Outbreak Training: Zombie Hunters

Outbreak Omega: Running With Walkers

At DPMS’ family-friendly Outbreak Omega, shooters have a blast training for Z-Day.

Whether you’re arming yourself for the coming zombie apocalypse or just the next civilization-ending Kardashian-spinoff reality show, be sure to take a trip to Minnesota to test your mettle in advance. On June 23, nearly 1,200 shooters and guests descended on Ahlman’s Gun Store and Range in Morristown, MN to do just that at the annual Outbreak Omega event organized by DPMS Firearms/Panther Arms.

For five years DPMS, based in nearby St. Cloud, has organized this unique and inspired one-day shooting extravaganza. According to DPMS Product Manager Adam Ballard, this is the “original, largest, and most well-attended recreational ‘zombie shoot’ in the world.”

Outbreak Recon

Ahlman’s Gun Shop and Range, which has been in business since 1943, stocks over 5,000 firearms. Larry Ahlman, the owner, has built an impressive facility with dozens of ranges, two full cowboy villages, a police range and a frontier fort—plus camping areas covering over 100 acres. During Omega Outbreak, these cowboy villages and ranges become infested with the undead, and shooters come prepared to dispense eternal rest once and for all. Shooters come in all age groups, men and women and children. Entire families attend, all geared up in their tactical best and toting carts full of guns and ammo.
Ahlman’s goes all out to zombify the range. Among the many props were several junked cars which had been left flipped over on the side of the road on the way to the event. This elicited more than one panicked 9-1-1 call among passing motorists.

Each of the 12 shooting stages also present different and unique challenges to the shooters, as well as the opportunity to do the type of shooting they may never get to do at any other range. Each stage includes fighting scenarios that involve transitioning between rifle, pistol and shotgun, although some stages are specific to only one weapon.

At least two stages involved cars, either shooting at or shooting from. In the first such stage, zombies pop up from inside a vehicle, and the shooter must engage them in a limited time period with a pistol. In the second scenario, zombies are approaching, and the shooter must engage them first with a shotgun before running to an abandoned vehicle with its hood up and firing a pistol through the windshield and under the gap of the raised hood to dispense the remaining undead. Things only get worse when yet another zombie pops up beside the passenger-side window.

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