Tag Archives: weapons

What Happened to Shields?

Shields.  Among the simplest devices in existence, they somehow manage to be unmatched in both offensive and defensive capacities, when both well-made and well-used.   A sufficiently large shield can negate nearly any attack, and then be used to bash in the head of the attacker.

Case in point: the Spartans.  The Spartans were one of the most fearsome warrior cultures of all time.  The key to their success – aside from their lifelong training, of course – was their shield.  A powerful shield that could stop a lance and covered its bearer’s entire body was a formidable tool indeed.  It made the legendary Spartan phalanx nigh invincible.

So my question is: why did shields vanish?  Because really, if you think about it, a shield would be an excellent tool, even today.  It would be made out of stronger, lighter metals and alloys and polymers, making it bullet-proof, fire-proof, shock-proof, explosion-proof…  Basically indestructible.  It would make it much easier for soldiers to move on the battlefield, whether advancing or withdrawing or simply shifting positions, without exposing themselves.  The back of the shield would also make a convenient place to keep extra ammo, grenades, a med kit, or a small radio.

Basically, a shield is a magnificent piece of equipment that should never have been done away with.  I think that casualties would go way, way down if soldiers were issued and required to train with shields large enough to cover them completely.

Agree? Disagree? Want to argue about the price of milk and eggs in Russia? Leave a comment below. I enjoy hearing from my readers.



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Zombie Survival Weapons; Supplemental

While the list of five weapons I posted is all well and good if you can get your hands on them, what if you can’t?  This is a companion list, detailing five common household items that can be used in an emergency as an anti-zombie weapon.  You probably won’t have all five in your home, but I tried to make it so everyone has at least one.

Lob Wedge: 35”, 4.1 lbs. Steel handle.

Cast-iron Skillet: 18”, 8.5 lbs. 12” diameter.

Fire Axe: 36”, 4.9 lbs. Wood handle.

Fire Poker: 43”, 3 lbs. Wrought iron.

Baseball Bat: 34”, 1.9 lbs. Ash.

Now, I was going to make this a comparison list, like the first one, but they ended up all scoring 3.8 out of 5 on the scale I made for them.  So, I’ll give you a few more tips to make up for the lack of a cool list.

Tip #1) Wear leather.

Zombies aren’t smart. And they aren’t animals, either. Which makes them much less dangerous than one might imagine, IF, and this is a very big if, you avoid getting contaminated by them.  Wear leather.  A leather jacket and leather gloves will keep the stray swipe that gets past your guard from being lethal.

Tip #2) Shields are good.

Same principle as the leather.  The only true weapon a zombie has is the infection.  If you have a large, flat piece of metal or wood between you and it, it can’t touch you.

And tip #3) Buddy up.

Most theories go with the assumption that zombies don’t sleep.  You do.  If you’re asleep, you won’t hear the shuffling feet and you’ll be zombie food.  Find a partner.  Sleep in shifts.

Depending on how things work out, I may be writing a book on zombie survival.  Leave a comment below or like and share this post if you’d be interested in said book.

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Filed under Life, Zombie Survival

Five by Five: Zombie Survival Guide

When you’re trapped in the zombie apocalypse, what weapon do you want? I’m taking a look at the top five most common weapons in zombie fiction, so you can know what to grab, given the choice.  I’ve ranked them in order of desirability, which is determined by my five categories, three of which have two subcategories.

#5) Flamethrower

M9A1-7, 1200°C for 120 seconds, Mass when empty: 26 lbs, Range: 55m, Capacity: 1 tank full of fuel (4.5 gallon), Total Mass: 50 lbs

A backpack type flamethrower with a hand held flamegun. The flamegun can fit inside a hip holster issued with the weapon. The tank holds enough fuel for 5 four second “bursts”. Each burst burns at 1200°C for 120 seconds. The weapon can be fired with the fuel either lit or unlit. The entire tank can be fired in one long shot.

Effectiveness: 

  • Single: Roasty toasted zombie. 
  • Crowd: You’ve only got twenty seconds total of spray, but it does burn for a long time after firing, so it’s an excellent crowd weapon. 


  • Capacity/availability: Gas is plentiful, but you only get twenty seconds from a full tank. Plus, there’s the compressed nitrogen propellent, and I’m pretty sure you’re just hosed when you run out of that.
  • Weight: The full tank adds twenty pounds to the flamethrower. That’s a lot. 

Size: 

  • Ease of carrying/weight: It weighs fifty pounds, fully loaded, and takes up the spot on your back where your pack that carried everything else would go.
  • Reach: 55 meters is an excellent range, plenty for killing zombies. 

Sound: 

  • I’ve never heard a flamethrower, but it’s just fire being shot out of a hose. Not silent, but not as loud as a gun. 

Versatility: 

  • You can start fires with it. You can probably use the ignition mechanism even without consuming fuel. But that’s it. 

Overall: 2.8 out of 5. Use it if you’ve got it, but don’t rely on it.

#4) Chainsaw

Stihl 090, 5′ guide bar, 30 pounds

Effectiveness: 

Single: Dead zombie. Squish. 

Crowd: Probably one of the best crowd-control weapons. Constant destruction, and it’s guaranteed to slice all the way through the buggers with little trouble. 

Ammo: ½

Capacity/availability: Most chainsaws can run for slightly under an hour on one tank of gas, which, on the 090, is two an a half liters. And gasoline is abundant. 

Weight: Gas is also heavy and inconvenient, but if you have a little one-gallon gas can, it’s not too bad. 

Size: ½

Ease of carrying/weight: The Stihl 090 weighs thirty pounds. And has a five-foot long blade. That’s a pain.

Reach: That five-foot blade, however, is nice for chopping up zombies safely. 


Any weapon for which the expression “like a [said weapon]” is an indication of high volume is a really loud weapon.

Versatility: 

You can.. cut wood with it. That’s it. Cutting things. 

Overall: 3.4 out of 5. Excellent for killing, but not worth the trade-off of carrying it and attracting more zombies. Unless you’re really strong and can hold it for an hour while you spin around and kill every zombie for miles around, but then you’re gambling that your fuel holds out.

#3) Shotgun

Mossberg 590 Special Purpose

9 Shot, 12 gauge, Ghost Ring¨ sights, 20″ barrel, 41″ total length, matte blue finish, Synthetic black speedfeed stock, 7 1/4 lbs,

Effectiveness: ½

  • Single: Against a single zombie, the Mossberg 590 is a guaranteed success. With nine shots, you’re going to kill it, since one shot is probably enough. 
  • Crowd: With nine shots, plus four easily accessible from the Speedfeed stock, this shotgun is a decent crowd-clearing gun, though reloading a shotgun, even if you have the shells in hand, isn’t exactly a quick and easy process. 

Ammo: 

  • Capacity/availability: Nine shots is very good for a shotgun, and decent for any single shot gun. 12 gauge ammo is plentiful, so finding it won’t be a problem. 
  • Weight: Shotgun shells are heavier than bullets, since they pack more punch, but it’s still not bad. You can easily carry a few dozen shells in your pack without trouble. 

Size: ½

  • Ease of carrying/weight: 7 ¼ pounds is nothing. You can carry that all day and not be worn out. Being three and a half feet long, though, is slightly annoying, though still not too troublesome. 
  • Reach: Since slugs are available for shotguns, as well as the more traditional buckshot, it has as much range as you could need in a zombie-ridden wasteland. 


  • Obviously, a shotgun makes a lot of noise. Which is exactly what you don’t want.

Versatility: 

  • There are beanbag rounds, slugs, buckshot, birdshot, and it makes a decent bludgeon if you’re really desperate. And it can be used against human and animal targets just as easily. 

Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5. A solid weapon whose only flaw is the noise. It’s not much help to bring down the zombies attacking you if your weapon’s noise brings in another swarm.

#2) Katana

Effectiveness: ½

  • Single: Slice, head comes off. 
  • Crowd: Since this list assumes you can handle the weapons in question with reasonable skill, a katana is a decent crowd-clearing weapon. If each strike cuts clean through a zombie (which is entirely possible), then a crowd of fifty is no more challenging than a crowd of five. 

Ammo: 

  • Swords don’t need ammo, so they don’t run out or make you carry extra. 

Size: 

  • Ease of carrying/weight: A typical katana weighs between two and three pounds and is a little under four feet long. That’s easy weight, but having four feet of metal on your back or waist can be annoying. 
  • Reach: Among melee weapons, there’s not much better than a long sword like this. However, there are better things. 

Sound: 

  • Swords are silent. Yes. 

Versatility: 

  • Swords are pretty straightforward weapons. Their size keeps them from being as multi-purpose as a knife, though they still have some use. 

Overall score: 4.3 out of 5. Katanas are lethal, silent, light, and will never jam or run out of ammo. A very good weapon to have when the zombies come shambling.

#1) Pistol

The Beretta M9 9mm semi-automatic. 8.5″ x 1.5″ x 5.5″, 2.5 lbs fully loaded. Silencer, 1 1/4″ x 7 1/2″.

Effectiveness: 

  • Single: Again, assuming you’re proficient, boom. Headshot. 
  • Crowd: With the 15-shot clip and the two spare clips, this gun is excellent for crowds. 

Ammo: 

  • Capacity/availability: 15 shots is a very good clip, and 9mm ammo is readily available. 
  • Weight: The ammo is very light, and the fact that it is so common means you don’t have to carry very much of it. 

Size: 

  • Ease of carrying/weight: Its small size and light weight means it’s easy to conceal and carry. A very portable weapon. 
  • Reach: 50m is plenty for taking down zombies. 

Sound: 

  • Though ‘silenced’ the pistol still makes some sound when it fires, though not much. 

Versatility: 

  • A pistol has less effectiveness as a melee option than a shotgun, and it doesn’t have bean bag or buckshot. 

Overall: 4.4 out of 5. Small, silent, lethal at range, concealable, light, and uses a common ammunition. The most suitable weapon out of these five.

So!  We have a winner. Beretta M9 with a backup katana.  But what if you don’t have any of these fine weapons in your house? Never fear! My next post on this subject will be about common household objects you can use as improvised weapons.


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