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In a zombie outbreak explosives can be very useful tools. However, their volatile nature makes explosives dangerous to the user as well as to their potential target. Generally explosives are also hard to come by, and it is very dangerous to try to manufacture explosives without the proper training and equipment. Therefore, explosives should generally not be handled unless one possesses adequate knowledge with respect to their usage. When used on an undead horde, explosive weapons are likely to result in a lot of disfigured and dismembered (but still active) zombies. It is therefore recommended that they be used on either closely-packed hordes, or if you want to slow down the zombies. Searching around on the Internet for recipes, if possible, can make improvised explosive endeavours a fair bit easier. Ragnar Benson has produced several of the best known works pertaining home made explosives, and his works in general are recommended reading in preparation of the arrival of the undead. Here is a brief list of some explosives and explosive devices.
RPGEditThe Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher has typically been portrayed as instant death for vehicles and personnel in television and movies. It will dismember zombies but not guarantee a kill. One of the weapons flaws is its accuracy, it is notoriously hard to actually hit a target not because of weight, user error or any physical issues such as wind or gravity (though these do play a part), the problem lies in the rocket itself. In flight the rocket is incredibly unstable because its fins don't always open, become stuck or aren't angled properly. That problem has been countered on some modern versions such as the RPG-7V2. Weight of its ammunition this weapon is, as with any form of rocket/grenade launcher, arduous to carry. Misuse of an RPG will almost always result in injury to the user, usually from the back blast. In the event of a zombie outbreak this is not the weapon to look to, though when the infected are massed it can be very handy at dispersing the crowd, or as an anti-vehicle weapon or scare weapon against bandits. Common variants include the RPG-7, RPG-9 and the NH-75. Rocket launchers or recolilless rifles other than the RPG, such as the AT4, SMAW, Carl gustav, and the M202.
GrenadesEditWeapons-grade explosives used by both the military and special divisions of some police units. There is a wide variety of grenades, ranging from fragmentation grenades, to smoke grenades and flash grenades (flash-bangs). If local police and military forces have been overwhelmed grenades may be possible to attain. Grenades are increasingly effective when fired from some kind of launcher, as it keeps the grenade at a safe distance for detonation. As with all explosives, grenades should be handled with extreme care, used preferably by those with proper knowledge and experience (such as ex cops, veterans, or police/military personnel). Grenade use on Zombies is better suited for disability than killing. Fragmentation grenades will usually only shred a zombie's body and organs and knock it over, unless one of the fragments or the blast itself damages the head and brain. Note that modern military grenades, such as the M67, contain larger volumes of a more powerful explosive, and the blast's shockwave alone can kill or produce crippling injuries up to a larger radius. A flash bang grenade, unless inserted into a zombie's mouth (do not try this), is going to have even less of an effect, as a ghoul doesn’t need sight or hearing to find prey. Poison gas will have no effect at all, and incendiary grenades will only serve to turn the zombie into a shambling torch. Grenades do lend themselves better to improvisational use (such as IEDs and landmines) fairly well, but to be effective zombie killing weapons, their usage, positioning, and quantity would be much less practical than other weapons recommended elsewhere in this article. Use against human opponents, such as bandits is recommended over use against the undead.
A creative person can use grenades with a slingshot or bows to create a greande launcher type weapon. Thus increasing it's range, and if a bow sticks into a Zombie there is a high chance that you can clear a whole group of zombies.
A very powerful type of plastic explosive containing RDX. C4 is relatively easy to store and handle, though it is both difficult and dangerous to arm a C4 bomb. The equipment needed to arm a C4 bomb is hard to come by, as is the C4 itself. Homemade C4 is very dangerous to create, but is also quite stable. Gunfire and fire will not detonate it. Although useful for setting traps, C4 should only be handled by experts (such as military personnel or ordinance disposal officials).
A type of homemade bomb, consisting of low explosives packed tightly into a pipe. The bomb is usually a short section of steel water pipe containing the explosive mixture and closed at both ends with steel or brass caps. A fuse is inserted into the pipe with a lead running out through a hole in the side or capped end of the pipe. Pipe bombs are designed to incapacitate targets through the shrapnel caused by the fragmentation of the pipe causing pain in the target and eventually killing it due to blood loss of the wounds pretty much like a fragmentation grenade. Although it can create relatively large explosions, forget what you have seen in Left 4 Dead, its best use is stunning and/or incapacitating (by damaging joints, pain or not a broken bone simply can not hold a body upright) a group of zombies while you escape as they don't feel pain or die of blood loss. Pipe bombs are much easier to manufacture than C4, grenades, or other military grade explosives; though making them can be more dangerous than the zombies you'll be using them against. The production of these improvised grenades is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted. This is because of the high chance of it exploding in your face as you are loading it (the gunpowder has a risk of being ignited from the friction when you pour it down the pipe).
Land MineEditDepending on the design, land mines are very useful for defending positions against conventional enemies. Mines are designed to wound, not kill, by blowing off a leg (or both legs). The most these hidden bombs are going to do is create a lot of crawling, dismembered G's, which presents a hidden danger, especially in grassy fields where you are likely to step onto a zombie you wouldn't have seen otherwise. If crawling zombies hit another mine, it may kill. Yet, taking two mines to kill one zombie is impractical. There is also the danger of unmarked minefields, which pose far more of a danger to the living than the living dead. If against all reason you do decide to use land mines, visually mark them so other people don't step on them, since zombies are going to wander onto an active minefield whether they are marked or not.
ClaymoresEditM18A1 claymore anti-personnel mines were originally created in response to the mass-wave attacks made by Chinese troops during the Korean War. Claymores are designed to explode and let out anywhere from 100 to 700 1/8 inch steel ball bearings (equivalent to #4 birdshot) metal projectiles at an enemy unfortunate enough to be in front of the 60° arc in front of the device and within 20-30(kill zone)50-100(casualty/optimal infliction zone) yards radius of said zone. A claymore is useful in that unlike a land mine, the claymore is a directional mine that tells where you're pointing. Also, unlike C4 or a land mine, setting up is fairly easy as the explosive device is "pre-packaged" and ready for combat use meaning that (almost) any man or woman with experience handling explosives or any military personnel are likely to know how to set up a claymore. The 700 or so "projectiles" created by the weapon prove an increased hit probability. The mine itself also contains about 1.5 pounds of C4, and is capable of doing extensive damage at close range if the shrapnel fails to do the job. The problems with claymores are that they rely on the "projectiles" created by the explosion of the mine meaning that it won't dispatch many zombies, further more, the "projectiles" created by the weapon are roughly 1/8 inch metal balls but due to the explosion the pellets become distorted similarly into .22 rimfire projectiles meaning that the most a claymore can probably do is leave multiple flesh wounds in the zombies, detonation of a claymore also have small chances of mild secondary missile/projectile hazard that can backfire(as in upon detonation those projectiles might come at you even if you're behind the weapon) at 18meters. Further more, the claymores will not always trigger or create a "projectile" further outweighing its disadvantages. It is also worth noting that most of the world's inventories of claymores are configured to be used in remote detonation meaning that the operator needs a clear visual or needs some sort of signal to explode the claymores as it is illegal to use claymores in tripwire mode, although, it is very possible.
Optional use: Mount several on trees, telephone poles, second story of a building, angled downward about 15 degrees and use remote detonation for a series of attacks on the Z's heads.
IEDEditA IED is simple, but not easy to construct. The basic outline is a cell-phone taped to a bomb, usually inside a small container like a ice cream box or children's lunch box. It works by constructing the bomb and detonator. the detonator is close to the cell-phone. and the wire that makes a noise when you call the cell-phone gets attached to the detonator. Once then you leave it in a position and call the cell-phone attached to the IED with another phone. The bomb then goes off. However some difficulties arise, like how to attract zombies to the bomb or what if the bomb doesn't go off and when you send a man to inspect it, then it goes off. If telecommunications are lost, your bomb will have no use. The process of making an IED is hard and will require testing.
A grenade launcher is a weapon that fires grenades with more range, accuracy, and velocity. They can come as a single weapon or an attachment on a rifle. These should only be used by millitary personel, unless your situation requires you to use it. The 40mm fragmentation round is used by most militaries. A grenade launcher can be found in overrun military bases. A problem is ammunition for this, so use it wisely.
A shoulder mounted grenade launcher is an individual weapon, a notable one being the M79 grenade launcher. But there are other grenade launchers with more fire power. Such as the pump action China Lake, and the semi-automatic MGL 140 (Other known as the six pack attack). There very useful against the undead.
An attachment grenade launcher is mounted under a rifle, this makes it ready for use and it also has its own trigger. Notable ones are the American M203 grenade launcher and the Russian GP-25.The automatic grenade launcher is basically automatic. These are rare and if found, should be used for large crowds of zombies. These are usually mounted on a tripod and look like a machine gun. One type is the Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher.