Saturday, August 15, 2009

Choosing The Best Realistic Weapons For Close Combat


OK so if you've read 'The Zombie Survival Guide' by Max Brooks, you're thinking 'Shaolin spade' right now. Yeah its the perfect choice, but do you have one? Can you get one within short notice? What weapons do you grab when new of the infestation breaks and you find yourself unprepared?

When choosing a weapon to defend yourself from zombies you have to base your choice on the following:

1. Can it crush a skull?
2. How heavy is it?

3. Is it so close that I can be bitten while trying to defend myself?

4. Is it durable?

These questions will differ in their importance depending on your situation e.g. if you are travelling weight will be a larger factor than if you are defending a building.

One of the first things people tend to pick up to defend themselves is a knife. Unfortunately this means you will have to be considerably close to your attacker to strike a blow, which also means you have a higher chance of being bitten. If a knife is the only weapon you posses then try to choose one with a smooth edge as serrated edges tend to get stuck.
Presuming you are equipped with a household knife, aiming for the temple, or going through the eye if the blade is considerably long, is your best option.

Two of the most common household objects that people tend to choose to defend themselves with are hammers and crowbars. Yes, hammers could potentially crack, and even smash a skull, but hammers usually have a fairly small reach which means you'll have to get very up close and personal. A crowbar is one of the best weapons there is for close combat against zombies. Crowbars are generally durable and weigh enough that, with the right amount of force, they can demolish a skull. Both weapons also have the advantage of usefulness in terms of blockading or entering a building, they both also have the advantage of not being especially shiny, and therefore easier to conceal and use at night.

The majority of homes also include a baseball bat and/or a set of golf clubs. In emergency situations these can be used as weapons, but they are not even nearly suitable to be used long-term. Aluminium bats have a tendency to bend after prolonged usage, much like a golf club will if you hit the shaft off a zombie. A wooden bat can possible splinter, and none of these have enough weight to deliver that killer blow (unless you get an extremely lucky strike with a golf club).

In a lot of countries it is quiet easy for the public to gain access to is a machete and other swords. A machete is not a very good choice in terms of defense against zombies, even though it keeps you far enough away to avoid getting bitten. Decapitating a zombie will be quiet a difficult feat unless you are wielding a two-handed medieval-style sword (which is highly unrecommended because of its weight, which allows for slower movement and swinging). With decapitation ruled out you will not have to smash the skull and destroy the brain; a feat that seems highly unlikely with a machete.

A lot of people romanticise the idea of burning an oncoming horde of the undead with a flamethrower. Considering that zombies generally do not feel pain they will not stop when they catch fire. They will only stop moving when it is no longer physically possible. Please refrain from using a flamethrower against zombies, unless you want you undead pursuers to be flaming as well as hungry.

Using power tools is one of the biggest (and last) mistakes you could ever make. They are loud, and thus attract attention, and they require power which might not always be readily available. In other words; don't even think about it.

Some people may find a slingshot of some type in their home (and they're relatively easy to make. Slingshots are not very good to kill anything really as they don't provide enough force, so I don not recommend using them for anything other that drawing attention away from yourself with a well-placed shot.

Like slingshots a bow is pretty easy to make, but it too lacks the force necessary to kill a zombie. As Max Brooks recommends; it is best to use them to start fires silently at a long distance, and to set distant zombies alight.

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