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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.
Rocket-Propelled Grenade LauncherEditThe 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). Fragmentation grenades produce a wide spray of metal fragments-if detonated a short but appreciable distance away, but these have a small chance of covering the head area. Note that modern military grenades, such as the M67, also 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), will be practically useless. 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.
Grenades are best used against entrenched zombies if charging toward their fortified positions would be suicide. They also work well against groups of zombies, damaging everything within the blast radius. They can be used to trigger other explosives, causing a chain reaction and inflicting massive damage on anything unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast.
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. Rule 1 never let them get your arm you will get eating.
A Molotov cocktail is a projectile weapon that includes a breakable bottle (commonly glass) filled with a flammable liquid and a combustible rag taped to the top that is used to set things ablaze. These should only be used, however, if escaping from a horde or combatting humans. It is highly advised to not use a molotov cocktail in an enclosed space, as the smoke emitted from the weapon could be potentially lethal. Molotov cocktails should not be used in dry, grassy areas or forests because they might cause wildfire that could endanger your group. Molotov cocktails are actually not very effective against zombies. It may take minutes to even hours for just one to succumb to the flames. If you insist on using these homemade fire bombs, it is very important to know where and when to throw while handling.
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, creating instant barricades, and scaring bandits, C4 should only be handled by experts (such as military personnel or ordinance disposal officials).
Pipe BombsEditA type of homemade bomb, consisting of explosives packed tightly into a pipe. These typically consist of metal or PVC pipe and are filled with low explosives like gunpowder, which is easy to make with common materials. Sometimes, they are filled with shrapnel like nails and glass to increase effectiveness. Unless the maker is experienced at making explosives, the pipe bomb will most likely be only a pipe and a simple fuse, instead of complicated wiring like in the picture below.
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.
There is another type of land mine, however. The one described above is an AP (Anti-Personnel) mine. AT (Anti-Tank) mines are far more effective. They are designed to permanently disable heavy armored vehicles, in the manner that AP mines permanently disable enemy soldiers. Do you know exactly how difficult it is for a tank to move if its down to one tread after running over a single AT mine? An AT mine can easily and completely obliterate a truck-type troop transport. Just imagine what it'll do to zombies. However, AT mines are designed to require a heavier pressure force to set them off (around 200 pounds) specifically so they wouldn't be wasted on people. If AT mines are acquired, they'll have to be modified so that a lighter pressure force could set them off. But make sure to keep them well away from your base, even if you don't have any vehicles in danger of being exploded accidentally–—if a ghoul treads on one of these, all that would remain is a rain of gore, pulverized organs and bones, and infected brain matter. Great against bandits and great against zombies, the AT mine is an ideal anti-zombie mine.
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 and, 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 has a small chance 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 18 meters. 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. They should also be mounted at a height rather than on ground level, say 5 or 6 feet high, so the blast and projectiles have a better chance of being fired at the heads of zombies of various heights rather than being fired upward from the ground and most likely just tearing up the body.
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 a machinegun that shoots grenades. 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.