bring a knife to a gunfight
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (idiomatic) To enter into a confrontation or other challenging situation without being adequately equipped or prepared.
2006, Jeff Edwards, Torpedo, ISBN 9781583484654, page xiii:
- [W]e can shoot down missiles. . . . Our Kingfisher sonars can detect mines. . . . Our ships are hardened against chemical and biological weapons. But how do you stop a torpedo? . . . The best engineers in the business agree that nearly every class of torpedo currently being deployed has the capacity to sink one of our ships with a single shot. . . . [W]e are the poor bastards that brought a knife to a gunfight.
to be inadequately equipped