What it feels like to be shot

Max Leung

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Cameron Yee

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Can't say I have either (knock on wood). I watched the Today show on Friday and Matt Lauer interviewed the actress who got shot on the New York subway. Basically she didn't know she was shot until the person helping her said to one of the subway employees "We need help, she's been shot." The bullet exited out her shoulder, which made her arm flail. That was really the only thing she remembered physically happening.
 

Brett DiMichele

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"People don't even get knocked backward when they get shot, but you see this in the movies all the time,"


That may be the case when you get shot with a pea shooter
like a 9mm for example... But when you get hit with a
.357, .45 or .50.. YOU go DOWN...

There was a recent program I was watching where they had
a guy wearing a balistic vest and they shot him pretty
much point blank with a .45 ACP. The impact of the slug
picked him up off his feet and slammed him to the ground
and he didn't get up right away either.

He said it's like being hit with a school bus in the chest.
Even with a vest on you would typically get numerous broken
ribs and a bruised heart.

So I have to call BS on what this "Doctor" says.. The only
slugs that will pass through you without knocking you down
are those with super high muzzle velocities and low grain
to the slug.. 9mm .22, .222, HMR.17 and some other high
powered rifles perhaps..
 

NickSo

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Im just curious about the pain. In movies a guy gets shot in the arm/leg, but is able to get back up (though limping)... wouldn't it hurt like hell? Maybe in the heat of the moment there'd be a bunch of endorphins and adrenaline to numb the pain?
 

Andrew W

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I read that people who get shot a second time usually feel it much more intensly. Apparently there are some types of pain your body has to learn.
 

Richard Kim

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"Oh, the searing kiss of hot lead. How I've missed you! I mean -- I think I'm dying."
 

CRyan

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Getting shot with a vest is a completely different story. The impact is spread and absorbed with a faster than sound bullet being brought to a complete stop in milliseconds. This is not what happens when a billet penetrates the body. It tends to go through the body slowing down easily - exiting the other side. The force is not transferred to the body.

C. Ryan
 

Keith Mickunas

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Yeah, the vest totally changes things. The reason the guy got knocked down is that his body absorbed most of the energy. Any bullet that passes through the body still has some or most of it's energy so the person may not be knocked down by it.
 

Todd Hochard

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Yep, the vest distributes the entire energy of the bullet to the body. A bullet going into the body does not impart nearly as much energy.
I've only been hunting a handful of times in my life, but watching the animals, this appears to be the way it is, as well. My cousin shot a quite large buck, and he didn't even seem to realize he'd been hit until the blood loss started making him woozy. Then, he ran... and ran... and ran... and ran. I wanted to kill him again, by the time we got to him.


I've been stabbed. Does that count? It didn't hurt until much later, when the muscle basically clenched up full on.
 

Neil J

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Has anyone read the book Black Hawk Down, I remember one of the soldiers complaining that the Somali's usually didn't go right down when getting shot, unless a vital organ was hit.
Also a guy I used to work with said that when he was in the Marines he was shot with a 9mm pistol while wearing a vest just to show what it was like. He made it sound like that is a common practice. Can anyone verify that?
 

Brett DiMichele

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I understand that a Vest will capture all of the bullets
momentum in a split second. But I still stand by what I
said above.. Get hit by a .45, .50 or even a .357 and
chances are you will drop like a box of rocks.. A 9mm won't
do much with one shot.. Especially if they are on PCP or
Meth.. Hell even a .45 might not do it to someone who is
jacked up enough.
 

AjayM

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Guys, physics will tell you all you need to know about what happens to your body when you get shot. The force of the bullet exiting the gun is the same as the force the person holding the gun experiences (you can't have more force come from one end than the other). The shooter has a big handle (or stock) to distribute force as oppposed to a very small cross section of a bullet. Think of it this way, a .45 bullet weighs 0.015 kg and has a muzzle velocity of around 288 m/s, please tell me how this will knock over a 200lb person (and that's standing still if the 200lb person is moving towards the bullet than that changes thing completely).

But unless you get shot by something not designed for "people" you will not get picked up off your feet, you will not fly backwards 20ft, etc. Most people who get shot fall forward, because that is the direction they are walking/running.


Stopping power comes from one thing, the ability to do massive damage to the person getting shot. A person drops when the spine is severed, the heart or major artery is hit, the brain, or you hit something directly related to the person moving (shoot somebody in the knee and destroy the structure and the person can't move). The reason why a .45 or .50 or .357 works better than a 9mm is that it has more power and can penetrate deeper into the body in "average" conditions (going through lines of clothing really kills the velocity of the bullet).

As somebody mentioned above, it's quite common on a battle ground for the enemy to be shot multiple times and still come at you, and these aren't wimpy .45 or .50 caliber hand gun rounds, but 7.62mm rifle rounds.

Andrew
 

Joey Skinner

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Military bullets are full metal jacket (FMJ) and are not designed to mushroom on impact like a hunting slug or a hollow point pistol round. The FMJ bullet will pass through a body without causing a lot of shock damage unless is starts tumbling. Also I think the slower velocity bullet is more likely to pass through a body where the high velocity bullet is more likely to tumble or mushroom causing greater damage.
 

Philip_G

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contrary to film, something like 70% or higher of handgun wound victims that make it to the hospital alive survive.
I've been hit with shotgun pellets before, caught one in the eyebrow hunting pheasants. Dunno where it came from, ricochet probably.

Actual stopping power is a very complex and hotly debated subject. A book was written about it using real world shootings, 357 mag came out on top, I think 40 smith next and 45acp next. 9mm was somewhere around 8th or 9th. The book is called, wait for it, stopping power.
 

BrianW

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Not if the bullet goes completely through you, unless it injures the spine, brain, or major cardio-vascular function as pointed out above. In the absense of these injuries, stopping power comes almost solely from the transfer of momentum, which doesn't occur significantly with a projectile that exits the body. Even a smaller/slower round that never exits the body will have more stopping power through transfer of momentum than any larger projectile that creates an exit wound. Tests with vests are indeed impressive, but they necessarily don't allow for the condition of the round penetrating, much less exiting, the test subject.
 

Philip_G

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A good defensive round will not. For safety reasons, and for the puprose of expelling every last bit of energy inside you. A bullet gone through is energy wasted.
 

Mark Murphy

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My friend's brother got shot by an AR15 three times and spent a month in the hospital recovering. He was playing in a softball tournament in a questionable part of Boston and was caught in the crossfire. He said it burned like hell.
 

Randy Tennison

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You kind of make the arguement against yourself.

The ability to feel pain makes no difference in force upon the body. The bullet hits with the same force, the energy is disappated the same. PCP doesn't change physics. It changes the autonomic reaction of the person.

A person who feels pain will react to the pain autonomically. That can include doubling over, jumping back, flailing their arms, etc. But, it is a body response to the pain / injury of the gunshot wound, and not a reaction to the energy of the bullet.

During the police academy, it was drilled into our heads, "Just because your shot, don't mean your dead". Why? Because some officers with non-life threatening injuries basically shut down after they discovered they were shot. It was psychological, not physical. So, we were trained to keep fighting as long as our body would hold us.

Additionally, on the range, we are trained to shoot to stop the person. This includes shot to the mid-section (the largest body mass, thus the easiest to hit), and if that doesn't work, to the head.

If you want to see how a body reacts to being shot, watch the footage from California with the two guys who went on a shooting spree. They were wearing body armor, thus the shots didn't penetrate. They were hit, and kept going. It wasn't until the one perp shot himself in the head that he dropped. He had been hit dozens of times.
 

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