There have been quite a few publications on surviving a zombie apocalypse. Some of these authors have had some strengths, but also some glaring weaknesses in their tips.
A rather famous zombie writer emphasized that a .22 rimfire cartridge was the ideal ammunition against zombies. This is simply not true. A .22 at a reasonable range does not have the stopping power to rip through a skull. The .22’s ability to penetrate the human skull and bounce around inside it only works for very short ranges. At 30 to 35 meters, it will not even embed itself into a car tire.
The reason why the author stayed away from the .223 or 5.56mm ammunition was because he was afraid that the weapons on them were “automatic” and therefore be a waste of ammunition. Well most of us know that even if your weapon has a setting for automatic, that’s just not how you use the weapon. So his justification for foregoing the more powerful 5.56mm round is moot.
As for calibers bigger than the 5.56mm, it starts to become less ideal in terms of weight. There will be a LOT of zombies.
Oh and, 5.56mm ammo is very common.
Match the Ammo
So many firearms, what would be the ideal? First thing’s first, no pistols. They have lousy range and generally pretty bad accuracy. Previously we established that the 5.56mm round is probably the choice for hunting zombies. So it makes sense to think along the lines of a weapon that uses the 5.56mm ammunition.
Weight and Length
The lighter the better, the shorter the better. So the likes of a bullet spraying M-249 (which would be very hard to get a hold of if you’re not the armory jockey) which is heavier than what we need is out of the question. The standard M-16, though a fine weapon, is too long. This can become a problem if you end up in tighter quarters. The M-4 however, presents good range, light weight and appropriate firepower. Anything shorter than an M-4, and we’re probably making too many accuracy sacrifices.
Parts for the M-4 are fairly common and so is the 5.56mm ammunition. The fairly common nature of the M-4 gives it the upper hand against other 5.56mm weapons such as the FN FNC or the SIG 556. Both are fine weapons, but will be tough to find replacements or parts in the United States. So again, the M-4 is the logical choice.
The right firearm for a zombie apocalypse is the M-4!