I love list articles. They’re typically brief, somewhat informative and always a good conversation starter. Yet, I feel that they’re a little binary in their approach in that they always seem to skew toward what is the best, most useful firearm for a certain application or what is the worst, most useless firearm for a certain application. Rarely, if ever, do list articles generated by the firearms community focus on firearms that are somewhat in between, meaning firearms that would be able to get the job done but would be less than optimal.
It’s in this vein that I’m revealing my most popular but also non-ideal guns for a sh*t hits the fan scenario. So, below is a list of five. As always, feel free criticize, commend or contribute to the list.
Revolver: Sorry Rick Grimes (of The Walking Dead), but if all hell breaks loose I’d prefer not to have a Colt Python or insert your favorite revolver. Yes, wheel guns are cool, durable and they’ll almost certainly take down an undead brain eater. However, they’re also heavy, bulky (to a degree, depending on barrel length) and are typically limited to six rounds. Plus, reloading a wheel gun without the help of a speedloader takes fine motor movement and time, two luxuries one may not have when confronting marauding hordes.
1911: I know, John Moses Browning is rolling over in his grave. Hear me out, though. Like my beef with revolvers, my beef with the 1911 is (a) its limited capacity 7+1 or 8+1 and (b) its weight relative to polymer pistols. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s not negligible either and might be even more noticeable if you’re constantly on the move. I guess you can get a polymer 1911, but still you’re stuck with a limited capacity sidearm.
M1 Garand: Battle tested? Yes. Iconic? Yes. A Classic? Certainly. Ideal for the end times? Not really. Why? One word: clips! Clips are outdated. Magazines are easier to load, safer to load (no Garand thumb) and more widely available. Of course, there’s also the issue of modern amenities (silencers, certain optics, lights, etc.) that just won’t affix neatly to an M1.
50 Cal: Plinking zombies from over a mile away with a Barrett model 82A1 would be a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. But where on God’s green earth I’m I going to get the ammo to feed this beast? As it stands right now, .50 cal ammo is prohibitively expensive. Assuming that during the apocalypse it becomes even more scarce and hard to come by, what then? What will it cost to get more ammo?
Double-Barreled Shotgun: Despite what vice president Joe Biden tells you, firing two blasts from a double-barreled shotgun into the air is not going to scare away dystopian predators. On the contrary, it’ll likely give away your position and invite more trouble. Not good. If you’re going to carry a scattergun, go with a pump-action or semi-auto. While they don’t have the vice presidential endorsement, they do have more versatility and can carry more rounds.
By now you’ve probably picked up on one of the major themes of this piece, which is mainly that when the stuff hits the fan I want a gun that is light, easy to maneuver, durable, somewhat ubiquitous — so parts, ammo and accessories are easy to find — and that is capable of holding (or accepting a magazine with) a high number of rounds.
What comes to mind? For me, it’s two specific firearms: The AK-47 and the Glock 19. Those are the gold standard for zombie guns, in my humble opinion.