15 June, 2005

Shotgun Question

Zombieology asks an interesting question in the poll on their web site: Which do you load? Slug, Buckshot, or Both? I find this to be a very good question for all of those interested in the defense against the undead. I'll give my opinion here and if anyone else wants to weigh in that'd be just peachy. Slugs should be the only shotgun ammo loaded. First of all it's simpler. There's no weighing out of the shot to load, thus cutting down on time and allowing for more ammo to be created. Secondly, and most importantly, shot is used primarily to be able to hit a wide area of target - birds are the classic example. This is because you could never hit a bird with a slug. The disadvantage to shot is that having numerous projectiles will cause a decrease in Knockdown Power. When fighting the undead KP is the bottom line. The need to hit the wide area is not there as it is with birds since hitting a human moving at approximately 3 mph is so easy (even with a slug) that a 4 year old could do it. At this point shot only keeps 1 of its advantages - a couple of the shot pellets could potentially stray and penetrate the skull even when taking a safe body shot. However I contend that this advantage is too small to tip the scales since if I'm using a shotgun against zombies it's because I'm in close quarters and am looking for knockdown power - a kill is the last thing I'm concerned about. I'll kill the crippled zombie later on with my .22 that I have near infinite ammo for. Bottom line = power. Therefore the options of buckshot or even some of both are ruled out in favor of strictly loading slugs.

This assessment, of course, assumes the zombies we are dealing with are traditional 2-4 mph zombies. This issue is hottly debated. In the event that the zombies are fast (i.e. the remake of the Dawn of the Dead) I recommend double-0 Buck to retain as much KP as possible while still allowing for some forgiveness of aim.


Anonymous Dylan said...

Personally i think that it depends upon the time of the encounter. Say the zombie attack first happens, everything has just gone to hell and you've got zombies heading your way. I say if you've got a shotgun, whatever shot you can load into at the time is the best. Now once time has passed, you've got a colony started, some shelter from the zombies and you actually turn to hunting zombies, i say carry a nice tactical shotgun that holds lots of rounds and load it with slugs and only use it in a bind because a slug is alot of metal which could be used for better things, especially in a post apocalyptic zombie filled world.

11:22 PM, June 15, 2005  
Anonymous Jon said...

I'm going to go with slugs & here is the reason. Anyone familiar with zombie attacks knows that zombies are coming from all directions. A slug has the ability to penetrate a line of zombies, making a possible line of escape.

You can also imagine finding yourself in a hall way with a crowd in front of you. I might throw a few rows of slugs down there taking down a higher # per shot than shot.

However, if I am going 1v1 with a zombie I'm going shot all the way. My reasoning is due to the fact that I am going to hit the zombie (And I understand Wheelz' 2-5 mph movement) and I can follow up with a close shot after I've slowed my zombie down by knocking off an arm, leg, or just a solid chest shot. This ,of course, would more than likely take more ammo than a slug killing would.

5:08 AM, June 16, 2005  
Blogger Ryan said...

The thing we all seem to be forgetting here is that destroying the entire zombies head is not required to defeat an undead foe. Simply put we need to destroy at least some part of the brain thus a slug might not be the most effective means of doing this, hence the 22 caliber argument for defeating the undead. With this stated a shotgun is primarily a close range weapon. This weapon would be the best defense against the undead in mass at close range.

Now this brings us into whether a slug or shot would be best for close in zombie fighting. I would argue that in close fighting shot would be primarily more effective than slug. My argument goes from the presumption that a shotgun is going to be primarily a close defensive weapon and that you are probably at this point going to be doing more of the “spray and pray” type of combat at this point. Thus while Jon makes a valid point that a slug will possible penetrate more than one zombie, the dispersion patter of shot allows for you to engage multiple targets at close range with intense firepower and does not require a great deal of aim.

Scott does make a valid point about the reloading time of shot versus slug and I would defer to the circumstances and resources that one has available at the time. Hence if shotguns are you basic means of defense of a fortified location then I would prefer slug, but if I am perhaps doing room clearing or have a shotgun as a means of defense for personal close use as possibly a back up weapon in a vehicle than I would prefer shot.

There is an added danger with shot that the factors of distance from target and size of projectile that it may result in more than one shot to take down a single zombie and this would be a waste of ammo.

One conclusion is possible a variation in load of a shotgun, slug, shot, slug, shot.


1:32 PM, June 16, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shot would rule in close range, i think. In the heat of battle, slugs would be ok only if you don't have to focus on more than one. the tendency to swing the barrel from one target to another would be more forgiving with shot than it would with a slug: a slug travels in a straight line, while shot goes in a conical area. So, if you have the precious extra 1/2 second to spare, then by all means go slug. but if you know you are going to be surrounded, then i think shot is the way to go. just aim at angle. :)

1:22 PM, November 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In close range firing, a shotgun's pattern will be very tight, so it won't matter if you have it loaded with 00-buck, birdshot or slug: The mass of the shot will remain centered at 10 yards. Birdshot would be ineffective past 15 yards (remember that Cheney's lawyer friend survived). Buckshot will be OK but is also limited in range. Thus, a slug load works in both close-quarter combat and medium range (say 40 yards).

Best to cut a cross in the slug so it "mushrooms" upon impact. And if you can, hollow out a hole in the slug, fill with mercury, then solder it closed: You now have an exploding slug that will take off a zombie head even with a glancing blow.

3:06 PM, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok just skipping through and found this thread thought i would contribute. ok first things first the type of shot you use would mostly depend on the shotgun of choice like auto shotgun or something more sophisticated like the beretta twelve bore. if you were using an auto shotgun for example i would be more than happy to let loose a few slugs because i know i would have a few to spare where as with the twelve bore i would have to use a couple of high wieght buckshot rounds as the the higher the weight the more nitros cellulose (explosive) you need to put behind it and the higher the amount of explosive the higher acuracy it would have. but in my personal beleif if i was caught anywhere with a shotgun and zombies i would have to barricade myself in to a pharmasist and make myself a few extra precations. but hey i think it all depends on the type of person you are and the level of stress you could deal with. have fun with the rest of your discussion.

2:35 PM, January 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slugs would work for single targets, mid-point plank. One problem is, shots guns commonly have a choke on the mussel that gives you a tighter grouping for shot. It is a stupid idea to mis slugs and choke. And also note that chokes and steal shot do not go together as well. Small game shot; T, BBB, BB and smaller, would be a waist of time. OO and OOO buck shots and larger shot would prove more effective at close range were the shot spread is low enough that it would be as if a solid mass was fired, only that it would me larger than a slug hit.

You also seem to be forgetting that there are other gages of shot guns, yes 12 is popular, but there are also 10 gage. The 16, 20, 28, and .410 cal would be useless.

Under the circumstances, being so bent on using a shot gun you would want a quick load or semi auto, the pump would be too slow reloading to keep you alive unless there are less than the 3-5 shot it can carry. Recommended the US military AA-12 shotgun, semi auto with a 20 round mag.

And if you are able to get a hold of military weapons, the US M60 would be my choice of weapon or an other LMG or SAW. Full auto, 100-200 rounds per belt, and various ammo. Draw backs would be the weight of it, and loading the belt after it's been emptied.

As far as what jon claims about slug penetration, i fine is not quite true, you have to keep in mind, a slug is a big lump of lead, not vary pointy, and meant to kill with impact not penetration. So unless the undead fall apart like paper, or sand castles, it's not likely to penetrate, unless at close range. And if they do fall apart so easily then you may as well play base ball on there heads.

Dual rifles, or elephant guns, would provide the penetration to take down a line up of targets, without the need of full metal jacketed bullets or overly pointy. Slugs simply do not have the same powder load which is needed to achieve the wanted penetration. Granted a dual rifle dose have this power, and more range than any shotgun, it is a hinge action, meaning single shot per barrel. And the fact that they aren't made or used in large quantities. Also try the Sharps Buffalo, .50 cal, and more likely to be found in the US, even if they were used in the late 1800s. If you do have one or other large cal rifle, have it for long to mid range, and a shotgun or two for mid to point blank. Again going back to getting military armament, a .50 sniper or anti material rifle would out do a dual rifle with the mag holding 8-10 rounds.

The Smith&Wesson .50 cal revolver would be something to consider for a sidearm.

Also messing with mercury slugs can be just as devastating to you and you target. The force from the powder can be just as likely to make the slug 'explode' in the barrel as the forces from the slug hitting a target. It may be able to take down a tree, but the forces applied might not have the same effect on flesh, let alone rotting flesh.


1:48 PM, August 27, 2007  
Anonymous Zombies said...

Definitely buckshot. You're more likely to miss with a slug and in real life it's not a video where you can take out a row of zombies with one shot.

2:43 AM, May 01, 2014  

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