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Zombie Hunter University, Fairview

Dr. Raglan's Scientific-Minimalist School of Dead Frontier Weapons, Builds & Boss-Hunting

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The Scientific-Minimalist Guide to Dead Frontier Weapons: Rifles

View the video lecture on Dead Frontier Rifles above.

Rifles provide long-range safety, shooting effectively from a distance. Their stat requirements are lower than Pistols, but they use more expensive ammunition.

Rifles have either High Critical Chance or Very High Critical Chance:

  • Rifles with 100 proficiency or less are High Critical Chance, requiring 112 Critical stat points for optimization.
  • Rifles above 100 proficiency are Very High Critical Chance, requiring only 80 points in Critical Hit.

Rifles come in two basic types:

  1. Bolt Action Rifles have Very Slow Firing Speed (once per second) and Very High Accuracy (with a few low-level exceptions). These rifles are good for long-range sniping.
  2. Carbine Rifles have Slow Firing Speed (1.5 per second) and High Accuracy. These rifles are good for close-quarters combat.

Rifle Advantages:

Because all Rifles have either High Accuracy or Very High Accuracy, they can be used effectively with few if any stat points invested in Accuracy, except for MC stats. This is what makes them less stat-hungry than Pistols, which have only Average Accuracy.

Rifles are a good choice for third weapon, because the mid-level rifles are decent weapons. By the time students are equipping their third weapon, they will be past Level 50, earning only 2 proficiency points per level; therefore, progress to stronger weapons will be slow, necessitating the use of low-level rifles for a long period of time.

Rifles are particularly advantageous to beginning students, because they can be used effectively before their stats are optimized.

Low-level Rifles offer more Damage Per Hit than other weapons of comparable Proficiency requirements. Even the weakest rifle available, the 10-proficiency Beta RX4, will deliver a critical hit powerful enough to kill the Normal Zombies in the Blue Zones around Nastya's Holdout. 

It is true that a critical hit from a 20-proficiency SL8 Rifle (65 damage points) will not kill a Normal Zombie any deader than a critical hit from a 20-proficiency Iron Pipe (35 damage points), because the strongest Normal Zombie, the Fat Male, has only 34 health points.

However, an SL8 will take a maximum of three shots to kill a Fat Male, because the rifle delivers 13 damage points per non-critical. An SL8 will kill some weaker zombies with only two shots. 

Conversely, an Iron Pipe could take at least three non-critical hits to kill weaker zombies and as many as five non-critical hits to kill Fat Males.

Since Freshman students are likely to have invested few if any points in Critical Hit during their stay at Nastya's Holdout, most the the blows they deliver are likely to be non-critical. Under these circumstances, the SL8 will definitely kill the local zombie population faster than an Iron Pipe.

 


BLUE & GREEN ZONE RIFLES

SL8 Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 20
  • Accuracy: High
  • Critical Chance: High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 30
  • DPH: 10/50
  • DPS: 10/42
  • DPC: 300/1260

Even the weakest rifle is capable of killing every species of zombie wandering the Blue Zones around Nastya's Holdout, so why do we recommend the SL8?

The answer is simple: Clip Size and Damage Per Clip. Holding 30 rounds, the SL8 can fire for 30 seconds continuously without pausing to reload, delivering 1260 damage points - important considerations for beginning students who have yet to invest stat points in Reloading.

In fact, we recommend that students hold onto this rifle rather than upgrading to the next possibility, the 30-proficiency M24. Although the M24 offers more Damage Per Hit (15/75) and Damage Per Second (15/63), its Damage Per Clip (441) is considerably lower, which could leave students vulnerable during frequent pauses to reload.

The M24's one clear advantage is that it can one-crit kill a Siren, but when this capability becomes necessary, we advise skipping the M24 and moving on to the next rifle instead.


YELLOW & ORANGE ZONE RIFLES

M1 Garand Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 40
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 8
  • DPH: 17/85
  • DPS: 17/71.4
  • DPC: 136/571

The M1 Garand has about half the Damage Per Clip as an SL8. The trade-off is worthwhile, beginning in Yellow Zones, where Sirens first appear; it becomes imperative in Orange Zones, where Sirens become more prevalent.

When used as a tertiary weapon in a build with Melee weapons, the M1 Garand maintains its usefulness later in deeper zones, where it can be pulled out to finish off exploding zombies that have been wounded with a Nodachi. As a primary weapon, the M1 Garand is less than ideal against swarms because of its slow firing speed.

MSG-9 Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 60
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 8
  • DPH: 17/85
  • DPS: 17/71.4
  • DPC: 340/1428

After the M1 Garand, the next few rifle options are essentially the same, with a slightly larger ammo capacity. The 50-proficiency rifles (Chesterfield, M21, Glacial Warfare) hold 10 rounds instead of 8; we don't consider this increase worth the price of the upgrade. However, the 60-proficiency MSG-9, with 20 rounds per clip, is the first rifle that delivers more Damage Per Clip than the SL8. This is very helpful for students still working on their Reloading stat, making the MSG-9 a worthwhile upgrade from the M1 Garand.

The next available rifle, the 75-proficiency SIC 550 is the first Carbine. Its Damage Per Hit is the same as the SL8, but its Damage Per Second is higher because of the faster firing speed of 1.5 shots per second. Unfortunately, it lacks the ability to one-crit kill a Siren, seriously weakening its effectiveness. Therefore, we do not recommend this rifle.

M82A2 Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 90
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 15
  • DPH: 21/105
  • DPS: 21/88.2
  • DPC: 315/1,323

The 80-proficiency Hawk OP96 and the 90-proficiency M82A2 are essentially the same weapon; the only difference is ammo capacity: 7 rounds versus 15 rounds. With higher Damage Per Hit than the MSG-9, both the Hawk Op and the M82A2 can one-crit kill all normal zombies in the Yellow Zones, including Blood Dogs - a useful capability. Unfortunately, lower ammo capacity results in less Damage Per Clip: a meager 617 for the Hawk Op, a somewhat better 1,323 for the M82A2. Consequently, we suggest that students (unless they have maximum Reloading) skip the HAWK OP  and wait to raise proficiency for the M82A2. The very slow firing speed (1/second) of Bolt Action Rifles becomes problematic when moving into more densely populated areas, but with careful handling the M82A2 can be effective even in the black zones surrounding Secronom Bunker.

The M82A2 is a good weapon for students who prefer long-range, bolt-action rifles; however, there is another option for those with 90 proficiency points invested in rifles...

Dragon SVD Carbine

  • Proficiency: 90
  • Accuracy: High
  • Critical Chance: High
  • Speed: 1.5/second
  • Clip Size: 15
  • DPH:15/75
  • DPS: 22.5/94.5
  • DPC: 225/945

The Dragon SVD carbine is essentially an M24 with faster firing speed. Capable of one-crit killing sirens and the female versions of Burned and Irradiated Zombies, it is an almost unstoppable weapon in Yellow and Orange Zones. Its weakness is that (unlike the M82A2) the Dragon SVD cannot one-crit kill Male Burned and Irradiated Zombies or Blood Hounds. Nevertheless, its firing speed is preferable when dealing with swarms. Students who can afford both the Dragon SVD and the M82A2 should try out both to see which they prefer.

VSS Vintorez Carbine

  • Proficiency: 100
  • DPH: 17/85
  • DPS: 25.5/107.1
  • DPC: 340/1428
  • Firing Speed: 1.5/second
  • Accuracy: High
  • Critical Chance: High

In terms of performance, the VSS Vintorez is the equivalent of the Alpha Bull revolver . Except for Blood Dogs, it can one-crit kill all normal zombies in Yellow Zones, including Sirens.It will keep its user safe at any outpost up to and including Fort Pastor. With skill, students can even use it to penetrate the more dangerous Red Zones.

Near Secronom Bunker, the Vintorez loses its usefulness in high-agro situations such as outpost attacks. It can still be adequate in skilled hands when employed in limited circumstances, such as picking off exploding rumblers from a safe distance.


RED, BLACK & WHITE ZONE RIFLES

577 Rex Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 110
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: Very High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 20
  • DPH: 29/145
  • DPS: 29/122
  • DPC: 580/2440

In the Yellow and Orange zones, the higher DPH of the Rex is of little use except against mutant zombies, and the Very Slow Firing Speed makes the rifle less effective than the VSS Vintorez.

In the Red and Black Zones, the Rex displays some advantages over the Vintorez, being able to kill all common zombies in one second or less and being able to one-crit kill Long Arms. The very slow firing speed is still a consideration, but with good agility and dodging a student can make do with this weapon until moving on to the Ironsight.

Ironsight Bolt Action

  • Proficiency: 120
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: Very High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 25
  • DPH: 35/175
  • DPS: 35/147
  • DPC: 875/3675

The Ironsight represents a substantial improvement over the Rex, being able to one-crit kill both Long Arms and Rumblers. This makes the weapon nearly unbeatable in the Red Zones. It is also effective in the Black Zones, though (as with the Rex), considerable agility is required to off-set the rifle's very slow firing speed.

Worg Carbine

  • Proficiency: 120
  • Accuracy: High
  • Critical Chance: Very High
  • Clip Size: 35
  • Speed: 2/second
  • DPH: 24/120
  • DPS: 48/201.6
  • DPC: 840/3528

Unique among rifles, the Worg shoots as fast as an Automatic Pistol. Though the Damage Per Hit is lower than that of the Rex and the Ironsight, the firing speed is useful compensation in the densely populated Black Zones.

Unfortunately, this rifle is extremely expensive. Students seeking a more "affordable" option might consider the limited-editing Marksman G8 (discussed below).


SPECIAL RIFLES

Rebellion Carbine
(unique)

  •  
  • Proficiency: 40
  • Accuracy: High
  • Critical Chance:  High
  • Speed: 1.5/second
  • Clip Size: 20
  • DPH: 18/90
  • DPS: 27/113.4
  • DPC: 360/1,512

The Rebellion is a "unique" weapon - that is, it cannot be looted on the streets of Fairview; it can be purchased new in the Credit Shop or used in the Marketplace. What is the practical value of this expensive item? Its Damage Per Hit and Damage Per Second are slightly superior to the VSS Vintorez, but in practical terms the difference is minimal. Rather, the selling point of the Rebellion is its proficiency requirement: a mere 40 points. This is a huge advantage for students who want to invest proficiency points in other weapons while still equipping one of the most effective rifles in Fairview.

 

Corpse Piercer Bolt Action
(limited edition)

  • Proficiency: 110
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: Very High
  • Speed: 1/second
  • Clip Size: 30
  • DPH: 32/160
  • DPS: 32/134.4
  • DPC: 960/4,032

Students who have yet to raise Rifle proficiency past 110 may be interested in this limited-edition item, which is a step up from the 577 Rex and just shy of the Ironsight in terms of Damage Per Hit and Damage Per Second. In fact, with 35% damage boost (from drugs or special events), the Corpse Piercer's profile (how many shots to kill the different species of zombies) is identical to that of the Ironsight. Unlike other rifles, the Corpse Piercer features Fast Reload Speed; this, plus the larger ammo capacity, are a considerable advantage for students who have not maxed their Reloading stat.

Like the Rex and the Ironsight, the Corpse Piercer is hampered by its Very Slow Firing speed, requiring students to dodge effectively if they want to use this weapon near Secronom Bunker.

Marksman G8 Carbine
(limited edition)

  • Proficiency: 120
  • Accuracy: Very High
  • Critical Chance: Very High
  • Speed: 1.5/second
  • Clip Size: 30
  • DPH: 26/130
  • DPS: 39/163.8
  • DPC: 780/3,276

The Marksman G8 provides less Damage Per Hit than the Rex but more Damage Per Second than the Ironsight or any other rifle that seniors students are likely to obtain. Though a limited-edition weapon, the Marksman is actually more affordable than the Worg, making this one of the few "special weapons" that we consider a must-have. (The Marksman costs approximately half as much as the Worg, depending on fluctuations in the market.) The firing speed of 1.5 shots per second is a noticeable improvement when dealing with crowds in Black and White Zones; even students with a bias for the higher DPH of the Ironsight will note the improvement. Note: The Marksman virtually duplicates the performance of the DoubleShot AAX revolver. 

Return to Introduction to Weapons

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