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afarnam
12-31-2013, 07:45 PM
Okay, I'm going to try this the way I have seen it recommended on other threads about gunshot wounds.

I need a character (teenage girl) to be shot and significantly injured, to the extent that a very good surgeon who is present isn't immediately sure she'll survive, but she does need to survive. The doctor has a military-style field medic kit and can use it within about two or three minutes to treat the injury. The character needs to survive and preferably be at least partly conscious for the first ten minutes and then on and off for the next few hours. They don't reach a real medical facility for several hours. The injured character needs to be recovering for several months but survive.

I was thinking a wound in the shoulder. She can have broken bones and a lot of loss of blood, if necessary. She should be able to sort of say or whisper a few words. Any ideas? How should i have my character shot?

And what would the medic character do first, second, third? He has another somewhat traumatized person on hand who is useful only for applying pressure to stop bleeding and not much else.

It would be best if she could talk within a few days. What would the initial recovery be like and when could the character sort of hobble about?

Thanks for any help.

T Robinson
12-31-2013, 11:37 PM
Look in this same research area. there was a question or two about gunshot wounds within the last two months. I remember much discussion about the different wounds and what would happen.

Again, look back under story research and there are some threads on this type of question that will help you till someone answers your specific questions. I do remember that shoulder wounds are very debilitating.

Nimyth
01-01-2014, 12:21 AM
Okay, I'm going to try this the way I have seen it recommended on other threads about gunshot wounds.

I need a character (teenage girl) to be shot and significantly injured, to the extent that a very good surgeon who is present isn't immediately sure she'll survive, but she does need to survive. The doctor has a military-style field medic kit and can use it within about two or three minutes to treat the injury. The character needs to survive and preferably be at least partly conscious for the first ten minutes and then on and off for the next few hours. They don't reach a real medical facility for several hours. The injured character needs to be recovering for several months but survive.

I was thinking a wound in the shoulder. She can have broken bones and a lot of loss of blood, if necessary. She should be able to sort of say or whisper a few words. Any ideas? How should i have my character shot?

And what would the medic character do first, second, third? He has another somewhat traumatized person on hand who is useful only for applying pressure to stop bleeding and not much else.

It would be best if she could talk within a few days. What would the initial recovery be like and when could the character sort of hobble about?

Thanks for any help.
Head Shot trauma could fit, head wounds bleed like crazy. The risk of death from loss of blood especially if they can not get to a BB quickly is going to at the forefront of any medics thoughts in a head shot trauma. (Not a straight through shot talking about a significant impact with a low caliber)

WeaselFire
01-01-2014, 01:59 AM
Plausible scenario:

Handgun, 9mm to .45, your choice, shot to right or left pelvic region. Clips the femoral artery but does not sever it (bleeds like hell but doesn't retract into the abdomen and medic can clamp it) and breaks the pelvis.

Medic will stop the bleeding with a clamp on the artery, clotting agents and packing the wound. Stabilizing the hip/pelvis with straps, she'll need to be transported on a stretcher, makeshift is okay. Loss of blood can make her drift in and out, especially if the medic can start an IV and push fluids to keep her blood pressure up.

Once at a facility, doctors will repair the artery, treat any infections, accessory wounds and work to heal the pelvis. Could be surgery and implants, could be splicing the bones or sutures, could be just positioning the break so it heals. With healing and therapy she can be walking in a month, back to almost normal in 3-6 months.

Write the circumstances as needed for your plot or timeline.

Jeff

afarnam
01-01-2014, 04:26 AM
Nimyth, I need the character at least marginally conscious immediately so head trauma is out.

Jeff, thanks. Definite possibility. You think this is better than shoulder? Stretcher isn't really a possibility from the get go. Someone (not medically experienced) has got to pick her up (she's fairly light) and run about 150 yards to a truck in a combat situation, put her in the back (cargo space) of the truck. The medic then jumps in. The truck drives a bit wildly but the medic is then free to do fair amount of stuff. IV could theoretically happen within a few minutes but blood transfusion is an issue due to some other stuff and probably not going to happen for at least an hour or so. Stretcher is the main issue. There is too much combat going on for that. The character carrying her does have time to pick her up in a lying down position but not get a stretcher.

Otherwise, that seems to fit the needs. I'd rather have the character able to sort of sit up in a couple of days. I've had a wrecked shoulder before, not from a gunshot wound but pretty bad, so I have some idea how that feels and goes, which is why I was thinking along those lines, but this sounds good, as long as not having a stretcher isn't going to kill the character at this point. Many thanks in any event!

James D. Macdonald
01-01-2014, 05:00 AM
Don't worry about the stretcher. Get her to the truck however you have to, and if she's still alive go from there.

Nimyth
01-01-2014, 05:01 AM
Nimyth, I need the character at least marginally conscious immediately so head trauma is out.

Head trauma victims are called the 'walking wounded' by the medics, they quite often are conscious and even somewhat ambulatory. They will fluctuate from consciousness, to semi- consciousness, as the fluid builds up in the brain, if the fluid is not drained they will become comatose and rarely fully recover.

afarnam
01-01-2014, 10:46 AM
Yeah, I need her clear headed within a day or two and yet unable to run around, but thanks anyway. It is good to consider everything.

Jeff, one last follow up. I can't really picture how one positions a pelvic fracture to heal. The place they take her isn't really a hospital. Picture the infirmary of an small but fairly wealthy group. A real hospital is out of the question. What sort of special equipment would they need? Do I need to mention anything in terms of equipment to make it plausible? At that point, the POV is from the injured character who doesn't know much about medicine, so she's just commenting stuff like "and there was this thing keeping me from moving...." Thanks again.

NeuroGlide
01-01-2014, 10:50 PM
Low blood volume can damage the liver and kidneys. The liver has excellent regenerative abilities and the kidneys can be bypassed temporarily with a dialysis machine. Either can keep her, if not bed ridden, hospitalized in a private clinic for quite a while, either waiting for a transplant, or slowly recovering.

If the TV show House is to be believed, treatment for a injured liver involves an indirect transfusion (no blood volume is exchanged, but blood from both subjects passes through a dialysis-like machine) with a pig.

afarnam
01-02-2014, 10:17 AM
Okay, what would the doctor do about low blood volume if a blood transfusion isn't really a possibility? How long is it going to be a big problem? Any other major problems other than kidney and liver damage?

CoolBlue
01-02-2014, 01:45 PM
I need a character (teenage girl) to be shot and significantly injured, to the extent that a very good surgeon who is present isn't immediately sure she'll survive, but she does need to survive. The doctor has a military-style field medic kit and can use it within about two or three minutes to treat the injury. The character needs to survive and preferably be at least partly conscious for the first ten minutes and then on and off for the next few hours. They don't reach a real medical facility for several hours. The injured character needs to be recovering for several months but survive.
...
She should be able to sort of say or whisper a few words.
...
And what would the medic character do first, second, third?
...
It would be best if she could talk within a few days. What would the initial recovery be like and when could the character sort of hobble about?

Thanks for any help.

Hi Afarnam

You say you are dealing with a very good surgeon who thinks the character will not survive.

No such surgeon will think death imminent from the injuries you are contemplating, and then be able to rapidly reverse things after a 150m sprint.

The first thing we check is A irway, then B reathing, the Circulation, then D isability.

What would be plausible is perhaps something causing an A or B problem right off the bat, and then a different injury causing other concerns.

For example, what if the character had something in her mouth when she was shot, and choked on it? She might be blue and close to unconscious. Most surgeons would not be very comfortable with airway issues, and relieved to have found an easy fix that is nevertheless immediately life threatening.

Then he attends to the gunshot wound(s).

I would suggest a bullet to the mid thigh that shatters the femur. If it were to hit the femoral artery, she would likely die, or lose her leg if he can stop the bleeding in time. She would likely bleed to death if it takes 3 minutes before help is forthcoming under those circumstances.

On the other hand, she could have significant blood loss and tissue damage without lacerating the femoral artery, there are many other large arteries available.

Regarding previous comments, I very much doubt a low-velocity round such as a 9mm or .45 has sufficient energy to break a pelvis in a way that will require any sort of stabilization AND a wound in the groin area. High energy rounds could, but when they do, the energy released creates havoc with the pelvic contents. (The abdominal cavity becomes the pelvic cavity around the pelvis.) There is a very high likelihood of very unpleasant longterm sequelae.

There is no such thing as the femoral artery retracting into the abdomen (sorry Jeff). Perhaps you are referring to an artery retracting into a wound??

It sounds as though you do not have any medical background. If that is the case, may I suggest that you try to keep things simple, and then ask for feedback of your writing during the process of writing, to avoid glaring errors in concept or execution.

Good luck!

HTH
CB

afarnam
01-02-2014, 02:26 PM
Hi CoolBlue,

Nope, I don't have much medical background other than a life spent mostly dealing with health issues without the help of doctors. That makes this hard and I've got several medical questions in this story. I am doing just as you say, asking in the process of writing.

From what you say, it sounds like you don't think there is a type of injury that fits my scenario. Okay, let me modify a little. The doctor in question is good in that he is smart and quick but he isn't very experienced, only a couple of years out fo medical school. I'm thinking in terms of he isn't sure if he can stop major bleeding enough in the dicey conditions (jumping into the back of a semi-truck that immediately starts driving fast around corners, while he's trying to clamp an artery with a headlamp as his only light source, that sort of thing). That is why he would think she might not survive. I'm hoping I can find a plausible scenario here. If it isn't realistic to survive damage to a major artery under these conditions, then what is realistic in terms of dangerous loss of blood?

Again, I can go back to a shoulder wound, which could involve a lung and/or major blood vessels. I've had a messed up shoulder that included a cracked rib that supposedly damaged my lung somehow and caused a very small collapse in part of my lung (resulting in one of my few experiences with a hospital). I was told I had the most mild possible form of something very serious. So, I have a tiny bit of experience in describing things in that area and would be happy to go back to shoulder wounds, if you could give me a plausible scenario.

Thanks a bundle in any event. I'm still working on this and will take all advice into consideration.

P.S. Anyone, if you are already suffering from dangerous loss of blood, how would alcohol affect you differently than normal?

CoolBlue
01-02-2014, 02:40 PM
Hi CoolBlue,

then what is realistic in terms of dangerous loss of blood?



From my post:

"I would suggest a bullet to the mid thigh that shatters the femur. If it were to hit the femoral artery, she would likely die, or lose her leg if he can stop the bleeding in time. She would likely bleed to death if it takes 3 minutes before help is forthcoming under those circumstances.

On the other hand, she could have significant blood loss and tissue damage without lacerating the femoral artery, there are many other large arteries available."

A pneumothorax, while dramatic, is relatively easy to recover from, although broken ribs are painful, and take a while to heal.

Alcohol impairs the ability to compensate for shock.

HTH
CB

afarnam
01-02-2014, 05:31 PM
Okay, but, because I'm a dunce, why can't I have the shot break her pelvis instead of her femur? You said the caliber mentioned wouldn't be enough to break it enough to need stabilization. A. I don't actually have to mention the caliber because the POV character doesn't know guns. Would be nice to figure out just for background but doesn't have to be mentioned that I know of yet. B. I don't really want it to need major stabilization, just to take a long time to heal. A good crack would do it. That should take at least a few months before she can go running off and doing physically demanding things. Would that work theoretically?

Again, I don't need the doctor to think she will surely die and then suddenly reverse his opinion. He simply has to be very worried, given the conditions.

How long does it take to recover from the huge loss of blood part? Would she feel tired, short of breath, foggy, what?

Many thanks.

WeaselFire
01-02-2014, 06:33 PM
Any fracture can be stabilized in place and heal, though it may heal slightly off. It's hard to splint a pelvis, so packing blankets around the patient and strapping in place would work.

Shoulder injuries are problematic because, in addition to serious bone fractures, there are a ton of vital nerves and arteries in the shoulder area, making recovery without disability extremely difficult. Even in a hospital.

A shattered femur works, with a shorter recovery time and would not appear life threatening. If antibiotics are available, a gut wound, stomach, intestines, etc. (Not vital organs or blood vessels) with septicemia after the fact can provide results similar to what you describe. An advantage is she would be able to walk, with assistance, to your truck.

Recovery from a large blood loss would be an infusion, if blood is available (can be from fellow combatants donating) or simply pushing fluids and nutrients. She would be tired, lethargic and unable to do much for a week or so, then gradually get better as her body replenishes her blood. Severe blood loss would worry a doctor.

Jeff

NeuroGlide
01-02-2014, 08:47 PM
Okay, what would the doctor do about low blood volume if a blood transfusion isn't really a possibility? How long is it going to be a big problem? Any other major problems other than kidney and liver damage?

A simple IV and pressure bandage would be the best field treatment. If she's awake, she would be thirsty (her body is pulling water out of her cells to boost blood volume) and she would want to drink. This is common with gunshot wounds, military commanders always ration extra water for the wounded. It's hard to say how long liver and/or kidney damage would be an issue as they would primarily be complications to other medical problems. With an injury to liver or kidneys, the body's ability to filter fatigue poisons is reduced, complicating and slowing recovery from other injuries.

Coolblue's suggestion of a pneumothorax is a good one. It's where you get air in the chest cavity which causes difficulty breathing, usually causes by a punctured lung. It puncture needs surgery to repair, but you can field treat by cutting into the chest and venting the air. They prefer the patient be out for this, but that's not always possible.

It sounds to me like you need an injury that is potentially fatal, but slow and easily treatable with proper medical attention (which is not available due to situation which caused said injury). Once she is clear of the initial situation, she can receive life saving treatment and concern can shift to secondary effects of the injury and complications caused by the delay in onset of treatment. Am I correct?

afarnam
01-02-2014, 09:42 PM
Pneumothorax is good for the immediate thing and I even know how to describe it but it isn't long-term enough.

I'm still thinking the cracked pelvis is a good idea. I get the feeling that even a crack that is mostly held together would be problematic enough for quite awhile. I can't believe it is impossible to have a cracked pelvis without complete shattering and major internal damage and we don't need a common scenario, just a possible scenario. Any one with medical experience that I've talked to says uncommon things happen all the time.

Right now I'm most concerned with the problem that if I say the femoral artery is damaged and can't be repaired entirely for a couple of hours, people with medical background will say she would have to lose her leg. Should I just say major arteries or a major vein or something, rather than the femoral artery, or is there a way to have that damaged but not severed and work in this scenario. I like the drama of having a major artery damaged given the plot considerations but if it doesn't work I don't want to be too screwy. :)

Thanks for the recovery stuff. That's precisely what I needed on that.

P.S. She is light enough to be fully carried by the person carrying her to the truck. I should probably clarify that she's technically a teen girl but significantly smaller than average in build.

afarnam
01-02-2014, 09:58 PM
CoolBlue, on the pneumothorax idea, what happens if a person has a punctured lung due to broken ribs in a serious way (this not being gun related)?

Can they not breathe at all unaided? Would they need a respirator or would that not help? How long can they survive without getting surgery if they have say an oxygen mask like I've seen some people use even on the move?

Would they then have air in their chest that has to be let out you say but that doesn't fix the fact that they have a punctured lung, does it? Does it then have to be done periodically?

What would happen if they had also been forced to inhale water beforehand? I know you don't generally inhale water from regular drowning. This is different.

Both of these conditions need to be somewhere on the continuum of severity to fit the plot. It is a different scenario. The injury happens in place where a medic can do something brief pretty much immediately but then has to leave with the injured person quickly before doing any major surgery and has to then drive for a few hours before they can reach a safe place where any major steps can be taken. What would they need in terms of mobile equipment to keep the person alive on the road?

I would prefer that this scenario ends up with the injured character temporarily unable to talk but able to write, if only a little, such as I have read about having one of those respirator tubes in their throat. Anyone?

NeuroGlide
01-03-2014, 12:16 AM
The pneumothorax can easily lead to complications if combined with blood loss as both lead to reduced blood oxygen content. Treating both in the field would make a very ill character rally, but it would be temporary.

If you really need the character immobile for a while, you can have a bullet lodged near her spine and swelling from the injury put pressure on her spinal cord. Paralysis below the injury site would definitely keep her bedridden. As long as the bullet hadn't entered the cord itself, surgery should be easy (well, for a surgery). Delayed onset of paralysis (an few hours or so) is plausible if it's clear the swelling is due to infection. If you make her shocky from the infection (the bullet is sterile from firing, but anything pushed into the wound could cause an infection), they would want to wait on the surgery until she's more stable. Her small size complicates this even more. Bullet needs to enter from side to avoid cardiac area.

afarnam
01-03-2014, 01:00 AM
Sorry to complicate things. The pneumothorax is a different scenario, different time-period, technically a different book but same series (incidentally the same doctor). I was only asking because it came up. I'm not really talking about combining the two and in fact that is one reason I don't want to do a lung-related thing on this one, to keep it from being too similar to different incident in the same series. I knew I should have posted that as a separate thread but I got too tempted, so I mentioned it.

I actually do want the character who gets shot to be able to talk a little. No writing utensils would really be handy when the other characters need some very short information out of her.

CoolBlue
01-03-2014, 02:15 AM
Okay, but, because I'm a dunce, why can't I have the shot break her pelvis instead of her femur? You said the caliber mentioned wouldn't be enough to break it enough to need stabilization. A. I don't actually have to mention the caliber because the POV character doesn't know guns. Would be nice to figure out just for background but doesn't have to be mentioned that I know of yet. B. I don't really want it to need major stabilization, just to take a long time to heal. A good crack would do it. That should take at least a few months before she can go running off and doing physically demanding things. Would that work theoretically?


OKaaaaaay, LECTURE MODE: ON

(If we are trying to do something that is plausible to a medical eye)

Many folks, doctors included, forget basic physics when speaking about gunshot wounds.

The issue is ENERGY, and the basic premise that it cannot be destroyed, only transferred. See Energy Equivalence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass%E2%80%93energy_equivalence).

The way a bullet causes damage to a structure is by transferring it's energy to the object being damaged, in this case, the character. The force that is applied to the object is given by Newton's Third Law: F=ma (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html)

How the energy is transferred is just as important as how much. First, the object transferring the energy (the bullet):

Think of a 20kg axe hitting a log versus a 20kg hammer hitting the same log. The axe splits the wood, in part, because all the energy is being directed to one spot. Not all the energy is even transferred, but goes into the support the log is on. The hammer applies the same force, but cannot transfer all the energy to that one spot, so the log is crushed.

In our case, the analogy might be a tipped round versus a hollow point. The idea behind a hollow point is to do more damage. How? By transferring more energy. The hollow tip expands/explodes when it hits, thereby transferring more energy, rather than just passing through. This is, of course, an oversimplification to the point of absurdity, read more online (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopping_power). For example, a small round directly to the heart, brain, or large vessel may also cause death.

Now, on to the victim:

In your question, you ask why the femur, not the pelvis?

Think of the pelvis as a bony funnel, and the femur as a bony pipe. The pelvis surround many important structures. The femur is in the centre of a mass of muscle with structures that "only" supply the more distal leg.

Not only is the pelvis made out of sheets of bone, they are also attached to each other by fibrous ligaments. This means that the pelvis has a measure of "give", of resilience, built into it.

Unless we are speaking of grandma, with osteoporosis, it takes an enormous amount of energy to break a pelvis. You sometimes can have an extremely unlucky low-impact fall that will break it, but that is unusual. We are trying to create medically plausible, remember?

Don't oversimplify pelvis fractures. For example, a simple stable pelvic fracture does not usually imply much blood loss, while an unstable one is a horse of a totally different colour. Pelvic fracture - short article. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1645040/pdf/procrsmed00332-0037.pdf) The reason why these unstable fractures cause trouble is because of bleeding from non-bony structures, mainly pelvic blood vessels.

So, if you create a scenario where a bullet wound not only fractures a pelvis, but also causes the doctor (early on)to think the victim is going to die , and to also lose a lot of blood and cause the person to have an extended recovery and be able to speak, you make things difficult and unlikely. And why, IMHO, "a good crack" would not do it! :)

You definitely need a high impact round that will transfer much of it's energy and likely cause immense damage to other things than the pelvis: venous plexuses, arteries, ureters, bladder, small bowel, large bowel. Does this make sense?

So, any round could not only fracture the femur, but also cause immense blood loss, without causing death. It would absolutely appear life threatening under these circumstances. The recovery time would be about 6-8 weeks for initial recovery, and then another month or two for complete reconditioning.



Again, I don't need the doctor to think she will surely die and then suddenly reverse his opinion. He simply has to be very worried, given the conditions.


Any bullet wound to a complex structure will cause a doctor worth his salt to worry. A lot.



How long does it take to recover from the huge loss of blood part? Would she feel tired, short of breath, foggy, what?
Many thanks.

Depends. On: How much, how fast, how she is treated, what other injuries she has.

What you need to steer away from is the simple: All she needs is an IV, and she will recover.

Simple IVs can actually make things worse, if not given with understanding, and if given to excess. Recently, our management of the shock caused by blood loss has changed. Significantly. Again. :) We now understand that giving too much crystalloid (salty water) without accompanying it with blood products can actually make things worse. Much worse.

In recent times, we have also come to understand that other drugs, such as tranexamic acid, if given early, can significantly improve outcomes.

Depending of the era of your novel, your doctor may or may not be aware of this.

LECTURE MODE: OFF

I hope this is not too confusing. You are sketching a scenario that could give rise to many perceived inaccuracies, so keeping things simple, yet effective, is the way to go, once again, IMHO.

HTH
CB

NeuroGlide
01-03-2014, 02:36 AM
Sorry to complicate things. The pneumothorax is a different scenario, different time-period, technically a different book but same series (incidentally the same doctor). I was only asking because it came up. I'm not really talking about combining the two and in fact that is one reason I don't want to do a lung-related thing on this one, to keep it from being too similar to different incident in the same series. I knew I should have posted that as a separate thread but I got too tempted, so I mentioned it.

I actually do want the character who gets shot to be able to talk a little. No writing utensils would really be handy when the other characters need some very short information out of her.

In that case, gut shot. Your intestines are full of bacteria that helpful inside of them and deadly outside of them. The delay before surgery would give plenty of time for infection to set in and their are strains that can resist all known antibiotics. If she has one of those, all medical science can do is support her body with nutrients while she fights it off. She would have good days and bad days and long days and nights that people think might be her last days. She could need repeated surgeries as portions if her GI track die from the infection. While in there they would probably do an abdominal lavage. She might also develop bacterial cysts. These could be removed surgically, but if ruptured would flood her with a new infection. The biggest problem would be that it's multiple infections at once. You take out one threat to find out it was suppressing another and that other doesn't respond to the drugs you used on the first.

This will probably be hard on your surgeon character emotionally given her youth and small size. When it's just the drugs versus the infection, he'll be completely helpless. I've read first person accounts of people working with Make-A-Wish children catching themselves wanting someone to attack the children, just so they could protect them.

Complications: High fever. Temps over 108F/42C can cause death. Flesh eating strains can consume the layer of fat under the skin.

NeuroGlide
01-03-2014, 03:40 AM
ball
In our case, the analogy might be a tipped round versus a hollow point. The idea behind a hollow point is to do more damage. How? By transferring more energy. The hollow tip expands/explodes when it hits, thereby transferring more energy, rather than just passing through. This is, of course, an oversimplification to the point of absurdity, read more online (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopping_power). For example, a small round directly to the heart, brain, or large vessel may also cause death.

CB isn't kidding about the oversimplification. Both bullets and bodies are non-linear systems (changes in reactions can be disproportional to the size of the change), and when you combine the two the permutations can become downright rude. Since you're in Czech, I've been assuming 9mm Parabellem ball ammo. Unless it's a graze, it will tend to dump it's energy in a long, narrow wound cavity without overpenetration. Temporary wound cavity will be roughly twice of the primary, depending on water content of flesh struck. Unless it strikes a bone, the round should neither tumble nor wander. Change to hollow point of the same grain (weight) and the wound cavity is much shallower and wider with a much larger temp cavity You'll get heavier bleeding and greater reaction trauma. Use a ball with a hot load (more gunpowder) or a gun with a longer barrel and you'll perversely do less damage as the round blows through, failing to dump all it's energy. Just reduce the number of twists in the barrel and you've got a round that's more likely to tumble (which increases energy dump) and wander (decreases penetration).

This does not even get into differences between guns, calibers, bullet weight, ballistics and the most important, people. We will try to help you to the best of our ability but you need to trust us.

NeuroGlide
01-03-2014, 04:18 AM
Simple IVs can actually make things worse, if not given with understanding, and if given to excess. Recently, our management of the shock caused by blood loss has changed. Significantly. Again. :) We now understand that giving too much crystalloid (salty water) without accompanying it with blood products can actually make things worse. Much worse.

CB

You know CB, this always struck me as obvious. After all it's the RED part that carries the oxygen. You would have thought they would have brought that up in med school. ;)

Seriously though, my knowledge of gun shot wounds come from the ballistics side of the street, yours looks like it's medical. I would say we have this subject fairly well surrounded.

afarnam
01-03-2014, 09:48 AM
The caliber of gun has nothing to do with the location, which actually isn't in Czech. The combatants involved are a mixed bag, very international. The people shooting could be private security guards or an ex-military type. I don't know enough about guns to decide what sort of weapons they have and it hasn't become important enough to the narrative to specify as of yet. They have plenty of money so that is one consideration. They can theoreticaly have whatever guns they want.

It sounds like an abdominal wound might work better after all. I've shied away from that because I figured that was too complicated to deal with in the less than ideal conditions but from what you say it could work. Any tips on location (near what organs) for descriptive purposes? Would that still involve major blood loss in the beginning or is the main danger more from infection with an abdominal wound?

Thanks again. You all are awesome!

WeaselFire
01-03-2014, 06:04 PM
It sounds like an abdominal wound might work better after all.
Bullet wounds in combat, assuming full metal jacket rounds (normal wartime ammo), are piercing wounds for the most part. That means, any part of the abdomen that you can poke a stick through and not immediately kill the person would work.

Stomach, intestines, bowels are all easily sacrificed as far as a puncture wound, infection is the major issue. Spleen is a bad choice but can work. Same with pancreas. Liver can be poked all day long. Kidneys, not so much. Stay away from the central core, the spine and major vessels, and you're pretty safe anywhere below the diaphragm. Assuming decent medical care.

9mm handgun, .45 caliber handgun, .223/5.56mm rifle round or .308/7.62mm round would be very common in combat arms. Those are the basic sidearms as well as the AR/M16 and AK47 rifles common everywhere.

Jeff

afarnam
01-03-2014, 10:35 PM
And is the bullet likely to go completely through a small person? I'm thinking shot from about 40 feet. Is that ridiculous? It is indoors in a long hallway near the exit, so I can't make it too great a distance.

Okay, if its an abdominal wound that damages say the liver and intestines or just the intestines, does this involve severe blood loss?

Thanks.

NeuroGlide
01-04-2014, 05:16 AM
And is the bullet likely to go completely through a small person? I'm thinking shot from about 40 feet. Is that ridiculous? It is indoors in a long hallway near the exit, so I can't make it too great a distance.

Okay, if its an abdominal wound that damages say the liver and intestines or just the intestines, does this involve severe blood loss?

Thanks.

Like I said, lotsa factors, but the biggest factor here has nothing to do with the gun, it's the delayed onset of treatment. You don't need heavy bleeding to worry the surgeon, just the passage of time. She will bleed, intestines are lined with blood vessels, and she'll get thirsty. I would avoid the liver, it's a soft organ full of blood vessels. You could poke a dozen holes in it and it would recover, but if you shoot it, the temp wound cavity would turn a large portion of it to bloody pate. Prompt treatment, she lives. Prompt treatment.

Now I have a question: front or back shot?

NeuroGlide
01-04-2014, 06:06 AM
Oh, almost forgot, 9mm Parabellem is the most common handgun ammo in the world, and there are hundreds of types of guns that use them. .45s might, might, be more common in the states, because of their long association with the American military, but 9 mills would be at least a close #2.

afarnam
01-04-2014, 10:02 AM
I have been thinking front wound but that isn't of key importance to the plot.

Again, there is pretty prompt first aid. Someone picks her up and carries her to a truck, say 100 meters. I may have overestimated that before. There is an outer warehouse space and then its around a corner and a short distance outside. The doctor joins up with the guy who is carrying her and they jump into the cargo space of a truck, where the doctor has a medical kit stashed. Then, the truck starts driving. At first, the truck is driving around sharp corners as fast as it is possible to drive a large truck, in order to get out of a kind of parking lot. I'm assuming the people in the back are sliding around too much to do anything but try to keep the injured person from getting hurt further. So, that's three to four minutes to the point where the doctor can start putting pressure on the wound, a couple more minutes before he can do much else? I can complicate it a little more if I need to for some particular effect.

Even then treatment could be complicated because the truck is still moving and it is dark (outside and in the back of the truck). The doctor has a headlamp but that isn't ideal obviously. The doctor does have the guy who was carrying the kid as theoretical untrained hands to help but he is psychologically pretty shaky at the moment because of something else and can only follow really simple instructions. What would the doctor ask him to do? Open the medical kit because the doctor is busy trying to stop bleeding, for instance?

What is the treatment for an abdominal wound in a field situation? Is he still trying to clamp blood vessels, or packing the wound? How would the treatment be different if the liver was hit, as you say? I don't need to know every detail, just the basic physical idea. The POV is initially from the injured character, and she's pretty hazy on what's going on.

Again, another problem here is that all he can do is field treatment, no surgery for at least another three hours. While he can sort of treat the wound, they have to then drive around to evade pursuit and they have some distance to cover to their medical place. How does that affect things? Would the injured person's condition get worse over time? What would the doctor be saying to others to emphasize the need for speed? Perhaps the life-threatening issue isn't immediate blood loss but the time it takes to get to the medical facility. How does the treatment change when the doctor switches to a different vehicle (a van that is more stable) after about 20 minutes and acquires a medical student to help? How does the treatment change once they get to the medical facility?

Many thanks for any answers.

CoolBlue
01-04-2014, 10:42 PM
You know CB, this always struck me as obvious. After all it's the RED part that carries the oxygen. You would have thought they would have brought that up in med school. ;)

Haha. Perhaps I didn't attend that class! ;)

Seriously, though, it is not the red blood cells that are the problem, in this instance, although they are very important. It is the other factors that play a role in impaired coagulation that can upset the apple cart in a spectacular way.

Cheers
CB

CoolBlue
01-04-2014, 10:46 PM
Liver can be poked all day long.

Not really. In this case, the OP wants the victim to have significant blood loss. This implies the need to urgent surgery.

There is going to be a several hour delay before surgery. The victim might easily die before that, from bleeding.

HTH
CB

CoolBlue
01-04-2014, 10:52 PM
And is the bullet likely to go completely through a small person? I'm thinking shot from about 40 feet.

The further away from the person, the more likely it is that the bullet will start to tumble, and do that much more harm. If it is closer, and you want the bullet to tumble anyway, have the bullet hit something else on its way. It can be an insignificant thing, say a leaf, or a piece of paper.

ETA: The further a bullet has to travel through the body, the more likely it will tumble, and do more harm. For that reason, a high velocity bullet traveling through this skinny victim might do no more damage than a low velocity bullet, as it does not go far enough to tumble.



Okay, if its an abdominal wound that damages say the liver and intestines or just the intestines, does this involve severe blood loss?

Depends. Your choice.

HTH
CB

CoolBlue
01-04-2014, 11:26 PM
What is the treatment for an abdominal wound in a field situation? Is he still trying to clamp blood vessels, or packing the wound? How would the treatment be different if the liver was hit, as you say? I don't need to know every detail, just the basic physical idea. The POV is initially from the injured character, and she's pretty hazy on what's going on.

Again, another problem here is that all he can do is field treatment, no surgery for at least another three hours. While he can sort of treat the wound, they have to then drive around to evade pursuit and they have some distance to cover to their medical place. How does that affect things? Would the injured person's condition get worse over time? What would the doctor be saying to others to emphasize the need for speed? Perhaps the life-threatening issue isn't immediate blood loss but the time it takes to get to the medical facility. How does the treatment change when the doctor switches to a different vehicle (a van that is more stable) after about 20 minutes and acquires a medical student to help? How does the treatment change once they get to the medical facility?

Many thanks for any answers.

Wow, you are asking for a trauma medical education in one thread! :)

Just kidding.

Some things to consider before going any further. We need meta-information otherwise this thread could meander forever. :)

1. Who is the victim? Is it the protagonist, or other person that is important to the story, and how do you want it to end. Is it going to be HEA with the victim going into the sunset with mostly just the memory of the incident? Or is the victim going to be physically scarred, or permanently physically affected by the injuries? Or will they ultimately die from these injuries?

2. What is the level of technological awareness in this novel? Not only the genre, but also the level of technical sophistication?

3. What do you want the trend of the injury to be? IOW, a sudden severe injury that improves rapidly? A sudden severe injury that becomes worse with a rapid recovery. Over how long.

4. What does survive mean, in your scenario? Have a permanent tracheotomy, leave in a wheelchair, that sort of thing.

IN OTHER WORDS: What is is that you are trying to accomplish with this GSW?

The problem with giving meaningful answers is: it all depends, as my Dad was fond of pointing out, bless his soul.

Abdominal wounds can be very nasty. Or not so much. Living with a colostomy, for example, is a bit of a bear. Particularly if you are young.

You have many other variables that you have already specified - GSW, severe injury that makes an expert think/fear she will die, altered level of consciousness, inability to speak more than a few word, likely severe blood loss, survive hours before definitive treatment, recovery of several months, but survival. This is good, and narrows the choices. But more information is needed! :)

If you can elucidate, I will be happy to help more.

HTH
CB

afarnam
01-05-2014, 12:59 AM
Sure.

Yes, this is one of the three main characters. Definitely has to survive. Having already been through some rough stuff, she has some PTSD issues after this, which I can handle, that being more my field. But physically she needs to be able to hike a long distance in about 5 months. But she needs to be stuck in a medical facility for the first few weeks or a month, and can recover for as long as three of four months, if necessary for a realistic medical view.

Key to character issues is that the doctor isn't sure, particularly given the distance to definitive treatment, that this smallish person will survive. He doesn't have to think for sure she is dying and then suddenly change his mind. He's just really worried (partly he's pissed off at his brother who he blames for getting the kid into a dangerous situation).

Okay, this is pretty intense but still most attractive to a YA audience. No, it is not a medical drama novel. This is one chapter. I don't need every detail. I just need to get my story straight and have a couple of details to work in to make it sound realistic. I don't need to know all of the ins and outs of abdominal injuries, just one scenario that will fit the scene.

It might help to know that initially the POV is from the injured character. I am pretty confident that I can describe everything that isn't medically related. But the character is conscious enough to hear some of the words the doctor says and to describe some things (disjointedly so it doesn't have to perfect) that the doctor does. Later the POV is from the doctor, who in the course of other things comments on the recovery of that character and his reaction to what happened.

I've already written two versions of the scene and my captive (i.e. extended family) YA audience thinks both versions are great and realistic, but I know that some readers are more sophisticated and it bugs me when writers butcher a field I know, so I'm trying to do justice to the medical side of it. :)

CoolBlue
01-05-2014, 01:39 AM
Sure.


A penetrating bullet wound to the abdomen will have any doctor very worried if there is no immediate sophisticated medical care available.

There is precious little he can do in the field. If he has IV equipment, he will start that, and worry if he has enough fluid available. He will cover the wounds with gauze soaked in saline or sterile water, if he has that. If there is any bowel or omentum protruding from the wound, he will cover it in the same fashion. After the initial brouhaha has settled, he would be watching her closely for signs of worsening shock. Shock means decreased oxygenation of tissues - so, reduced mentation will play a key part. She will have a weak, fast, thready pulse, dry lips, cool, perhaps becoming blue extremities. If she becomes very difficult to rouse, and he notices that her skin is becoming mottled (limbs and trunk), he will know she has little time to live without help arriving soon.

If she presents to an ER after an injury like this, with associated instability, she will go directly to the OR. No CT, perhaps a quick XRay, mainly to rule out a pneumothorax. IVs, Labs and Crossmatch, chest tubes and urinary catheter, and emergency blood started. Intubation and ventilation before she heads off to the OR. ER doc, surgeon, anesthesia, nursing, respiratory, lab, imaging, everyone will be all over her.

In surgery, the emphasis will be on getting in and out as soon as possible. Identify the injuries, stop the bleeding and any leaks, wash out (lavage) the cavity, maybe a colostomy, if needed, and get out.

Then to ICU, on a ventilator at first. If further surgery is contemplated in the near future, she will be kept on a ventilator and in a coma with medications. Of prime importance will be whether her shock state resolves, whether infection sets in, and the development of clotting defects. If that happens, all the bets are off. She may develop failure of any and all major organ groups - renal, respiratory, cardiac to mention the main ones. She could have a heart attack, a stroke, a pulmonary embolus.

If she survives, she will be weaned off the ventilator, and later transferred to a surgical ward. Now the recovery and rehabilitation will begin. Further surgeries may be needed. Complications, such as wound and intra-abdominal infections may happen. Pneumonia. Bowel obstruction. Clostridium difficile diarrhoea can be a major issue.

HTH
CB

NeuroGlide
01-05-2014, 02:05 AM
Sure.

Yes, this is one of the three main characters. Definitely has to survive. Having already been through some rough stuff, she has some PTSD issues after this, which I can handle, that being more my field. But physically she needs to be able to hike a long distance in about 5 months. But she needs to be stuck in a medical facility for the first few weeks or a month, and can recover for as long as three of four months, if necessary for a realistic medical view.

Key to character issues is that the doctor isn't sure, particularly given the distance to definitive treatment, that this smallish person will survive. He doesn't have to think for sure she is dying and then suddenly change his mind. He's just really worried (partly he's pissed off at his brother who he blames for getting the kid into a dangerous situation).

Okay, this is pretty intense but still most attractive to a YA audience. No, it is not a medical drama novel. This is one chapter. I don't need every detail. I just need to get my story straight and have a couple of details to work in to make it sound realistic. I don't need to know all of the ins and outs of abdominal injuries, just one scenario that will fit the scene.

It might help to know that initially the POV is from the injured character. I am pretty confident that I can describe everything that isn't medically related. But the character is conscious enough to hear some of the words the doctor says and to describe some things (disjointedly so it doesn't have to perfect) that the doctor does. Later the POV is from the doctor, who in the course of other things comments on the recovery of that character and his reaction to what happened.

I've already written two versions of the scene and my captive (i.e. extended family) YA audience thinks both versions are great and realistic, but I know that some readers are more sophisticated and it bugs me when writers butcher a field I know, so I'm trying to do justice to the medical side of it. :)

First off, thank you for trying to get it right. As a reader I do appreciate it.

Second, your surgeon needs some background, specifically military medicine. In the military, you get a lot of training on the treatment of gunshot wounds, and if you're unlucky, a lot of practice too. In the US it isn't uncommon for poorer folk to sign up in the military just to get Uncle Sam to pay for their medical training. Armies have medics, navies have corpsmen (US Marines have Navy corpsmen).

Third, given what she as to go through after recovery, minimize the medical complications. She gets shot, delayed transport and treatment, infection, recovery. All that could take a couple months easily. Full recovery,to the point where the injury doesn't bother her, couple years maybe. So she's making the journey still wounded, but she doesn't have a choice. The willingness to do it, that's what makes her worth writing about.;

CoolBlue
01-05-2014, 02:07 AM
First off, thank you for trying to get it right. As a reader I do appreciate it.


THIS.

CB

afarnam
01-05-2014, 10:25 AM
Can my scenario say the bullet doesn't go entirely through the victim?

Thanks. I think I'm close on this.

is friday
01-05-2014, 04:53 PM
If the bullet goes through the victim it creates an "exit wound". You'll have a great deal more bleeding and lower chance of survival. From a trauma management standpoint (before they're at a hospital with blood on hand for transfusion,) it is easier to deal with a victim that does not have an exit wound.

afarnam
01-05-2014, 05:05 PM
Exactly. I would really rather avoid exit-wound complications but I want to make sure that I'm not going to be laughed at for saying the bullet got lodged in the person's body under the circumstances (40 ft, unclear weapon, POV character does not know guns any better than I do, small person with an abdominal wound). This is almost funny. I can probably write about almost anything better than medical issues and guns. :) I didn't exactly pick this story. My characters took over! I swear.

NeuroGlide
01-05-2014, 07:34 PM
Exactly. I would really rather avoid exit-wound complications but I want to make sure that I'm not going to be laughed at for saying the bullet got lodged in the person's body under the circumstances (40 ft, unclear weapon, POV character does not know guns any better than I do, small person with an abdominal wound). This is almost funny. I can probably write about almost anything better than medical issues and guns. :) I didn't exactly pick this story. My characters took over! I swear.

There is a gun myth you can exploit here. Picture someone using a small angle grinder to first flatten the tips of the bullets, then carve a small X-cross in the flat spots. The myth is that will cause the bullets to split along the lines of the X and improve expansion. The theory is sound, but getting the depth right by hand is impossible. The cuts will either be too shallow and have no effect, or be too deep and the bullet will fragment, not penetrating deeply at all. Find a way to tell this to the reader, say the surgeon explaining this to his operating assistant. It also shows the attacker to be sadistic as decent people don't do this. The Geneva Code outlaws certain types of ammo and this modification comes close to one of the outlawed types.

afarnam
01-05-2014, 10:12 PM
Otherwise, it has to go through a person of that size???

The people shooting had no idea the protagonists were going to show up. It is a bit of a stretch to say they'd have special bullets prepared. They're basically security guards of a particularly evil type but still that's their job and they rarely have to fight anyone.

NeuroGlide
01-05-2014, 10:45 PM
Otherwise, it has to go through a person of that size???

The people shooting had no idea the protagonists were going to show up. It is a bit of a stretch to say they'd have special bullets prepared. They're basically security guards of a particularly evil type but still that's their job and they rarely have to fight anyone.

No, with out any knowledge of the villains, I just pulled up something villainous you could use. It wouldn't be geared specifically for anybody, just evil being evil. As to the lack of overpenetration, you don't really have to explain it. Ammo from a cheap vendor will use a lower quality of gunpowder and carry less energy. Bullet hits girl and stops. Bullets fired through furniture will loose some energy in passage. Bullet hits girl and stops. Shooters gun is worn and fouled, so bullet develops less energy. Bullet hits girl and stops. Also a worn gun means the rifling is worn down so the bullet is more likely to tumble on impact. Now you just to figure out if and how to tell your readers this.

afarnam
01-06-2014, 12:47 AM
I think I don't unless I have to. The POV character in the beginning would not think it strange because she doesn't know guns either. All POVs in here are first-person testimony, so all I have to say is what the character would say in explaining the scene in detail after the fact.

Thanks! Can I ask you a couple more specific gun questions on other parts of the story, since you seem to know guns?

NeuroGlide
01-06-2014, 01:24 AM
I think I don't unless I have to. The POV character in the beginning would not think it strange because she doesn't know guns either. All POVs in here are first-person testimony, so all I have to say is what the character would say in explaining the scene in detail after the fact.

Thanks! Can I ask you a couple more specific gun questions on other parts of the story, since you seem to know guns?

Sure, but note my knowledge about guns is more US/NATO orientated. I don't know much about Russian/Chinese guns other than the basics.

afarnam
01-06-2014, 11:06 AM
Story is mostly set in the US, bits in Canada, one bit in Western Europe. The characters are from all over the map but the guys supplying the guns are mainly Israeli and Australian. Again, I'm from Oregon, although I live in the Czech Republic.

I've got a band of reasonably well-financed international outlaws. They have some Israeli ties so I'm thinking to some extent they are using Uzis for heavy combat. Okay? If you want, you can go off on exactly what kind of Uzi it should be but so far I have done pretty well just calling them weapons or Uzis.

As far as I understand, these are smallish, very effective automatic weapons. Right?

Can they have a silencer on them if they are shooting single shots? Do they have to take the silencer off, if they want to do more than single shots? Is that at all difficult?

I'm giving them a number of Kalashnikovs too for the junior members of the group who haven't been through enough training to get the expensive stuff. Any objections? This gets only one minor mention in the story. It isn't a big deal.

They also need to have smaller hidden weapons at times. What could this be? They need small guns they can hide well and pull out easily in a pinch. I'm not trying to say they get searched and their weapons don't get found but they can walk down the street without anyne knowing they're armed.

I don't need to worry in detail about fire power, though obviously they would have good-quality guns. Most scenes involving shooting don't specifically say who shot what. They just shoot to cover an escape most of the time. They have good guns because they have the money but the fact is that they are so ridiculously outgunned in the story by the forces they are fighting that winning the fight isn't going to be about fire power. Just saying.

Thanks.

NeuroGlide
01-06-2014, 12:45 PM
I've got a band of reasonably well-financed international outlaws. They have some Israeli ties so I'm thinking to some extent they are using Uzis for heavy combat. Okay? If you want, you can go off on exactly what kind of Uzi it should be but so far I have done pretty well just calling them weapons or Uzis.

As far as I understand, these are smallish, very effective automatic weapons. Right?

Uzi's come in three sizes, the regular which is a submachine gun and the mini and micro versions which are considered machine pistols. All come in 9mm. The standard Uzi is about 18 inches with stock either removed or folded and roughly two foot with either an extended metal stock or as solid one. There is a semiauto only version with 6 more inches of barrel made for US civilian sales, but I don't believe it's parts compatible.


Can they have a silencer on them if they are shooting single shots? Do they have to take the silencer off, if they want to do more than single shots? Is that at all difficult?

You can fit a sound suppressor on an Uzi and fire it full auto. A silencer interferes with a gun's operation to silence the metal-on-metal sound of chambering the next round. Anything that doesn't is just a suppressor. They make special subsonic ammo for suppressed weapons. It has less power than regular ammo, but the bullet doesn't break the sound barrier so there is no crack from a sonic boom as it passes. The suppressor roughly doubles the length of the stock-less Uzi.


I'm giving them a number of Kalashnikovs too for the junior members of the group who haven't been through enough training to get the expensive stuff. Any objections? This gets only one minor mention in the story. It isn't a big deal.

Your giving them a weapons manufacturer? I assume you AK-47s, 74s or some derivative there of? Uzi's are fairly cheap guns themselves. Since the AKs won't be chambered in 9mm, you now have two ammo types and more complicated logistics, but the AKs are a big increase in firepower. There are reasons to do it both ways, I'm neutral.


They also need to have smaller hidden weapons at times. What could this be? They need small guns they can hide well and pull out easily in a pinch. I'm not trying to say they get searched and their weapons don't get found but they can walk down the street without anyne knowing they're armed.

It's hard to get more personal than someone's choice in sidearm and stay outside their underwear. A pistol one person swears by another will just swear at. Having said that, the logic of going with a 9mm pistol is obvious. How big depends on what their wearing. They make concealed carry holsters for most full sized pistols, either rear waist band or under shoulder rigs. The former can be worn under an untucked shirt, or either under a jacket. As to what, get a shopping cart. Glocks, Brownings, Berettas, FNs, HKs, OOOoooh my. You've got more choices than a lady in a shoe store (including pink ones for the ladies, although I think either stainless or blued steel goes better with most dresses). And besides, can any of your characters ID a pistol from 40ft?


I don't need to worry in detail about fire power, though obviously they would have good-quality guns. Most scenes involving shooting don't specifically say who shot what. They just shoot to cover an escape most of the time. They have good guns because they have the money but the fact is that they are so ridiculously outgunned in the story by the forces they are fighting that winning the fight isn't going to be about fire power. Just saying.

Fire discipline, short controlled bursts. An Uzi can eat an extended 50 round clip in five seconds. The experienced ones may keep theirs on semiauto to conserve ammo.

afarnam
01-06-2014, 03:38 PM
Okay, scratch the AKs. :) We'll go more or less all 9mm. Good idea. I don't even know that I need to specify what sort of small arms they've got. They just occasionally refer to a hidden weapon. Maybe I could add in a name at times for good detail. At least, two of my POV characters could probably ID a pistol with the best of them. The others not so much. It just hasn't come up yet in the scenes where the POV would know.

Thanks for the ammo tip. How much does ammo weigh btw? How much would a hard-core type be carrying if they had to head out on foot.

Oh, here's a good one. I have just arrived at the part in the story where a group of my protagonists have been cornered and forced to flee on foot into the Kootenai National Forest. It is going to take them about a week to hike to Canada. They have a little food with them, a couple of kids and a small child. They have their trusty Uzis (at least two of them do but not a ton of ammo) and a couple of smaller guns. They are certainly going to get hungry eventually and come up with the idea of trying to illegally hunt for food. A couple of the kids actually have hunting experience, but they have only ever used a hunting rifle. The fighter types are weaker in the wilderness survival area. They are all from very urban places in other countries where hunting is a big thing as it is in the US and while they've trained for fighting in all sorts of terrain they've never really considered things like hunting until now. So, ideally I want a good scene where the kids can laugh at the suggestion of the fighters that they can hunt with their semi-automatics. I'm assuming many things you would try to hunt would simply be blown to bits with this type of weapon. Particularly since there are seven of them and they aren't all great hunters, they are going to have a hard time shooting an elk. They're going to be after things like mountain rabbits (note to self to look up what runs around in Kootenai that I can have them shoot, but I'm sure there is something), I'm thinking. Any comments?

afarnam
01-06-2014, 05:55 PM
If Uzis fold, could you fold one and hide it under a seat in a mini-van?

NeuroGlide
01-06-2014, 10:11 PM
Okay, scratch the AKs. :) We'll go more or less all 9mm. Good idea. I don't even know that I need to specify what sort of small arms they've got. They just occasionally refer to a hidden weapon. Maybe I could add in a name at times for good detail. At least, two of my POV characters could probably ID a pistol with the best of them. The others not so much. It just hasn't come up yet in the scenes where the POV would know.

That's why this board exists, to answer the questions you didn't know you needed to ask. Your POV characters could probably narrow it down to a manufacturer without a close examination, but there are enough cheap knock off they wouldn't be sure. China's famous for their cheap knock offs.


Thanks for the ammo tip. How much does ammo weigh btw? How much would a hard-core type be carrying if they had to head out on foot.

Each round weighs 12 to 15 grams depending on the specific of their design. You'ld buy them in 50 or 100 round plastic "bricks." An Uzi itself weights in at 3.5 kilos. Add in three loaded standard size 32 round magazines and that's another 1.5 kilos or about 12 lbs total. Since they would have a limited number of mags, they would ration them. Their larger mags would be issued to groups that expected to need heaver fire. And since I brought that up, 20, 25 & 32 stock and 40 & 50 after market. In theory, a machinist could make a larger drum magazine, I just don't know if I would trust it.


Oh, here's a good one. I have just arrived at the part in the story where a group of my protagonists have been cornered and forced to flee on foot into the Kootenai National Forest. It is going to take them about a week to hike to Canada. They have a little food with them, a couple of kids and a small child. They have their trusty Uzis (at least two of them do but not a ton of ammo) and a couple of smaller guns. They are certainly going to get hungry eventually and come up with the idea of trying to illegally hunt for food. A couple of the kids actually have hunting experience, but they have only ever used a hunting rifle. The fighter types are weaker in the wilderness survival area. They are all from very urban places in other countries where hunting is a big thing as it is in the US and while they've trained for fighting in all sorts of terrain they've never really considered things like hunting until now. So, ideally I want a good scene where the kids can laugh at the suggestion of the fighters that they can hunt with their semi-automatics. I'm assuming many things you would try to hunt would simply be blown to bits with this type of weapon. Particularly since there are seven of them and they aren't all great hunters, they are going to have a hard time shooting an elk. They're going to be after things like mountain rabbits (note to self to look up what runs around in Kootenai that I can have them shoot, but I'm sure there is something), I'm thinking. Any comments?

Hunting with 9mm won't be easy. The problem is 9mm is only designed to be lethal to men out to 50m. It's hard for most folk to get that close to big game. Mountain goats would be possible. Boar would also be about the right size, if they're in the area, but you don't hunt boar. You run across it and try to gun it down before it gores you to death. The round might not be powerful enough to bring down a deer except by getting it to bleed out, and deer can run for miles before they finally die. I bet you wish you brought those AKs now, don't you.

And you could probably fit it under the front seat of a minivan, assuming the seat wasn't motorized, but good luck getting to it quickly. It's long enough to be awkward to insert/remove and the magazine would have to be removed for it to fit.

afarnam
01-06-2014, 10:35 PM
Don't worry, the Uzi never comes out. It is just mentioned as being hidden, because we know they've got them and we need to know that the big guns are hidden because some cops start shining lights into cars. Then, things go bad way too fast for the characters in that particular situation to even think about pulling it out. :)

Okay, so small stuff you can get close to for hunting. I'll keep that in mind. What would be the standard distance for hunting deer with a rifle?

WeaselFire
01-06-2014, 10:53 PM
Okay, so small stuff you can get close to for hunting. I'll keep that in mind. What would be the standard distance for hunting deer with a rifle?
Where? New England might be 150 yards or closer. Wyoming could be 600 yards. Depends on terrain and cover and, to a certain extent, species of deer.

If there are trees and hills, shorter distances, 50-200 yards. If it's wide open plains, deep valleys or the like, 600 yards is a good range to use.

Common deer cartridges would be 30-06, 30 caliber, 6.5mm, 7mm, 8mm, .240, .243, .308, .270 and maybe .338. There are others, depending on area and gun preference. Many are now using .223 or 5.56 in AR rifles for deer. To me, they aren't big enough to guarantee a quick kill and I hate tracking dying deer through brush and snow.

Here in the South, there's a 30-06 in every pickup truck. Probably why Rednecks will win any war... :)

Jeff

NeuroGlide
01-06-2014, 11:12 PM
Okay, so small stuff you can get close to for hunting. I'll keep that in mind. What would be the standard distance for hunting deer with a rifle?

As far as you can see through the trees. If you can find a clearing and set up a blind with a rifle rest, you can make shots up to 400m consistently, all weather variables being controlled. This is with a rifle that will put a bullet over a kilometer with lethal force for a human, say a .300 Winchester Magnum. The deer range is a combination having enough energy to penetrate all the way to core organs and accuracy to strike them.

afarnam
01-06-2014, 11:46 PM
This is the northern US Rockies so its sometimes heavy timber, but often pretty sparse, all fairly dry, much more visibility than in wetter areas and huge valleys. I know the terrain but I never was into hunting though. What I really need to know is what a teenager who went on hunting trips in that area would think was a reasonable range. He's mainly going to laugh at the Vietnamese city boy who thinks he's going to go hunting with an Uzi because of the lack of range and the fact that he's never going to get close enough to a deer to do it. I think I've got the idea.

So, then, they go hunting for mountain goats instead. You can get within 100 or 200 feet of those without too much trouble. They would be pretty tough but if you were starving... But then they get to choose between hand guns and Uzis. I'm assuming hand guns?

And while I'm on the subject, how easy is teenager who is a fair shot with a hunting rifle going to find learning to use an Uzi or a hand gun?

NeuroGlide
01-07-2014, 12:42 AM
So, then, they go hunting for mountain goats instead. You can get within 100 or 200 feet of those without too much trouble. They would be pretty tough but if you were starving... But then they get to choose between hand guns and Uzis. I'm assuming hand guns?

Uzi, longer barrel means more energy from the propellent load for a flatter trajectory, more range and a bit more power. One with a stock to help aim. Also a short clip, the longer clips will interfere with shooting from a prone position.


And while I'm on the subject, how easy is teenager who is a fair shot with a hunting rifle going to find learning to use an Uzi or a hand gun?

He will curse it's lack of scope, range & power and sharp bullet drop, but with practice, he'll adapt. Hunting is practically sniping, far different from most urban combat skills.

afarnam
01-07-2014, 02:29 AM
Many thanks again!!!! :)

Probably a horrendously dumb question but why do Uzis have a supposedly good reputation, if all they are so wimpy? I was originally told to use Uzis by a friend with some vague knowledge of guns. Is it that they are good for urban combat but not for other things?

Okay, one scene occurs to me where a gun ID would be good. A guy who does know guns sees a hillbilly from Eastern Oregon, who works for the villains, pull out a hidden handgun. It needn't be anything special but a type would be a nice detail. The scene is at night with headlights as the main light, so not too specific, just an impression of what it is. Suggestions?

NeuroGlide
01-07-2014, 03:50 AM
Many thanks again!!!! :)

Probably a horrendously dumb question but why do Uzis have a supposedly good reputation, if all they are so wimpy? I was originally told to use Uzis by a friend with some vague knowledge of guns. Is it that they are good for urban combat but not for other things?

For urban combat, it's hard to beat a submachine gun and an Uzi is a very good SMG. It's got a short length, making it easy to maneuver in restricted space, and because it uses low powered pistol ammo, it's very controllable for being so light.


Okay, one scene occurs to me where a gun ID would be good. A guy who does know guns sees a hillbilly from Eastern Oregon, who works for the villains, pull out a hidden handgun. It needn't be anything special but a type would be a nice detail. The scene is at night with headlights as the main light, so not too specific, just an impression of what it is. Suggestions?

.357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver. Don't shoot anyone with it unless you want them dead. Some people scope them and go deer hunting. The bullet is 9.1mm, so it doesn't seem like it's much more, but the brass or case length is 33mm vs 19mm for your 9 mils. It has a least twice the powder load and throws a heavier round. Only holds 6 shots vs. 20 for some wonder 9 pistols, but adherents proclaim that's because 9s need 20 shots, 357s don't. :D Big gun, jacket sling for concealed carry.

afarnam
01-07-2014, 08:58 AM
Hmmm... Would the POV character just think of that as "a Magnum"? If he knows guns he's not going to be mulling over long names, particularly since it is being pointed at his friend.

I'm still not sure if this isn't too big. It is summer time and the guy is hanging out for awhile with no one knowing he's armed. He can't be packing anything very big. Besides, this is not a big shot bad guy. Bosses mostly care that his gun is hidden.

Nobody does get shot. The guy holding the gun gets whacked on the head from behind with a crow bar. The gun goes off but misses.

NeuroGlide
01-07-2014, 03:02 PM
Hmmm... Would the POV character just think of that as "a Magnum"? If he knows guns he's not going to be mulling over long names, particularly since it is being pointed at his friend.

I'm still not sure if this isn't too big. It is summer time and the guy is hanging out for awhile with no one knowing he's armed. He can't be packing anything very big. Besides, this is not a big shot bad guy. Bosses mostly care that his gun is hidden.

Nobody does get shot. The guy holding the gun gets whacked on the head from behind with a crow bar. The gun goes off but misses.

I went with revolver for obviousness of type. You can shrink it down to .38 Special. Short barrel, 5 shot. Misknown as a Saturday night Special.

afarnam
01-08-2014, 12:18 AM
Okie dokie! Thanks ever so much.