While removing the heart, severing the head, and burning the remains is by far the safest and only true way of getting rid of a vampire. The easiest way to prevent them from causing problems is to drive a wooden stake through their heart.
The most popular method of this is to position the stake over the heart and hammer it in. Thanks to movies and popular culture this is by far the most tried method by hunters. While it is an effective technique it is not an ideal one for all circumstances.
There are two problems with this method, the first is the rib cage.
The Rib cage is a strong shield of bone that protects the vital organs. This makes the direct method much more difficult as any stake has to be pushed through the ribs. The strength of the rib cage is why a mallet or hammer is used by most hunters. There are very few humans who have the physical strength to shove a proper sized stake through the chest with only their bare hands. This poses problems for combat situations as it requires a hunter to have an object in both hands and be able to use them in coordination.
The other problem is that while ideal for any bloodsucker still in their coffin or one which is properly restrained, it is hard to accomplish when these monsters are moving. While we at Holy Ammunition encourage all hunters not to engage in hand to hand combat with creatures that are faster and stronger than humans, we do recognize that in some situations it is unavoidable.
If a mallet or hammer are unavailable then the following technique will give a hunter the best chance of surviving the encounter and ending the unlife of the vampire.
Plunging the stake in just below the sternum and angling it upwards means that the hunter only has to push through the abdominal muscles, organs, and soft tissue. This technique is very messy, depending on when the creature last fed as it causes a lot of tearing through organs, most notably the gallbladder, bowels, and liver.
It should be noted that the stake needed for this technique should be longer than that used for a standard staking, approximately eighteen inches in length instead of the standard twelve. This allows the hunter to not need to put their hand inside the monster's chest itself, although in case of emergency any hunter squeamish enough to be put off by digging through some undead intestines should call it a day while they still can. By using this technique it allows a hunter to use a single hand and only have to carry a solitary slender implement.
Whichever technique a hunter uses always be sure to follow standard protocol and ensure that the stake is firmly embedded in the heart. Please remember that staking will merely incapacitate and not kill some vampires.