A major area of focus at Zombie Research Society is the theoretical physiology of the zombie brain. Along those lines, an observation by noted Russian-American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand made us step back and look at the big picture:

“Our mind is our only weapon.”

Therein lies the fundamental difference between a thinking human being and a raving undead maniac. We have the ability to form opinions, make rational choices, and adjust our strategies on the fly. By contrast, zombies are full-steam ahead all the time, no matter what.

Despite what seems to work in movies, we’d take a clear head and good information over a shotgun and bag of shells any day. Zombies are a problem you can’t shoot your way out of, not in the long run.

So when faced with an imminent zombie threat, first find a relatively safe place to collect yourself, then step back and take stock of what’s going on, and what options make sense.  Remember the three imperatives: food, water, shelter. Think about how best to gain access to all three. Think about the feasibility of staying put.  Think about the advantages of fleeing.

Think about everything you’ve learned, and everything you know.  Take a deep breath, and think. Think, or die.


  1. Only unfettered laisse faire capitalism can stop zombies. Unless zombies pay better in which case human brains at market prices!!!

  2. The problem I have with close range weapons of any type is you run the risk of having infected blood mingle with a new abrasion you got on your hand after tripping, a scrape you may have acquired running too close to a sharp object, etc. I maintain that getting infected blood on you is something you’d would to avoid at all costs.

    So, my take is you don’t need an unlimited supply of ammo. You just need enough ammo to secure a location for the long haul that is zombie proof.

    • Good point Joseph. But if you’re wearing protective gear – like goggles, mask and gloves, you pretty much eliminate all possibility of Zombie blood getting into your body (see post: More Dumb Zombie Survivalists).

      I agree you probably won’t need an unlimited supply of ammunition, but the problem is it’s impossible to know exactly how much you will need. What if you secure a location, live there for months, and then run out of food and have to seek out someplace new? What if it burns down and you have to flee? What if you have 1,000 bullets and you’re attacked by 1,001 Zombies?

      You should expect that what can go wrong WILL go wrong when it comes to the Zombie Pandemic, and you’ll already have to deal with two vital, depleting resources: food and water. So relying on yet another depleting resource – ammunition – as your sole means of defense isn’t a smart idea in my opinion.

      That’s not to say a gun has no use. But I would recommend using it as sparingly as possible, because the time will come – sooner or later – that the bullets run out. And like I always say, a gun without bullets is just a stick, and not even a good one at that.

      • I probably should have elucidated.

        Ayn Rand (who I have read a bit of actually…) says our mind is our only weapon. That’s true to a certain extent. Our ability to adapt is what is going to, in the end, separate the survivors from well. The new undead.

        The point I guess I was trying to drive home was that one shouldn’t take risks unless absolutely necessary. If you are in a position to have and use a gun, then don’t be swinging around a battle axe.

        Mostly. Adapt. Circumstance is a fickle thing. Be prepared. Don’t be afraid of a close combat situation, but know that it comes with risks, and possibly consequences.

        And just as a note, I personally do have a location which I could (and will) easily secure, easy to make it 100 percent impermeable, with a renewable power source and replenishing food that is running almost no risk of natural disaster (fire, earthquake, etc)

        Such places do exist should you know where to look =]

        OH! And other side note. I’m glad that ZRS is willing to call out the ZSG on its errors. There are a few things that frequently bothered me. Though all my friends just kept taking it as gospel! Glad I’m not the only one who can think outside that box.

      • Important to remember that protective gear is not a force field, however. Goggles typically have holes along the side to allow for respiration (to prevent fogging), masks will transmit even larger particles when they become too saturated with dampness from your breath or direct zombie gore spray, and abrasions can occur almost anywhere you have exposed flesh. It’s starting to sound like a EVA suit would be ideal. That said, getting some elevation from the zombie threat and making use of any available (or created) physical barriers will extend your ammo lifespan considerably. Take the time to aim for each shot, make use of that .22 rifle ammo, hell you might even be able to take some down with wrist rockets (armed with ball bearings) or well-thrown rocks.

  3. Why do you think there’s no way to kill a zombie without a shotgun? How about a crow bar – or dozens of other bludgeon weapons that can be readily found around the house.

    A shotgun without shells is a stick – not even a very good one – and you WILL run out of shells in very short order. So relying solely on anything that requires ammunition is a sure recipe for losing in the long run.

    • The problem with a bludgeon weapon is when you’re dealing with more than one zombie at a time. At best you’ll drop one zombie with a couple swipes and what will the other one be doing during that time? I like a sword, similar to a Viking sword, maybe 3.5 feet in length with a complete arm protector attachment used in combination with a small bludgeon weapon as this would allow some measure of defense while maintaining an offense.

    • Isn’t a crowbar rather like a shotgun without shells?

      • A shotgun has a hollow barrel, and (generally) a wood or plastic stock. It’s lighter than a weapons grade crow bar, and much less versatile.

        If you hit someone in the face with the butt of a shotgun you will likely break their nose. If you hit someone in the face with the sharp end of a crow bar (which is ideally either end) you will likely puncture their skull and take a chunk out of their brain.

        Plus, just try prying open a solid locked door with a shotgun.

        • Okay heres how you “pry” a door with a shotgun… you shoot it. Now there are many different to do this.

          1. Shoot the lock.
          2. Shoot the door hindges.
          3. Shoot the frame.
          4. Bash the door in with the butt plate.
          5. Shoot the door itself from a long range (35 meters) with heavy deer shot (large lead or copper balls).

          Police, Military, and Militia organizations practice these types of door breaching fairly often.

          The shotgun is considered a fairly versitile weapon. Many different situations can be dealt with different munitions. Ammunition types per situation (not all are listed).

          Slug- Accurate and powerful at ranges beyond 90 meters.
          Buckshot- Hard to miss with beyond ranges of 30 meters. Spray is small and accurate within 25 meters.
          Deershot- More accuarate than buckshot and equal power to Slug.
          Beanbag- Less Lethal ammunition to use on suicidal friends.
          Rubber ball- Less Lethal ammunition to use on suicidal friends.
          Dragon’s Breath- Makes your shotgun a close range flamethrower.
          Dragon’s Slug- Makers your shotgun a close range flamethrower and grenade launcher.
          Saltpeter- Blinds people and stabs millions of little small rock shards.
          Flechette- Sprays mini spears everywhere.

          and finally

          EVERY THING YOU CAN FIT INTO THE LOADING BREACH BECAUSE IT’S A MIDGET CANNON- Self explainitory anything you can fit can work (Crayons, potatos, spoons, pencils, glass, dirt, salt, etc.).

          Many shotguns also have the adaptibility with RIS rails. One can add bayonets, grenade launcher, another shotgun, more ammo, tactical deadlights, pepperspray, a axe, a crowbar (yes I’ve seen them), and whatever else you may think will be usefull.

  4. With no way to destroy the zombies (clear head over shotgun), wouldn’t you lose in the long run anyways?

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