Malleolus wrote:Anyway, a firearm (without extensive measures taken to suppress it, and a way to replace that suppressor because they wear with each shot, judging from your experience you know this, but others might not, so please don't take offense) would be like a dinner bell, and say you're stuck in an alley with 5-15+ zombies between you and escape. Firing the gun could quickly mean dozens more filling the void. It get's worse as you progress from night of the living dead version of a zombie to a 28 day's later version and the in between.
Suppressors are a lot more durable than they used to be. Really, suppressor technology has come a long way since the WWII-era M3 Grease Gun suppressors where you had to change out a roll of window screen or whatever every time you used the damn thing. (I may be exaggerating slightly but not by a lot.) Look at current offerings by Gemtech, AAC, etc., they aren't your grandpa's "silencer." Wipes, packing materials, and wet media all have to be replaced, but most modern suppressors don't need these (with the exception of wet pistol silencers which are more effective when wet with water or grease). I'm no expert but I've talked to a lot of guys who are into suppressors. They're not "Hollywood quiet" but they are both quieter and more durable than the last generation was.
A suppressor would be my first choice for silent dispatching of zombies, but Chicago IL + NFA = FML. Failing that, if you want to pick off a zombie without drawing more, I'd use a crossbow or a compound hunting bow (my wife and I each have one of the latter). No sense in getting up close and risking a bite, injury, and infection. Knives, garrotes, helmet smashes, and other techniques for sentry removal may work well against living human combatants, but would not be desirable against zombies both because of risk and lack of effectiveness. (The Smatchet, however, would probably still be a good weapon against a zombie, especially if you could sneak up on one.)
So: A silent weapon for dispatching zombies quietly is one thing, and a melee weapon as a backup for your firearms is another thing. Best not to confuse them. Silent dispatching, my choices are 1., suppressed firearm, 2., powerful hunting crossbow, 3., a high-quality, powerful bow, and 4., last resort, melee weapons like a smatchet, tomahawk, etc. But I would use #4 only if the first three options were unavailable, and if escape and evade wasn't an option. Which leaves the question of a melee weapon as a backup defense...
Other than that, I'll conceit to training with multiple weapons and other things that you can happen upon randomly. But you aren't typically going to pry open a door with a knife without risking shearing the blade off. It's incidental and yes other things can get the job done, but how many times is it going to last compared to a proper weapon is my thing. It's only a few extra pounds for something you know is going to last you through extremely extended confrontations possibly and is designed explicitly for the conditions you see in a zpoc with little maintenance. It's going to maximize your efficiency with the proper training, rather than using something else to get the job done but at the cost of greater exertion and possible ruination of the tool. Even with proper training with a knife, it's still not designed for the conditions of eliminating a zombie, so it will wear faster and you run a risk of loosing something that is invaluable to your survival otherwise. I just really don't see why there's such hostility to it other than a bad rep due to misconceptions induced through various entertainment outlets. It's like art (or smithing or most vocations for that matter), a well trained individual can get a job done with just about anything to a pretty good degree of refinement, but that same individual with the right tools can make the work easier and come out far better, changing an amature piece of work into a masterpiece if you will. The skill is there in both scenario's, but the right tools can make all the difference.
Yeah, a knife wouldn't be my top choice either. A sturdy rifle with a fixed bayonet is hard to beat (since you've got to carry the rifle anyway). Failing that, there are a lot of tools that can double as good melee weapons. I've got a Gerber Sport Axe in my BOB that would be useful in a pinch, and a Woodman's Pal. The odds of my needing to use a melee weapon are low enough that I'm happy using one (or two) that can double as a tool I need anyway.
At home, sure, I've got machetes, swords, pick handles, baseball bats, spears, all sorts of shit. Just for fun, but hey, if the dead show up, I'm not going to neglect the "stabby rack" I keep in each room of my house. Seriously. My house is full of racks, stacks, and hooks hanging all sorts of melee weapons. I love swords and shit like that. I'm just very realistic about their limitations, and their primary role as toys/fun time.
ETA: On an aside, I think it's great to see vet's and current servicemen in the forums and active. Thank you for your services and sacrifices, and I'm honored to see you here with us.
Yes, thanks from me, too, guys!