View Full Version : What does it feel like?

07-23-2010, 8:34 AM
Little Reminder to always have safety as your number one priority

What does it feel like?

When I was a young Navy hospital corpsman working the hospital wards during the Viet Nam war, I frequently encountered young men who had been shot during their battlefield experiences. Once in a while I would break down and ask them “what does it feel like?” Most were noncommittal; a few said that it stung a bit, and just one or two told me that it had hurt like hell. None were very eager to explore the topic and it was very easy to move onto more pleasant subjects.

Fortunately, I made it through 20 years in the military without ever being in combat. I certainly never believed that in my seventh decade of life I would learn the answer to my sophomoric inquiries.

On January 3rd of this year, I learned what it feels like to be shot. And I can assure you it was horrendous.

While attending an annual machine gun shoot at a private range west of Houston, I had the misfortune to be struck by a .30-06 bullet fired from another attendee’s WWII Browning 1919 machine gun. I was sitting with my wife well behind the shooting line and thus was blissfully unaware of his arrival approximately 15 yards to my right. As the fellow was unpacking his weapon, unsuspecting that it had a live cartridge in its chamber, the trigger was inadvertently touched and the rest is, as they say, history. The primer duly ignited, the powder burned, and the resulting pressure wave sent the bullet racing down the grooves and into the crowd.

Today, I can attest that it does not “sting” when one is hit with a large caliber rifle bullet; in fact, it hurts so damned bad that six months later I remain unable to find appropriate words to describe the sensation. Worse yet was the shock of impact. Think of it as being run over by a large truck moving at highway speed; maybe even the space shuttle. As an avid firearms enthusiast I have always understood the physics that dictates most of the knock-down power of any cartridge rests in its ability to impart kinetic energy into tissue damage; in this case a 150 grain FMJ bullet moving at 2445 fps. But that knowledge never prepared me for the experience. The bullet’s impact went beyond bone-jarring; it was an overwhelming WHAM! of pure, hateful energy. And then pain arrived. Mind shattering pain.

By the grace of God, and with the help of some really good trauma surgeons, I survived that awful day. Remarkably, I even kept both of my legs – although it was a touch-and-go thing for several weeks. Today, I am learning to walk again, although it is unlikely I will ever be able to do so without the aid of a cane or crutches. With seven surgeries behind me and at least two more to go, my remarkable recovery continues and eventually the dreadful memories of that day may fade. But I will never again someone “what does it feel like?”

The lessons learned by all at the range that fateful day are:
·Every weapon is loaded until proven unloaded
·Handle every weapon as if it were loaded
·Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
·Even when one has been careful for a lifetime, another shooter’s carelessness can change your life forever.

B. Ross
Houston TX


07-23-2010, 8:44 AM
That's scary. I dislike going to ranges and shoots just for this reason.

07-23-2010, 9:15 AM
If you're going to uncase behind the line, this is why you uncase your firearms pointing AWAY from other people. Then hold muzzle-up and carry to the line.

Some would advise checking the action before coming to the line but I don't think that's the right place to be working your action.

07-23-2010, 9:26 AM
He is lucky to be alive. It's always good to bring up safety.

07-23-2010, 2:51 PM
the guy that had the ND is a freakin idiot

07-24-2010, 7:33 AM
the guy that had the ND is a freakin idiot

I wonder if a civil lawsuit could be filed. Not that we need more lawsuits in this country, but dang man, if you own guns, you really need to know and embrace the gun safety rules. A guy with a full auto 1919 is not a casual weekend shooter, this is an enthusiast who SHOULD KNOW very well how to handle his guns. The victim is really paying a lifelong price for the other guy's negligence. Sucks.


07-24-2010, 7:43 AM
Unfortunately he didn't mention the other important lesson of, situational awareness. Always be looking and scanning, the best way to avoid is to recognize a potential bad situation.

07-24-2010, 10:08 AM
Did you end up suing the guy? if i got shot from an idiot and was forced to use a cane or crutch for life i would sue his him so hard. i wouldnt mind taking his 1919 too