Choosing the Right Rifle
Choosing which rifle to familiarize yourself with and specialize in can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your adult life. However, there might come a time when your rifle expertise is more than a mere hobby. When ravenous hordes of the undead are chasing after you and your loved ones, a rifle can be the best insurance policy against your family becoming a macabre three course meal.
Unlike other weapons that you might have in your survival kit like a shotgun, pistol, or machete, a rifle can be a deadly ranged precision zombie weapon in the right hands. A trained eye and a steady grip can keep zombies at bay for as long as the ammunition lasts without the risk of getting dangerously close to the infected.
Carbine rifles are well-suited for medium and short range combat, however they are much less accurate at longer range. On the other end of the spectrum, a well-trained and well-armed sniper can dispatch the undead from a mile away. Rifles tend to be a tradeoff between distance and maneuverability, choose the one that suits your combat style best.
Rifle Advantages & Disadvantages
Fully automatic rifles are strongly advised against for undead warfare (although they can be useful against other survivors if such a situation arises) because they are inaccurate and churn out lots of precious ammunition quickly. Instead look for a semi-automatic or bolt-action rifle. Although bolt-action rifles are a little slower, with a magazine and some practice they can be almost as fast as a semi-automatic without the risk of a potentially fatal jam at just the wrong moment.
There are, however, distinct disadvantages to using a rifle. They can be quite unwieldy at close range, making it difficult to use them effectively indoors or anywhere there are tight corners. Adding a bayonet to the end of your rifle can mitigate this issue somewhat, however a pistol and machete are preferable in such situations.
Marksmanship becomes significantly more important when using a rifle at medium to long range. Firing multiple rounds into the center mass of an approaching zombie will do very little to slow its approach. Headshots are the only way to effectively neutralize the undead, and these can be very difficult from 50 yards away against a moving target. Practice is essential, as is the ability to remain calm and steady under pressure.
Distance vs Stealth
Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of a rifle is the amount of noise they make. Rifles that utilize heavy ammunition such as 5.56 rounds will generate a great deal of noise. In the wrong conditions, this noise will rebound and echo for miles, letting every zombie know where their next meal is standing. For this reason, rifles should only be used in dire circumstances, or when you will be leaving the area quickly. On the other hand, if you’ve managed to survive long enough to go on the offensive against the undead hordes, rifles offer the effective combination of a ranged attack noisy enough to attract all of the undead in the area right to your kill zone. If you do survive long enough to go on the offensive, make sure you have more than enough ammunition to operate for an extended period of time.
Here are our top pick Rifle Zombie Weapons…
Windham Weaponry Centerfire Tactical Rifle
|.223 Rem. / 5.56mm NATO||30+1||Barrel: 16" |
Wt.: 6.9 lbs
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle
|.22 LR||10-25||Barrel: 16" |
Length: 30.5-33.75 in
Wt.: 5.5 lbs
Bushmaster Firearms AR-15 Rifle
|5.56 NATO/.223 Rem.||30||Barrel: 16" |
Length: 36 - 1/2"
Wt.: 6.6 lbs
DPMS Recon Tactical Rifle
|.223/5.56||20-30||Barrel: 16" |
Length: 31.75" - 35.5"
Wt.: 7.7 lbs
DPMS Tactical Rifle
|5.56x45mm||19||Barrel: 16" |
Length: 32-1/2" to 36-3/8"
Wt.: 6.3 lbs
Hi-Point Carbine Rifle
|.45 ACP||10||Barrel: 17.5"|
Wt.: 7 lbs
Marlin .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle
|.22 LR||10||Barrel: 18" |
Wt.: 4.5 lbs
Henry US Survival Rimfire Rifle
|.22 LR||8||Barrel: 18" |
Wt.: 3.5 lbs
Mossberg 702 Plinkster Semiautomatic Rifle
|.22 LR||10||Barrel: 18" |
Wt.: 4 lbs
Mossberg Tactical Rimfire Semiautomatic Rifle
|.22 LR||25||Barrel: 16.25" |
Wt.: 5.5 lbs