Friday, November 03, 2006

The Handgun in the ZO scenario

In our continuing look at the necessary tools for use in a ZOS (Zombie Outbreak Scenario), we've come to the handgun as a defensive tool in use against the MUD. In this area, Clint Smith is correct: a handgun is to fight your way to a rifle. However, if you're coming late to the party, unprepared and unaware without a long gun, you get to be the ZDU; Zombie Distraction Unit. While you're being devoured, your friends are either making "killing" shots with rifles or moving to a defensible position. You are part of the great unwashed cannon fodder. Since you don't want that to happen, read on and learn what you can do to defend yourself.

The factors involved in the use of the handgun versus the MUD are
  • speed is fine, accuracy is final (thanks to Larry Vickers for the use of that sage advice)
  • MUD's congregate towards each other. High capacity is paramount
  • this is not the scenario for your Hi Point, Jennings, Bryco or American Derringer
  • caliber matters
So you can shoot fast. Big deal; lots of the MUD could do that before they were bitten and turned into evil, ugly critters. Get used to this idea if you have to depend on the handgun to defend yourself: if you can't hit the brain box of your target, you might as well put the muzzle to your own head. Chances are you'd miss, though, because you were trying to shoot too fast to make a solid hit, and now you're a buffet for the undead. As we know from the training film SOTD, to stop a zombie, you must destroy the brain or remove the head. Regardless of what you've seen in the movies and heard in deh gangsta rap songs, handguns don't blow heads off. When you get right down to it, only explosives do that with certainty.

High capacity is crucial in the ZOS, because there will be a lot of them in a very short time. It doesn't take long to turn a victim regardless of which version of the story you subscribe to, and the MUD's can turn several victims in an hour. The chances of having to deal with only one zombie at a time are pretty remote. Scientists haven't determined with conclusivity what causes MUD's to cluster. Perhaps its a deep memory, such as the idea that "Poor people tend to cluster", as posited by the urban freestyle philosopher Eric Cartman. At any rate, high capacity is a necessity, and that will affect your choice of weapons. Bottom line: there's no such thing as too many rounds. Did you (assuming you're outside of California and Noo Yawk) think those 30 round magazines for the Glock 9mm pistols were silly? Do you think that right now? I didn't think so. Let's revise the first point: accuracy as many times as possible without reloading is final.

The third point should need no explanation. If you're not betting your life on a top of the line weapon, you deserve hands in your guts and teeth on your skull. Invest in a serious tool. There are many guns that I like, but 100% reliability is crucial. Some of you are going to hate to hear this, but Gaston Glock's product rules the roost. You don't like the way they look. They're not as large and angular as the Berettas and Smith and Wessons you've seen in the training films. All of that is ancilliary: Glocks always work. Get one, or at least something comparable, like a Springfield XD or an HK USP or P2000, or something else that doesn't rust. That means your Kimber II goes out the window. Besides, it doesn't hold enough rounds.

Here we go again: destroy the brain or remove the head. Memorize this. DTB, RTH. Simple to remember, and as true as America, mom and apple pie (can't include baseball; it sucks). Handguns don't do that. Here's another truth for you, while we're dispensing with the knowledge: handgun bullets poke holes. Rifle bullets tear stuff up. That being said, a zombie isn't a bear, elephant or heffalump. What we're up against is a former human, in a state of decomposition. The problem is, its a torpid putrefaction (slow as a herd of turtles in molasses crossing the road in a blizzard). That's why bunkering and outwaiting is a far more difficult proposition than it would appear at first blush.

Still, rotting will be happening, and zombie flesh will become easier to violate with projectiles as time passes. Whereas a very large caliber round would have been required if that were not the case, smaller, very fast rounds will work. The experts will agree that a compromise round like the .40 Short and Wide, going very fast, will do damage enough to incapacitate an MUD at close range. The 9mm, placed properly with a high quality projectile, will get the job done in a pinch, and you can fit a heck of a lot of them in a magazine. Here are the keys to choosing the round for you:
  • capacity is key. This is why relying on your .460 S&W will eventually get you killed (temporarily, at least, before you reanimate) if that's all you have.
  • hollow points with explosive expansion are your friend to blast as wide a channel as possible. You can quote Wyatt Earp from Tombstone to the Zombie Leader if you're feeling cocky "Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I turn your head into a canoe". It won't help, but you can count it as your last act of defiance, assuming you're confronted by a ZL with a fire team with him.
  • Look for velocity. It can't hurt.
  • Big, as in "caliber beginning with .4" doesn't hurt.
  • If you rely on a revolver, we thank you for slowing the zombies down so we can get away and/or fortify our position.
Of course there's more, but get to thinkin' about this before I drop another bomb in your brain and give you information overload. More info on different weapons to follow.


Josh said...

I tend to agree with most of it. However, studies have conclusively proven that the bigger=better argument goes out the window with MUD shootin'. For example, one of the factors that is used to determine a rounds "stopping power" in common parlance is it's penetration in a known medium, ie ballistics gelatin, water, whatever. This bears in mind a center mass hit, not a CNS shot. Yeah, a .45 will knock down better than a 7.62x25 when delivered to the sternum, but when it comes to splittin' undead wigs, all you need to do is get thru a couple millimeters of rotting skull before you hit pay dirt.

Really, were it up to me, I'd still stick with a .45, just because it IS my personal preference, but for capacity and skull penetration inside of handgun ranges, I think a Ruger 10/22, chopped down, with a 50rd banana clip filled with Velocitors is just about the best you can get.

In a wheelbarrow. Maybe pintel mounted...

:D Had you going, huh?

Haji said...

The key is "removing the head or destroying the brain." Destroying the brain has yet to be conclusively defined, outside of the MO shot (medulla oblongata, AKA the MOney shot) which stops brain activity almost immediately.

Penetrating bone is still the main factor. More to follow.