Zombie Apocalypse Guns [The Best Choices for 2023]

If you know me, you know I enjoy Zombie culture.  Not because I think it’s a cool reason to get guns and not because I believe that a Zombie apocalypse of the Hollywood variety will ever happen.  

I love Zombies because of the prepper in me, the survivalist, the thinker and the excitement (that doesn’t mean I’m wishing for one) of something like a Zombie apocalypse. 

Let’s dig in.

This article is about Zombie Apocalypse Guns

Many readers of this website, and others in the survival and defense space, dislike Zombie culture because they see an influx of young people taken by the virtual worlds of video games trying to impose their awkward fantasies of a Zombie Apocalypse on the rest of Mainstream America, especially the gun community. 

If you have read my articles you probably understand that I equate the ZA (Zombie Apocalypse) to a major event which turns the mob into a ruthless and desperate creature and threatens to overtake normal and sane society with violence and recklessness.  

In a sense, Katrina was a Zombie Apocalypse; it was the hungry and unprepared mob against other private citizens, both of which faced a dire situation brought on by a weather event and complicated by a lack of resources. It happened in Los Angeles, California in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating and looting and rioting was prevalent. 

Since then, there have been several more – none of them reaching quite the heights of those two events. 

In such an event, which even the least of the conspiracy theorists know is coming again, it will be necessary to defend your preparations and your safety against those turned nasty and aggressive by emotions, mob mentality, or their lack of preparation and their need for resources. 

We saw the same during the COVID scenario at outdoor protests (usually centered around law enforcement lawsuit cases). 

It is at such a time that many of us as gun owners will face a dilemma we haven’t faced in our lives up to this point: are we prepared to take lives to protect our own, on a large scale basis?

Sure it sounds crazy to put it that way and see it in writing, but I’m sure if you lived in NOLA during the aftermath of Katrina, or any other major event that turned ugly, the thought is just part of life. This is a very real possibility in a polarized, very often divided country, and with crazy weather events happening all the time.

In order to prepare for such an event we choose to arm ourselves with the appropriate weapons.  I will call them Zombie Apocalypse guns.  It doesn’t mean you have to use them to kill hordes of the undead walkers, though they are very good at such a task.  It just means they are good at dispatching targets and looking cool at the same time.

List of products featured in this article about Zombie Apocalypse Guns:

Mossberg 464 SPX

Savage Arms Mark2 FV XP bolt action .22LR

Beretta 1301 Tactical 12 Gauge Shotgun

Marlin 1895 SBL

Remington 870

LWRC AR-Style rifle

Is the Mossberg 464 SPX even an interesting Zombie Apocalypse Gun?

One such Zombie gun would strike fear into the purist gun guy as much as the horde, a zombie gun that looks fit for duty in Red Dead Redemption (a video game franchise).

The first Zombie gun is a mix of “tacticool”, the old West and interesting engineering.  A zombie gun that has all the essentials of Zombie killing enthusiasts:

  •         It’s got a larger capacity
  •         It’s a big bore caliber
  •         It’s a lever action repeater
  •         It’s black
  •         It has tactical rails
  •         It has a flash hider
  •         The Stock is adjustable
  •         The iron sights are pretty good
  •         The barrel is 16 and a quarter inches long

This Zombie Gun is priced at $530 MSRP and probably leaves a little to be desired when compared to other higher priced and nicer finished lever action rifles.  But the fact that you can get this gun for

All told: the Mossberg 464 is an excellent Zombie gun.  Both for the fictional (and perhaps someday plausible); and the real world zombies we will encounter.

Not unlike movie zombie apocalypse guns that appeal to enthusiasts for their looks, this new “zombie gun” by Mossberg is an improvement on the gun they would normally produce.  It’s not as nice as say, a Marlin, or an older Winchester lever action, but it’s got a lot of the trademark ruggedness and toughness of the Mossberg brand built in.  

It’s got a lot of features gun guys say they enjoy, but it just rubs some of the mainstream gun community the wrong way because it seems like a marketing ploy to attract new consumers to the gun industry.  If it takes the marketing of Zombie guns to bring people into the fold, then I’m all for it.  

I might even consider buying one of these Mossberg 464 SPX’s for experimenting with some gunsmithing ideas on. It’s not a tried and true design (despite what Mossberg tells you) and Mossberg is probably more famous for its footprint in the Zombie gun arena nowadays than it is considered a top tier maker, but something about this rifle works.

On a base level it’s not really a “zombie gun”; rather it’s a gun that zombie enthusiasts might like because it looks the part, but it’s essentially a rifle with all the things people say they want, strapped onto a reliable and historical design. 

Isn’t that what people want: a proven design with updated features and a few places for modern accessories? I’m not a hater. It’s ugly, I can admit that, but it’s pretty practical to the guy who already shoots .30-.30 and hunts in thick brush, right?  No more scratching up the Marlin’s furniture.

For those wanting to kill zombies: this might be the ticket, but learn how to reload and stock up on factory loads and reloading components, because the .30-.30, while popular, isn’t quite as readily available as, say the 5.56 or the .22LR or the 9mm, etc., etc.

It’s born to be a hardcore Zombie gun, and for enthusiasts, it probably hits the mark, for everyone else, there is still probably a use for it, if you think for a minute or two. It’s not like they put a chainsaw handle on the front end of this one…right? 

The Marlin 1895 SBL is definitely an interesting Zombie Apocalypse Gun

But for those who want something more practical for the ZA, the next Zombie Gun on this list is also a lever action, but you’ll need to stock up on reloading components. It’s the .45-70 Marlin 1895 SBL – a short, sweet gun that can kill anything of any size probably to 350 yards pretty reliably. 

Sure, the sweet spot for the .45-70 GOVT is probably sub 250 yards, and in practice probably 180 yards or under, but the plethora of loads and castings and the ability to play around with how you load the cartridges means you can really reach out and hit something, There are tales of .45-70 falling blocks hitting 1000 yard shots abounding in old west and civil war era writings. 

This is probably the best built modern lever action rifle, and it is easy to wield and shoots soft for a big bore. The look is nice, and the overall length lends well to closer quarters encounters. The real story here is the cartridge though. There is nothing that cannot be shot with a .45-70 effectively, if you know what you’re doing – except birds and rabbits. 

From coyote, to caribou, you have a rifle that can extend a single caliber to just about any defense or hunting need depending on your knowledge of, and use of reloading and optics. Out to even 500+ yards – you just have to be comfortable with seeing your bullet float across your view and drop 40 inches or more. Versatility is key here.  

Other important Zombie Apocalypse firearm options include the good ole .22 LR, the 12 gauge shotgun, and an AR variant. If you are already going for a .45-70, you can probably opt for something else for CQB, and count on the ability to load lighter, higher powder grain cartridges for 300+ yard needs. 

Yes, pundits would disagree – stating it’s best to have a faster, more accurate round, but unless you plan on playing sniper, you aren’t going to need a ton of long range shooting capabilities in a mob situation. If they are coming, you aren’t going to stop them at 750 yards by taking out a few of them. You’ll want to prioritize close quarters defense as well as other versatile use cases, like hunting or intermediate needs.

A 5.56×45 (and .223 and .300 Blackout), and other common cartridges all have the same benefits in such a scenario and make for a good choice. 

This is especially true for those that think they may need to stockpile ammo, and forage/trade for ammo if a major event happens. Millions of rounds in mainstream sizes will be available, but it will be harder to find more esoteric or expensive rounds. 

Just as the .45-70 is a play on preparedness, and stocking up – the .223/5.56  and .22LR and 12 gauge, is a play on what will be available after an event through more face-to-face channels. Both strategies can make sense.  

Here are some options for Zombie Apocalypse Guns: 

.22LR Zombie Apocalypse Gun

12 gauge Zombie Apocalypse Shotgun (Beretta 1301 Tactical)

AR-Style Rifle for the Zombie Apocalypse

Remington 870 Shotgun for the ZA

A few words about the 12 gauge shotgun trying to showcase it as one of the most versatile guns you can buy when you aren’t planning on shooting further than 175 yards.

The shotgun can be used to kill anything – even small animals like rabbits, birds, etc. at distances from about 12 feet to 175 yards. Of course, because of the versatility of the loads available. 

From birdshot to buckshot to rifled slugs, the shotgun can be used for defensive purposes easily, with plenty of versatility. If you need to have a “one-gun” or you can’t quite decide on something that spans from home defense to hunting, the answer is overwhelmingly a 12 gauge shotgun. 

The ammunition is relatively cheap compared to rifle rounds; it has plenty of stopping power, and as long as you aren’t stalking an elk or mountain goat across a valley on the other ridge, you’re likely to have enough range for most tasks. 

Here are some important things to remember – regardless of how you feel about the actuality of a “Zombie Apocalypse” regardless of what you anticipate that being.


  • Ammunition storage is important – buy it, store it; keep it easily movable
  • Repair parts are important – make sure you know which parts you should have on hand We made a podcast about this regarding the maintenance of the AR-15/variants
  • Know your firearms – understand their capabilities 
  • Have batteries for optics, tooling for maintenance and sights/gas systems/optic mounting, etc.
  • Don’t equate the idea of protection against the mob, as just what you see on the Walking dead or some other mainstream zombie movie or show – The zombies are the threat no matter what kind of prepper you are – it’s you against the world.
  • Firearms aren’t everything – if you aren’t morally comfortable with stealing someone’s food during a major event through force, then prep on all fronts to keep yourself comfortable
  • No big-in solution is always fool-proof; just like no bug-out solution is have options, be able to orchestrate those options under duress

Never forget how important an equalizer that firearms and training in firearms can be. But it is not a single solution that covers all eventualities. Be prepared to be broad based, and use firearms as the tool that they are to accomplish specific goals.

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