In the Walking Dead, a wide variety of both ranged and melee weapons are shown to be used. Drawbacks of either are noted and sometimes influence the plot (guns running out of bullets, risking bites when fighting walkers hand to hand).

It seems like a spear would be an ideal weapon in this universe:

  • Can safely strike from a distance (6 feet for a regular spear, can be up to 18 feet for longer pikes), well out of reach of a walker's hands or mouth
  • Can make a precise strike to the head
  • Can help keep many walkers at bay and allow the user to control a broader area (such as wide doorway or alley)
  • Can be thrown in a pinch
  • Easy to carry (being just a stick) and doubles as a tool for carrying other things on it
  • Can be manufactured easily from any wooden stick with a knife or sharp rock
  • Requires little maintenance (unlike firearms or swords) and can be easily replaced if damaged
  • Having a long sturdy pole is useful for traversing difficult terrain

In fact, it seems like it would work so well against walkers (whether by a single survivor or a small phalanx) that there's hardly any reason to use anything else (bullets are scarce and noisy, axes, hammers, knives, pipes and even swords require you to get close and risk bites or scratches). All the traditional counters for a spear from history are unavailable to walkers: They rarely wear armor, do not dodge well, do not try to flank opponents (unless the survivor walks into the middle of a crowd himself) and do not employ ranged weapons.

For fighting humans, obviously a spear will not always suffice. But there are many situations where survivors gear up specifically to fight zombies (such as clearing overrun buildings). In these cases, a spear or similar polearm seems like the best weapon by far.

Is there a reason that in the variety of weapons seen on the show, there are no spears?

  • 1
    I'm wondering why they don't use flamethrowers. ;-)
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 13:50
  • 7
    Short answer: They do, both in the comics and on the show.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 21:15
  • I'm removing the tv tags because this isn't about the TV show, in fact the best answer so far references the comic. I'm also changing the title because the trivial supposed improvement makes it read worse.
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:54
  • 5
    You should just stop asking questions like this about this story. It's rife with gaping plot holes like this. It's just better to turn off your brain while you enjoy watching bad guys get splattered.
    – Ernie
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 18:36
  • 1
    a) Spears ARE effective. Damn effective. And easy to use. And don't need much force. You can even, when the attacker has much inertia, just put the shaft on the ground and let the attacker impale himself. The wonen of the Samurais were left at home often with a spear to defend them selfs, since it is thst damn easy. b) a stabbing action keeps your defence almost completely intact. One can stab pretty fast. Swinging, on the other hand opens your defence completely (especially if you miss). c) Spears (or other pole weapons like a naginata, helebard usw.) are quite easy to carry and double as a w
    – user55800
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 14:47

12 Answers 12


They Do

The previous answers have already pointed out that spears are indeed used in the show. The same is true of the comic books. I won't explain what's going on here, because it would be an enormous spoiler, but the image conveys all the necessary information pretty well.

enter image description here

The spears are manufactured by the Hilltop colony and used at the Hilltop and in the Kingdom.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

But They Didn't Use Them At First

However, in the comics, spears as such (meaning a long wooden shaft topped by a large arrowhead-like object, as opposed to any long, pointy thing) only appeared in the series at a relatively late date, when issues related to ammunition supplies became a serious problem. In the show, it only took about 2 seasons for some sort of spear (i.e., the long pointy kind, not the actually-a-spear-by-design kind) to show up.

Why didn't people start using spears earlier? My guess is that they had some trouble acclimating themselves to the new reality in which they found themselves. We're used to the idea of using guns to kill stuff. We haven't used spears as anything other than equipment for an obscure Olympic sport (the javelin throw) for quite some time. We tend to solve problems by using things we are familiar with. We are all familiar with guns, whether or not we've ever used one1. We are less familiar with spears, and we think of them as ancient, outdated weapons used by primitive cultures and Roman centurions and stuff.

On a similar note, we generally solve problems using items that are readily available to us at the time. Most people in 21st century America don't have spears laying around all over the place. If you wanted to have a spear, you would have to make it yourself. This isn't a big problem if you're in a semi-permanent settlement somewhere, surrounded by high, strong walls, and populated by plenty of like-minded people. But if you're out on the road fending off starvation, dehydration, bandits, sickness, zombies, and who knows what else, you don't have time to start manufacturing spears and practicing how to use them.

Finally, humans have an unfortunate tendency to ignore imminent threats until they are right up in our faces (kind of like we ignored climate change until it was too late to avoid or mitigate). The threat posed by running out of ammunition is no different. As long as people had a reasonable amount of ammo, they were happy to keep using it.

The obvious problem with this is that there are no more factories churning out boxes of every kind of ammunition imaginable. The number of bullets in the world is now finite, and rapidly shrinking. On top of this, the first thing people did when zombies began to eat everyone in sight was run to the local gun store and beg, buy, borrow, or steal every last round of ammo in the place. Then, for the most part, they took their booty of ammo, found a place that seemed safe, and promptly died. So all the ammunition that used to be concentrated in a relatively small number of locations (like gun shops) is now scattered in tiny caches all over the country.

So people ran out of ammunition pretty quickly - within a year or two of the world falling apart - and only then did they stop to think about what they would do without it. And that is when everyone realized that guns were great, but should be used sparingly, and more primitive weapons were the new rule of the day.

Assuming that the show continues to follow the general course of the comic books, you can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing - improvised weapons, old fashioned weapons like bows and arrows, spears, swords, axes, maces, etc. And you'll probably see some other examples of people falling back on tried and true earlier technologies - for the first time in centuries, castles are starting to look pretty awesome and useful to the few remaining survivors. Even an old fashioned frontier fort/stockade, with walls made from upright logs, is a very attractive option.

Why didn't they start using spears sooner - the TL:DR version:

  • It wouldn't have occurred to them very readily, because no one uses spears nowadays.
  • Conversely, they very quickly focused on getting ammunition and guns, because those are the most familiar weapons to modern people.
  • They didn't have readymade spears handy.
  • They didn't have the time, know-how, resources, or inclination to make them, or an environment safe enough for them to focus on making them, until they found semi-permanent settlements.
  • They didn't think about what would happen when they ran out of ammunition until they had almost run out of ammunition.

1 Keep in mind who the characters are: Americans from the southeastern state of Georgia. When the series begins, the group is led by two cops. All cops in the US carry guns, and in Georgia, somewhere in the range of 40% to 51% of all households own at least one firearm (as per the map below; other sources say the figure might be as low as 32%). Just to the west, in Alabama, gun ownership is even higher - from 51% to 63% of all households. These are people who are likely to have grown up around firearms, and statistically speaking, about half of them probably owned one or more guns before the inevitable zombie apocalypse began.

enter image description here

Gun ownership in Georgia is broadly reflective of gun ownership in the country as a whole: About 1/3 of Americans own guns, and most gun owners own more than one firearm. Thus, we find the oft-cited statistic that there are more civilian-owned firearms in the US than there are people:

enter image description here

In short, Americans are, on average, more familiar with guns than is the norm in much of the Western World, and southerners are more familiar with guns than most other Americans. As such, it is entirely to be expected that, when the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes, most Americans (and most southerners) will think of guns first, and other weapons later - probably only after ammo supplies are running critically low.

  • 3
    We are all familiar with guns, whether or not we've ever used one. We are less familiar with spears This might be true for the USA, but in EU we see very few guns. I, for example have made and fought with a makeshift spear at my first and only LARP session, but haven't touched a real gun yet. Also, I'd say using a pointy stick is much more instinctive and simple than properly loading, arming and maintaining a gun. Otherwise I agree with you, and I readily accept that in the USA using guns is a second nature for many.
    – zovits
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:24
  • 1
    Sorry, that's a crap answer. You can make a spear quickly by duct-taping a knife or machete onto the end of a stick. And it was pretty apparent from the beginning that noisy firearms were a bad idea in most cases. Once the "I can stab walkers in the head with a knife" idea came out of anyone's head, it's a very simple leap of logic to say "why can't I do this from a distance? Like with a knife with a long handle? Oh yeah! A spear!"
    – Ernie
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 18:23
  • 1
    @zovits - You seem to be suggesting that movies and Tv shows don't exist in the EU. When I was there, they did exist. I've never loaded, fired, or unloaded a semiautomatic handgun, or even touched one, but I know how to do it because movies and TV shows are a thing.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    @WadCheber I did not say we couldn't figure it out. I just said it does not hold that "We are all familiar with guns". Of course bullets go in the mag with their pointy end forward, and you point the hole on the front of the gun at the thing you want to destroy before pulling the trigger. But safeties and fire selectors can be different, chambering a bullet also can be done differently, and I probably would cause more harm than good if I tried to disassemble and clean a gun, despite being quite interested in anything mechanical.
    – zovits
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 19:46
  • 2
    I like this answer best since it makes use of less well known media and has concrete examples. I like the explanation too, although I disagree: For instance, in my experience whenever people end up in the wilderness it seems almost instinctive to find a stick and sharpen it with a knife. But then again, maybe carrying guns and ammo changes the equation.
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 1:56

They do.

In season 4 (when they're in the prison), spears (or at least long(ish) pointy things) are used to spike walkers through the fence.

Walking dead - Spears

Remember, a spear doesn't need to be thrown to be an effective weapon.

  • 14
    Makeshift spears are very bad thrown weapons. A documentary showed that prehistoric stone spears fail to pierce stationary cow leather if thrown, so the caveman probably just stabbed with their spears. Only later they crafted metal spears meant to be thrown. So the people in the series would not be throwing any. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 13:25
  • 2
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the original question didn't mention throwing spears at all. Still, a good answer
    – childcat15
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 15:50
  • 2
    @Mindwin - One could make the argument that a thrown "spear" is actually a javelin.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 21:44
  • 4
    Those aren't spears, they're barely 3 feet long!
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:49
  • 7
    @Superbest It's not the size of the spear that matters, but how hard you thrust it. I'm so sorry, I was required to make that joke in accordance with Internet Law.
    – Liesmith
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:51

I don't have a reference for this, but judging from what we see on the show, a spear would rapidly become ineffective if walkers got within its range or if the wielder was surrounded.

Essentially, most of the weapons we see the survivors use in later seasons are ones that have a bit more flexibility in their use: a knife can be used in a forward, downward, or sideways stab from any distance within arm's range (ie, it can even be used when a walker is already literally on top of the wielder); ditto for a hammer or a machete, to varying degrees.

A spear, on the other hand, can't be used effectively if the target is too close, and it can rapidly turn into a liability if you have a bunch of survivors packed closely and having to spin to face enemies in all directions. The chance of a fellow survivor being accidentally injured with a long-reach weapon is high.

That said, they certainly have their uses, particularly in defending fortified areas from small groups of walkers, and I agree that a spear that they can disassemble to carry in a backpack would certainly come in use in certain cases.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Good thought on the directional, but a tai-bo, bowstaff, and falchion would all solve that. +1 for the rest.
    – Anoplexian
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 21:58

One of the reasons they don't use spears is the "what if I miss" contingency is non-existent. Imagine, if you will, that you are holding one of the poles in this fence. If you remember, this particular walker impaled itself and kept walking (only stopped by the density of other spears).

Impaled Zombie

If you were to miss the walker's head, you're going to end up with a walker-kebob —it'll be moving towards you and occupying your weapon. At the jail, they used poles to kill walker from behind the safety of the fence, but when facing them head-on, the more appropriate defensive choice is one that can be swung instead of stabbed.

A lunge action leaves you more exposed than a swing action. At the end of your swing, you can immediately swing again (on a backswing). At the end of your lunge, you need to pull the weapon back towards you and ready yourself to lunge again. It requires more muscle activation, which would tire out a perpetually-hungry survivor.

So, while the zombies do not wear armor or wield weapons, they do still have one really big thing going for them that renders an undefended spear useless: they have a very small target on their body that you need to hit in order to actually kill them.

  • 3
    "what if I miss" - then you pull out a knife?
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:52
  • I like this answer, but we see them using knives all the time, and Tyreese's favorite weapon was a little hammer. Both of these weapons require you to get much closer to the zombie than a missed spear thrust would.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 3:08
  • 1
    @Wad, yes, but the difference is that you still have access to use your weapon at close range instead of being helpless with your spear stuck in your assailant's gut. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 6:55
  • @IanMacDonald I can't imagine them missing so badly that a spear aimed at the zombie's head hit its gut, and I also can't imagine them going up against zombies without their knives handy. They would hardly be defenseless. And imagine how easy it would be to pull a spear out of a zombie's belly. It would be like pulling it out of a blob of jello. Or could simply use some leverage to knock the zombie to the ground.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 6:58
  • The problem with using a knife as your primary weapon is that you don't have the option of fighting from a distance. You have to get up close and personal with it. With a spear, at least you start out at a good distance from the target, and you have time and space to deal with mishaps if and when they occur. If you go into the fight with only a knife, you start off at a range of less than two feet.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 7:05

Spears, poleaxes, shields, formations! This takes time to train properly and only works against fixed formations of combatants. So if you assume that the zombies march in formation against Rick and Co problem solved. Assuming also that Rick and Co have had time to train spear & shield and formations. And assuming that zombies only attack Rick and Co in open spaces.

But you cant use a spear in a close combat. Specially not if you have other people around you. Take a look at the equipment of olden times soldiers. Most of the armies used a "long" range weapon and a CQB (close quarter battle) weapon.


Weaponry would consist of a spear know as a Dory, which was very large and rather unwieldy, the Spartans however were more skilled at using than their opponents were with lesser weapons. The Spartan warriors would also carry a short sword which was used for stabbing when in close quarters.


On the march in unfriendly terrain, the legionary would be loaded down with armour, shield, helmet, two javelins (one heavy pilum and one light verutum), a short sword, and a dagger.

Etc. These Guys were masters of warfare, but it took years for them to perfect the use of these weapons effectively.

So in short, spears are too ungainly and not at all effective for closed spaces. Maybe that is why.

  • 10
    speas work brilliantly if you're untrained - which is why they were the weapon of choice for the peasantry armies of medieval times. Take 1 agricultural implement, weld on a spiky bit and let rip. They are bad in a closed space however, but if they're not too long, they can actually work reasonably well in close quarters.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:25
  • 4
    nevertheless, I wouldn't use a spear against a zombie that can walk up it (eg la Mort d'Arthur), so I'd want a crossbar at the top at the very least! Spears - no; halberds, oh yeah!
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:32
  • 6
    @gbjbaanb A boar-spear would probably be the best - light, relatively easy to use, but with a block preventing the zombie from just walking through the spears (the way boars used to).
    – Luaan
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 13:04
  • I never mentioned shields, nor zombies marching in formation.
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:50
  • IMO, this is the only good answer to the question. The only time I can see this working is a whole Phalanx of ordered lines and massive shields to fight the zombies. The zombies don't need to be marching in formation for the phalanx to be effective. The problem is the strength, coordination, training that would be needed to correctly pull this off. A decent sized group could actually fight a horde of zombies in this style since multiple zombies wouldn't be able to get to each person at a time. Since they don't have these things, the spears are ineffective in small unordered melees.
    – dphil
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:52

The big problem is that you can't kill a zombie effectively with a spear. While stabbing a living creature with a spear will cause organs to rupture and the creature to bleed out, this will not kill a zombie. Sure, you can try and stab a zombie in the head, but this is rather difficult while maintaining your distance and you need to strike with enough force for a killing blow. Chopping is rather difficult with a spear as well: that's why poleaxes were made.

Manufacturing is not an option either: it's difficult to tie a knife to a stick without the risk of it coming off, and it's difficult to make a rock sharp enough to pierce bone. Plus, fighting in a phalanx is something you need to train on, and it's not very useful if you are being surrounded by the walking dead.

This is on top of all the other problems you have with spears: you need a lot of room, which quickly runs out when the zombies keep running at you. Plus, indoors they are not very useful either, since you will likely hit your fellow survivors with the shaft of the weapon.

  • Actually, a zombie impaled in the torso would probably be immobilized quite effectively. Even if he tried to slide down the spears to get closer, he would be restricted and easy to stab in the head.
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:51
  • 1
    From what we see on the show, zombie skulls are actually very easy to puncture/crush/slice. A spear would do the job just as well as a knife.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 3:37
  • Btw, you don't actually have to fight in a phalanx in order to use a spear effectively, or to fight opponents on all sides who are trying to mob you. Consider Chinese spear techniques (Qiang), or in Western styles consider a quarterstaff with a pointy end. You do, however, need to know what you're doing, which limits what a bunch of random non-martial-artists can hope to achieve with any weapon more sophisticated than a rock. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:00
  • @Superbest But if you do that you both lose your weapon and the zombies gain one, making your situation worse in two ways. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:07
  • 1
    @Superbest a zombie impaled in the torso effectively disarms you: your spear is stuck in the zombie, the zombie is still (partially) alive, and you have no quick and easy way to get the stuck spear out without exposing yourself (e.g. kicked the zombie off) to scratches and bites. This reinforces the notion that spears are a group effort and likely require significant upper body strength which is likely lacking in at least half of the characters in Walking Dead (could you see Carol skewering a zombie with a 6+ foot spear?)
    – user31563
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:20

The reason is explained in the 1930 book "All Quiet on the Western Front":

They never taught us anything really useful... like how to light a cigarette in the wind or make a fire out of wet wood... or bayonet a man in the belly instead of the ribs where it gets jammed.

The 1979 movie goes even a little further with this practical advice:

"I say: forget the bayonet. Take your folding shovel and hit him right here on the neck".

Replace "ribs" with "head" and you have your answer. A weapon that is jammed in one walker's head is not very useful against two or more walkers.

Spears are awesome if you have a phalanx with a second row of pikers and huge shields protecting the first row, and if your opponents are humans that will drop on pretty much the first good hit anywhere on the torso. They're not so awesome if your opponent only drops after a precise headshot and you're alone, and you can't afford as much as being scratched or bitten.

Also, the long range of a two-meter pole has the obvious disadvantage of being unwieldy. Responding to attackers coming from the side or from behind is a challenge at best, and impossible in confined places such as a corridor. You would always need something like a machete, not as backup weapon but as alternative weapon. So you need to train two vastly different fighting styles when one (machete) would do the same.

  • 1
    So why is everyone stabbing zombies in the head with a knife? A spear is just a knife with a long handle. It doesn't need to be 4 feet long - in fact, it can be as short or as long as you like. Just put a blade on a long handle. And carry a shield in the other hand. It's really not a difficult concept or even particularly hard to pull off. As for that phalanx... all you need is enough people. Which is another stupid plot hole in the TV show and the novels that I could go on with for an entire post.
    – Ernie
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 18:32
  • @Ernie Have you ever tried to instruct people in formations and in doing stuff so many times that it becomes seconda nature? it isnt as simple as because you have to have trust in your shield wall buddies. you have to know exactly how to do anything inside a wall. Speaking from expiriance from my military days. Riot control involved shields. you have to train in it to be good and you also have to react fast and comunicate properly. there is no "I" in a wall. One man falls it is all over if the rest dont react in a split second. No showboating, no Rambo moments.
    – Cherubel
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 8:18
  • One wall, one mind or you might as well just give up!
    – Cherubel
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 8:20
  • I'm sure the practical advice is also in the book, as this sprang to my mind, and I haven't seen the film of AQOTWF. Maybe this quote is the relevant one: greatwar.nl/quotes/immortal38.html
    – Fillet
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 10:07
  • Cherubel: have you ever tried to stab someone in the head (the hardest part of the human body!) with a pocket knife? If you think it's hard trying to get people to work together as a team...
    – Ernie
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 16:49

There are a lot of good answers to this question already, but I'd like to add one detail: spears are NOT easy to use effectively. Assuming your only valid target is a zombie's brain (via the weak points in the skull, like the temple, eye socket or hard palate) this is very difficult to hit with a stabbing motion from 4-5 feet away. If you could stab the whole torso it would be different, but with zombies this is a no-go.

Additionally, it is very difficult to make accurate stabs in quick succession, compared to swinging or slashing motions. Finally, a swing that does not kill a zombie might still knock them off-balance. A stab will probably not.

And, as other commentors have mentioned, a knife duct-tapped to a staff will make a very poor spear. The aim will be offset and will not be able to translate the full force of your thrust. Plus it will probably fall apart the first time you stab something with it.

If you don't believe me, try for yourself: print out some paper targets and hang them from clotheslines. Stand 4-5 feet away and try to stab them all with your knife-spear in quick succession. Make sure you get a bullseye! Otherwise you hit the zombie in the forehead or cheekbone and will certainly not reach their brain.

All of these difficulties can be countered with training, but not quickly or easily (the Chinese tradition is that it takes 1000 days of training to master the use of a spear). An expert martial artist might be able to kill a whole crowd of zombies with a spear, but Rick or Shane certainly could not.

Source: Five years of martial arts with about 50 hours of spear training. I'm not an expert, but I have a lot of practice over the survivors and I still think its a bad idea :)


One problem with spears is that you have to crack bone. And since you're poking rather than swinging, you don't have the benefit of the force of gravity or centrifugal force to help do that. Machetes and similar weapons can be used to decapitate and remove limbs.

Really I think what you want is a polearm.

  • 1
    A spear isa polearm, isn't it? Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 1:10
  • 1
    I think he means something like poleaxe, bill or halberd.
    – zxq9
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 13:46
  • You mean like how they continually use hunting knives to do this job?
    – Ernie
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:10

I have asked myself over and over why they wouldn't use spears to clear walkers off the walls. One person standing in a safe location could clear hundreds of dead on their own. The horde at Alexandria should all have been dead in hours of arriving. So the only answer is that it would be too easy. If they cleared all the zombies too quickly or efficiently there would be no more show.

Also to add, A spear is definitely a poor weapon of choice in open field combat against the walkers. But swords work great, and that is why they still use 6" knives.


This is a good question.

Spears are the weapon of choice (still) on dangerous, shifty game that lives in terrain that offers close concealment. In particular, spears are preferred with jaguars where a missed rifle shot leaves no time to line up a second shot -- even more true for a pistol of sufficient stopping power to protect you within meters of a charging cat (consider Sasha Siemel's experience, and commentary on his choice of weapon).

Large knives are used to hunt boars (usually in concert with dogs) in close brush for similar reasons. Historically spears are complimented by other weapons -- not the only tool one carries. So... why don't they?

I suspect the reason has a bit to do with a lack of personal experience in wielding tools of violence on behalf of the writers, and a bit to do with dramatic fiction writing rules about meeting audience expectations (at least) halfway. Consider that one of the main characters wields a sword to tremendous effect and yet this is somehow not emulated by anyone else in the story.

An in-universe explanation could simply be that the people involved came mostly from our contemporary background world where most people have as little experience with applying violence as the writers likely do -- the concept of optimal weaponry may not be very fully evolved in the survivors, even the ones capable of surviving for quite a while.

This inexperience coupled with the strange effect of how observed experiences (watching/emulating someone else) influence our own thoughts could produce a situation where "we just don't do that" and it simply doesn't enter one's mind as a practical thought.

For over a century hunters of elephant, cape buffalo and other massive, deadly game engaged in an arms race related to projectile mass and calibre. The effect was that to fire an "elephant gun" one had to be prepared to take a serious beating and carry huge weapons a long distance in the brush (which is why wealthy people on safari had "gun bearers" -- it sucked to carry an 8-guage arm cannon very far alone). A revolution (very slowly) occurred once the concept of shot placement and penetration at speed came to be appreciated by some of the top hunters around the turn of the 20th century (consider C.H. Stigand's experience).

A similar revolution is occurring presently with regard to very-long-range precision shooting (concepts that have been previously understood, but only recently applied in concert in the form of, say, the varieties of modern .338, spotting techniques, and shot calculation). Why didn't it happen 50 years ago? No idea. But it didn't until just now. 1-mile is still an outrageously long shot for most shooters. Perhaps proper application of spears is a similarly late-blooming (or maybe never blooming) concept for the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.


In my opinion, the answer can be found in their psyche.

During the first years, the survivors didn't have enough experiance with spears.

Later they just started to like close and more personal dealing with "problems".

It makes them feel alive...

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