Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

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Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by zero11010 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:20 am

The shotgun is, without a doubt, the most overrated weapon to use against zombies.

Why? Well, to be overrated a weapon has to be highly sought after, and it has to be less good than the demand would warrant. The shotgun is one of the first weapons that come to mind for most people when they think about a weapon to use against zombies, and I think I can show why it's a pretty poor choice.

Please note that the direction this will take is purely for killing zombies, and it will place no weight on the effectiveness of a shotgun on dealing with regular people or animals.

Shotgun pros:
- Able to shoot different types of shells (most commonly desired are slugs and 00 buck)
- 00 buckshot will scatter allowing you to hit a target with a small amount of wiggle room for shooter error.
- Shotguns have immense stopping power
- Shotguns are intimidating

Shotgun negatives:
- Intimidation is meaningless against zombies
- Stopping power is almost entirely without value against a zombie target. Either you destroy the brain or you don't. Knocking it down may buy you a moment, but spending that shot to drop the zombie permanently is a much better use of time.
- Slugs produce significant wasted energy. The goal is to penetrate the decomposing skull. If 00 buckshot will do that, the extra energy from a slug is a lot of wasted energy that comes with the hearty price of weight and size.
- 00 buckshot is inaccurate beyond about 25 yards. Because the buckshot spreads out randomly, there is no way to control where the buckshot will go. This makes hitting a 4 inch target (the brain) at 25+ yards luck.
- Shotguns (with very few exceptions) have very limited ammo capacity. Realistically, most shotguns will hold about 5-8 rounds (that puts a shotgun about on par with most full sized .45 pistols, but without the advantages of the removable magazines). Yes there are shotguns like the KSG, AA-12, and the Saiga, but while YOU may have one, most of the population does not. So, I don't take these into consideration anymore than I would other less common weapons.
- Shotgun ammo is incredibly heavy and spacious. This provides significant issues when transporting or storing the ammo when compared to storing most other types of rounds (.22, .38, 9mm, .45, .223 ....). How big of a difference? For the weight of a pound you can store roughly 12 shotgun shells, or you can store a loaded 30 round AR magazine (including mag weight). Or you could store about 130 loose .22LR rounds. This is an issue when you are carrying everything you own on your back.
- It's more difficult to carry and access additional rounds of shotgun ammo than pistol/rifle ammo held in a magazine.
- Shotgun rounds have larger than average recoil (this is a very minor issue for experienced shooters, but it can be very intimidating to use for novices, and that can translate into exceptionally poor shooting fundamentals).
- 00 buckshot has very minimal energy on each individual buckshot. Each pellet has force roughly equal to .22LR (slightly more than .22LR, but less than .38, and less than half the force of a 9mm round or a .40 or a .45). This means that the kill shot effectiveness of 00 buckshot is roughly equal to the killshot effectiveness of .22LR. Specific foot pounds of force data can be found below.

A simple Gock17 is superior to a shotgun with buckshot in most situations. The most common shotgun in the country holds 5-8 rounds. The Glock will hold 17+1 with a basic magazine (in most states), and the weight for this loaded gun is roughly 1.9 pounds, compared to the roughly 6 pounds for the shotgun and about a half dozen rounds. Out to a half dozen to a dozen yards there is functionally no difference because they're both lethal and readily accurate. Between this shooter specific distance and about 25 yards the shotgun is more accurate, but at the huge cost of weight and size with a rounds limited weapon, and a more involved reloading process.

For the roughly 6 pounds of an average shotgun with a half dozen rounds of ammo you can carry a Ruger 10/22 and 50 rounds loaded in 25 round magazines. I sure would rather have 50 rounds than 6. The Ruger 10/22 has the same killing effectiveness as buckshot with greater accuracy than slugs. Or if you prefer, an AR-15 and about 15 rounds in a magazine, and I would also have an AR-15 with 15 rounds instead of a shotgun with 6 rounds.

00 Buckshot being fired at distances:
25 yards fired at a 12(?) inch target. If any of the individual buckshot are within 4 inches of the target is up for debate. Firing 10 times will yield 10 different spreads, meaning the results are unreliable.


80 yards shooting at a giant deer target with no ability to reliably hit a 4 inch target.


50-70 yards shooting at a deer target using a choke to limit spread. Shooter still has no ability to reliably hit a 4 inch target.


Slugs fired at 100 yards showing they are effective at distance without optics.
Last edited by zero11010 on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by roOism » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:11 am

Indeed you say.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Sworbeyegib » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:23 am

I think you will find that many of us tend to trend against shotguns in a defensive capacity. A lot of us are pro-carbine or pro-pistol.

Shotguns have their niche.

For a civilian, that niche is the following.
-Cheap, available, and mostly unregulated.
-Hunting game birds
-Hunting deer in states that do not allow centerfire rifles for hunting.

For LEO and military, this is their niche...
-Less than lethal rounds
-Breaching doors.

In every other aspect, it tends to show it's faults.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by KYZHunters » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:07 am

Did you not have video results of shooting the Glock 17 at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards?
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Kelvar » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:52 am

Zero11010,
Welcome to our forums! As you probably know, there are 10 types of people: those who speak binary and those who don't! :lol:

If you get a chance, please stop by our introductions subforum and tell us a little bit about yourself. :)

http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=10

The role of the shotgun for self-defense is an interesting issue and certainly one that merits thoughtful discussion. I appreciate your well-written and fairly thoughtful commentary on the topic. As Sworbeyebig noted above, most of us here have reached a similar conclusion about the limited utility of the shotgun for self-defense purposes. However, it is generally accepted that Rifle>Shotgun>Pistol. You seem to be a capable wordsmith, so I look forward to your contributions on these and other issues.

One of the great things about ZS is that we have a number of experts in a variety of fields who are contributors to our forums. If you're interested in reading more about shotguns, I highly recommend you check out this link:
http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... 09&t=75701

I consider this excellent write up by Don Copp to be the definitive analysis of the shotgun for self-defense. (I'm not aware of a better article on the self-defense shotgun than this one, but if anyone is aware of one, please let me know).

I do respectfully disagree with you on a few points:
Saiga 12s are not that rare. Many of us on the forums here have one (or more). True, they are not as common as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but seeing one isn't like spotting a sasquatch. So while they may be uncommon, I would not consider them so rare as to be disregarded. The problem is with shotgun generally, with the ammo. If 12 gauge were as great as many seem to think--and I agree with you here that they are overrated, or at least overhyped--then I think you'd see a lot more Saiga 12s and similar semi-auto shotguns with detachable magazines.

I don't think shotguns allow you to hit "when aiming poorly", not even with 00 Buck. I believe this is a myth and I think Don adresses it in that article.

The question of whether a Glock 17 is superior to a shotgun in most situations is debatable. I think it depends on what situations we're talking about. The Glock 17 is certainly a fine pistol, but nearly every situation involves some type of compromise. The Glock's capacity and reliability are great features, but I don't know that it's effectiveness really matches a 12 gauge. I certainly disagree that a .22LR "has the same killing effectiveness as buckshot. . ."

Anyway, the ability to disagree and discuss is part of what makes our forums so great. I look forward to hearing more from you!

It bears mentioning that while we do believe if you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, you're ready for anything, we don't actually believe in real, actual zombies. Zombies as a concept do make prepping fun, but no one here is really worried about them. That being said, we do love to talk about zombies as a fun mental exercise and many of us (myself included) really enjoy zombie movies and video games, so we have a dedicated subforum here where we can talk about zombies as though they were real, or to indulge our guilty pleasure fantasies about the inevitable zombie apocalypse and how we'll be saying cool lines and saving the day, instead of our usual daily routines of going to work or standing in line at the DMV.

Considering the thrust of your OP, I've moved this thread to Zombie Combat Tactics so we can continue to focus on the interesting question of how effective shotguns would be against the walking dead.

Again, welcome to the forums! 8-)
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Mikeyboy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:01 am

KYZHunters wrote:Did you not have video results of shooting the Glock 17 at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards?
How about a Beretta 92FS and a Glock 19

Granted Hickok45 is a decent shot with a pistol, but for the record most Military and Police qualifications shoot out to 25 yards, for both shotgun and pistol. For the record even at 25 yards, the Navy point requirements are 180 with a M9 pistol and only 162 with a Mossberg 500 shotgun shooting buckshot. I think the dig against Shotguns is that for a LONGGUN its not accurate. Even a Pistol caliber carbine will shoot circles around a shotgun shooting slugs at 100 yards. Shotguns are great for extreme close range, but beyond 25 yards they lose accuracy and energy. I think cost is a factor, but in terms of performance I rather use a similarly priced lever gun or carbine.

http://www.military.com/join-armed-forc ... ourse.html

http://www.shootingillustrated.com/inde ... 4-carbine/

Last edited by Mikeyboy on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by zero11010 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:15 pm

Kelvar wrote:Zero11010,
Welcome to our forums!
Thanks! I'll read your suggested forum topics, and thanks for the suggestions. Always happy to find new information!
Kelvar wrote:I do respectfully disagree with you on a few points:
Saiga 12s are not that rare. Many of us on the forums here have one (or more). True, they are not as common as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but seeing one isn't like spotting a sasquatch. So while they may be uncommon, I would not consider them so rare as to be disregarded.
You may be right! I regularly visit (1-3 times per month) one or more of 3 different ranges in my area (both indoor and outdoor). I've never seen one of these in years of membership, and do not personally know anyone who has one. I believe they're out there! But, I think they're on the rarer side of things. Basically, I think the general population does not know about, have, or consider this an option (perhaps largely due to lack of knowledge). I don't want to get too bogged down on specific models though. The topic at hand is more that shotguns are known for limited ammo capacity, and I think pretty much everyone would agree with that. I just wanted to make it clear while I'm stating this as a negative, I'm aware that exceptions to the rule exist.

As an aside, I know very little about the Saiga 12 other than information I've read online. That information puts the Siaga in a pretty poor light. Personally, I'm looking to get a KSG in the next month or so (just gotta clear the expense with the lady of the house). Even owning a KSG with a 15 round shell capacity I would consider shotguns to generally have poor ammo capacity, because MOST shotguns in the country are a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 (as per annual unit sales).

Kelvar wrote:I don't think shotguns allow you to hit "when aiming poorly", not even with 00 Buck. I believe this is a myth and I think Don adresses it in that article.
This was worded badly on my part. Sorry. What I mean to say is that if your shooting fundamentals are placing what should be the center of your grouping off by an inch or two and you're using 00 buckshot at distance, you stand a reasonable chance of still connecting with your target based on the spread of your shot (taking distance into account). I certainly don't mean to say you do not need to use proper sight alignment or trigger control at all, just that due to the nature of the spread of the shot there is an amount of wiggle room that doesn't exist with most other weapons. And, for most of the population in this country, that wiggle room counts for a lot.

Kelvar wrote:The question of whether a Glock 17 is superior to a shotgun in most situations is debatable. I think it depends on what situations we're talking about. The Glock 17 is certainly a fine pistol, but nearly every situation involves some type of compromise. The Glock's capacity and reliability are great features, but I don't know that it's effectiveness really matches a 12 gauge.
I'm speaking in general terms. For the topic of zombies, and when talking about what are generally the most common firearms in the country (personally, I would rather use my P226 than a Glock which I choose to not own because I don't care for the feel of the trigger). In this situation I'm comparing the most popular options available, not every possible shotgun against every possible pistol (ain't nobody got time for that).
Kelvar wrote:I certainly disagree that a .22LR "has the same killing effectiveness as buckshot. . ."
Each individual pellet of 00 buckshot is separate. If you would like to compare ballistic gel results two youtube channels to check out are Gy6vids, and tnoutdoors9. These will show very detailed results of different ammunition types hitting ballistics gel (they include .22LR, .38, .40, .45, 9mm, 00 buckshot, and more). The penetration for 00 buckshot is (barely) greater than .22LR, but less than .38, and significantly less than .40, .45, or 9mm.
Some solid numbers to compare are the readily available ft/lbs of force generated by each round type (yes there are mild variations by specific ammo within a caliber size, but we have to use general terms).
Let's assume that this is accurate: http://www.georgia-arms.com/mecalc.html
.22LR: 127 - 157 (federal crap jacketed - winchester x super HP)
.38: 199 (taken from a wiki)
9mm: 383 - 409 (winchester crap white box - federal JHP +P)
.40: 425 (taken from a wiki)
.45: 383 - 410 (winchester crap white box - federal HP)

00 buckshot: 175 (winchester crap)

.556: 1306 (winchester crap)

This proves that each individual round of 00 buckshot has about the same potential energy as a .22LR round (at the muzzle). While they're not exactly the same, and 00 buckshot is higher (10%+ variance), it's significantly lower than most pistol rounds and almost 1/10th the power of a basic rifle round.

We do also know from real world crime statistics that a .22LR will penetrate the human skull. Yes the argument can be made that they're more likely to deflect because any difference in force is still a difference, but then we have to start talking about the bone density of a decaying human body, and the skull curvature of the specific point of impact, and the dispersal of energy due to the different diameter of the rounds, and I'd rather not get into that many variables. If one of you wants to tackle that, I'd be happy to chime in.

Kelvar wrote:Considering the thrust of your OP, I've moved this thread to Zombie Combat Tactics so we can continue to focus on the interesting question of how effective shotguns would be against the walking dead.
Sorry about that! I had assumed that at zombiehunters.org the default topic focus would be zombies. I'll keep my posts in this section in the future!

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by woodsghost » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:39 pm

zero11010 wrote:
Kelvar wrote:Considering the thrust of your OP, I've moved this thread to Zombie Combat Tactics so we can continue to focus on the interesting question of how effective shotguns would be against the walking dead.
Sorry about that! I had assumed that at zombiehunters.org the default topic focus would be zombies. I'll keep my posts in this section in the future!
We talk about all sorts of stuff here! Yes, zombies are a lot of what we talk about. :)

Personally, I like the 20 ga, as I feel it addresses many of the problems with the 12 ga. Lighter ammo, softer recoil, and at least 75% of the power of a 12 ga. Plenty enough to regularly take deer at 120+ yards. I have a friend who does it every deer season.

Interesting thoughts!
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Boondock » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:48 pm

zero11010 wrote:The shotgun is, without a doubt, the most overrated weapon to use against zombies.
But is it the most overrated weapon for the zombie apocalypse?

GO!
Last edited by Boondock on Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by ManInBlack316 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:46 pm

While people try to defend the shotgun for a good anti zombie weapon, I'll just be over here with my 22lr rifle. :awesome:

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Crazy Chaingun » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:01 pm

Question: how would #4 buckshot (not to be confused with #4 bird shot) compare to 00 Buck in a zombie apocalypse?

From the admittedly small amount of shooting I have done with 00 Buck, I would say that it likely has more than enough penetration to scramble a zombie's brains. The biggest downside (in my mind) to 00 Buck, is that you only have about 9 pellets in a standard 2.75" shell. With #4 buckshot, I believe you get around 21-24 pellets (can't remember exactly). Thus, #4 buck would give you a much greater chance of a headshot.

The big caveat is, would a single #4 pellet do sufficient damage to a skull? There's certainly a lot less mass per pellet there, but I wonder if it would work...

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Redeyes » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:59 am

zero11010 wrote: A simple Gock17 is superior to a shotgun with buckshot in most situations. The most common shotgun in the country holds 5-8 rounds. The Glock will hold 17+1 with a basic magazine (in most states), and the weight for this loaded gun is roughly 1.9 pounds, compared to the roughly 6 pounds for the shotgun and about a half dozen rounds. The effective ranges for the shotgun with 00 buckshot will be about the same as with the pistol (for most shooters).
I wanted to address this part. One advantage the shotgun has over pistols is the 4 points of contact (5 with a sling) vs 2 points of contact with a pistol. I go to the range a lot. I see a lot of people who are by my standards new to firearms. Most of them suck with a pistol but at the same range can make hits with the shotgun. To be fair, most of them are males around 180lb or more. The women I see at the range usually do not fire a shotgun. If they do, most of the time it is one shot to try it and due to the recoil that is it. Still 4 points of contact work better for someone with not much in the way of firearms skills than 2 points of contact. It also takes more time to train someone with a pistol than a long gun to make hits at the same distance.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by procyon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:56 am

Redeyes wrote:
zero11010 wrote: A simple Gock17 is superior to a shotgun with buckshot in most situations. The most common shotgun in the country holds 5-8 rounds. The Glock will hold 17+1 with a basic magazine (in most states), and the weight for this loaded gun is roughly 1.9 pounds, compared to the roughly 6 pounds for the shotgun and about a half dozen rounds. The effective ranges for the shotgun with 00 buckshot will be about the same as with the pistol (for most shooters).
I wanted to address this part. One advantage the shotgun has over pistols is the 4 points of contact (5 with a sling) vs 2 points of contact with a pistol. I go to the range a lot. I see a lot of people who are by my standards new to firearms. Most of them suck with a pistol but at the same range can make hits with the shotgun. To be fair, most of them are males around 180lb or more. The women I see at the range usually do not fire a shotgun. If they do, most of the time it is one shot to try it and due to the recoil that is it. Still 4 points of contact work better for someone with not much in the way of firearms skills than 2 points of contact. It also takes more time to train someone with a pistol than a long gun to make hits at the same distance.
This is probably the biggest strength of a shotgun to me. It has a very short and shallow learning curve.
We just finished up the competitive portion of the local youth trapshooting program. This year we had a crowd of kids that hadn't shot before (we call them 1st years).
In 400 rounds (50 a week over 8 weeks) we had most go from single percent hit rates the first week to 60% at the end. On a target about 4" across moving 40 mph at about 40yds when they shoot.
The new first years ranged in age from 10-14 y/o. Half were females and the weights would range from 75-100 lbs. Pretty even mix of 20 ga vs 12 ga used.
Granted, this is with birdshot on a set range. But I have a lot of faith that this level of skill will translate to an ability to hit something the size of a skull stumbling around at 10-20 yds with (say #4) buckshot.

Not saying it couldn't be done with a pistol. But I don't know that you could get folks in that size and age range to reliably hit a small (4") moving target in just 400 rounds of practice.
So are shotguns overrated - probably if you watch TV/movies/etc.
Would I rather teach a new shooter to engage small moving targets at short ranges with limited training ammo supply and opportunity to practice - with a shotgun or pistol...
Definitely shotgun.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by NamelessStain » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:37 am

Just zombies? No need for anything more than a rimfire magnum since brain shots are no different than varmint hunting :P

Good article comparing 3 rimfire magnums: http://www.chuckhawks.com/magnum_rimfire_comparison.htm

I really want someone to produce a semi-auto 5mm RFM rifle :) Damn it Ruger, build a conversion kit for the 10/22 :clap:
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:01 am

NamelessStain wrote:Just zombies? No need for anything more than a rimfire magnum since brain shots are no different than varmint hunting :P

Good article comparing 3 rimfire magnums: http://www.chuckhawks.com/magnum_rimfire_comparison.htm

I really want someone to produce a semi-auto 5mm RFM rifle :) Damn it Ruger, build a conversion kit for the 10/22 :clap:
Doesn't someone make a 17HMR kit for the magnum 1022s? You know what, Ruger needs to bring those back.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by tedbeau » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:28 am

Kelvar wrote:Zero11010,



It bears mentioning that while we do believe if you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, you're ready for anything, we don't actually believe in real, actual zombies. Zombies as a concept do make prepping fun, but no one here is really worried about them. That being said, we do love to talk about zombies as a fun mental exercise and many of us (myself included) really enjoy zombie movies and video games, so we have a dedicated subforum here where we can talk about zombies as though they were real, or to indulge our guilty pleasure fantasies about the inevitable zombie apocalypse and how we'll be saying cool lines and saving the day, instead of our usual daily routines of going to work or standing in line at the DMV.


Again, welcome to the forums! 8-)
Umm, Kevlar isn't necessarily speaking for all of us on all the points he makes. I do think the OP made some very valid points about a shotgun. Their main advantage is the ability to be used to hunt just about anything that runs or flies, (probably swims too, if the waters not to deep) by the correct ammo selection. If I came across a field loaded with pheasants I would rather have a shotgun and some bird shot than that Glock 17. I'd have a much better chance of eating with the shotgun. Same applies if I am in deer country.

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Sworbeyegib » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:47 pm

I don't think anyone can deny the versatility of a shotgun in a hunting/foraging role. I think having a good shotgun with a wide variety of ammo is an important part of any well rounded cache. Of course that is under the assumption that you are hold up somewhere, either bugging in, or at a bug out location. Some place where you have the luxury of storing ammunition and other weapons. Maybe that might even mean a vehicle if you still have enough gas.

In a "lone wanderer on foot" situation, you might have to ask yourself how much ammo can you reasonably carry for a shotgun. And how many of each type should you have.

If I'm not mistaken, a full 30 round AR-15 magazine weight around the same as 10 shells of buckshot. That means for the same weight, I can carry 3x as much ammo. This is important if all you have in the world is what you can carry on your back.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by grennels » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:29 pm

I've shot things with 12ga buckshot and I've shot things with a .22. Under 50 yards buckshot wins BIG.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Keeplokd » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:46 pm

I just picked up a Mossberg 500C 20ga at a garage sale for $80. Are you saying I should get my money back? :ohdear:
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:27 pm

Keeplokd wrote:I just picked up a Mossberg 500C 20ga at a garage sale for $80. Are you saying I should get my money back? :ohdear:
Pitch it in a bin before it gets you or someone you love killed. :v:
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Redeyes » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:43 pm

Keeplokd wrote:I just picked up a Mossberg 500C 20ga at a garage sale for $80. Are you saying I should get my money back? :ohdear:
Naw, keep your gun if you like it. Get some training, take it to the range, figure out what it can and can't do and you will be fine.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Keeplokd » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:01 pm

Redeyes wrote:
Keeplokd wrote:I just picked up a Mossberg 500C 20ga at a garage sale for $80. Are you saying I should get my money back? :ohdear:
Naw, keep your gun if you like it. Get some training, take it to the range, figure out what it can and can't do and you will be fine.
That's what *someone* said. If I like it I can keep it. Lol :clap:

Seems to be ok. Definitely not my Rem 870. But I suspect this Mossy is a bit older (1960's or 1970's). Hoping that means the workmanship was top notch.

Will take it to the range soon.
Last edited by Keeplokd on Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by Neville » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:48 pm

I love my Mossberg 590. It is my go-to gun for home defense.

That said, I agree with the OP generally that it is a sub-optimal choice for a dedicated anti-zombie weapon for various reasons.

IMHO a .30 carbine is just about perfect for a zombie firearm, if you're going to have one. This assumes you have a substantial supply of ammo for it. I bought two ammo cans full of it a few years back from Georgia Arms under their Canned Heat label. .30 carbine ammo hardball leaves something to be desired in terms of terminal ballistics but the soft-lead tip variety needs to make no apologies. This is a little harder to find but if you are shooting for effect it's well worth it. I made a point of insisting on this when I made my GA purchase and got it.

A .357 pump carbine or levergun is also a good choice. Ammo is reasonably easy to find in comparison to the .30 carbine above. I have a Timberwolf .357 and love it, and it goes perfectly with a .357 revolver on the belt. These both make good zombie weapons.

There are a number of pistol-caliber carbines on the market. They all have various pro's and con's. I like the idea, but it's hard to find one that offers the right blend of trade-offs. I have a CZ .40 pistol that can share magazines and ammo with a Kel-Tec Sub2000 and in fact I keep this pair in my GHB. If it were to be exclusively a zombie setup the 9mm would probably be a better choice, the Glock compatible version with extended 33 round magazines would be about as close to perfect as I can imagine for that specific application.

The .22 magnum is an amazingly capable small round. I wish it were more common and cheaper. A Kel-Tec PMR handgun and carbine (soon to be released, we are told) would make an awesome zombie apocalypse pair.

I've heard a lot about the FN 5.7 - again, a nice handgun/carbine pair with the AR-57, should do a good job for head shots.

Now, on the broader question of the general utility of the 12 gauge shotgun in a zombie apocalypse... if you have one or can get one, I don't doubt you'll find a use for it. It is a very capable, useful and versatile weapon platform. It may not be the most efficient thing for disposing of zombies but it will get the job done. It's not the only thing you can hunt with but it will get the job done. It is not the only thing you could use for security but it will get the job done. And the only ammo more plentiful on the north american continent than .22 long rifle has got to be 12 gauge shotgun shells. I'll bet dollars to donuts that you line up 100 people of a random cross section of Americans who have ever fired a long gun of any kind before in their lives, the overwhelming majority of them have fired .22 rimfire rifles and 12 gauge shotguns. They are simple to operate, and as mentioned by another poster there is a very flat learning curve if you are meeting a 12 gauge pump for the first time. While I was gone for 2 weeks this past June my wife got to feeling insecure alone in the house at night with just her beside pistol for cold comfort. She got my mossberg ready beside her bed and slept much better thereafter. Upon my return she demanded (and got) her own Mossberg 12 gauge with a shorter stock to fit her reach better.

My personal opinion is that no home should be without at least one 12 gauge and of that variety I am a believer in Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 series or very similar. The primary reason for this affinity is because of the defensive training available for this form-factor. I've taken combat shotgun training and I can tell you the instructors will be very familiar with these two guns. These are primarily what have been used in law enforcement for decades and there is a huge amount of training built up around them. You can train with another platform undoubtedly but you will not get as much help from the instructor. The other reason is after-market support. There are more varieties of after market accessories for these two icons than for all other brands/types put together. You will not lack for ways to customize your shotgun to your particular needs (although in my opinion, most people "tacticool" their shotguns to the point where it actually interferes with usability - it's kind of a disease lol). I stuck with two basic improvements for mine. A forward mounted flashlight for low-light target identification - a very plausible use for mine given that it is a bedside HD weapon- and a six round side-saddle which provides a ready re-supply of ammunition and also helps mitigate recoil by adding some mass to the receiver. No sling by design as in my home's interior the potential for snagging it is higher than the possibility of there being an actual use for it.

We have the following 12 gauge shotguns in our collection:

(2) Mossberg 590
(1) Remington 11-87
(1) Ithaca 37 (import clone)
(1) Winchester SXP

I am anticipating acquiring a Winchester 1897. These are classics, a John Moses Browning original design, over six million of them were produced over a sixty year production run. They were the original "trench gun" in WWI and were used in service up to the conflict in Vietnam. There are still reproductions being made today. Many of these were made as take-down guns for ease of transport. One of the things I enjoy about firearms is the mechanics of how they work. I am an amateur gunsmith hoping to have a part-time retirement career in that industry somewhere down the line. And the Win 97 is just freaking cool in a retro way. They work.

For defense I prefer the Winchester "brown box" military contract over-run shells. These have substantial kick and I don't doubt they're unpleasant on the receiving end as well. They are designed to spread more from a cylinder choke barrel for CQB applications, so don't expect super-tight groups from them. This is actually a feature by design and not a shortcoming. They're not for hunting deer at 100 yards, they're for taking someone out of the fight from across the room. As that is my intended use, it's what I choose to use.

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Re: Shotguns - The most overrated weapon for zombies

Post by zero11010 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:52 pm

Neville wrote: There are a number of pistol-caliber carbines on the market. They all have various pro's and con's. I like the idea, but it's hard to find one that offers the right blend of trade-offs. I have a CZ .40 pistol that can share magazines and ammo with a Kel-Tec Sub2000 and in fact I keep this pair in my GHB. If it were to be exclusively a zombie setup the 9mm would probably be a better choice, the Glock compatible version with extended 33 round magazines would be about as close to perfect as I can imagine for that specific application.
I'm a huge fan of that Kel-Tec Sub2000 as well! I really like the ability for it to share ammo and magazines directly with my Sig. This would allow you to very effectively gear up in all pistol mags and be capable of hitting zombies at 100+ yards with your 9mm rounds. You would be able to carry the sig and the kel-tec and the combined total would weigh less than a basic shotgun and you would have 38 rounds ready to go (18+1 in each).

This is off the topic of how overrated a shotgun is when dealing with zombies but:
9mm lethality tested on youtube by Iraqveteran8888. Long distance testing performed with the Sub2k.


Sub2000 review on youtube by Nutnfancy
Last edited by zero11010 on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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