Rifles are the most commonly used weapon in the military and by hunters. They are capable of hitting human sized targets hundreds of meters away. The projectile fired is usually very powerful and range from .17 to .50 inches diameter. The bullet sizes very more than any other type of weapon so stick with a military variant that has been mass produced. The three most popular civilian operating mechanisms are; Semi Automatic, Bolt Action and Lever Action.
Zombie Rifles Overview:
There are a few drawbacks to using a rifle as a main weapon. Rifles are extremely loud which can draw more zombies to your position. They are also heavy, long and bulky. This is also true for the ammunition they fire. You may also have difficulty maneuvering inside tight buildings, giving the zombies a chance to get too close.
Other than Automatic, the Semi Automatic rifle has the highest rate of fire. This allows you to engage multiple zombies in a shorter time frame. Semi Auto rifles also are commonly equipped with removable magazines that can carry large amounts of ammunition. The ammunition fired through a Semi Auto goes up to 7.62mm in the military variants and these have more than enough power to take down an undead attacker. The only drawbacks to these rifles is that they are a little less reliable than the other actions and the user tends to waste more ammunition.
Rifles that have a manual action (pump, lever, bolt) have a slower rate of fire. This means you must take more careful aim and conserve your smaller magazine size. Some models do have the ability to carry larger caliber ammunition but the extra range and power is not necessary when dealing with zombies. The best attribute of these weapons is that they tend to jam less which can mean the difference between life and death. Another helpful feature is that they usually have a more sturdy build allowing them to be used as melee weapons easier.
You are in an urban environment and have been spotted by a group of 10+ zombies. Deciding to make a stand you make your way to a somewhat narrow street that also gives you options to make an escape if needed. You unsling your rifle and find a little cover that gives you a stable shooting position. Set your range on your rifle, do a brass check and wait for them to funnel in.
As the zombies round the corner, you are able to deal with them a couple at a time (Think of the movie 300). This gives you time to take careful aim. As you begin taking head shots at the first ones in the group, you will occasionally miss. Although every shot doesn’t hit it’s mark, the Semi Auto rifle allows for quick follow up shots.
The group of zombies are too slow and do not have the numbers to overwhelm your position. Take the closest ones down first and remain calm. Eventually the group will thin out. After you kill the last one, you swap out magazines in case others have been drawn by the fire and continue on your way.