Famous (or infamous) television gunsmith Joe Meaux from Red Jacket Firearms and Discovery’s “Sons of Guns” reality TV show has partnered with the best-selling author of “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z” Max Brooks to develop a real-world archetype for Brook’s ultimate zombie rifle.
You might be surprised to find out that it is a .22. As in .22 Long Rifle. The reasoning behind this is a combination of zombie biology and economics of collapse. In most fiction speculative though exercises zombies can only be defeated “By removing the head or destroying the brain.” This means headshots.
Unlike most bullet wounds headshots are often fatal no matter what caliber. Even the lowly .22 has a strong track record of effectiveness here, at least inside a couple dozen yards. And .22s can be easily suppressed. It’s not as if you have to worry about tax stamps or a waiting period during the zombie apocalypse. More importantly, in these zombie though exercises the undead often key on sounds. Unsuppressed guns make a great deal of noise and attracting the horde is the worst possible thing you can do.
These are all considerations that factor in prominently in Brooks’ books, ideas that have been passed along to Red Jacket in their entirety. Meaux’s real-life zombie-killer rifle is true to Brooks’ plan.
Using these “facts” about the living dead Meaux developed a rapid prototype of a .22 Long Rifle bullpup. Using a standard Ruger 10/22 the ZK-22 stock converts the plinker into a compact package. With the addition of an ambidextrous charging handle, match trigger and a silencer, the ZK-22 promises to make short work of animated corpses.
And by going with a bullpup design the ZK-22 is at home doing door-to-door work; clearing zombies is a very close-range affair.
There are a couple of things that make the ZK-22 stand out; first the use of a solid trigger transfer system that allows the forward trigger to actuate the original trigger in the receiver without altering the trigger pull. The forward trigger perfectly replicates the rearward trigger, something most bullpups can’t claim.
The second thing is the term “rapid prototype.” This implies that Meaux plans on bringing ZK-22 stocks to market and that this isn’t just a one-off build for the author. It sounds like you’ll be able to buy a ZK-22 for yourself.
Details are non-existent but we can’t imagine the stock to cost too much considering it’s a 10/22 and we have no idea when this bullpup kit will be brought to market if it actually gets there. And there’s no way it’s going to include the silencer.
But just the same, would you pick up a ZK-22 stock for your .22? Even if there aren’t zombies to put down?
“Sons of Guns” is currently part of the Discovery Chanel’s lineup and “World War Z” is being developed into a film starring Brad Pitt. It’s scheduled for release next year.