« Into the Wild ... But Not Out of It | Main | Petzal: The F-Team »

August 26, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Gun Nut at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut.

Bourjaily: How to Shoot a Vampire

Turns out wooden stakes are just for fictional movie vampires. When real vampires attack us, we can just shoot them with regular guns. Isn’t that good to know?

This revelation comes from Scott Bowen, a former editor at Field & Stream and author of the new “Vampire Survival Guide” by Skyhorse Press. (It’s no surprise to me that Bowen wrote this book. Scott is very pale and seriously, I never saw him wear anything but all black. But, I think he’s on our side). The “Vampire Survival Guide” is an entertaining read, along the lines of “Zombie Survival Guide” but funnier and more thoroughly imagined. As you might expect, given Scott’s F&S background, there’s a section on guns and loads. In it, he explains that vampires are no different from anything else. They will succumb to “massive tissue damage” even if that tissue is already undead.

As Scott goes on to point out, vampire shooting is a low-visibility, nighttime event, so shots are mostly taken well inside 100 yards. Since vampires travel in groups (“covens” is the technical  term) of six to 40 members you’ll want to carry lots of ammunition.

To sum up: your vampire gun needs to make big holes; it need only be effective/accurate to 75-100 yards at most; it should fire fairly quickly; it should hold a lot of bullets.

Looking through my gun cabinet which contains exactly zero centerfires, the only likely candidates I find are my various turkey and slug guns. If the uprising starts tonight I will make due with an 870 turkey gun topped with an Aimpoint 9000. I’ll load it with Federal’s Low-Recoil Truball slugs: one ounce, .729” lumps of lead  launched at a shoulder friendly 1200 fps (I may have to shoot a lot of vampires). I think that will do in a pinch, but the ammunition is bulky and the gun only holds five rounds. Obviously I need to shop for a dedicated vampire rifle. 

Any suggestions?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bourjaily: How to Shoot a Vampire:


Clay Cooepr

Got on line the other day to try to locate a source for LAR 45 Win Magnum and found out their out of production. DARN!

Tom in NNJ

I'm pretty sure that vampires are easier to fight off than zombies.

Causing massive tissue damage is easier to accomplish at night than trying to successfully "seperate the brain from the head".

Clay Cooper

Clays historical thought of the day,

“The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.”
-John Hay, 1872


Alexander Arms has their .50 cal. Beowulf AR-15. It comes with a flat top receiver so you can mount any optics including night vision. I was able to use standard 30 round mil spec mags but haven't tried the 90 round drum yet.The recoil is in fact equal to a 12 ga. or you can get their muzzle brake and even add a Limbsaver butt pad. Happy hunting.

Dr. Ralph

I'm thinking the 12 gauge is perfect just need a new platform. How about one using Kalishnakov technology buit by the Russians? The magazine looks a little small but I'm sure they come in all sizes and the gun is black... punch the name.

“The best time to buy is when blood is running in the streets.”
-Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild


Can't figure why you don't have any centerfires! Local laws? I don't believe it. And just to show it....just what is a shotgun but a centerfire? As the old man says: just give me whatever is available...... (not even any handguns?) NOT!


Whatever happened to Bill Heavy? Anybody?

Mike Diehl

Hey Phil -

As you are a shotgun fellow I'll recommend two rounds, but use your most disposable shotgun. Load a combination of "Frag 12" 12 ga. explosive grenades and alternate with 12 ga. "dragons's breath" (a zirconium pyro round -- think "12 ga. flamethrower" and you have the idea).

Lone Star 45

Call a bunch of liberal and tell them you’re having a party and bring all their friends. All of them will feel at home!


Allow me to share my two cents worth, given my extensive experience in the matter. The first rule one must consider in hunting the Blood-Sucking Undead, hereafter to be referred to simply as the BSU. BSU hunting is essentially a combination of big-game and wing-shooting. This is due to the BSU's ability to morph from humanoid into Chiroptera (that would be bat, for those who didn't know) form to escape dangerous situations. The BSU hunter is thus left with two choices. The first is to carry a centerfire rifle as the main weapon with a shotgun as a backup. Unfortunately, this weighs the hunter down with extra weight… never a good situation should your first shot miss and the hunted becomes the hunter. Logically, a rifle-shotgun combination is recommended. The Remington model SPR94 is a reliable choice though feel free to contact other manufacturers to see what models are available. I would recommend yours in 12 gauge/.223 Remington. As for shotgun loads, BSUs are deceptively fast targets to plan accordingly. More care must be taken when deciding on rifle loads. Due to the very soft nature of the BSU’s unliving flesh, solids loads are a poor choice. Expanding soft points which will maximize tissue damage should be used. Illuminated sights should be used, given that BSU hunting only occurs in twilight.

A few more points to consider. Firstly, invest in a good cover scent. You must remember that your quarry will be stalking you as well to in order to sooth its unholy lust for human blood. While cover scents based on garlic are effective in the extreme, they will work TOO well and result in a lack of shooting opportunities. I personally use Drac N Holy Water-based BSU field scent. Holy water acts as a very effective short range BSU deterrent. The scent does not travel far, thus giving you plenty of shooting opportunity without risk of neck puncture. One of the raging debates in BSU hunting involves the sportingness of BSU baiting, that is hunting the demonic fliers over staked out quarry. My own opinion is that the afore-mentioned speed and intelligence of the BSU makes them excellent sport in any conditions so improving your odds with a little bait is fine. This is particularly true if you are introducing your children to the sport… always something that should be done at an early age to prepare them for the coming Vampire Apocalypse. Whatever you do, do not attempt to cut corners by using beef blood purchased from a butcher. While cheap, the BSU can tell the difference miles away. This will do nothing more than spook your quarry. Human blood, while not available commercially, if your only option. So much the better if offered in the form of a living person as the thrashing, crying, and screams for mercy only act to add to the lure. Your sacrifice can be attained from any number of sources. PETA rallies are always an excellent place to start. So to are meetings formed by members of the gun-control community. Any future Million Mom Marches would therefore be excellent opportunities to stock up to BSU bait. Once the bait is in place, don’t shoot the first dark, hissing thing that comes to it. Allow a number to congregate (as mentioned before, the tend to travel in covens and sample the victim. Once the BSUs have gotten a taste for blood, they can be picked off fairly easily with little concerning for spooking them.


Excellent insight from someone with obvious experience!
Thanks for shedding some light.
(Sorry, couldn't resist)

Dr. Ralph

Matt, could you tell us your last name and address so I can get this restraining order filled out ASAP? Seriously nice post...


Saiga 12 with a whole lot of magazines, topped with a decent Aimpoint. Also be sure to have a 1911 with more magazines.

Brian T

Thanks, Matt, for the hunting guide. WhatamIgonnado with the stockpile of silver bullets?


The LAR .45 may be out of Production but anything that shoots the .45 Super is not. And if you don't want that try a .50 GI. I have my eye on a Springfield 1911 V16. I know, I know it is a ported barrel but I think that you can find non ported and compensated models. I suppose if you want the interchangeability that the LAR 45 had you would have to go to the Desert Eagle. I have wanted a LAR 45 myself the last last 16 years.

Tom the Troll


you are forgetting about the blood banks. Alot of blood banks hold mobiles at factories at night. They come in and hold a night time blood draw for the factory worker that work 3rd shift and are not there during the day time when they are normally there. Usually they collect the blood and a little old man will come and pick up the pints of blood every 2 hours. He is a prime target because he is usually carrying 10 to 20 fresh, hot, pints of blood in an igloo cooler.

Tom the Troll


My weapon of choice for Vampire hunting would be a Auto Assault 12 automatic shotgun or AA12 loaded with 00 Buck and a 100 round drum.
Any shotgun that can fire 6 rounds a second has my vote.

Tom the Troll


I could not resist. I believe that the Marlin 444 was born for this very application. The recoil might make it tiring to fire more than 20 rounds in one sitting but at least with Hornady leveRevolution rounds you won't have to worry about using more than a round or two per vamp. When choosing my go to rifle I almost went with this but went with a rem 700 in 30 06 instead. I wasn't worried about getting rushed by quarry though and if I was to be put on by a bunch of googly-eyed vamps I would have surely went with the lever action. I used to have a model 94 and I like the idea of reloading shells without having to open the action or count rounds. All you do, in between action, is pump more shells into the tube until you can't get anymore in. I would, of course, have my 357 on my side in case I needed more back up.


Brian, concerning your silver bullets, contrary to popular belief they possess no great advantage for werewolves. Trophy bonded bear claws are the way to go here. Of course, its really a moot point as these critters are under ESA protection. I've heard rumors they may soon be delisted in the West, though. Too many ranchers turning out with mutilated calves, sheep, ranch hands, etc. Going back to silver bullets, I've been told they are appropriate rounds for taking Loch Ness Monsters (Yes, there are more than one of them). Couldn't tell you from experience as I've been unable to draw a tag yet.

P.S. While we are on the general topic, does anyone have suggestions for Sasquatch? I've tried asking Rick Dyer and Matt Whitton but they haven't returned my emails :)

Jack Ryan

That 870 is just about perfect. A smooth slug barrel would be a little better but only a semi auto like an 1100 or 1187 would be better.

The best thing you could do is switch to #4 buck for vampires. They are actually rather frail but it it is a concern then 00 buck is plenty. Then you could probably even kill them two deep.

Even though they come in large covens they rarely attack in groups of more than 3-4. Kind of like bad guys in the movie, even though there is a dozen standing around they allow you to pick them off one or two at a time and the Remington shot guns allow for this as you can reload with out disabling or emptying the weapon.


It would seem to me that X bullets would be best in any caliber. They turn into a cross as soon as they hit meat.

John from Louisiana

Clay, you can buy the brass for the .45 Win Mag, check out this source for brass: http://catalog.ammodepot.com/itemlist.php?classid=73qb0hqe
Dies and bullets are also available.
Phil: it's "make do" not "make due".


I thought a "coven" was a multiple of feminists...


First time response.
You guys are great!

Our Blogs