Zombie Weapons (addendum)

Can’t believe it but I seemed to have forgotten an all important aspect of zombie fighting with my last post (Zombie Guns). We all know there are certain kinds of firepower that excel at smashing zombie brains. But when it comes right down to it, there’s something to be said for a truly old fashioned weapon. The kind that relies on your swinging arm, or perhaps a little gasoline! I am of course referring to melee weapons, the kind that are designed for hand to hand.

So I am amending my last list to include some prime zombie smashing equipment. I also think I will amend the rules from the last post. Instead of four guns, I think we should get our pick of three plus one melee weapon. That seems fair, and works well with the whole balance of firepower and versatility thing. Bullets run out, but what you got in your hands can keep on killing until you break it or you get overrun! Dammit, all this talk of zombie smashing is making me

Melee Weapons:
The weapon on truly last resort, what you grab a hold of when all else fails or you just plain run out of ammo. In this case, what matters is either blunt force trauma, slicing power, or a combination thereof. Weight and balance are also important, as is compactness and portability. Since this is your last weapon, it should fit on your person without trouble and not be a hassle to get around.

Axe:
Chopping wood is just one of many uses for this traditional tool turned zombie killer! On the one hand, you can use the blade to chop zombie skulls, then you can turn it around for a little blunt force trauma. This allows for swinging back and forth without having to worry about making sure the sharp end is pointed forward. And it can also be used with one hand, keeping the other free for other weapons!

However, as anyone who’s chopped wood for an extended period of time knows, swinging an axe can get pretty tiring! And even though it can be swung with one hand, its hard to do that and shoot or stab from the other, know what I mean?

Baseball Bat:
Ah yes, the symbol of America’s pastime and the favored weapon of gangsters, gang-bangers and thugs everywhere! And in the event of a zombie apocalypse, its also pretty handy for smashing the heads of the infected/undead! In terms of blunt force trauma, it can’t be beat. Its tough wooden frame can take down a zombie with a single blow, and a few more will finish the job! It’s also quite wieldy and not heavy, making repeated use easy.

Downsides? Well it requires that you keep a hand free to carry it. Otherwise, you need a special carrying sleeve to hold it which can take up added room. Miniature ones can be snuck up your shirt sleeve, but that presents its own problems.

Chainsaw:
What is it about chainsaws that are just so cool? Is it because they’re gruesome and ruthless, at least in the right hands? Perhaps. But in the right hands, they are also a very good zombie killer. A single slashing cut can take off a zombie head, and simple contact can hew off limbs and chew through their ugly flesh!

Naturally, the size and weight of this weapon can make it a bit unwieldy. And of course it requires two hands which can make cycling between weapons difficult. And last, it requires gasoline to function, which means it has a limited term of service. Lots of killing power, but you pay for it in other ways.

Chainsaw bayonet:
Now here is a pretty awesome combination! The raw killing power of a chainsaw with the added functionality of a bayonet. In addition to providing the user with the grinding power of a chainsaw, it also frees up their hands so they can tote their rifle. This combination gives them killing power at a distance and an effective melee attack if any zombies get in close.

The downside of this is obvious though. The added weight to the front of the rifle makes for depleted accuracy and portability. Basically, a soldier has to hold the front end constantly, forcing them to shoot from the hip instead of taking aim. And again, the weapon is only functional so long as it has a gas supply.

Claymore:
The sword that made Scotland proud and its warriors feared! Heavy, long, sharp and beautifully crafted, this sword is famous for knocking off heads and limbs with single strokes. Its long blade also makes for a good reach against flesh-hungry zombies!

Downsides? Well, its size and weight make it hard to wield. As long as you got two arms and big muscles, you can swing this around and take out any zombie in the vicinity. But anyone doing this can expect to get tired fast. And like the chainsaw, it requires two hands, making cycling difficult.

KA-BAR:
The knife made famous by the Marine Corps, or was it the other way around? No, I’m pretty sure the Marines were doing fine before this knife came along. Still, its effectiveness as an infantry weapon make it a perfect addition to any zombie killing arsenal. A good 7 inches long, sharp as hell, and made of steel with a carbon tip point, a good thrust will render zombie brains inoperative.

As for downsides, can’t think of many. In close quarters, this is a good weapon to have, being lightweight and requiring only one hand to wield. Of course, the fact that it can’t take off zombie limbs means it can only kill when plunged into a zombie’s skull. And in its current form, it can’t be fixed as a bayonet, making it less versatile than some other blades here.

Pigsticker:
The little bayonet that could… F*@#! up the face of some zombies! Yes, this spike bayonet has undergone a revival of sorts thanks to the prospect of a zombie apocalypse. Small, adaptable to any rifle, and capable of taking out a zombie brain with a good poke in the eye, this weapon is both portable, versatile, and effective!

It’s small size and the fact that it can be mounted on top also doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a grenade launcher attached to your rifle either. However, the spike is somewhat limited in some respects. Being small and thin, it can’t really penetrate a skull with ease. Overuse can also break it, and its range is somewhat limited.

Samuria Sword:
My thanks to Goran Zidar for suggesting this one. In the event of a zombie attack, this weapon is definitely one I would want on hand! Made of folded, tempered steel, good weight and wieldy, this sword can cut through bone, flesh, knock off heads, and limbs all at once. It can even chop into the brain pan of a zombie when used in an overhead attack.

But of course, the sword still takes two hands to wield effectively. What’s more, in the event of a head attack, it can get stuck in vertebrae and skull bone if not used properly. Always remember to snap the blade back at the end of the strike!

SKS folding bayonet:
This Soviet-era bayonet is famous for being the only gun mounted blade that is retractable. This can be a time saver when it comes time to prepare for a zombie charge, or ensure some added safety should you want to leave the bayonet on full time.

Downsides are few, but the folding attachment means that a stiff blow can detach it from the fixed position. In a zombie fight, you don’t want to find your bayonet folded back on you, thus forcing you refix it between brain stabbings! Having this bayonet on also means you can’t have a rocket launcher fixed to your weapon.

Machete:
Much like the baseball bat, the machete’s greatest features are its simplicity and brutal efficiency. And just for fun, I selected the Kukri machete, the Nepalese inspired variant which is the workhorse of modern machetes. Few weapons can out-cut this one, and a single blow is about as effective as that of samurai sword. But the Kukri manages to accomplish this with a much smaller frame, making it more compact and portable.

Potential downsides… Well it’s not the easiest thing to carry when not in use. Its curved blade means that you’d need a special holster since you can’t expect to just stick in your pocket, not unless you want to sever something vital! And since it’s smaller than a sword, you can’t really sling it over your back. So yes, portability might be a bit of an issue.

M9 Bayonet:
Last, but certainly not least, is the standard M9 infantry bayonet. A favorite amongst the US Army and USMC, the M9 is effective, reliable, and a quick kill option when fixed onto an assault rifle. Fixed at two points to a weapon, the odds of it coming off are also unlikely, making it a sturdy killer as well.

Drawbacks include diminished accuracy, which has been a problem since WWII. Soldiers usually resolve this by waiting until the enemy is close before fixing them. However, this presents the problem of having to take the time to slap it on while the zombie’s approach!

Are You Ready?
Okay, so the rules are clear right? One melee weapon, three guns. GO! My new picks are as follows:

Melee: Kukri Machete
Small Arm: Calico
Shotgun: USAS-12
Rifle: Stey AUG

I’m ready for some zombie smashing! Let me at em!

Zombie Guns, or How To Prepare for World War Z!

I blame myself in part, but what with all the talk of face-eating and Bath Salts in the news, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not there’s a Zombie Apocalypse on the way. Personally, I’m not one to go in for rumors and speculation, but I figure it’s better to be prepared! Hence why I’ve decided to do a post dedicated to Zombie Guns, or more specifically, firearms that will come in handy when the flesh-eating zombies start roaming your neighbourhoods!

Having done some posts of late involving futuristic guns, I’m already pretty well versed when it comes to recent developments in the firearms industry. However, I wanted to be thorough, so I also did a looking around and included some ideas from people who’ve already put some work in on the subject. And of course, I would be lost were it not for the common sense rules that come to us from all of movie, television and even literacy sources on the subject.

Whether it’s tv’s The Walking Dead, movies like Zombieland or 28 Days Later, or Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide, the basic rules for surviving zombies are the same. Go for the head, don’t be stingy with ammo, and sever all emotional attachments! And when it comes to weaponry that will be most effective in this regard, portability, capacitiy, firepower and versatility are all important.

Relying on all these basic criteria and what I know about modern weaponry, I now present a list of the top handguns, SMG’s, shotguns, and rifles, each entry with its own selling points and drawbacks. Have a look through them and see if any of them tickles your fancy! In the end, I figure we all get one from each category. Have fun picking your arsenal!

Small Arms:
The weapon of last resort. When you’re cornered and all other weapons have failed or run dry, your last option is to draw your sidearm and knock as many heads off as possible, preferably while falling back. And when this happens, you need a steady firearm that won’t run out of bullets fast. And when it does, it needs to be quick to reload. That way you can keep on knocking heads off without worrying about being bitten!

Beretta 92:
Here’s one everyone should recognize. Also known as the M9 or Beretta 9mm, this gun is a favorite amongst police forces and militaries in many countries, especially the US. Combining a 9mm round, dual action and a 15 round magazine, it is one of the best all around sidearms in existence. In a firefight against zombies, its also a good last resort. The rounds are large enough to take out zombie brains, the pistol is accurate and doesn’t have significant recoil, and the shooter can go awhile without reloading.

The only real downside is the fact that this 9mm round doesn’t the same power as some its larger-caliber kin. If rounds are misplaced, like in zombie’s body, they won’t do much to slow it down. Basically, anyone using this will have to make their shots count by getting them right in the brain pan. But with 15 rounds (16 if they load the chamber), they will have plenty of opportunity.

Colt 45:
Don’t ask me why, but when it comes to old school designs, big bullets seemed to be the norm. That is certainly true of the Colt M1911, aka. the Colt 45. Originally designed for shooting gangsters and trench warfare, this weapon is more than capable of splattering zombie brains all over the sidewalk.

An immediate downside of this weapon is its ammo capacity, a mere seven rounds. In addition, as a single action pistol, it can be less accurate than its peers. However, it can overcome the former with an extended (12 round) mag, and its simplicity and old-world durability can make up for any inaccuracy. Unlike other models, this sidearm can up to 6000 rounds without a single misfire or jam up.

Desert Eagle:
What do you get when you cross a magnum with a semi-automatic pistol? The Desert Eagle, available in both the .357, .44 and .50 calibers. Each of these are capable of decorating a wall with zombie brains, but the bigger the bullet, the bigger the mess! As a hand gun, it packs a hell of a lot of firepower into a relatively small package. And at close range, nothing short of shot gun or an assault rifle can match its power.

However, its greatest strengths also prove to be its greatest weaknesses. Its powerful punch means powerful kickback, which can make accuracy a bit of a problem. What’s more, the large caliber make capacity problematic, even at the smallest caliber (9 bullets for .357, 8 for .44, 7 for .50). An extended 14 round clip helps this, but not the central problem of accuracy.

Glock 17:

This brand of handgun has been made famous by countless TV shows and movies, mainly because it sees so much use by police and military forces around the world. A variation on the Glock 9, the Glock 17 is also a compact 9mm pistol, but boasts a 17 round magazine. That kind of capacity is useful when facing off against a Zombie hoard!

In terms of drawbacks, the Glock has few. Much like the 9mm, its power is somewhat limited when used against zombie torsos. In the hands of an accurate shooter, this isn’t a problem. But for anyone else, that 17 mag will come in handy!

Submachineguns:
When zombies get close, its good to have something quick and small at the ready to take them down. Submachineguns, PDW’s and compact full-autos all fall into this category. In this case, rate of fire and ammo capacity count for something, but in the end, accuracy is important too, since head shots are the most effective.

Calico M960:
Because of its unique, sleek design, the Calico is a mysterious gun that’s made many cinematic appearances, usually in connection to sci-fi franchises. However, when it comes to combating zombies, its chief benefits are firepower and ammo capacity. A 9mm weapon with a top-mounted, helical magazine, the Calico can hold up to 100 rounds. And because of the compact shape of the magazine, many can be kept on the gunner’s person without fear of being overlaiden.

Drawbacks? Can’t think of many. Given its two handles, 9mm caliber, ambidextrous option and the choice between semi-auto and full-auto firing modes, the Calico is well suited to taking down individual and crowds of zombies. One possible flaw is that the range is slightly limited, compared to that of an assault rifle.

Chang Feng SMG:
Here we have another submachinegun that features a top-mounted helical magazine, a compact design and a relatively high ammo capacity. And like many other guns on this list, it is a 9mm design which makes it just right for splattering zombie brains! It’s ability to switch between semi-auto and full auto can also be useful when one needs to switch from accuracy to “kill em all” mode.

The drawbacks of this compact design are simple. Being so compact, it can be a bit unruly when fired in full auto mode. Though it has a forward handle as well as the trigger grip, the spacing makes recoil a bit of a problem.

MP5:
A favorite amongst law enforcement and military personnel everywhere, and for good reason. It’s compact size, firepower, weight and range are all very well suited to close combat firefights, which are common in urban environments. This makes it well suited to zombie killing as well. As usual, the 9mm round is prime brain-bashing ammo, and the third round clip ensures plenty of ammo.

At full auto, the gun fires 800 rounds a minute, but given its stability and accuracy, those rounds will be well placed. Compared to all that, its only real downside is its size. Compared to other SMG’s, this gun is more akin to an assault rifle than a compact machine pistol. Combined with other large weapons, this can create a problem.

P90:
Known as PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) this weapon is the living embodiment of compactness and automatic fire. Combining a 5.7mm round (the equivalent of .22 caliber) with a 50 bullet magazine, top-mounted, this weapon has enough punch to pulp zombie brains and can keep firing for some time. Its size and compact shape make it very portable as well.

However, there are some notable drawbacks. For starters, at full auto, its high rate of fire (900 rounds a minute) combined with its small size can produce some troublesome recoil. In addition, I hear tell that it has been known to jam up from time to time, which in a zombie fight can be truly fatal!

PP-2000:
Built in Russia and a popular item amongst its armed forces, this 9mm machine pistol has a number of useful features when facing zombies. For starters, it combines an assault rifles rate of fire with the size and caliber of a pistol. This makes it highly compact and portable and a good weapon to have when in close quarters with a small group of zombies.

Alas, its magazine capacity is only 20-30 rounds, which at a 600 rpm rate of fire can go very fast! Its retractable stock can combat recoil, but also adds volume which reduces compactness. As a result, it is best when used in single fire mode like a mega-pistol.

TDI Kriss:
Yet another example of portability meeting firepower, and then producing some weird looking offspring. Basically, a Kriss is an SMG that combines .45 caliber rounds with a rate of fire that lies between 800-1100 rounds per minute. Its handled design also makes it a steady shooter, which combined with its firepower, makes it good at chopping off zombie heads.

The downside you say? Well, its magazine is terrible small for a weapon that fires so quickly. As it stands, the weapon comes standard with a 13 round mag, which at 800 rounds per minute would go within a 1.33 seconds! Apparently, a 28 round mag is being developed, but that too would be gone in 2.1 seconds. This is fine if you’re happy shooting at semi-auto, but until they come up with a 50 round mag, this weapon is too quick for zombie fights.

“Close Encounters” – aka. Shotguns:
When it comes to zombie hunting, shotguns are mighty handy. Not only do they pack a lot of punch, a single shot can take a zombie’s head clean off. And even if you miss the head, a hewed arm or leg can also slow a zombie down considerably. Here, accuracy doesn’t count for a lot, but ammo capacity certainly does. When you’re blasting zombies, the last thing you want to hear is an empty click.

Franchi SPAS-12:
Originally designed for sport shooting, this automatic shotgun has become a mainstay amongst police and military forces everywhere. Able to shoot in either the pump action or semi-automatic firing modes, it is renowned for versatility, reliability, and firepower. It’s eight round capacity is also highly respectable as ammo capacities go.

The only drawbacks, compared to other weapons in this category, is its limited ammo supply. Though accurate and not prone to mechanical problems, which can happen in automatic designs, the SPAS 12 can deplete its ammo quicker and then takes time to reload.

Kel Tec KSG:
A cutting-edge design, boasting duel feed magazines and compact dimensions, this weapon is well suited for anti-zombie defense! In total, it holds 14 rounds, as is operated by pump action. It’s two handles also ensure a relative degree of accuracy, making head shots a real possibility.

Unfortunately, the weapon has two distinct drawbacks. Though it holds a highly respectable 14 shots between its two magazines, the pump action slows it down somewhat. In addition, it must be reloaded manually, and between its two tubes, that can take some time. This demands that the user find cover after exhausting their supply of ammo, or spend only part of it before taking time to reload.

Striker:
Manufactured in South Africa, the Striker Protecta was specifically designed to be a counter-insurgency, high capacity weapon with a hell of a lot of punch. It’s size and shape make it compact and portable, and its 12 round magazine give it enough capacity for a prolonged firefight.

In terms of drawbacks, the Strikers has a few. Though it has a good capacity, it has to be reloaded manually, which can take some time. In addition, even though its compact, the drum magazine can make it bulky and awkward to carry. However, it can make up for this since it doesn’t require additional magazines, just a simple ammo belt, in order to be reloaded.

USAS-12:
Here is a somewhat interesting design. Combining the familiar profile of an assault rifle with the concept of a shotgun, the USAS-12 also manages to combine a high capacity with a lot of firepower! The standard box magazine can hold 10 shots, but the drum magazine gives it a robust twenty. However, this is balanced by the fact that the ten can be reloaded by simply slamming a new box into place, whereas the twenty must be reloaded manually.

The only potential drawback of this weapon is its rate of fire. In addition to being semi-automatic, the gunner does not need to pull the trigger multiple times to get multiple shots off. This can cause have a saturation effect, but can also waist ammo. Remember, zombies hunt in packs, so saturation is only useful in real close quarters.

Rifles:
Last, but not least, is the category of rifles. Basically, these are the weapons that you want for long range encounters and sniping. In this case, what matters most are accuracy and ammo capacity. Even small caliber rifles have enough muzzle velocity to kill with a head shot, so in the end what matters is the ability to place that shot on target. Once you got that down, you want to make sure you can do it again, and again, and then again some more…

Barrett XM500:
This .50 cal sniper rifle design, which is the most recent to come out of the US, is lighter and more compact that its peers. And its sheer firepower and range would make it a real Zombie killer. Just imagine, .50 cal slugs that are capable of taking a zombie’s head off, literally! A hit to the torso will limb will all dismember and tear them apart too. Even if that’s not fatal, its sure to slow them down a ton!

However, the weapon does come with its share of drawbacks. Though good for long-range encounters, it would be of little use up close since it can only be fired while in a prone position. It’s ammo capacity is also lacking, at ten rounds a magazine, and despite its more compact and light design, she’s still tough to get around in a hurry.In short, good for support fire, not the best to have on its own.

Daewoo K11:
Here we have the Korean made dual caliber rifle that is part of the larger OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) program. Combining a standard 5.56mm assault rifle with a built-in grenade launcher, this weapon is highly versatile, has good range and is very powerful. It’s regular ammo are more than capable of smashing zombie heads, and the grenades are good to disperse zombie crowds.

The drawbacks are clear. The K11 comes with a high-tech scope, but this is of little use when it comes to zombies. The added weight and bulkiness of it can also be a problem. In short, its delivers in all areas except portability, which in the end can mean the difference between life and death.

M16A2 Assault Rifle:
This version of the M16 rifle is an upgraded model of the weapon that seen service with US armed forces since Vietnam. In addition to better ammo and less blowback, the A2 has the ability to carry the M203 40mm grenade launcher, which is a fine addition for zombie killing. Combined with the standard 5.56mm round, a good muzzle velocity and a 30 round magazine, the M16 is accurate, has good range, and a respectable capacity.

Compared to bullpup rifles, its not very compact, but this problem is pretty minor since it can be carried for its stock or slung without difficulty. The only other thing is the grenade launcher, which while powerful addition can take some time to reload. As a single shot, slide-loader, the gunner is going to be up against it to get ammo in between shots. Best when used sparingly and at long range between shots from the rifle.

FN SCAR:
The name stands for Special Forces Combat Assault Rifle, which is precisely who this weapon was designed for. As a result, its accurate, powerful, compact, and very versatile. In addition to its 30 round 5.56mm rifle, it can be upgraded to carry a 40mm grenade launcher, red dot or holographic sites, tactical grips near the front, and probably some other things! All of this adds up to a very functional and versatile weapon.

Of course, all these modifications can be counterproductive. For instance, some modifications rules out others, such as tactical grips making a grenade launcher impossible. At the same time, too many attachments can make the gun bulky and cumbersome. The best configuration for fighting zombies would likely be a tactical grip for stability (ensuring better accuracy) or a 40mm grenade launcher for added punch. But as usual, that grenade launcher is a single shot weapon which takes time to load.

Steyr AUG:
I knew I couldn’t complete this list without including at least one bullpup assault rifle. And when it comes to bullpups, the AUG is arguably the best. Light-weight, compact, accurate and powerful, the Steyr AUG is ideal for zombie hunting. With its magazine loaded at the rear, this gun cuts down on bulk while at the same time adding muzzle velocity. Combined with a 42 round magazine, the AUG can kill zombies longer than most.

One downside is a potential lack of versatility. The standard AUG comes with a tactical grip that ensures more stability and accuracy while firing. This can be taken out to enable a grenade launcher, but only at the cost of accuracy. The scope can also be upgraded, but red sights and holographics are no more effective than its standard 1.5x scope. In the end, this gun is best as it is.

Suit Up!:
Well, that about does it, doesn’t it? Now it comes time to pick which weapons we want on our persons when the zombies come knocking. God, I feel like I’m making a role playing game, but if that were true, I’d have to give every player an upper weight limit or capacity based on their size. That’d really make things interesting! Alas, I can only do a four category thing right now with the available choices. So.. here’s what I’m taking

Sidearm: Beretta 92 (I love the way it looks)
SMG: Calico (it had me at 100 rounds!)
Shotgun: USAS-12, 10 round box magazine (I figure these will be easier to carry and quicker to change. I shall try to be sparing with my shots)
Rifle: Steyr AUG (its accuracy and 42 round clip ought to be ideal for zombie hunting. I was thinking the K11 because of its grenade launcher, but its size and clumsiness would get in my way)

Well, that’s me done. Anyone else want to take a run?