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Zombie Nation

Outbreak Omega Shows Zombie Shooting Going Strong

by Dylan Polk   |  June 26th, 2012 52
Outbreak Omega_001

From tactical to trailer park, Outbreak Omega 5 not only brought out a variety of costumes, but also shooters.

If we’re to believe some of the old timers who troll through Zombie Nation posts complaining that this “zombie garbage” has no place in the shooting world, then this past weekend’s events in Morristown, Minn., should never have happened.

But the fact of the matter is that the DPMS-sponsored Outbreak Omega 5 went off without a hitch, and it’s high time for folks to realize that the zombie shooting culture isn’t going away anytime soon.

Touted as the “original and largest 3-gun zombie shoot in the world,” Outbreak Omega, hosted at Ahlman’s Guns Parts & Services, offered shooters the chance to live out their zombie fantasies in ways only imagined; shooters could blast zombies while sitting in cars and outhouses, or driving through the woods scouting for brain munchers. For a $10 fee, shooters could even fire full-auto rifles, marking the first public suppressor shoot in Minnesota.

How many other shooting events have offered Minnesota residents that opportunity?

Despite the draw for hardcore shooters, zombie haters would expect this crowd to be, to put it bluntly, nerds. Geeks. Pimply faced weirdos who spend too much time playing dress-up and not whining about “real issues.”

That broad, sweeping view couldn’t be farther from the truth. The crowd wandering between ranges was more diverse than one could imagine. Shooters of all ages, male and female, from different backgrounds and lifestyles — from active National Guardsmen to non-shooters — were seen perusing around the facility, all socializing and, for a lack of better words, just having a great time.

And boy, did they have a good time. Going all out in a variety of costumes and gear, shooters were decked head-to-toe in zombie apparel — and were of course armed to the teeth, setting their firearms down just long enough to grill a few burgers and take a seat and share in each other’s company.

That’s what Outbreak Omega is all about. To the 1,200 participants who gathered Saturday in Morristown, Outbreak Omega was a chance to spend time with shooters sharing a common interest, while of course pumping thousands of rounds of ammo downrange.

It was a chance for families to spend some quality time together, and for parents to teach proper gun safety and discipline.

Perhaps best of all, it was a chance for non-shooters to get a real idea of what the gun culture is about: spending some time outside shooting and having fun doing it. And if it takes zombies to get folks out to the range, what’s there to complain about?

Let’s be honest: The zombie culture is no different than the Cowboy Action circuit. From shooting at humanoid targets to living out one’s own fantasies, the two cultures almost mirror one another. That much was crystal clear when the two cultures were fused together Saturday, Ahlman’s usual cowboy-styled ranges being transformed to host the living dead. The scenery fit the motif perfectly; old-style, ghost town signs and sets, haunting and abandoned, crawling with the infected, undead remains of the recently departed.

Yet for some reason, one culture is considered more legitimate than the other. To some, a shooter decked out in tactical gear with a patch reading “Zombies Suck” is frowned upon, while one wearing chaps and a Stetson hat is more acceptable.

Why is that? Just because one doesn’t fit the tastes of a few individuals, why is it viewed as nonsense, even when it’s bringing in people who may not have even held a gun in their lives? You can claim that anti-gunners will use zombies as fodder against the community, when in reality anyone that vehemently opposed to guns will use anything as fodder against shooters; so why oppose a fun, positive sub-culture that’s reaching out to non-shooters just like cowboy scene continues to do years after it began?

And just like cowboys, zombies have been a part of pop culture for decades. The first full-length zombie film, White Zombie, was released in 1932. In the ’60s, George A. Romero set the standard for modern zombie movies with his undead manifesto, Night of the Living Dead. Video games in the ’80s were the first to give young zombie hunters the chance to eradicate brain-munchers, and only in the last couple years have shooters gotten in on the action. If zombies have been around for 80 years, what’s going to stop them now?

When Outbreak Omega 6 rolls around, I encourage you to actually get out and have some fun. Otherwise, you’re going to be awfully exhausted railing against a craze that shows no sign of slowing down.


Young or old, age doesn't matter at Outbreak Omega.

  • Eric P

    Dang I live in Rochester MN and I MISSED IT

  • Ned

    What most "complainers" about Zombies don't seem to understand is this:

    Zombies look just like everyone else. They are not necessarily the "undead". They are the ones who will try to take your food a shelter if there is a natural (or unnatural) disaster, when they discover that you have followed DHS advice and prepared in advance for such a disaster.

    They are the ones who pay no attention to ongoing world economic breakdown, and who will be caught with their pants down in the event of am earthquake, flood, tornado, or any man-made disaster.

    Some of them are hopped up on new designer drugs. Some of them are yuppies who won't be able to find food or gas for their BMW if there's a power disruption etc.

    Best to be prepared and practice. Besides, shooting can actually be fun. I don't participate in Cowboy Action shooting, but I see little difference except for the equipment. I'm happy that shooting events can actually be fun for the participants and spectators.

    To each his own.

    • Robert Mccallum

      you hit the nail right on the head

      • Guest 2

        I think the Zombie movement in the firearms industry is stupid. I understand it but it is still nonsensical at best . Zombie rounds = a round that can kill a human target one that is accurate enough to make a hole close to where you are aiming etc. By labelling a rifle/ shotgun/ammo etc. a Zombie killer you open up to a whole new market that may not have bought that item before. Our hero's have always had guns be they cowboys, Marines special forces, soldiers, cops or vice versa the mob or the bad ass from some movie . I and many others probably long for the G&A of old. I remember cutting my G&A readership teeth on Elmer Kieths story's of the .44 or hunting with doubles in Africa . I don't begrudge the writers and editors now , Every time I see an article on Zombies I relish the old copies that I own a little more.It seems like Zombies play to the lowest common denominator of popular culture but as the author and others say the cowboy action pros were probably slinging pearl handled chromed cap guns at one point emulating their hero's from the western shows of the day . Which is pretty much the same idea as the New breed of Zombie hunters . If it gets a new person to learn how to use a gun properly I am all for it .

    • John

      As soon as the non-gun-owning public realizes that "zombies" is just a code word for "anyone I can put in a threat category", then it will be bad for the second amendment community. Maybe I'm just too old to change with the times, but I think combining fantasy with deadly tools is a bad idea.

      • Wolvie

        "I think combining fantasy with deadly tools is a bad idea".

        You mean like Cowboy Action Shooting, Civil War/WWII Recreations, exhibition shooting, turkey shoots, biathlons, tactical shooting competitions and everything like that?

        Oh wait, you said deadly tools…

        So I guess, lumberjack completions, monster truck shows, demolition derbys, air shows, motorcycle fabricators, motocross, fencing/Kendo and other things that use "deadly tools" should be stopped as well…

        Uh oh…I just remembered…the deadliest tool is the human body and mind…

        I guess football, rugby, boxing, MMA, martial arts, wrestling, and other violent entertainment should be stopped as well.

        • jim

          WELL SAID!!! You've got my vote for president.

        • Alan_T

          Nooooooooooooooooo Wolvie ! Geeeeeeze !
          John was referring to himself !
          John = tool ( although I think he's flattering himself with the deadly part .. )
          And John is right …… combining fantasy with him IS a bad idea !
          In fact it's a horrible idea …. I don't even want to think about it , ICKY ! I want fantasies starring Angelina Jolie …… NOW I'll probably have nightmares for weeks , thanks a whole pile John .

        • Dave

          The big difference is… There are no zombies. Never have been. Never will be. Cowboy shooting and Civil War reenactors are based on American History. Zombie shooting is pure Hollywood. Dumbing down the shooting sports seems disingenious at best. Shame on G&A.

          • Troy Lindstrand

            I am a military veteran,Infantry, I enjoy all aspects of shooting including but not limited to hunting,tactical,cowboy, bullseye, blackpowder, and I was at Outbreak Omega.This was my 4th time and I have fun. I have also listened to benchrest shooters and bullseye shooters gripe and complain well you know what, I can put 2 rounds in the same hole with a scoped Barrett 98B 338 but I can also put multiple rounds in the head space(8" steal plate) at 100 yards with iron sights of a AR carbine. Which is more applicable to the 2nd Amendment that or "shooting" a bench mounted "rifle" that you can't even fire from the shoulder. Before you gripe about someones else's fun reality check yours first. Troy S. Lindstrand Cco 2/187th INF 101st ABN DIV, Hunter, shooter, historian, and life long cowboy at heart.

          • Wolvie


            If you think that the "Cowboy" in Cowboy Action Shooting is based on history…you are sorely mistaken.

            Cowboy Action is pretty much directly from the very same Hollywood movies that you cite as influencing the Zombie events.

            Want more proof? There are Cowboy action events that actually reinact movies. Google Wild Bunch Shoots. Then look for Magnificent Seven shoots. Virtually every single event I've been to either had shoots devoted to movies or characters/shooters dressed (or named) for someone in a movie.

            As for the shooters themselves…well they were dressed in clothes and rigs that were anything but authentic. Funny…yes. Entertaining…you bet. But authentic? Not a chance.

            So, again…it's OK to enjoy one event that is total fantasy with no true representation of reality or history and infuenced by Hollywood…but the other one is stupid because, well, it's total fantasy with no true representation of reality or history and influenced by Hollywood?

            How about you just enjoy it or ignore it? Either one has got to take less energy than complaining about it. Hell, at the next Cowboy Action Shoot, I'll even bring a ladder so you don't get hurt when you have to get off that high horse.

          • Alan_T

            Wolvie , I might as well turn the reins of Old QWERTY over to you pardner , and go wander aimlessly off into the sunset in search of Hoppy , Roy and Marshall Dillion . But if I do….. don't come running after me like that creepy little Brandon.DeWilde in " Shane " !

            Wolvie ….. The Second Amendment and I thank you .

          • Wolvie

            No need for thanks and don't go anywhere.

            With you here, we can both go off in different directions at the same time so our stalkers keep getting cross-eyed.

            Seriously though…I just don't understand the hatred over an entertaining firearms event. Especially if the event is done in a safe and responsible manner.

          • Alan_T

            Wolvie , people who display this great animosity ( in this case toward the " zombie culture " ) are essentially the flip side of the same coin as the gun – hating far left . They are insecure and feel so threatened by things in life that they try to do everything they can to control their environment , including ruining others enjoyment .
            Zombie shooting is silly ? ….. who cares ? Personally I don't have any great burning desire to participate in zombie shoots but It's not hurting anyone or anything and if it gets some kid ( or adult ) interested in the shooting sports I'm all for it . I've been saying this since I started commenting on here . These " control freaks " are generally the same " gun shop commandos " that drive novice shooters from the ranges . They just can't stand not to be in control of everyone and everything .

          • Alan_T

            Dave ? …….. Dave ? …….. Dave's not here man !

          • Wolvie

            Damn, I always loved that skit!

  • james mcwilliams

    This sounds like a blast! It's doubtful but hopefully something like this comes to CA!

    People who complain about Zombie stuff are probably the same ones that complain about everything else that's not in thier narrow scope of the world. M1 Garand vs M16, semi auto vs revolver vs bolt action and look at ballistics tables like it's porn with no room for improvement on anything they don't like.

    You know the guys when you see them at the range, they carry big bore revolvers and do nothing but lean against the walls to hold them up while critically eyeing anyone under the age of 50 and reminicing about the 'ol days.
    Or my other favorite, the clown that shows up with a totaly tricked out Ruger, spotting scope and 1000 rounds of .22 , spending 10 minutes examining each shot and glaring at you when dare to shoot becasue he just HAD to use the lane next to you since that's the range he uses every Sat at noon.
    Shooting should be what makes you happy and as long as it's done safely and correctly who cares?
    GO ZOMBIES!!!!!!

    • Andrew

      You better hope that actual zombies don't come to CA. They would probably put them on an endangered species list, set up a foundation, and divert government funds (AKA your money) in order to protect these beautiful, but misunderstood creatures.

      • Bill K

        Your are right, Kalifornia would list them endangered, even tho actual Zombies do not exist. Just like the EPA want oil refineries to use a additive that does not exist. Even went so far as to already pass a law, on a product use that they did not check to see did not exist. Bill K

        • Alan_T

          Of course zombies exist in California , Bill !
          Have you ever gotten a good look at Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer ?
          Now that I said that …… it's something else for me to have nightmares over !

      • Frank

        You already have zombies in Cali. They're all in Sacremento and are protected. They run your state and call themselves politicians!

      • Antonio

        CA had brainless beings shooting up the place after the Lakers got knocked out of the NBA playoffs. Imagine if something bad happened!

      • Wild Hog

        I thought Zombies have already infested CA.
        Aren't they running the government?

    • Wolvie

      James, I couldn't have said it better myself.

      We have to contend with the anti's, the liberals, the tyrants, the elitists…

      And of course, the snobs from within our own ranks.

      And it is these snobs that are doing more damage to our sport than all of the outside influences. You've seen them at the gun shops and ranges…doing their best to make new shooters uncomfortable and bragging about their skills and equipment and über-skills.

      Hell, you can see them right here on these forums trying to marginalize and denigrate anyone who doesn't share their view of what should be fun or what equipment should be used.

      So very sad…

      • Jeepers Creepers

        How true !!!! Wolvie

        • old vet

          Did you and Wolvie just have a moment? Having said that i will say, zombie shoots are a great way to have fun. So far there are no hard and fast rules and you can structure your shoot within any budget.

  • colin

    The outbreak omega was fun as hell. strongly encourage anyone and everyone to do it.

  • Pat U.

    Outbreak:Omega 5 was an absolute riot! My wife and I were of the non-costumed participants, I never got into the "zombie" or "cowboy" persona. The opportunity to spend a day at a gun range with other gun owners enjoying what we enjoy is always fun. Whether the object in the sights is a paper target, zombie head, or steel plate honing skills can not be a bad thing. The safety aspect at Ahlman's during Outbreak:Omega was second to none, range officers at every station, mandatory chamber flags in place and mags removed when not on the firing line, etc. I was very impressed and plan to return for #6 next year.

  • Josh Dahlke

    Thorough! I dig it.

  • mary- cowgirl up top

    outbreak omega is a great opportunity to practice gun safety and aim. not only that but know that you are also in a safe environment while doing so! even with the thousand plus people there. this was my second year and i will most definitely be returning to do it again for outbreak omega 6!

  • Cyka

    "The crowd wandering between ranges was more diverse than one could imagine." Wow, you need to work on the imagination a bit. Maybe do some imagination exercises, take some imagination pills, go to some imagination training. I was there for about 5 hours and counted exactly three (3) not-white people there. The scope of said diversity was actually quite narrow.

    Ok, I got my dig in.

    That said, I was surprised at how congenial an fun the atmosphere was. I was expecting NRA cookout, but what I found was more renaissance festival. People got to pull out their tacti-cool gear and their guns have fun with it. There was plenty of fun overkill, like the Deer lawn tractor with the mounted .30 cal machine gun and the famous AR with underslung electric chainsaw. Swords, knives and every permutation of AR and AK you could assemble were seen along with shotguns and pistols. I asked a guy about how he acquired his M1 and he almost immediately offered to let me take it for a spin. In short, it was genuine fun, not just a gun porn convention.

    Safety, always a concern, was emphasized, but not burdensome. The range was operated cold; all weapons had to be unloaded and cased or chamber-flagged, and everyone respected that as a necessary safety measure.

    If there was one complaint, it would be that the ranges were so busy that targets were useless. They were so full of holes you could not tell if you hit anything and they were not replaced. Steel plates were found in some ranges, but not frequently enough. Maybe next year I'll bring a large basket of fruit and shoot that instead.

    For 25 bucks you can shoot as much as you want on just about any range you want. Will I be back next year? Yes.

    • Pat U.

      Couldn't agree more about the targets being useless.

    • Antonio

      Cool right up, Cyka. You brought it to life a little more.

      I enjoy being in the company of people who are passionate about what they do and are willing to share their experience, expertise and even firearms. BTW, 25 bucks at any NJ events gets you a hot dog and a soda.

  • Guest

    The anti-zombie purists are really just anti-FUN purists (bunch of sourpuss fuddy-duddies!)

    Let us not forget the TRUE reason for the zombie craze. When you wife spots your latest acquisition and asks, "What the Hell do you need THAT for!?!", you can get a confused "Duh – isn't it obvious" expression on your faced and reply, "Zombies"

    • Alan_T

      You're right Guest ! …. Only in my case my wife was a big of a gun nut as I ever was and she would have loved the zombies ….. part of why I loved her .

    • Nosfer6


  • Alan_T

    We need to put a call out to the control freaks to put an end to it !

    BUT , as a serious aside …… , these people who constantly whine about " how this makes us look bad to the non – shooting public " , they aren't concerned about how " we " look , they're insecure and worried about how THEY look . And here's a news – flash WE ALREADY LOOK BAD TO THE ONES THAT DON'T LIKE US , and NOTHING is going to change their minds one way or the other , so don't worry about them !

  • Victor Charles

    Outbreak Omega V was my first Zombie event. It won't be my last. My son and I had a blast and really enjoyed ourselves. The stages were run safely, the Range Safety Officers polite but firmly insistent on the safety rules. The event reminded me of science fiction conventions and SCA events.

    If you enjoy shooting and hanging around with like minded folks I strongly suggest you attend next year.

  • Tanstaafl2

    News flash, folks!

    One of the main reasons for the increase in gun ownership, and the increasing acceptance of guns among the general population is the fact that events like this, and the shooting shows on TV have mainstreamed us and presented an image of guns that is FUN and exciting. Before this, unless you were among the dwindling ranks of hunters, the only context in which you saw guns was criminals, cops, and soldiers (none of which the average person really relates to).

    Anything that makes shooting guns fun (i.e. something other folks want to try themselves when they see it) is a good thing. To the observer, bullseye or benchrest competitions look boring as hell. IDPA,, 3-gun, tactical, Top Shots, Sons of Guns, cowboy action shooting, and (YES) zombie shooting looks like fun. As Joe Voter, you're not inclined to give much support to banning something that looks like fun

    • Jeepers Creepers

      I agree with you Tanstaafl2. But you must live in one of the states that the government hates firearms of any kind. I feel sorry for you. But keep shooting when you can. Take a non shooter with you and convert them to shooting.

      • Guest

        Nah, I'm fine – I live in Texas. I was speaking of the nation as a whole.

  • jim

    Shooting zombies with single action revolver is the way to go. Without practice they'll swarm n eat you during reload!

    • Aaron

      Jim that is so true. We all need more practice when the brain dead minions come looking for anything.

    • Alan_T

      Jim , that's why when carrying my brace of . 45 colt SAA's I always use " Zombie Guard " !
      Just a quick spray under each arm after my shower and I'm fresh and confident all day ….. and the LADIES like it too !
      Remember to ask for it by name " Zombie Guard " , sold at Wally Mart and finer retail outlets across the nation …. Zombie Nation , that is !

  • Jeepers Creepers

    I have a family of Zombies that live down the street from me. They go target shooting three times a week with 1911's and AR's.

  • Alan_T

    I had a pet zombie one time ….. ( sniff ) I named him ….. Jeepers Creepers and he was the best zombie a boy like me could have ( sniff , sniff ) , but my mom made me get rid of him ( blubber , blubber ) . One day , dad drove Creepy to the vets ( sniffle ) and Creepy didn't come back with him . Mom and dad tried to tell me ( bub . bub . bub , ) that Creepy went to a big zombie farm out in the country where he could run and play and have fun with all the other little zombies , but ( sniff , sniff ) I know better .
    I know that dad really turned that big , fat , lying @&#$#%^@*!#&$^ son of a *&#^#%#^# LOOSE in Colorado where he is setting fires with his *&#%#$^@ " bobby " traps and leering at peoples comments ! ! ! ! !

  • Alan_T

    Still watching my comments Jeepers ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Jeepers Creepers

      Yep !!!!! Alan_T. A laugh a minute. For the record "I blow things up" not set fires. We have a nut around here that is doing that. Now if I could get the shipping cost down. I would buy me a T-72 tank. I can buy one cheap enough.

  • Guest

    OMG Alan too funny!

  • Mack Missiletoe

    sounds like fun!
    i admit I am a bit uneasy about the zombie thing, but it's easier to relate to zombie slaying than stupid-overpriced (but probably fun as hell) elephant shoots and lion hunts in some other part of the world

    Its not easy adjusting to the whole zombie thing when you're used to taking guns seriously–and you always should take them seriously… it's just that the zombie thing is more like a joke and the guns are so serious–for some people it will not be their thing. they may have had a partner die in battle or a cop friend get shot so the zombie ting makes guns and weapons into a joke… but wait–so do the movies. oh well, i'm down with the zombie thing if yall are and are into keeping it real with the firearms safety

    All I have to shoot at the range is paper :( you get to shoot zombie heads and steel plates. no fair! lol When I find a place to shoot in the country I am never coming back to the suburb :P I'll be shootin' my tin cans and Sobe bottles filled with dirt or water. I like them reactive targets, and a bit of varmint control makes my mouth water :O' '' ' '

  • JD1919a4

    This year was my fourth Outbreak Omega. In going to this shoot I have made a bunch of great friends a state away from my own, that brought my 15 y/o son into the fold like he had been born there. I honestly don't shoot much when I go there, ya, I ripped a few belts through the 1919, and I spent a lot of time driving the lawn mower around enjoying the scenery. I go attend Outbreak to have fun, party a little, have fun, and hang out with great people. The fun haters are just gonna hate, there is nothing to stop that. I cant wait till next year.

  • USMC82

    If you don't like zombie events shut out and stay home Nazi

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