From the first moment he was seen onscreen the character of Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, has captivated fans of The Walking Dead. There are many factors that play into this appeal, but there is no denying his trademark crossbow plays a big pan in it.
But just how effective would a crossbow be in a zombie apocalypse scenario? Mark Sidelinger. a crossbow advocate and certiﬁed archery instmctor, said these hunting weapons have a history of use in warfare and should be a part of every zombie ﬁghting squad’s arsenal.
An advantage over a traditional long bow or modern recurve bow, is the short amount of time it takes to familiarize oneself with the operation of the crossbow, Sidelinger said, particularly if a veteran shooter is on hand to provide instruction.
“An individual with average talent, that follows instructions can become proﬁciently successful at using a crossbow for Zombies within an hour.” he said. “This caveat is to keep your shots within a reasonable distance when ﬁrst starting out practicing. then, as your skills improve, you can increase your shot zone.”
Sidelinger said it is important to practice until your shots all fall within a group no more than 4-inches in diameter. This will ensure that you are capable of making consistent headshots.
Once a shooter’s has the skills, the tools will do the rest of the work. Sidelinger said modern crossbows are more than capable of dispatching a zombie.
“With many of today’s crossbows producing over 100 foot/pounds of kinetic energy, skull penetration is easily managed,” he said. “I would suggest one of Easton’s new Deadbolt crossbow arrows for this reason. A chisel-tipped broadhead produces bone-cnishing performance to the skull.”
Like traditional bows. the crossbow does have a weakness: It is hard to shoot at moving targets.
“There is a signiﬁcant level of skill necessary to shooting a moving zombie in the head. Depending on whether the zombie is a shufﬂer or a runner would determine the amount of lead, as well as the distance the shooter is from the zombie,” Sidelinger said. “Crossbows are best suited for shooting at standing zombies.”
This article appears in Issue 5 of Zombie Apocalypse Monthly’s digital edition and can be read for free at http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/456057.