Now don’t get me wrong, I really like guns. They’re fun to shoot and work very well against people. But I doubt their use in a zombie apocalypse. Let me explain.
The first issue with guns, is that they’re high maintenance. You need cleaning rods, brushes, cloth, oil and… A quite place to take the gun apart and clean it. Now in a zombie infested world, I imagine nothing more annoying that having your AR-15 in pieces on a table when you see a herd approaching. In my army days we speed cleaned our guns in the field. That basically meant opening the upper receiver, spraying a shitload of oil in it, closing it and smashing the charging handle a few times.
The only reason this worked, was because we’d be home in two weeks. Where we’d have several sessions of hours long gun maintenance. Now in a zombie apocalypse, this will only work if you find permanent shelter within the first few weeks. Otherwise you just cannot afford the risk of taking your guns apart. And to get ahead of the comments… AK’s need maintenance too. They might take more abuse than most guns, but they actually misfire a lot more than you might think.
My next point is sound. Now for people that never shot a gun before, there’s a very good reason people wear ear protection on a range. I had my ear protection fall off during a live firing exercise. I had a beep in my ears for three weeks and lost a part of my hearing ability. The point I’m making here, is that you will hear a gunshot from miles away. To set an example, let’s say two miles. We’ll use a scenario. The world is turning to shit, you get to your house, gather supplies and head out. You come across a zombie and shoot it in the head. Now grab a map and draw a two mile circle around your current position. Now imagine all zombies in that area turning their heads and shambling for that sound source…
Most guns aren’t that reliable. Especially those made for the civilian market, are just not the same as those meant for armed forces. They can take less rounds before over heating, they’re not the same quality and that leads to failures. Not to mention the fact that a lot of people are too lazy to properly maintain their guns. They shoot and think “I’ll clean it later”, or they just clean it once after firing. This all makes the guns less reliable and more likely to misfire when you need them most.
This is something you will run out of. Supplies are already limited now, imagine what would happen on the first day of the outbreak. Gun stores will be raided and overrun, plucked cleaner that a Christmas turkey and nothing will be left. The government will secure their bases, but if they get overrun, it’s going to be near impossible to secure something as big as an army base. Especially because it was just overrun, so the army didn’t keep it safe, let alone you and half a shotgun could clear it. Now you have an improperly maintained gun, with no ammunition. The only thing that would be a useful addition, is a bayonet. But most civilian guns don’t have mounting pins for those.
So, should you have a gun?
Yes, defiantly. But make it a handgun, best a revolver. Put it in a hostler on your belt, so you can access it at any given time. A revolver requires very little maintenance, it can be loaded at all times. This because there is no spring-magazine that’s under pressure. It also has minimal moving parts and any member of your group should be able to operate it.
It should be used for three purposes only. The first one is playing poker against humans. When encountering other, not so friendly survivors, having a gun to threaten or show off, might get them to leave. You might even use it to shoot them. Second reason, is as a last resort. When you’re really trapped and have to shoot your way out, by all means, do so. The last reason you need a revolver, is to take your own life, or that of someone who’s infected. You can have them shoot you, or you shoot them. This ensures a painless death and draws zombies to the corpse so you can get away. Another added bonus is that when trapped with no way out, you won’t have to throw yourself at the zombies, but you can go on your own terms.
What would work in an apocalypse?
If you’re going to be traveling, pack light. Have no more that a 30 liter back pack. Strap on a good leather belt with that holster, wear a leather jacket, comfy jeans, proper boots and gloves. Get a backpack with a water pouch in it.
For weapons, carry a small hunting bow and a bunch of arrows in a bag attached to your backpack. Don’t get a crossbow. They’re harder to load, break easier, take up more room and are harder to repair. Make sure you have a multi-tool, hunting knife and some sort of battle ax with a spike on it.
That should keep you light enough and movable. Remember, you need to run with this, climb, jump and fight. In the army we carried so much shit around, we needed two people to hoist the backpack on our backs. Apart from kneeling and shooting, we we’re just as immobile as those zombies! So back on the guns.. Carrying an RPG, AR-15, 2 sidearms and a .50 cal sniper isn’t very practical…