The crossbow has been around since 600 B.C. in China, and although it wasn’t used for killing zombies, it was developed and used for warfare. The crossbow was later introduced to Europe during the time of William the Conquer in 1066, and played a crucial role in the Battle of Hastings because its arrows could pierce armor. That trait transfers nicely for survivors of the zombie takeover. Crossbow arrows pierce the “walking mouths” quite nicely.
Crossbows have three main components. One, the bow, is the power source and is mounted on two, the hilt (or stock), which is what the shooter holds. The mounted bow shoots the third component, the arrow, which is a shortened, often heavier arrow than what’s used in other bows to shoot targets.
In the case of “The Walking Dead’s” Daryl Dixon, the target is usually a moaning zombie, but luckily, we aren’t all Daryl. His crossbow has become the iconic post-apocalyptic weapon of choice. In fact, if any weapon has become synonymous with “The Walking Dead,” it’s Dixon’s crossbow. It’s quiet, accurate and perfect for killing zombies.
Over the seasons, Dixon has used several crossbows, including the Horton Scout HD 125 the first three seasons. This lightweight crossbow is perfect for hunting squirrels and other small game. It shoots arrows at 250 feet per second with its 125-pound draw weight. Although faster crossbows are typically used for hunting deer and other big game, the Scout HD 125 does the trick on the walking “skin eaters.”
Dixon switched to the Bowtech Stryker crossbow during Season 3 in the episode “Clear,” after the crew found it in a safe house. The Stryker is a bit larger, faster and more powerful than the Scout HD 125. The Stryker shoots arrows at 380 fps with a 160-pound draw weight. It’s perfect for long-range zombie kill shots, which means keeping more distance between you and their mouths.
In case you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world and constantly chased by dead “walkers,” arm yourself with a crossbow. And if you can’t find a crossbow, watch one of these DIY videos to learn how to make a crossbow from scratch. It should save you from becoming a “walker.”