Zombie Apocalypse Armaments

Posted: May 29, 2012 in Braak
Tags: , ,

So, it turns out that some guy thinks that maybe there’s a super-potent form of LSD that turns you into a naked cannibal maniac.  Maybe that guy is just a NARC, trying to blame everything on drugs, but really, there definitely are naked cannibal maniacs out there, so I want to take a brief moment and talk about the best kind of weapons to use in the case of zombie apocalypse, so that you can start practicing NOW, and be ready when the naked cannibal maniacs take over.

1. Guns

It is true that the smell of cordite is the stench of cowardice, but even I (proud though I am) must accept that guns are pretty handy in case of zombies.  The semi-automatic shotgun is a good choice, because it maximizes damage and minimizes the marksmanship requirement — a zombie might continue to limp towards you after taking a 9mm pistol round in the leg, less likely if it takes a knee full of shot.

Pistols can be useful; remember that armor penetration is basically irrelevant in the case of zombies (see NAKED cannibal maniac), stopping power is a lot more important.  Zombies travel in hordes, though, so if it’s a choice, take the semi over the revolver.  (It’s not a choice, take both.)

2.  Swords

Be fucking serious.  Are you going to spend ten years learning how to use it?  Do you think that a sword’s superior speed and fine point control is going to do you a lot of good against a shambling brainless monster-man, who isn’t even going to put his HANDS UP if you try to hit him in the head?  Maybe you think that the shitty steel quality of most modern crap swords that you buy on the internet is going to help?

Listen.  If you’ve got a Hattori Hanzo katana or something, a five-body sword that you’re going to use to chop a guy, obviously don’t leave it at home.  But if you bought a Highlander katana off of eBay?  Maybe not your number one choice.  Ditch the rapier, definitely — it’s a piercing weapon, and that’s not going to do you a lot of good against an adversary who is harmed primarily by getting chopped in the head.  Likewise, the sabre — it’s a slashing weapon, meant for making long cuts across major arteries, not penetrating bone.  Maybe if you can find yourself a falcata:

With that top-heavy shape an inward curve, it is a chopper (and, in many respects, a superior choice to the machete), but like the machete, it’s also short — be mindful of your loss in range.

Otherwise, let’s be real.  Swords are awesome, but they are for duels in which you cap punk suckers, not for surviving hordes of naked cannibal maniacs.

3.  The Axe

Ah, the humble axe, mightiest of the dual-purpose tools.  I recommend the maul:

You’ll see that, with its sledge backing, it’s actually a three-purpose tool — hammering things, chopping zombies, and also chopping OTHER THINGS, like wood or doors (another place where the sword falls short).

The very top-heavy weight and wedge-shaped axe blade means you’ll have no trouble penetrating bone, plus a decent chance of throwing a zombie to the ground even if, for whatever reason, it’s got its zombie hands in the way.  You should be able to crack all the way through the head on a horizontal or diagonal swing (meaning there’s a small chance of getting the weapon stuck).

The two-handed effective grip means you are going to sacrifice range to use it effectively, though, and it’s a bear to use — start practicing now, you’ll want to make sure you’re already skilled at using your hips to swing that sucker around.

4.  The Spear

Shaolin Spear


Pilum (Roman Spear)


Boar Spear.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

You’ll notice the key element to a boar spear — boar, because they are DEADLY MANIAC ANIMALS, often will, after having been impaled, run down the length of the spear in order to gore the dumb sucker that picked a fight with Nature’s betusked hurricane.  The crossbar (often perpendicular to the blade) keeps the boar at bay — exactly the way that it will keep a zombie at bay while it tries to get you.  Impale it, force it to the ground, and then get your friends (armed with axes) to chop it up.

I guess the spear could also be used to hunt boar?  Don’t hunt boar, though, it is way more dangerous than fighting zombies.

5.  Nunchucks

Shut up, go home.

6.  The Spade


7.  The Shovel

Ah!  People often get the two previous confused.  This is a spade:

Sometimes they’ve got a flathead, sometimes they’ve got that traditional spadey-shaped point, but the key element here is “short”.  They’re actually primarily a mining tool, used in close quarters.  Compare with the shovel:

You’ll notice a number of key zombie-fighting elements:  sharp edges, a nice point, a long haft.  It can be used as a point-weapon to keep a zombie at bay, or it can be used like a pole-arm to chop a zombie in the face.   The length furthermore makes an opponent’s forward knee or ankle an excellent target, a vital strategy when dealing with pursuers.

Importantly, it can also be used to dig a hole, which spears cannot be used for, and which I can imagine being a pretty useful ability in a zombie-apocalypse situation.  Have you ever had to dig a palisade?  Listen, man, in a world in which no one knows how to drive a backhoe, the man with the shovel is king.

8.  Haligan Tool

The Haligan Tool is a tool used by SWAT and firemen for getting into places.  A combination pick, axe, prying thing:

It can also be a pretty devastating, short-to-mid-range weapon.  Considering — in an apocalypse-type-scenario in which time is a serious issue — how dangerous an impenetrable door can be (there might be food behind the door!  Or it might be blocking an important anti-zombie egress!) I don’t think the prying / picking / chopping capacity of the Haligan Tool can be overlooked.

 9.  Knives

Knives are last-resort tools in situations like this, and remember that their merit changes in the New, Apocalyptic World.  Concealibility is not really pertinent (for example, most of your folding knives or switchblades ) neither is the point penetration or light weight of fighting knives (your Bowies).  Radness (anything made by Gil HIbben) is a factor (not for intimidating zombies, who cannot be intimidated, but for possibly intimidating the punk suckers who are trying to make themselves kings in this new world), but functionality probably has to take precedence, which is why the best choice is probably the Kukri knife:

This was made popular by Hindu military units under the British Raj — it is heavy, a good chopping weapon (making it versatile for:  cutting foliage, opening coconuts, &c.), and sufficiently rad without sacrificing blade integrity.

10. Conclusion

For maximum versatility, I would probably outfit myself with… I don’t know about guns, but probably a Remington 1100 (if possible with the extended feed — 10 + 1 rounds; low recoil, historically very reliable), Desert Eagle sidearm (9 rounds of .357), long shovel, haligan tool, kukri knife.

Though, man, I do like that boar spear.  I feel like if you’re going to go with a boar spear, you should use a spade as a mid-range weapon; that digging functionality is not something you want to waste.

Now, start practicing.  Add it to your Zombie Apocalypse Health and Wellness Plan, which, if you were Carrie Share, was heretofore grievously under-preparing you for actually fighting zombies.

  1. carrieshare says:

    I called it the Zombie Apocalypse Health & Wellness Plan, not the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan. Admittedly, survival is an essential facet of health & wellness, but I know nothing of weaponry therefore I chose to focus solely on nutrition & fitness rather than methods of attack. Both are important, though.

  2. braak says:

    Yes, and now I have helped you by filling in the gaps in your plan. Get an axe, start swinging it. It’s good for your core, anyway.

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    But Chris, I hear the kids today are showing an increased interest in bows and arrows (your “Hungry Gamers” and “Bravos” and “Jeremy Renners”). Are they just misguided by popular fad weapons?

    What can be done to teach impressionable youngsters that bows aren’t the “cool” weapon to have in a zombie apocalypse?

  4. DCBraak says:

    I feel like the shovel is definately a better choice than the boar spear. Dual-purpose…ness, is very important in a post-apocolyptic world. You will need everything you have to be capable of as many things as possible. Gas won’t be around forever, so you need to be able to carry everything you have. Plus you need to leave room for ammunition and food.

  5. braak says:

    Yeah, the spear / shovel question is a conditional one. If I were going to outfit myself, in personal preparation for a zombie apocalypse, I’d definitely take a shovel. But if I were trying to outfit a small group of people who were going to form a commune (and thus might make periodic zombie-hunting parties to keep the local areas clear), I’d probably want a couple boar spears around.

  6. braak says:

    Though, now I want to write a story about far in the future, after a zombie apocalypse, when society has evolved into a new equilibrium that includes these guys who go out in hunting parties to keep the woods clear of zombies. They wear special armor and carry boar spears and axes, and are greatly respected by the future human civilization, but their terrible secret is that, actually, there are no zombies anymore. There haven’t been for generations. In fact, most of the guys who go out to fight them don’t even know what they’re looking for, wouldn’t even know a zombie if they saw one.

  7. John Jackson says:

    “In fact, most of the guys who go out to fight them don’t even know what they’re looking for, wouldn’t even know a zombie if they saw one.”
    So they kill someone/something else? Really, anything different and growly sounding would be considered dangerous. Talk about bad cases of xenophobia.

    I’ve always liked the concept of a boar spear. Go hunt something that is more than likely going to kill you before you kill it. I don’t think I’m brave enough to do it, but damn it’s a cool idea. Also, Jim Butcher helped the boar spear by having Kincaid use a boar spear to clear out a basement of vampires and renfields (vaguely living zombie type people).

    In a party of half a dozen hunters, you have two equipped with a boar spear, spade and falcata; two with an axe and a Haligan; and the other two are you guns and ammo keepers, also armed with falcata. That sounds good, right? Everyone has a revolver or shotgun and the gun keepers have the automatics, ammo, and big red bulls-eyes on their backs?

    The problem with crossbows is the problem with guns, you have to make/forge your own bolts/bullets. Automatics I imagine would breakdown before revolvers, but I guess if you know what you’re doing they last a long time. Who am I kidding? I’d be dead before we ran out of Twinkies. I don’t even own a cricket bat or a louisville slugger.

  8. braak says:

    Nah, man, cultic behavior doesn’t necessarily have to have specified outcomes. If you’re far enough removed, then the expectation is that you fulfill the ritual (going out, maybe dancing around a fire or something, coming back). The actual real elements of the ritual can easily be long gone.

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