Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Survival

I wanted to create a huge post to serve as a guide for surviving the coming zombie apocalypse, but that would've taken a long time to develop.

Frankly, we don't have that kind of time!

So, instead, I'll post thoughts in a series of small sections, each one covering a specific subject.

For this post, I'll talk about the most basic of needs (outside of a good supply of soft, yet strong toilette paper) during the zombie apocalypse - weapons. I'll evaluate several weapons by comparing them to those found on the AMC television series, The Walking Dead.

Yes, I'm one of THOSE people. I've recently become a fan of the show. I even stay up extra late and watch the after show, The Talking Dead.

Onward ... to the weaponry!

In the show, Daryl carries a crossbow. He also keeps a handgun in the side pouch of his motorcycle when Rick's son hasn't stolen it from him.

While a crossbow is certainly effective at close range, it's major downfall is limited ammo. For those of you who watch the show as diligently as I, you probably noticed that by the end of the second season, Daryl had only one bolt left in the carrier. That would suck a whole bunch when faced with a massive horde of zombies like they all face in the last episode. The handgun is also great at close range, but you still have to be able to get to it in a hurry. Duh, that's what they made holsters for ... Daryl.

Speaking of Rick's son, Rick Grimes also carries a handgun. He's a little smarter about it, being a sheriff's deputy and all, and carries his in a holster. Rick is also good at using any available weapon found close-at-hand. The knife, or any other handheld weapon is great for conserving ammo and keeping quiet but understand that one must get real close and personal to force the edge of a knife into the skull of even the most dastardly zombie. Most will find it hard to gather the required intestinal fortitude to get this close. Besides, it is actually quite difficult to put even a sharpened blade through a skull. It's one of the hardest and well-constructed bone structures in the human body.

Edge weapons, blunt weapons, and even rocks are all great as a last resort, but nothing beats a gun and a bullet.

Case in point:  Way back in the olden days, I was involved in a military action that left me stranded in the middle of the night, in a foreign country, with bad guys chasing me. (Don't ask for details, I won't give them.) Anyway, someone came upon me and took a couple stabs at me with a knife. He was able to get a couple licks in but I had a handgun, and chose to use it over my knife. In real life, the guy with the gun wins every time. It proved to be a good decision because I'm still here. Can't say that for the other guy.

The one character in the show that surprised me in the last couple episodes of the second season was Hershel. He found himself a shotgun and used it with great success.

Shotguns are easy to use, carry anywhere from one to seven shells, and pack a wallop when up close and personal. The only downside to a shotgun is that, to really be effective, one must find and use, slugs or buckshot in order to be effective against zombies.

For those of you who might consider this completely unfounded, and barely researched advice in order to determine what might work best for home defense during our (equally inevitable) economic collapse, the shotgun is probably the best deterrent to crime in your home.

Nothing is more effective in slapping a would-be criminal's brain into gear, and making them rethink the efficacy of their actions like the sound of a shotgun chambering a shell. For home defense though, you could go with a good load of magnum turkey shot or buckshot as they will achieve the desired effect over a larger area but not go through your walls to hit innocents in the next room. That is, unless you live in a home with paper-thin walls, or a mobile home.

This brings us to the subject of ammo.

Considering that, after the zombie apocalypse, you'll likely find yourself running out of ammo and making that much-dreaded trip into town to scavenge for anything useful (Forget Walmart, by the way. That place will be ransacked at first news of a breakout.) You'll have greater luck in choosing a common ammo. This also applies if you are currently stocking up on ammo in preparation for the coming zombie apocalypse.

Here's the most common types of ammo available anywhere:

For handguns, 9mm, 22 caliber.
For rifles, 22 caliber, 30-06.
For shotguns, 12 gauge (either buckshot or magnum turkey. Although, in a pinch, anything will do fine a close range)

It would also be a good idea to pick up the biggest knives you can find, along with whatever garden tools they may have. A pick axe handle could save your life.