2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Max Brooks + Sons of Guns = Partial Meh Fail

I watched the season finale of Sons of Guns last night, featuring The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z author Max Brooks.  I don't particularly care for SOG, its OK but I think its a bit hokey and am suspicious of the "reality" of this "reality show".  Of course I am burnt out on most reality TV anyways.  Brooks was on the show (aside from ratings and as promotional work for his upcoming movie adaption of WWZ) to build the "ultimate zombie killing rifle".

"OK, I'll concentrate on the "Meh" portion of the show why you guys get started on the "fail"..."

What came out of the show was far apart from what he writes about in his books.  I like both the books, and I think WWZ was an awesome tome of fiction to be sure and made some very valid observations about modern society against the backdrop of the zed apocalypse.  In the book he describes a zombie killing rifle used by the forces of the US called the Standard Infantry Rifle (SIR...as in "Yes SIR!")...(bear with me this is from memory)

  • It's got a wood stock because after Z day polymers are difficult to produce and wood is plentiful..also I would say wood would be better to use as a club (especially with a metal butt plate) if ammo ran out or you suddenly found yourself at bad breath distance with a zed head..
  • Uses a modified AK type mechanism that is virtually foolproof to failure.
  • Comes with interchangeable barrels that allow it to be transformed from a long range rifle to a carbine for close quarters use.
  • Semi Auto, as tactics for fighting them were old square formations firing aimed volleys at the heads of masses of the undead.
  • Utilizes as 5.56 "PIE" round, which is basically a fragmenting pyro round that ignites inside a zed skull and fries the brain on impact.
  • Comes equipped with a spike bayonet to thrust into eye sockets and such if need be.

All of this makes the following rifle come to mind - minus the replaceable barrels and 5.56 chambering, both of which could be improved to the design..

..yes, it an SKS...Norinco actually because its got a spike bayonet...make a few minor tweaks to include those barrels, fire a 5.56 round and maybe a rail for optics and I think it would make a fine SIR.   If you read TZSG, I think you might remember that the weapon that was on top of Brooks list of "must haves" was the M1 carbine for its balance of weight and firepower, that would also be a good choice I think.

Now what did the geniuses at SOG and Max come up with?...

Well, Will...the "owner" of Red Jacket Firearms (he and his daughter had to give up their FFL due to some receivers that went missing, but thats a story for another time) came up with a standard AR style built that consisted of the following (again from memory) for their "military" version of a zombie slayer..

  • 5.56 AR modified to run full auto with the fun switch fully depressed...waste of ammo per both TZSG and WWZ ...
  • Utilizes 100 round drum mags...nice touch..
  • EOTech "zombie biohazard" XPS halo sight...don't even want to comment on how stupid that is...
  • Standard folding stock that he showed crushing coconuts...stupid, just use a full length stock...better for using the weapon as a ad hoc club or spear if need be...
  • 37mm grenade launcher..nice touch but not to launch grenades but flares to spot them by at night, in my book at least...frags don't do much to them...check out the Battle of Yonkers in WWZ.
  • A bayonet.

Overall, not a bad build really...the AR is pretty much what many of us have as a "SHTF" weapon anyway...

Max's team on the other hand came up with the following for his "civilian" weapon

  • A bullpup design based on the FN P90 PDW that they had custom made on a 3D printer...nice and compact? yes...but not exactly the stand off distance I would want for my ad hoc club against a zombie..
  • Chambered in .22 instead of the 5.7mm round the P90 was designed for...I think using a 10/22 receiver
  • An optic of some type...
  • A silencer...nice, zed won't be attracted to the noise
  • A spike for the end that can be fitted to thrust into the cranium.

A FN P90 kind of tricked out like Max had his .22 version...

First off, the .22...wth?  Yes the .22 is plentiful in quantity and at close distance I bet it will blast through zed bones in the mellon...but what happened to starting to take them out a long range in formation from your books Max?  The .22 will give up a lot of energy past 100 yards or so I think, enough that penetration is not a foregone conclusion when you're aiming at the ol' melon.  Another thing, the 5.7 round was designed to be an smaller, more compact round to replace the 9mm and has already been adapted in a pistol by FN as well as the P90.  Sure, its not as small as a .22 for sure, but its certainly smaller than the 5.56/.223 round used in the AR and has way more energy than the .22.

5.7mm (left) next to a 5.56 NATO round (right)

Also, calling his weapon the "civilian" version of the zombie weapon and wanting it to be small enough so people would be willing to carry it all day...hmmm...when you got flesh eating ghouls walking around chomping on your friends and family everybody is a combatant, not a civilian and you find the time and energy to carry what you have to to kill the zed threat!

Overall I am torn between "meh" and "fail" on this show, "meh" because I think I could of missed it and been none the worse for wear and "fail" because I think both groups missed on several points of Brooks books.
What I think this show lacked was an adherence to Brooks own reality he laid out in his books.  In my view, TZSG laid out the rules in which his zombie universe played to, and WWZ was bound by these rules to exist in.  In order to keep this show in harmony with this they should of built weapons that would of been used in WWZ and not gone off the grid for sensationalism.

Then again, this is all only fictional stuff we are talking about right?

Or is it?....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

-Bullpup (Lightweight and compact, even with a sniper-length barrel)
-.223 (extremely common, easy to stock up on)
-Sturdy stock (for CQB)
-Bayonet (of course)
-Silencer (They'll never hear you coming)

BOOM! Can you say "survival"?