Ammo for the Coming Zombiepocalypse

Alert reader Brendan, noting that I was talking about buying ammo on Twitter, asks, “What’s the best generally available shot load (i.e. on shelves at Walmart) for the coming zombiepocalypse?”

The most popular size shotgun shell is surely still the 12 gauge. 12 gauge, 2 3/4 inch shells should fit most shotguns that you are likely to find lying around in deserted office buildings after the zombie plague begins. The most common shotshell type probably has fairly small shot, #7 or #7 1/2 (larger numbers mean smaller balls, smaller numbers mean larger balls). These aren’t really ideal for taking out human zombies, but should be adequate to dispose of the huge numbers of zombie dogs that are likely to be roving the streets, searching for brains (Key unanswered questions: do zombie dogs want to eat human brains, or canine brains?) They are, however, cheap and plentiful. You’ll want the largest shot you can find, or better yet slugshells. For survivors with a lighter build, such as your ex-wife, younger teenagers, or that annoying girl who cries all the time and is constantly saying “We’re all going to die!” you probably want to stick with a 20 gauge - the gun itself is likely to be lighter. 16 gauge ammo is hard to find except at speciality shops, and anything smaller than 20 gauge is probably not worth using.

The truth is, though, for use against formerly-human zombies, I think the shotgun is probably not the weapon of choice, despite its historical popularity in fending off zombie attacks. The fact of the matter is that in order to disable or kill the zombie, you’ll need to be at almost point-blank range. Since, as everyone knows, zombies travel in groups, if you’re at point blank range with the zombies you are likely to be overwhelmed, typically just as your fellow survivors are shouting at you to get the engine of the car started or to reach the safe room with the barred door. Although I personally have no experience with this sort of anti-zombie combat, I would think that a rifle with high penetration would be much more likely to let you kill the zombie by destroying its brains via a headshot, and furthermore might let you do it at a safe range. I don’t know enough about rifles to make an informed recommendation on this point.

I hope this helps, and may you and your family make it to safety.