Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Recurve Bow VS Zombies

I. Bows & Arrows

Archery has been one of mankind's primary tools for hunting, warfare and sport for the past seven thousand years. It can serve us well WTSHTF.

The zombie apocalypse will potentially last years or even decades. There won't be a shortage of ingenuity & craftsmen, only the raw materials.  Ammunition will be scarce, and maintaining guns will be increasingly difficult. On the other hand, wood and a little metal are needed to construct bows & arrows. 

Numerous resources are available for a variety of bow types (like the US Army Survival Manual), and the ones you find online are only the tip of the iceberg.

II. Training
I've recently gotten into archery and have been taking lessons with my family. It is quite satisfying to put your arrows where you want them to! I get the same buzz from putting lead on steel plates at 20 meters. Both disciplines require the same amount of skill and dedication. This is a life long thing, and I'm looking forward to every minute of shooting stuff.

For a pistolero like me, it was really cool that I could retrieve my ammunition and re-use them on the spot. No reloading required! I can do this in my back yard too.

It is not noiseless as some may think, but definitely quieter than most suppressed weapons. And a more accessible one at that. 

All in all, the bow is an effective weapon and a wonderful sporting activity for the whole family.

I chose the recurve bow for the following reasons in no particular order:
  • anything that is an Olympic sport is a worthwhile activity
  • ease of maintenance: dissasembly / assembly takes only a minute without specialized tools
  • easy to stow away, compact
  • components are durable, can last many years with proper use
  • an excellent choice for zombie-killing covert missions & clearing operations
  • can help you hunt for food: bowfishing, birds, deer, & other nice things

I've also made a SMASHING COCONUT TEST to see how it would fare against a zombie skull.

When the last bullet is shot, arrows will fly.

Stay vigilant!


  1. There's a dude from the Walking Dead who uses this to put them walkers down!! How much do lessons cost?

  2. Daryl Dixon was using a Crossbow. A pretty badass weapon, but an entirely different animal.

    1. Gandiva Sports. I think their lessons go for 600 per hour that includes equipment rental and the coach. Try calling them up to make sure. There are advanced lessons too.

    Their indoor range is at the 7th floor of a building near Tektite Tower in Ortigas. They're open till 8PM.

    2. There's also Benel Archery in Mandaluyong City, they've got world class coaches. I got my gear from them.
    (+63-2) 531-4681 to 86

    What I did was to get the basics at Gandiva by renting their equipment & had an instructor show me the basics for two hours. I got my gear at Benel Archery but some of my family gets from Gandiva too. Both have very good packages for beginners of all sorts.

  3. That's lovely! Thanks for the info!!! When I have time one weekend, I will try it out. But I never have time :P

    By the way, did you see the second season of The Walking Dead? Goooolllleeeeee. It's awesome!!

  4. You're welcome!

    Dude, I'm a fan of your fan of Green Eggs & Moms because your parenting tips rock. I am a family man after all.

    Yeah, 2nd season rocks! Real people, real zeds. hahaha

  5. I should write about useful family tips on dealing with zombies soon :) ha! Tip #1 would probably be: run!!!

    Thank you for the comment though, I appreciate it!!

  6. How much does your bow cost sir?

  7. howdy! I spent about $350 for the bow (limbs, riser, bowstring, deluxe sights).

    I spent nearly the same for accessories like the quiver, arrows (lots of them!), bow stringer tool thingamajig, finger tab, bowstring wax, bow stand, rubber backstop & targets, and more.



  8. Do you know any affordable bows in benel? BTW, I really enjoyed your blog and looking forward for more posts.

  9. Thank you for the kind words! Benel has a few starter packages. I enjoy archery a lot and hope it works out for you!

  10. Hi sir! Big fan of your blog. I have one question, can an 18-lb bow penetrate it????

  11. Hello Giuseppe!

    I regret that an 18 pound bow will not be able to punch through a coconut covered with its husk. It can break the shell of one w/o the husk but your range will be limited to under 20 meters. Backyard testing is a lot of fun!

    Good thing you could upgrade the limbs to hit harder.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Oh! Okay :D do you know how much to get an upgrade ???
      P.S. I also have an SF Optimo Plus :D

    2. I remember all limbs regardless of weight go for around 4k depending on the brand. Give Gandiva or Benel a call, I'm sure you'll find what you need. Good hunting!

  13. I wonder how much accuracy would be reduced if you attached a thin string to an arrow so you could retrieve it easier? I'm thinking if it's not too bad a reduction, would be a good thing in some zombie situations. Sitting on top of a building shooting at them, then retrieving the arrows by pulling them back up.

    1. hey there Rocky,

      You'll be shocked at how hard it is to pull the arrows from anything they dig themselves into past four inches of penetration. There is significant resistance between the penetrated matter of a coconut and the aluminum shaft, this makes it difficult to pull them free especially for the arrows that punch all the way through. See my Smashing Coconut Test section for a clearer picture.

      I can imagine the same thing with an undead human's skull. So a string would easily snap if you tug on it. You also risk bending the arrow. Even a small bend would affect its accuracy.

      Perhaps attaching a string is practiced with bowfishing, but this involves a very short distance and may not be necessary.

      I retrieve all my arrows and practice on a a few rubber mats folded in half. If an arrow hits a hard surface, it will bend. You need to be precise, because missing your mark would probably cost you a good arrow.

      I agree that whittling down a horde's numbers covertly on top of a building is a good mission, especially if you need to get somewhere or lessen the danger level of an area. However you will need to conduct a recovery/scavenger mission after the horde passes through to pick up serviceable arrows. Again, yanking arrows haphazardly could damage them. You need to do this with care, unless you have a stash of hundreds of arrows or have the means to make your own. The latter is the most ideal situation.

    2. Thanks for the response! I've never fired a bow outside school before, and that was years ago aiming at a foam target. So, didn't think about how hard it would be to pull out of a skull. My roleplaying group is playing a zombie apocalypse game based on the New World of Darkness system, and my guy is a survivalist/archer.