16 June, 2005

Shotgun continued

This post is a response to Wheelz post about what type of ammo to load for shotguns.

I think Ryan had some very good points about what the benefits of using shot as opposed to slug would be. One thing to consider however is the extent to which the brain of a zombie must be destroyed before it is immobilized. I believe the Zombie Survival Guide makes a point that for a .22 to be effective the bullet must enter the skull of the zombie and than ricochet around inside thus destroying a greater amount of brain mass. However if the bullet was to pass through the skull there may not be enough damage done to immobilize the zombie. This would also apply to the use of shot. One would have to be close enough to the zombie for the shot to penetrate the skull cavity. It would be unwise though to hope to kill multiple zombies from a distance by depending on the spread of the shot and it's ability to penetrate the skull at these longer distances.

I also believe that your situation is a better dictator of what type of ammo that is used. For instance if you are forced into a defensive position in doors, with a significant number of zombies heading your way, you will want whatever ammo has better overall stopping power. Also remember that stopping power and killing power are two different things. In such a defensive situation you are not going to want to kill the zombies, but to clear a path so you can escape as quickly as possible. Also keeping in mind the physiological impact being in such a defensive situation has upon a person, they might want to consider something that will knock the zombies down, and not require as much accuracy. I believe this would make shot a better choice. In close quarters shot will knock down a zombie just as well as a slug.

I'm not familiar with the penetrating power of the slug when it comes to humans either, but it may not be wise to depend on your zombies to make nice orderly lines when they are coming after you. However I do think that using shot in offensive room clearing may be a better choice. In this type of situation you are more in control of what’s going on, and will have more opportunity to make better shots, and will be shooting to kill. You will hopefully be meeting the zombie on your own terms. In the case of rooms where there is a large number of zombies and you would be in close quarter combat, it may be more effective to consider explosive devices, or completely burn down the property depending on it’s strategic value after the zombies have been eliminated.

In conclusion, there are benefits of both slug and shot, but the shotgun will be used primarily in close quarters, and when used for defense it's probably more beneficial to have shot. I think it is always unwise to go completely with one and not the other so loading two shot to one slug ration would be the best bet.


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