Hollywood, not to the surprise of many, has distorted several facts with regards to zombie outbreaks and more importantly, the survival of such an outbreak. Of most importance is the best weapon for defense, which Hollywood would have you believe, is the shotgun. This my friends is a fallacy and could cost you your life. Keep reading for the top 5 reasons you should not use a shotgun for zombie defense.
There is no doubt that the shotgun is a great weapon. It is used widely by law enforcement, military, and even standard home defense. Shotguns are powerful and the mere loading of a round into a chamber produces a very distinct sound that says “something bad is about to happen”. Yet, many of the aspects of why a shotgun is utilized in standard defense do not apply to the undead, which is why the shotgun should not be the preferred method of anti-zombie weaponry.
1. Ammo Capacity
First, the shotgun is limited in the available ammunition it can store as well as the amount you can easily carry with you. The ability to go mobile at a moments notice is not just a convenience, but a critical aspect in surviving an uprising of the undead. Let’s take, for example, the Remington 870 which is common in law enforcement. With an extended magazine, and stock suitable for storing shells, and side saddle, you could carry anywhere from 10 – 20 rounds on and in the weapon at any given time.
2. Reloading ability
Scenario: You have been forced upstairs into your bonus room and the baracade holding back the zombie horde in your living room has pushed through. You begin emptying shotgun rounds at the undead as they make their way towards your position. Your shotgun runs out of ammo. For argument’s sake, let’s say you have no other weapon available*. The time it takes to reload a shotgun, under that amount of pressure, with what would presume to be a lethal dose of adrenaline running through your system, is too long to get back into the fight. A weapon where you can insert a new magazine and continue to fire is best.
*Safety Note: Having only one weapon is setting yourself up for failure. Having a handgun with several magazines is the best route. This should be in your Mobile Zombie Preparedness Kit
3. Rate of fire
The shotgun can really pump out rounds if you know how to handle it correctly. However, it is still not the fastest. In the above scenario, zombies are coming at you. You are backed into a corner and will more than likely take out as many as you can, unless you have to turn the gun on yourself first. In that scenario, or any other scenario, it can never hurt to have the ability to dispense rounds at a much faster rate than that of a shotgun.
4. Range & Power
A shotgun will knock you on your back; no doubt. But is that what is really needed with a zombie attack? Hollywood, in movies such as the Dawn of the Dead remake, would have you believe that one person can continually shell out round and round to stop the horde. Friends, take heed: you do not need to have knock-out power to stop the undead. You merely have to stop the brain. With that said, the power of a shotgun, might not be necessary. Also, other weapons can provide the same stopping power and allow you to stand further away from your target. Why get closer than you have to?
5. Ease of use
For those of you who have actually used a shotgun and put many rounds through it at once, you can attest that your shoulder and armpit area is sore, possibly bruised, after extended target practice. When in survival mode, the adrenaline will only carry you so far, but you will need all of your strength. A shotgun will only wear you down. It is not a traditionally light weapon, though there are some lighter options available. This is not the easiest weapon to tote around.
So what weapon is preferred?
We here at ZAC officially endorse the M-4 assault rifle (and variant models) as the best weapon for zombie defense. Sure, the price tag is higher and you cannot stroll down to the local Wal-Mart to get one. However, when it comes to your life, and the life of your family, friends, and loved ones, what is that worth? We could easily devote an entire discussion about this weapon over the shotgun. This weapon was selected because of it’s features along with the fact that you can still obtain one, even if it is not as easy of a process as purchasing a shotgun.
This model of weapon is superior to the shotgun for zombie defense. It addresses and solves all of the aforementioned issues and then some.
Stay informed. Stay safe. Stay alive.