Melee Weapons Or Firearms?

- - - - - melee weapons survival ammo guns

#1
BringOnTheZPOC

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I've always wondered what type of weapon would be best in the event of a ZA. Obviously, each have their advantages and disadvantages, but what do you guys think, I'd really like to know. Personally, I'd choose Melee Weapons, but I'll write some advantages and disadvantages below. Please, feel free to add anything you think of below, as well as your opinions!

Advantages of Melee Weapons:
No ammo consumption.
Close enough to be sure the Walker is dead.
Silent.
Doesn't drain ammo to train with.
Easier to find.
Easier to maintain.

Disadvantages:
You need to get damn close.
Harder to survive if surrounded.
A herd will cause a significant problem.
A certain amount of strength, training and technique are needed with Melee Weapons.

Advantages of Firearms:
Easy to learn to use.
Deadly.
Can be used from a range.
More Walkers can be killed in a quicker time.
Even a child can work a Firearm efficiently. (Carl for example)

Disadvantages:
Very loud; will attract Walkers.
Requires ammo.
Maybe hard to maintain.
Will have to learn to use effectively.
Chance of jamming.

Let me know what I've missed, and add your opinions!

Bye for now!
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#2
**PHAGE**

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REMEDIES TO SOME FIREARM DISADVANTAGES

You could counter the firearm disadvantage of NOISE with a homemade silencer/suppressor like the one Carl has. This is possible and not completely far-fetched.

Using a revolver instead of a semi-automatic pistol would remove the chance of jams. Although they're more dependable the cylinder movement of a revolver must be kept clear and the timing maintained.

Personally I'd start training with a bow as well, although they're harder to use than a crossbow they don't take so long to reload, they're silent and are used at a distance. Also in an emergency an arrow can be used as a melee weapon à la Legolas/Daryl.

OTHER DISADVANTAGES WITH FIREARMS

Even with fully automatic rifles a herd would be a problem. You have to hit the head; due to the stress of the situation and recoil I think most bullets would miss the target. A herd is almost certain "undeath".

As you said ultimately it's the right weapon for the specific circumstances. Perhaps melee weapons which grant some distance between you and your zombie target would be an all round advantage. Although finding a halberd in the 21st century may prove to be a bit of a challenge!
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#3
Viridiana

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Well, it would be best to have both and use them when needed ;)


Getting close to a zombie could be made less risky by wearing something preventing bites, like those police suits or Milton's tape sleeves.
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#4
DeadCave

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One thing folks may want to consider when looking at a fully automatic weapon... aim low and blow out hip and knee joints in a crowd/herd of walkers/zombies. No, it won't kill them but since their movement is based on the same principle as ours, blowing out necessary joints for movement makes it easier for you (and others) to get away, it also can cause a "pile up" from the ones in front and the ones in the rear having to climb/trip over the fallen ones. You can walk away as opposed to running (saving your breath) if you got a group crawling after you. Likewise incapacitate them further by hitting shoulder joints to prevent their ability to pull themselves along in order to crawl after you.
All of that is in a pinch and a last ditch effort if you're down to a semi or fully automatic weapon. Head-shots with either are notoriously iffy... especially with full auto.

Unless of course your full auto is a .30 or .50 caliber like the one used on the prison during the governor's attack (in the season finale of the 3rd season of the show). Those bullets are designed to blow a human body to pieces ... alive or dead. Oh lord what a mess they would make of a herd.

Melee weapons are going to be the ones of choice anyway after the first year. Finding sufficient ammo in quantity will be tough as it is.
Halberds such as the ones pictured (below)


Are fine weapons but require strength and a great deal of training to use effectively. Same goes for the Japanese Yari or European Glaive (which is a variation of the aforementioned Halberd).




But if you're on a high vantage point, i.e. (a flat and low) rooftop or even a car roof (should you be unfortunate enough to be caught that way) they would at least prolong your inevitable demise... or buy you time until help arrives (if any is available ... and/or willing).
Spears with narrow heads (even those cut from PVC or ABS pipe at an angle) could be used to poke through chain link fences. It'd be messy (with the gore eventually coming out of the opened end).
Bow weapons are good but again require practice and training to be used effectively. I mean seriously, how many people do you know personally really know how to effectively use a bow and arrow type weapon? Personally I know only a few and they are miles away from where I'm at at the moment.


Good topic.
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#5
hannsg

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Both but firearms should be reserve for hostile humans and emergencies IF you run into a herd or need to make a rapid retreat or to
contain breach a gap in a fence line for example

Of course if you can figure out a way to make ammo and slience weapons your laughing.

Pikes/spears with an sword/axe as first seconday and a firearm as letter of last resort and body armour and shields or the way to go fight like the romans
train in formation this should keep you safe from small groups of walkers


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#6
**PHAGE**

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One thing folks may want to consider when looking at a fully automatic weapon... aim low and blow out hip and knee joints in a crowd/herd of walkers/zombies. No, it won't kill them but since their movement is based on the same principle as ours, blowing out necessary joints for movement makes it easier for you (and others) to get away, it also can cause a "pile up" from the ones in front and the ones in the rear having to climb/trip over the fallen ones. You can walk away as opposed to running (saving your breath) if you got a group crawling after you. Likewise incapacitate them further by hitting shoulder joints to prevent their ability to pull themselves along in order to crawl after you.


These are all targeted shots to specific body areas, how would it be any easier to target knees rather than heads ? If forced to engage a zombie herd on even ground using automatic assault rifles I would set them to 3 round bursts and go for the head. Full auto is just a waste of ammo and on top of that you would then have to reload. Time maybe a luxury you don't have, accuracy would be paramount IMO. If you were unlucky enough to happen upon a large herd (200 - 500 strong) you may have a chance with a .50 caliber machine gun. But how practical is it to lug one of these around? However, if used from a fortified nest or from a jeep, terrain permitting..... then it's zombie purée time.
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#7
BigEd

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Unless of course your full auto is a .30 or .50 caliber like the one used on the prison during the governor's attack (in the season finale of the 3rd season of the show). Those bullets are designed to blow a human body to pieces ... alive or dead. Oh lord what a mess they would make of a herd.


A .50 cal round can easily pass through 3-5+ people. I completely agree it would have devastating effects against a herd.

But how practical is it to lug one of these around? However, if used from a fortified nest or from a jeep, terrain permitting..... then it's zombie purée time.


Practical on foot - no. But if you had to: Minimum of a squad of six men. Gunner, A-gunner, x2 ammo bearers, x2 man security.
Picture of my faux .50 cal next to my demilled 1919a4.
http://i70.photobuck...2hb_30cal_1.jpg
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#8
hannsg

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Everything depends on the situation
and the mission and walker threat
This will define weapons and armour load and type an tactics deployed

Human group numbers
Human other groups threat level?
Whats the mission(supply run, clear and hold)
Size of herd or excepted herds)
Expected density of walkers
ammo available
Terrains open filed or ruined city


I could see new ways of fighting being developed if ammo is short supply
like the romans formations above or other tactis can be guessed by looking at medieval/renassicane warfare

For example the tactic of pike and shot could be used in open areas for clear and hold or search and destroy missions
The infantry formations of the period were a mix of pikemen and shot
http://en.wikipedia....i/Pike_and_shot

A line of pikeman adavence at the front
with gunmen/bowmen and swords(or dagger or axe) men watching flanks and rear.
If a pikeline gets in trouble or runs into a large group of walkers a
volley of shots will save the day.

some visual examples


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#9
hannsg

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i think In max brooks WWZ
He talked about some ratio i can't remember what
Zombie kill : expense of production or somthing
HE point out that its all about Zombie to gunpower ratio or expense

For example to compare an armalite with an M109 artillery piece

a trained "headshot" rifleman with an M-16 and 5.56 mm rifle bullet is one of the most efficient way to kill zeds
30 5.56 rounds far chance of 30 dead zeds

An Artillery shell and all the maintenance training of a battery is a very inefficient way to kill zombies
compared to the rifle and 5.56mm if you catch my drift
So in WWZ they stopped production of thing like 105,m artillery and 5.56mm becmae main production
Max brooks put it better

0.50 cal is somewhere in between is an inefficient compared to rifles and shotguns
wasting a lot of energy powder large crew each shot
The training the production of rounds and the weight of weapon
Pound for pound six riflemen with an equalivent weight of 5.56 mm fro the 12.7mm would be far superior
at zed killing than a six man .50 cal crew in terms of powder to zed dead ratio

might be handy against human bandits enemnies more than zeds i.e stopping they vehicles or outranging or intimating them.

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#10
**PHAGE**

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Practical on foot - no. But if you had to: Minimum of a squad of six men. Gunner, A-gunner, x2 ammo bearers, x2 man security.
Picture of my faux .50 cal next to my demilled 1919a4.
http://i70.photobuck...2hb_30cal_1.jpg


There's quite a difference in size between those guns. I'd imagine it's the same situation with the weight ?
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#11
hannsg

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5.56 mm 4g
12.7mm(.50 cal) 42g

42/4 = 10.5

600 rds of 5.56 ~= 57 rds of 12.7mm

So You could have 6 riflemen Ar-15 and 600 hundred rounds of 5.56 for or 57 rounds of 12.7mm manned by a six man crew or two man if its in defensive.

I think 5.56mm wins out IMO
Also I believe in the Max brooks survival guide there is s section
discussing the superiority of single aimed shots of rifle fire over Machines guns and sub-machine guns

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#12
**PHAGE**

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I think 5.56mm wins out IMO
Also I believe in the Max brooks survival guide there is s section
discussing the superiority of single aimed shots of rifle fire over Machines guns and sub-machine guns


If it were 6 survivors who were great shots then the single round scenario may prove to be the best option. There's so many variables. If the herd was close knit and not spread out then a .50 cal could possibly just mow them down. Zombies would tend to converge on your position and therefore form a tight pack allowing you to dispatch multiple enemies with one shot from a .50 cal.

I'm assuming that they're approaching from one direction and there's no possibility of being flanked. I think positioning with a .50 cal would be important. The assault rifle approach would offer more speed and maneuverability.
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#13
BigEd

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There's quite a difference in size between those guns. I'd imagine it's the same situation with the weight ?


The M3 tripod, Pintle and T&E weighs 50 lbs. The gun itself weight 84 lbs.
It is difficult for one to comprehend the absolute devastating firepower of .50 cal until you fired one at range, vehicle, or building.

0.50 cal is somewhere in between is an inefficient compared to rifles and shotguns
wasting a lot of energy powder large crew each shot


I disagree. It really depends on the scenario.
Against a crowd or Bottleneck a herd down a hallway or alleyway you can get 3+ kills per shot.
Firing a single .50 round at head level, would yield 8+ kills. The bone from an exploding skull would also become shrapnel.
00 Buckshot contains 9 pellets. Odds are you would have a good chance at 5+ kills per shot down a hallway.
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#14
backwoodsroamer

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The M3 tripod, Pintle and T&E weighs 50 lbs. The gun itself weight 84 lbs.
It is difficult for one to comprehend the absolute devastating firepower of .50 cal until you fired one at range, vehicle, or building.



I disagree. It really depends on the scenario.
Against a crowd or Bottleneck a herd down a hallway or alleyway you can get 3+ kills per shot.
Firing a single .50 round at head level, would yield 8+ kills. The bone from an exploding skull would also become shrapnel.
00 Buckshot contains 9 pellets. Odds are you would have a good chance at 5+ kills per shot down a hallway.


I always thought it rather unrealistic the way the series, zombie movies, and zombie books shrug off the sheer meat grinder effect HMGs, 25mm chain guns, 40mm belt fed grenade launchers, and such would have on human bodies. That's not even counting air burst artillery and aircraft launched munitions.
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#15
DwarfToss

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For herds, two trucks 30 yards apart with piano wire string between at 5 ft off the ground.
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#16
**PHAGE**

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For herds, two trucks 30 yards apart with piano wire string between at 5 ft off the ground.


Great idea in theory. Keeping two vehicles at roughly the same speed to avoid snapping the piano wire may prove a bit of a challenge though? However, practice makes perfect. You could have a stronger cables behind the piano wire holding the trucks together? Heads will roll....
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#17
Sweetsister

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One thing folks may want to consider when looking at a fully automatic weapon... aim low and blow out hip and knee joints in a crowd/herd of walkers/zombies. No, it won't kill them but since their movement is based on the same principle as ours, blowing out necessary joints for movement makes it easier for you (and others) to get away, it also can cause a "pile up" from the ones in front and the ones in the rear having to climb/trip over the fallen ones. You can walk away as opposed to running (saving your breath) if you got a group crawling after you. Likewise incapacitate them further by hitting shoulder joints to prevent their ability to pull themselves along in order to crawl after you.
All of that is in a pinch and a last ditch effort if you're down to a semi or fully automatic weapon. Head-shots with either are notoriously iffy... especially with full auto.

Unless of course your full auto is a .30 or .50 caliber like the one used on the prison during the governor's attack (in the season finale of the 3rd season of the show). Those bullets are designed to blow a human body to pieces ... alive or dead. Oh lord what a mess they would make of a herd.

Melee weapons are going to be the ones of choice anyway after the first year. Finding sufficient ammo in quantity will be tough as it is.
Halberds such as the ones pictured (below)


Are fine weapons but require strength and a great deal of training to use effectively. Same goes for the Japanese Yari or European Glaive (which is a variation of the aforementioned Halberd).




But if you're on a high vantage point, i.e. (a flat and low) rooftop or even a car roof (should you be unfortunate enough to be caught that way) they would at least prolong your inevitable demise... or buy you time until help arrives (if any is available ... and/or willing).
Spears with narrow heads (even those cut from PVC or ABS pipe at an angle) could be used to poke through chain link fences. It'd be messy (with the gore eventually coming out of the opened end).
Bow weapons are good but again require practice and training to be used effectively. I mean seriously, how many people do you know personally really know how to effectively use a bow and arrow type weapon? Personally I know only a few and they are miles away from where I'm at at the moment.


Good topic.


Kinda look like larger version of some fireplace tools I've seen. Also I watched a documentary on steam powered vehicles the other day and the "stokers" used something similar in shape and size to the "halberd" to move the coal in the huge furnaces, almost like the "halberd" was adapted as the centuries wore on to suite different purposes.
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#18
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almost like the "halberd" was adapted as the centuries wore on to suite different purposes.


Modern equivalent to a halberd/spear would/could be the cold steel bushman or bowie. Which can be affixed to a staff.


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#19
hannsg

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If it were 6 survivors who were great shots then the single round scenario may prove to be the best option. There's so many variables. If the herd was close knit and not spread out then a .50 cal could possibly just mow them down. Zombies would tend to converge on your position and therefore form a tight pack allowing you to dispatch multiple enemies with one shot from a .50 cal.

I'm assuming that they're approaching from one direction and there's no possibility of being flanked. I think positioning with a .50 cal would be important. The assault rifle approach would offer more speed and maneuverability.




I disagree. It really depends on the scenario.
Against a crowd or Bottleneck a herd down a hallway or alleyway you can get 3+ kills per shot.
Firing a single .50 round at head level, would yield 8+ kills. The bone from an exploding skull would also become shrapnel.
00 Buckshot contains 9 pellets. Odds are you would have a good chance at 5+ kills per shot down a hallway.


There is certain narrow window of tactical situations where 12.7mm HMg might be superior to 5.56mm rifle fire

In terms of flexibility and bang for buck its clear that 10 rifle rounds is far superior to one HMG round
The HMG would have to be sighted at exact head level of herd to get maximum number of kills
All walkers are not going to be same height
Any angle and your just being inefficient in terms of what could have been achieved with same volume of rifle powder.

The level of maintenance, crew training, jam potential, finding and potential making more ammo its just better all around to go the rifle route in my opinion.

If i was in the ZA I would not be picking up MGs if i was on the move
The only advantage I can see with them be against any hostile humans or perhaps a situation where you need to detroy a large number of walkers very quickly.



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#20
hannsg

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I always thought it rather unrealistic the way the series, zombie movies, and zombie books shrug off the sheer meat grinder effect HMGs, 25mm chain guns, 40mm belt fed grenade launchers, and such would have on human bodies. That's not even counting air burst artillery and aircraft launched munitions.


That true
if you are referring to WWZ (MB)
the battle of Yonkers is nonsense IMO even a single rifle platoon or IFV could carry enough Ammo to destroy ten thousand walkers
there no way a herd could overrun a military unit of large size deployed in field for combat

That said MB s correct in both WWZ and his survivial guide book that rifle fire(5.56) is by far the best weapon and most efficient and effective weapon fro dealing with them in terms of weight for weight bang for buck.

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#21
hannsg

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What about slingshots I think in Max brooks survival guide he dismisses them as not lethal enough
I don't have a lot of experience with them.
I am aware in ancient warfare slings where used a great deal far more than historians and films give them credit as
they not sexy and a poor mans weapons

The huge advantage is they plenty of ammo available I sure they are designs and models and ammo types that could be very useful in the ZA, might be handy in a defensive situation where you have a elevated position


Recruits are to be taught the art of throwing stones both with the hand and sling. The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands are said to have been the inventors of slings, and to have managed them with surprising dexterity, owing to the manner of bringing up their children. The children were not allowed to have their food by their mothers till they had first struck it with their sling. Soldiers, notwithstanding their defensive armour, are often more annoyed by the round stones from the sling than by all the arrows of the enemy. Stones kill without mangling the body, and the contusion is mortal without loss of blood. It is universally known the ancients employed slingers in all their engagements. There is the greater reason for instructing all troops, without exception, in this exercise, as the sling cannot be reckoned any encumbrance, and often is of the greatest service, especially when they are obliged to engage in stony places, to defend a mountain or an eminence, or to repulse an enemy at the attack of a castle or city
http://en.wikipedia..../Sling_(weapon)


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#22
BigEd

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If i was in the ZA I would not be picking up MGs if i was on the move
The only advantage I can see with them be against any hostile humans or perhaps a situation where you need to detroy a large number of walkers very quickly.


^^^ That was my point. Be flexible: .50 vs herd/hoard = Turkey shoot
Even at waist high, the rounds are going to sail through multiple targets severing appendages and spinal cords immobilizing targets.

What about slingshots I think in Max brooks survival guide he dismisses them as not lethal enough
I don't have a lot of experience with them.


Google Jorge Sprave on youtube. (Posted this video in "The Best HTH weapon thread")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZypZVxpyMM&feature=player_embedded

You can contact Jorge directly on the zombiesquad forums.


Commonly overlooked is the lowly .22LR. Quieter than the majority of rifle rounds, and a 1000 rounds weighs a little over 8 lbs.
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#23
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That slingshot with the knives, taser and pepper spray is... I don't even know!
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#24
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That true
if you are referring to WWZ (MB)
the battle of Yonkers is nonsense IMO even a single rifle platoon or IFV could carry enough Ammo to destroy ten thousand walkers
there no way a herd could overrun a military unit of large size deployed in field for combat

That said MB s correct in both WWZ and his survivial guide book that rifle fire(5.56) is by far the best weapon and most efficient and effective weapon fro dealing with them in terms of weight for weight bang for buck.


The battle of Yonkers in WWZ went about as I would expect it to go. Riflemen are not trained to shoot for the head we are trained for center of mass shooting. A single platoon if carrying 10 full mags each in a platoon of 40 pers carry 12,000 rounds of ammunition (note this does not include linked belts of ammunition).. The likelyhood of a platoon shooting an average of 83% of the total shots as headshots (for 10,000 kills as tated above) just isnt possible. As I said riflemen are not trained to shoot headshots we are trained to shoot for the center of mass. You also have to realize that at the point of the battle on Yonkers in WWZ the soliders were not yet trained to shoot for the head or accustomed to hitting targets multiple times in the chest and having them still continue to advance.

I personally like the .22lr or the .223/5.56mm for a zombie killing tool. The rounds have adequate power to penetrate the skull at accurate distances without being extremely heavy or bulky.
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#25
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Hannsg I do like the Roman unit that you posted above. The things that I think I would change from that formation above is that the men holding the shields above their heads to prevent arrows from raining down would be set to the side to protect the flank while having a group of 5-10 in the middle of the now hollow square of the group armed with firearms. You could have the soliders in front kneel behind their shields and brace them while the riflemen behind started to shoot the walkers. When the walkers begin to advance within 20 feet the front ranks stand and move back 300 meters and sets up again allowing time for the shooters to reload mags anything else needed before they began firing again.

Depending upon avaliable resources you could have a second rank reloading mags for the shooters while the front rank holds against any walkers approaching to close and then at the next stop allow the ranks to switch having the loaders take up the front bracing while the front rank reloads and rests. Depending upon ammunition supply you could keep this technique going for several hours.
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