Evil Princess and I just got home from a long trip in time to catch the latest episode of “The Walking Dead.”  If I was to take this test question …


“’The Walking Dead’ is:

“A: A television fantasy.

“B: A documentary.

“C: A training film.”


…My answer would still be “A.”


But it’s always fun to look at it as “C.”  If a plague of zombies overtook society, what would we arm ourselves with?  I can tell you that the Darrel character, who tackles it for the most part with a crossbow, is a better man than me.  Something like a Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle would have been my first thought: if you need brain shots to do the job anyway, the .22 seems logical: you can get reliable 25 to 50 round magazines for it and still have something light and handy for constant carry, and LOTS of those teeny little cartridges on your person.  But then you start thinking about how often .22 Long Rifle rounds have been known to ricochet off human skulls that haven’t been rotted soft, and the .22’s well known impotence against living bad guys…

We had several handguns with us in the vehicle, and because we had just shot a Glock match that finished up our two-class tour, a good bit left of the thousand-plus 9mm rounds and assorted .45 ACP, 10mm, and .380 ammo we’d started out with.  Would have been a good start.

But, just for the hell of it, if “Walking Dead” became “B: A documentary,” what would YOU arm yourself with?


  1. Here is where I think guns like the P90, (in semi-auto) would really shine if not for the scarcity of ammunition. You really couldn’t beat the utility of a Ruger 10/22 with a solar powered optic and back-up iron sights. BX-25 mags taped together would be easy to handle and a backup duty pistol like a zev’ed out Glock would be just fine. Of course I’d keep an AR 15 in the vehicle to ward off possible assaults by the non-zombies….

  2. As a supplemental weapon, the good old-fashioned “Molotov Cocktail” could be put to use. It might especially prove useful for nighttime engagements if a night-vision optic is not available. Consider the following theoretical case:

    1) You are attacked at night by a group of zombies.
    2) Your night vision is not-available (batteries dead).
    3) You switch to your backup iron sights on your suppressed 9mm carbine and reach for a supply of Molotov Cocktails that you have previously prepared.
    4) You ignite the zombies with the cocktails.
    5) Using the illumination from the resulting fires, you quickly target the pelvic zones of the zombies with multiple quick shots from the carbine. A 147 gr. 9mm JHP is capable of breaking the pelvis if placed right. The pelvis is a larger, easier target than trying for head-shots under these conditions.
    6) Breaking the pelvic bones turns the zombies from “Walkers” to “Crawlers”.
    7) Once the zombies are largely immobilized, you reload your carbine and carefully finish off each zombie with a well-placed head shot.
    8) At this point, I would suggest relocating to a secondary secure location in the event that more zombies are on the way having been attracted by the noise of the engagement.

    So, under certain circumstances, Molotov Cocktails could also prove to be useful, secondary weapons.

  3. Guns are for men, swords are for walkers.

    I would arm up “in layers”. Walkers are merely an obstacle and occasional hazard for people who survive longer than six months. Humans are the real threat. Armor, or at least protection that will stop scratches and bites, should be standard. Leather or linen reinforced with painted, steel washers is sufficent. Maille is great, but makes more noise, is harder to work with and requires constant maintenance. However, you can get full coverage with it. Some combination of leather, linen and maille would likely work. Throw a plate carrier with ceramic plates when required.

    There is much to be said for full or partial harness (known as “plate mail” in Hollywood). Your entire body is a weapon. Punches from an armored fist are very damaging. Many people think harness results in clumsy movements. Properly fitted harness permits 99% of all movement–rolls, climbing, pushups, etc. The problem is maintenance and gearing up.

    Firearms are for humans. Use the usual weapons. Work as a group and raid a National Gurad Armory early. Get mortars, explosives, and standardized weapons. Learn to use them since many of TWD situations could have been solved with indirect fire 😉

    Walker weapons can be something as simple as a tomahawk with ax and spiike or ax and hammer. A flanged mace is good too. I would likely choose a spear with cap. A properly setup spear will have a blade long enough to cut with (great for removing outstretched arms) and the pointed cap on the other end needs no sharpening. The haft itself is a weapon and is extremely dangerous–it causes more head and bone trauma than people think.

    For me, my primary weapon after the spear is the Iberian Montante. It is commonly known as a “two handed sword”. Unlike the “Claymore” of Highlander, two handed swords are fast, ridiculously powerful and absolutely terrifying when one knows it will plow through any proper body structure parry. A well trained wielder can control and thirty foot area with one while still able to fight with one in enclosed spaces: only one or two feet are needed on either side and maybe a foot above is required for “alley fighting”. Historical sources mention this explcitely and provide techniques.

    Never discount an 18th century small sword. It is a good stabber. War rapiers had heavier blades and were good for cutting contrary to anything shown in The Three Musketeers. A lighter rapier will also cut. Even a Type XIV single handed sword would work well whole giving the user longer reach than a standard katana or European Longsword. One of my favorites is the Dussack, which is a cheap short sword with long single edge and a short sharp edge on the spine at the tip. Any single handed weapon would make short work of a walker when combined with a properly balanced buckler.

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