Learning To Shoot With The Walking Dead

You can learn a lot about shooting from watching AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead, things that we’d never learn at the range, or in shooting classes.

In a zombie-infested world, where only destroying the brain of the undead ends their shambling slow-motion assault, the ability to make accurate head shots is critical. The hardened survivors who have outlasted the horde have learned some unique skills to enable them to shoot with uncanny accuracy.

These skills seem to be culled from the training of the King County (GA) Sheriff’s Department.

I’m A Little Tea Cup…

The most important single factor to accurate zombie shooting is a teacup grip, as demonstrated by almost every gun-toting survivor on this series (and others), but is especially common with King County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Walsh, the department’s firearms instructor.

teacup 2
Come back, Shane!
princess teacup
Perfect Teacup Technique
teacup 3
Nice grip, Maggie.

It is no doubt that Shane’s skill with the teacup stance is the reason that he endures as other survivors die off one-by— wait, what?

Uh, Nevermind.

Luckily, Deputy Walsh was able to pass along his technique to other shooting experts before he died, like Jack Bauer and James Bond.

I’m an Englishman. Of course I like teacups.

Single Sight Shooting

In a world where dozens of zombies can come from seemingly nowhere, you don’t have the time to line up both the front and the rear sights. As series protagonist Rick Grimes shows us on nearly every freaking episode with his Colt Python, a rear sight view is all that is really necessary, and a 10°-30° downward angle on the barrel enhances your situational awareness.

Rick Grimes. Deputy in a Sheriff’s Department where firearms standardization is laughed at.
rick grimes colt python
Rick “The Kneecapper” Grimes

Other Walking Dead survivors have used a similar technique for accurate speed shooting with rifles, using one iron sight, or none at all.

gov no sights
Are you missing something, Governor?
no sights
BUIS? I’m Merle Dixon. I don’t need no stinking BUIS.

Hip-Knee Holsters

Of course, while shooting Walkers is a big part of The Walking Dead, survivors must have plenty of time for moping through Georgia forests, musing in prisons, and waxing poetic in dusty abandoned homes. While having a gun nearby is mandatory, having them holstered is the order of the day.

Having found hip holsters too convenient and high-mounted thigh holsters to easy to walk in, they’ve gone to knee holsters, thigh holsters stretched downward on the leg far enough to impart momentum when walking, slip around under their butts, or drag in the dirt.

Like father, like son. Nice knee holster, Carl.
It’s always smart to put one of the world’s most renowned double-action revolvers in a floppy $3 holster.
Nice Glamour shot. Just don’t make any sudden moves, Rick, or you’ll be playing a game of “find the Python.”
The Walking Dead S4 promo for characters Glenn and Maggie
Glenn and Maggie, sporting holsters slung so low they have to bend to reach them.
Nice under-the-butt holster, Glenn.

Between the teacup grip, the single-sight iron sight picture, and knee holsters, I think we have a pretty good idea why the zombie horde won’t be dying out before the end of season five of The Walking Dead.

What other shows do you watch with “unique” gun handling?