As most of my friends know, I am somewhat of a Zombie fanatic. I love them in movies, books and games; I love them on the paper targets sold at the range and I even worked Zombies into my wedding vows (I have a very tolerant wife). So, when I saw the Tactical Bleeding Zombie Targets made and sold by Zombie Industries, I knew that I wanted the chance to review one.
These zombies are life-sized torsos that are made in the United States; they are hand painted and use biodegradable “blood”. They come in a box with a printed zombie-target on each side that can be used to sight in your weapon or as two stand-alone targets, and a wooden stake is included on which to mount your target. There are several options of zombie to choose from, mine being ‘The Terrorist’, as well as some other very cool and unique targets.
As luck would have it, a Silat training session went awry and I wound up with a pretty nasty left shoulder injury that included torn muscles and torn ligaments, and if I wanted to heal with any common sense, I would not be doing any unnecessary shooting any time soon. Luckily, I have plenty of armed friends and I knew that the opportunity to shoot at a Zombie Terrorist target that bleeds when shot would not be passed up by many. I contacted my old friend Jerry Suman, a Parole Officer here in Ohio, and he agreed to shoot it while I reviewed it. The family that owned the farm that we were going to would help to shoot it as well; I wanted to give it a solid field test and multiple shooters with various firearms would prove interesting.
Jerry and I arrived at the farm and set up the target. Aside from Jerry, there were two teenage boys and their parents lined up on our makeshift range. This was a good variety, as we had both men and women shooting at the target in an age range from mid-teen to late 50’s. I would get a variety of opinions as well as technical data to use. We set up a firing line thirty feet away and Jerry emptied his pistol into it. We walked up to the target, and sure enough, there was blood oozing down his head and chest; pink blood that showed up nicely against the zombie’s white robes. Right away, the majority of my curiosities were satisfied and the rest were about to be, as five shooters took to the line.
“We were attacking it aggressively, and it withstood the barrage.”
For the next few hours they shot the target solo or in various numbers up to all five of them, using a .22 (rifle and pistol), a .38, a 9mm, a .357 magnum, and a 20 gauge shotgun using both shot and slug. We shot over 400 rounds and I could see where they were serious when they said that their targets were reusable. Due to the sustained fire from multiple firearms (and copper-jacketed hollow points as the favorite ammo), Ours was a bloody mess, but he still held his form and would have bled anew if he’d been put away and brought back out. We were attacking it aggressively, and it withstood the barrage. If it had been a more normal day of shooting with just two or three people, the target would most likely have two sessions or more left in it.
We were all pretty impressed with how it bled, allowing you to spot your shot instantly from where you stood as opposed to having to trudge forward each round to spot where your shots hit. It would bleed with each use, which was a nice surprise. I had envisioned an internal bag of blood that would leak out and be empty after the session. That is not the case, and I don’t want to give away their secret, but they were pretty sharp when they put it all together, and they have indeed made a reusable target.
“The teens declared it the best shooting experience that they’d ever had, and the adults all had as much (if not more) fun.”
So, it is a fantastic target, in terms of size, manufacture, function and durability. The entertainment value is off of the charts, and it had a mass appeal for my test group. No one stopped smiling through most of the afternoon and everyone whole-heartedly agreed that it was well worth the asking price and that it delivered everything that it promised. It has function for the tactical shooter, as seeing blood trickle down from the shot to the temple or sternum is instant acknowledgement of the placement, as well as the size and shape of the torso offering far more realism than just a paper target does (well, realism being relevant to the fact that you are shooting at a zombie). The appeal to the casual shooter is obvious, as there is not much moral guilt to zombie-killing, and it is just plain fun. The teens declared it the best shooting experience that they’d ever had, and the adults all had as much (if not more) fun. I can and do fully recommend one of Zombie Industries’ Tactical Bleeding Zombie targets to enhance your shooting experience, and I would have full faith in any of their other products, as they deliver what they promise. Stay safe out there and practice intelligent and responsible shooting.
By Scott Lawski
Scott is the owner and lead instructor for the Columbus Combat Academy, and he has over 30 years of experience in the martial and combat arts. He has studied Tang Soo Do (under Grandmaster Chun Sik Kim), Tae Kwon Do (under Master Tim Evans), Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling, Modern Arnis (under Datu Kelly Worden), SAMBO and 13th century Polish-crusader weapons. He’s an alumnus of Silat Mubai International and Blackwater USA (where he was a trunk-monkey with a C.A.T.); he is a lifetime member of The World Combat Martial Artists Association and has attained the rank of Emir in Pencak Silat Sharaf (through the Combative Options Group/Tactical Division) and Cikgu in Pencak Silat Shastra. He is part of the IPSSC Instructor Cadre and he is also a published poet, photographer and author as well as being an ordained minister.