Zombie Stuff

I still hate clowns.

Zombie products are everywhere. In fact I’m staring at a magazine full of them right now. With the recent cannibalistic outbreaks even Time Magazine is reporting on the sales of Hornady’s Z-Max.

There’s no question that a lot of the zombie products that have been put on the market are, to be polite, completely over-the-top and useless. Honestly, who’s going to use the Ruger LCP Zombie Slayer at apocalypse time? I can promise you I won’t be trading in my M&Ps for that one anytime soon. And while I think the Mossberg Chainsaw looks like a “blast” to shoot I have to concede it plays host to the same kind of ludicrous uselessness of the KRISS Vector SDP (but at least takes itself less seriously).

Inside the industry we’re all pretty annoyed with it. Any time zombies crop up on one of my social media outlets it’s “Not this again” or “This is stupid” or “It’s so overdone” and I would be lying if I tried to claim I haven’t been part of this camp.

Then I remembered that I know how to have fun and have consequently decided to go ahead and jump back on the zombie bandwagon. After all the SASS people have been playing cowboy for years and years, why can’t I hunt some zombies?

Now, I could lecture you on the boring reasons why we should love zombies: they bring in new shooters, it creates pop culture appeal, it normalize the gun industry blah blah blah. Do I sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown yet? I stopped paying attention to myself. When it comes down to it the real reason we should love zombies is that the whole thing is ridiculous and entertaining.

Roll your eyes but bear with me for a second and imagine this:

I still hate clowns.

A night-time 3-Gun match, not unlike the one that Crimson Trace is planning in July, but zombie themed. You’re shooting bleeding zombie targets, running through tunnels and mazes a la MGM Ironman. There are glow in the dark bobbles placed around, moving no-shoots trying to get away from the zombies. At one point you find a Mossberg Chainsaw that some cretin thought would save his poor shooting skills in the apocalypse and have to use that. You could scavenge for ammo. I feel like there is a whole new kind of match (or RO’s nightmare) to be made.

I think “fun” is also the same mentality we need to start using when looking at these zombie products too. Yes, I think they’re ridiculous and over-the-top but who am I to judge? My M&P is cerakoted snakeskin, has my initials engraved on the back of the slide and a custom-stippled grip with a reptilian pattern and I’m going to get upset because someone wants a green “ZMB” on the slide of their shotgun? I think not. I like 1960s muscle cars and I like custom shop overpowered luxury cars and I like overpriced whiskey and designer handbags and you know what, I like zombie stuff.

Everyone has been waiting for the zombie fad to “go away” and while it will die down I don’t think it will ever be gone. Much like the cowboy action shooting there will always be a market for zombie products, for people who think it’s fun and different. There’s nothing wrong with that just as there’s nothing wrong with CAS.

What it boils down to is that everyone is tired of the zombie products but I’m tired of everyone whining about the zombie products. Who cares? Relax! This shooting thing is supposed to be FUN, remember?

– Shelley Rae


  1. Maybe zombies are a convenient substitute for real targets, but why have substitutes? Let’s identify the real targets and stay focused on them.

  2. I like how “Zombie” marketed products slip under the noses of antigunners. They don’t realize it’s a euphamism for “people killer”.

    Imagine the backlash of Hornady advertising “the perfect people killer round” but yet that is the Z-Max.

    I love it.


  3. I showed a picture of a Zombie Slayer LCP to my wife a while back and she liked it. I didn’t really think that would happen and was a little more surprised when she bought one. Now she has 4 LCP’s and is taking over one of the smaller shelves in the safe. I don’t know if it is “silly” or not but I know my wife and if she likes it, finds it to be fun, I am more than OK with it. Don’t think she will pick up a Zombie killing shotgun though.

  4. Fun is right! I was shooting at the local range with some Zombie industries targets and the range master made us take them down. At our public range, it seems you can’t shoot at any target with a face, even a zombie face. After he explained why, I understood. (He said what if a guy brings a target with the Pres. face, his mother in laws face, etc. etc. If they allow one face, they have to allow them all) But I still think it takes the fun out of shooting and so now we just go to the local indoor range, they don’t have such a rule and so we can blast away at the undead. By the way, World War Z comes out this year as a movie. Brad Pitt stars in the film and if it is as good as the novel, it should add to the zombie craze.

  5. Sometimes we can over-do or take things too seriously… but then again, in addition to training adults… I train and instruct hundreds of 4H Shooting Sports and other youth in pistol, rifle, and shotgun… and Zombies are still pretty cool to them.

    Dann in Ohio

  6. I’d have less of a problem with zombie themed stuff if most of it weren’t so half-assed, lazy, and ugly. I’m still not sure what neon green has to do with zombies.

  7. Great article Shelley. I agree, shooting has lost some of its “fun”. Thats why we created the class we did. As an instructor I was getting burned out teaching the same thing to different skill levels. So we threw in the zombie theme and from my perspective it made it a lot of fun. We give out zombie targets, patches etc. Great article and everyone needs to have fun shooting!

  8. I learned to shoot as soon as I was legal because of Zombies. A movie I saw when I was a kid, and no one paid attention to vhs movie ratings, scarred me for life. When I turned 21, I went shooting for the first time because of that movie was still haunting me. Through the years, I’d always be thinking which places would be good to take over, and all these other zombie tactics, long before Max Brooks brought Zombies to the forefront. While I feel kinda annoyed that EVERYONE is getting in on it just NOW, for the most part I enjoy seeing all these new shooters buying guns, and being able to talk to them about this Zombie thing, instead of looking like a weirdo when I bring it up. Yes Zombies are fun to conspire about, and yes that’s why I’m pretty decent at headshots haha. It’s also why I asked my dad for a shotgun when I was 12.

  9. You cannot not have heard of this http://zombieshootersassociation.com/

    I mean, IDPA with zombies; what’s not to love?


  10. I’ve been saying this for years and find myself drowned out or beaten by the mod-stick at gun fora where kids show up to learn about guns.
    I think we are taking ourselves too seriously when it comes to the Zombie thing.

    Good job.

  11. Agreed! I think it’s silly and getting pretty excessive, but it removes some of the overwhelming machismo so prevalent in our gun culture. Guns and self defense need to be taken seriously, but shooting sports should still be fun.

  12. I’m 100% in agreement. You need to have fun in as lacking a serious manner as possible, and zombies are the route to travel for it. I had the luxury of meeting Steve Hornady at the NRA show this year, and had a blast in chit-chatting with him about the whole zombie thing. I can’t honestly say that it’s not a frequent topic of discussion at my table, either, what with my core group of friends being a bunch of nerds cleverly disguised as sports fans, gearheads, and gun nuts. As well, any time someone gives me sh*t for buying a new gun, it actually seems to placate them when I reason, “It’s 2012; zombies are comin’ dude.” All said, thanks for posting your thoughts here. I know who I can trust to cover my back when the walking dead are at our door step.

  13. Great article, Shelley. I think the fun factor is being beaten out of the shooting sports to some extent, just to try to be PC.

  14. Funny, Shelley. My train of thought has gone exactly the same way. Something like…

    “This is so stupid.”

    “But I like zombie shows, and I love to shoot.”

    “So who cares, let’s do this!”


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