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Stargazer
10-03-2010, 03:31 PM
I'll take a guess at the quick answer: Exquisitely Unpleasant.

I'm working on a crime-thriller (sort of), being told from the first-person. At some point, my character is going to need to be left for dead after receiving a few bullets from the people he never should have been mixed up with in the first place.

In one sense, I sincerely hope nobody here has ever been shot, whether it be by accident or deliberately since I can;t imagine it being at all pleasant. On the other hand though, I need to gain some kind of understanding of how it feels so I can convey the thoughts and feelings in as true a manner as possible.

I had a look through a few pages of search results and found lots of medical questions about gunshot wounds, but not the actual sensations of it.

Has anyone here been unlucky enough to know what it feels like to receive a bullet, or have you heard stories from people who have? I'm hoping to have a few snapshot phrases/quotes from which I can write a significant segment within my final chapter.

Thanks in advance,

Rob.

RobJ
10-03-2010, 04:01 PM
I recall reading about a journalist who got shot and left for dead in Iraq. I think he took seven bullets, but survived the ordeal. He described the bullets hitting as like being punched very hard. But I guess it's going to depend to some extent on where the bullets hit.

MissMacchiato
10-03-2010, 04:13 PM
I was looking for that info too. Here is a link I found helpful:

http://forum.drc.su/how-does-it-feel-to-be-shot-in-the-chest-vt4141.html

Stargazer
10-03-2010, 04:58 PM
Whoa...

@ MissMachiato,

That's exactly the kind of write-up I've been looking for. Thanks ever so much for the link. I'll owe you a drink sometime. :)

@ RobJ

Thanks for the input.The 'being punched hard' sensation is backed up quite nicely in the link MissMachiato provided. Useful to know that's it's a common perspective.

Thanks for the replies... And I'm glad neither of you had to take a bullet to be able to answer.

Kind regards,

Rob.

MissMacchiato
10-03-2010, 05:15 PM
no worries :) I remember being frustrated with all the stupid answers I found, so I clung onto that one like a limpet, LOL

Giant Baby
10-03-2010, 07:27 PM
My friend's husband was shot in the face during a mugging and didn't know it. He was convinced he'd been hit with a baseball bat. When the cops pulled up, he insisted they leave him and go try to find a man who'd tried to help him. He'd heard the shot fired and feared the good samaritan might have been hit.

No one else realized he'd been shot either (not the cops, paramedics, or ER docs/nurses) until they were imaging his brain to check for skull fractures and discovered the bullet. So, if you're considering a shot to the head for your character, likening it to a crack with a baseball bat should be pretty credible.

thothguard51
10-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Please remember, not everyone will react the same. As stated, it will all depend on where the person is hit, the caliber of the weapon, and type of slug.

The sensation can be anything from a sting to a punch and while one person may feel nothing more than a sting, another might go into shock or a seizure. If a slug hit a major artery the victim could bleed to death in minutes.

I have read war accounts where guys did not even realize their legs or feet had been blown off. Or of soldiers who were seriously wounded but continued to fight and did not even know they were shot unit it was all over. Adrenaline is amazing...

Stargazer
10-03-2010, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the additional perspective. I guess then, since it varies so much, and especially since it appears from the testimony above that you can be shot just about anywhere any under special circumstances, survive it... I'm in good position to keep going.

So long as I can have the character describe what he's experiencing, and with the information provided I think I can, I'm happy.

Thanks again.

Rob.

rugcat
10-03-2010, 10:48 PM
My friend's husband was shot in the face during a mugging and didn't know it. He was convinced he'd been hit with a baseball bat. "Like being hit with a baseball bat" is a very common way of describing it by people who have been shot, at least by a handgun.

One of the best descriptions I ever heard (which I used in a novel) was a friend who described having been shot in the upper leg as: "It was like someone had filed down one end of a pickax to a very fine point, swung it as hard as they could, and hit me in the thigh with it."

Noah Body
10-04-2010, 04:53 PM
If the round hits bone, it will feel like being hit with a bat or a very big, fast-moving rock. :)

If it hits mostly flesh, like a through and through in the abdomen, the impact will be less immediate, but still noticeable. I've taken shrapnel to the belly courtesy of a mortar attack, but never been hit by a bullet (though I did manage to shoot myself down once). I hadn't realized I'd been hit by the shrapnel until almost an hour later when I was asked about the blood on my flightsuit, so I would presume a small caliber bullet could remain unnoticed during a period of high stress.

Chase
10-04-2010, 11:40 PM
Has anyone here been unlucky enough to know what it feels like to receive a bullet, or have you heard stories from people who have?

The account in Post #3's URL of Jesse being hit with a 40-grain .22 Magnum seems highly dramatized and embroidered with information he received after the fact. But as to: "I was sent reeling . . . thrown back a good 2-to-five feet or more. . . ." A .22 Magnum (or any handgun round) does not have the power to throw bodies.

Anyone can watch the film of President Reganís 1981 assassination attempt. Both the president and Secret Service Agent McCarthy were hit with 40-grain .22 Magnum rounds at close range The president didnít know he was hit in the side of his chest until later. The agent, hit with another of the same .22 rounds in the stomach, went momentarily up on his toes (a common reaction), made a half turn, and crumpled (another common reaction). No one was "thrown back," as FX creates in John Wayne or Ronald Regan westerns.

I was hit four times in the right leg with 110-grain .30 caliber round nose rounds. My leg was not thrown from under me. I had no idea I was hit by bullets other than immediate tingling sensations after feeling impacts that Iíd been struck with sticks somewhat less than a ball bat. In a firefight, I passed them off as hits with rocks. Even after I saw holes and blood, there was no pain in the first 20-30 minutes, even though two bones were hit.

Iíve talked with several wounded veterans who felt similar sensations.

However, at another time, I witnessed a soldier hit in the upper arm. I had to tell him he was hit, pulled him down to a sitting position, tore his fatigue blouse to further inspect, and then treated him with direct pressure of a compress, and instructed him to elevate the wound above heart-level.

However, later at triage staging for helicopter evacuation, his story grew to that he had been spun around and knocked at least a meter off his feet by the force and thought his arm had been blown off. He, too, "clung on to that one like a limpet." My guess is the more heroic the wound, the surer it was to be the grand prize ticket home.

Noah Body
10-04-2010, 11:43 PM
Did any of the rounds hit the femur, tibia, or fibula when you took the shots to the leg?

Chase
10-05-2010, 01:22 AM
Did any of the rounds hit the femur, tibia, or fibula when you took the shots to the leg?

The highest round passed through (at that time no one said the catchy "through-and-through") missing the thigh bone. Both scars are neatly round with star tears. One bullet in the lower leg scored the big shin bone to lodge in my calf. Both missed the smaller bone, but the one going through took a golf-ball size chunk of meat on exit. Today, it looks smooth, unless I flex a muscle to make a deep, handsome dimple. The round dug from my boot broke several bones and left the worst scars.

I hope this helps.

Noah Body
10-05-2010, 01:46 AM
So there were no direct impacts on bony structures, only an indirect from one round? Is that right?

GeorgeK
10-05-2010, 09:15 PM
When I was shot it was with essentially a blank. It was a black powder revolver and thankfully for me the malicious tard forgot the bullet. The wadding and powder however did damage at point blank range. I remember the slow motion effect of the blast getting ever larger (reminiscent of STar Trek and photon torpedoes coming in) to eventually encompass my entire visual field and the the sting of white hot needles tearing into my face (powder burning its way through). I don't remember falling, just suddenly being on the ground screaming, "You miserable Fu#ker! You shot me in the face! You asshole!" I don't normally curse, but it seemed appropriate. Had there been a bullet I certainly would have died.

Nivarion
10-06-2010, 01:58 AM
A friend of mine was shot by 7.62x54 in Afghanistan. He said it felt like being hit in the chest with a sledge hammer, repeatedly. He took three rounds that shattered the plates in his vest. He had three ribs dislocated and his breast bone broken.

He said that it hurt so bad that his squad mates had to drag him out of the street.

On the bright side, the killed they guy who shot him. Well, depends on your bright. I call dead enemies bright.

It depends a lot on what you got hit with, where you get hit and how far you are from the shooter.

From what I know about how a bullet hits you, Bullets generally disrupt the muscle coordination where they hit, so most hits on the body will cause you to drop what you're holding or to fall down. The full of the damage is done before the nervous system can't even begin firing to tell the brain about it. So it's a very instant pain. It'll feel like a cross between a sting and a blow.

The body, if you survive will release Endorphins and adrenalin in an attempt to ignore the pain so that the body can survive. This won't help if you have a system damaged beyond use.

Chase
10-06-2010, 02:49 AM
[QUOTE=Nivarion;5393000]A friend of mine was shot by 7.62x54 in Afghanistan. He said it felt like being hit in the chest with a sledge hammer, repeatedly. He took three rounds that shattered the plates in his vest. He had three ribs dislocated and his breast bone broken. [QUOTE]

I'm very surprised that .30 caliber rifle rounds were stopped by body armor. Wouldn't have stopped 'em back in my day. I'm glad better armor is provided.

However, I have been hit in a 1960s flak jacket with a less-than-rifle round (never found exactly what), and it's a competely different ball game. The hammer feeling was close, breath knocked out, lots of pain, damaged ribs, and mega bruise later.

But I'm done. First-hand info is always less dramatic than second-hand accounts.

Nivarion
10-06-2010, 08:16 AM
I'm very surprised that .30 caliber rifle rounds were stopped by body armor. Wouldn't have stopped 'em back in my day. I'm glad better armor is provided.


Indeed.

new armor's pretty good, but he was just using a class 3 armor plate. They tend to fail after a second round so he was lucky as it was. At the end, his ribs damaged his lungs and so he's been on office duty since.

Dragon skin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNY1MtsVwG8) is the new upcoming armor, and it'll take a up to 20 rifle rounds at close range. Though several hits to the same spot will defeat it.