Notably off the list
There were also a few staples of the Zombie/Gunshow/Red Dawn/post-TSHTF culture that were left off of the list.
MBRs – No main battle rifles were included on the list because these rifles are specifically designed for combat with living adversaries. A great weapon for home defense and a real post-SHTF scenario, but the larger round would be overkill (LOL) on an undead adversary. I came really close to including a M1 Garand rifle (it’s almost a rifle, club, and pike all in one), but alas . . .
Double Barrel, 12-gauge shotgun – Though personally I would probably opt to have some type of double barrel shotgun strapped to my back in an Evil-Dead-style rig, it would never be my primary arm. Absolutely devastating on anything in short range and extremely high on the cool factor – you just can’t reload fast enough to take down all of your recently reanimated friends and neighbors.
Ruger Mini-14 Ranch or Ruger Mini-30 rifle – Despite all of the love that these weapons got in the A-Team, I have never been a big fan of the rifles. A Mini-14 is not a bad rifle per say, but although it has the look – it has never been a military grade rifle and I don’t think it is rough enough for the sustained use one would see in a zombie war situation. A hunting buddy of mine had a Ruger Mini-30 that was unable to fire surplus 7.62x39mm ammunition because the firing pin wasn’t hard enough! I can’t imagine buying anything in that caliber and then not being able to fire surplus ammo – the cheaper ammo being one of the primary reasons to even get the rifle to begin with . . .
.22 caliber rifle – Though a good, lightweight .22 caliber rifle should be the core item in your wilderness E&E kit or Bug-out bag, it can never serve as the primary dispatch weapon for an undead adversary. Perfect for hunting small game and other animals, it lacks the definitive thwack needed to take out a ghoul.
Pistols – Pistols have a few disadvantages in this scenario. While great as a back-up weapon, they are usually hard to use effectively at any reasonable ranges (remember – you want to keep the zombies at bay, not get into some zombie CQB scenario), the ammo is usually underpowered, and you can’t effectively use a pistol as a club – with some exceptions.
Crossbows – I, too, love the scene in Resident Evil 4 when Alice takes out the zombie at a distance using her OSS-inspired folding crossbow, but unfortunately they are not efficient enough (size of ammo vs. weapon size) to justify the extra weight. With proper training, a crossbow can be just as accurate as a rifle, but since zombies either group together or they don’t – use a melee weapon for a single slack or a pair, and then use your primary weapon for a larger group.
Is this list controversial? Hell yeah, it is! Everyone has their favorites and the weapon they grew-up hunting with and undoubtedly would be their primary arm in a post-TSHTF zombie scenario. I am certainly not advocating anyone getting rid of their weapon of choice just because they saw a list on someone else’s website.