Archive for the ‘Weapon of the Week’ Category

Weapon of the Week: Fragmentation Hand Grenade

Right off the bat, I just don’t feel right about this one as an effective weapon against the undead.  We all know that Zombie Rule #1 is to aim for the head since the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy its brain.  A grenade is meant to kill and/or maim through the use of high velocity shrapnel/fragmentation projections.  Since a person is mostly body, statistically, those fragments are more likely to hit the torso, legs, and arms than they are the head.

That doesn’t mean a grenade can’t be useful.  If you’re surrounded by a horde or need to clear a path through one and have a few grenades on hand they may just be the thing you need.  However, since a grenade’s stopping power has everything to do with an explosive spray of dangerous debris you have to exercise caution when using one.  Unlike a fired bullet, a grenade’s shrapnel explodes in all directions so you better be sure that your throwing arm is in good enough condition to lob it far enough away from you and any friendly’s.

Redefining the saying "You throw like a girl"

If anyone’s ever told you “You throw like a girl” punch them in the gut for being an ignorant asshole and then take a close look at your skills as a pitcher.  It’s probably best that for now you don’t appoint yourself as the teams grenadier.  The M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade (which is what the US Military currently uses) has a 5 meter (17 ft) killing radius and a 15 meter (50 ft) effective casualty-producing radius with fragmentation having a possibility of reaching up to 230 meters.  The average US soldier can throw the M67 grenade 35 meters (115.5 ft).

The M67 weighs 14oz (or just under 1lb) so my advice to anyone who wants to test themselves is to buy a 1lb ball and practice throwing it.  You can find them easy peasy online by just googling “1lb ball” and you’ll come up with a few different options to choose from like this: http://amzn.com/B000EMU3CY.  Just make sure that whichever one you choose, it’s the appropriate size as some of those balls are a lot bigger than they look in their initial pictures.

To think that zombies are going to be your only enemy during the Zpoc is naive.  There are bad people out there.  When society crumbles it will bring out the best and worst of us.  Get it in your head now that you will have to deal with the worst of mankind.  During an event like the zombie apocalypse we’ll be faced with having to fight off monsters of the living and the dead variety.  Grenades will be an effective tool against the living monsters out there.

They’re light, portable, and highly effective killing tools against living flesh.  But, unless you’re crazy stupid cool enough to have an NFA Destructive Device permit you won’t be able to stockpile a single one of these.  So, the only way your getting your grubby little fingers on these is if, after the Zpoc has started, you happen upon a deserted military post.

 

So how does it rate?

  • Ease of use = 9
  • Accuracy = 3
  • Size & Weight = 10
  • Reliability = 8
  • Fire Power =  8

Overall Score: 7.6

An excellent resource for more info on use, types, care, and deployment of grenades can be found here: http://www.umass.edu/armyrotc/Training/grenades.pdf

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Weapon of the Week: 1911 Pistol

She’s lean, she’s mean, she’s over a 100 years old.  The fact that this pistol was first made in the early 1900’s speaks volumes to its design that it’s still a top seller today.  I know many of my firearm aficionados out there own one (at least) and most will swear by them.

It was designed by the legendary gunsmith John M Browning for Colt’s Manufacturing Company to fill the need for a self loading semi-automatic pistol.  It was officially adopted by US Army on March 29, 1911 as it’s standard issue side arm and from that point on was called the M1911.  Initially manufactured only by Colt, with each war we fought, demand branched production out, until the 1911 was a model that almost every gun manufacturer produced.  It was the main sidearm of the US Armed forces for 70+ years and is still used by some branches and special forces today.  She’s also used by some Federal branches, state, and local law enforcement, and by some foreign military’s.

It’s a favorite gun of competition shooters and can be customized to an individual shooters liking.  D, my firearms expert, has been building his custom 1911, adding a little bit here and there, for the past year now and I got to say, she’s a sexy little bitch and a ton of fun to shoot.  In fact, an entire manufacturing industry blew up around custom 1911 parts, pieces, and bling.  Google image search “custom 1911” and prepare to drool.

The .45 caliber pistol has a standard 7 round magazine but you can purchase 8 round after-market mags, so at best you’re going to have 9 rounds (if you keep one in the chamber) to defend yourself with before you have to reload.  She’s a big girl too.  A fully loaded (with 1 ready to go) is gonna weigh around 2.5lbs, with each additional 8 round magazine weighing in at 1/4lb. Her length is 8.25in so there’s no slipping her in a pocket and calling it a day; where ever she is on your body, you’re going to know it.

She’s a bit more trouble to take apart for cleaning than most pistols and a common complaint is that the 1911 is “too safe”.  Why?  It has two safeties; a beavertail or grip safety (which is built into the handle of the gun and must be depressed in order for the gun to fire) and a manual safety switch.  While I understand the complaint, for me personally I like this feature.  I’m not an expert with guns and most everyday people are not, so the more safety features a gun has the more comfortable I am around it.  And, if you’re going to purchase a gun for personal protection, GET FUCKING COMFORTABLE WITH IT!  Make sure you know how to disengage the safeties so if you have to use it, you’re not fumbling around trying to figure it out.

The price on these guns varies widely depending on what you want out of her.  You can get cheap, simple models for around $400 and super crazy cool ones for well over $1000.  Then again, you can always buy a cheap model and turn her into your own crazy cool one over time when funds permit.

Overall, she’s rugged and reliable; if she wasn’t, then the US Military wouldn’t have bothered with her for all this time, marksmen wouldn’t sink thousands of dollars into customizing their own, and every firearm manufacturer in existence wouldn’t produce her.  She’s stood the test of time and proved herself worthy and capable of protecting our asses.

So, how does the 1911 rate?

  • Ease of use = 7
  • Accuracy = 9
  • Size & Weight = 6
  • Reliability = 8
  • Ammo Availability = 8.5
  • Fire Power =  6
  • Cost (for pre-apocalypse procurement) = 5

Overall Score: 7

Weapon of the Week: Chainsaw

Right off the bat I’m going to say no.

NO.  NO.  NO. NO. NO.

Don’t even consider it.

Sure they look cool, and what girl doesn’t dream about brandishing a shiny pink Hello Kitty (yes they exist) chainsaw and lopping off some undead heads while guys look on in awe?  No?  Just me?

The fact of the matter is don’t waste your money, time, and strength with one of these unless you need to cut down a tree or have some major renovating to do.

Yes, you’ll look like a total badass as you swing one of these beasts around but it’ll only last, for like, 2 minutes tops, before the handle gets slippery with blood, your arms get tired, the thing slips, and slices into your leg and you go down while a mob of nasty corpses start nomming on your fleshy bits.

I tried to find a pic of a cute guy with a chainsaw but Google Image Search was being a dick.

The thing is, chainsaws are heavy.  The lightweight ones still weigh around 10lbs and frankly those are crap and probably wouldn’t hold up too well in the long run of things during a Zpoc.  They also require fuel to run, so not only do you have to lug the thing around you also have to make sure you have fuel for it and carry extra of that.  Lastly, their freakin loud!  We all know that zombies are attracted to sound and if you have to kill one you better do it quietly or else others are likely to find you.

Now, if you’re trapped in a gardening shed, surrounded by zombies, and you’re outta ammo and you just happen to find a working chainsaw, then fine, let the bugger rip!  Slice through as many bastards as you can and then drop the heavy metal, grab your empty gun, and hightail it out of there!

For the price of a chainsaw you might as well just buy yourself a used rifle and machete and call it a day.  The only thing these are good for, other than some serious hardcore landscaping, is flair.  That’s right, FLAIR.  Which means, you’ll only look cool, you won’t actually be cool.

The only person cool enough to wield one of these is Bruce Campbell and let’s be honest, neither you or I are as cool as Bruce.

If you don't know who this then you have a lot to learn about life

So how does it rate?

  • Ease of Use = 5
  • Size & Weight = 1
  • Durability = 5
  • Availability = 7
  • Cost  = 3

Overall Score = 4

 

Frankly, I wanted to give it a big ol whopping ø but that just didn’t seem fair.

 

Weapon of the Week: Baseball Bat

It pretty much goes without saying that if you live in America, you have a baseball bat somewhere in your house or garage and you’ve probably played some form of baseball at some time during your life.  Hell, I’m one of the least sporty people I know and even I’ve played softball.

We all know that to put a zombie down all it takes is a fatal blow to the head/brain.  This can be accomplished with a firearm, blade, or blunt force trauma.  Now, if you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse you probably have a few guns, a machete, and some random blades stashed away in your home, but what about your car?  Unless you have a Concealed Weapons Permit it’s not a good idea to be driving around with a gun in your car and most Police Officers aren’t going to be too thrilled with finding a machete either.  You know what they can’t say too much about (unless it has blood on it)?  A baseball bat.

He's ready for zombies

As a melee weapon it doesn’t get any simpler than this.  A baseball bat is a club; probably the first weapon us homo sapiens ever used.  It’s meant to hit something and cause damage.  It’s the simplest weapon anyone can use; you simply hold it and swing.  Three year olds play T-ball with them, so even your kids can use them as defense against the undead.  You just need decent upped body strength to deliver a kill shot, so get them muscles workin ladies!

They’re lightweight, weighing in at around 1kg or 2.2 lbs.  You can carry them in your backpack, though they’ll stick out a bit, or modify a scabbard for them.  They’re also cheap as hell.  If you don’t already own one you can find a decent bat, like a Louisville Slugger, for around $30 on ebay.

Not only are they used in the all American sport of baseball but they’re also one of the most common tools/weapons of assholes commiting crimes of assault and property damage.  How do we know they’ll be good for bashing a zombies brain in?  Well, just Google “Baseball Bat Crime Statistics” and read the article headlines and I think you’ll get your answer (WARNING: It’s pretty ugly stuff).  I know I did.

Some people like to modify them into maces by piercing them with nails or wrapping them in barb wire but my instincts say that this will greatly affect the composition of the bat and make it more likely to splinter after a hit.  I’m not keen on having it stick into a zombies skull either and having to pry it out.  I’d rather just bounce it off the dead bastards head and be able to swing it again as many times as need be.

So how does it rate?

  • Ease of Use = 10
  • Size & Weight = 9
  • Durability = 7
  • Availability = 10
  • Cost  = 10

Overall Score = 9

Bonus: If Vampires are afoot you can fashion it into a stake

Weapon of the Week: The Riot Shot Gun

Remington 870 – Mossberg 500 – Winchester 1200/1300

They’re names you know and love and chances are, if you don’t own one, you know someone who does.

Probably the most common firearm in the United States, they’re used by the military, law enforcement, outdoors men & women, and Joe Schmoe next door so he can protect whats his.  These are your everyday, run of the mill shotguns customized to kick some serious ass.  What makes a shotgun “tactical” and/or “riot”?  A shortened barrel and stock which makes them more maneuverable and easy to handle and therefore easier to get away from zombies while carrying and firing over your shoulder.

Planning for the zombie apocalypse?  Get yourself a shotgun (along with a few other things).  Yeah they’re loud and don’t hold too many rounds at a time but I’ll tell you something, I’d rather have a 9mm pointed at me than the bitch in the picture above.  If you load one of these pretty little girls full of buckshot and fire a round off, it’s like firing nine .32 caliber bullets at once.  So zombies and pillagers alike, beware of the bitch with one of these.

The reason I love these guns…I have horrible aim.  I really shouldn’t admit that and I’m working on getting better, but as of right now, I f#cking suck.  But with one of these badass bitches in my grasp, I’m just as deadly as the next gal.  What?  Your aim is just fine?  Try aiming at a moving object while you’re trying to run away.  Yeah, have fun with that.  Now, I’m not saying you don’t have to aim, of course you have to aim, you just don’t have to worry about it as much.

Summer Glau

If you’re going to be a sissy and complain about the kick these ladies deliver then you’re most likely going to get eaten by zombies anyways so you’re no use to us.  This is the gun most twelve year old boys cut their gums on and its what Grandpa has stashed under the bed, so if little Timmy and Grandpa Joe can handle em, we can too.

They take 12 gauge ammo which is hard NOT to find but if you need help locating some, first check your attic, then go to Walmart or any other superstore.

For easier transport, invest a few dollars in a Shotgun Scabbard.  They cost around $40 and attach nicely to Alice Packs and other similar bags.  I bought a Voodoo Tactical Shotgun Scabbard off Amazon.com as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend and it’s perfect, plus super cool looking.

The thing I like least about these firearms is their round capacity.  They hold on average  5 – 8 rounds at a time and are tricky to reload so I would not use one of these as my primary weapon.  But it’s ok, procuring of these beauties is easy.  You can buy used models for around $100 and brand spankin new ones for around $350.

As always, do your own research and be careful when buying online from a private individual.

So, how does the Riot Shotgun rate?

  • Ease of use = 7
  • Accuracy = 9
  • Size & Weight = 8
  • Reliability = 7
  • Ammo Availability = 10
  • Fire Power = 9
  • Cost (for pre-apocalypse procurement) = 10

Overall Score: 8.5

Added Bonus:  Feeling like a total badass bitch like Summer Glau up there.

This weeks Weapon of the Week: SIG Sauer P226 9mm

This indomitable pistol is where it’s at folks.  If you’re going to choose only one handgun to carry during the zombie apocalypse please, for the love of whatever you find holy, choose the SIG Sauer P226.

She’s the preferred handgun worldwide for Special Forces Units and only one of two guns (Beretta 92F) to successfully pass the US military’s XM9 Service Pistol Trials that were held in 1984 to determine which pistol would be our military’s standard.  Alas, the Beretta won, but by a slim margin and owing mainly to price and the fact that SIG’s needed to be imported back then.  Flash forward to present days and the SIG is now what any department worth a damn that has a little bit of cash carries.  Some of those departments/forces include: US Secret Service, DEA, Navy Seals, FBI, Homeland Security, Army, NYPD, and many many more.

What makes the SIG Sauer P226 so amazing?  It won’t give up.

D, my weapons expert, has had one for nearly a decade now, has put several thousand rounds of ammo through her, and has NEVER had a single jam.  She’s also one of the most accurate pistols in the world.  And what’s more important than reliability and accuracy in any firearm that you’re betting your life on?

Need more convincing?  It’s a 9mm.  THE EASIEST AMMO TO FIND IN THE WORLD

They also come in .22, .40, and .357 models BUT most experts agree that the .9mm is the one to go with.

It’s a dual action pistol which means that it does not have a manual safety.  Instead, it relies on a hammer and heavy trigger pull to prevent misfires.  This means that to get the gun to fire all you have to do is pull the trigger BUT you’re going to have to do one of two things before your first bullet is fired: cock the hammer back or squeeze the shit out of the trigger.  So, while there won’t be any fumbling with a safety during a zombie attack, you do have to be a little extra cautious when handling a loaded P226.  Now that I think of it, you should be extra cautious when handling ANY loaded gun.

Her standard magazine holds 15 rounds though 20 round mags are available so you can drop quite a few zombies before having to worry about reloading.

The P226’s worst quality?  It’s big, heavy (2+ lbs), and hard to conceal, but it’s not like zombies give a shit if you’re carrying, and with a decent holster your fellow humans won’t spot it either.

There are a ton of P226 models out there and SIG is constantly evolving their prize pistol.  You can buy one used or brand new and they are everywhere.  Depending on which model you want and if your buying new or used, the price varries from as little as $500 to as much as a few thousand.

As always, do your own research and be careful when buying online from a private individual.

So, how does the SIG Sauer P226 rate?

Officer Bennet from Silent Hill with her trusty P226

  • Ease of use = 9
  • Accuracy = 10
  • Size & Weight = 7
  • Reliability = 10
  • Ammo Availability = 10
  • Fire Power = 7
  • Cost (for pre-apocalypse procurement) = 8

Overall Score: 8.7

2012’s first weapon of the week is: The Trench Knife

When planning for survival away from your home, choosing multipurpose tools is essential.  The less you have to carry, the quicker you can run.  All blades are multipurpose in their nature.  They are defense weapons and a tool to use for everyday actions.  If you don’t believe me, try to go a day without using any sort of sharp tool (knife, scissors, clippers, etc).  I promise it won’t take you long to utter an expletive under your breath.

So lets get to it.  The first Trench Knives were developed during WWI for close combat.  They are Combat Knives which means they were designed to incapacitate and kill.  The earliest types were constructed from military issue bayonets by individual soldiers so they could more easily ambush the enemy and dispatch them silently.  Once the ‘powers that be’ caught on to the necessity of such knifes they produced them themselves and issued them out to their infantries.  The Germans had their Nahkampfmesser, the French their Poignard-Baïonnette Lebel M1886/14, and the US the M1917, M1918, and then the Mark I.

For practicality purposes, we’re going to stick with the US model.

The beauty of this knife is that it has three main features: A double sided 6.75in blade, knuckle dusters, and a steel nut end cap on the handle that was dubbed the “skull crusher” for its ability to..well, use your imagination.

Now, the double sided blade means you can use it any way you want. Stab, slash, cut, whatever and you won’t have to worry about positioning.  Its blade is also smooth (no serrations) so you can sharpen it easily.  The knuckle dusters were originally designed, not as a weapon, but so it couldn’t be muscled out of a soldiers hand, however, that fact has never stopped anyone from using them to their advantage in close quarter combat.  Finally we have the skull crusher; a pretty little peak gracing the tip of the handle that adds a little extra oomph to a head shot.

The models to trust: the M1918 or the Mark 1.  If you happen to have a M1917, use it only as a family heirloom and not as a weapon.  The M1917’s were quickly replaced by the M1918’s because they were faulty and often broke.  I’ve done a little research on modern variations of the classic design and so far nothing’s jumping out at me, but that isn’t to say a good one doesn’t exist.  As always, do your own research before investing your money and betting your life on something.

Lets be clear, I would not want to have to use any knife against a zombie.  But, if I had to use a blade against a hungry walking corpse, this is the one I’d want in my hand.  The greatness of this blade has not been lost on modern times.  We see it again and again from GI Joe, to Max Brook’s survival guide, and Call of Duty: World at War.

The downfall of this weapon: Real ones; good ones, are hard to find.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say if you do find an authentic one you’re going to be paying a pretty little price for it.  Now there are modern “replicas” and variations on the original but their quality is questionable and I wouldn’t want to bet my pretty little post Zpoc butt on one unless it was tried and tested.  As with most anything, you get what you pay for and if you’re paying under $40 for a any blade (brand new), I wouldn’t trust it.  It’s also fairly large.  The entire unit is just under 1 foot in length with the blade measuring at 6.75in.  With the handle being made of cast bronze I’m gonna guess  it’s probably a bit on the hefty side for a bladed weapon.

So how does it rate?

Since our ratings scale was first developed to rate a firearm I have adjusted it for blades.

  • Ease of Use = 8
  • Size & Weight = 4
  • Durability = 8
  • Availability = 2
  • Cost (for pre-apocalypse procurement) = 4 (hard to determine)

Overall Score = 5

If you’re going to invest in a knife, you should probably look elsewhere.