I'm with you, except on this part: why not use a bow or a composite bow? You can arguably draw and fire arrows more quickly with it in heated situations. Crossbows could potentially take a longer time to load, which might be dangerous if you have a few barreling down on you...
You do make a good point there.
Though Im not exactly proficient with bows, and tend to hit my arm when using them.
But considering I would be covered well, i suppose i dont have to worry about hitting my hand or arm when attacking with it.
Then again, This is my ranged weapon, meant for longer range, when they are not barreling down on me. so If they are barreling down on me fast Im probably switching over to my bat.
Still, I'll probably consider it and think on that a bit.
yea but that would be sooo heavy go find a military base =D loads of ammo and a perimeter fence
much like the gun store, police station, and wal mart, thats where everyone thinks to go.
thus, supplies will go fast, and it will be a very nasty scene with everyone shooting each other up to gain supplies.
I wouldn't use a gun for this reason: If I use a bow and arrow, I can fashion myself arrows if my ammo supply dwindles. If it is a must situation though I would go with a 9mm Pistol with a built on silencer. Don't want to be causing a racket out there.
Long range (Horizon - 30 feet):
Assault Rifle or Carbine (M16A4, M4A1, CAR-15) and/or Handgun (Desert Eagle, Jericho 941 or M1911).
Depending on the circumstances, guns are effective survival tools. Suppressive fire or full-auto sweeps against a horde of zombies would be the most 'fitting' need, but the gun could also double as a marksman rifle when used in semi-automatic mode. The ability to save your teammates from long distances is always a plus.
Now, I'm going to be realistic. I wouldn't use the gun at all unless the circumstances merit it. Assault rifles can be suppressed, and sure, some of their ammunition is very common in certain places, but are they more common than handgun ammunition? Not by a long shot. And that's saying something. Are assault rifle suppressors common, or is the knowledge on how to make a rifle suppressor common? Even less so. Handgun ammunition will grow scarce after a while, so handguns aren't that much better off, either.
So while guns are always effective weapons, in a zombie apocalypse where you're an average Joe, they're highly sought-after, rare, alien machines that are roughly understood.
To be honest, though? If I were to be forced to choose between handgun or rifle, I'd pick the assault rifle. A handgun's gonna be more or less as noisy or as silent as an assault rifle will be, and other things can replace the handgun easily for whatever other roles a handgun could fill out, such as close quarters or medium-range. While the handgun will likely be easier to maintain (though this is debatable), it doesn't have the firepower or the long range capabilities a full-on rifle has. When used in semi-automatic fire, a rifle can fill in the roles of a handgun just fine, and work more or less the same way for long-distance scenarios... except, the rifle is a whole lot more stable, has a lot more range, and packs a bigger punch per bullet, and has the option of switching to full-auto (and three round burst for some of them) if it's necessary. There's just no contest here.
For obvious reasons, the caliber of the handgun should be pretty large (at least .40 cal). Zombies are able to shrug off most penetrating damage unless the collateral is substantial. The bigger the better; .45s aren't as much of a pain as most people claim them to be and ACP ammunition is about as common as 9x19mm Parabellum (standard caliber for most handguns nowadays).
...also guys, don't pick the AK... Unless you live close to some projects run by the Russian or Chinese mafia, you're not likely to come about an AK in the States... US military uses M4s and M16s, I'm afraid, and slowly adopting the FN SCAR, but that's still not as common as the colt assault rifles. AK ammunition is also not very common.
If you live anywhere in Asia or Africa, though, be my guest and pick one up. It's a reliable firearm that needs very little maintenance and has one hell of a punch to it. Be mindful of the full-auto, though. Heard it's hard as hell to keep a good aim.
Medium range (30 - 6 feet of distance):
Repeating Crossbow, Assault Rifle or Carbine (as above) or Handgun (same). Maybe throwing knives.
The guns are pretty much obvious mainstays in medium range combat. The handgun becomes a much more effective weapon here, but the assault rifle continues to be a decent addition. Particularly the carbines.
Now, why does the crossbow come in? Many reasons. The crossbow is innately silent, thus could be used a whole lot more commonly than a gun without a suppressor. Ammuntion wouldn't be a problem, since you can literally grab all the sticks you come across and sharpen them into your own little arsenal of crossbow bolts-- and most of these bolts are reusable if you grab them form your downed targets, so there's also that. The crossbow is not likely to jam as much as a gun, its mechanism is much simpler than a gun's, and is less necessary to maintain.
On the downside, a crossbow's range is not nearly as long as that of a gun's. It also doesn't pack as much of a punch, and its ammunition is much bigger, and thus its cartridges take up more space. But these downsides are hardly a deal breaker thanks to the weapon's reliability and versatility.
Throwing knives are an OK addition... but most of us don't know how to throw a throwing knife worth a damn. I know I don't. But if you do, then that's also a great investment. You'd also have a hard time finding ones that are good for throwing. Most kitchen knives are a bit clumsy when it comes to that, and knives designed for throwing are not very common.
Melee Range (6 - 3 feet of distance):
Large Oar, Spear, Sharp Rake, Long Steel Bar, Sledgehammer, Katana or Large Chopping Axe. Handgun or Carbine optional.
The beauty about handguns is that they're very versatile in terms of range. You could use them in close quarters as well as you could use them in long range. Carbines are a bit bigger, but they can serve well at melee ranges: rip a zombie in half with a volley of bullets, sure that you'll hit it due to the proximity, then run like the dickens! But that's usually not a good idea, since ammunition and gun-usage is best conserved for more practical purposes, like mid to long-range encounters.
And that's when you go for the white weapons.
Now, what you want to find is something with -range-. In the medieval ages, range was always an advantage. Unlike popular belief, the most used weapon in the medieval ages were spears and bows n arrows, not swords. Swords were used more like the modern combat knife: as a last resort in case the first weapon was sundered or broken. Range is always a good thing: if your enemy is too far to hit you, he's forced to get closer; of course, by that time, it's your job to have stabbed him to his death.
That's why I suggest a large oar, makeshift spear, sharpened rake, scythe or a long steel bar. Anything to keep the zombies far away while you break them in half from a distance. They can't kill you if they can't reach you, and that's key to survival right there.
Personally I prefer blunt weapons to sharp weapons because sharp weapons will require more maintenance to keep it from getting blunt... but you could well use a blunt sword against a zombie. It'll still likely break something if you hit hard enough, so there's always that. Anyway, so maybe you want something shorter than a long stick with something at the end of it. Because you'll be going in through buildings and stuff, etc, etc and long weapons will get cumbersome inside rooms.
Well, then I recommend the sledgehammer, which is a great weapon for breaking skulls and shattering chests. But you could always go with the bladed weapons like the chopping axe or the katana, and cut through the horde instead of mashing it into a pulp. It really all depends if you're okay with keeping your weapons sharp.
While the katana is a good weapon and all, European swords would be more up to snuff. They're thicker and sturdier, albeit heavier than a katana. They're a bit more resilient, so they'd be able to withstand more punishment. On the other hand, you'd have a hard time finding either of them... not everyone has a sword collection in their room, you know? Common garden and industrial tools are easier to find, and as such are a much more better investment to get used to handling than the sword: a rarer find. Close Range (3 feet and up to grapple position): Machete, small hatchet, hammer, combat knife, and/or handgun. Brass knuckles or padded gloves for the strong-armed and martial savvy.
Handguns are still usable within close range combat, and can actually be extremely effective depending where you're aiming (ie. The head). But again, they're best left for other purposes considering the scarcity of ammunition.
The largest weapon you should have should be a machete, if that much, when dealing with a close quarters encounter. Any larger and it would be hard to manipulate into the confines of the action. Hatchets, tomahawks, Franciscas, small axes, small hammers, etc. They're all perfect tools for this situation, since you can hack and slash with ease thanks to the proper distribution of weight on the weapon. A combat knife is also a great weapon, and can be used as an utility tool for other purposes outside zombie battles.
For those with a good boxing career ahead of them, go ahead and use the brass knuckles or the gloves. I don't recommend these much, because you're exposing your hands to some scratches and possible bites from the zombies you fight... but then, you're likely to get bit or mangled up at these ranges anyway, so it's really up to you if you want to risk it.
I would personally go with the small axes, or a hammer. Hacking and slashing quickly is very cost-effective energy wise, and very effective. A handgun also sounds like a good idea, though, since it's a very versatile firearm.
Finally, I wanted to clarify that I'm not counting explosive wire traps, mines, dug manholes, supplies and a lot of other logistics here. I would only walk around with one weapon of each range category if I were you. Carrying too many weapons on you and not enough supplies is very dangerous, and should only be done if you're on a 'scouting operation' of sorts, where your base is within a handful or so of city blocks from you.
And OP, if we were fighting zombies from L4D... we'd all be dead as soon as we go outside for more than a few minutes. Have you read the comics, dude? No one that isn't a carrier survives. They're too many different special infected. You better hope you're a carrier, otherwise just commit suicide. Honestly...
I think the shotgun. However it's short range, it's power would be devastating to any zombie. (I did a test on Halo 2 to "prove My theory). If there was no shotgun I'd use....F**k I'd be screwed. xd
On second Thought, a Flamethrower would work very nicely at short range, a baseball bat as well, and for medium range, I'd use an AK-47. At long range, I'd use a bow and arrow with a bit of dynamite on the tip. (Just like John Rambo). xd