Welcome to the first ever post of G&A's Zombie Nation. We're dedicated to ridding the world of future pus-filled wanderers and preventing the bloody apocalypse that is undoubtedly on the horizon.
So, when the zombie horde is forming and you're helpless against their blood lust, don't say we didn't warn you. This is G&A's clearinghouse for tips, tactics and gear for zombie defense. We'll be exploring the history of the walking dead and their underpinnings in today's popular culture, highlighting guns and gear designed to aid our fight and putting our bug-out bags together....just in case.
First up is a Zombie Nation exclusive look at Hornady Zombie Max ammo (Z-Max). The marketing department at Hornady has put together quite a show in the early announcements of their newest brainchild. Here's the official line on the ammo:
Be PREPARED — supply yourself for the Zombie Apocalypse with Zombie Max ammunition from Hornady Loaded with PROVEN Z-Max™ bullets... yes, PROVEN Z-Max™ bullets.
This stuff is live ammo, it's no toy or Halloween gimmick. Here's the caliber rundown:
- 9MM Luger 115 gr. (25-count box)
- 40 S&W 165 gr. (20-count box)
- 45 Auto 185 gr.(20-count box)
- .223 Rem. 55 gr.(20-count box)
- 7.62x39 123 gr. (20-count box)
- .308 Win 168 gr. (20-count box)
- 12 Gauge 00 Buck Shot (10-count box)
As the buzz spreads across the Web about Z-Max, I caught up with the man behind the shooting industry's first ammo designed to dispatch the undead, President of Hornady Manufacturing Steve Hornady, to get an inside look at what's sure to be the new craze.
Ben O'Brien: Who do you expect will be the core buyer for Zombie Max?
Steve Hornady: Well, anyone and everyone who's worried they won't be adequately prepared when it happens in their neighborhood.
BO: How did this awesome idea come about?
SH: I've seen several of the documentaries and read the history books (e.g Dawn of the Dead, World War Z etc.), which is when I learned of this threat and realized we weren't really prepared. I felt we had a civic duty to our customers, our nation, nay simply the living, to offer the most effective ammunition we could develop.
BO: Any suggestions for zombie hunters out there as to how the ammo is most effectively used to kill the walking dead?
SH: Well, head shots or brain stem are the only effective shots on Zed so we focused on rapid fire quick recovery rounds. There was considerable debate about the shotgun round since, in my opinion, accurate shot placement is important. If Zed is close enough to reliably hit the brain with a shotgun then your situation may be dire indeed, and shotgun ammo is heavy, so you simply cannot carry as much as you will need. However, ultimately, I was convinced that for many shooters this may be their only rapid response firearm, at least initially.
BO: Describe the "testing" process for Z-MAX and how it came to be dubbed "proven."
SH: Well, first we used our historical expertise in designing bullets after analyzing just what would be the objective. Field testing has proven we were right. After all you can't find any walking dead now can you?
BO: What are the effective zombie-killing ranges for the handgun offerings? How about the .223 and .308?
SH: For the handgun rounds as well as the rifle rounds we wanted a fairly lightweight, high velocity round. After all, speed kills and in the case of Zombies, you can't always assume there will always be enough decayed flesh or bone to reliably expand a heavier or slower bullet. That said, I personally recommend taking the shot at the maximum distance you can reliably place the shot where it is known to be effective. Rifles definitely offer a significant advantage here, and I strongly advocate noise suppressors as it is well known Zed is attracted to noise, and if it starts to moan it will only attract more. Be prepared, be very prepared. Have a lot of ammo and have an exit plan. As you can see from some of the documentary films, many living were, mmm, converted because they weren't ready and couldn't get out before the horde became insurmountable.
BO: Will there be any future enhancements of the line, say Werewolf, alien or vampire skews?
SH: C'mon Ben, everyone knows those are fictional characters.
So, will you be heading out to your local retailer to pick up a box? What's your caliber of choice?