Reader IllinoisShooter writes:
I wanted to tell this story because I actually used Nick’s range kit [ED: Nick’s second post ever] early last October. The event was not enormous. No one died or really was in any eminent danger of dying, but I think the story needs to be told. I had been invited to a friend’s farm in southern Wisconsin. He stated that a few friends were going to be sighting in rifles and maybe shooting some pistols and thought I should come by. Being a lover of free range time, how could I pass it up? . . .
As background, I was the guy with the Walmart-bought first aid kit in my truck. You know, Band-aids, wooden Popsicle splints and some bug bite stuff. But last summer I updated my kit based on Nick’s article. Like most shooters who have a “real” kit, I did it just in case…and because I had an extra 100 bucks or so. I never figured I’d use it. At most, I thought folks would be impressed when I pulled a Band-Aid from the kit and they saw all the other stuff I was packing
Fast forward to that Saturday on the range. All was perfect. A mild day, no rain, four guys, about 20 guns, a mix of hunting rifles, a couple of ARs and some pistols. The guys had finished sighting in the rifles and were swapping pistols and plinking at various cans, milk jugs and even some hubcaps. Then it happened.
One of the guys had borrowed a GLOCK 19 from its proud owner. He had a holster for the pistol and was drawing and firing at the hubcaps. Then amid all the gunfire, he was suddenly kneeling on the ground yelling for someone help him up.
It seems he had somehow (from a right-handed carry position) shot himself in his left calf. It was really more of a graze as it cut about a two-inch groove through his calf, inside to out. It was bleeding nicely, though at that point we couldn’t see much of the wound because of the pants.
So there we are out on a farm, about 45 minutes from a hospital and everyone is having the “OH SH!T” moment. I grabbed “Nick’s” bag from my truck, used the shears to cut the pants, some iodine pads to clean inside and around the wound, a towel to wipe some of the blood from the leg and his boot, put a bunch 4×4 gauze pads on the wound (3 or 4 were all I had) and wrapped the thing with a role of medical tape.
During this time (about five minutes had passed) one of the guys had already called 911, informed them of what was going on and that we would be taking him to the hospital. It may sound like we were calm and collected, but let me tell you we were all basically in a quiet state of panic. We taped him up, helped him into one of the truck and off we went to the hospital.
Of course we had some statements to give to the police as it was a gunshot wound. This guy could barely walk for a while (boy did his leg look terrible the next day!), but the docs took good care of him. But because of that bag, I was ready and actually had the right stuff on hand. Had the wound been worse, I may have been short on supplies, though. I used all my 4×4 gauze pads (that might have been overkill on my part), and the towel to wipe up was borrowed from the house.
The experience led me to double and triple a lot of the recommended supplies and add a tourniquet and pads for sucking chest wounds, two items I didn’t have then and thankfully didn’t need. But this situation made me sit down and re-think everything and consider how much worse it could have been. My advice: go out and spend the dough! I’m really glad I did.