Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

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Close_enough
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Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by Close_enough » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:26 pm

Has anybody given thought to (hiking) sticks, and stones as a way to de-animate some Zeds at a relatively safe distance? When I talking about hiking sticks, I mean the traditional hardwood (hickory, oak, ash, hopbeam, etc.) hiking sticks about 4 1/2 feet long. Not the modern aluminum and composite trekking poles. And, stones is your basic tennis ball sized chunk of granite thrown at 40-50 mph. Not the 100+ mph "express air mail" stones out of a shepherd's sling.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by CipherNameRaVeN » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:07 pm

I suppose it could work.... if zombies were real. :lol:
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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by TheZone » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Close_enough wrote:Has anybody given thought to (hiking) sticks, and stones as a way to de-animate some Zeds at a relatively safe distance? When I talking about hiking sticks, I mean the traditional hardwood (hickory, oak, ash, hopbeam, etc.) hiking sticks about 4 1/2 feet long. Not the modern aluminum and composite trekking poles. And, stones is your basic tennis ball sized chunk of granite thrown at 40-50 mph. Not the 100+ mph "express air mail" stones out of a shepherd's sling.
If you read my series, you would see that ice axes are superbly designed for the removal of the undead. :wink:
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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by phractal213 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:55 pm

Stick makes a fine clobbering tool. Never runs out of ammo. Fun for the whole family.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by TheZone » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:23 am

phractal213 wrote:Stick makes a fine clobbering tool. Never runs out of ammo. Fun for the whole family.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
The key to remember is that if you need brain destruction to kill a zombie, blunt impact offers the least efficient means to accomplish that task.

Unless you have exceptional upper body strength, very strong wrists, and a lot of practice, delivering a blow to the curved cranial structure with sufficient force to cause severe brain trauma is difficult.

Then, there is the effect of the back-shock transmitted to your wrists and forearms with each strike. Unless you power lift regularly, your forearms will quickly grow numb slamming that blunt object against bone. And zombies travel in packs.

What you need is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Quark-Ice-A ... AYZVNECC36

A device ergonomically designed to repeatedly plant a steel wedge into a substance harder than bone.

Take it from someone who had hit a lot of people with blunt objects: there's a very good reason why early man moved past the club.

Historical weapons employed for piercing armor (war hammers, etc) will work equally well on zombies.
My Zombie novel. The Zone.

My Second Zombie novel. Payload, YGAT Book 1

My Third Zombie novel. Rolling Hunger, YGAT book 2

My Western zombie novel. Sunstone

My alien invasion novel.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by phractal213 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:03 am

Great points. An axe is a more effective tool. That said, more people get clobbered with sticks. I've never made someone smaller with an axe. But one good whack in the neck with a stick has rarely ever failed me. I find sticks everywhere so I don't have to carry them with me.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by sventhewarrior » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:48 am

TheZone wrote:
phractal213 wrote:Stick makes a fine clobbering tool. Never runs out of ammo. Fun for the whole family.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
The key to remember is that if you need brain destruction to kill a zombie, blunt impact offers the least efficient means to accomplish that task.

Unless you have exceptional upper body strength, very strong wrists, and a lot of practice, delivering a blow to the curved cranial structure with sufficient force to cause severe brain trauma is difficult.

Then, there is the effect of the back-shock transmitted to your wrists and forearms with each strike. Unless you power lift regularly, your forearms will quickly grow numb slamming that blunt object against bone. And zombies travel in packs.

What you need is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Quark-Ice-A ... AYZVNECC36

A device ergonomically designed to repeatedly plant a steel wedge into a substance harder than bone.

Take it from someone who had hit a lot of people with blunt objects: there's a very good reason why early man moved past the club.

Historical weapons employed for piercing armor (war hammers, etc) will work equally well on zombies.
Isn't an ice ax also designed to get stuck? Especially with a skull. Bone flexes, unlike ice, so when you hit it with something thin it tends to flex under the pressure before being pierced, then return to its original shape and bind. Then you also have negative pressure in the cranium that tends to help things get stuck, like sinking your boots into mud.

I've never used an ice ax, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at that thing it looks like it would be highly effective... Once. It would have the same downside that any thin stabbing object would have, but in addition to that it has those serrations on the bottom that I assume are specifically designed to stick into the ice so you can climb.

There's no way I would want to use this.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by sventhewarrior » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:19 am

phractal213 wrote:Great points. An axe is a more effective tool. That said, more people get clobbered with sticks. I've never made someone smaller with an axe. But one good whack in the neck with a stick has rarely ever failed me. I find sticks everywhere so I don't have to carry them with me.

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A stick might be able to crack the skull if it has enough mass and velocity. However, that's not the goal.

A human can die from a skull fracture, though certain types of fractures are more dangerous than others. However, the mechanism of death is usually inter-cranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull). Traditional zombies do not have functional circulatory systems and therefor would not be vulnerable to hemorrhage of any kind. So you could crack the skull and even poke a hole in the brain and not kill the zombie.

The goal is to penetrate the skull and the brain, and destroy the relevant parts of the brain directly. That would be nearly impossible to do in one strike with a stick. You would have to deliver enough force to shatter the entire head like a watermelon. That's not likely.

Fracturing the spine is a possibility. You could disable a zombie with a powerful enough strike to the base of the head or the neck. However, that's from the rear, where the spine is near the surface. From the front or the sides there's all that muscle, fat, and connective tissue in the way that would absorb some of the impact. My educated guess is that it might be possible with something like a baseball bat and a strong enough user, but I don't know if you could do it consistently.

Honestly, I think I would only use a stick if it were literally the only weapon available. Even then I wouldn't want a walking stick, I would want something club shaped.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by TheZone » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:02 am

sventhewarrior wrote:
TheZone wrote:
phractal213 wrote:Stick makes a fine clobbering tool. Never runs out of ammo. Fun for the whole family.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
The key to remember is that if you need brain destruction to kill a zombie, blunt impact offers the least efficient means to accomplish that task.

Unless you have exceptional upper body strength, very strong wrists, and a lot of practice, delivering a blow to the curved cranial structure with sufficient force to cause severe brain trauma is difficult.

Then, there is the effect of the back-shock transmitted to your wrists and forearms with each strike. Unless you power lift regularly, your forearms will quickly grow numb slamming that blunt object against bone. And zombies travel in packs.

What you need is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Quark-Ice-A ... AYZVNECC36

A device ergonomically designed to repeatedly plant a steel wedge into a substance harder than bone.

Take it from someone who had hit a lot of people with blunt objects: there's a very good reason why early man moved past the club.

Historical weapons employed for piercing armor (war hammers, etc) will work equally well on zombies.
Isn't an ice ax also designed to get stuck? Especially with a skull. Bone flexes, unlike ice, so when you hit it with something thin it tends to flex under the pressure before being pierced, then return to its original shape and bind. Then you also have negative pressure in the cranium that tends to help things get stuck, like sinking your boots into mud.

I've never used an ice ax, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at that thing it looks like it would be highly effective... Once. It would have the same downside that any thin stabbing object would have, but in addition to that it has those serrations on the bottom that I assume are specifically designed to stick into the ice so you can climb.

There's no way I would want to use this.
An ice axe is designed to hold when striking a dense layer.

The downward angle and serrated teeth of the blade ensures that when the weapon comes to rest in the terminal stroke (ie, buried in the skull) it will have created a larger entrance wound that the actual blade dimensions. Therefore on withdrawal there will be little or no bind, and limited negative seal, although it will tend to extract quantities of brain matter upon withdrawal.

Real people get hit with ice axes, too. I attended a class on skull trauma by weapon type; Ice axes and flat-back roofing hammers seldom if ever hang up.
My Zombie novel. The Zone.

My Second Zombie novel. Payload, YGAT Book 1

My Third Zombie novel. Rolling Hunger, YGAT book 2

My Western zombie novel. Sunstone

My alien invasion novel.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by sventhewarrior » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:56 pm

TheZone wrote:
sventhewarrior wrote:
TheZone wrote:
phractal213 wrote:Stick makes a fine clobbering tool. Never runs out of ammo. Fun for the whole family.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
The key to remember is that if you need brain destruction to kill a zombie, blunt impact offers the least efficient means to accomplish that task.

Unless you have exceptional upper body strength, very strong wrists, and a lot of practice, delivering a blow to the curved cranial structure with sufficient force to cause severe brain trauma is difficult.

Then, there is the effect of the back-shock transmitted to your wrists and forearms with each strike. Unless you power lift regularly, your forearms will quickly grow numb slamming that blunt object against bone. And zombies travel in packs.

What you need is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Quark-Ice-A ... AYZVNECC36

A device ergonomically designed to repeatedly plant a steel wedge into a substance harder than bone.

Take it from someone who had hit a lot of people with blunt objects: there's a very good reason why early man moved past the club.

Historical weapons employed for piercing armor (war hammers, etc) will work equally well on zombies.
Isn't an ice ax also designed to get stuck? Especially with a skull. Bone flexes, unlike ice, so when you hit it with something thin it tends to flex under the pressure before being pierced, then return to its original shape and bind. Then you also have negative pressure in the cranium that tends to help things get stuck, like sinking your boots into mud.

I've never used an ice ax, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at that thing it looks like it would be highly effective... Once. It would have the same downside that any thin stabbing object would have, but in addition to that it has those serrations on the bottom that I assume are specifically designed to stick into the ice so you can climb.

There's no way I would want to use this.
An ice axe is designed to hold when striking a dense layer.

The downward angle and serrated teeth of the blade ensures that when the weapon comes to rest in the terminal stroke (ie, buried in the skull) it will have created a larger entrance wound that the actual blade dimensions. Therefore on withdrawal there will be little or no bind, and limited negative seal, although it will tend to extract quantities of brain matter upon withdrawal.

Real people get hit with ice axes, too. I attended a class on skull trauma by weapon type; Ice axes and flat-back roofing hammers seldom if ever hang up.
I don't have any experience with ice axes, so I guess I'll take your word on it. To be perfectly honest I'm still skeptical, but I don't have any info to refute your claim. If you have some citations of real world cases I would love to see it.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by TheZone » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:49 pm

sventhewarrior wrote:
I don't have any experience with ice axes, so I guess I'll take your word on it. To be perfectly honest I'm still skeptical, but I don't have any info to refute your claim. If you have some citations of real world cases I would love to see it.
They didn't quote any specific cases. In Virginia there is a facility where they test decomposition rates of human bodies, and conduct forensic wound tests on both live animals and Human cadavers.

They covered ice axes, both chisel and serrated blades in detail, as well as numerous other weapons. I've seen roofing hammer skull trauma in person-those and brush hooks are not uncommon devices for migrant workers resolving personal disputes.

Its tough to come up with specific cases because media links seldom include forensic data on the wounds themselves. However, in my YGAT series I specifically note both weapons' effectiveness against zombies. :mrgreen:
My Zombie novel. The Zone.

My Second Zombie novel. Payload, YGAT Book 1

My Third Zombie novel. Rolling Hunger, YGAT book 2

My Western zombie novel. Sunstone

My alien invasion novel.

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by sventhewarrior » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:01 pm

TheZone wrote:
sventhewarrior wrote:
I don't have any experience with ice axes, so I guess I'll take your word on it. To be perfectly honest I'm still skeptical, but I don't have any info to refute your claim. If you have some citations of real world cases I would love to see it.
They didn't quote any specific cases. In Virginia there is a facility where they test decomposition rates of human bodies, and conduct forensic wound tests on both live animals and Human cadavers.

They covered ice axes, both chisel and serrated blades in detail, as well as numerous other weapons. I've seen roofing hammer skull trauma in person-those and brush hooks are not uncommon devices for migrant workers resolving personal disputes.

Its tough to come up with specific cases because media links seldom include forensic data on the wounds themselves. However, in my YGAT series I specifically note both weapons' effectiveness against zombies. :mrgreen:
That's not surprising. With any zombie weapon it's hard to be sure what will work and what won't without actually testing it on the real thing. Unfortunately, the real thing doesn't exist, so...

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by Jeriah » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:21 am

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by jor-el » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:03 pm

I don't think the OP considered anything made by Cold Steel under their line of "Specialty Items".

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Re: Sticks and stones may break zombie skulls...

Post by Close_enough » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

The ice axe and cold steel comments brought back some memories from days past.

The first was the "walking" instead of technical ice axe. A climbing spike and adze on top and spike with basket on the bottom. Replacing the bottom spike with a rubber foot or carbide spike would make it a suitable walking stick.

Second was a "shepherd's axe", which had a pole hawk integrated into the handle. Either one, having business end on a 3 foot handle, would easily generate the speed necessary to neutralized a zed.

This brings me to 3, bone is very impressive material. It has excellent compressive strength perpendicular to the surface and moderate tensile and lateral compressive strength. But, poor lateral tensile strength. In short, it's vulnerable to chisel point weapons creating radial fractures to allow the rest of weapon to punch through. Something bowhunters have known for a while.

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