Alternative Weapons for Preppers

Last week I wrote about why guns are important for preppers, and this week I am going to go over some alternative weapons for preppers.

While we love to see and hear about all these “Zombie” weapons, not all weapons are solely for self-defense. As we talked about last week, we need to have a wide range of options available, because each job requires a different tool.

Personal Protection: Self-defense is what first comes to mind for most of us because we understand the need to protect ourselves and our family.

Hunting: In a SHTF Scenario, hunting will not be something we do for fun. If we find ourselves without food, we will be doing everything we can to feed the family.

Collecting/Crafting: Some of these primitive skills & weapons can really be a work of art, and learning how to use them can be even more challenging.

It’s important to know what the alternatives are because eventually ammo is going to run out, some people don’t want guns, and some people can’t own guns. Not only do we need to have other options available, we need to have the skill to create some weapons we might need.

SPP163 Alternative Weapons for Preppers


Silent Weapons & Primitive Weapons

dale with compond bow

Bows: Long bows, cross bows and compound bows all take some practice to become proficient at, and offers both advantages, and disadvantages. While a bow is a stealthy weapon, it’s also hard to conceal.

Sling Shots: There are quite a few options available when it comes to sling shot type weapons like the sling bow, and the Pocket Shot. These do require some practice and skill, but could be used for small game hunting.

Atlatl or Spears: These would be pretty difficult to master, but it can be done. The benefit of these is that they are very simple to make compared to say a long bow.

Blow Guns: While this might seem like a bit of a novelty, it could be used to take down small game quietly. you can either make your own, or buy a new one like this.

Walking Stick: This could be as simple as carving a piece of drift wood you could hiking, or even a trail walking tool like this. Your imagination is your only limit.

Edged Weapons

edged weapons

Knives: There are so many options when it comes to knives it’s hard to make any suggestions. You have folding knives and fixed blade knives, and it really depends on what you need it for.

Throwing Knives: This might be a hard skill to master, but it will also be fun learning to use throwing knives. You can use these in the back yard, or even out camping. For beginners these are fairly cheap, but the more advances (balanced) knives can get a little pricey.

Swords & Axes: I’m not sure how many people have swords these days, but I’m sure most people have an ax or a hatchet laying around.

DIY Zombie Weapons: As I said earlier, your only limitation is your imagination. I’m sure everyone has a few things laying around the house that could be turned into a good ol’ zombie weapon. Here are a few ideas from Pinterest.

Alterative Guns

paint ball gun

Paint Ball Guns: Paintball guns might be an alternative for people who don’t want, or can’t purchase firearms. You can also use pepper balls, but they are a little expensive. This would fall into the “something is better than nothing” category.

Pellet/Air Guns: Believe it or not, the right pellet gun (or air rifle) can be effective. A quality pellet gun or air rifle might cost about as much as a regular firearm, but can be used for hunting small game.

Muzzle Loaders: I personally have not used a muzzle loader (black powder), but it is on my list. These could be useful in an SHTF scenario because you can cast your own ammo if you have the supplies to do so.

Pipe Shotguns: I have to admit, these are pretty cool! Although I don’t know if I trust myself to make one at home. If you do, make sure and do your research haha.

Here is a video showing one in action…


Personal Defense (Close Range)

POLICE MAGNUM 16 oz. Pistol Grip Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray: Having pepper spray is a great idea whether you own guns or not, because not all situations require lethal force. You could even go for the more “nuclear” version and get some bear spray.

Wasp Spray: Lisa loves to talk about wasp spray because it is a little cheaper, and sprays farther. Personally I don’t recommend this, and would just go with prepper spray. You can read why here.

Tasers: Stun guns and Tasers sometime get confused, but are completely different. A stun gun requires you to get up close and personal with an attacker. A Taser shoots out leads giving you a little more range.

Expandable batons: I have never had the pleasure of being hit by one of these, but I hear that they really hurt. If the police carry them, they must be effective right?

Around the House

Zombie Baseball Bat
The ZomBat! (Click Image to visit Instructables)

Garden Tools: All we have to do is take a look in the garage and we are bound to find something that could be used as a weapon. Pitch forks, shovels and even a screw driver can be used in a pinch.

Baseball Bats: Anyone who has children probably has a baseball bat laying around. You might even have a hockey stick or even scrap wood that could be used in the same manner.

Kitchen Utensils: Everyone has an assortment of knives in the kitchen, but in a pinch you could use a meat tenderizer, or even the kitchen knife sharpener. Although if you need to go this route, the situation is probably pretty dire.

Think outside the box

Just about anything around the house can be used as a weapon (depending on the situation) the important part is to think about what your options might be. An attacker might look at you funny if you pull a hack saw on them, but they will think twice none the less.

Do you have any ideas? We would love to hear them in the comments below…


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    7 replies to "Alternative Weapons for Preppers"

    • Chuck Teal

      This was a great and important topic, as are most of the issues you bring up. However, referring to the caveats against using wasp spray, the following wee listed as reasons NOT to use the spray as a defensive weapon:

      2. Using a pesticide in a manner other than according to labeled directions is a violation of federal law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act).
      3. It is illegal (finable offense) for anyone to recommend a use other than the labeled use.
      4. Personal liability is likely to be significant for a person who deliberately sprays another person with a pesticide.

      These guidelines illustrate the suicidal folly of worrying about government regulations, because the same warnings could potentially prohibit the use of baseball bats, shovels, axes, etc., since none of those items are listed/manufactured specifically for personal defense either. This may be one of those few issues wherein the end really does justify the means.

      • Hugo

        I very much doubt that the rule of law will really be in force if things really go south and there is a war or widespread natural or man-made disaster. Who is going to arrest me for spraying someone with a pesticide in violation of a federal law? There won’t be police and sheriffs out keeping order.
        Anyway, you’re probably correct that I shouldn’t use a pesticide spray to combat an opponent who tries to do me or my family harm. It’s better to use pesticide for its intended purposes. In such circumstances it’s probably best to just shoot the enemy intruder with a high-caliber weapon and kill them, then take whatever is useful off of them before disposing of their body.
        By the way, we do have several swords – some very sharp Japanese swords, some BIG Scottish claymores, four English short swords, and a bunch of insanely sharp Panamanian machetes and Indian kukris. Also we have a large number of very nasty knives and hatchets. Edged weapons we got. My Dad was an armed combat instructor in World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He grew up in New Orleans and he knew how to fight with a knife. That was the first thing he taught me growing up, among other interesting stuff.

        • Rebecca

          I only wish that I had anyone to teach me to protect myself, let alone my family. I am damn near 50 and the only thing I have going for myself is that I am proficient with my weapon (9mm) I realize that it is hardly enough but it’s all I have and know.
          I would like to learn where to even start, at this point to begin prepping. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. I live in Alaska

    • Dave

      In response to your comment about supressors and how to obtain one. I have one for .22 caliber and it fits my Walther P22 pistol, my Rugar 10-22 take down (an excellent Prepper portable long gun) and my S&W 15-22 (another practical and very fun gun that’s perfect for cheap AR practice). You need a to pay for the supressor and fill out extra paperwork and send it to ATF for a more thorough background check. You have to leave the item with your gun dealer until paperwork clears. I think it took 8 months. One day my dealer finally called and I could get the supressor. They are only a few hundred dollars for .22 but my friend has one for .308 that also works on 5.56 and his was very expensive. I hope sharing this helps the good people in our community. Keep up the good work!

    • Dave

      I forgot. The extra paperwork is part of the $200 tax stamp required by the government for us crazy gun people.
      So quiet when shooting subsonic rounds you don’t need hearing protection at all. All you hear is the action of the gun.

    • John Jensen

      Just ordered my 45 long-410 ‘Judge’ with 6″ barrel. Been waiting for this gun for awhile. Retired and on fixed income, so it took some while to get the extra bucks together. Had a .44 Magnum Redhawk, but I just like the idea of a revolver that shoots 4 different loads. It just happens to be my idea of a really good goto belt gun. Probably will do target practice with the .22 long though. I’ve heard all the input about how I won’t need anything over my .22 and/or .220 Swift, but I have carried a hand cannon with a number that started with .4x for nearly 60 years, and I just like the feel of something that will hold the wall. I don’t do silencers, or scopes. If my eyes get so bad, that I can’t put a tight pattern in 60 yards, I’ll load 410 triple ought and mow the field. Next save is for a Tauras Carbine. Then I’m good. Me and the she bangs will wait out the duration.

    • Sustainable PF

      Along the lines of tools – your workshop is a haven for alternate weapons: hammers, crow bars, axes, pry bars, screw drivers, lumber, metal – and then there are the toxic materials used to stain, remove paint etc.

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