So the lurching, shambling zombie hordes have started walking, turning your neighborhood into a convention of the undead. Are you ready?
Ever since the 1932 movie White Zombie with Bela Lugosi, the past 80 years have been filled with hundreds of films, books, and television shows about the walking dead. Ever since 1968's drive in classic Night of the Living Dead, shooters have been pressed to 'shoot em in the head!". In the interviewing decades, there has been a tactical upswing in preparedness with zombies as the ultimate 'what if?
It seems that as a movie monster, no matter whether you call them zombies, zombi, xombee, the walking dead etc. they are pretty much mythical. Currently there is not a known disease that will cause an infected human to die and then reanimate into a sloppy mess of a meat robot powered by magic, T-virus, or radiation and hungry for brains. With all of the above in mind, however, if you are ready for a zombie horde, odds are you are ready for anything.
Zombie shooting accessories
In the past decade, shooting accessories for would-be undead hunters have become almost mainstream. These include cleaning kits, bags, slings, and most importantly, targets.
Zombie targets are honest fun and very effective training tools. They keep a shooter's interest and are a blast (excuse the pun) to work with, especially with younger or more inexperienced shooters. If you have a new shooter who just cannot wait to hang up a target, you have a potential lifetime shooter on your hands.
A bonus of using zombie targets is that headshots are the obvious training vector you are aiming to improve. While center mass shots are still what you want to train for, headshots are not taboo. If your assailant is behind cover or concealment, the only shot you may have is a head shot. If your assailant is wearing body armor (it happens ), you need to be able to make a head shot.
Furthermore, use of a zombie target is a good psychological transition from plain black or blue silhouette targets to more realistic life-like targets while still being dissociative enough to not get PTSD from a day at the range.
The most recommended firearms for zombie defense seem to be shotguns, tactical rifles, and handguns. Duh. These three categories of firearms are also the three most popular to hold off assault from threats of the more life-like variety. Some weapons manufacturers are even making guns they designate at specifically for zombies.
They are no-doubt quality fireams, but if you by the "Zombie Slayer 5000" and use it for home defense, the bad guy's attorney may have a field day with it. Keep that in mind.
While I (normally) do not advocate something, belt-fed for home defense...there are always BATFE Form 4's for that option as well, if you can afford it. Just as in the case of the "Zombie Slayer 5000" though, do not set it up in home defense mode until the outbreak actually occurs.
Zombie events and tactical classes
Across the country, zombie events are becoming more tactical. At college after college a popular game is the Humans vs. Zombies series (or HvZ for short) in which participants have to remain alive over the course of the game which can run days or weeks while a steady growing pool of the undead hunger after you. Armed with a toy gun, you buy yourself time and if you are good enough, maybe even survive. Can this help train student reactions in on-campus active shooter situations? Odds are the answer is yes.
From Atlanta to Boston to California Run for Your Life Zombie 5K, events are surging in popularity. These Zombie fun runs are cardio-events with the added obstacle of having to avoid zombie traps on your way that can eliminate you from finishing, or at least slow you down. While no firearms or shooting is involved, anyone preparing to live longer than 40 should be in tune with your cardio. There are plenty of tactical scenarios where being able to sprint or run can and will save your life.
The Daytona 500 of zombie prep events is the annual Omega Outbreak contest. Sponsored by DPMS, Omega Outbreak is staged in Morristown, Minnesota where shooters are involved in an increasingly stiff tactical program pitted against the best the undead have to offer. The contest is a 3-gun shoot with independent stages including Zombie Alley, the Undead Hotel, Jailbreak, Undead in the Auto, and more. For the past five years, the event has evolved to the point that it now has over 1500 competitors lusting over any number of top-tier prizes including new AR-15s and others. I participated in one and found it a blast.
Overall, Good sense zombie prep is not hokey if it saves your life.