While most folks tend to lean toward firearms as the primary tool for self-defense in a SHTF scenario, melee weapons are more efficient and in almost all cases more readily available. While no one likes to think of going hand-to-hand in a combat situation, the reality of that being the case in a SHTF or WWOROL is quite legitimate. We’re not talking zombies or imaginary foes here, we’re talking out of ammunition or trapped someplace far from your firearm. Melee weapons are (for the most part) quiet and do not require reloading. They are also quite easy to obtain. Here are a few of our top picks.
With two very functional working ends, the crowbar is an excellent choice of melee weapon. A crowbar extends your reach by almost two feet. It can club an assailant effectively because it has just the right amount of mass to do so. Also, the back end of a crowbar can be sharpened, making it spear-like and capable of delivering debilitating stab wounds.
Quite similar to the crowbar, though less weighty, the main advantage that the tire iron has as a melee weapon is its availability. There is likely a tire iron within reach of you right now, meaning somewhere within 100 yards. Find a parking lot, find a car, there is a tire iron in it. The tire iron somewhat extends your reach, is better than nothing, and can be sharpened on the back end as well.
A tool specifically used by wildland firefighters, the Pulaski is an absolutely excellent melee weapon. Sharp on one end, able to be sharpened on the backend as well, this fire axe is capable of dealing massive blows to an attacker. Drawbacks of using the Pulaski as a melee weapon is the sheer weight of the tool. You are not going to get multiple quick strikes off with it, and as a result will need to choose your strikes wisely.
Sometimes in a melee, hand-to-hand situation you will need to have the ability to strike quickly and repetitively. If that is the case, a hammer could be your best friend. Almost as readily available as the tire iron, easier to conceal and heavy where it counts, a hammer is an excellent go-to choice for melee weapon in a worst-case scenario.
Shovels are a simple yet effective melee tool that can be easily found in any rural area. The main advantage of using a shovel as a melee weapon is the amount of reach it provides you. Similar to the Pulaski, though not nearly as critical, is the fact that you will need to choose your strikes wisely. The type of shovel you use is also a huge factor, as a flathead shovel provides you more surface area for impact, while a more traditional shovel can be sharpened and used to slash or stab.