This is the 2nd installment in my series of Zombie Survival tactics as learned in Max Brook’s book “The Zombie Survival Guide.”
This 2nd installment focuses on zombie myths and weapon selection. Much of what we see on TV and in movies is grossly (no pun intended) misrepresented. Part of our survival is dependent on having the facts, and not the fallacies. It is my intention to give you the facts on weapon selection.
Often movies portray zombies as having superhuman strength; that is simply not the case. A zombie’s only strength is that which they possessed in real life as a human, no more and no less. The difference is their tenacity as they do not feel pain or remorse, rather they feel intense desire to feed – yes, on YOU!
Another myth is that zombies cannot discern between a human and another zombie if the human is mimicking the zombie’s same behaviors. Believe it if you want, but expect to be eaten alive as studies have shown that while zombies are dumber than a box of rocks, they CAN tell the difference between the dead and undead. The reasoning lends itself to their heightened sense of smell, which seems to be enhanced as their other senses diminish.
One thing to find comfort in is that a zombie will eventually “rot to death” in the event it is not killed by you or another competent human. Unfortunately the time span can take up to 5 years so stay well armed and alert.
Weapons That Kill Zombies
In order to be well armed, it’s important to know your weapon options and the level of protection they can provide. Too many weapons are never enough in the war against zombies but not knowing how to use your selected weapons would be bad news indeed! Train regularly and maintain your weapons! Rust or nasty misfires caused by poor planning can ruin anyone’s day – that is anyone’s day except a zombie’s!
While close combat with a zombie is not high on anyone’s list of fun things to do, it must be understand that it cannot always be avoided. Yes as a human you can move much quicker than a zombie, but a multiple zombie attack might place you in closer proximity than you would like. For this reason it is important to know a form of karate that would help you to deflect your attacker, as well as have a blunt type weapon ideal for close range. While baseball bats, hammers, rolling pins, and batons, all come to mind as viable choices, their ability to kill the brain of a zombie is not likely and thereby not necessarily a well planned choice.
Your best bet is a crowbar. Both lightweight and durable under heavy and repeated contact, this choice can also be used to pry open doors, as well as provide various other survival needs. Such as piercing the skull of a zombie and impaling it’s brain. Not so easy to do with a bat, don’t you think? I would also not recommend swords or knives unless you have trained extensively in these types of combat, as the close proximity these weapons call for could result in your becoming infected and ultimately converted to zombie-ism.
Power Tools & Their Alternatives
While power tools initially offer an excellent defense, it should be noted that their dependability is limited to their fuel supply, be it either plug in or rechargeable. As well, their excess weight may cause you to tire quickly, which is not advisable due to zombies having no need for sleep or rest, and you as the human needing both.
Slingshots; bows and arrows; cross-bows; throwing knives – all have advantages when sound can bring on an unwanted onslaught of nearby zombies; but unless you are an excellent marksman do not take comfort in having these as your only protection. Aim is key and if your aim is just slightly off, it could be the defining factor in your life or “un”death. I myself would want a little more “life security.”
Shotguns & Machine Guns
While semi automatic rifles and sub machine guns sound really tough, their range is not conducive to killing a zombie. They are mostly effective in delaying the inevitable attack. On humans these weapons are ideal, as precision is not necessitated for the kill. Since zombies do not give up as easily, however, precision in killing the brain is critical. “Scatter guns” and guns that utilize similar ammo (such as buck shot) will not guarantee the brain has been eliminated, and probably are not the best choice of protection either. As well, there are ongoing studies that support contact with infected body parts may result in your “turning.” If this is indeed true, then getting bitten is not our only concern. Coming into contact with flying severed body parts caused from the blast of one of the above weapons, could pose a life ending situation. Definitely not an ending I would like.
In today’s society pistols are without doubt the flavor of choice for all advocates of weaponry. Any die hard Clint fan has a .44; most all cops have Glocks; most chicks have revolvers (not this one – I have a glock) as they seem less intimidating. But what it all boils down to is accuracy and precision in your shot. While pistols are easily carried in bulk along with their ammo, unless you are an excellent marksman I would not recommend using this as your primary source of protection. Hitting a zombie in the chest or shoulder will not stop it. You must hit it in the brain and that requires precision. Practice Practice Practice! Go to your local shooting range regularly. Make your gun an extension of yourself. This could be your only saving grace.
.22 Caliber Rimfire Weapons
Ahhh – the ever dependable rifle. What respectful, zombie hating home would be without one??? Not mine I can assure you! This weapon is light weight, making it easier to tote on long journeys. As well, ammo for this type of weapon is plentiful throughout the country so it is not likely you will run out. While this weapon may unfortunately make it so you have to be somewhat closer to “the enemy” in order to penetrate the skull (since it is a small caliber bullet) the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Stay strong and hold your ground!
Just remember the most important rule in weapon selection as I cannot stress it enough = Practice Practice Practice!!!
What would suck even more than getting undead by a zombie is getting undead by a zombie that uses YOUR weapon on YOU!