Monday, June 9, 2008

Best Anti-Zombie Weapon?

Last week a friend of mine and I were talking about what hand weapon would best serve as an anti-zombie weapon. All sorts of implements were discussed, from metal nunchucks to hammers to polearms to katanas. In the end, the weapon that I settled on as my personal pick was the high middle-ages poll-axe. Here's a half-decent picture of a design that would suit me just fine:

You've got an ax blade for the chopping, a nice heavy crushing hammer head for skull-smashing, and you've got a point for what I consider a woefully-underconsidered design perk in an anti-zombie weapon - the ability to catch the zombie on the top spike and keep it at bay, unable to pull itself down the haft of the weapon, but the spike is easily withdrawn and won't get stuck in the thing's innards. This way, working in concert with others, you can hold a zombie at a safe distance (probably just out of reach if you're fighting with a five-foot poll-axe), while your buddy with the gun or another poll-axe can finish off your "catch".

Also, this weapon isn't going to be overly heavy - enough to get the job done, but if two-handed and not that lengthy, it won't tire you out too much, and you can always choke up on it to get a faster, less tiring swing if you need to. You'll be able to use it against zombies in relatively close quarters, since the majority of it's length will get used up in getting plenty of torque out of a relatively short swing (heck, it'd probably be more useful than a baseball bat or tire iron in any situation where you can swing at all, since all you need is perhaps a foot or two of swing-arc to crack a skull with this puppy).

Other benefits? Well, it'd double as a walking staff, always handy in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world. It's also long enough so that you can use it to poke or prod corpses in order to make sure they aren't zombies waiting to spring at you when you're close up. Likewise you can use it to tap at windows, open doors, etc., without getting yourself in a position where you could be grabbed and dragged into biting range before being able to react (how many times have we seen that in zombie movies?).

Now, I'm sure there are better weapons in certain situations, but if I was to have one primary anti-zombie weapon, a nice, solid, five-foot poll-axe would be my arm of choice, perhaps with a 24" machete and a Glock 17 on either side of my belt to boot.

Then I just need a motorcycle and a kickass heavy metal theme song, and I'm good to go...


PWR said...

The only possible drawback is it's size; it'd be tough to hunker down in a ruined building with a five-foot pole strapped to your back. To say nothing of the idea of snaking your way through a claustrophobic dungeon or sewer. But I like where your head's at - get me one too!

Darkwing said...

well, in the claustrophobic areas, you can use it to stab, in the more open areas you can swing it.

Although maybe a four foot poll-ax would be better. Best anti-zombie weapon: "The Sawed-off Poll-ax"

noisms said...

The problem scenario - you're in a corridor with zombies coming at you, and you're stabbing away with the spiky-bit; but then you hear a door creaking open behind you, and heavy shuffling footsteps...

Darkwing said...

That's why poll-axes have pointed steel butt-caps. Just stab backwards.

Badelaire said...


A) if you're in your typical apartment / office corridor, you've got plenty of headroom to be swinging that ax-head or hammer-head in nice efficient chopping blows to the top of the skull - the stabbing part, I think, would only be used when in conjunction with other people who need you to hold them impaled in place for a moment while they finish them off.

B) Note that I did state this shouldn't be your only weapon. Just like when it was originally used, if you suddenly get flanked up close, drop it and go for the kukri or machete or framing hammer at your belt.

C) If you're in one of those "fighting to the front and suddenly the door opens next to you and the zombies pour out" moments, like in the first Resident Evil movie with the guy next to the elevator when it opens, you're completely screwed no matter what weapon you've got on hand.

I look at a weapon like this as your "assault rifle" - it's there for the more "open ground" engagements, and it's powerful and versatile. But just like an assault rifle, it's not the perfect choice in every scenario, and you need a backup weapon for those just-in-case moments.

Max said...

I don't know from axes and shotguns so instead I went hunting for a suitably kickass themesong. My own metal collection is pretty haphazard, and since it's heavy on death and black metal, it's pro-zombie rather than pro-survivor.

Anyhow, it inspired me to put together the soundtrack to an imaginary zombie flick. You can listen here, if you want (Spirit Caravan's "Sea Legs" would be the end credits theme song. Short on zombie-bashing, long on motorcycle chrome, old leather and ripping guitar from Scott 'Wino' Weinrich).

Badelaire said...

Very fun mixtape, dude. Some cool and eclectic stuff in there. "Skullsplitter" is more up my alley, but it's all good stuff.

I tried to make an account there, but every time I went through the registration process, it just took me to a blank screen and never set up the account. Any thoughts?

Max said...

Re Skullsplitter
The track name is right on for bashing zombie heads, no? Have you heard Aura Noir? Another excellent 'blackened' thrash outfit. I think the Death Militia track is pretty awesome too. I love that raw, rough-edged 80s thrash. There's a solid new band out of SF called Hatchet in a similar vein.

Man, get me talking about music and I have a hard time shutting up!

re: Muxtape.
I think they are doing a lot of development behind the scenes at the moment, so I'd try again later. The site's been a bit squonky lately.

Anonymous said...

A rifle with a bayonet would accomplish much the same effect while having the big bonus of being a firearm:

Slashing/Stabbing: Bayonet
Bashing Crushing: Buttstock
Ranged Engagement: Bullets

In exteremely tight quarters you could detach the bayonet and use it as a large knife.

Badelaire said...

You'd need a rifle/bayonet combination that could actually deliver that kind of damage. The problem with most modern rifle/bayonet combinations is that the weapon A) is not designed to be used repeatedly for blunt-trauma impact, and B) the bayonet isn't designed to do anything but poke someone in the gut/chest.

Some modern military assault rifles have bayonet attachments, but they certainly aren't meant to be used to slash repeatedly with, or to even be used in close combat for more than a moment or two before you've damaged something to the point where your assault rifle is nothing more than a complicated club. Bayonets worked great when your firearm was five feet long and weighed a good nine pounds, and was pretty much an indestructible chunk of wood and steel. Even better if you had a sword-bayonet like the British Napoleonic-Era Baker rifle had - a 22-inch "short sword".

I'd still rather have a dedicated anti-personnel close combat weapon like a 5-foot poll-ax, as well as a backup weapon like a machete and a nice pistol like a Glock 19 or Browning Hi-Power.

Or we all just need to develop custom assault rifles with reinforced bodies sporting axe-spear heads, like some sort of renaissance-era combination weapon such as the boarding pistol-swords, etc. etc..

Some weapons manufacturer needs to start building long arms designed for prolonged anti-zombie operations!

wulfgar said...

Yes, modern bayonets are pretty wimpy compared to their ancestors. An American Civil War bayonet is one bad customer. 18 in long, and designed so the sides of the blade were slightly different in length- making it near impossible for a wound to close. Put it on a .50 cal rifled musket and you've got a pretty good anti-zombie weapon but for the rate of fire.

I'd guess if you did some digging into the renaissance era, you could actually find a pole axe/musket combo of some sort.