/wearing down creatures when on horseback while you charge in to hit them with your sword.
* Compared to the swords you get at the same time in ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', guns are extremely weak: the first swords can OneHitKill anything up to the first boss, while the first guns don't do enough damage to kill the weakest enemies in the game. Even at the end game, any gun more powerful than a sword takes so long to form that you will miss against most enemies at that stage.
** Although, it's worth noting, the grid system the series' combat operates on balances this out, since sword chips have a range of one square ahead of you, while guns effectively have unlimited range, so sword chips vs. gun chips are a question of whether you're willing to learn an enemy's pattern and wait for them to get to the front row or hammer away at them at your leisure.
* In ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' guns are a 'trick' weapon, with its primary bonus being that it damages based on your HIT stat and drops speed, making them the primary weapon against dodging enemies. They fall behind axes, swords and possibly also bows in damage, and have a range of 4 to 5 -- the same as the movement range for most offensive melee-classes.
** They also have no area-of-effect attacks, which makes them pretty bad for LevelGrinding in [[PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling Cave of Ordeals 3]], and since they're based on Hit rather than Atk you can't as easily swap them for a sword. On the magic side, there is no spell for increasing Hit, while there is one for Atk.
** They were also nerfed in the second game, in which they can only fire in a straight line (the four cardinal directions)
*** The third game is where they got changed up, now running off of HIT and SPD. Many of their skills were now AoE, making grinding much less of a chore. The fourth game gave them an exclusive evility that expanded their range, giving them attack range like a bow. (Said evility is in the fifth game as well.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Cryostasis}}'' plays this straight by giving you less-than-impressive guns--the first one you get is a bolt-action [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosin%E2%80%93Nagant Mosin-Nagant]] that appears to have been made in the 1800s. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPSh-41 one and only submachine gun]] is necessary against a few bosses, but a lot of the time it's more effective to just hit monsters with a [[ImprovisedWeapon lock and chain]].
* While we see very few guns in ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' ([[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Port Royal]] even replaces them with crossbows), [[Disney/{{Tarzan}} Clayton]] has a shotgun that he uses to hunt 500 pound gorillas, which nevertheless deals comparatively little damage to an ''unarmoured fourteen-year-old''.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'' has a bit of this. While most classes of soldiers use guns or rocket launchers that are usually pretty effective against each other, the Tech superclass uses melee weapons and a shield that can deflect essentially all gunfire minus a couple of late-game/DLC weapons (shooting them from behind, where their shield doesn't cover, is a lot more effective). The Fencer/Fencer Elite specializations of the Tech class, which wield {{BFS}}es, can take out almost any infantry unit in one swing while classes that use guns would take several shots to accomplish the same thing (most classes can fire more than one shot per command point, but it could still take multiple CP to take out a high-defense or crouched target). Fencers have very low movement to compensate for their tank-like defense and virtually-guaranteed [[OneHitKill One-Hit KOs]], however, so they aren't completely broken.
* ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'': inverted [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill oh so beautifully for you]], played straight for the enemies. Most notably, the mobsters in City on Water switch out their tommy guns for {{nail|Em}}guns when they reappear in The Docks, and the nails do at least 4 times more damage. Their {{Elite Mook|s}} friends the Skulls use [[SawedOffShotgun huge shotguns]] that can actually do hefty damage [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy the one time they actually hit you]].
* Usually, ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is pretty much packed with guns; there are, however, two exceptions. The Demoman can choose to go "Demoknight", where he discards his grenade launcher for some NiceShoes, his sticky bomb launcher for a shield and uses one of his many swords as his melee. This can be surprisingly effective. Similarly, the Sniper can discard his sniper rifle in favour of the Huntsman, a set of bow and arrows. If you're good, the Huntsman can be devastating.
* With a few exceptions, guns in the first ''Videogame/{{Yakuza}}'' game are useless. When used against Kazuma, they serve only to interrupt his combat animations and chip off his health from a distance, doing a pittance of damage while other enemies lay into him with deadlier weapons...like tables or golf clubs. When Kazuma gets his hands on one dropped by a mook, it fires only one shot and will take off a quarter of the mook's health, if he is lucky enough to hit him in the first place. TruthInTelevision, as the rarity of guns in Japan means that most are old and poorly maintained.
* In the ''VideoGame/SamAndMax'' games, both Sam and Max have guns you can use at any time, but they are useless as weapons. The guns are used more like remote controls to hit buttons, bells etc., that you are physically unable to reach. This becomes a running gag through the series.
* Utterly averted in ''VideoGame/LiveALive''. Sunset Kid, the party member from the Old West, uses a gun (specifically, a Colt Peacemaker to start with; his InfinityPlusOneSword is a .44 Magnum). His attacks have no charge time, except for his strongest attack, have extremely good range, and deal high damage. His strongest attack, while it has a charge time and limited range, makes up for this with ''999 damage every time''. The boss of his chapter could also deal 999 damage with his strongest attack, and he used a {{Gatling g|ood}}un. Guns aren't just worthwhile, they're ''dangerous''.
* In the latest ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' game you can equip a character with various firearms that are actually useable during a fight. The input to use them is a little tricky to get the timing down, and while they provide a nice ranged attack they don't do much damage at all.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series of games, having a low skill in guns makes them utterly worthless weapons, subject to low damage, poor aiming and frustratingly common jamming problems. Guns are certainly not useless in ''Fallout Tactics'' but your squad mates often make them so. It's frustrating to arrive back from scouting just in time to watch your machine-pistol toting allies being bludgeoned to death by a man with a chair leg. ''Fallout 3'' and especially ''4'' greatly tone it down; There are several perks to help you deal more damage to enemies with different kinds of guns, but the newer games implement enough FirstPersonShooter elements that player skill can make up for poor numerical accuracy.
* Rifles in ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'' sound awesome on paper in that with their first upgrade they get a grenade launcher attachment and they can later become an improvised melee weapon, but their firing speed and their melee damage and speed are so piss-poor that you're better off using a hand blaster or martial arts weapon.
* For a series that mostly stars Solid Snake and his father Big Boss, two soldiers with relatively conventional and realistic combat methods (although their level of skill and some of their battle posing is admittedly anime-esque at times), the fact that any of the bosses in ''Franchise/MetalGear'' that don't use firearms aren't immediately dismantled by a shot to the face is just a little odd. And don't think it's ''just'' the Cyborg Ninjas and their [[VibroWeapon high-frequency blades]] (although that's certainly part of it), because there were several soldiers that went without conventional weaponry before Gray Fox's time.
** The original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' featured Dirty Duck, perhaps the stupidest ''Metal Gear'' villain of all time, whose choice weapon was [[BattleBoomerang boomerangs]], which may have been at least thematically justifiable if his codename weren't ''Dirty [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] Duck''.
** The Game Boy Color spin-off ''VideoGame/MetalGearGhostBabel'' features yet another boomerang-armed boss, Slasher Hawk, who gets away with it because, well, not only is his codename [[RuleOfCool radical]], his weapon of choice is at least somewhat justified by his Australian nationality.
** Back in 1964, and before then in World War II, The Pain from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' apparently figured that controlling bees traveling at the speed of bullets was a better idea than using actual bullets. ''And he was completely right.''
** Gray Fox in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Olga Gurlukovich in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' and Raiden in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' are not only ImmuneToBullets thanks to their armored exoskeletons, they also have the options of either [[DodgeTheBullet dodging]] or [[SuperReflexes deflecting]] the bullets with their blades depending on whichever they feel would be cooler at the moment. The Black Ninja from ''VideoGame/MetalGear2'' gets a special shoutout for also being fairly capable despite lacking these advantages.
** [[MeaningfulName Fortune]] from ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty MGS2]]'' just stands there and [[BornLucky lets the bullets swerve around her]].
** By the time of ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' ([[BadFuture 2018]] to be exact), the inefficiency of guns compared to high-frequency blades, magical powers and bullet-speed bees is finally internally justified and discussed, where it is explained that the absurd power and durability of CNT (carbon nanotube) muscle fibers have made small arms effectively worthless against modern cyborgs (each bullet doing less than 1% damage to your character in-game), "packing the power of a jackhammer into every limb". This is made particularly obvious at one point where some cyborg {{Dirty Cop}}s confront Raiden and decide that "deadly force is authorized" to deal with him, before ''putting away'' their guns in exchange for telescoping batons.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/WildArms'' where the protagonists' guns are incredibly powerful and feared. Combat-wise, Rudy's ARM tends to deal the most damage, although [[LightningBruiser Jack]], who uses a regular sword, does comparable damage. Whether this is because Jack is a BadassNormal or the power of an ARM is an InformedAbility is left up to the discretion of the player.
* ''VideoGame/VectorThrust'' is a weird example of this trope as aircraft cannon are designed to be inferior to missiles and bombs. However, the guns are ''so'' worthless you'd be better off trying to pull back to minimum missile range when you draw in close, because they deal ScratchDamage, have a retarded aiming reticule that [[TheComputerIsALyingBastard lies to you]] and overheat if fired continuously for more than a few seconds. A recent update really upped the damage on them, but [[ATeamFiring good luck hitting anything with them]]. Hey, at least you can rest easy knowing that the AI can't hit you either at close range.
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' zig-zags this trope in Mirabelle, a 16th century flintlock you can get from a SideQuest. Mirabelle is far more effective against most supernatural foes than it has any business being (just how effective would a lead ball be against a solid-stone golem anyway?), deals more damage per attack than any weapon, martial style or magic in the game, and allows you to stun-lock human foes due to BlownAcrossTheRoom. Still, it takes a distressing amount of musket balls to take down even basic human {{mooks}}; certainly more than [[CutscenePowerToTheMax Ser Roderick uses]] to reduce an opponent to LudicrousGibs during his EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* Though not for lack of trying, no dinosaurs are ever killed with guns in ''VideoGame/JurassicParkTheGame''. The only firearm-related fatalities in the whole game are Bravo Team, after Vargas starts hallucinating due to a venomous bite and begins shooting at his own men. Oscar averts this, however, by shooting Vargas in the shoulder, incapacitating him without killing him.
** A weird aversion occurs in the second episode. A ''Herrerasaurus'' lands on the coaster car in front of Jess. Nima draws her gun and tells Gerry to get down. She then shoots a bit of scaffolding overhead, which falls and knocks the dinosaur off. Why she doesn't just shoot the dinosaur, which would be quicker, more helpful, a lot easier than [[ImprobableAimingSkills shooting a rope]], and safer than risking hitting everyone with the scaffolding, is never explained, but the most likely explanation is that she didn't want to risk shooting Jess.
* ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarKensRage'' has Jagi and his [[GunsAkimbo dual]] {{Sawn Off Shotgun}}s. Actually firing them is nearly pointless--their range is short, their spread is wide, and damage is distributed between each pellet he fires, so they basically can hit a lot of people but don't really do much in the way of ''killing'' them. Even his bazooka still takes several blasts to kill someone. Conversely, Kenshiro, Toki, and Raoh, the Hokuto siblings who exclusively use martial arts, can reduce the average {{mook|s}} to LudicrousGibs just by looking at them funny. The same also applies to the setting's {{Automatic Crossbow}}s, with a dozen bolts being substantially less damaging than a punch in the face.
* Played around with in ''Videogame/{{Bloodborne}}''. While firearm damage is sort of pathetic compared to melee, and ammunition is scarce, they have absolutely staggering stopping power, which can get you out of a sticky situation and give an opening for a high-damage counterattack in a single well-timed blast. It is justified in that the guns the player uses have [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells specialized ammo]] named Quicksilver Bullets, a mixture of mercury and magic blood. They lack the damage of normal bullets but can fit [[UniversalAmmunition any Hunter-deigned gun]] or be used as a medium for magic. It can be averted however, if you level up the "Bloodtinge" stat [[UpToEleven high enough,]] certain guns can down bosses ruthlessly and efficiently.
* Played straight with pistols in ''VideoGame/SoreLosers''. Alexis, who starts the game dual-wielding pistols, deals less damage than either Markus or David would with two Switchblades, and the gap only grows bigger when you obtain upgraded pistols and melee weapons. Downplayed with assault rifles: while they deal less damage then melee weapons of similar tier, they compensate for that due to attacking all enemies at once.
* Zig-zagged in ''VideoGame/IronGaia''. The basic Security Guards appear to be equipped with guns, yet they still inflict less damage then Carter does with a Scalpel and the Rover with a Maintenance Laser. Firearm-wielding Replicant Soldiers and Captains will also inflict damage roughly comparable to Carter's melee attacks. However, a boss-level sword-equipped Sigmoid is significantly weaker than rank Hover-Gunner Droids: they easily inflict 18-24 damage with bursts of gunfire and 40 with missiles, while he’s lucky to get 9 damage per attack.
* In ''VideoGame/ABlurredLine'', Agency Guards are equipped with assault rifles with added laser sights. Yet, when they’re first fought, they still deal roughly the same damage per turn as what Talan and Arden can inflict with a wrench and a knife, respectively. Similarly, Upgraded Walker robots appear to carry twin gatling guns on their back, yet they still inflict barely twice the damage that regular Security Walkers do. For reference, if Talan is Level 8 and decked out in appropriate gear, that’s 6 damage versus 3, with full health being 79. Oh, and Red Wylden, a monster on the other side of the river, will inflict around 9 with regular two-handed swords.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Dex}}'', where shooting someone from even a basic pistol kills them in seconds, as opposed to realistically longer and fairer melee. Bullets will run out, however, and new clips cost money, so Dex’ll often have to fight with her fists regardless. On the flip side, Dex can be killed quite swiftly by the gun-wielding enemies, too, especially in the early game. Getting the Ballistic Dermal Layer augmentation (which halves the ranged weapon damage) will soon become a priority.
* ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade'': Guns do NOT work in a setting where the average mook can take fifty blows to the head before dying (genetically enhanced supersoldier or giant robot, take your pick), and magic (which is advanced teleporter technology) is way more effective at vaporizing an enemy's advanced armor plating. Effectively, the tiny force of a gun would be the equivalent of dealing scratch damage multiple times as the titan closes the distance and crushes their opponent in a single blow. As a result, gun technology has stagnated and is expensive to craft, while robots and rocket science have progressed slowly. Isa does carry a crossbow that shoots plasma bolts, but her cheap shots just do a little scratch damage.
* ''VideoGame/PiratesVikingsAndKnights'': While the {{Pirates}}' guns are not totally worthless, they're generally far less effective than the melee weapons. The guns are best used as an opening attack or for a TacticalWithdrawal. The notable exception to this is the [[LongRangeFighter Sharpshooter's]] long rifle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}}'', being both a stealth and SurvivalHorror game, discourages using guns initially - they're loud enough to draw attention, ammunition is scarce, and they can't be used for [[BackStab executions]]. Later on in the game this changes, and gunplay is actively encouraged if not required.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'': Every gun in this game is a {{BFG}}, but even the best ammunition does less damage than a power attack from a {{BFS}} or a [[DropTheHammer Giant Hammer]]; your character has super-strength, so subsequently the only way for the firearm to keep up is to be equally gigantic with hand-sized rounds. Unfortunately, this makes the gun cumbersome to dodge with and low on ammunition. Firearms are best used on flying enemies or in conjunction with melee teammates. Turrets can deal massive damage to monsters, but they're a bitch to reload.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' subverts it in two major ways: main character Tesla is an incredibly effective gunslinger (and user of anachronistic projectile weaponry in general), and, more pointedly, Cody wields a gun forged by god-like beings. The characters assume it will be ineffective, being a gun in an RPG setting, until he casually points it at a rock and deals ''9999 damage'' (!). It's also enough to compensate for nonsensical dialogue, apparently.
** Parodied in [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0012.html this]] comic, when the main characters are being mugged by a gun wielding thief.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Dan and Sean get on Gordito's case about how guns are the weapons of cowards, but he still manages to kick ass with them. It's often played straight, though; guns are completely ineffective against ninjas, who will invariably dodge all the bullets.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'': Multiple times guns are fired at close range into large groups of people, sometimes even with bullet animations bouncing off people, to no effect whatsoever.
* Rule 16 of [[OrphanedSeries the]] ''[[SonicTheHedgehog Freedom]] [[IThoughtItMeant Fighters]]'': Encyclopedic knowledge of firearms means nothing in a world where all the guns are permanently set to "bitchslap".
* [[http://ironbombs.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/firearms-and-the-supernatural/#more-584 This blog entry]] goes into some detail regarding the usefulness of conventional weaponry against typical fictional threats (zombies, dinosaurs, Cthulhu, etc.).
* Considering that nearly every character's weapon in ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is [[MixAndMatchWeapon also a gun]], the series zigzags this trope to Hell and back. For the most part, the gun part of everyone's weapons typically does little damage to whatever enemy they're going up against. [[TheQuietOne Lie Ren]] for example plays this completely straight, as his [[GunsAkimbo sub-machine gun blades]] never do anything other than annoy his opponent. A notable aversion comes in the form of [[TheFashionista Coco Adel]], who's [[GatlingGood minigun]]/purse is lethal enough to make mulch out of enormous Grimm who were previously shown to be MadeOfIron.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A number of foes in ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' have attempted to use guns on him. None have even managed to put a scratch on him, as he moves so quickly he can dodge their bullets and get up close enough to strike with his sword. This includes a hillbilly sheriff who tried a gatling gun. The only enemies who have ever inflicted serious damage to Jack are all either blade wielders or hand-to-hand combatants. This trope is best exemplified in "Robo Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot," where Mondo-Bot, having exhausted all of its projectiles to no effect, resorts to an old-fashioned sword and suddenly puts up a challenge for Jack.
** This was finally averted in "The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful". The Clenches, an estranged team of western-themed bounty hunters, have Jack on the ropes for the entire episode. He can barely defend himself, let alone fight back, and The Clenches would have ''won'' had Josephine not pulled a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness on Zeke.
** [[EnsembleDarkhorse The Scotsman's]] [[ImprobableWeaponUser leg gun]] has also been shown to be extremely effective.
* One ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' parody of ''Tom Sawyer'' had Bart and Nelson end up in the middle of a shootout using Derringer pocket-pistols. Every bullet just bounces off everyone involved. "Them Derringer bullets are weak." "Powerful weak!"

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There was an [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar American Civil War]] -era general who once said that you can be fired at all day by a musket and not realize it.
** Words taken at face value by Union Gen. John Sedgewick, [[FamousLastWords whose last words were]] “They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance,” [[DeathByIrony seconds before he took a shot to the head]].
*** The difference lay between smoothbore muskets and rifled muskets (early rifles). Rifles are so-named for having rifled barrels - that is to say, there is a texture inside the barrel which introduces a spin onto the bullet as it is fired. The net result is a stabilized bullet which flies a lot straighter. High-quality rifles of the time were quite accurate weapons in the hands of skilled marksmen, while smoothbore muskets were not. Experiments at the time found that the common muskets used by soldiers would only strike a target at typical combat ranges roughly 40% of the time. It is commonly claimed that the Civil War was fought using outdated tactics with more advanced weaponry, but the reality is that due to the nature of command and communications at the time, fighting in large line formations was often the only practical way to conduct an organized battle. In situations where other tactics were available for use, fighting changed considerably; some of the later battles in the Civil War featured early TrenchWarfare. Additionally, over the course of the Civil War, increasingly sophisticated weapons became more and more affordable. The reason that muskets were used was not because they couldn't build anything better - repeating rifles were invented prior to the American Revolution, more than 80 years prior - but because such weapons were too expensive (and consumed too much ammunition) to supply all their soldiers with one.
* Back in the day, [[BayonetYa the bayonet]] was there because sometimes charging something was preferable to a long reload. As guns became less and less worthless, a bayonet was actually more useful as a tool than anything, further showing how far gun tech has come. The bayonet was developed primarily to allow musketeers to defend themselves against cavalry, allowing armies to dispense with the pikemen who had previously been charged with this task.
** "Bullets are fools, but the bayonet is a fine chap" - General Aleksandr Suvorov (1729-1800). Suvorov favoured all-out bayonet charges over stationary shooting because he understood that any fool can take someone taking potshots at him forever, but a thousand men screaming bloody murder as they power-walk towards you with eight inches of razor-sharp steel and a mind to use it is fucking terrifying.
** Bayonet charges are still used by some armies to great effect. It turns out that sending in a horde of mad Scotsmen wielding [[BladeOnAStick blades on sticks]] is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayonet#20th_and_21st_Century_bayonet_charges still an effective tactic]].
* In nation-states that have heavy gun control, such as the United Kingdom or Japan, criminals will often commit violent acts with whatever else they have available. Knives, stones and bricks, hammers, Molotov Cocktails, bows and crossbows and bare fists will often be used in lieu of firearms. Most firearms available to these criminals are thus likely to be expensive, lacking in stopping power, low capacity, old and poorly maintained due to an inability to get the required parts, and actually getting one generally requires you to associate with shifty, paranoid, dangerous, and quite possibly unstable people who very well may just make you disappear if you give them any reason to believe that you're not who you say you are thanks to the ''serious'' consequences that smuggling tends to have in those countries.
** Crime committed with a gun tends also to attract much more attention, since it is rare, thus making it more probable to be caught. And having a gun allows the police to act more freely with their own - yes, the typical pair of British coppers walking around town are unarmed. But threatening one with a gun is an automatic gaol sentence, and wounding or [[CopKiller killing]] one is liable to get you put away forever. Moreover their police district's Armed Response Team is, you guessed it, like something straight out of America and it's a pretty small country - fleeing a district is virtually impossible with even a basic cordon. In short guns aren't ''worthless'' in states that regulate and restrict their use, but the governments of such states do their best to ensure that they're ''[[AwesomeButImpractical way]]'' [[AwesomeButImpractical more trouble than they're worth.]]
* Ironically, UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi--the archetype of many sword users in fiction who often disdain guns--did not hold to this trope. He believed that the gun had no equal on the battlefield. He did believe that it was useless in close quarters and that it was less than the bow when it came to accuracy and rate of fire, but that was because the guns of his time were the earlier models mentioned above. Being that he was a famous CombatPragmatist, those who have actually studied his writings believe that he would have greatly approved of modern efficient firearms.
** Musashi was a great proponent of a musket because he himself probably had a lot of experience ''wielding'' one. He was for much of his career a ''ronin'' of unclear origin, and while he definitely fought in the Battle of Sekigahara, it was probably on the wrong side (which would explain the whole ''ronin'' thing). All these things considered, his original career was likely that of an ''ashigaru'' arquebusier, before he turned himself to the way of sword.
* The inaccuracy of a smoothbore musket was more because the musket ball was ''smaller'' than the barrel so it could be loaded without having to resort to a hammer. It was also a sphere, so it would not properly sit on the powder and would bounce down the barrel and would be going in the same relative direction it was as its last bounce. Once the conical bullet was developed with a lead skirt to catch rifling upon expansion in the 19th Century, accuracy from the bullet was less of a problem.
** On top of this, muskets could be fired with well fitting balls. But when shot in succession under battlefield conditions, soot from the black powder would build up in the barrel, preventing new balls from being dropped in the barrel, or jamming or even exploding the gun upon it being fired. The generals of the time chose to value the ability to reload over a single accurate shot.
** Exactly. The accuracy of a smoothbore musket is highly dependent on how it gets loaded. Most "Regiments of the Line" valued high rate of fire, and as such, called for drill that valued reload speed over accuracy. They would use musket balls much smaller than the bore of the musket, slam the ball down onto the powder, and didn't use any patching in between the ball and the bore. This would lead to the musketball having awful accuracy, "bouncing" off in a random direction when fired. When loaded with a tight-fitting ball, gently pushed onto the powder, with a tight-fitting patch, smoothbore muskets can be highly (for the standards of a smoothbore firearm, that is.) accurate out to 100 meters, depending on the standard of the shooter. However, it could take upwards of a minute to load a musket in this fashion, not very conductive to battlefield use.
** Furthermore, it wasn't aimed fire by any reasonable modern standard outside of the first shot fired by each line, which was often more carefully loaded. The first round of fire from each line was often the most lethal for this reason. There would a marked decrease in lethality due to having to load quickly, and then firing. Add in the smoke which rapidly begins to fill the battlefield which rapidly kills visibility, and the accuracy goes to hell quickly. The side that got the first round of shots off often had an early advantage so long as they didn't fire too early.