A deluge of digital ink has been spilt on the internet over the proper method to dispatch of a zombie — a brain-splaying head shot is the most widely accepted tactic. And yet the threat of the magically resurrected skeleton still goes tragically unrecognized.
A skeleton reanimated by the dark arts differs from a zombie in two distinct ways. First, the skeleton's lack of flesh and viscera makes for a more narrow target. Second, head shots will likely do doodlysquat to your brainless foe. When confronted with a horde of shambling bone warriors, where do you aim your pistol?
Aghast by the internet's overwhelming focus on zombies, novelist Brian Noggle has given this ossified opponent some serious thought. Here's his skeleton destruction advice:
Friends of mine among the living, I urge you to do what I do: Aim for the pelvis [...] Shoot a little high, you might be able to sever that spinal cord. A little to each side and low, maybe you'll put the skeleton on the ground and incapacitated. A direct hit will probably do both, leaving the skeleton to only crawl toward you, allowing you time to escape. Or, I suppose, it could ride C3PO-on-Chewbacca style on another skeleton. Regardless, it's one less coming after you under its own unholy power.
What sort of weapon should you use? It's hard to argue with artillery, especially on massed formations of undead. But aside from that, a bigger round with a bigger concussive impact is important. A small gun like a .22 might not break bones, which is the clear goal of shooting at a skeleton. A shotgun shell will scatter a bunch of pellets, and that's not going to even annoy a skeleton unless, again, it's right on top of you. So use a big enough round, for sure.
So there you have it — pelvises, elephant guns, and magnums. Of course, there's always the possibility that these skeletons can regenerate. If you're completely boned (sorry!), just go out swashbuckling, Jason and the Argonauts style.