Zombie handguns: The choice is yours!

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One of the essential items in your struggle against zombies is your sidearm!

The fact that handguns are small, light, and easy to carry make them ideal as a secondary weapon in any situation.

Handheld firearms were first made in China, where gunpowder was first developed. They were hand cannons (although they were not necessarily fired from the hand, but rather at the end of a handle).

By the 14th century, they existed in Europe as well. The first handheld firearms that might better be called “pistols” were made as early as the 15th century, but their creator is unknown. By the 18th century, the term came to be used often to refer to handheld firearms.

Practical revolver designs first appeared in the 19th century, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Zombie application

A handgun, if handled properly, will quickly become your best friend in the fight against zombies.

But, let me assure you, it is not easy. I know you think that pulling the trigger looks easy enough but in the zombie apocalypse wounding doesn’t count.


You always have to go for the kill, a.k.a the head shot and that’s where handguns come in handy! Small in weight and size with medium fire rate and considerable damage, they are perfect for your personal protection!

Mind you, a handgun should be used only as a secondary weapon for close range. Despite what you saw in the movies, hitting a small mobile target such as a zombie’s head from distance is no easy task.

Therefore, have one at your side in case of emergency, remember to maintain it and practice regularly and you should be fine!

What is your type?

Aside from the machine pistols, there are two main types of handguns today: revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.

Revolvers feed ammunition via the rotation of a cartridge-filled cylinder, in which each cartridge is contained in its own ignition chamber, and is sequentially brought into alignment with the weapon’s barrel by a mechanism linked to the weapon’s trigger (double-action) or its hammer (single-action) whereas a semi-automatic pistol ¬†uses the energy of one shot to reload the chamber for the next.


Until the apocalypse… please practice and learn more about guns.


Find everything you need on Amazon!

Find everything you need on Amazon!

Other zombie weapons & accessories:

The Crossbow

Zombie Targets

Weapons of The Walking Dead!

Zombie Knife


  1. John April 21, 2011 9:16 am 

    When considering a handgun you need to take more than just a revolver or auto loader(referred to as “auto” for the rest of the comment) into account. What caliber do you want to use? In the case of some of the bigger calibers, is it more reliable in a revolver or an SA? Do you want reliability, or capacity? Do you want definite interchangeable ammo, or quick reloads? Do you want to be able to quickly use scavenged ammo, or will you have time to sit and reload magazines? You could choose a single action auto loader, or a semi automatic revolver.

    First, lets list the types of handguns;
    Semi-auto auto
    Semi-auto revolver
    Single action auto(can still be semi-auto)
    Single action revolver
    (Everything after this point can still be a semi-auto)
    Double action auto
    Double action revolver
    and Automatic auto
    To my knowledge no one has made an automatic revolver, it would be pointless, but I imagine someone’s probably made one in their garage somewhere.

    Now let’s talk about them a little.

    Semi-auto auto;
    It uses a magazine(not a clip) to hold the ammo, till the slide is pulled back, then let go, at which point a round is fed into the chamber, a firing pin/hammer is usually cocked during the pull back. Pulling the trigger releases the firing pin/hammer, striking the firing cap on the back of the round and igniting the propellant(not always gunpowder) forcing the bullet(name of the head, not the entire round) down the barrel and out into whatever you’re pointing it at. Sometimes it’s the force of the propellant pushing the casing back that pushes the slide back, and a small hook like mechanism grabs the empty shell and throws it out, sometimes there’s a small tube attached to the barrel that diverts the force of the propellant back to a mechanism that pushes the slide back and the whole thing starts over.

    Semi-auto revolver;
    Yes, these do exist, no they’re not very practical. A revolver refers to a handgun that holds ammo in a cylinder, the cylinder rotates as the hammer is pulled back, then comes into alignment just as the hammer reaches the fully cocked position. The hammer is released and it strikes the firing cap, igniting the propellant and forcing the bullet down the barrel. The semi-auto variant works just like a regular revolver, except that when the round is fired, it has a tube that diverts the force of the propellant back to the hammer, cocking it, and rotating the round. They are actually more complicated than a auto and therefore are less reliable and need special tools and experience to fix. Not a good one for anyone other than a very experienced gunsmith during the Zombie Apocalypse.

    Single-action auto;
    This works exactly like the semi-auto above, except you can only fire it if you pull an external hammer back into the cocked position. You can not just pull the trigger and fire a round. However, most of the time when you fire a round the slide travels backward and cocks the hammer for you. The advantages of this are that you have a lighter trigger pull, meaning you’re less likely to jerk the gun as you squeeze the trigger and ammo capacity. Disadvantage is that you must take the time to pull the hammer back if you have a round in the chamber, but decocked it for safety.

    Single-action revolver;
    Works just like the semi-auto except it doesn’t use the propellant to cock the hammer and turn the cylinder for you. You must manually cock the hammer, this was the first variant of handgun that could hold more than one shot per barrel. This is the simplest of practical handguns and therefore is the most reliable. It’ll be the easiest for home fixes, and almost never break. One problem though as with all revolvers is that after a suitably large number(depends on manufacturer, quality and treatment of the revolver) the alignment may become skewed and there for cause some rounds with tougher firing caps to not go off as they are not struck firmly on the center.

    Double action auto;
    Works just like the single action, except it doesn’t always have an external hammer and if it does it can be used as either single or double action. As long as you have a round loaded in the chamber you can simply squeeze the trigger and it will cock the hammer/firing pin(if no external hammer) and fire the round. The advantage of this is if you’re surprised you don’t have to cock the hammer before firing, you can simply point, squeeze, and shoot, also capacity. The disadvantage is that you have a heavier trigger pull as you’re not just pulling on a spring to keep the trigger from going off on it’s own, you’re also pulling a spring to work a mechanism that pulls the hammer back.

    Double action revolver;
    Works the same as the single action, except you can squeeze the trigger and it will cock the hammer, then release it, striking the firing cap, and igniting the propellant and forcing the bullet down the barrel. If it has an external hammer it can be used as either double or single action, if it does not it is only double action. The advantages are if you’re surprised you don’t have to cock the hammer, and reliability. The disadvantages are capacity, and possible reload time.

    Automatic autos;
    These are machine pistols. They work like the semi-auto autoloaders, but if you hold down the trigger and it just keeps spitting out bullets till it’s empty. These are hard to come by and very ammo inefficient. They are cumbersome, since they require magazines that extend outside the handle to be able to be used properly, and will have a tendency to get caught on things as they are drawn. They are exceptionally inaccurate even with the front handle attachment. I would not recommend it.

    Now, caliber;
    .22 has enough energy to enter the skull, but not exit, causing it to bounce around and turn the brain to mush. You can carry thousands of rounds with ease, and the handguns are cheap and easy to obtain so you can start practicing now.

    9mm(about .35) is cheap, low recoil, and very common. If traveling in a group could easily make all your ammo interchangeable. Can carry good amounts for little weight.

    .45acp is also common, packs a good punch, can’t carry as much. Good if run into hostile survivors. Little over powered for zombies. Fires at lower pressures for lower recoil, and usually the handguns designed around them are solid and good for absorbing the recoil.

    .357 mag is way over powered and would not suggest it. It is expensive, and way too much recoil for follow up shots. This will limit your options to revolvers and only a few autos that are expensive and overly heavy.

    .44 mag, same as .357 only worse.

    .500sw is even worse, but good for taking down that bull moose you’ll come accross randomly in your flight from the populated areas.

    My suggestion;
    Get a 9mm 1911 model. The heavier frame will absorb recoil and the 9mm is cheap and light. The 1911 is one of the first major production autoloaders and is simple enough for anyone to use, and is reliable. There’s a reason it was the standard issue for the US military for 75 years(in .45acp). If you are unable to get a 9mm 1911, I would suggest a Beretta 92F. It is currently the standard issue for the US Military(designated the M9) and is in the caliber of 9mm. There will be lots of parts and magazines for it in any military base you may come across that’s not still occupied(provided it hasn’t been looted or packed up).

    And that’s my 2 cents. If you want to amend this to the end of your article you may, but I keep all rights to it as I am currently considering starting my own zombie/shtf blog.

    If anyone has any questions or notice I forgot something ask in comments and I’ll try my best to answer.

  2. budolf April 21, 2011 10:14 am 

    You, sir, know your guns :-)! And you should definitely start your own blog. Best of luck!

  3. Legion7 June 1, 2011 7:06 am 

    You, kind of know your weapons. I’m ex mil and own a sizeable collection. .500SW? I have a 4 inch version, and if fired at a zombie would deafen you permanently, therefore making you an easy target as not hearing a zombie behind you would be curtains. I’m a fan of the 10mm of Glock 20 persuasion, but the noise issue once again becomes a factor. The perfect zombie firearm is, somewhat regrettably, the Glock 17 or 19 in 9mm with an extended magazine. As the 9mm is a NATO round, and fairly compact as far as rounds/energy/weight goes, it gets the vote. You could find it almost anywhere, from a gun store, to a mom-and-pop country store, to the nearest military armory or abandoned Humvee/Bradley. Revolver, NOT! 6 rounds? Eight with a Tarus .357? How about 33 in the Glock 9mm… remember, Zombies are all about volume! Since head shots are necessary, hollowpoints aren’t even needed. A lower recoil pistol, easy to maintain, and ammo fairly easy to find and carry gets the vote for the smart survivor. Heck, 10 rounds of my .500SW’s Silvertips weigh about the same AS the G19 or 17 pistol!!!!

    Reliable high capacity combat tupperware rules the field. Hands down.

  4. sean July 9, 2012 8:28 pm 

    the best hand gun that i think is the 44 maguem

  5. sean July 9, 2012 8:29 pm 

    the best hand gun that i think is the 44 mag

  6. jjjjjje432 August 23, 2012 3:31 am 

    a good idea is to carry both a 9mm pistol (Glock 17, beretta 92F, etc.),and
    a revolver of some sort. this can be useful when looting a gun store, as revolvers can use loose ammo, and you may need that in case zombies catch wind of where you are, and you don’t want to be stuck trying to refill mags with the undead on your tail. pistols, of course, can use hi-cap magazines, so less reloading is necessary.

    the point being, you should try to carry both.

    (by the way, for revolvers, consider the Taurus Judge, as it can use both .45 Colt and .410 caliber shotshells)

    thats my opinion.

  7. Derek November 4, 2012 7:51 pm 

    I would say a 9mm (of your choice) being the mainstay. Ammo’s common, parts are common, and you can carry a veritable shit-tonne of rounds for comparatively low weight.

    As for “specialty” purposes? Depends, I suppose, on your country of choice…

    An assault rifle in 5.56mm would do well, no matter your country.

    Bigger rifles, such as a .50 calibre anti-materiel, despite being an overall excellent firearm, are just plain ridiculous for use against anything that’s not a vehicle or house.

    Automatics in general (machine pistols, SMGs, Browning M2) aren’t exactly recommended due to ammo usage… unless your base happens to be an extremely-well-stocked ammo production plant.

    Bigger weapons, such as RPGs, anti-tank launchers, anti-tank cannons, tanks, mortars, and other such systems are not only not recommended due to the sheer size of individual rounds, but a single shot would not only deafen the user (unless they use some serious hearing protection), but they would attract every dead-head and survivor for several miles.

    Personally, a good base would be a privately-owned island in the ass-end of nowhere. Prepare properly with wind and solar power… geothermal would work as well… stock up on tons (literally) of ammunition and weapons… ensure you have a ready supply of fruits, vegetables and meats… oh, and ensure your visitors are not only NOT infected, but not hostile as well.

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