Thanks to movies, TV, books, and just plain old common knowledge, we are well aware that zombies eat brains. Ironically, even though brains are a scrumptious delicacy to a zombie, they still need one in order to survive.
So, if you’re going to go charging at a flesh-eating, brain-sucking monster, you want to hit him where it hurts the most, the head. You have to find a way to destroy its brain… end of story. That’s the only way you’re going to make it out alive, and still keep yours.
Pop culture has shown us all kinds of weapons that are great to use during an apocalypse, most being righteously badass. However, if you're not prepared, you've got to deal with what you've got handy. Obviously you can’t expect to kill a horde of zombies with a pocket knife, so here's some ideal weaponry that should stop them dead in their tracks.
A normal baseball bat isn’t a bad idea, so if you've got one, use it. However, a spiked bat will work 10 times better. Normally, the longer a zombie exists, the more rotten their flesh will become, so hitting a zombie with a hard object will usually lop a head off. But you can’t guarantee that every zombie you run into is going to be “old.” Adding some extra force to an already decent weapon is a smart idea. Find some nails, screws, blades, anything that’s sharp and hammer it into the end of a wooden bat, and voilá, spiked bat.
Similar to the spiked bat, this is another way of adding extra force to a baseball bat. However, if you don’t have access to a wooden one, barbed-wire is a great choice to wrap around an aluminum bat. Obviously, pounding sharp objects into aluminum is either impossible or exhaustingly difficult, not to mention very noisy, so wrapping the bat with some sharp, spiky, flesh-tearing wire is a good option. Aluminum bats are pretty strong and lethal as it is, can you imagine what damage you could do with some extra reinforcement?
If you’ve ever seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you are surely aware of the damage a chainsaw can do. If you go in swinging, you can cut a lot of things off that will render a zombie motionless, at least giving you enough time to saw off its head. You will need to be careful, though. Chainsaws are a good weapon, but they require some kind of power to work. Some need electricity, some are run by charged batteries and some use gas. Unfortunately, because of this, when you’re in a hurry and have to grab whatever’s available, this is one weapon you’ll have to choose based on your circumstances.
Swords or Anything Remotely Similar
Now is the time to embrace your samurai sword collecting friend. Samurai swords are extremely sharp, long, and sturdy. This is a weapon made for the sole purpose of fighting and is used for protection against human enemies. It will slice with extreme proficiency in one fail swoop. The long blade is ideal, so you won’t have to get too close to strike. If you don’t have access to a sword, which realistically, you probably won’t, anything long and really sharp can do just as well. Machetes are a good choice as they’re very sharp and are made for chopping things with one swing. They are shorter than swords, so you’ll need to take extra precaution. Axes, pickaxes, shovels, anything that’s sharp and long enough to keep some distance between you and the zombie, will work. This type of weapon is best suited for one-on-one combat.
While a grenade will most likely be hard to come by, unless you’re lucky enough to be near a military surplus store or base, it’s an awesomely destructive weapon. Throwing a grenade into a large group of zombies should cause some heads to roll, but probably not all of them. Have a backup weapon regardless. If you happen to be up against one or two, a grenade might do the trick. However, if I were in that situation, I’d save it for a larger group.
A crossbow can send an arrow flying with such force it could definitely explode a head or two, which makes it an awesome weapon for long range targets. They are also extremely accurate. They are very fast to reload and it’s easy to make additional arrows if you run out. Quick tip: Retrieve your arrows for later use if you can recover them safely.
When it comes to firearms, there's a huge difference in their use and the amount of damage they can cause. So, I am splitting them up into separate weapon categories.
Rifles are designed for long range shooting because of their accuracy. A longer barrel, ammunition, and shoulder stock increase its accuracy at long range. If your target is far away, this is an ideal shooting weapon. However, rifles are good for one piercing shot at a time. A rifle may or may not blow a zombie’s head off in one shot, unless you have super powerful ammunition, but it can put a bullet through its brains from quite a distance.
A shotgun is a much different weapon compared to a rifle due to its ammunition and shooting pattern. The overall projectile weight of the bullets is heavier, making the energy of the shot a lot stronger; however, because of this, it's used for closer range targets. Shotguns are most commonly used in home defense, so they may be a little easier to come by. 00-Buckshot is a popular type of ammo and this type provides the benefit of spraying multiple projectiles out of the barrel at one time. The pattern of the projectiles spreads with distance. Throw a fist full of gravel at something, you’ll see what I mean. This gun can cause major damage from a shorter distance and would literally blow the head off a zombie in one shot. However, it is not designed for long range shooting and is nowhere near as accurate as a rifle.
Semi-automatic Magazine-fed Handguns or Revolvers
While some handguns won't kill a zombie, semi-automatic handguns give you a fighting chance. Because it's concealable, easily drawn, and quick to reload, it makes a good secondary weapon or a good defensive weapon from a distance. Revolvers have to be reloaded constantly, but they can be pretty powerful. A handgun can be comfortably worn on the body, making it easy to keep yourself constantly armed.
Any Blunt Object
If you have no idea what to use, pick up anything that's long enough for you to swing and strike. Hitting a zombie hard enough with a blunt object will either whack off its head or bash in its brains. Sledgehammers, mallets, regular hammers, bats, tire-irons, wood, anything along those lines will work. Hell, golf clubs and heavy curtain rods make great weapons too!
Being prepared is the #1 rule. For the long haul, stock up on every type of weapon you can, and always have a backup. The above weapons are the most reliable, but they won't do much of anything if you don't know how to use them or if you're not comfortable. So, whatever you end up with, practice, practice, practice, so you can be confident and keep a clear head on your shoulders. If you're not careful, you could lose it.