25 Shocking Facts About Getting Shot

Posted by , Updated on November 29, 2023

Have you ever wondered what getting shot feels like? What happens to your body when a bullet pierces your skin? Or how much it costs to treat a gunshot? Getting shot is undoubtedly one of the worst things you can experience in your life. However, with tens of thousands of people killed by firearms just in the US alone each year, the chances of experiencing this terrifying phenomenon may not be as small as it seems. Therefore, we decided to compile this list with these 25 Shocking Facts About Getting Shot.



After analyzing 677 shootings, a study carried out by the University of Pennsylvania found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens.

gun in holsterSource: newscientist.com

Getting shot is expensive. According to the New York Times the average cost of a gunshot wound is $14,600 for emergency care and $35,400 for lifetime medical care resulting from the shooting. This does not include such as court costs, mental health care, unemployment, and other expenses.

spilled penniesSource: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/04/us/annual-cost-of-treating-gunshot-wounds-is-put-at-2.3-billion.html

The average speed of a bullet is around 1,700 mph. (2,500 feet per second). To put this into perspective, the speed of sound is around 761 mph or 1100 feet per second.

soldier firing gunSource: patient.info

In most cases, the bullet will not pass through the victim's body cleanly. Instead, it will ricochet around inside the body as it glances off bone, causing even more damage.

firing gunSource: dailymail.co.uk

Women who have been severely injured are 14% more likely to survive than similarly injured men. Scientists believe the difference may be due to the negative impact of male sex hormones on a traumatized immune system.

injured womanSource: hopkinsmedicine.org

Researchers estimate that gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion every year, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses such as for emergency and medical care.

paramedicsSource: smartgunlaws.org

The odds of surviving a gunshot greatly depends on key factors such the location of the injury, the amount of blood lost, and how quickly the victim gets to the hospital. Generally, the chances that a person will survive a critical gunshot wound have increased by up to 40% over the last 20 years.

surgeons operating patientSource: livescience.com

Each year, more than 32,000 people are killed by guns in the US. In fact, the total number is probably even higher because some gun-related deaths are left out of the CDC statistics.

cemeterySource: forbes.com

When the victim is shot in the head, the bullet will travel through their brain faster than the speed at which their tissues tear. This means that the bullet is actually pushing tissues out of the way, stretching them beyond their breaking points.

human brainSource: kotaku.com

Bulletproof vests are actually not bulletproof. Bullet-resistant is a more accurate expression. In extremely minute percentage of cases, the bullet (for example those with a serrated edge) can get through the vest.

Bulletproof vestSource: bodyarmornews.com

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every person who dies from a gunshot wound, two others are wounded.

injured soldierSource: smartgunlaws.org

Being shot in the left side of the heart generally causes more bleeding than being shot in right side of the heart because the right side has lower blood pressure.

heartSource: livescience.com

Bleeding out is one of the most common causes of death associated with gun violence, but it can be prevented by using special injectable sponges. These sponges expand once inside the wound, plugging the cavity left by the bullet in just 15 seconds.

blood bagsSource: dailymail.co.uk

If you get shot and get medical attention quickly enough, there is a 95% survival chance for you.

injured manSource: cracked.com

Surprisingly, the will to live has been frequently cited as one of the most important factors in the mortality of gunshot cases (as well as all sorts of other traumas).

injured soldierSource: quora.com

In addition to local damage in tissue caused by direct impact, the bullet can also produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues. This phenomenon is known as hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock.

bulletsSource: wikipedia.com

A US Navy SEAL named Mike Day was knocked unconscious by a grenade and shot 27 times in a terrifying shoot-out in Iraq in 2007. Against all odds, he survived to tell his incredible story.

US Navy SEALs Source: express.co.uk

The main concern with gunshot wounds that involve the intestine or stomach is not bleeding, but infections that result from spillage of the contents of those organs.

internal organsSource: livescience.com

There are two basic types of gunshot wounds – the entrance wound and the exit wound. The entrance wound is normally smaller and quite symmetrical in comparison to the exit wound, which tends to be larger and more destructive because the bullet reaches the end of its trajectory and has to force harder to push through the tissue.

gunshot woundSource: exploreforensics.co.uk

Most of more than 32,000 gun-related deaths that happen in the US each year are by suicide.

loading gunSource: forbes.com

People who are shot from the front to the back of the head often have a better chance than those shot from side to side. This is because a bullet traveling from front to back generally destroys just one of the brain's two hemispheres while a side-to-side shot usually damages both of them.

man holding gunSource: baltimoresun.com

Aiming for limbs to create “flesh wounds” is a movie myth and not something that police or soldiers ever train to do.

soldiersSource: wired.com

A small percentage of gunshot deaths are due to a condition known as a “tension pneumothorax”, also known as a collapsed lung. The lungs have no muscles and they expand due to negative pressure inside of the pleural cavity, which means any type of hole can cause the condition.

pneumothoraxSource: wired.com

In 2007, nearly 70% of all murders in the US were committed with a firearm.

woman holding gunSource: smartgunlaws.org

The survival rate of a gunshot wound to the head is about 5%. However, only 3% of the survivals have a good quality of life afterward.

head injurySource: baltimoresun.com

Photos: Feature Image: shutterstock, 25. Ibro Palic via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 24. Max Pixel (public domain), 23. wikimedia commons (public domain), 22. Niels NoordhoekBullet coming from S&WCC BY-SA 3.0, 21. Edi Israel, Israeli woman injured from Hamas grad rocket fired at Beer ShevaCC BY-SA 2.0, 20. Jason BainMedical evacuation after car accident Kawartha Lakes OntarioCC BY 2.0, 19. CMSRCStudents assisting surgeryCC BY-SA 3.0, 18. pixabay (public domain), 17. Allan Ajifo, Brain 01CC BY 2.0, 16. wikimedia commons (public domain), 15. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski (public domain), 14. Bryan BrandenburgHuman Heart and Circulatory SystemCC BY-SA 3.0, 13. pixabay (public domain), 12-11. wikimedia commons (public domain), 10. pexels (public domain), 9. Wesker100US Navy SEAL Reenactment GroupCC BY-SA 3.0, 8. max pixel (public domain), 7. wikimedia commons (public domain), 6. pixabay (public domain), 5-4. wikimedia commons (public domain), 3. BruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited as: Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010ISSN 2002-4436., Blausen 0742 PneumothoraxCC BY 3.0, 2. pexels (public domain), 1. wikimedia commons (public domain)