Can a 22 Stop a Zombie?

Have you ever wondered – can a 22 stop a zombie?

Well, the simple answer to this question is that yes a 22 can indeed stop a zombie. However, it is worth pointing out a 22 can only stop a zombie providing it strikes the zombie in the head. As any fan of zombie movies will know it is only a direct strike to the brain that will stop a zombie.

Here we take a more in-depth look at the question – can a 22 stop a zombie?

Can a 22 Stop a Zombie?

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse - Zombie Survival - Kill A Zombie

Common Choice: The .22 and the Undead Uprising

In a zombie apocalypses, the humble .22 caliber firearm often finds itself in the hands of survivors. But would this popular choice be effective against the relentless hordes of the undead?

Divided Opinions: A Heated Debate

Debates rage on in online forums and fictional narratives about the effectiveness of .22 caliber weapons against zombies. Some claim its low recoil and plentiful ammunition make it ideal, while others argue its stopping power is insufficient.

Separating Fact from Fiction: A Critical Look

This article delves into the world of firearms and the “zombie apocalypse,” analyzing the capabilities and limitations of .22 caliber firearms in such a scenario. While acknowledging the hypothetical nature of the topic, we aim to provide a fact-based and objective assessment, separate from the emotional arguments often found in online debates.

Understanding .22 Caliber Firearms

Overview of .22 Caliber Ammunition

The .22 caliber, also known as .22LR (Long Rifle), is a rimfire cartridge commonly used in rifles, pistols, and semi-automatic firearms. It is known for:

  • Small projectile: Firing a lightweight bullet, typically weighing around 40 grains (2.6 grams).
  • Low recoil: Due to the small projectile and propellant charge, it produces minimal recoil, making it easy to handle, especially for beginners.
  • Relatively quiet: Compared to larger calibers, the .22LR produces a quieter report, making it useful for hunting small game and target practice in populated areas (Important note: Even with lower noise levels, proper hearing protection is crucial when using any firearm).
  • Affordable: .22LR ammunition is generally less expensive than other calibers, making it a popular choice for recreational shooting and plinking.

It is important to remember that firearm use is a complex and serious matter. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as encouragement or instruction on firearm use.

Comparison to Other Calibers

Compared to other calibers commonly used for self-defense or hunting larger game, the .22LR:

  • Has lower projectile energy: This means the bullet delivers less impact and stopping power, potentially requiring precise shot placement for effective incapacitation.
  • Has shorter effective range: Due to the lighter bullet and lower velocity, the .22LR has a shorter effective range compared to larger calibers, limiting its effectiveness in longer-distance engagements.
  • May not be suitable for larger targets: While effective against small game, the .22LR might not be sufficient for reliably stopping larger targets, including potential threats encountered in a hypothetical zombie apocalypse scenario.

It is crucial to remember that firearm selection depends on various factors beyond caliber, including the intended purpose, user experience, and local regulations.

Advantages and Limitations


  • Easy to handle: Low recoil makes it suitable for beginners and individuals with limited upper body strength.
  • Lightweight and portable: Compact size and weight make it easier to carry and maneuver, especially for extended periods.
  • Relatively quiet: Can be advantageous in situations requiring discretion (Important note: Always prioritize safety and responsible use in populated areas).
  • Readily available and affordable: Widely available ammunition at a lower cost compared to other calibers.


  • Low stopping power: May not be effective against larger targets, requiring precise shot placement for successful incapacitation.
  • Shorter effective range: Limited range compared to larger calibers, hindering its effectiveness in longer-distance situations.
  • Limited ammunition capacity: Firearms in this caliber often have smaller magazine capacities, requiring more frequent reloading.

It is important to reiterate that using a firearm in a real-world scenario is a complex and potentially dangerous situation. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as encouragement or guidance on using firearms.

Effectiveness Against Zombies

It is important to reiterate that zombies are fictional creatures, and this section is purely hypothetical. Discussing the effectiveness of firearms against them should not be misconstrued as promoting violence or encouraging the use of firearms in real-world situations.

However, within the realm of hypothetical scenarios:

Factors Affecting Stopping Power

Even when considering a hypothetical scenario, several factors influence the effectiveness of .22 caliber ammunition against zombies:

  • Shot placement: Precisely hitting the brain, often portrayed as the critical weakness of zombies, is crucial for successful incapacitation.
  • Bullet construction: Hollow-point bullets might offer more stopping power by expanding on impact, but their effectiveness against the uncertain physiology of zombies is purely speculative.
  • Range: Engaging at close quarters might increase the chance of a successful headshot, but venturing too close also increases the risk of being overwhelmed by zombies.

Targeting Vital Areas

Regardless of the firearm used, targeting vital areas remains crucial for maximizing effectiveness:

  • Head: Aiming for the brain, if possible, is generally considered the most effective way to incapacitate a zombie, regardless of the firearm’s caliber.
  • Central nervous system: If a headshot proves difficult, targeting the spinal cord or other central nervous system locations could also be effective, although the specific effects might differ in a hypothetical scenario.

It is crucial to remember that these are hypothetical considerations and the effectiveness of any strategy would depend heavily on the specific characteristics of the zombies encountered.

C. Consideration of Zombie Physiology (150 words)

A major caveat exists when discussing the effectiveness of any firearm against zombies: their physiology is entirely fictional and can vary greatly depending on the specific narrative.

  • Traditional portrayals: If we consider zombies depicted as reanimated corpses, the .22LR’s limited stopping power might be insufficient to reliably incapacitate them, even with precise headshots.
  • Alternative portrayals: Some narratives portray zombies as possessing superhuman strength or resilience, further diminishing the effectiveness of the .22LR.

Practical Considerations

When preparing for a zombie outbreak, practical considerations regarding weapon selection, ammunition choices, and tactical strategies are paramount:

Weapon Selection

Choosing and modifying .22 caliber firearms for zombie defense requires careful consideration. Factors such as reliability, accuracy, and ease of use should be prioritized to ensure effectiveness in combat situations.

Ammunition Choices

Selecting the right ammunition types and configurations can significantly impact performance against zombies. From hollow-point rounds for maximum stopping power to frangible bullets for reduced risk of overpenetration, understanding ammunition choices is essential for optimizing effectiveness in zombie encounters.

Tactics and Strategies

Maximizing the effectiveness of .22 caliber firearms in combat situations involves employing strategic tactics and techniques. Utilize cover and concealment, maintain situational awareness, and coordinate with fellow survivors to gain tactical advantages and minimize risk during engagements with the undead.


In conclusion, the effectiveness of .22 caliber firearms against zombies hinges on various factors such as weapon selection, ammunition choices, and tactical proficiency. While they offer advantages in certain situations, survivors should carefully weigh multiple factors and options when choosing firearms for zombie defense. Ultimately, .22 caliber firearms can play a valuable role in a zombie apocalypse scenario, but their effectiveness relies on strategic planning and execution.

In answer to the question – Can a 22 stop a zombie the answer is most certainly yes. However, a 22 can only stop a zombie with a direct headshot. A bullet in the brain, as we all know, is the only way to kill a zombie. A 22 would be more than capable of penetrating the skull of a zombie and killing it dead.

Check out more zombie survival stuff here.

Written by doc cotton

Meet Doc Cotton, your go-to founder of NowShack and a goto for all things adventurous and outdoorsy. With an unwavering passion for van life and a deep connection to the great outdoors, Doc is your trusted guide to exploring the world off the beaten path.

Doc's journey began with a fascination for the freedom and simplicity that van life offers. From there, it was a natural progression to spend countless hours prepping and converting vans into cozy, mobile homes on wheels. Whether it's turning an old van into a comfortable living space or sharing tips on the best gear for outdoor adventures, Doc has you covered.

But Doc Cotton is not just about life on the road; he's also a dedicated student of survival skills. Always eager to learn and share, Doc's insights into wilderness survival and bushcraft are invaluable for anyone looking to connect with nature on a deeper level.