Hoc Est Qui Sumus (discoflamingo) wrote,
Hoc Est Qui Sumus

Zombie-killing Weapons Round-Up and FAQ

Bludgeoning Weapons

Crowbar (Steel)
Crowbar (Titanium)

They won't break, they're easy to find, and they're dense enough to make it into a zombie's head. Plus, they can be used as crowbars. The manual gives the crowbar the biggest thumbs-up of the blunt weapons.

Tonfa (Lacquered wood)
Nunchaku (Lacquered wood)

While made of wood, these weapons are strong enough to withstand several beatings before they shatter, having taken several zombies with them. The quarterstaff also has the advantages of being durable, easy to make/find, and it has reach. Remember: if the zombie bites you, it's over.

Club (Not a Tree Branch)
Tree Branch (Not a Club)
Baseball Bat (Wooden)

All of these are not good choices for long-term use (unless your club is made out of a durable material, in which case see Tonfa). Wood splinters, shatters, and then the only way to kill a zombie is to pierce it through the eye socket. Factor in the issue of fear, and you have a recipe for becoming a zombie.

Baseball Bat (Aluminum)

While it will stand up to more beatings than a wooden bat, it will eventually warp to a useless, curvy metal thing. If you take it along, plan on replacing it with something else.

Footman's Flail
Sledge Hammer

Here are two weapons ideally suited for cracking skulls and beating zombie brains. They also require a great deal of strength and skill to wield effectively, and are very, very heavy. Remember: it's hard to fight zombies when you are tired.

Also, a footman's flail is hard to find - you will probably have to make it yourself.

Police Baton / Billy Club

This is the trick question - police weapons are designed to damage muscle tissue without breaking bone (since they are usually made of reinforced plastic ). Unless you are intimately familiar with its use (and know how to use it lethally), shy away from them during an outbreak.

Brass Knuckles

I admire your guts, but cracking skulls within biting reach? You're asking for trouble.

Piercing Weapons

The rule for piercing weapons - if it isn't strong enough to pierce the skull, you will have to aim for the eye socket to kill a zombie.

Board with a Nail(s) in it

Easy to find, easy to use, and will probably work. But eventually, it will get stuck - and you need to get close.

Long Spear

Usually, better for moving zombies than killing them, unless it is intended for genuine battle. A genuine naginata has more reach (and can also slash), but it harder to use in-doors.

Short Sword

If you can find a genuine short sword, it will make an excellent back-up weapon.


Good for fighting zombies with weapons - which there aren't any of. Zombies are non-sentient, and can't effectively use weapons. Sais also have an issue with the internal pressure of the human body, and tend to get stuck fairly easily.


Easy to find, easy to use, not good for killing. While it will decapitate a zombie if used correctly, piercing will be hard.

Broom with Knife on It

The poor man's spear - but more likely to be found/made than a spear or naginata. If you make it incorrectly, one *snap* converts piercing weapon with reach into "zombie hunter on a stick".


Do you fence professionally? If not, ask yourself how this sentence sounds - "Amateur fencer tries to kill zombie with epee."

I thought so.

Other (Explain in comments)


Slashing Weapons

With slashing weapons, the goal is obviously decapitation. This does not solve the problem of the zombie's head still being able to bite you. So keep in mind the idea of zombie heads rolling around, biting at your ankles.

Sabre (Cavalry or otherwise)
Long Sword (All straight swords up to Bastard length)
Katana or Wakizashi

If you can find an authentic model, suitable for combat, you are in like flint. Reach plus decapitation is a Good Thing™.


If you don't have a sword, settle for a good dual-purpose tool. And - you can buy it at Wal-Mart, which seems almost self-defeating.

Wood Axe
Battle Axe

Axes are designed to combine the curring force of an edged weapon with the weight of a bludgeoning one. The main difference for our purposes is that battle axes are harder to get stuck in meat and bone, but almost impossible to buy (see rule on authenticity for swords). They will also make you very tired, very quickly. If you're in shape, a good short-distance weapon.



As for all things designed explicitly to make holes in things, firearms require training to use effectively. If you don't know how to unlatch a safety or clean a gun, you are going to have problems hitting a zombie in the head.

Shotgun (Shot)
Shotgun (Slugs)

These are the canonical zombie killers for one reason - they are really, really easy to find (hunting rifles should also have been included, but I can't edit the polls now). While shot will chew up flesh really well, it diffuses over distance. Slugs are guaranteed to blow a zombie's brain clean away withing range. Congrats - this is the best choice of the guns bigger than an arm.

M16 (If you have a version in mind, explain below)

According to the manual, if you want an assault rifle for zombie hunting, you should go with the AK. Details available upon request.

Revolver (caliber > .22)
Automatic Pistol

These are common guns meant to kill people at close range. That means they work on zombies, fit in a pocket, and ammo is easy to find. Good choice.

.22 Pistol
.22 rimfire rifle

Unless you get really lucky, and the bullet ricochets around in the brain case, you will have accomplished nothing of import except attracting any nearby zombies with the reports, and proving your love for Jodie Foster. It didn't kill Reagan, it's not going to kill a zombie.

Carbine rifle

Smaller than a normal rifle, so range can be limited; however, still a rifle. Ammunition is likely to be easy to find, and it will weigh less. A good choice.

JAR (Secret Service issue sniper rifle)

Good luck getting one, but you know you want it. Effective distance in trained hands, with a clear view, is roughly 1.4 miles.

SMG (Any submachine gun)

Other than chewing through ammo at a heightened rate, fairly inaccurate even in semiauto, and being noisy as hell, an excellent choice. If this meets your criteria, by all mean, go ahead.

Other (explain below)


Not even a compound bow will penetrate bone, except by accident. Rule it out right now.


The full-length model is available at many sporting goods outlets - and is able to puncture a truck door as easily as a zombie skull. Crossbows are also nigh silent - since there is no report, you will not attract any zombies with your shot. Ammunition is the only issue - you may have to make your own

The pistol-sized model is less likely to score a kill, and more difficult to obtain. Why settle?


I thought I should bring up right now, that if you have to hunt zombies underwater, you will need a speargun - accept no substitutes.

Why you would want to hunt zombies where they have every advantage is left as an exercise for the reader.

Heavy Weapons

Grenade launcher
Machine/Chain Gun / SAW

Since these weapons are interrelated, a couple of guidelines:

1. Fire Ambivalent!

Fire is not your friend, and it is not your enemy. There is a reason why zombies on fire are scary - it's because they don't care that they're on fire. Remember - if it doesn't destroy the brain, the zombie will still come at you. Fire should be used under circumstances where you don't care at all about the surrounding infrastructure, or you can control its path.

Flamethrowers are difficult to obtain even for military use - unless you start controlled fires for a living, you will probably have to make your own. And nothing says "Darwin award candidate" more than a gas tank strapped to your back while you flick your Bic in a closed room with zombies on every side.

2. Pieces of Zombies? Still also Bad.

Most of these weapons will leave zombies in little chunks. Without killing the brain, any parts still attached to the brain can (and will) still fight.

On the other hand, they are hella fun. It's up to you, hoss.

Other (Explain below)


None (Explain below)


Any comments made regarding "TBD" (to be determined) entries will be entered upon my return home.

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