Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Daryl Dixon Protects Himself on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone”

There are all kinds of things that make Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) a total badass. His zombie-killing prowess, for one. His carefully-chosen words. That heart-stopping gaze. But one major thing that sets him apart from The Walking Dead pack is the crossbow strapped to his back! Not all crossbows are created equal, though, if TWD predecessors like Buffy taught us anything. So what is that giant bow attached to Daryl?

Credit: amazon.com Photo: Daryl's First Crossbow: The Horton Scout HD 125

Since so many of us aren't well-versed in crossbow identification, Men's Health helped us out with pinpointing Daryl's crossbow in an interview with Norman Reedus— something that many fans had already figured out — it's a Stryker StrykeZone. For the first couple of seasons, though, it was a Horton Scout HD 125, and if you look for it on Amazon, you'll find that very few of the product reviews relate to hunting animals.

The most helpful review 5-star review? "This weapon is excellent for both hunting and taking down walkers without attracting too much attention. With re-usable ammunition it's less of a waste on resources than firearms," says Amazon user Ryan Romel. "It's quiet enough that I could bring down dozens of squirrels and even a deer without attracting the attention of the walkers."

The single 1-star review isn't all that different; "Walker" writes, "[This] thing is absolutely dangerous. All my friends have been massacred. Sure it's a good shot but I am not looking forward to being shot in the head. Keep it away from children and rednecks. Uuuuurrrrggggaaaaahhhhrrrrlll"

Credit: amazon.com Photo: Daryl's Current Crossbow: The Stryker Strykezone 380

In real life, however, the Horton Scout is a difficult crossbow to wield — or even just load. In fact, usually the bolts are loaded mechanically due to the tension in the string. The Stryker doesn't load too easily, either — but according to one review, it can shoot a squirrel from 20 yards, which is pretty relevant to Daryl's interests.

“We take it back like Daryl’s got some superstrength,” said Norman to Men's Health, clarifying that there's no fooling people who actually use bows. “I think people who use crossbows know that.”

“The actual arrow you see on TV is digital,” he explains. The bow apparently isn't even strung most of the time — or if it is, it's strung loosely.

This doesn't mean that Norman can't handle his weapons IRL, though. Years of being on TWD has brought him up to speed with a bunch. Not only can he shoot his own crossbow the traditional way — it just takes way too long for zombie apocalypse survival — he's learned to shoot many of the guns on the show at shooting ranges, including the street sweeper and a .50-caliber machine gun.

As for those crossbows, he has four hanging up in his apartment, each taken home from the series and given to him as gifts. Good to know that Norman is living a crossbow-immersive lifestyle. Keeps Daryl sharp.

Have you shot one of these crossbows before? Does Daryl have superhuman strength? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Sarah Anne Lloyd is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!