Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”

Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”
Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”
Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”
Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”

With all the attention The Walking Dead AMC series and other zombie related movies and books, have you ever thought about how hard it would be to maintain that cool head and steady hand to put down a zombie during a “Zombie Apocalypse”.

Well maybe I have been too busy at my full time job & my part-time business teaching firearms classes and not enough time on the range shooting this summer. After watching The Walking Dead Marathon on AMC over the 4th of July weekend I have been contemplating this.

What I came up with is pretty simple. When teaching Personal Protection Classes we talk about & practice failure to stop drills. Most folks know them by the names like the Mozambique Drill or a Body Armor Drill where the shooter would fire two quick rounds to the body and one well aimed shot to the head after the first two shots have failed to stop the threat.

If we were to apply this drill to a “Zombie” like we find in ” The Walking Dead” the first two shots would have no effect. Head shots themselves may be difficult at best even for those survivors who have spent hours at the range practicing for such an event or received training as members of law enforcement and the military. The sight and smell of an attacking zombie may cause defenders accuracy to become greatly diminished as they face a life ending event.

The brain is encased in a group of thick bone plates to protect it from impacts. There have been cases in the past where people have received gun shots to the head and survived due to the bullet glancing off the skull. The head of a Zombie is even more unpredictable as they may be jerking around as they move along towards their intended prey.

Head shots are the windows to a “Zombie’s Soulless Brain.” By targeting the eyes, nose, and mouth area a bullet would have more chance of penetrating through to the brain. In the event only a side profile was available to target the survivor should target just behind the ear.

So what options does this leave us with? Zombies for all their fear inducing qualities still have the same human flaws we do. If remembering any thing from Biology Classes in high school this leaves us with the spine and pelvic bowl as alternate targets.

If faced with a frontal shot at a charging zombie it may be difficult to hit as your bullet will have to pass through the chest or abdomen to hit the spine. This may slow down your bullet enough it may not produce the desired effects to slow down or stop the zombie.

Alternatively the shooter may fire two quick shots into the zombies “Pelvic Bowl” with the intent of breaking the hip bone structures. Thus breaking these bones would render a “Zombie” immobilize it long enough to escape to safety or follow up with a precision shot to the head.

Please refer to our handy picture for easy identification on these areas to target on a zombie.

Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”
Failure to Stop Drills for “Zombies”
$599.99 (Reg.$ 799.99)
No Code Needed
Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

The award-winning P365 has redefined the micro-compact pistol category, quickly becoming one of the most coveted firearms in the industry.

$449.99 (Reg. $549.99)
No Code Needed
Smith & Wesson M&p Shield Ez 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black - 12436

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black

The next evolution of the M&P Shield EZ pistol, the M&P9 Shield EZ encompasses all of the M&P Shield EZ features, now in the powerful 9mm caliber.

No Code Needed
3 Pack Of Blem Psa Stealth Ar-15 Lowers

3 Pack Of BLEM PSA Stealth AR-15 Lowers

These forged lowers are quality made using material is 7075-T6 and are marked "CAL MULTI" to accommodate most builds. The finish is Black Hardcoat Anodize per MIL-8625 Type 3 class 2.

1 2 3 17
Previous articleWhat Are Your Concentric Rings of Security?
Next articleBaghdad? (Lessons from Ferguson, MO)
Matt Schlueter is a retired Deputy Sheriff from South Dakota with over 19 years of combined experience in corrections and law enforcement, and held the position of Firearms Instructor and DARE officer with the Sheriffs Office he worked at till his retirement. He is also a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, and owner/chief instructor of Schlueter Firearms Instruction. Matt’s goal is to provide the best information possible for those who want to further their knowledge and skills in shooting handguns. Matt’s goals also include providing the best training courses possible for students who attended courses he is offering. For those wishing to contact him please visit his website at, or or you can join him on Facebook at
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your zombie is dead already and won’t feel pain, so your pelvic bowl shot will need to interfere with hip joint function somehow. Just cracking the pelvis may not keep it from walking. Even with a hip socket destroyed it may be able to crawl. No pain, remember?


Thanks for the zombie tactical briefing. I will keep your diagram in our B.O.B. for future reference.

What about selection of firearm? Would a 12-gauge shotgun/Saiga, AR-15, AR-10/.308 rifle, Desert Eagle 50AE, or 1911 be best to stop the undead? Or is it situationally dependent?

Matt Schlueter

Firearm is situationally dependent influenced by personal preferance.


shot gun with 00Buck within 20 yards or a rifle from an elevated position.. remember zombies cant climb up things…. bust up the pelvic area so the zombie will have to crawl or pull its self along so you can get a round to the soft point of the head the top…. Man i cant believe i know this stuff….. well thanks anyways for the Zombie Tactical briefing i’ll file it some where so when the SHTF i will remember when the drugged out pill popper zombies come a running…O… I just remembered i live in south florida and we already had our zombie in dade county and the cop killed it with 5 shots so maybe we might have to rethink the zombie thing…. 😉

Matt Schlueter

Nice! Stay Safe down there in Zombie Land!


Clearly the Ferguson situation is instructional here. Shooter injured, attacker closing range fast and not reacting to multiple hits until the cranial intrusion. Gives credence to the “Bill drill” and other muscle memory shooting drills. You can never train enough.

Matt Schlueter

I prefer the “Mozabque Drill” my self, A failure to stop drill just the same!


“The brain is encased in a group of thick bone plates to protect it from impacts”

You touched on this a bit. The skull cap can and will deflect a lot of handgun rounds, but from a bullet’s perspective the important bits of the brain aren’t under the skull cap anyway .. they’re behind the nose and eyes.

Additionally as a handy coincidence the eyes and nose are in the -centerline- of the face.

Aiming too high into the skullcap gets you a lot of interfering bone and higher-order neural tissue which won’t necessarily shut down an opponents ability to attack. — But aiming more easily right into the center of the face gets you far less interfering bone mass, and a straight shot into the tissues required for the attack to continue.