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Con (against)
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The Superior Weapon in a Zombie Apocalypse

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2012 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,196 times Debate No: 24675
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)




I saw a debate on this topic and I thought it was a great and fun debate. I would like to debate the same topic with the same rules which are:

Both sides choose 2 m�l�e weapons and 1 ranged weapons and we argue that our selection of 3 weapons are better than our opponents.

I define the following terms:
Superior - the most advantageous
Zombie - an undead corpse that can only be killed by a head shot, decapitation, or major damage to the head area of the corpse



I actually wanted to do this debate after seeing the original as well. I'd like to thank ishallannoyyo for instigating this debate.

Definitions and Assumptions

I accept the two definitions proposed by my opponent and submit the following:

  1. Weapons must be within the realm of current reality (no energy swords, etc).
  2. The user of these weapons is assumed to have relative proficiency with said weapons.
  3. Medium to severe damage to the heart of a zombie should also kill it, as oxygen flow to the brain would also be affected.
  4. Zombies are not inhibited in terms of motion or their senses by their undead/infected state. This means all zombie physiological systems and functions behave as a normal human's would except that zombies are afflicted with blind rage towards humans.
  5. Humans are infected and become zombies when bitten anywhere on their bodies.


I will be advocating the following three weapons:

  1. Forearm machete blade with perpendicular grip and forearm strap
  2. Aluminum alloy baseball bat
  3. 9mm Beretta M9 semi-automatic pistol with a suppressor
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate challenge and I accept the rules that he has come forth with regarding zombies and how to kill them.

The three weapons that I will be advocating for are:
1. Venetian Poleaxe
2. Bill Hook
3. English Longbow

The poleaxe is a very versatile weapon that saw great battlefield success in the Middle Ages. The poleaxe would come in great use when fighting zombies. Firstly, the poleaxe is to be designed roughly the same height of the wielder. The average poleaxe is 1.2 - 2 meters long (4 - 6 feet). The shaft of a poleaxe can be made with wood or iron. At the tip of the poleaxe is a spike made of iron. Just below the spike on one side of the shaft is an axe blade, while on the opposite end there is a hammer (poleaxes could have a spike instead of a hammer, but Venetian Poleaxes had hammers). The poleaxe was designed to be strong enough to slice off limbs with a single swing. The shaft of the poleaxe can be equipped with lengths of iron (langents) to block blows. The poleaxe shaft was used to trip enemies, then the axe or war hammer was used to finish off the opponent while he was on the ground. The spike and hammer have the strength to pierce plate armor while the axe can slice off limbs with a single swipe. Clearly, it would be very beneficial against fighting zombies as it has the ability to inflict severe blunt force trauma, stab through the heart, and slice of limbs or heads.

Secondly, the BILL HOOK.
The bill hook was used for farming in Medieval times by English farmers. The bill hook was recognized for its strength and was equipped to peasants forced into conscription. The medieval bill hook was attached to a long staff, yet the bill hook that I choose is a shorter version that is used for farmer, but still has the effectiveness as a bill hook attached to a staff. The bill hook is characterized by a slice blade and a hook. The bill hook resembles a scythe and is perfectly for cutting and hooking. The hook could be used for ease in slicing a zombies neck and decapitation by hooking the hooked end around the neck and pulling in any direction. The slicing end also means business. The bill hook is perfect for close range, while the poleaxe would be good for fighting in a longer range and fighting more zombies.

Thirdly, the ENGLISH LONG BOW.
The long bow was a characteristic weapon of the English army during Medieval times. The English had 10 long bowmen for every infantry man because of the longbow's effectiveness. English longbow fire in battle was equivalent to modern day machine gun fire. The longbow is generally the height of the user and requires roughly 20 kg of strength to pull back (this depends on the users height). The longbow has many advantages over fire arms, firstly skilled bowers can create a longbow in a few hours while amateurs might take a single day. Manufacturing fire arms is a completely different situation. The longbow requires arrows which can be retrieved from zombie bodies. Bullets cannot. Furthermore, if the arrows cannot be salvaged new arrows can be created very quickly as well. Another great bonus of the longbow, is how quiet it is. The longbow was commonly used for hunting as it was easy to use and quiet, not spooking any animals. It won't alert zombies to your presence.

So, what have we learned today? The poleaxe has multiple capabilities, the billhook is perfect for close quarters combat, and the longbow is a silent and easy to produce weapon.

For these reasons, Vote Pro.



I thank ishallannoyyo for his argument. This round, I will provide a description of my proposed set of weapons and their advantages in killing zombies. The following rounds will be dedicated to criticising Pro's choices.

Description and Advantages

Forearm Machete: Seen here at

The forearm machete consists of a hard-anodized steel blade extending approximately 18 inches, an ergonomic perpendicular grip, and an upper forearm strap for support. It is lightweight, portable, and easily maneuvered as an extension of the user's arm. It is the ideal melee weapon as the sharp tip can easily impale the head, and subsequently the brain, and retract in an instant. The outer edge of the blade can easily decapitate or sever the neck in one slice.

The forearm machete is superior to most other melee weapons in several aspects. It is operated with a single arm and the user literally cannot be disarmed due to the forearm strap. As an extension of your arm, fluidity in movement is preserved while weapons like spears, swords, and poleaxes dictate motion due to their size and weight. The forearm machete can be used on the run with absolutely no detriment to the wearer.

Aluminum alloy baseball bat: Seen here at

The aluminum baseball bat is arguable one of the most popular mid-ranged weapons against zombies, and is so for good reason. An aluminum baseball bat is slightly over 3 feet in length and 33 ounces in mass. Sports stores are commonplace in cities and thus, baseball bats are plentiful and incredibly easy to gain access to should an outbreak occur. Bats are relatively light, easily handled and transported, and do not require much force to induce fatal injuries as I will demonstrate below.

A simple fracture in the human skull can be caused by as little as 73 Newtons of force. An unrestrained adult falling to the ground can produce more than 873 Newtons, which is more than enough to fracture the skull.[1] The upper bound of 873 Newtons converts to approximately 196.26 pounds of force required to fracture a skull. A study of a baseball bat swung at a ball produces forces averaging 4124 pounds with peak forces at 8314 pounds[2] (20-40 times more force than necessary to fracture a skull). Even with a relatively light swing, a baseball bat can easily crush a human skull, causing tremendous brain damage, especially if aimed at weaker sections such as the temples.

9mm Beretta M9 semi-automatic pistol with a suppressor: Seen here at

The name of the zombie survival game is weight and ease of use. Following the forearm machete and the aluminum baseball bat, the M9 semi-automatic pistol is lightweight and user-friendly (as most pistols are). At a maximum weight of 2.6 pounds when loaded[3], the M9 is several pounds lighter than most large bows. With a semi-automatic firing rate, the user has a much larger room for error than a longbowman. Pistols are small and incredibly portable, along with their ammunition. Longbows are incredibly large in comparison with less power behind their projectiles. The longbow may be completely silent, but sound suppressors on pistols accomplish the exact same goal with no detriment to effectiveness. The M9 holds 15 round magazines while longbows hold 1 arrow at a time; reloading is also in the M9’s favour.

Pro argues that longbows can be created in a few hours or in a day by amateurs. He also argues arrows can be retrieved from zombies or created very quickly. Although the above cannot be done with firearms by the average citizen, police stations store hundreds of guns and ammunition. 9mm pistols are incredibly common and when a zombie outbreak occurs, finding firearms and ammunition will not be a problem as government and laws no longer exist. Why would anyone want to waste time creating heavier, slower, and less powerful weapons when firearms are readily available in every city and are superior in every aspect?


Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his remarks. I will now like to take this time to refute the arguments brought up by my opponent.

His first weapon is the Forearm Machete. My opponent claims that the machete can be worn on the run with no detriment to the user. This is a blatant lie. First off, wearing only one forearm machete wouldn't be as effective as wearing two, yet there are detriments to either wearing one or wearing two. Firstly, the machete blade cannot be retracted, so when the user is wearing it, the only way to get rid of the blades is to take off the strap. Clearly, a lone human survivor would be taking off the forearm machetes frequently as almost every activity would be hindered by this 18 inch blade in front of your hands. Driving would be impossible with them on as the blade would dig into the dashboard. Opening a door would be impossible without the blade digging into the door. Sleeping with them on would be impossible as you might cut yourself as you sleep. They would be a massive hindrance when you try to partake in any task. The only viable solution to these issues is then to take off the forearm machetes while partaking in any activity requiring your hands to be nimble. Let's just say that while you have the machete off (which will be most of the time) and you get surprise attacked by a zombie. The first thing you need to do is strap on the machete blade which will waste valuable time, especially if you're surprise attacked and panic induces fumbling with the strap. Taking your time to strap on two would be even more difficult as now you have a blade attached to your arm which is trying to strap something to your other arm. Furthermore, you must strap on the weapon fully and tightly lest the weapon slip when you're using it. Poleaxes and bill hooks pose none of these issues as they are grab, go, and put down instead of grab, strap, go, take off, then put away.

The second weapon my opponent chose was the aluminum alloy baseball bat. However, I would like to point out that aluminum alloy baseball bats will dent. If swung repeatedly with enough force at large objects e.g. doors, heads, the baseball bat will dent. If a baseball is dented is effectively becomes useless as the bat will cave in after a dent. Thus, the baseball bat will be needed to be replaced frequently, limiting its effectiveness. Furthermore, if a zombie gets close enough the baseball bat loses its power. Hitting a zombie with the thin end of a baseball bat will only make it mad. My opponent may argue that the forearm machetes are for close quarters combat, but you cannot wear a forearm machete as the hand is needed to hold the perpendicular grip on the knife blade. Furthermore, swinging a baseball bat one-handed could not only sprain your wrist, but it is far less powerful and more likely to miss as it is not as controlled as a two-handed swing.

The third weapon my opponent argues for is the Beretta M9. First of all, the Beretta M9 already has several deficits, mainly being the slide on the gun breaking and cracks in the frame as it is made of aluminum (which is why it is lighter) and not a more durable substance. My opponent admits that the longbow is silent, but a silencer would create the same effect with the M9. However, this is incorrect and the best silencer only reduces the decibel of the weapon by 20 – 30 decibels. The 9 mm guns produce 160 decibels of sound. Even with the best silencer, the weapon will still produce at least 120 decibels of sound, equivalent to a rock concert. This will cause hearing loss to the user, dulling an important sense in a zombie apocalypse. Thus, firing a silenced weapon will still attract zombies. My opponent claims that firearms are superior to bows in every way, but a Beretta M9 only has a range of 50 m, while a longbow has a range of 160 m, clearly disproving my opponent's point. Though firearms may be more powerful than a longbow, every gun will produce far more sound than a longbow, attracting hundreds of zombies to your location.

So, what have we learned today? Forearm machetes are ineffective as they will hinder your ability to do anything while they are on. Furthermore, baseball bats are ineffective at close range as they inflict less damage. The Beretta M9 while silenced will still produce enough noise to attract lots of zombies. On the other hand, the poleaxe is effective at close range and long range as the shaft of the poleaxe is effectively a weapon. The poleaxe has multiple capabilities, from slicing, slashing, and smashing. The bill hook is a close quarters combat, perfect for decapitation and slicing. The English longbow has range, power, and is silent. Furthermore, creating longbows and arrows is simple, easy, and quick.

For these reasons, Vote Pro.
P.S. Please remember that I am leaving tomorrow, so I would like it if my opponent could wait as long as possible before posting his argument. Thanks so much!



I will focus on criticising Pro's choice of weapons this round, but will first address his points regarding my own.


Forearm Machete:
Pro's critique hinges solely on situations he fabricated that I never presented nor endorsed. Nobody would wield the machete while driving, just as they would not wield a bill hook. The same answer counters almost everything else he critiques; notice how the effectiveness in defending and killing zombies is not in question. Lastly, pro presents a situation where a zombie takes the user by surprise and he isn't wearing the machete. Given one cannot wield two of the melee weapons provided by Pro or myself, why can't the user simply hold the machete by the steel bar with both hands? It's not as if a blade doesn't function simply because it isn't strapped on. Held as a short-spear with both or one arm, the forearm machete still has more range and killing power over the bill hook and exposes the user to less danger as I will demonstrate below.

Pro's refutations have been negated.

Aluminum baseball bat:
Baseball bats will dent and wooden poleaxes will snap by the angular momentum of the mass eventually. Pro provides no sources to back up his assertion that "baseball bat[s] will be needed to be replaced frequently" nor that "hitting a zombie with the thin end of a baseball bat will only make it mad". In fact, the thin end is made of the same aluminum and the surface area is smaller, meaning the force is less distributed and the pressure would be increased. The problem with medieval poleaxes is that they're quite hard to find in the 21st century... aluminum baseball bats however, can be found by the thousands in every city.

Pro then argues wielding a baseball bat with one hand can lead to injury, but fails to realize his critiques hurt his own choices in greater magnitude. Italian poleaxes have an average mass of 5 pounds and 2 ounces[1] attached to the end of a 2 meter staff which far outweighs a baseball bat averaging 33 ounces. The moment created by swinging that mass at 2 meters would be much greater than that of a baseball bat and would require ridiculous, superhuman amounts of strength to wield one handed. As I have pointed out, it does not require much force to fracture a human skull, showing that the excessive mass and force required to operate a poleaxe is unnecessary and inefficient.

Pro's refutations have been negated and returned.

Beretta M9:
Pro cites material deficits and fails to notice longbows are made of yew[2], incomparable weaker than the lightest aluminum. A zombie would have a much easier time snapping a longbow than smashing a pistol.

Pro then cites the ranges of the M9 versus that of an English Longbow, unfortunately he fails to realize range (not even effective range, which he failed to use for the longbow) is not the only factor to consider. I will now compare the effectiveness of both weapons within their effective accurate ranges.

The M9 has an effective range of 50m (approximately 55 yards)[3].
The LB has a maximum range of 180-270 yards with an effective accurate range of maximum 75-80 yards[2]. I will use the higher numbers out of generosity.

A semi-automatic firing rate is 45-60 rounds per minute[4] (I will use the lower: 45), or 0.75 rounds per second.
An archer was expected to release 10 aimed arrows per minute[2], or 0.166 arrows per second.

Assuming the users of both weapons are 100% accurate and will kill with one hit and the average sprinting speed of a human is 12 miles per hour, or around 6 yards per second:

It would take a zombie around 9 seconds to run 55 yards, meaning an M9 wielder could take out 6.75 zombies running at him with accuracy.
It would take a zombie around 13.3 seconds to run 80 yards, meaning a LB user could take out 2.2 zombies running at him with accuracy.

Despite having a longer effective range than the M9, a semi-automatic firing rate compared to the medieval hand-drawn arrow firing rate is not even a contest. The M9 triples the longbow in killing efficiency. This is not even taking into account the fact that the M9 has a muzzle velocity of 1250 ft/s[3] while the longbow has an arrow speed of maximum 200 ft/s[5]. The possibility of dodging a bullet based on reaction is literally impossible for humans (and consequently zombies), while an arrow that can take almost 2 seconds to reach you at 80 yards is arguably dodgeable given enough attempts.

To put the nail in the coffin, pro argues that longbows and arrows are easily made while bullets and firearms are not. Cities are have numerous police stations that store hundreds of firearms and ammunition supplies. Anyone know of a local longbow shop? I didn't think so. Why should I bother making an inferior killing weapon, as definitively proven above, when I can simply grab a couple superior weapons from my local police station?

Arrows are largely affected by the environment in terms of humidity and especially wind. 9mm rounds will not be sent much off course in 55 yards due to their small surface area to weight ratio. Creating a perfectly balanced arrow is incredibly difficult and time-consuming, despite Pro's assertions otherwise. Working yew longbows into shape can take up to a couple of years, also despite pro's assertions, they cannot simply be fashioned out of any nearby tree in a bow-shape. Thus, not only is creating longbows and arrows inefficient compared to simply finding a police station or even a local gun store, they are also the inferior weapon in killing zombies.


Bill Hook:
The bill hook is flawed in premise due to its ridiculously short range. Given the fact that zombies can bite any part of the body and infect a human, using the bill hook around the neck of a zombie easily puts the user into biting range. The bill hook can also slice to decapitate, but the forearm machete as I suggested, performs this same action 18 inches from the fingers. The bill hook by nature runs the risk of being lodged in its victim if not enough force is applied or the direction is slightly off and the blade hits the collarbone, jaw, or other bone. The forearm machete can cleanly impale the eye socket or even through the jaw and into the brain for an instant kill while still out of biting range.

The bill hook is simply inferior at performing its task of decapitation, cannot impale effectively into the head, and puts its user into danger with its close range. There is no reason to choose the bill hook over the forearm machete.

Venetian Poleaxe:
The poleaxe, being 4-6 feet in length[1], outranges the baseball bat by 1-3 feet. Unfortunately, the force required to operate a poleaxe more than balances this fact out. At a possible 6 feet from the arms, the angular momentum of by a 5 pound mass (not to mention the rest of the shaft, which can be made of iron as pro states) would be enormous and very difficult to stop. The user would be incredibly hard pressed to fight more than a single zombie with this weapon. Also with such velocity and mass, it is not that large of a stretch to see the axe-head getting stuck in the torso of its victim, rendering it useless. Luckily, the baseball bat does not have this problem and will never be lodged in a skull.

The poleaxe's weight and design is inefficient compared to the bat's more lightweight and maneuverable design. The iron head mass is overkill and unnecessary when, as I have shown in the Round 2, that it takes 1/20th to 1/40th of a baseball player's swing to fracture a skull.


The bill hook is an inferior version of the forearm machete in every possible way.
The Venetian poleaxe requires unnecessary force to wield, is excessively heavy, and hard to transport. Poleaxe stores are also quite rare these days.
The English Longbow is at least three times less effective in killing zombies and is much harder to acquire than a 9mm pistol.


Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for his comments. I will now refute his arguments.

First of all, my opponent claims that my critiques on the forearm machete were based on situations that I fabricated and "Nobody would wield the machete while driving, just as they would not wield a bill hook." However, in R2 my opponent comments that "The forearm machete can be used on the run with absolutely no detriment to the wearer", clearly suggesting that the forearm machete would be worn on the forearm while travelling. Thus, the situations that I used as examples are not fabricated, but would occur if the forearm machete was worn while on the run. Secondly, my opponent says and I quote "notice how the effectiveness in defending and killing zombies is not in question." This is a direct contradiction to what my opponent argues when he talks about the Beretta M9: "The English Longbow is at least three times less effective in killing zombies". If effectiveness was not in question, why bring this up? I would invite my opponent to clear this up.

My opponent attempts to refute my situation where the survivor is surprise attacked by a zombie by saying that the user could hold the machete by the steel bar. Using the picture that my opponent so kindly provided, we can see that the steel bar is the same thickness as the blade, quite thin. However, the steel bar is dulled. Holding this in both hands and swinging, would undoubtedly be quite painful. As soon as the blade hits the zombies head, it will encounter resistance, pushing the dull bar deeper into your hands. Imagine if a knife's handle wasn't rounded and was instead straight edged and made of metal. How painful would it be to cut anything? Yet my opponent argues that the forearm machete has more range and killing power than the weapon I selected, the bill hook. I apologize for not identifying the make of the billhook, as they can be of varying length, anywhere from 10 inches in total length to 9 feet long. The version that I chose is the Morris-Devon Billhook which has a total length of 13.5 inches. I would like to point out that in the criteria set forth for this debate; zombies infect others by biting them. I would like to point out that zombies only have one mouth which is on their head. Thus, to bite someone they must essentially touch their head to the intended victim. Clearly, a shorter weapon is ideal in this situation when a zombie is reaching towards you. A sliced neck would kill a zombie and the billhook is perfect for that.

My opponent's second weapon is the aluminum alloy baseball bat. My opponent would like you to believe that since the thin end of a baseball bat has a smaller surface area, the pressure is applied to a smaller area, thus increase the pressure applied to a zombie. This is not true as the thin end is closer to the fulcrum, which in this case is the person's hand. As objects get closer to the fulcrum, the force applied to the object is greatly weakened as the mechanical advantage drops. As you get closer and closer to the fulcrum, the amount of force you can exert is greatly decreased. This is basic mechanical science. This science negates the effectiveness of a baseball bat at short range.
My opponent refutes my weapon of the Venetian poleaxe by saying that the weapon is long and heavy, making it too difficult to wield. This is not true. My opponent's major mistake was to use statistics about an Italian poleaxe while the weapon I chose was more specific, a Venetian poleaxe. The website he provided showed a picture of an Italian poleaxe which was different from the poleaxe that I had selected. However, I will accept the statistics brought forth by my opponent.

My opponent contradicted himself by saying that the average weight of an Italian poleaxe was 5 pounds and 2 ounces, yet then goes on to say that the 5 pounds is only the blade, hammer, and spike while the website clearly indicates that the total weight is 5 pounds 2 ounces. I would invite my opponent to clear up this error.

The blade is not attached to the end of a 2 meter staff, the entire weapon has a length of 2 meters as I described in R2. Furthermore, a poleaxe is not held like a baseball bat and it is not designed to be wielded one handed. You are to hold a poleaxe with hand close to the blade, and one hand closer to the end of the staff. We are assuming that we have a medium proficiency with our weapons; therefore I would know how to hold one properly. If I knew how to hold it properly, it wouldn't be "At a possible 6 feet from the arms". Holding the poleaxe properly makes the weapon easier to stop and more versatile. Secondly, the shaft COULD be made of iron or wood. As I described above, the Venetian poleaxe shaft is made of wood with iron langents. Furthermore, as I demonstrated in R2 the blade would not be stuck in the torso of a victim because if the blade is travelling at the velocity that my opponent suggests it's travelling, it would cleanly cut through body. Remember, this weapon was designed to cut through plate armour. Poleaxes do not need to be bought; maintenance is sharpening the axe head.

My opponent's last weapon was the Beretta M9. He has not addressed the fact that firing a silenced Beretta is still equivalent to a rock concert as I have shown in R2. This would undoubtedly attract hundreds of zombies to your location. I would invite my opponent to refute this point in the next Round.

Con argues that yew is weaker than aluminum. That is true, however my point was that the frame of the gun cracks more when firing it because it is made of aluminum.

My opponent fails to realize that for every shot fired my opponent can expect for hundreds of zombies to come because of the ridiculous amount of noise created by firing the silenced gun. A silenced M9 produces 120 DB of sound which is enough to cause pain for the user and permanent damage. Continued firing may leave the wielder deaf, something that would be a death blow in a zombie apocalypse. Though the M9 has a higher firing rate and the bullets travel faster, the fact remains that the user will be swarmed if he tries to fire a gun. Assuming that you are the only person left on the planet and all the dead and once living are now zombies and you are in the USA, firing a gun could attract between 239 to 6 living zombies. While the longbow may be dodgeably, you can't dodge something you don't see or hear coming. My opponent admitted before that the longbow was silent. The zombie wouldn't hear it coming and no other zombies would know.

Though it is true that cities have police stations and gun stores, my opponent fails to realize that the weapon he selected was the Beretta M9. Thus, to be fair if my opponent was say to go to a local police station he may only take Beretta M9's. However, the United States does not have a standardized arm for civilian police and the M9 is primarily used by the army. Thus depending on where you are the police station may not stock M9's in the case of slide failure which has wounded a Naval Special Warfare member. Also, police stations and army bases have security features on their guns; they don't just put them on a stand in the middle of a building. Furthermore, there are such things as archery shops and gun shops do stock arrows. My opponent has provided no source for his assertion that a longbow would take years to produce, plus stores stock longbows. The gun may be more effective at killing zombies, yet you can't kill every zombie out there and eventually you will be swarmed when you fire a gun.

For the contradictions and the flaws in my opponents weapons, Vote Pro.




Wielding While Running

You are twisting my words. The phrases “used on the run” and “while travelling” are not equivalent. I literally meant running while wielding your weapons. The FM and the aluminum baseball bat are lightweight, easily maneuverable, and have perfect range for fighting while running. The billhook is too short (as I will discuss below) and the poleaxe is much too end-heavy for it to be efficient while running.

FM Effectiveness

As I stated in the comments, the effectiveness of the subject (the forearm machete) was never doubted and you could only question fringe cases such as surprise attacks.

Holding the FM

You misinterpret my refutation. For quick usage of the FM, the user would grab the handle and near the bottom of the shaft. Stabbing puts all the force onto the handle as normal while the back hand simply keeps the shaft linear with minimal force (as the strap would).

NOTE: Pro now specifies the Morris-Devon Billhook of length 13.5 inches. If this is to be allowed, then it must also be allowed that my choice of the M9 simply be arbitrary choice of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol model (thus rendering pro’s cracking frame argument moot, but I will refute it regardless).

The Morris-Devon Billhook has a blade length of 9 inches. The FM has a blade length of 18 inches. I’ve shown the FM doubles the billhook in range and is more versatile as the billhook cannot stab due to its blunted nose.

Thus, to bite someone they must essentially touch their head to the intended victim. Clearly, a shorter weapon is ideal in this situation when a zombie is reaching towards you. A sliced neck would kill a zombie and the billhook is perfect for that.

Incorrect. A shorter weapon greatly increases the chance of being bitten. Why even let the zombie get into range of biting you? Relying on decapitation requires that every time you try to kill a zombie with your billhook, you put yourself in danger of being easily bitten on the arm if you do not kill the zombie immediately.

The FM does not have this problem as it can decapitate and impale the brain at double the distance.

Baseball Bat

Pro fails to view the big picture and uses incorrect physics to attempt to refute my point. A fulcrum is a point around which a lever pivots. There is no pivoting whatsoever in this situation. Thus, the fact that pressure is increased when force is focused on a smaller area stands.

When striking with the handle side of a baseball bat, one would not keep both hands on the handle, rather one hand holds the opposite end and the bat is used as a battering ram would be. As a short-ranged weapon, the baseball bat then becomes an incredibly hard, blunt object at adjustable length as the back arm propels the bat forward. This battering ram action can easily strike the nose into the brain or fracture the skull itself if necessary.

The above is a distinct advantage over the Venetian poleaxe as it literally cannot be used at very close distances. I will use Pro’s example of a surprise attack while you are wielding either a poleaxe or the baseball bat. The bat is easily changed to an effective close ranged weapon while the poleaxe becomes dead weight as there is no room to swing the head around and the shaft is useless other than to defend.

Venetian Poleaxe

Venetian refers to the Republic of Venice in Italy, which is why I used the Italian poleaxe as a rough estimate. The weight 5 pounds and 2 ounces refers to the head alone, apologies for any inconsistencies, but all arguments were made with this fact.

Pro agrees the poleaxe cannot be wielded with one hand under any circumstance. The baseball bat can, if the situation calls for it.

If the shaft breaks, how is one to replace the poleaxe? Proficiency with a weapon does not entail carpentry or metalworking.


Slide/Frame Fracture

Slide fractures occurred in old models of the M9 back in the 1980s and the problem was fixed. Even then, through the test firing of 3 M9 pistols, it was shown that “[f]ailure occurred at round number 23,310 on one weapon, 30,083 on another, and 30,545 on the last weapon”[1].

Frame cracking also occurred only in the 1980s and the “new frames did not display the cracking problem or any other problem during [tests] and were subsequently accepted by the military”[1].

This point is irrelevant in the 21st century.


Suppressors use a larger volume barrel to mask the gas propellant BANG, reduce recoil, and eliminate flash. Though they may not completely silence firearms, the remaining supersonic CRACK sound is incredibly difficult to pinpoint when fired near large, solid objects such as buildings and walls as the sound will ricochet several times[4].

Clearly one would not be standing the open with guns blazing in an apocalypse. When faced with several zombies, running is always the first choice. Firearms would be the last resort when you can't run and your melee weapons cannot deal with them all.

A sound level of 120 dB is not enough to cause permanent ear damage because there is no prolonged exposure, at most this will cause ringing in the ears and even less with ear protection. Sound intensity varies inversely with the square of the distance from the source. Though it may be a "rock concert" at point blank, the sound quickly drops off, especially in a areas with dense matter around (e.g. buildings).

Due to character restrictions, I will present this math in the next round.

Dodging Projectiles

English longbows are about 6 feet long with arrows with an average length of 30 inches[2]. Both are quite large and simply moving slightly after seeing the arrow released will mean a non-lethal blow if the archer has perfect aim due to the arrow’s slow projectile speed as demonstrated in Round 3.


As mentioned above, I allowed pro to redefine his choice of billhook model and length. I also mentioned that the M9 was an arbitrary model choice and that the weapon I chose is simply a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol. It’s not as if one would walk into a police station and choose not to use any of the semi-automatic pistols simply because they are a different model. In essence they are equivalent as the arguments for and against either with respect to this debate are exactly the same.

Pro suggests police stations have security measures for firearms and ammunition. Unfortunately for that claim, there happens to be zombie apocalypse going on, wherein laws are nonexistent and I am free to shoot or break down any locked door I may happen to encounter.

My opponent has provided no source for his assertion that a longbow would take years to produce, plus stores stock longbows.

I did source that “the traditional construction of a longbow consists of drying the yew wood for 1 to 2 years, then slowly working the wood into shape, with the entire process taking up to four years.”[2] I will admit the sources do also state that working the wood down when wet will speed up the process.[3] Thus, knowing the fact that an English longbow can take up to four years to create, it is ludicrous to suggest one could possibly create their own longbow in a zombie apocalypse.

This advantage over firearms is refuted.


The forearm machete outranges the billhook, performs the same decapitating function at a longer range with less danger, and can impale the heart or brain of a zombie as well.

The baseball bat is infinitely more available than a medieval Venetian poleaxe, can instantly switch to a close, melee-range weapon with respectable force while the poleaxe is useless due to its length and location of the striking end.

The 9mm semi-automatic pistol, despite being louder than the longbow, is three times as effective in killing zombies and makes up for its firing sound through availability and portability.

Due to combined superior availability, range, versatility, maneuverability, weight, and killing potential of my proposed arsenal of weapons, vote Con.


Debate Round No. 4


I thank my opponent for his comments. Since this is the final round, I would greatly appreciate it if my opponent didn't bring forth new evidence or arguments as I would have no chance to refute those points.

Firstly, the Forearm Machete. The effectiveness of the subject is doubted as because of how you can't wear it while doing other tasks limits its ability to fight. Imagine putting away a sword and then every 10 minutes running and grabbing the sword. Holding the FM wouldn't be as effective as say just holding a sword because of the design of the weapon. There is no pommel or handle, making it difficult to wield like a sword.

Also, surprise attacks are not fringe cases, these can occur during a zombie apocalypse.

I apologize for not specifying, but I felt that I needed to as billhooks range in length. Furthermore, frame cracking occurs in Beretta's, not just M9s and 9 mm pistols.

My opponent fails to realize that the billhook can be used for more than decapitation and doesn't have a blunted nose. My opponent fails to realize that it is IMPOSSIBLE to make sure that no zombie gets within range of you. No matter how hard you try, a zombie will eventually get close to you, whether you're sleeping or just surprise attacked. When this happens, having a shorter weapon is perfect. My opponent's weapon wouldn't work in short range and I will elaborate on that further. Furthermore, you don't need to rely on decapitation. The model of billhook has serrated edges to cut and slicing with the other end which is essentially a blade. You don't need to rely on decapitation, I was just pointing that out to show how it is a perfect FOR decapitation, it doesn't need to rely on it. The billhook is for when a zombie does get close to you as it will happen. If a zombie starts grappling with you, a FM wouldn't work. If the zombie is on top of you, you would need to curve your arms around to get the blade end into the zombie and then you wouldn't have enough power as the blade isn't the full length of the entire weapon.

With regards to the baseball bat, my opponent demonstrates a lack of physics. A fulcrum is a point around which a lever pivots; the baseball bat is a lever! The fulcrum is your hands! A lever is defined as a: a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by a force applied at a third. Clearly, a baseball bat is a lever. Swinging near the handle wouldn't work as when it gets closer to a fulcrum, the mechanical advantage is destroyed. The fact that there is a smaller area is moot as it inflicts minimal damage. Using the baseball bat as a battering ram wouldn't work as there wouldn't be enough room to shove the bat forward if a zombie was grappling with you. There wouldn't be enough space to push forward enough to do major damage. However, the poleaxe can.

The poleaxe can be used at close distances. First of all, as I stated above the shaft of a poleaxe is designed to stop overhead sword swipes. The shaft won't break. Secondly, it won't become dead weight. If a zombie is grappling with you, you can push the weapon forward using the iron enforced shaft to smash into a zombie's head. Or, if they have grabbed the poleaxe, you can slide it towards one side, bringing the other side forward, smashing into the zombie's head. The poleaxe can fight zombies at long range, fight them at close range, won't break, can smash items, and is very powerful. The poleaxe is far more effective than the baseball bat.

With the slide failures, my opponent fails to realize that during the 21st Century, Berretta M9's in the military service have failed and have injured people as I have showed beforehand. For example, let's assume a group of zombies is coming for you and the slide fails. It doesn't matter if failure occurred at one in 30,000, one in 50,000, or one in 100,000. It will fail once, and once that happens you will be left with your melee weapons. As my opponent has said: "when you can't run and your melee weapons cannot deal with them all". When your firearm fails, YOUR melee weapons can't deal with them all. Mine can and I will show why.

My opponent fails to recognize that 120 dB is actually enough to cause ear damage with prolonged exposure. Ear damage will occur as you fire the gun frequently. Wearing ear protection won't work as then you wouldn't hear if a zombie was approaching from another direction. Furthermore, firing near buildings or walls may reverberate the sound, but the point is that the sound will be made. Also, the sound will not ricochet so much that zombies will travel in the wrong direction if they hear a gunshot. Zombies will hear, and then they will start travelling in the direction of the sound. Firing multiple times will allow them to pinpoint on you down even more and attract more zombies. The sound does drop off, but a rock concert in an open stadium can be heard far away. The map on this website shows the distances:

Now, onto the refutations that my opponent has brought up regarding my projectile weapon. With regards to police stations, there is heavy guard on their weapons, including bullet proof glass and iron bars. My opponent wouldn't be able to shoot through bullet proof glass and smash iron bars. This leaves only gun stores which also stock bows and arrows. My opponent claims that it would take up to 4 years to create a longbow. First of all, using my opponents source we see that 137 longbows survived UNDERWATER since 1547, clearly showing that the longbow has resistance to the elements and resistance to breakage. If needed, a longbow can be taken from archery stores. Secondly, making a longbow DOESN'T take 4 years to create as the entire bow can be made in several days, less than 2 weeks at max. True, this creates a lower quality bow, but high quality bows can be taken from archery stores and gun stores if required and can be replaced often as there are many trees. While the arrow flies slower than the bullet, the weapon is silent so if the zombie doesn't see the arrow, it will hit the zombie. If the longbowman is surrounded by zombies, then the distance travelled by the arrow wouldn't matter as the zombies are close and the arrow flies too fast at that distance to dodge. The advantage over firearms still stands.

The fact that the billhook is shorter is actually an advantage over the FM which would be very ineffective at close range. The billhook is not only for decapitating, but slicing and stabbing.

The baseball bat may be more available, but doesn't perform at its functions at the level of the poleaxe. Just because the striking end is at one end of the poleaxe doesn't mean you must strike with that end. The shaft is far more effective at short range than the baseball bat. Because of it's length, it is even more effective than the baseball bat and won't break because of it's design.

The 9mm pistol because of being loud will never be better than the longbow, which is completely resilient. The longbow is highly resilient, unlike the 9mm which eventually will break when you need it. Furthermore, after it breaks how do you break locked doors to get at guns? Once the gun breaks, you're in trouble.

Due to combined strength, resilience, range, versatility, and killing ability, MY proposed arsenal of weapons is clearly superior. Vote Pro.
The traditional bowyers encyclopedia : the bowhunting and bowmaking world of the nation's top crafters of longbows and recurves (Bertalan, 2007)
Organized Crime and Policing in Rural and Remote Communities: a study of police officers' perceptions and current actions: preliminary field results (LeBeuf, 2005)


Usage when not fighting
Effectiveness in killing zombies is unrelated to its uses while doing other tasks. Holding a 13.5 inch billhook is just as obstructing as holding an FM. My opponent is also flat out lying when he claims there is no handle on the FM, there clearly is one. This point is moot as it can be applied to both weapons.

Frame Cracking
I have refuted this in my previous round with two studies with hundreds of thousands of rounds shot from different models of 9mm Berettas. Signs of slide and frame cracking occur long before actual fracture, giving the user ample time to replace it, not to mention fracture occurs after tens of thousands of rounds fired.

Bill Hook
My opponent did not provide any source or image of his weapon and a simple Google search of the bill hook images[1], shows they all have curved front edges (if not blunted). This makes them effectively impossible to stab or fatally impale a zombie. Pro has not provided any evidence otherwise. In fact, pro asserts the bill hook has serrated edges that can cut a zombie. Unfortunately he does not realize that serrated edges are not designed for speed. It will take a very long time to slice through the neck of a zombie with a serrated edge. The FM can easily penetrate the skull and into the brain for an instantaneous kill, the billhook simply cannot compete.

Baseball bat

Pro’s assertions completely ignore my arguments and sources without providing any of his own.

My studies clearly indicate slide failures were remedied in the 80’s, while all he claims is that M9’s have failed and injured people in the 21st century with absolutely no sources. You must disregard all unbacked claims accordingly.

Pro claims that guns in police stations are held behind bulletproof glass and iron bars (note again, he does not provide any sources). Unfortunately, he ironically fails to realize there is a zombie apocalypse going on. The keys to any locked door for government run establishments can be found at security guard stations or janitor’s quarters.

Again, pro provides absolutely no sourcing regarding his claims of longbows being made in several days. His claims of durability are also unreferenced.

My arguments about effectiveness and availability were dropped and unanswered. Pro concedes the 9mm is 3 times as effective as the longbow in killing zombies. Pro’s own argument of surprise attacks goes in favour of the firearm as longbows are completely useless in close range, while the firearm is perfectly fine in close combat.

Pro has been good with sources up until this final round. Almost all of his facts, numbers, and assertions were completely unreferenced. You, as voters, must disregard all unsubstantiated claims.

The FM doubles the range of the billhook, can perform all acts the billhook can, is much harder to disarm from the user, and most importantly, can impale. Pro claims the billhook can as well, but with the large surface area of the nose (blunted or not), this is basically impossible.

The baseball bat is more available, can be used in close quarters, lighter, easily maneuvered, portable, and replaceable than the poleaxe. The poleaxe may kill zombies just as effectively, but its mass is unnecessary and inefficient for the wielder. Availability of the baseball bat edges out the poleaxe.

Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by caveat 4 years ago
Not when you use it as a medium of linear force (i.e. ramming).
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
Dude, a baseball bat is a lever. It says so in plain English in Science Focus 8.
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
Good debate. I didn't know I need to put numbers next to each of my arguments, I put all my sources at the bottom. All my "assertions" are cited in the sources.

Good debate though!
Posted by caveat 4 years ago
You as well ishallannoyyo.

The submitting of my last round went quite weirdly. It seems to have submitted an old version of my argument and completely missed one section regarding the physics of the baseball bat. I will post that section here, however, if you ask the readers to disregard it as it isn't in the argument, I understand.

"The baseball bat is not a lever when swinging because the fulcrum is at the base, meaning it is simply a point of rotation (not pivoting). The baseball bat is also not a lever when using it as a battering ram because it does not rotate at all and is simply transferring a completely linear force. Not considering all of this, pro actually misinterpreted my argument at all regarding short range. Pro thought I was arguing the bat was to be swung in short range, but in fact it should be used as a battering ram with the thin-end (the handle) as its striking point. One blow to the nose can propel bone into the brain or cause unconsciousness if the temple is struck. This is another advantage over the poleaxe, which is completely useless if the attacker is within melee range."
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
Thx for a really fun and thought-provoking debae caveat!
Posted by caveat 4 years ago
Apologies for the formatting... I have no idea what happened lol
Posted by caveat 4 years ago
-- Secondly, my opponent says and I quote "notice how the effectiveness in defending and killing zombies is not in question."--

The effectiveness of the subject of the sentence, the forearm machete, was not questioned and you chose to attack fringe cases instead.

--Though it is true that cities have police stations and gun stores, my opponent fails to realize that the weapon he selected was the Beretta M9.--

I arbitrarily chose the M9 as an example of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to oppose your longbow, I literally used a random number generator to pick between Beretta models. This is akin to you choosing a bill hook of specific length, which you specified in the last round.
Posted by angrymen 4 years ago
Why don't people ever pick modern weapons? There are many better choices than medieval weapons.
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
Hey, sorry about this but I realized that I am leaving on 7.13 and I would greatly appreciate it if you posted your argument as soon as possible as I won't be back until 7.16.

Posted by OberHerr 4 years ago
Just make up an extremely OP weapon?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses every match-up. While the bat and poleaxe are both killing weapons, the latter is much longer, more cumbersome, and heavier, making it more difficult to use and transport. While both the machete and bill hook could decapitate, the bill hook's ridiculously short range hampers it greatly. The machete's arm brace and puncturing power put it over the top. The bow's range loses out to the gun's accuracy, reload time, and rate of fire. Con wins arguments and sources.