I am building a world in which technology has taken an enormous step back due to an apocalyptic event. For one reason or another guns no longer exist in the world and I would like to have a reason why they could not be created/used again, even given enough time for technology's advancement once again.

I would like to leave the atmosphere alone but maybe remove a resource that would in-turn make the production of guns impossible. I wouldn't mind if ammo was the cause of guns not being used instead.

I don't know much about firearms so I'm not sure if what I have explained makes much sense but any help is greatly appreciated! Cheers

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ People still would be able to make crossbows or pneumatic guns. Not as good as firearms, but still... $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Jul 30, 2017 at 19:25
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Why no firearms? : metallurgy. Can I have Gunpowder without having guns? Given enough time, no. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Jul 31, 2017 at 0:26
  • 29
    $\begingroup$ This idea keeps popping up here. It's cool, and that's great, but everybody playing with this idea needs to know what nitrocellulose is, how it works, and that it can be made so easily that some people come across it by accident. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Boddy
    Jul 31, 2017 at 1:21
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think you need to delineate what is a gun in your world and what is not. A gun can be described in very broad terms as a single piston internal combustion engine. Anything that can produce a flame (deflagration) and another thing that can contain that flame (metal, or even wood), can be used to project an object. $\endgroup$
    – Wolfgang
    Jul 31, 2017 at 2:00
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ There is no way to make guns impossible with mind-bending changes to physics. A more practical approach would be that as soon as someone makes a gun, a demon appears, and eats them. Feel free to replace "demon" with KillBot or whatever. $\endgroup$
    – Tony Ennis
    Jul 31, 2017 at 23:13

31 Answers 31


Because guns have not been invented.

Often the simplest solution is the easiest. The apocalypse happened before the invention of refined firearms, resulting in the most advanced guns being bows and arrows.


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