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Firearms are weapons that use the combustion of gunpowder to launch high speed projectiles at enemies. However, they are unsuitable for dispatching Titans and have not progressed very far technologically within the Walls. Consequentially, they are almost always overshadowed by the omni-directional mobility gear. However, they are still regularly used by the Military Police and other human-to-human security relations. Their larger cousins, cannons, are used as the main line of defense against Titans by the Garrison during invasion. The Scout Regiment and the Garrison also make use of flare-guns to communicate over long distances. Their smaller cousins are small pistols that have been seen carried around by Levi Ackermann.
All varieties of firearms within the Walls, including those used by the Military, are based on the flintlock mechanism, where a piece of flint ignites the powder and fires the gun, which must be reloaded and primed after every shot. During the battle of Trost, one of the most notable features of the firearm is the lack of smoke it produces which creates a large flash, compared to black-gunpowder which produces a massive cloud of smoke when fired.
Firearms are unable to kill Titans because they lack the power to penetrate through the nape of the neck, the Titans' weak spot. Also, given a Titan's fast regeneration rate and the long time it takes to reload a flintlock weapon (15-30 seconds as they require pouring powder down the barrel and pushing the bullet down with a rod), they are practically useless in dealing enough lasting damage to effectively harm a Titan. However, they can shoot out a Titan's eyes and blind it until it regenerates them.
Variations of the flintlocks seen include muskets, pistols, and even double-barreled flintlocks.
The Anti-Personnel Control Squad's specialized anti-personnel omni-directional mobility gear is the first to incorporate firearms with ODM gear. This variant has the appearance of a short, single-barreled shotgun that fires a single shell that is powerful enough to blow off a person's face entirely. Two of these shotguns can be used at the same time. The shotguns are reloaded in a manner similar to signal flares the wielders throwing away the barrels and replacing them with new ones which are stored on holsters worn over the wielder's thighs.
Although it is technically not a weapon, the hook can be used as a ranged weapon in an emergency situation because the hook is located in the user's hands, which makes it very easy to aim. Despite the power of these firearms, the shots can be deflected with the ultrahard steel of the standard ODM gear's sword blade. Also, their penetrating power is somewhat limited, as Levi was able to block a volley of shots fired at him by using the corpse of a member of the Military Police's Anti-Personnel Control Squad.
By the time Eren Jaeger infiltrates Marley, the Scout Regiment has incorporated semi-automatic pistols and bolt-action rifles into their own version of the anti-personnel omni-directional mobility gear.
Outside Paradis Island, nations such as Marley and the Mid-East Allied Forces possess more modern firearm technology. Advanced small-arms such as revolvers, bayonet affixed bolt-action rifles and machine guns are widely used in those armies. Nevertheless, they are just as ineffective as the Paradis Island's flintlocks when used against Titans, which require the use of specialized artillery such as anti-Titan artillery or anti-Titan rifles to defeat it.
Armin Arlelt conducted a plan to use firearms to blind the Titans inhabiting the supply depot, as the rest of the soldiers would then aim for the nape of their necks, killing them and securing the area.
The soldiers within the Military Police Regiment often carry firearms patrolling the Stohess District, particularly shotguns. After Nile Dawk accuses Erwin Smith of treason, he and his men threaten to shoot him.
The squad led by Kenny Ackermann use a firearm variant of maneuvering gear named anti-personnel ODM gear when they are sent out to kidnap Eren and Historia. Later, Levi "borrows" a shotgun from a man inside a saloon to turn the tables on Kenny, who had chased him inside. After Levi escapes, Kenny acknowledges that Levi has gotten better for using the fact that saloon owners are legally allowed to keep firearms for self-defense. Later on, Armin shoots one of the members of Kenny's team with a pistol in order to save Jean's life.
During the Marley Mid-East War, the rank and file of the Marleyan army is equipped with bayonet affixed bolt action rifles. The Mid-East Allied Forces employ numerous machine guns protected by concrete shelters around Fort Slava, and also equip its soldiers with rifles. Near the battle's conclusion, the Cart Titan, equipped with its Panzer Unit, uses machine guns to rain fire in the Allied trenches.
Having remembered his time on Paradis, Reiner Braun contemplates suicide with a bolt-action rifle, but is stopped at the last second by him hearing Falco Grice's frustration and lack of success in the competition for the Armored Titan.
In the Raid on Liberio, the Scout Regiment use Anti-Personnel omni-directional mobility gear, modified to fire semi-automatically, to quash the Marleyan armed security throughout the internment zone. Sasha Braus is equipped with a rifle that she uses to kill numerous enemy combatants. When Marley's Warriors engage the Scouts, the Cart Titan's Panzer Unit creates difficulty for the Scouts, until its destruction. As the Scouts prepare to depart on their airship, Gabi Braun uses a PS's rifle to kill Lobov, before boarding the airship and also fatally shooting Sasha.
During the Paradis Island Surprise Attack, as Zeke and Eren try to make their way to each other, Eren notices out of the corner of his eye that a tearful Gabi has picked up an anti-Titan rifle from the deceased Colt Grice. Before anyone can react, she shoots a round into Eren's neck, decapitating him.
After the Rumbling commences, Gabi saves Kaya from a Titan with the anti-Titan rifle. When inquired on how she got her hands on it, Nicolo covers for her, citing experience as a former prisoner of war.