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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.


MkII grenade

M67 Grenade

Weapons-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 (flashbangs). If local police and military forces have been overwhelmed grenades may be possible to attain. As with all explosives, grenades should be handled with extreme care, used preferably by those with proper knowledge and experience (such as current or prior service military personnel). Fragmentation grenades produce a wide spray of metal fragments - if detonated a short but appreciable distance away, these have a reasonable 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. You can use a flashbang grenade to distract the zombies as a way to escape. Poison gas will have no effect at all. Grenades do lend themselves 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.


C-4 or Composition C-4 is a common variety of the plastic explosive family known as Composition C. The British version of the explosive is known as PE-4 (Plastic Explosive). C-4 is composed of explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer to make it malleable, and usually a marker or odorizing taggant chemical.

C-4 is a highly stable plastic explosive material commonly used by military forces for demolition. It is very malleable, able to be molded like clay putty. It is insensitive to temperature extremes and shocks, able to resist being set on fire or even shot by rifles without detonating. Wiring C-4 to explode requires a skilled handler and specific equipment.

Pipe Bombs


A 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 and other accessories.

Land Mine

Depending 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 zombies, which presents a hidden danger, especially in grassy fields where you are likely to step onto a zombie you wouldn't have seen otherwise. However, if a crawling zombie hit another mine, it may kill the zombie yet, using two mines to kill one zombie is impractical and so the AP mine is only effective against humans and living infected. 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 regardless of markings and warnings.

An Armed Landmine.

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 heavily armored vehicles, in the manner that AP mines permanently disable enemy soldiers. An AT mine can easily and completely obliterate a truck-type troop transport, however AT mines require a heavier force to set them off (around 200 pounds(90.7kg)) so they wouldn't be detonated by personnel. If AT mines are acquired, they will have to be modified so that a lighter force could set them off. But make sure to keep them well away from your base, even if you do not 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.


A Claymore.

M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel mines were originally created in response to the mass-wave attacks made by Chinese troops during the Korean War. Claymore mines incorporate a 1.5-pound charge of C-4 backing a matrix holding 700 steel pellets 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Upon detonation, these pellets are propelled outward in a roughly 60° arc to the front of the device, with a maximum effective range of about 110 yards. Safe and proper placement of an M18A1 requires moderate training in the handling of explosives and detonators and the careful sighting of the device itself; it must be aimed when emplaced and includes a simple peep sight.

As with any explosive device, the area immediately around a Claymore mine presents a hazard to friendly forces. Despite it being a directional explosive, the blast generated can be hazardous in and of itself to personnel behind and to the sides of the device and can create secondary missile hazards, meaning that debris on the ground can be kicked about at a high enough velocity to be dangerous. Anyone deploying a Claymore should be behind cover relative to the device, and at least 20 yards away.

The projectiles - and the detonation of the C-4 explosive used to propel them - are quite capable of injuring or killing large numbers of human attackers inside of its effective radius; against zombies, it could be expected that even if they were not immediately killed, that significant numbers would be rendered immobile and easier to destroy.


A Disarmed IED.

An IED (Improvised Explosive Device) is simple, but not easy to construct. The basic outline is a cell-phone taped to a bomb, usually inside a small container like an 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, such as how to attract zombies to the bomb and what if the bomb doesn't detonate 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.

Grenade launcher

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 military personnel, 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. The main problem is, a lack of ammunition, so use any rounds wisely.

40mm grenades

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 firepower. Such as the (comparatively rare) pump-action China Lake, and the (not quite so rare) semi-automatic MGL 140 (otherwise known as the six-attack). They are 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 essentially a machine gun 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.


A Rocket-Propelled Grenade is a shoulder-fired, anti-armor weapon system that fires rocket-assisted projectiles equipped with an explosive warhead. Originally designed in the years following World War II for use against tanks, in a modern context, they tend to be of little utility against anything but lightly armored vehicles; most are not capable of destroying modern tanks, though their use against legacy armored vehicles remains viable. Rocket-propelled grenade launchers are used by armies and militant elements around the world. One example of RPGs is the RPG-7.

The RPG-7

However, during the event of a zombie apocalypse, they may prove ineffective against the undead for many reasons, including:

  • the weight of the launcher and its ammunition
  • the loud detonation of the live rounds
  • the difficulty of acquisition

For these reasons, RPGs should only be used to scare off raiders near a base, or as a last resort against the living dead.

M79 grenade launcher, aka the Blooper


Industrialist, engineer, and inventor Alfred Nobel built bridges and buildings in Stockholm. His construction work inspired him to research new methods of blasting rock. Today dynamite is mainly used in the mining, quarrying, construction, and demolition industries. Dynamite is still the product of choice for trenching applications, and as a cost-effective alternative to cast boosters. Dynamite is occasionally used as an initiator or booster for AN and ANFO explosive charges.

Dynamite could be used for a rudimentary hand-thrown grenade, though its fuze igniting system means using a lighter or match to light the fuse would be troublesome in windy or wet weather. It is also important to note that TNT and dynamite are very different explosives.