Top 3 Cartridges for Dropping ZombiesThe Firearm Blog

Welcome back to another edition of the TFB Round Table sponsored by Ammunition To Go! For those who are first joining us, this is a multi-part series where TFB discusses the characteristics of great ammunition for specific applications. This could vary from big game hunting, plinking, precision rifle matches, small game hunting, or even pistol competitions. Chances are there is someone here at TFB who can offer you advice on buying the right round for your task at hand. This week I have compiled a list of ammunition that you would be wise to fling at some zombies. Prepper or not, listen up everyone! The horde is on its way! Let’s dive right into the Top 3 Cartridges (Pistol, Rifle, Revolver) for Dropping Zombies!


The last TFB Round Table seemed to go well when conversing about a potential end-time scenario. Hoping to continue to take some weight off shoulders and distract from the current odd world we are stuck in. At the very least it’s hard not to talk about the end of the world without tripping over the whole zombie topic. Zombies have evolved so much over the years since their earliest crawl from projectors to screens around the world. That being said this list is just as fluid as the previous ones and just as much, your idea of a “zombie” may be different than the next person.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


So it happened. It is the end of the world as we know it and that guy over there with the gaping bite mark is not feeling fine. You have either spent your days in your homemade bunker surrounded by tinfoil and bad bad body odor or you could even be the more thrifty of survivors just rolling with the punches and going with the flow. Regardless, you have a pile of ammunition and guns and a horde of flesh-hungry once upon a time humans approaching the compound gates. What is your cartridge of choice? How effective can it really be against a wall of the undead? Are you the kind of person who goes for precision? Or are you gonna try to have some fun when facing the inevitable and pick up the big eff you kind of bullets?

TFB ROUND TABLE: Top 3 Pistol Cartridges

  • 10mm: Not supremely new to the world of stomping through the air. Ballistics and foot-pounds of energy make this cartridge plenty fine for bears when they are not interested in beets or salmon. Should be good enough zombies right? Oh and also you can’t say TFB without saying 10mm.
  • 45 ACP: There is a good reason this old-timer is still around. Not just because it has been ingrained into generations of people that a bigger number equals more dead zombies in this case but it also is a decent and relevant round. Back when the US military was testing cartridges for military adoption of what would end up being the 1911, they not only tested them on cadavers but also living livestock. I guess they were not wrong. Big bullet equals big hole. The 45 became iconic as long as it was paired with what many would consider John Browning’s masterpiece.
  • 9mm: This one is pretty simple and straight forward. Low recoil, good capacity options over some bigger calibers, and it is super common and affordable. Yes even during my personal zombie apocalypse scenario it is still affordable. I just bought a case and it only cost me an old gum wrapper and some shoe-laces.

TFB ROUND TABLE: Top 3 Rifle Cartridges

  • 233/5.56: This one would be interchangeable with many fast-moving small projectile cartridges if it were not for its commonality just like that of the 9mm. The idea I would go for with these little guys is ball ammo. I know it is not really great at the whole damage thing but hear me out. Have a horde in front of you? Line up 10+ zombie domes with one bullet.
  • 338 Lapua Magnum: Don’t feel like lining up a bunch of zombies? How about a big ol 338 Lapua Magnum or even 50 BMG to make a literal smear or smudge where you aim? I am talking drawing a picture of something with ink, swiping you thrumb across it, smudge.
  • 7.62x54mmR: Ah yes the Mosin-Nagant rifle round. Want an invincible dumpster fire of a gun? Make sure it is chambered in this rimmed cartridge. I do not mean to disparage its cheap surplus name by any means. Honestly, most of the Nagant rifles I have personally been around have worked fairly well considering the absolute garbage steel-cased corroded surplus crap I have seen run through them. A trash panda with a bayonet is a terrifying thing.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

TFB ROUND TABLE: Top 3 Revolver Cartridges

  • .357 Magnum: This one like others is pretty straight forward. Lowish recoil, especially when used with 38 specials instead of the full power 357. Common for many revolvers and just all-around a household name when it comes to any list of cartridges.
  • .41 Magnum: An odd one I know, but this is when you do not want to go full 44 Mag but do no want to fit into the 357 bubble. 41 Magnum is often described as the “gentlemen’s cartridge” for its less severe recoil and decent accuracy and stopping power.
  • .460 Magnum: Would not be a good zombie stopping list without the big boy revolver rounds. The reason I went with 460 is firearms that are chambered in it can usually accept 454 Casull, 45 Long Colt, and even 45 Schofield if you are trapped back in time and the whole Delorean train thing did not work out well.

Honorable mention to all the shotgun lovers out there. 20ga. There I said it. Decent recoil/damage ratio. Also If you want to stick yourself with a higher recoiling and lower capacity gun such as a shotgun when facing a literal crowd of monsters, I would recommend a punt gun if we are just going to hypothetically say “screw it”.

File:Snowden Slights with big gun YORYM-S364.jpg

Man & Punt Gun. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Round Table brought to you by Ammunition to Go! Also, let us know what you think in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


TFB Round Table

20rds – 10mm Federal Hydra-Shok 180gr. JHP Ammo

From snowy Minnesota comes one of the most effective personal defense loads of all time — the Hydra-Shok! This 10mm cartridge by Federal features a 180 grain jacketed hollow point projectile that loses virtually none of its destructive potential after passing through thick fabric thanks to its unique center post design — that little column in the center of the bullet’s nose cavity does its job well.

This bullet’s jacket sports notches around its tip which serve to preprogram expansion by providing fault lines along which it can peel back during penetration. The Hydra-Shok’s tendency to mushroom reliably not only creates a wide wound channel, but further greatly reduces the chances of overpenetration that could jeopardize bystander safety.

The Hydra-Shok’s bullet’s base is also protected by its jacket, so firing it won’t create toxic fumes which would detract from a target shooting session. (Training with your personal defense loads before using them in the field is very advisable.) This round’s new brass casing, sensitive primer, and consistent propellant are all indicative of Federal’s commitments to innovation and quality, so you can chamber it with confidence!

20rds - 45 ACP Federal Hydra-Shok PD Low Recoil 165gr. HP Ammo

This is 45 ACP Federal Hydra-Shok Personal Defense Low Recoil 165gr. Hollow Point Ammo. This ammo contains a post in the middle of the hollow point to give it rapid expansion and deep penetration. This ammo is also very suitable for short barreled weapons and women shooters, because it is a reduced recoil round. This ammo has proven stopping power. This ammo is nickel coated – brass cased, boxer primed, non-magnetic and non-corrosive. It comes packed in 20rd. boxes. Muzzle Velocity: 1060 fps.

TFB Round Table Top 3 Cartridges for Dropping Zombies

This 9mm +P cartridge by Speer is loaded with a 124 grain Gold Dot projectile. The bullet’s jacket is created via Speer’s proprietary Uni-Cor process, where it is electrochemically bonded to its alloyed lead core one molecule at a time. As the result the Gold Dot’s jacket is virtually incapable of separating whether it must pass through media such as heavy fabric, drywall, or steel en route to its target. The bullet’s nose cavity is formed over the course of a two step process: the first to establish fault lines that direct expansion to a set width, and the second to control the rate of expansion for maximum takedown terminal effect.

This round’s nickel plated brass casing is inherently able to resist corrosion, and further provides the lubricity needed for extremely reliable feeding in a semi-automatic weapon. Speer’s primer and propellant are highly trustworthy, and totally befitting of a round that might one day save your life. Please take note that this is +P ammunition.

This is 5.56 Federal American Eagle XM855 62gr. Full Metal Jacket Penetrator Bulk Pack Ammo. American Eagle centerfire rifle rounds are great for precision practice and are an affordable option for target practice. This is the green tip XM855 penetrator ammo. This ammo is headstamped with nato cross. This ammo is brass cased, boxer primed, non-corrosive. It comes packed in 150rd. boxes, 4 boxes per case. Muzzle Velocity: 3020 fps. - 338 Lapua Magnum Sellier & Bellot 250gr. Sierra HPBT Match Ammo

This is .338 Lapua Magnum Sellier & Bellot 250gr. Sierra Hollow Point Boat Tail Match Ammo. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, boxer primed, brass cases. This ammo comes packed in 10rd. boxes.

This is 7.62x54R Brown Bear 203gr. Soft Point Ammo. This ammo is manufactured in Russia by Barnaul and is new production ammo. It is steel cased, berdan primed and 100% non-corrosive.

50rds - 357 Mag Winchester USA 110gr. Hollow Point Ammo

This is 357 Mag Winchester USA 110gr. Hollow Point Ammo. It is brass cased and boxer primed. It is good reliable personal protection ammo at an economical price. It comes packed in 50rd. boxes, 10 boxes per case.

20rds - 41 Remington Magnum Federal 210gr. JHP Ammo

Federal offers these .41 Remington Magnum rounds an easy “plug-and-play” solution for short range handgun hunting. These jacketed hollow-point (JHP) rounds from the Power-Shok line aim to give outdoor enthusiasts a great solution for deer and other medium-sized game without a heavy cost or the hassle of handloading. The JHP bullet used in this cartridge profile features a lightly exposed hollow cavity, a skived copper jacket, and a ribbed cannelure which runs around the crimp diameter. These features all contribute to deep penetration in a target with controlled expansion which delivers optimum energy to vital organs for quick, effective drops.

In addition to preventing jacket separation and preserving momentum, the cannelure keeps the the projectile firmly seated in the reloadable brass casing so that recoil doesn’t dislodge bullets in the cylinder and spoil accuracy. The 210 grain JHP used in this load has a great track record of taking down small bears and tough hogs. Federal is one of the most well-respected names in United States ammunition and has been trusted to produce precision loads for competitors, law enforcement rounds for duty carry, and hunting cartridges to stock freezers and safeguard campsites since 1922.

20rds - 460 S&W Federal Vital-Shok 300gr. Swift A-Frame Ammo

An excellent choice for handgun hunters who enjoy pursuing big game, this 460 S&W Federal Vital-Shok ammo packs a big punch. Each of these rounds is loaded with a heavy-weight 300 grain Swift A-Frame projectile. The expansion-arresting A-Frame design features a bonded lead hollow point that delivers amazing weight retention and controlled expansion, regardless of distance. Expanding up to twice the original size, these bullets drive deep, delivering massive shock and energy transfer. Better stopping power means greater results with fewer rounds and better chances for game recovery.

This package contains 20 rounds of factory fresh ammunition. Boxer-primed, non-corrosive, and fully reloadable, these loads also feature nickel-plated brass casings for smooth feeding and easy extraction. Each round delivers a muzzle velocity of 1750 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 20 40 foot pounds.

Federal Premium ammunition is a name trusted by hunters for generations. Their Vital-Shok loads are perfect for handgun hunters who enjoy a true challenge. These reliable and hard-hitting hunting cartridges deliver the quality and performance that makes American-made Federal Premium one of the most respected names in ammunition.

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