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Having read the books some time ago, I am under the impression that firearms are never used or mentioned in the Dragonriders of Pern series.

In support of this idea, the villains in Dragon's Dawn do not seem to have them handy, nor are they mentioned as being used against hostile creatures that would have been convenient to have them available for.

I imagine that firearms would have been among the technologies left behind as per the colony charter, but there were other technologies that were used briefly during the start-up phase after landing.

Do I remember correctly, or was there mention of firearms somewhere in the books?

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    While they do bring guns on the colony ships, they don't last very long without the machinery required to maintain them and manufacture new parts. – SaintWacko Sep 13 '12 at 13:33
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There certainly aren't any firearms in the main timeline (Dragonflight and onwards) or in the secondary one (Moreta's Ride and Nerilka's Story), but there are faint references to them in the post-Landing timeline. I searched Dragon's Dawn and First Fall for "guns", "firearms" and the like, but could find only this passage:

Leaving Sorka to help the Tubbermans assemble their gear, Sean and the others, armed with the pistols, cautiously approached the wrecked compound.

(Dragon's Dawn, about 85% of the way in, emphasis mine)

Even this, I think, was a very rare and unusual occasion, when the dragonriders are approaching an unknown and potentially dangerous human situation (rather than a Thread or ecological situation), so I'm guessing they dug out the never-used pistols from a dusty drawer.

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    I suppose it makes sense that there were some around, as many of the colonists were ex-military. I wonder why Bitra and that lot did not did not seem to have any to use. Locked up in an arms locker or something perhaps. – S. Albano Sep 13 '12 at 16:21
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I don't remember any firearms on Pern either and I've read pretty much any McCaffrey book that I could get my hands on. There is a list of possible weapons on Pern at Arolos Weyr.

Wikipedia says that Pern is "a feudal society at a medieval to Renaissance level of technology." I guess this makes it feasible for guns/pistols to arise, given that the Chinese discovered gunpowder in the 1200s and matchlock guns, wheel lock guns and flintlock guns were created in the 1400s, 1500s and 1600s respectively. I can't remember if the Pernese have discovered gunpowder... Perhaps for mining?

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