This is a grim question. I’ve imagined the situation as being stabbed with a 3-foot long, red-hot poker. Combat veterans?
Ironically, I am a combat veteran, but I was shot by an active shooter’s ricochet in my neighborhood as a teenager. He was shooting up our next door neighbor’s house and had them pinned down in their living room. Crazy dude just picked them and started shooting up their house. Anyway…
He was shooting a Ruger 10/22. I was hit by a ricochet off the street in the mid thigh as I ran across the street. So the bullet had lost a lot of velocity and was small. It felt like someone hit me in the thigh with a hammer. The slug lodged just below the skin and had penetrated my blue jeans. I removed it with my pocket knife because I could see it and I knew an ambulance and trip to ER would take over an hour from the time the shooting stopped. So this was a very superficial GSW. But you asked and there aren’t many people on this forum who can answer you honestly. FYI, I’ve also been stabbed a couple of times. That hurt less, but was far more dangerous.
Through and through shot feels like a hot electrical shock that does not fade and burns, felt like being hit by a 2X4 at full swing. I would only hate to consider if a bone is hit or shattered little less a shot through the rib cage. A fellow Marine was hit in the ear, just grazed his ear removing a little piece of it. It was a sobering moment to how close he was to really getting it.
I know what deep knife cuts feel like. Pencil stabbing hurts. And being crushed by a tank. But no bullet wounds yet. Hoping I never experience it. My dad shot himself hunting twice. Foot. He was a crazy gun safety dad growing up. He tripped both times he said. He went to Nam, got shot at but never wounded.
I’ve never had a bullet go IN me but I have had to fill out paperwork on 3 bullet proof vests. I got shot in the back with what was determined to be a 7.62x54R round at a range of about 250 yards (we recovered his body and the rifle). While I’ve never been hit in the back with an 8lb sledge hammer I imagine it comes very close. I was sore for 3 weeks and had a heck of a time lifting my arms over my head for 3 days. I took a 7.62x39 round in the chest as well as a 5.56 both at about 15 yards and they were like getting hit with a 16oz ball peen hammer at full swing. None of them were pleasant and since I am typing this I won two of the gun fights and a squad of Marines took care of my light work while I was face down trying hard to figure out how to breathe.
It freaking hurts!!! Just saying. Hit 3 times by 7.62 in Iraq.
2 through and through 1 lodged in outside shoulder meat.
Thanks for your real service. I hear that all the time which makes me feel bad/guilty. I managed to get 100% disabled by dumbass accidents and other things. Thanks for taking up my slack.
I was shot, the 7.62 just missed my front plate low right side just above my bdu’s. It was a through and through I had just a little bit of cover but no one could get to me. Having to use bloodstop on yourself and pushing it in both entrance and exit wounds burned just as bad as being shot.
You might be surprised at how many people say they didn’t even know they were shot until the adrenaline wears down and/or someone tells them that they’re bleeding.
Yeah, being a Corpsman I have had more than one occasion where the poor ba$tard quit complaining about the wound and started screaming “WHAT IS THAT!!! Make the burning stop”.
Read an article about a lady outside of a coffee shop taking a 9mm to the thigh. Gang activity a block away, she never heard the shot and thought she was stung by a bee. She didn’t realize she had a bullet in her until she got home.
I think the absolute answer is: it depends. Depends on where the hit lands, your bodies pain thresholds, the caliber, etc.
And thank you to those that have served (in any capacity) and are sharing.
That is what happened to me. I tripped going down the basement stairs. Somewhere between the third step and the floor I faintly heard a noise. when I looked around, I saw a magazine, my shield, and a loose round. I got up from the floor, picked up my stuff and happened to notice blood on the floor. I knew right away that I had been shot, but not where. As I looked around I discovered I had a through and through 9MM hole in my right shoulder. My wife took me to the ER, to check for broken bones, none . Got patched up and I went home. No pain, just a big bruise on my shoulder and halfway down my right side. I guess pain depends on the circumstances.
Happens for a few different reasons. Regarding the Central Nervous System, while the hardware is very similar, individual programming varies. Just like selective auditory exclusion, temporal distortion, and tunnel vision are real experiences under intense stress, sometimes the brain chooses to ignore pain until your limbic system decides the primary danger has passed. We tend to explain this stuff as “effects of adrenaline,” but the adrenaline may not be as causative as it is correlated. I point this out because people with a lot of experience (esp earlier in life) “playing through the pain” (ie linebacker on football team) tend to not notice right away when they are seriously injured more frequently than…oh…say…for example…a clarinet player in the marching band or a graphic artist or a pasty faced social media mogul with a bad haircut. This implies that conditioning (in a neurological sense) may play a significant role in such phenomena.
Annecdotaly I have heard that 22LR’s and 25 ACP’s have felt like bee stings. This is from working in an ER for 3 years.
I was going to say I didn’t feel the penetration of the skin when it hit bone it felt like a vibration through the nerve and the arm went numb , I had no control of it we humped a quarter mile took some indirect fire pow! tink ! Pow ! Spack! Pow , brnnnn! First one was the car second one the ground the third one whizzing past at ear level the Doppler shift made it sound almost cartoonish later you find out what powder burns are and how the hot gasses and burning powder semi cauterize your wound after the adrenaline and your auditory exclusion that that flight response actually worked the penny in your mouth the pounding in your ears About an hour later is where you start feeling stuff after they are pulling the fragment out or telling you so bs story about how lucky you are now suck it up and drive on we have a mission to complete I’m not bad ass or super tolerant of pain I embraced the suck of being a highly skilled soldier in a hostile theater of operation
Any way ! No pain until after the adrenaline hit not as much blood as I thought either. Would not want that again
I must have missed this when it was active. Interesting read. Thanks, all, especially those for their service.
When I was 13 I went hunting with a 21 year old “friend” and to keep it short and simple he first shot me with a 20ga it was bird shot, small, and it felt like red hot rocks hitting me everywhere. He was a good distance away but hurt like hell all the same. We continued our “hunt” and maybe an hour or so later I was hot, it was texas in the summer and I was a lil chubby 13 year old city kid and he had me in the woods of south east Texas for like 3 hours. I was so thirsty, so when we came up on this nasty little lake he told me I could drink from there…not knowing anybetter I handed him the 22 lr he had me carrying, and I got down on my hands and knees to drink and he put the 22 against my head, well damn close to it and shot my ear.
After joining the uscca and educating myself, this guy from my past that for some reason I idealized my whole life became what he really is… im convinced he was trying to kill me that day, I don’t know if he just didn’t have the nerve or if he just missed. Every day I rub my ear, there is a piece missing, and I think of my 3 kids and how close I came to never having the life I have. Honestly I don’t tell many people this story and there is sooooo much more, but I love the uscca and this community so I thought I would share.
Stay safe out there.
PS. At 16 I popped a “zit” on my chest…it was bird shot that came to the surface.
Thank you for sharing brother
An awe inspiring topic.
Thank you to all who have served this great nation, and especially, those who have been wounded in support of the American way.