Weapon of Choice: Zombie Apocalypse Style
A comment on my Zombieland post from yesterday has had me thinking. In a zombie apocalypse, what would be my weapon, or weapons, of choice? Nearly always, someone asked that question would answer “shotgun” without hesitation. I can understand this, to a degree: a shotgun does horrific damage at close range, capable of ripping through an undead head with deadly efficacy; the action of pumping a shotgun just before a fight just sounds cool; and it’s nearly fetishized in Zombie Culture at this point.
That said, I would never carry one, with two exceptions.
If I’m in an established defensible area, I could see using a shotgun. Barricades would help mitigate the relatively small magazine size and long reload time, and the defensive nature of the situation would mean that its weight and bulk are of less critical importance than during a trek through zombie-infested territory. It would make a very useful tool for any type of guard post where a close encounter is possible. That said, I would prefer tactical shotguns over hunting shotguns, since the longer barrel on a hunting shotgun could face the potential problem of getting grabbed by a too-close walking corpse.
The other exception would a double-barrelled shotgun, sawed-off Mad Max style. Accurate? Nope. Useful in a long battle? With two shots at most, no way. I like it anyway, for a variety of reasons. One, it’s smaller and later and can be carried like a pistol, allowing it to enter a sudden fray quickly. Two, it’s still brutal at close range, like arm’s length. Three, the very fact that it has just 2 shots means that the user knows he can’t stand and fight. He who stands and fights against a zombie horde is just another zombie waiting to be born. With two shots, the urgency and focus is on the proper path: get me the hell away from these things. Plus, if you have just two shots, you’re more likely to make sure they count – like they say all the time on Top Shot, you can’t miss fast enough to win. A big magazine just encourages you to fire blindly and hope for the best. A two-shot capacity makes you calm down and take the right shot, the only one you need.
The last reason may be the most important: a sawed-off shotgun makes you feel like Mad Max. In an apocalypse, attitude and psychological state means a lot. Feeling like the baddest-ass of any apocalypse is always a good thing.
So, if shotguns aren’t my preferred weapon, what is? I’m not going to tell you now. Nope, this topic requires careful thought, and a lot of words, so this will be more of an ongoing series of posts. But I will tell you this: no weapon that I choose will fall into a category that I consider to be the most important thing to avoid, the one category that will hurt you more than help you, and that category is this:
Chew on that, you undead freaks.
Uh, I didn’t mean you, the reader, uh, I meant the zombies I’m theoretically threatening and standing in front of all wide-stanced and bad ass and totally not afraid of, since I’ve got a sawed-off shotgun on my right hip and I look all cool and stuff. Just to clear that up.